how many mortal years might have passed before their Embrace, newly created
Ventrue are no more than babes in the woods, compared to the history of
the clan. The responsibility for preparing a neonate for his release falls
squarely upon the sire's shoulders, but the local body of the clan often
plays a role. Siring a competent, confident and proper Ventrue means learning
for everyone, not just parroitng the sire's instructions - or prejudices.
The Ventrue term this training period the agoge, after the anient Spartan
education system. Renowned in nights long gone as the most comprehensive
and demanding means for schooling youth in the world, the aoge is a fine
metaphor; Ventrue relish drawing the comparison between it and their own
strict teaching style. Althought young Ventrue do not sleep on straw mats
or train constantly for warfare like hte Spartan youths did, they do face
mental and emotional challenges that are every bit as trying. They must
learn the ins and outs of Ventrue etiquette and traditions quickly, all
while learning to master their undead potential and discover their place
within Camarilla and Kindred society.
the agoge does not always take place. In the tumultuous modern nights,
many would-be sires simply lack the time to introduce a new childe to
the intricaties of her legacy. These "latchkey" progeny often have difficult
times adjusting to their grim fates.
The Newly Reborn
give childer was a ghoul ro had some other association with Kindred, become
and undying parasite can be quite a shock. Most Ventrue give their offspring
a few nights to adjust to their new state, feeding them either their own
blood or some from their private herds. During this time, the Ventrue
explains the situation as he or she sees best. This indoctrination is
a matter of personal preference, and the agoge traditions do not proscribe
a particular approach. Howerver, sires are encouraged to empahsize to
the child that he has become a part of a very exclusive, very noble, very
responsible family. Great opportunities are available to them, but they
come with important obligations.
After a few nights, once the childe has grown accustomed (however minimally) to her new existence and has a body full of precious vitae, the time has come for her to choose her preferrred blood type. Traditionally, the sire escorts the childe among the kine for an evening, althought this tradition has become less prevalent in the modern nights. The childe looks over the massed humanity and listers to her heart and palate. She eventually finds a kine who calls to her, whose aroma she cannot resist. Sometimes with the sire's help, the childe feeds. In so doing, she chooses the blood that will sustain her for all time.
The Training Begins
The honeymoon period is now over. The new vampire embarks upon her jounrey into the bloody world of the Kindred and Ventrue. For at least a week, sometimes much longer, sire and childe closet themselves away from the wordl The sire lectures, presents books to be read and trains the child in all the basics including how to use blood to heal or to increase physcial attributes, how to feed without leaving a mark, what the Traditions are, the history of the Camarilla, clan history, heirarchy and so on. The agoge demands that the sire test her childe constantly, quizzing her on facts and challenging her understanding. Many sires prefer Socratic tests, as well, teaching their childer more as they assimilate previous knowledge. Failure or missteps result in withering insults and even physcial pain. All told, this experience is not pleasant; a single omission in reciting one's ancestry may result in a week's denial of vitae.
The first training phase ends when the sire feels that the childe has learned enough not to be an embarrassment to him in public. In accordance with Camarilla tradition, the sire presents the childe to the city's prince, formally inaugurating her into Kindred society. Every available Ventrue in the city attends the presentation ceremony and watches the neonate closely. Afterward, the Ventrue gather alone and praise or criticize the child's performance. The neonate meets the restr of her clanmates here, probably for the first time.
The Training Continues
At this point,
most sires would cut their childer loose, since they are no longer accountable
for the neonate's actions, according to Camarilla traditions. Not so for
the Ventrue. For them, the process has just begun. The peerage holds its
sires responsible for its childer for quite a while, until the neonate
has completed the agoge, in fact. During this extended training session,
the neonate often dweels with the sire or in a haven the sire provides.
A few promising individuals do strike out on their own, but even they
find themselves under what feels like constant supervision.
the neonate stands before the assembled clanmates and tutors. She then
gives a full accounting of herself, clan traditions, history and how she
met the final challenge. Ritual then has the assembled clan vote on whether
the neonate should be accepted into the clan. In reality, only the dullest
sire places a childe before the Board without first making sure that the
Gerousia finds her acceptable. The assembled clan then assents to the
Kindred's acceptance unanimously (those still strongly opposed may remain
silent if they wish). The praetor then asks the neonate a series of ritual
questions devised by any Ventrue who cared to proffer one. In answering
them, the neonate also recites her linage and promises to uphold the traditions
of both the clan and the Camarilla.
On Their Own
party concludes, the neonate returns to her temporary haven for one last
day. From the next night forward, her fate is her own. The other Ventrue
no longer hold her sire responsbile for her actions and mistakes. Although
many develop strong ties to their sires, neonates may now deal and compete
with anyone, inside or out of the clan. Having passed the final test,
she has domain to call her own, a base upon which to build both her dignitas
and holdings. It is a heady, wonderful feeling for a short while.