|Nickname||Blue Bloods, Patricians|
|Disciplines||Dominate, Fortitude, Presence|
|Canon Flaw||Prey Exclusion|
|Dark Prospects Flaw||Prey Exclusion - You must take the Prey Exclusion flaw for no cost benefit.|
Who are the Ventrue?
The Ventrue are one of the clans of Kindred. They consider themselves to be the rightful leaders, both of Kindred as well of any group they are a part of. The clan instills a strong sense of noblesse oblige in all of its members, as well as honor and genteel behaviour.
Tradition is a cornerstone of Ventrue philosophy. The ways and means that have been proven over centuries are those that are best likely to succeed. Most of the time, it is the only acceptable option.
Ventrue members are typically drawn from the elite of kine society - nobles, wealthy merchants, even knights and warlords who live with a sense of chivalry and duty. They are a people who are used to the mantle of leadership, and the comforts that comes with such duty.
The Ventrue were instrumental in the creation of the Camarilla and continue to be its staunchest ally. Furthermore, the Venture strongly believe in the tradition of the masquerade.
The Ventrue are used to the finer things in life and have a rarified taste. This manifests for them as a restriction on what vitae even holds any sustenance for them. Vitae that does not qualify is repellant and expelled immediately. Of course the Ventrue do not see this as a restriction, rather they take only what they want. Their feeding preference is simply a matter of choice and a sign of good breeding.
The Ventrue have a strong passion for history - but that does not mean they have a passion for the truth. History is, after all, written in the hand of the victors. The Ventrue have won often enough that it is their version of history that is recorded.
Ventrue primacy begins with the tale of the founder of the Ventrue clan. It is said that the legendary Caine himself commanded his first son to embrace the first of the Third Generation, the one who would begin the Ventrue Clan. This man served as Caine’s advisor in the First City, and when Caine departed, he left Ventrue in charge of the city as well. Through this story the Ventrue justify their position of superiority and leadership over the other clans, just as they believe their progenitor led the other Antediluvians for a time.
The Ventrue have had a hand in many of the major cities of european civilization. In Sparta, one of the Ventrue took on the identity of Artemis and guided the people to become exemplars of the ideal Kindred/Kine relationship. However this ended around the time of the first Brujah war, between Sparta and the Brujah-held city of Athens.
After the fall of Sparta, Rome became the center of civilization and the Ventrue were there. Rome heralded a change in the Ventrue way of controlling the kine. Rather than appearing as gods and using disciplines, Prince Collat ruled the kine through proxies and influence. He collected favors and power from behind the scenes. This was further improved by his childe and successor, Camilla. She established political connections with the city’s patrician families.
The Second Brujah war occurred at the same time that mortal history recalls the third Punic war between the Ventrue held Rome and the Brujah held Carthage. In previous wars, while Kindred were often involved behind the scenes, they rarely ever engaged in direct combat with each other. In Carthage, this was not the case. Ventrue, Toreador, Malkavians, and Gangrel of Rome battled openly alongside the Romans against the people of Carthage. In the end both sides were greatly wounded, but the Ventrue prevailed, and the Brujah would never forgive them for destroying their fabled city.
In the years that followed Rome prospered. The Ventrue shared its power with many of the other clans that had taken part in the wars against Carthage, establishing friendships with other Cainites even as the Ventrue themselves began squabbling with one another. Most Patricians of the time were independent, with the only organization of the clan being a largely ineffectual assembly that eventually fell out of practice. Following the cue of Julius Caesar, Camilla reorganized the Ventrue into a structure that gave authority over the clan's members to the most important Ventrue in the region. While the power over the younger and less important Ventrue was not absolute, it did create a means for settling disputes, establishing connections, and identifying friends and enemies of the clan.
When Rome fell, the Ventrue allied themselves with the Merovingian dynasty and infiltrated the Frankish expansion. Tonight Ventrue powerbases exist throughout Italy, the Austrian Empire, the German Confederacy, and Great Britain.
The acquisition of Dignitas is the only way to advance within the clan.
Only the Tremere are more internally organized than the Ventrue, though the Ventrue hierarchy is not a ladder of advancement from rank to rank. Rather, members can move through the (largely honorific) system as their abilities and fortunes decree. The Ventrue feel that this system allows them more flexibility and lets them spot new talents within the clan and reward it, if desirable.
The clan elders often point this latter facet of the system out to young Kindred who are anxious and frustrated at the lackluster success of their own unlives. The system borrows heavily from the Roman Republic’s political institutions. Although the democratic elements of that system were stripped away long ago, the overall structure and some of the names remain.
At the global level, the Clan is headed by the Ephorate, which arbitrates intra-Clan disputes, chooses the representative for the Inner Circle of the Camarilla and maintain the unity of the Clan in the face of global issues. Working directly for the Ephorate are the Strategoi, who enforce the dominance of the Ephorate along geographic regions. Lictors act as agents of the Strategoi, who often specialize in a specific field (finances, warfare etc.). On a more local scale, the Tribune acts as a messenger to a Ventrue in a political position, often to alert him of the directives set by the Ephorate.
At the local level, within cities, the Ventrue organize themselves into an institution called the Gerousia. This Council effectively adjudicates Ventrue concerns within the city, overseeing Ventrue business and political interests within a domain. The Gerousia is officially headed by the Praetor, who brings issues before the rest of the Gerousia and hosts their meetings. Below the Praetor are the Aediles, who aid the Council and Praetor just as supervisors assist managers in a business. By their turn, the Questors act as foremen for their elder (or otherwise experienced) Ventrue. Finally, below the Questors lie the common Ventrue, without a formal title or useful experience to the Clan - they are called Eiren.
Opinion on Others:
All of these opinions are of course stereotypes.
- Camarilla - This may be one of the most important achievements our clan has ever made. It is our honor and our penance to maintain it.
Sabbat - The world has no place for these fools and monsters. They have betrayed Caine’s legacy and are a threat to all Kindred. They shall be destroyed to the last, and we shall hold the sword.
Brujah - Old wounds scar our relationship. They are brash and impetuous when young, and clever and calculating when old. Their strength and commitment to a cause can be a useful tool. Treat them with honor and respect, but hold them at arm’s length. They may turn their anger at you at any time.
Gangrel - Treat them as one would treat a prized and well-bred dog. Use them during the hunt, but return them to the kennel when subtlety is needed. Reward them their successes, shun them their failures.
Malkavian - Insane allies that shall test your patience. They are occasionally useful, but always vexing. In all honesty, they are not a threat; often as not it is simply best to ignore them entirely.
Nosferatu - The dedication they have to the information trade is both impressive and pitiable. A good prince should have one or two in his pocket, but never be beholden to any. They are useful allies when you can find one, but are often not there when you need one.
Toreador - Our dearest allies and rivals. Were they not so easily distracted, they may be honest competition for leadership of the Camarilla. As it stands, treat them with respect and help direct them toward the right goals; our goals.
Tremere - The mages make themselves a pariah in society. Still, better to have them on our side than against us. They are untrustworthy and duplicitous - but their magic makes them unique among our allies.
Lasombra - Every leader has a bitter rival who is always second best; so is the lot of the Lasombra. Since the First City, the Lasombra have been bested by our clan, and their bitterness over such knows no bounds. The hide in the shadows and watch the world go by with too much timidity to know when to strike. They once held a concept of honor - but those elders have been devoured by the mindless brutes they sought to control.
Ravnos - They claim to have honor; but so do all thieves.
Giovanni - Inbred necromancers with delusions of power. Their power over the restless dead gives them access to invisible spies - but what they do with that power is simply to amass more ghosts. Keep your deals with them, lest your haven be haunted. Expect them to overcharge for anything.
Lupines - Beasts and savages.
Ghosts - The invisible minions of the Giovanni. If you have a problem, consult with them.
Gaian Spirits - Who?
Article by Ralph