The single most important and ubiquitous figure in Kindred
politics, the Prince normally rules her city with nearly
absolute power. Some are weaker than others, of course,
and some are mere figureheads for powerful Primogen or
other elders. For the most part, however, any given Prince
holds that position for no other reason than that she was
strong enough to take it in some way. She might be a consummate
politician who attained her post by accumulating
favors from all the other elders, and who now manages
her domain through diplomacy and compromise. Alternatively,
she might be a veritable warlord who gained power
by intimidating or “disappearing” her rivals, and now maintains
power through the simple expedient of slaughtering
anyone who questions her. Most Princes, of course, fall
somewhere in the middle, but nearly all boast some advantage
or trait that keeps them on top.

Of course, a Prince must do more than bark orders and issue
death sentences. Her job is not merely to govern, but to
regulate. A Kindred domain is a boiling pot, full of personal
and sectarian conflicts, petty grudges and endless political maneuvering,
all topped with the innate and inescapable violence
of a race of predators who feed on blood. The Prince’s
job is to keep a lid on that pot — or, perhaps more accurately,
to be the lid on that pot. The reason most Princes eventually
become dictatorial is that they must keep so many powerful
and easily agitated vampires in line.

Note that in some rare cities, normally those largely dominated
by the unaligned and the Carthians, the Prince may
attain power through means other than sheer personal ability.
Such a Prince might be selected by local elders. The
Carthians have even attempted open elections. Most often,
such Princes are either overthrown by more powerful Kindred
or themselves become tyrants to make sure they are
not overthrown.

Other Titles
While Prince is the most common term by far, Kindred leaders
refer to themselves as Cardinal, Bishop, Archbishop, Don,
President (usually in the case of those rare elections mentioned
earlier), Sultan, Lord, Duke or whatever title strikes
their fancy, depending on the nature of their government. A
few self-styled “Queens” exist, but most Kindred leaders avoid
use of the title King.


Rust Never Sleeps KristopherHedley KristopherHedley