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The Order of the Honourable Knights of St. Dumas

1. The official history

During the crusades Assamite intervention took a heavy toll on the Western Cainites in power and their puppets as well. Powerful Cainites of various clans met during the third crusade in Albi in the Languedoc in southern France to discuss how to answer the Assamite threat. In an unprecedented (and never repeated) show of unity, clans Ventrue and Lasombra decided on a cooperative effort. A new knightly order was to be founded, an elite troupe of Cainite descent which would be trained specifically to deal with the Assamite killers and constitute a force capable of like feats.

The Ventrue who lead the discussion on behalf of his clan was Frederic de Salle-Voiree, a warlike person and an idol for younger Ventrue who had distinguished himself in more than one nightly battle. He was put in charge of assembling the finest candidates for knighthood in the new order, and he selected a local and not quite official saint as patron for the fledgling order, a man by the name of Dumas about whom little was known except that he had strived for spiritual enlightenment and was renowned for his visions and some miracles, no two legends about which could agree.

The order was officially founded in 1191, and the third crusade, which was currently in progress, was not entered by the knights of the new order, eding as it did not quite a year later.

Knowing full well that the time of crusades was far from over, the order recruited individual Cainites from clans Gangrel and Nosferatu to provide insight into the valuable disciplines of Protean and Obfuscate. The Ventrue and Lasombra taught Dominate and Obtenebration respectively; most recruits of the order came from these two clans anyway.

The order finally saw action druing the fourth and later crusades, and when the time of crusades ended, the order became a kind of secret police for the Ventrue. The schism dividing Kindred society in Camarilla and Sabbat did not divide the order so much as cast out the Lasombra due to clever politicking on the Ventrue side. The Ventrue took over control of the order completely and the order quickly became a valuable asset of the Camarilla.

While training within the order was still given, the order began taking on Squires from among the Ventrue who did not partake in the training and took this position as a kind of honorary title. Today, the majority of Squires are honorary, and only a select few take up training within the order and rise in its ranks.

2. The structure of the order today

There are four ranks within the order: Squire, Knight, Seigneur and Prince.

Membership is by invitation only. Any Knight may extend an invitation to a Ventrue of sufficient prestige, but any invitation must be sanctioned by at least one Seigneur beforehand. Membership is for unlife, usually. Technically, leaving the order is possible, but no Seigneur or Prince has ever done so (except in the instance of Final Death). Most of the time this is connected with a tremendous loss in status. In the rare event that a Ventrue is ousted from the order, any status he might have had is virtually gone, and he's going to have a hard time gaining any in future.

Membership is also almost exclusively male, although a handful of female Ventrue have managed to gain access to the rank of Squire since the beginning of the 20th century, and two have actually managed to be knighted. There are no female Seigneurs.

Most Squires today are honorary members of the order and do not rise in rank or partake in training excercises. Those Squires who do partake in the training eventually pass a rigorous test and become Knights. A Knight is typically trained at least in Obtenebration in addition to the Ventrue clan disciplines, often with a smattering of Protean and Obfuscate although these two disciplines are somewhat out of fashion with the order and taught only up to level three at most.

The order has always been governed on the basis of geographical divisions. Each area is presided by a Seigneur who is chosen for unlife in a democratic election from among the Knights of the area in question. The Seigneurs meet in a council which in turn elects one from among their midst as Prince. The Prince is the nominal head of the order. His power is limited, though: in the council of Seigneurs he is one among equals.

Seigneurs and the Prince are elected for unlife, but an incompetent Seigneur can be removed from office by his subordinates. They had better have a good reason to do so, however, or the reactions may be less than friendly. The only other chance for a Knight to ascend in rank is the election of his Seigneur as Prince. This is a rather improbable event, as the current Prince is only the second after the disappearance of Frederic de Salle-Voiree at the end of the 16th century.

Members of the order are not allowed to aspire to places of power outside the order. this rule does not include honorary Squires, but from the moment a Squire begins training it is in effect. Therefore, members of the order cannot become Princes of cities or even Primogen. They may be the eldest Cainites in their areas, but they must leave the place of Primogen to someone else. Of course that does not mean that members of the order cannot be powers behind the throne, just that they don't carry titles.

If a member of the order decides to take a place of power outside the order anyway he must leave the order. In addition, he will be placed under a ban of another 50 years during which he may still not take any official position of power. This does happen, although only Knights have been known to have done so. This is the one instance which does not mean a loss of status for the departing member.

This rule was established to ensure that no member of the order, who, after all, are trained assassins, may conspire against any other dignitary for his own benefit.

3. The secret history

The primary secret at the heart of the order is that Frederic de Salle-Voiree was not a Ventrue. Instead, he was the Childe of a mysterious Cainite who called himself Domasius, a Latin name which became Dumas in French. Said Domasius had been embraced during the height of the Roman empire and subsequently left to his own devices. Intelligent, resourceful and ambitious man that he was, Domasius managed to survive despite his Caitiff status and insinuated himself at the fringes of Ventrue society.

Domasius was a Cainite of the fifth generation. At the time of the foundation of the order he had already retired from public view and was thought torpid or destroyed by those who had known him. From his seclusion he orchestrated the foundation of the order under the reign of his trusted Childe.

The order grew and secured its position without any hidden agenda. Only after the schism which ejected the Lasombra from its ranks Frederic installed what he called the Central Pillar: an elite order within the order which worked in secrecy towards the goal Domasius had in mind for himself and his progeny. The Central Pillar was made up exclusively from progeny of Domasius and Frederic who all learned to pose as Ventrue. It runs through all levels of the order; while the outside order uses secular denominations, the Central Pillar uses clerical ones: Novice, Brethren, Abbots and Cardinal. One in eight non-honorary Squires is a Novice as well - such Novices already know more about the hidden agenda of the order than any Knight, Seigneur or Prince outside the Central Pillar. One in four Knights is a Brother as well, and one in three Seigneurs is an Abbot. The Prince is always a Ventrue (with the exception of Frederic, who has joined Domasius in his self-imposed exile). The Abbots are experts in guiding the Seigneurs and the Prince by subtle influence so that their decisions do not hinder the goals of the Central Pillar.

The position of Cardinal is held by Domasius himself. He makes the decisions which his Abbots put through in the council. Frederic is usually also honoured with the title Cardinal when he makes an appearance.

Brothers of the Central Pillar leave the order from time to time to take over important positions in Ventrue society. They are also placed under the 50 year ban, which is sufficient to keep their later actions separated from the order.

The goal of the Central Pillar is nothing less than clan status. Domasius has already diablerized a torpid Childe of the Ventrue antediluvian and thus lowered his generation to fourth. The Central Pillar is searching for the resting place of Ventrue himself. As of today, they do not seem to have come any closer to that goal, and voices become louder within their ranks to make do with the blood of any antediluvian - a goal which is not much easier to attain.

Domasius is even more ambitious: why stop at the level of an antediluvian, when Caine himself is out there somewhere to be diablerized? With the blood and soul of Caine consumed, Domasius would be the mightiest Cainite of all...

Frederic knows that his sire had located the resting place of two antediluvians before but has not taken action in order not to compromise his position too soon. Domasius fears that the clans might retaliate when he diablerizes a clan founder, and they could get to him before he manages to locate Caine. Frederic is pondering an act of Diablerie himself - after all, Domasius' megalomania seems to have reached proportions which might put any Malkavian to shame. Recently, Frederic's theories about Domasius' sire pursue not-so-noble avenues...

4. Bloodline: Dumas

The Dumas take the name of their sire and patron as their own. All of them are or were members of the Central Pillar, and one or two Princes of European cities are not the Ventrue they seem to be.


Dumas invariably make the impression of model Ventrue. Impersonating Ventrue is their second nature, and this includes the voluntary acceptance of typical feeding restrictions, although they can be broken without a penalty in game terms.


An unlife of masquerading as Ventrue is not without its repercussions. Duplicity is the second nature of any Dumas, and no Dumas would ever fully trust any other Cainite, fearing that everyone plays a game the way they do. Their lives are charades within charades, and this leaks over to all their plans and perceptions.

Furthermore, all Dumas work to further the ascension of their bloodline founder, and although they might be ambitious, their own plans are second to those of Domasius.


The Dumas choose their Childer from among those of more than average sophistication and intelligence. The order is rich enough to ensure the financial freedom of any newly recruited Neonate. In recent centuries those chosen have displayed more than a slight trace of paranoia and fondness for conspiracy theories.


In his early years as a neonate Domasius put his blood to a peculiar use in order to stay clear of vampiric prosecution. Over time, his newfound abilities were codified into his blood and transferred to his Childer as a discipline which Domasius began to call Wayfaring.

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