Traditions of Caine

It is widely agreed across Europe that Caine set down laws, called Traditions, for his childer to obey on pain of Final Death. Throughout the Long Night and the War of the Princes, there was broad agreement throughout the courts of Europe about the names of those Traditions, but until the formation of the Camarilla, there was little agreement between Princes about the specifics of any given Tradition.

Many Anarchs care little for the Traditions, seeing them as a relic of the elders’ control and yet another thing to be smashed. Despite this, almost every Anarch knows these old Traditions – and many deride the Camarilla for their move to standardise and change the Traditions to fit their more cowardly agenda (see below).

By being accepted into a domain by a Camarilla Prince, a members of the Camarilla is agreeing to abide by the traditions as the Camarilla now defines them. Breaches of the traditions are generally raised at Elysium and are arbitrated by the Prince who may decree any punishment up to and including Final Death. It remains to be seen whether the Anarchs decide to adhere to any of the traditions. Would this be accepting the decrees of the Camarilla and damaging the Anarch Revolt irreparably or would it be a pragmatic step to ensure that sires tale responsibility for their childe.

The First Tradition: The Covenant

  • “Thy blood makes thee my brood, crafted in my image. My curse is thine, and my salvation is thine. I stand before and above thee as god-regent. I am the way, my Traditions my covenant. Renounce me and Renounce all hope.” Thus spoke Caine.
    • From the God-Regent Translations of the Book of Nod
  • The blood of the Betrayer flows through you, making you in His image. You are cursed, and it is only through obedience that you survive. You are the Betrayer’s kind, and are bound by these, God’s laws for you.
    • From The Qaanoon, collected by Duras the Dacian

The First Tradition is how most Princes claim power – they are closest to Caine, they say, and thus wield his authority. It doesn’t matter that often the Prince is not the eldest, but simply the one chosen by the eldest – from an Anarch perspective, The Covenant is the root of all evil in the hearts of elders.

The Second Tradition: The Domain

  • “As I am master of Nod, thy domain is thine own concern. Thou art its master, and all will respect this or suffer thy wrath. All will present themselves when entering, and thou shall protect them in turn. By right, thou art allowed to hunt within the bounds of thy domain, its blood thine own. Accept its responsibility, minister thy domain, and pay others the same respect thou expect.” Thus spoke Caine.
    • From the God-Regent Translations of the Book of Nod
  • The herd and the land that they inhabit are the domain. If you can keep it, it is yours. If you can take it, it becomes yours. If you can do neither, you submit to those who can and call them elder.
    • From The Ways of Hibernia, as translated by Duras the Dacian

During the War of the Princes, most disputes between Cainites were over Domains, whether on the personal level of control over one’s own haven, or the much greater level of which Prince exerts authority over which city. The Second Tradition also gives leeway to a Prince to divide up their Domain into smaller portions, each managed on their behalf as a fiefdom in a feudal manner – while at the same time being used by Anarchs to highlight that if they can take territory from the elders, it becomes theirs by right.

The Third Tradition: The Progeny

  • “Thou shalt only sire another with the permission and blessing of thine elder. To create is the providence of those closest to me, for they shall be accountable. Break this, and both thee and thy progeny shall be slain.” Thus spoke Caine.
    • From the God-Regent Translations of the Book of Nod
  • Creation is a sacrament, and one not celebrated lightly. One obtains the advice and guidance of ones foremothers and sisters. To celebrate the sacrament without such blessings is to blaspheme and forfeit all that the Mother has given you.
    • From Traditsiya, as collected by Duras the Dacian

Most Princes claim that this gives them sole authority over the privilege of Embracing a new Cainite – anyone wanting to sire a childe would then owe the Prince a significant boon, further entrenching the Prince’s power in their Domain. Needless to say, many Anarchs have been Embraced in open defiance of a Prince’s edict, as much of the Revolt is founded on a rejection of the elders’ authority.

The Fourth Tradition: The Accounting

  • “Those thou create are thine own blood until release from thy charge. Until that moment, their sins, their blood and their punishments are thine.” Thus spoke Caine
    • From the God-Regent Translations of the Book of Nod
  • What you create is yours and your blood. Their blood and their punishment are yours.
    • From Folk Traditions of the Etruscan Tribes, collected by Duras the Dacian

This Tradition serves both to bolster the one which precedes it, and to create a situation where sires are heavily incentivised to subject their childer to the Blood Oath to ensure loyalty and good behaviour as a neonate. After all, if a new Cainite were to misbehave, punishment would fall on both sire and childe.

The Anarchs are very well aware of the ways in which this Tradition has been abused, exploiting the Blood Oaths of childer to protect their sires from the fires of the Inquisition. Nevertheless, some still take the view that it is right to hold a careless sire to account for their childe’s crimes, rather than the childe themselves.

The Fifth Tradition: Destruction

  • “Forbidden art thou to spill the blood of another of thy kind who is elder. This right belongs only to the closest to me and none other. It is forbidden for those of weaker blood to rise against their elders. This is my final covenant.” Thus spoke Caine.
    • From the God-Regent Translations of the Book of Nod
  • Do not spill blood, for it is precious. All blood, no matter the source, must be used and useful, blood in the soil is an unforgivable waste.
    • From The Lost Traditions of Phoenicia, collected by Duras the Dacian

The importance of the Fifth Tradition in maintaining Cainite power structures in their status quo cannot be overstated. It was not until Patricia Tyler allegedly slew Hardestadt that the Anarch Revolt became reality, after all – she showed neonates and ancillae across Europe that another approach was possible.

Scholarly Anarchs highlight that even the ancient Antediluvians broke this law, rising up and killing their sires; less selective scholars quietly note that this is supposedly what prompted Cainte to curse the Third Generation and all their descendents…

The Sixth Tradition: The Silence of the Blood

  • “Never shalt thou reveal thy true nature to those not of the blood. Doing so shall renounce thy claims to my covenants.” Thus spoke Caine
    • From the God-Regent Translations of the Book of Nod
  • Do not reveal your nature.
    • From The Traditions of Mali Empire, as translated by Duras the Dacian

At the same time much more specific and much more general than the other Traditions, the Silence of the Blood is also the most pragmatic in the nights of the Inquisition. Revealing one’s true nature risks attention from the Church’s faithful hunters – but many Anarchs reject the Silence of the Blood anyway because, they say, they do not care for the Covenant which upholds it. Some even advocate living openly as vampires, like in ancient Carthage, as part of a utopian Dream.

The Camarilla’s Traditions

As part of the founding of the Camarilla, less than a century ago, a radical realignment of the Traditions has occurred, in line with that organisation’s priorities. Even ancient Mithras, Prince of London and the Baronies of Avalon which encompass virtually all the British Isles, has decreed that his Domain follows this new interpretation of the Traditions while formally remaining separate from the Camarilla. Many Anarchs laugh at the Camarilla’s hypocrisy in rewriting their “Traditions” to suit their needs so openly, and say it undermines any claims to legitimacy the new sect might have. The Camarilla’s Traditions are as follows:

  • The First Tradition: Masquerade
    • Thou shall not reveal thy true nature to those not of the Blood. Doing such shall renounce thy claims of Blood.
  • The Second Tradition: Domain
    • Thy domain is thine own concern. All others owe thee respect while in it. None may challenge thy word while in thy domain.
  • The Third Tradition: Progeny
    • Thou shall only Sire another with the permission of thine Elder. If thou createst another without thine Elder’s leave, both thou and thy Progeny shall be slain.
  • The Fourth Tradition: Accounting
    • Those thou create are thine own children. Until thy Progeny shall be Released, thou shall command them in all things. Their sins are thine to endure.
  • The Fifth Tradition: Hospitality
    • Honor one another’s domain. When thou comest to a foreign city, thou shall present thyself to the one who ruleth there. Without the word of acceptance, thou art nothing
  • The Sixth Tradition: Destruction
    • Thou art forbidden to destroy another of thy kind. The right of destruction belongeth only to thine Elder. Only the Eldest among thee shall call the Blood Hunt.

The focus on the Masquerade has also led to widespread apostasy, as Camarilla Cainites abandon their former Roads and Paths in favour of the Road of Humanity. This is pragmatic, as Prodigals have a much easier time passing for human than followers of other Roads, but many Anarchs argue that it shows a lack of integrity as ancillae and elders shun their apparently-sincerely-held beliefs for expediency’s sake.