Camarilla Organization

The files in this area provide a basic introduction to the governmental structures of vampire community. They are meant to describe the in-character realities of the Camarilla. However, the history of Los Angeles proves that even the mightiest can fall. Reality can change. In this context, politics is what you make of it, subject of course to our face the music theme.

On Titles

Please read our general note on Titles here.

Global Organization

The Inner Circle

The true hub of the Camarilla, this group meets in Venice once every 13 years to plan out the business and direction of vampire society - as much as any group can presume to dictate the doings of a race of immortal predators. Every clan is permitted one representative, usually the eldest member of the clan, as only the eldest may cast the clan's vote. Others may be brought to the meeting and allowed to speak, but in the end only the elders may vote.

One of the Circle's main purposes is the appointment of justicars, one for each of the seven Camarilla clans. Appointment is a long, drawn-out process, as each clan seeks to get its best in the plum spots. Often, when the shouting is over, the losers end up with young or relatively weak justicars who are ignored for their 13-year stints. Those who are eventually appointed are most often compromise candidates, or even obscure vampires who the Circle believes can be manipulated. These latter types sometimes display a surprising amount of initiative, and may even bite the hand that feeds them.

The Justicars

These seven mighty vampires are the judges appointed by the Inner Circle to be the Camarilla's eyes, hands and, if necessary, fists. Justicars have the only true authority across the Camarilla and all vampires, with the exception of the Inner Circle. They alone have the ultimate power to adjudicate matters regarding the Traditions. No one is considered to be above them in this. It is Justicars who decide the punishment for those who have violated the Traditions on a widespread level; the one being judged may not expect mercy. Justicars are supposed to call for a conclave when they wish to pass judgment, but over the years this lapsed as they grew in power. Justicars have the authority to call a conclave at any time, either to confirm a ruling or to make certain decisions that one justicar alone does not wish to burden himself with.

A Justicar serves for 13 years, and her actions may be challenged only by another Justicar. If things grow heated, a conclave may be called by the combatants or by another justicar to resolve the dispute. When rival justicars decide to start battling it out, few vampires are safe from being used and abused in the ensuing struggle.

Many vampires, Elders and younglings alike, resent the power the Justicars wield, and certainly none care for the abuses that can come with it. However, very few would dream of openly taking them on, due to their immense age and resources.

The Archons

Each Justicar selects a number of minions, known as Archons, to act in his name as suits his purposes. If the Justicars are the hands of the Inner Circle, then the Archons are the fingers on those hands. No Justicar can be everywhere he might need, or wish, to be, and Archons can often make certain his presence is felt if not seen. Archons, although they are part of the Camarilla hierarchy of power, are not so far removed from typical vampire unlife that they cannot observe it or gain the trust of other vampires outside the hierarchy; this makes them ideal watchers. Some vampires attempt to gain favorable attention from an Archon, in the hope that she will mention them to her master. Such attempts often backfire, as continued efforts to curry favor are more likely to encourage suspicion.

Archons are typically chosen from the upper ranks of Ancillae and occasionally Eldersof lesser station. Such a prestigious appointment can make or break a vampire's career in the halls of power. Justicars occasionally choose archons to carry out specific missions, and sometimes prefer political savvy, insight and skill over recognizability.

An Archon's position typically lasts for as long as a Justicar wishes to retain her, or the length of the Justicar's tenure. It is not unheard of for a new Justicar to retain an Archon who served with his predecessor, provided the Archon understands to whom she now owes allegiance. Most times, though, a Justicar prefers to select an entirely new staff, particularly if the last one left under strange or bitter circumstances.

Domain Organization

The Prince


A Prince is a vampire who effectively rules a city. Princes gather their power through a variety of means. Some seize it by virtue of their immense personal power. Others form coalitions of other powerful vampires who recognize the need for unified leadership. Some are simple puppets of other forces. Under Camarilla Tradition, however, a Prince has the power of life and death over all those in their domain. They have the power to refuse entry, the power to destroy those who break the Traditions, , and the power to refuse permission to sire a new vampire..

Los Angeles is huge, and consists of different cities. As a result in Los Angeles a vampire controlling a district of the metropolitan area (such as Downtown, Santa Monica, or South Central) also is called a Prince.

At this point in time, Los Angeles only has one Prince: Emerson, and fundamentalist Camarilla may claim he isn't even that. Emerson controls the combined districts of Greater Downtown, Santa Monica and South Central. All three of them used to be autonomous Domains in the past. The Domains surrounding the Ancient's Domain too were consolidated by the Encirclement, consisting of several traditional Elders and Ancillae from the continent, and governed by the Camarilla-appointed Magistrate of LA.

Clan Elders

A Clan Elder is an Elder like any, but in Emerson's City of Angels it has become a title with attached rights and responsibilities.

Upon founding his Domain the Ancient invited 6 Elders, one of each Clan, to join him and seek residency in his Domain. Rather than pursue their former roles as Princes and Primogen they chose, for some reason, to accept a very different set of rights and responsibilities.
Their wings are severely clipped on a level of territory and Standing as Emerson restricts their possession of territory to a single area. On the other hand however, the Ancient grants them Prince-like power over all those belonging to their Blood, including the Tradition of Progeny, Accounting, Hospitality and Destruction.
In addition, the Elders' representatives; the collective or Primogen forming the Primogen Council, manage most of the Domain's nightly affairs.

The Seneschal

Generally, a Seneschal is an influential vampire who is empowered by a Prince to act on his or her behalf on all matters except as they pertain directly to other influencial vampires (such as Clan Elders or vampires with great Standing, where the Prince must act directly) or where the issue involves destroying a vampire of significance, whether an elder or a vampire of Standing or great Status.

Vampires can get away with bypassing a Seneschal to speak directly with his or her Prince, assuming that they
(1) know how;
(2) don't anger the Prince by bothering them with trivial matters; and
(3) are able to deal (in one way or another) with any resultant ire that the Seneschal might have for taking a matter over their head.
Each Prince generally has one Seneschal. The amount of power given to a Seneschal varies from Prince to Prince. Some Princes might purposefully select weak, easily manipulable Seneschals. Others might select someone strong whom they wish to "keep closer" as the saying goes about friends and enemies.

At this point in time, Los Angeles only has one Seneschal, appointed by Prince Emerson. In the Independent Domain of Los Angeles the Seneschal effectively governs the Domain in cooperation with the Primogen Council. This may include the appointment of a Sheriff or Keeper, handing out land, or enforcement of the Traditions. The Ancient himself has other priorities, and rarely bothers to engage in the management of the Domain's nightly affairs, except where it concerns his right of Destruction. When Emerson does mingle however, the Malkavian overrules any and all.

The Primogen

Vampiric society is very fond of the title 'Primogen'. One finds it in almost every Domain, but its meaning varies greatly. In pure semantic terms, a "Primogen" is a powerful and influential vampire who is not Prince, and that is perhaps the only commonality between the different meanings.

In the City of Angels a Primogen is 'the first of their clan'. This is not to say they are the Clan Elder, but they are the vampire -representing- the Clan Elder, much like a Seneschal represents a Prince. The amount of power that a Clan Elder forwards to the Primogen varies per Clan and individual.

The same goes for the selection of the Primogen. Some Clan Elders choose to make this a Clan affair - initiating a contest, meeting or otherwise to select the Representative, whereas others simply appoint one of their liking. In general however a Clan-Elder will aim to appoint a Primogen with high Prestige - supported by underlings and students. After all, although a Primogen gains power by the Elder's authorization, the Elder's power is reinforced by the personal pull of the Primogen.
In order to increase that pull, and ensure the Clan (Elder) is always properly represented, many Primogen or Clans choose to appoint a second in command: The Clan Whip. Again - selection and the amount of power a Whip wields depends on the Clan and the individuals involved.

The Primogen Council

A Primogen's representation of the Clan and its Elder exceeds in-clan power however. The Primogen (or Whip, should the Primogen be unavailable) also represent their Clan (Elder) in the Primogen Council. Whereas in other Domains a Primogen Council may merely advise the Prince, the Primogen Council in Los Angeles effectively governs the Domain in cooperation with the Seneschal. This may include the appointment of a Sheriff or Keeper, handing out land, or enforcement of the Traditions. The Ancient himself has other priorities, and rarely bothers to engage in the management of the Domain's nightly affairs, except where it concerns his right of Destruction. When Emerson does mingle however, the Malkavian overrules any and all.

In other Domains, including many Los Angeles' Domains before Emerson's declaration of Independence, a Primogen had nothing to do with Clan-leadership. There, 'Primogen' is an honorific title granted by a Prince to elders and other influential vampires.
Traditionally, in Camarilla cities across the globe, the Primogen are a council of elders who, by virtue of their own personal and collective power, are able to impose upon the Prince's rule at least to the point where they must have their voices heard. Some Primogen Councils control puppet Princes outright.

Before Emerson's declaration of Independence, and under the Treaty of La Ciegena, Primogen typically were those vampires who were personally powerful and who controlled large blocks of territory. (Standing 3+, see our files on Standing). In many Los Angeles domains, but not all, they sat on the Prince's advisory council.
Similar to the 'Overseers' and 'Barons' of these nights, the Primogen could be given specific authority and responsibilities by the Prince. More feudally minded Princes granted large pieces of territory to a would-be Primogen on the condition that the Primogen enforced the Prince's will. Once again, the Primogen gained in power through the support of the Prince, and the Prince gained in power through the support of the Primogen. Some Primogen were given their titles by the Prince out of recognition rather than largesse - to not grant such a title would be a dangerous snub that could cause unnecessary friction.

The Sheriff

A Sheriff is, quite simply, a vampire empowered by his or her Prince to police the laws and Traditions of the domain. It should be noted that they are very rarely empowered to punish violators summarily. Instead, most Sheriffs apprehend violators and deliver them either to the Prince, the Seneschal, or to the vampire who controls the territory in which the violation occurred. Sheriffs can generally travel anywhere in their Prince's domain where they must to carry out their functions, and they may appoint Deputies to assist them in these tasks. Sheriffs have a number of ways they can exercise discretion; for instance, they might overlook certain crimes, take the detainee to a more friendly "judge", or nitpick violations of the Traditions, where they think that they can get away with it without harming their or their Prince's credibility.

Sheriffs are not, however, exempt from the realities of their Standing and Status. Just as a police officer sent to arrest the President of the United States would have to defer to the Secret Service, perhaps leave his gun outside, and would have to treat the President with honor and respect, so a Sheriff should be mindful in all his actions. His title means one thing only: the Prince of the domain backs his action so long as his actions do not embarrass, undermine, or harm the Prince's interest. If a Sheriff were to truly anger a powerful Officer of the Domain, a Prince might show outward solidarity because the Prince wouldn't want to undermine the Sheriff's (read: the Prince's) authority, but woe betide that Sheriff when the company has gone home and the doors close.

In the Domain of Los Angeles the Sheriff is generally are appointed and managed by the Primogen Council and/or Seneschal. Because of the significant size of the Domain, the Sheriff of Los Angeles tends to employ more than one Deputy.
In addition, Officers with very high Standing (such as Barons) sometimes appoint their own Sheriffs (or 'Protectors') enforcing the Traditions in the areas they control. Of course, the jurisdiction of such a Protector is limited to the domain and authority of their employer.

The Keeper

What is a Keeper? Keepers are those vampires who preserve the Masquerade and keep the peace at an Elysium. In these regards, their word is law within their Elysium subject only to the dictates of the vampire (generally Prince) who appointed them. Similarly, their authority extends only as far as the power of the person who appointed them.
Keepers may in turn appoint Assistant Keepers to help them with the enforcement of their Elysium.

In the Domain of Los Angeles the Second Tradition enables any Landholder to declare Elysium (and thus appoint a Keeper), as long as they can enforce it.
Keepers that enforce an Elysium declared by the Prince, generally are appointed by the Primogen Council and/or Seneschal.
If a Landholder appoints a Keeper, and the Prince of the Domain walks in, it is unlikely that the Keeper of the Elysium will have much say in anything. At the same time, of course, the Prince wouldn't want to stress the relationship with a powerful Landholder. Otherwise, Keepers are subject to the realities of their Standing and Status, just like Sheriffs.

Please find some notes on playing a keeper here.

Offices Command

Command Usage
+offices <domain> Lists officers (Prince, Sheriff, etc.) for the specified domain, if you have access to that information. (Domain = Los-Angeles)

Please set your &position to represent your proper title.

Architects should make sure Domains are set to non-LA things for characters with Standing not belonging to LA itself.

White Wolf © White Wolf
Original Work is licensed under a CC Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 US License.