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Brody Day Jackson's Handy-Dandy Guide to "Not Getting Any Deader Than You Find Yourself Currently!"

October 10, 2007

Howdy, kids! It's your ol' pal Brody here, and today we're chock full of useful tidbits of information - the kinds of things that will keep your oppressive Elder Overlords from Lording any Oppression over you. One such pearl of wisdom is regarding this missive - if I, or any other Vampire finds something like this on your person, Bad Things will happen to you so fast, your head will spin, celerity or no. Something like this existing is a Hard-Core breach of that most important of traditions, The Masquerade.

Segway!

Tradition Number One: The Masquerade - an examination on how not to be a total fucking idiot.

"Thou shall not reveal thy true nature to those not of the Blood. Doing such shall renounce thy claims of Blood."

Well that's all biblical and stoic, yes? Let's break it down. When you were still human, did you believe in vampires? (And if you said yes, how did the other inmates at the asylum feel about that?) The sane, rational world does not think we exist, and in case you were wondering, this is:

1. A really good thing.

2. Totally On Purpose.

So you're packing the phenomenal power of the ageless, and you're not afraid of what some puny little humans might try, eh? Well, you might want to apply that preternaturally sharp mind of yours towards the construction of a bridge - so that you can get right the hell over yourself. You sleep all day. And this is because a single ray of sunlight will sizzle your bacon faster than you can say 'Bob Evans.' (And this is one of the few times that the above sentence is quite literal. And this isn't even accounting for the incredible destructive power your average citizen can obtain in 3 days from Wal-Mart) Rest assured that if humanity becomes aware of our presence, that is a fight we lose immediately, and decisively.

The Masquerade Is Our most ABSOLUTE LAW.
The Masquerade is your BEST FRIEND.
The Masquerade is the whole reason people tolerate the Camarilla and its bullshit politics - it's a Cam idea, and the Cam exists to enforce it.
The Masquerade is something that you can be killed over, no trial, no jury, no mercy.
The Masquerade is something that you can, and in fact do, bet your life on.

Are we clear? If not, commit the following phrase to memory, and chant it whenever you're about to do something dumb."The Masquerade's important.
It is what keeps us safe.
If I should chance to break it
Brody grinds me into paste."

Any revolutionary ideas regarding this tradition can be addressed to associate professors of Kindred Theology, Ebony & Ivory PhD.

Tradition Number Two: Domain - An Examination on why you should do what Prince Rogerson Says.

"Thy domain is thine own concern. All others owe thee respect while in it. None may challenge thy word while in thy domain."

The scriptural stoicism persists through all of these, so try to keep up. The general interpretation is that back in Ye Olde Daye, Vampires would set up some sort of badass, Draconian keep, lord over all the land, blah blah blah - well, there are way too many of us for that to apply anymore, and civilizations expanded to the point where you can have more than one Kindred per thousand square miles. Now we get to be social creatures, hoo-ray.

What this means now, is that someone claims a given domain as theirs, and sets up shop as Prince. If you're part of the Camarilla, you do what Princy says, 'acause they've got domain. It's an attempt to lend a sense of legitimacy to the hierarchy. Regardless, you wanna be part of the Cam - you've gotta respect whoever's domain you're in. Don't wanna be part of the Cam? You still have to respect whoever's domain you're in - unless you're strong enough to make the Prince of said domain earn your respect. And I can promise that you're not. SO: Listen to your Prince, and thank whatever higher power you choose to acknowledge/ignore that you have someone competent in charge. Who also happens to not be totally evil.

Good times all around, there.

Tradition Number Three: Progeny - An Examination on there being far too many newbies as it is.

"Thou shall only Sire another with the permission of thine Elder. If thou createst another without thine Elder's leave, both thou and thy Progeny shall be slain."

Again, pretty fucking simple. And also, (and this is important kids, pay real fucking close attention to this next bit) NOT SOMETHING THAT WE YELL AT ARCHONS ABOUT!!!!! Whit, Zak, Andrea - not to put too fine a point on it, but the above tradition means that motherfuckers need The Prince's permission to sire. Too many Vampires running around endangers the human population, which:

1. Sucks Balls For them, as you've got a city full of sick/dead people

2. Sucks Balls For Us, as that First Tradition gets harder and harder to enforce

3. Sucks Balls For Vamps who ignore this tradition, as they get whacked in short order

None of your sires paid any attention to the above tradition, and as such, they should by all rights be hunted down and killed in the streets. And for that matter, so should you three. Not a value judgment. Not a discussion of fair or unfair. A simple rule, that when broken usually has swift, deadly consequences.

I really *need* you kids to understand that you're very much the exception here. Your dumbass sires' sins aren't your fault, and The Prince has been really chill and lenient regarding your respective situations. Understand that in most cities, you'd get the scourge sic'd on you, and thrown into a meatgrinder, no questions asked.

Understand that you are very fucking lucky, in no small part due to -

Segway!

Tradition Number Four: Accounting - An Examination on how not to get Brody killed.

"Those thou create are thine own children. Until thy Progeny shall be Released, thou shall command them in all things. Their sins are thine to endure."

When a childe is sired, the Sire in question is charged with teaching said childe all this fun stuff we're touching on now. There isn't a whole lot of precedent regarding what you three have going on. The point to remember here, is that whole their sins are thine to endure bit. So it's in everybody's interest that you sin as little as possible, at least, in the eyes of the Camarilla. Feel free to rock those 7 deadlies as often as strikes your fancy.

I've gone way the hell out of my way to ensure that this is the case with the Setites & Club Sebau as well - this shit does not come without a price, kids. As I told Whit, when I said I'm sticking my neck out for you, at no point is that supposed to be a metaphor. This is true of everybody under the accounting.

This is a concept that shouldn't be too hard to grasp. Any questions can be directed to associate professor Reino Haldor, who is under the instructions to make you as uncomfortable as his fertile imagination can devise, until such a point that you understand the weight of your actions.

Tradition Number Five: Hospitality - An Examination on Helen Rogerson's Eminent Badassery.

"Honor one another's domain. When thou comest to a foreign city, thou shall present thyself to the one who ruleth there. Without the word of acceptance, thou art nothing."

A lot of these traditions boil down to Do What Prince Rogerson Says. It's why new arrivals need announced at court, and why you all needed the Prince's word. Also why you have to be presented when you travel to another domain. This doesn't end when you're released from the accounting - as Whit may recall, I too have to announce my presence to Prince Taylor Campana of Cleveland when I go back, even though that's my hometown, and I served the Camarilla for five years as Scourge.

Tradition Number Six: Destruction - An Examination on why you give a fuck about any of these traditions, anyway.

"Thou art forbidden to destroy another of thy kind. The right of destruction belongeth only to thine Elder. Only the Eldest among thee shall call the Blood Hunt."

In case you weren't paying attention, let's get this out of the way right now. Killing Vampires isn't something we just head off and do. The Prince gets that call, which isn't an easy job to have. Like any good leader, there's delegations galore, so instead of actually killing anyone, Princes have Sheriffs, and Scourges, and other various Beatdown Crews that are pressed into service when this unfortunate bit of business comes up. Princes call blood hunts in some very extreme cases. Archons and Justicars can too, I'm sure - but we don't get that kind of word passed down very often, if ever. A Blood Hunt, if you were wondering, means that every Kindred in the city is not only permitted, but in fact, heavily encouraged to find and kill the unlucky object of said hunt, by pretty much any means necessary.

I hope that it goes without saying that the Masquerade still needs upheld in these circumstances.

*Anyway.*

Those are the traditions - please don't think that they're open to your interpretation in any way. That's a discussion for another time, another place. For now, please try your best to wrap your heads around these concepts - it's really not hard, and I don't need any more Angry Archons.

A quick refresher for those of you who weren't paying attention last class:

How not to Get Killed: An examination of how fire, sunlight, pointy pieces of wood and the Sabbat affect your longevity.

Stab wounds, bullet holes, stingray to the heart - these things, while still highly unpleasant, aren't quite so lethal as they once were. Hooray for you. It's not all rainbows and Ice Cream though, kids - Mutant Healing Factor notwithstanding, enough hurty pain things will still drop your ass - it just takes more of them. And some things are especially unhappy for us Nocturnal Folks.

1. Fire will burn your ass to a crisp quicker than it would have when you were Human.

2. Sunlight will do the same, while providing some appropriately melodramatic romanticism to your stupid, pointless death.

3. A piece of wood in your heart (Stake or otherwise) will not kill you - however, it will completely paralyze you, which can really be just as bad. Oh, and you still see and hear everything normally - you just can't move at all. It's a fucked up situation, and I wouldn't recommend it - especially since anyone who wants to immobilize you probably has some pretty fierce intent.

Do you remember that horrible, bloodthirsty, animalistic murder rage from when you were first embraced? Or the danger of losing control of that same instinct (Some call it "the Beast" when you're really pissed (or perhaps just really hungry)? The Sabbat kind of want to stay there. Oh, and Humans are weak, and cattle, and we should be their overl0rdz from our badass Transylvanian castles, and kill all our sires, and the Masquerade is for pussies, and Black Leather Jackets Are Totally Awesome As Are Sunglasses At Midnight.

That's the best of the Sabbat. The worst is a horror so profound, I won't trivialize it by joking. Suffice to say that the Sabbat can be the stuff of Nightmares - living nightmares you never could have imagined. They will try to kill you, or convert you. Stay the hell away from them.

All right, that's all I've got for now. Class Dismissed. Whit - you get to write the Third tradition on the blackboard 100 times. Er, 20 times. It's a small blackboard.

Even so.

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