Camarilla Law and Justice

Kindred law is based upon one simple idea: Within each Domain, the Prince has final say. End of story. The end. That's it. Simple isn't it?

You can't win.

For the record Kindred justice within the Camarilla is NOT based upon trail by jury, the use of Aura Perception, Truth of the Bone, whatever... none of these are accepted. Status and Station wins. The Camarilla usually does not like investigations to get to the bottom of things. Why investigate? Better to find a scapegoat... sorry, criminal Caitiff... and kill him for the crime. If the crime happens again, then the Caitiff was obviously in league with someone. Mind you, if in doubt, blame any Anarch/Autark... they have no Status and as such are guilty of everything! All right, all right, it depends on the Prince, but most of the time, investigations are not carried out. -- and for very good reason. Many criminal acts can be carried out and ignored if you remember one thing: while murder and Diablerie are terrible crimes and while Princes and Justicars want the criminals punished, the society must be maintained! The biggest crime in the Camarilla is to disregard Status and station.

Example of why Camarilla law is so unfair (Based on real game play)

Picture the scene: The Tremere Primogen has been found in a room with the recently killed corpse of the Ventrue Primogen. He claims he didnıt do it. The Prince summons him and the entire court (this is a bad move, but we'll come back to that in a bit).

Prince: Right, My Lord Tremere... did you kill the Ventrue Primogen?
Tremere: My Lord... I cannot tell a lie... nope. I had nothing to do with it.
Near-By Toreador: A-HA! Your majesty, my learned Tremere Primogen is a lying, two faced murdering git.
Tremere: You have evidence?
Toreador: I don't have to have any... I just read your aura and me and EVERYONE could see that you were lying your bloody head off...
Tremere: YOUR MAJESTY! What on Earth is going on? You've allowed a Toreador Anarch present evidence...
Toreador: WHAT!? Prince: (Who knows where this is going and what is going to happen) My God, I think your right!
Toreador: What the hell?
Tremere: A viper in our midst. I wonder, are the entire Toreador so affected...?
Toreador: What the Hell are you talking about?
Tremere: You, Sir, you and your disregard for the Traditions and laws of the Camarilla. You and your attempt to subvert the Camarilla from within...
Toreador: I beg your pardon?
Tremere: I had given my word as a Primogen. You say you glanced at my aura and contradict me! You glance at my aura... you doubt my word!
Toreador: Well, of course I bloody well do, you're a sneaky git!
Tremere: That's MR. Sneaky Git to you, Sunshine! Or, rather, Lord PRIMOGEN Sneaky Git. You, Sir, have decided to disregard our sacred Traditions, disregard the rules that have kept the Camarilla in place for the past seven hundred years. You have taken the system of Status, which unites us and binds us, and defines our place in our society, and you have thrown it out the window. You doubt my word in public... by doing so, you suggest that Status is redundant. You wish to destroy it, eh?
Toreador: Er... no, that's not...
Tremere: No doubt you wish to get rid of Boons and introduce democracy as well... probably hang about with Danton don't you?
Toreador: No, now wait a minute...!
Tremere: Your majesty, I insist that this criminal be staked immediately.

And like that the bad guy gets away with it! Why? Because Kindred society is deadlier than any Kindred! It is not based upon fairness or justice. The Tremere Primogen did kill the Ventrue one... but the Toreador broke an even bigger rule... He disregarded station. The Tremere committed murder... the Toreador committed treason and sedition. And since his act of treason was to say he had read the Tremere's aura... then the very accusation is treason, and thus the case is dropped and the Toreador gets it! (This could lead to people like the Harpies judging and ruling cases... and thatıs almost right!)

Mind you, the Prince messed up. He should have gotten the Toreador to ask the Tremere in private, and then used the Aura Reading as evidence when coming up later. The evidence would have been in beforehand, and the statement that the Primogen was lying more acceptable (because the Prince can say it). Committing a crime becomes something anyone can get away with... if they are smart. Bringing someone to justice is as easy as just saying the right thing at the right time to the right person. Who cares if they did it? Who cares what their Aura says? It's about how you appear and what power you have. An Elder can make your life miserable for years. Thatıs the whole point of the game... you must out nasty the nasty guy. Just think... if that Toreador in the above example had been the Primogen, not only would have the Tremere Primogen got away with the murder of the Ventrue Primogen, but the Prince would have been forced to punish the entire Toreador Clan!

Also, remember; accusations of criminal activity against Kindred must be made by those of high standing in a court. It's not enough that you get evidence against the Tremere Primogen, the evidence and the accusation must be made by the Prince, the Seneschal, the Chief Harpy, the Sheriff, the Keeper of Elysium or the other Primogen. Someone has to stand up and make the accusation and take the blame if the accusation falls down. Anonymous tip-offs and so forth are instantly discounted. The reason someone important has to bring the accusation is that if it goes wrong, someone important has to take the blame.. at least until they pass the buck onto the little person who made the accusation in the first place. If you make an accusation and it is thrown out, you are guilty of bringing false witness. Even if what you told is the truth, you have brought false witness. The very act of accusation is a dangerous thing. Heaven forbid you accuse a Prince in good standing of a crime -- the very act is sedition and should only be carried out by another Prince! Remember that the Prince of a Domain is the final judge of all things.

 

Justicars and Archons

Now, often we have people saying "but the prince is so unfair, can't I appeal to a higher authority?" You could, but here you run into another blockade of social values, unfairness and blatant nepotism.

Princes are expected to run a tight ship. They are expected to uphold the laws; they are expected to uphold the Traditions. Archons and Justicars are not here to wetnurse anyone. Archons and Justicars really donıt care how things are run as long as the Traditions and the Edicts of the Justicars are obeyed. Thatıs it.

Archons and Justicars shall ignore any accusation against someone of high standing unless it comes from someone else of high standing. If they listened and allowed every accusation to be acted upon then they would undermine the very society they are there to protect. Justicars tend to remember such things -- sending an accusation to the Justicar about your Prince will lead to the Justicar reporting you to your Prince for breach of the Second Tradition, but you will die knowing that if the Prince ever does come under the Justicarsı attention they will no doubt look into this... maybe

It is rumored that the Nosferatu Justicar, Markov, once said, "There are two types of Princes in the world; those who are guilty of breaching the Traditions... and those who have yet to be caught." The best IC advice about the Justicars- avoid them at all costs. The kid gloves have been taken off. In the past people use to complain at the treatment of their PCs at the hands of Justicarical NPCs. This is the wake up call: these NPCs are designed to judge and to kill. They are not designed to provide detailed roleplay encounters for your characters. They are not designed to give a damn about your PC. Your PC is an annoyance to them.

Justicars do not represent their Clan. The Nosferatu have no claim on their Justicar. It is the Nosferatu Justicar, not the Nosferatu's Justicar; Justicars' first and only allegiance is the Camarilla. For their term of office, this is all they care about. Supplying them with regular information, deferring to them as you would defer to any person who has the power to have you killed with but a word, and generally not trying to annoy them is a good way to get along with the Justicars. If you are playing a PC and a Justicar enters your story, be aware that from that moment until it leaves your character's story, you may be killed at anytime for any IC reason. You are now roleplaying with the world's most deadly creature.