The Flavor of Pain
The First Tradition – The Masquerade.
The Masquerade is at the heart of the Camarilla’s very existence. The fact that vampires are real must be hidden from mortal eyes. Violations of this Tradition are usually punishable by death, if not worse. Every Camarilla vampire is supposed to be on watch for violations of the Masquerade, and to stop any breach he or she might come across. Failure to halt a violation of the Masquerade, or to report such to the appropriate authorities, is almost as bad as breaking the Tradition itself; the Camarilla takes the Masquerade very seriously. As a result, sheriffs and their deputies constantly scan the Rack and barrens for even the slightest errors in upholding the Tradition. While the other Laws of the Camarilla are occasionally subject to loosed interpretation, the First Tradition remains inviolable.
The Second Tradition – The Domain
The meaning of this Tradition has changed in the modern era. Once Domain meant territory, pure and simple. That was all well and good in the nights when Kindred were scarce and each could claim a city as his or her own, but things have changed. Now cities have, in extreme cases, up to a hundred Kindred. Modern metropolises have sprawled beyond the capability of any individual vampire to control directly. And so, the meaning of domain has been forced to change to meet the challenges of the modern Camarilla.
In theory, the prince still holds Domain over his entire city. He then has the option of parceling out areas of control to be held by the Kindred of his choice. While the prince still holds ultimate authority, these smaller areas are a combination of fiefdom and controlled hunting preserve for the vampires lucky enough to receive them. Of course, these Kindred are also responsible for enforcing the city’s laws within their domains, so domain comes with responsibility as well as authority.
The Third Tradition – The Progeny
One of the most difficult problems facing the Camarilla is that of numbers. Vampires beget more vampires, and population control is a far more serious matter than among mortals. Having too many vampires in a city threatens the Masquerade and makes hunting difficult. On the other hand, having too few Kindred leaves the city open to attack. As a result, princes naturally want to know how many Kindred are in their cities, and to whom they putatively owe allegiance. Hence, the rise of the Third Tradition.
In the Camarilla, the right to create childer is one of the most fiercely sought after boons a prince can offer. So long as he controls the right to bring mortals into the blood, the prince has a never-ending stream of Kindred currying for his favor. The dispensation to create is one of the most powerful tools a prince has in his arsenal for buying the loyalty of his or her subjects.
The Fourth Tradition – The Accounting
Bringing a mortal into the world of the Camarilla is a huge risk. Any neonate has the potential to blunder and thus bring down the Masquerade. As a result, a new vampires sire is held responsible for that childe’s behavior and actions. Any penalty the childe’s behavior earns, the sire faces in full. Older princes take this Tradition seriously, feeling that the accounting forces young Kindred to take the Embrace seriously and choose their progeny carefully.
The Fifth Tradition – Hospitality
Predators are always very polite with one another. Social graces keep them from tearing each other apart, and allow them to establish relationships other than kill-or-be-killed. This Tradition allows Kindred to move in one another’s territory without immediately coming into conflict.
It is simply a mandate for all strangers entering a city to present themselves to the Prince. The presentation can take many forms, from a simple greeting to a recitation of one’s lineage to a demand for service while in the city
By accepting a vampire who presents themselves, a prince grants that Kindred to stay, dwell, and hunt within his city. By presenting himself, the vampire acknowledges the prince’s authority and ensures that he isn’t immediately brought down by a scourge who doesn’t know him on sight.
The Sixth Tradition – Destruction
According to the oldest know readings of this tradition, the Sixth grants a sire the right to destroy his childe and all of his progeny. Under the Camarilla, that right has been given to the Prince, who now holds the right of life and death over all of his subjects. He can not exercise that right too cavalierly, lest he risk a coup to deprive him of this power, but through the office of the blood hunt, a prince can sentence any Kindred in his domain to death.