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Consequences of a Breech

 
The Defence of the Masquerade
A Guide for Ventrue
 
by Jason Peterson

What constitutes a Breech?

This can often be a difficult question. Obviously any action taken by a member of Kindred Society, which draws attention to the existence of the Kindred, is a breech. But Kindred are a warlike species, and weaponry is carried by many, which indeed is sensible and not to be discouraged, However many have access to weaponry that would not be carried by a mortal. By far the worst offender here is the stake, Often there is absolutely nothing that a stake could be except as a weapon to destroy vampires. As you can easily imagine this one will not be easily explained away to the authorities. Sword and Automatic weapons, unusual among the kine create similar problems, and weapons such as these are also common, as these weapons are best capable of damaging our kind. Steps must be taken to ensure these weapons are NEVER on public display, and any discharge of Automatic weapons in a public arena should be treated as a minor Breech, Obviously the death penalty is not appropriate here, but removal of the right to carry such weapons seems appropriate.

But why is this a Breech? A criminal investigation will be launched by the mortal authorities, which could lead to questions being asked of Kindred. This will certainly lead to problems, and require the Defender to close these investigations, usually setting up a patsy.

More serious is the public display of Kindred Disciplines. This is sadly becoming increasingly common, largely due to stupidity. Here a lax Defender can actually add to the problem, badly timed usage of Presence or Domination can lead to a Breech made while attempting to cover a Breech. The so-called combat disciplines of Potence, Celerity and Fortitude are also common offenders, as Kindred become accustomed to their usage. Fortitude especially must be guarded against - For instance I personally can walk away unwounded from much gunfire, but doing so in public could cause much comment and concern.

Yet another, sadly common breech is the simple exposure. Some Kindred for whatever insane reason simply admit their condition to mortals. Sometimes in the guise of friendship, or the so-called blood cult or sometimes even as just a method of controlling mortals. These situations can easily spiral well beyond the control of the Kindred involved, which tends to be when it comes to the attention of the Defender, who should see that the pathetic wretch comes to an end once a defence has been effected.

Ultimately as a rule of thumb, most breeches tend to be obvious, and anything, which causes the Defender to have to take an active role, is a breech. Unless this had prior arrangement (and such instances should be rare) investigation, capture and punishment should follow.

Consequences of a Breech

Obviously not every breech will have a new inquisition at our door. Some minor breeches will cause maybe a lone hunter, or a group to sit up and take notice. Others may fade with little consequence. In many cases this will depend on the types of mortal involved.

Professional Hunters - The major concern here is not that the hunter has discovered evidence of our existence. Due to a previous breech this mortal or mortals is already aware of us. However they may have learnt new information about us, or more likely, they have discovered an area in which we operate. With many hunters (such as the society of Leopold) Camarilla policy is to outlive them, and not to intervene. With smaller cells they may be destroyed at leisure.

Government Agencies - This should be considered a priority. Most agencies (such as MIS) could create tremendous problems for us, were they to learn of our existence. Evidence from my own experience would tend to suggest that an agency - currently known to us as DI17 - might be aware of us. It is imperative that no further agencies become involved. In all dealing with a breech on this scale speed is of the utmost importance, and techniques that would be considered dangerous or sloppy on other matters, may be used with impunity. Assassination, which is usually problematic at best, may be the only recourse.

Police and Media - These will be discussed in more depth later, suffice to say that as with government agencies caution must be undertaken in all dealings.

Local High Profile Persons - Although not as tricky as those detailed above, these people can cause a major headache. Their words carry a degree of respect not afforded to the less privileged, which means there are those who will be more willing to believe. Furthermore - although they may not be believed, when a prominent councillor or society figure starts rambling about vampires it is likely that their words will be carried even in scorn, bringing them to a wider audience. Extreme actions taken at this point will be noticed by believers meaning any defence must be subtle.

The common man - Often underestimated by unwise Defenders, the common man will undertake extreme actions to defend their family or possessions. Although the spread of the breech is limited it must be dealt with cautiously and quickly.

Other Supernaturals - Although as noted previously, this is not considered a breech as such, any ill-thought contact with these will lead to problems. It is therefore useful to restrict information about us reaching these parties wherever possible. This, of course, is always difficult.

This is of course not an exhaustive list, but hopefully provides a framework from which to work, and also some idea of the consequences that may be involved.

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