A Prospects/Initiates Rights
Know that you are a "free agent" of sorts, until you have a sire are you a member of a house- Spending time as a Ronin (Independent or solitary vampyre) gives you the opportunity to meet and greet, without any real allegiance to any one particular person or family. During this time, you may meet an individual that takes a liking to you. You may even build a connection with this person. Before anything is set in stone or before you are blind-sided, know that this individual does not necessarily have to be your Sire. People may try to get you to believe that "because I introduced you to xyz or I brought you around my household and members, I am your sire". THIS IS NOT TRUE. Not to say that you will not develop that connection and relationship with the first person you meet, just know that it is NOT mandatory.
Know that it is ultimately your decision as to whom you want to be your sire - Also understand though; this is a two way decision. You must accept one another to fully appreciate that Sire/Chylde bond. Respect for an individual plays a big part in making this decision. After an undetermined time period, no less than 6 months (this however, varies from house to house) you may be officially announced as the chylde of said individual. This person will now be your "voice" on official nightside matters. They will also be your mentor and guide as you grow vampyrically and come to understand your nature. *Note: Individual must be the rank of Calmae for at least a year and a day if not longer, or higher. Another reason why this selection process is so serious is because you are to only have one sire. In few cases a sire may "release" their chylde, but this happens rarely and mostly if irreconcilable differences occur.
Know that you might or might not become a member of your sire’s house - Along with the understanding that there must be a connection between you and your sire, the same goes for choosing to join a Household. These are to be treated as separate decisions. Being honest with yourself is key. Just because your sire is a member of a household, doesn’t mean that household is a fit for you.
You control your own vampyric path- It is always good to seek council from those more experienced, but in the end you determine your own growth. Never let someone else dictate your movement’s vampyrically, politically or otherwise. There are certain things you must accomplish for ascension, but "special favors" will not get you respect. To put it into very clear terms sexual acts will NOT give you rights to move up in rank or will give you a respected tittle. With that being said, cavorting with minors, misuse of drugs, or any illegal misconduct will NOT be tolerated.
A Prospects/Initiates Responsibility
Being around an individual/Household doesn't make your interest known - It is up to you to express your interest in being sired by an individual, as well as being a member of a particular household. Although we used the term "Free Agent" earlier, this does not mean people are going to be flocking to you to join their house. An invitation may be put out, but all in all it is your responsibility to reach out.
Meet and Greet-Before you can make an informed decision as to who you want to be your sire or what house you want to be a part of. Simply, you must get to know people/members of this community.
Ask questions- You are not expected to know everything or anything for that matter. Use that to your advantage and ask as many questions as possible. Only two things will happen, you'll get an answer or you won’t. If you don't get an answer, do not get discouraged. This might just mean you aren't supposed to know the answer to that question just yet.
Keep good contact-The best way to express interest is to keep good contact with your prospective sire/house/clan members. Get their contact information with the intent of building a relationship with them. Don't go on an “ass kissing” spree. Be yourself, the whole purpose of the prospecting process is to get to know your potential family and vice versa. Leave your attitude at the door-We are all adults, as such we should act accordingly. Leave your drama, pettiness, and bullshit behind. As prospects we are all trying to learn and grow within ourselves.
Know your Rights, Fight for your Rights - If you feel misled/disrespected in any way, follow procedure and go through the proper channels/chain of command to resolve the issue. Prospects are to look to calmaes and higher to address any concerns they may have. If questions or concerns aren’t being address properly, feel free to go to someone who you feel better equipped to give you what you are looking for. Understand however, no one person has all the answers. You should expect a valid attempt at giving you what information you seek or put you on track to someone who will.
“IDEALS- Being a Vampyre is not just about feeding upon life. That is what we do, but not necessarily what we are. It is our place to represent darkness in a world blinded by light. We are about being different and accepting that difference as something that empowers us and makes us unique. We are about accepting the dark within ourselves and embracing that darkness to make us whole beings. We are about celebrating the thresholds of body and spirit, pleasure and pain, death and life. Our lives should be lived as a message to the world about the beauty of accepting the whole self, of living without guilt and without shame, and celebrating the unique and beautiful essence of every single soul.” ~BV
The 13 Rules of the Community, also known as "The Black Veil", was composed by Father Todd of House Sahjaza, Michelle Belanger of House Kheperu and COVICA as a voluntary standard of common sense, etiquette and ideals for the greater vampyre/vampire community.
Although copyright 1997-2001 by Father Todd and Michelle Belanger, the Black Veil is an open licensed text available for reproduction on related websites or in print for organizations and individuals who wish to promote it's concepts and ideals. All that is asked is that the Black Veil not be changed, amended or modified in ANY way and include the text and links detailed between the asterisks * here.
1. DISCRETION This lifestyle is private and sacred. Respect it as such. Do not make a sideshow of yourself. We do not have to prove ourselves to anyone. Appearing on public TV to tell the world that you drink blood is useless attention-getting. It gets a negative reaction for the whole community. Our place is in the shadows; our greatest protection from small-minded humanity is the fact that they do not believe we exist. Someday they may be ready for us to reveal ourselves to them, but that time is not now. Do not hide from your nature, but never show it off to those who won't understand. 2. DIVERSITY Our paths are many, even though the journey we are on is essentially the same. No single one of us has all the answers to who and what we are. Respect everyone's personal views and practices. We cannot let petty differences of ideology prevent us from maintaining a unified community; there are enough who would attack us from the outside. Our diversity is our strength. Let our differences in viewpoint enrich us but never divide us amongst ourselves. 3. SAFETY Use sense when indulging your nature. Do not flaunt what you are in public places. Feed in private and make certain your donors will be discrete about what happens between you. Donors who create rumors and gossip about us are more harm than they're worth. If you engage in blood-letting, put safety and caution above all other things. Blood-born diseases are a very real thing, and we cannot risk endangering ourselves or others through irresponsibility. Screen donors carefully, making certain they are in good health both mentally and physically. Never overindulge or get careless. The safety of the entire community rests upon each member's caution.
4. CONTROL We cannot and should not deny the darkness within. Yet we should not allow it to control us. If our beast or shadow or darkside is given too much sway, it clouds our judgement, making us a danger even to those we love. Never indulge in pointless violence. Never bring willful harm to those who sustain you. Never feed only for the sake of feeding, and never give over to mindless bloodlust. We are not monsters: we are capable of rational thought and self-control. Celebrate the darkness and let it empower you, but never let it enslave your will. 5. LIFESTYLE Live your life as an example to others in the community. We are privileged to be what we are, but power should be accompanied by responsibility and dignity. Explore and make use of your vampire nature, but keep it in balance with material demands. Remember: we may be vampires, but we are still a part of this world. We must live lives like everyone else here: holding jobs, keeping homes, and getting along with our neighbors. Being what we are is not an excuse to not participate in this reality. Rather, it is an obligation to make it a better place for us to be. 6. FAMILY We are, all of us, a family, and like all families, various members will not always get along. However, respect the greater community when having your disputes. Do not let your individual problems bring emotional strife to the family as a whole. Settle your differences quietly among one another, only seeking out an elder's aid in mediation when no other solution seems possible. Never bring your private disputes into public places and never draw other family members into the issue by forcing them to take sides. Like any normal family, we should always make an effort to present a stable and unified face to the rest of the world even when things are not perfect between us. 7. HAVENS Our havens are safeplaces where everyone in the community can come to socialize. There are also often public places where we are likely to encounter people who don't understand our ways. We should respect the patrons of these places as we should also respect the owners of the establishments and always be discrete in our behavior. We should never bring private disputes into a haven. We should never initiate violence in a haven. And we should never do or bring anything illegal into a haven, as this reflects badly upon the community as a whole. The haven is the hub of the whole community, and we should respect it as such, supporting it without business and working to improve its name in the community so that we can always call it home.
8. TERRITORY The community is extensive and diverse. Every city has a different way of doing things, and a different hierarchy of rule. When entering a new city, you should familiarize yourself with the local community. Seek out the local havens. Learn what households have sway here. Get in touch with key members of the community, learn who is who, and show proper respect where it is due. You should not expect to impose your old way of doing things on this new community. Rather you should adapt to their rules and be glad of their acceptance. Always be on your best behavior when coming to a new city either to visit or to stay. We are all cautious and territorial by nature, and only by making the most positive impression possible will you be accepted and respected in a new community. 9. RESPONSIBILITY This lifestyle is not for everyone. Take care in who you choose to bring into it. Those who are mentally or emotionally unstable have no place among us. They are dangerous and unreliable and may betray us in the future. Make certain that those you choose to bring in are mature enough for this burden. Teach them control and discretion, and make certain that they respect our ways. You will be responsible for their actions, and their behavior in the community will be reflected back to you. 10. ELDERS There are certain members of our community who have established themselves as just and responsible leaders. These are the people who helped establish local communities, who organize havens, and who work to coordinate the networking of our culture. While their word does not have to be law, they should nevertheless be respected. They have greater experience than many others, and usually greater wisdom. Seek these elders out to settle your disputes, to give you guidance and instruction, and to help you establish yourself in the local community. Appreciate the elders for all they have given you: if it was not for their dedication, the community would not exist as it does now. 11. DONORS Without those who offer themselves body and soul to us, we would be nothing. We cannot be other than what we are, but it is the donors who sustain our nature. For this service, they should be respected. Never mistreat your donors, physically or emotionally. They are not to be manipulated or leeched off of for more than what they freely offer. Never take them for granted. Appreciate them for the companionship and acceptance which they offer us, which so many others would refuse. This above all: appreciate the gift of their life. That communion is sacred. Never fail to treat it as such.
12. LEADERSHIP When you choose to take a position of authority in the community, remember that you do not lead for yourself alone. Leadership is a responsibility, not a privilege. A good leader must set an example for everyone through his actions and behavior. His motives should be selfless and pure, and he should put the interests of the whole community before his own. The best leaders are those who serve to better the community and whose person and behavior gives no one -- even those outside of the community -- a reason to criticize them. They must strive to be above reproach. 13. IDEALS Being a vampire is not just about feeding upon life. That is what we do, but not necessarily what we are. It is our place to represent darkness in a world blinded by light. We are about being different and accepting that difference as something that empowers us and makes us unique. We are about accepting the dark within ourselves and embracing that darkness to make us whole beings. We are about celebrating the thresholds: body and spirit, pleasure and pain, death and life. Our lives should be lived as a message to the world about the beauty of accepting the whole self, of living without guilt and without shame, and celebrating the unique and beautiful essence of every single soul. © Copyright 1997 - Present, by Michelle Belanger and Father Todd.
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