Philadelphia By Night
Laws of the Night
Freedom Reigns!! But at what cost…
At present there is no Prince of Philadelphia. Instead it is a series of interlocking baronies, some in heavy contest, some allied. This old page is included here as a reminder of the rules which existed under the last Prince. Many kindred are just realizing that they no longer apply, and that really, anything goes now. For now. In the distance looms the threat of Invictus heavies or Brood invasion or total dispersal in the face werewolf or Mage pressure. So right now, “you can get away with it, you can do it.”
The Old Monarchy
The Prince presents himself as a fairly democratic ruling force – a strange mix between the business executive and the benevolent Prince as public servant and adjudicator. So his public pronouncements tend to be strict enough to appease the bloody appetites of the kindred, while generally going the route of controlling people rather than killing them. This tendency buys him currency if he can magnanimously save a life here or there, and currency is what he built his difficult reign on. Below are some rather standard infractions to give an idea of his level of strictness and standard punishments:
Note: 1 level of Viniculum is stated as a possible punishment for many of the infractions below. This should be seen as a severe form of punishment for most of these violations. Prince Gerald is aware of how this may breed discontent, or eventually sentence a kindred to death if say, the Ordo Dracul feels that the member may give away Coils. Nonetheless, if other simpler means would not successfully send a message to the kindred of Philadelphia and the violating kindred, Prince Gerald has made it clear that he will use this right and that there is precedent in other cities.
Note: Where ‘loss of status’ is listed, this generally means a public office such as Sheriff, Seneschal, Hound, Primogen seat, or official Prefect seat. While it might be argued, and sometimes is, that the position of covenant Prefect is entirely up to the covenant, Prince Gerald has and will silence such protests. He’s clear on this: Covenant rights are decided by him. If he can not trust the Prefect to abide by his laws, and the covenant stubbornly supports this Prefect, then the covenant is subverting his authority. All interactions with him will be treated as such. He understand quite well that the covenant may still look to the offending ex-Prefect for advice or favors, but he will not, and he will look at all other covenant requests less favorably through the mouth of a Prefect who has proven him or herself incapable of abiding by kindred laws. While this may temporarily strain Prince/ covenant relations, the Prince has made it clear he has full right to do so. Eventually, the Prince knows, the ex-Prefect will not be seen in such positive light since much of his power to publicly protect the covenant has been stripped, and the new Prefect will presumably continue to gain power through public office.
First Tradition infraction: violation of Masquerade. Someone gets caught on videotape using celerity, feats of strength unreasonable to man, and having fangs and claws. Despite the fact that photographs or videotapes would be blurry, if the event is still dangerously clear that something weird is going on, he would have to respond. His response would be to apprehend, try the individual to determine if they are a ‘wildcard’ or just caught in a very difficult moment. Punishment for the former would mean torpor for 10 years or death. For the latter it could be as soft as 2 levels of the Viniculum or temporary exile (10 years), or 2 levels of Viniculum to the person who cleaned up his/her mess. Alternately, the violating kindred may be subject to extensive reparations, stripping of his or her office, and a number of long-term effects which effectively place the kindred under probationary status in Philadelphia kindred society. If videotape under question is extremely unclear, the same punishments might be delivered (especially in the case of the wildcard) but the case would be better for the defendant. More likely, the offending party would only owe 1 level of Viniculum, and/ or the long term effects would be more mild. The offending kindred may not even lose his or her position of authority (at least immediately).
Second Tradition infraction: Progeny. Someone falls in love with a mortal and does not seek approval before siring. 1 level of Viniculum to the Prince for progeny and sire, and some additional reparations. One problem this violation creates is the imbalance of power or unequal ruling, since others may want to do the same. So the additional reparations would be something to mitigate that. For instance, someone in the Lancea Sanctum embraces, and he has a known enemy in the Circle of the Crone. Now the Circle of the Crone gets a new territory, a valued hallowed ground of the Lancea Sanctum. This kind of reparation works better if the individual is in power of course, or cares about their affiliation with their covenant. Alternately, Prince Gerald may decide it’s wiser to simply kill the progeny or kill the sire. He turns to this rarely. On the other end of the spectrum, the Prince may substitute the level of Viniculum by exiling the progeny or sire and still expecting additional reparations.
Third Tradition infraction: Amaranth. Someone diablerizes someone else. This would be the kind of thing that the Prince would call a blood hunt for. If the circumstances are not entirely clear, he would generally call for this person to be brought back staked or otherwise incapacitated. But, of course, this might prove difficult and accidents do happen…
Couple other possibilities:
1) purposeful violation of the Masquerade: blood hunt and quite possibly a significant punishment for the violater’s sire. These ‘significant’ punishments could be devoting resources to repair the Masquerade as well as hefty fines or services for the Primogen. Alternately, it could mean a level of Viniculum or loss of a sire’s rights in some fashion (feeding, office, etc.)
2) Violation of Elysium Law, first offense: severe beating resulting in near terminal aggravated wounds. Or moderate boon for Keeper of the Elysium or the Prince.
3) Violation of Elysium Law, second offense: loss of office (if significant) or severe reparations or 1 level of Viniculum.
4) Violation of Elysium Law, third offense: generally it would result in exile.
5) Violation of feeding rights, when the defendant has been warned or was aware of the territory: the claimant has a right to request a moderate boon of the defendant. No Viniculum.
6) Violation of feeding rights, when the defendant was not aware: minor boon, fine. No Viniculum.
7) Killing another’s trusted ghoul/ retainer: Powerful boon, quite possibly long term and very possibly additional reparations. Unfortunately, it would have to be proven that the kindred in question did so in a compromising way. Accidentally killing a ghoul who was foolish enough to allow him or herself to be fed on would not result in a hearing. Infiltrating a kindred’s haven and killing his or her trusted ghoul who has been a ghoul for 25 years would result in a loss of public office (Primogen status or Prefect status).
8) killing another’s goon ghoul (maybe a couple): This would be if there was some kind of violent falling out and the offending kindred simply killed a couple of low-level guards who were also recently made into ghouls. Moderate boon OR hefty fine