Addressing

     One of the most important things to know whenever you are dealing with the vampire traditions is how to properly address them. This is because it is extremely easy to unintentionally insult or disrespect them, and a good first impression is crucial to gaining trust and acceptance within their society. This is especially true within the vampire upper class as they are the most likely to be born and raised around these traditions.

     For warriors, regardless of their gender, species, class, or status, strictly following The Code of Honor is an excellent way to show great respect. For everyone else, knowing and following the vampire traditions as closely as possible is your best chance at making a good first impression. For those who have not been raised around these traditions this can be very daunting as several factors are involved.

     The biggest and most obvious of these is the class and status of all parties involved. From highest class to lowest class, you have count, noble, normal, mutant, non-vampires, and servants. Then within each class you have your status or rank. In other words, how high are you within that class? Are you closer to the class above you or the class below you? Knowing this and how it compares to the person you are addressing is half the battle. From there figuring out how to address them with the respect allotted them is not so difficult.

     There are very few specific commands or statement in the vampire traditions, but the most widely known and used are the three basic commands outlined for the purpose of addressing a servant. Though the royalty are the ones who use them the most, the entire vampire upper class, of which consists of the count and noble classes, are also known for using them. Even some of the lower class vampires have been known to use them, though this is noticeably uncommon in comparison to the upper class vampires. These commands are ‘State your purpose’, ‘Proceed’, and ‘Depart’.

     ‘State your purpose’ is rather self-explanatory. The servant is being told to state their purpose for being there in as few words as possible. Though this command is often used, it is not required as sometimes their purpose is already known, obvious, or the vampire simply does not care. Regardless, the servant will then be told to either ‘Proceed’ or ‘Depart’. ‘Proceed’ means the servant has permission to follow through with their purpose so long as they are quick, quiet, and inconspicuous. ‘Depart’, on the other hand, means the servant has been dismissed and must leave the vampire’s sight immediately without complaint. It is because of the simplicity of these commands that they are so widely used across the entire vampire community.

Royalty

     Undeniably the highest in class and status within the vampire community are their royalty, more specifically The Count, The Countess, and their heirs. As a result, they are allotted the most respect; however, this also gives them the unwavering right to show the respect they personally feel each person deserves regardless of what that person’s class and status demands they receive. Most of the time, they will follow what the vampire traditions have outlined, but this can and will change if they feel that level of respect is no longer appropriate. The traditional ways they are to address each class are as follows.

     Because of being in a class of their own, the count class is the closest the royalty have to social equals. This is especially true when you consider this is the class The Count and The Countess will fall into when they finally transfer power to their heirs, as they will no longer be royalty though they will always be respected as such. This is why it is not uncommon for them to build close relationships with count class vampires. When this happens often the titles will be dropped as all parties involved have agreed to being addressed by their name alone, thereby respecting each other as social equals. If this is not the case, then traditionally the royalty will address the count class as they do the noble class, with the title of Lord or Lady added to the front of their name. If their name is not known, then simply Lord or Lady is also acceptable.

     The royalty rarely deal with the lower class vampires, of which consist of the normal and mutant classes. In the case that they do address a lower class vampire it is done in the same manner as the non-vampires, by name or by the lower class title ‘Sir’ or ‘Madam’. Though neither show much respect, by title is preferred. This is because it is in recognition of the respect they are traditionally allotted, a silent sign that the royalty deems them worthy of that respect. If they do not find them worthy of that respect then the royalty will call them by name. To be called by name is equivalent to being called no higher than a servant and therefore are not worthy of the royalty’s respect. On the other hand, if they see them as an equal or as deserving higher respect then the title ‘Lord’ or ‘Lady’ is traditionally more appropriate.

     Royalty hardly ever addresses a servant directly, and when they do it is even rarer for them to call that servant by name. This is because, by vampire tradition, calling a servant by name is a high form of respect as it recognizes them as an individual worthy of respect in the first place. Some are more respectful of servants than others, but in general the higher their class the less likely they are to show respect to the servants, meaning it is often the royalty who are the worst when it comes to recognizing the servants as worthy of their respect. More often than not, the royalty will only use the three basic commands outlined within the vampire traditions when it comes to associating with servants.

Count Class

     Second only to the royalty, the count class is the strongest and most prosperous class in the entire vampire community, and as a result almost never live outside of a coven. Though they do not possess all of the rights the royalty do, they do hold the right to look down on others. Having said that, they are still required to show others the respect allotted them as outlined by the vampire traditions. When addressing the royalty they must call them ‘Count’, ‘Countess’, or ‘Your Excellency’. To do otherwise is not only dishonorable and disrespectful but can result in severe punishment up to and including banishment from your coven if not the entire vampire community.

     When associating with other count class vampires, due to being social equals, the use of a title is not necessary. In fact, to use a title can actually be offensive as it can be taken as a sign that you do not respect them as your equal despite being in the same class, though such disrespect is not legally punishable. This does not mean, however, that the one offended cannot dish out their own form of punishment, as it is considered socially acceptable by the vampire traditions. Nobility, on the other hand, should be addressed with the title ‘Lord’ or ‘Lady’ either with or without their name tacked on. This is because it shows respect for their upper class position. Meaning, if they either fail or refuse to use this title they are showing high disrespect and, therefore, can be legally punished.

     The lower class vampires, both the normal class and the mutant class, as well as non-vampires are to be addressed by the lower class title ‘Sir’ or ‘Madam’ unless they are perceived as an equal, in which case using the title ‘Lord’ or ‘Lady’ is more appropriate. The only exception to these rules within the vampire traditions is if the person they are addressing have shown great disrespect or have been dishonored, in which case they are treated as a servant as they have lost the respect traditionally allotted them. The only case this does not apply is when it comes to the royalty as they are the strongest in the entire vampire community and that alone demands respect. Finally, servants are almost never addressed, and when they are it is rarely by name and almost never with a title. If a servant is addressed it is traditionally with the three basic commands and possibly by name, depending on if they feel the servant deserves any sort of respect.

Noble Class

     Though their class is at the lower end of the upper class vampires, they are not without great strength, high prestige, and their own rights. While on the one hand their need to show proper respect is greater, they still hold the right to look down on those who are not considered part of the upper class vampires. This right does hold some limits though, as they are bound by the level of respect the count class has deemed that person worthy of. This means they cannot show a person less respect than the count class has deemed is allotted and failing to do this is punishable by vampire law. They do, however, hold the right to show that person more respect if they personally feel it appropriate.

     All royalty, be they vampire or not, must be addressed with respect. For the vampire royalty that is with the title ‘Count’, ‘Countess’, or ‘Your Excellency’. For all other royalty it is either with the title ‘Your Excellency’ or by the title that royalty has through their culture or species. The count class must be addressed with the title ‘Lord’ or ‘Lady’ either with or without their name tacked on, while other noble vampires are usually called by name as a respectful sign of equality. However, if the noble is significantly higher in status than they are or if they hold a highly honorable position within the vampire community than the title ‘Lord’ or ‘Lady’ either with or without their name tacked on must be used.

     Noble vampires are the most likely out of all the upper class vampires to associate with the lower class vampires and non-vampires, but even so it is still not very common as most noble vampires live in a coven. When they do associate with a lower class vampire, be they of the normal or mutant class, or a non-vampire they are expected to show them the respect allotted them by tradition. That means, exempting the non-vampire royalty of course, they must be addressed by the lower class title ‘Sir’ or ‘Madam’ unless they are perceived as an equal or the count class has deemed they should be shown high respect. In this case the title ‘Lord’ or ‘Lady’ must be used.

     The only exception to these rules within the vampire traditions is if the person they are addressing have shown great disrespect or have been dishonored, in which case they are treated as a servant as they have lost the respect traditionally allotted them. The only case this does not apply is when it comes to the royalty as they are the strongest in the entire vampire community and that alone demands respect. Finally, servants are almost never addressed, and when they are it is rarely by name and almost never with a title. If a servant is addressed it is traditionally with the three basic commands and possibly by name, depending on if they feel the servant deserves any sort of respect.

Normal Class

     Despites being the highest class within the lower class vampires, normal vampires are shown significantly less respect than the upper class while at the same time are strongly obligated to show the respect the vampire traditions demand and no less. With this said, it is not uncommon for the lower class vampires to not know these traditions, especially since they are a lot less likely to be in a coven, and the upper class vampires know it. Though this does not pardon them if ever they do show disrespect or dishonor themselves, if it is obvious they did not know the vampire traditions at the time of their wrongdoing, their punishment may be reduced, but only on their first offense. After that, regardless of their ignorance, their punishment will be the same as someone who does know the vampire traditions for they had already been warned.

     All royalty, be they vampire or not, must be addressed with respect. For the vampire royalty that is with the title ‘Count’, ‘Countess’, or ‘Your Excellency’. For all other royalty it is either with the title ‘Your Excellency’ or by the title that royalty has through their culture or species. The count and noble classes must be addressed with the title ‘Lord’ or ‘Lady’ either with or without their name tacked on. They must also show this same respect to the upper class of non-vampires as well. This is done by using either the title ‘Lord’ or ‘Lady’ or by the title they have through their culture or species. The only exception to this is if the normal vampire is requested otherwise, in which case the request must be honored.

     Because it is not uncommon for the lower class vampires to not know the vampire traditions it is not unusual nor perceived as disrespectful for them to address each other by name. Though this is traditionally seen as disrespectful, because of this growing ignorance among the lower class vampires, some leniency in this aspect has developed despite it being taboo. The vampire traditions actually state that they may only address other normal vampires that are close to their same status by name. The rest of the lower class, both vampire and non-vampire, must be addressed with the title ‘Sir’ or ‘Madam’ either with or without their name tacked on. In the case that the count class or royalty have proclaimed someone as deserving high respect or when someone has a highly honorable position, then the title ‘Lord’ or ‘Lady’ is required. Despite their leniency, not adhering to this is punishable by vampire law as it is seen as highly disrespectful.

     The only exception to these rules within the vampire traditions is if the person they are addressing have shown great disrespect or have been dishonored, in which case they are treated as a servant as they have lost the respect traditionally allotted them. The only case this does not apply is when it comes to the royalty as they are the strongest in the entire vampire community and that alone demands respect. Finally, servants are rarely addressed, though the lower class is a lot more likely to show them respect by using their name. If a servant is addressed it is traditionally with the three basic commands and, ironically, even the lower class vampires who know nothing about the vampire traditions tend to follow this to perfection.

Mutant Class and Non-Vampires

     As the lowest vampire class and the weakest among vampires, not to mention the least likely to live in a coven, mutant vampires are shown the least respect while at the same time they have the strongest obligation to show the proper respect, second only to the servants. Non-vampires also fall into this category despite their social status technically being lower than the mutant class and therefore have these same obligations. This is because the majority of the mutant class vampires were once non-vampires themselves, hence the name. As a result, both mutant vampires and non-vampires have something to prove within the vampire community and showing high respect is a great way for them to gain respect. This is because it shows an effort to socially join the vampire community and, for the mutant vampires, leave their old non-vampire life behind.

     All royalty, be they vampire or not, must be addressed with respect. For the vampire royalty that is with the title ‘Count’, ‘Countess’, or ‘Your Excellency’. For all other royalty it is either with the title ‘Your Excellency’ or by the title that royalty has through their culture or species. The count and noble classes must be addressed with the title ‘Lord’ or ‘Lady’ either with or without their name tacked on. They must also show this same respect to the upper class of non-vampires as well. This is done by using either the title ‘Lord’ or ‘Lady’ or by the title they have through their culture or species. The only exception to this is if the mutant vampire or non-vampire is requested otherwise, in which case the request must be honored.

     Because it is not uncommon for mutant class vampires and non-vampires to not know the vampire traditions it is not unusual for them to address each other by name without intending disrespect. Though this is traditionally seen as disrespectful, because of this growing ignorance among the lower class vampires, some leniency in this aspect has developed despite it being taboo. The vampire traditions actually state that both the mutant vampires and the non-vampires must address the lower class vampires with the title ‘Sir’ or ‘Madam’ either with or without their name tacked on. In the case that the count class or royalty have proclaimed someone as deserving high respect or when someone has a highly honorable position, then the title ‘Lord’ or ‘Lady’ is required. Despite their leniency, not adhering to this is punishable by vampire law as it is seen as highly disrespectful.

     The only exception to these rules within the vampire traditions is if the person they are addressing have shown great disrespect or have been dishonored, in which case they are treated as a servant as they have lost the respect traditionally allotted them. The only case this does not apply is when it comes to the royalty as they are the strongest in the entire vampire community and that alone demands respect. Finally, servants are rarely addressed, though the lower class is a lot more likely to show them respect by using their name. If a servant is addressed it is traditionally with the three basic commands and, ironically, even the lower class vampires who know nothing about the vampire traditions tend to follow this to perfection.

Servants and Bloodbanks

     As the lowest in status within the vampire community as well as being non-vampires, servants tend to get the least respect and not showing the allotted respect to those above them, be they vampire or non-vampire, can be fatal. In fact, servants have almost no rights at all for their only purpose is to please their vampire masters. Bloodbanks on the other hand, though technically servants, hold a status all their own that demands a certain level of respect and gives them certain rights.

     A bloodbank is a non-vampire that regularly gives a vampire, vampire household, or coven their blood. Because this gives a vampire a guaranteed source of blood, the bloodbank’s willingness is crucial. As further incentive to treat bloodbanks with the respect they deserve, the vampire traditions give them the legal right to walk away at any time without reason, a luxury servants do not have. This alone encourages the vampire community to work extra hard to ensure a bloodbank’s happiness. Not to mention the bloodbank’s overall health affects the quality of their blood, so either way this respect is mandatory despite technically being servants.

          Servants are forbidden to address non-servants without expressed permission, and this is especially true when it comes to vampires. When permission is given, the servant must address the non-servant by the appropriate title before quickly stating their purpose in as few words as possible. Vampire royalty is addressed with the title ‘Count’, ‘Countess’, or ‘Your Excellency’. All other royalty is addressed with the title ‘Your Excellency’ or by the title that royalty has through their culture or species. The upper class must be addressed with the title ‘Lord’ or ‘Lady’ either with or without their name tacked on. If it is a non-vampire upper class, they may also be addressed by the title they have through their culture or species. The only exception to this is if the servant is requested otherwise, in which case the request must be honored.

     The lower class must be addressed with the title ‘Sir’ or ‘Madam’ either with or without their name tacked on. In the case that the count class or royalty have proclaimed someone as deserving high respect or when someone has a highly honorable position, then the title ‘Lord’ or ‘Lady’ is required. There are two exceptions to these rules for the servants and bloodbanks. The first is if the person they are addressing have shown great disrespect or have been dishonored, in which case they are treated as just another servant as they have lost the respect traditionally allotted them. The only case this does not apply is when it comes to the royalty as they are the strongest in the entire vampire community and that alone demands respect.

     The other exception resides when permission is not given to speak but the servant’s purpose demands attention. If their command comes straight from the royalty or it is a matter of life or death then the servant has the right and obligation to speak up. In the case of a bloodbank this also extends to a vampire’s blood need, so inquiring about a vampire’s need for blood without having permission to speak is also acceptable. Only when addressing another servant and no non-servants are present is a servant allowed to speak freely and not use any titles. With that said, it is important to remember that hired help, like a head maid or butler for example, maintain their original status and therefore are not considered servants. Therefore, they must be shown the respect they are allotted.