Vampire Court

A vampire court, or simply court (pl. vampire courts or courts), is a group of vampires, and any non-vampires they permit in their inner circle.


Structure

Vampire courts are formal assemblies, highly similar in structure to medieval courts. At the top is one especially powerful and charismatic vampire, sometimes with and equally powerful consort. Because vampires are immortal, changes in power are relatively rare, and almost always involve some sort of violent death. Other powerful vampires make up the nobility of the court. Their status depends on both their power and how much of the leader's favor they hold. Each noble's fledglings and underlings fall in the next layer of the hierarchy, and then at the bottom are non-vampires. Depending on the court and the individual vampire, non-vampires can be considered little better than property, or they can be treasured companions. Regardless, if a vampire has marked a non-vampire as theirs, they are considered off-limits to other vampires.

Ranks and Terminology

  • Count - the most common title taken by a male leader of a court.
  • Countess - the most common title taken by a female leader of a court.
  • Baron - a title taken by the male leader of a court which acknowledges the authority of a larger court in a nearby region.
  • Baroness - a title taken by the female leader of a court which acknowledges the authority of a larger court in a nearby region.
  • Duke - a title sometimes taken by the male leader of a court, usually one with multiple lesser courts under its influence.
  • Duchess - a title sometimes taken by the female leader of a court, usually one with multiple lesser courts under its influence.
  • Lord - the title of a male vampire who is considered a court noble.
  • Lady - the title of a female vampire who is considered a court noble.
  • Sire - a vampire who has made other vampires (typically used in the context of "who is your sire?").
  • Fledgling - a vampire who has been made by another vampire (the context of "your fledgling" is similar to that of "your child"), sometimes used to describe a vampire who has not yet made a vampire of their own.
  • Thrall - a non-vampire kept as a servant. Some are kept by individual vampires, but generally each court will have a few unattached thralls who serve the court as a whole, and its guests. A particular master will sometimes give their thralls some sort of distinguishing feature, for instance a tattoo or piece of jewelry, so that other vampires know to stay away.

Known Courts

Budapest Court

Arguably the most famous court of all, at least among vampires, rumored to be led by the Count Dracula, though many speculate that this is simply a title adopted by the current leader in order to garner reputation.

London Court

A small, highly secretive court, sometimes rumored to have been entirely wiped out.

New Orleans Court

The most modern of all the courts, large and popular with younger and less subtle vampires.

Roman Court

An old court, rumored to hold some of the oldest and most powerful vampires in the world.