Showing Respect

     Once you know your social status within the vampire community and how to properly address someone, the next thing you must know is how to show them the proper respect as it is extremely easy to unintentionally insult or disrespect them. 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 showing the proper respect.

     The Code of Honor and the vampire traditions are actually very closely related. This is because the warrior today first spawned in ancient times, back when the modern day vampire was in its infancy. In the beginning, warriors were merely the protectors of their relatively small and still evolving vampire species, but even then they held a lot of the same qualities, values, and unquestionable loyalty expected of today’s warriors. It was many generations later, when the very first covens were founded, that these vampire protectors finally developed into the powerful and honor-bound warriors they are today. Yet even then it was many more generations before the first non-vampire warriors were recorded, though they were clearly novices in comparison.

     Although they are very comparable in the modern day, the vampires are still renowned for having the greatest and most honorable warriors on all of Sarvannia. Many have theorized the reason for this is their long standing traditions that are centered on unwavering respect and unquestionable loyalty, but this theory is highly debated. This is because the earliest written accounts of the warrior are a good four generations before the first coven was even founded, and folklore dates them back even farther. The earliest records of the vampire traditions, however, are clearly dated well after the first coven was fully formed. As a result, there is a lot of debate as to whether today’s warrior evolved from the vampire traditions or if the vampire traditions were molded from the already established warrior. Either way, there is no denying that neither would be what they are today without the other.

     This historic connection between The Code of Honor and the vampire traditions is especially evident when it comes to showing respect. This is because the honor and loyalty expected of the warrior in general is traditionally expected of the entire vampire community regardless of age, gender, species, class, or status. Consequently, knowing how to show respect is extremely important as it is considered proper and good manners, so much so that even the royalty is bound by it. The only real difference between the royalty and everyone else in this aspect is they have the right to decide what respect a person is allotted regardless of their class and status.

     This is why showing the vampire royalty high respect is so strongly stressed within the vampire traditions as the opinion of the royalty can haunt you and possibly your family for life. How you show respect is mostly dependent on your gender and whether or not you have a special title or honorable position within the vampire community, although your class and status also play a minor part. You have warrior, lady, youth, and servant, and I will explain each one as I go.

Warrior

     Because all vampire males are expected to become a warrior within the vampire traditions they are almost always referred to as warriors. With that said, this category includes all warriors regardless of gender, species, class, or status. However, as the times changed and vampires started to associate with non-vampires more frequently this presented a problem. Although within the vampire community the majority of males continue to become warriors, more and more non-vampire males are not. Because warriors show respect by following The Code of Honor and a non-warrior following The Code of Honor is viewed as a mockery, how does a male show respect when he is not a warrior? A few adjustments within this section of the vampire traditions addressed this issue and over time have become accepted across the entire vampire community.

     There are several ways the warrior shows respect and each is dependent on circumstances and status. The most widely known is the warrior’s greeting. With the elbow at a ninety degree angle, the dominant hand, typically the right, is held up with the palm facing the side and the thumb and index finger in an upright ‘V’ shape, fingers together. Palms are then clapped together and the base of the thumb is grasped firmly for several seconds. In the case one warrior is right-handed and the other is left-handed then the one with the higher class and status within their respective culture determines which hand is used for the greeting. If by chance they are social equals then what The Code of Honor refers to as their honor rank becomes the deciding factor.

     This greeting is only used between warriors and warriors-in-training, though both situations have a slightly different meaning. When two warriors are greeting each other this is a symbol of equality and respect, which is why this is the greeting used every time two warriors meet. On the other hand, if one or both of the warriors is a warrior-in-training, this greeting is a sign of high respect and shows you honor them as a fully sworn-in warrior. Because of this, it is uncommon to see this greeting among warriors-in-training, though it is not unusual. In the case one of the males is not a warrior or the warrior has been greatly dishonored then the full bow is used in greeting.

     The full bow, also known as the formal bow, is typically reserved for special or formal occasions as it shows great respect. This is why it was decided the full bow would be a good substitute for the warriors greeting. It signifies they honor and respect the warrior. If, by chance, both males are either not warriors or warriors that have been greatly dishonored, then the partial bow, also known as the informal bow, is used. The partial bow is the typical greeting used and is often paired with other actions, depending on the circumstances. It is still respectful, but it doesn’t show the high respect often demanded in special or formal occasions.

     An informal sign of respect in both The Code of Honor as well as vampire tradition, the partial bow is as follows. Standing with their feet about hip-width apart, their spine straight, and either one or both arms at their sides, they bend at the hips until their spine is at a forty-five degree angle in relationship to their standing position. The only time one arm would be at their side is if their other arm is in use somehow, like with the kissing of the hand in greeting to a lady. In comparison, the full bow is used for more formal occasions and is not all that different. The exception is their feet are to click together, both arms stay stiffly at their sides, and they are to bend at the hips until their spine is parallel to the ground. Most importantly, they must be sure to not hold this position for more than a few seconds, as the full bow is meant to be done sharply with no hesitation.

     As the partial bow is the most commonly seen within The Code of Honor and the vampire traditions, over time it has surpassed both and has become a common greeting of respect across all of Sarvannia. This has proven beneficial within the vampire traditions as alterations for male non-warriors are cut down to a minimum. The most widely known time a partial bow is used is when they are casually greeting a lady. In this instance, they are to offer her his right hand, palm facing up though slightly turned to the side and his fingers loosely curled. When the lady accepts his greeting by offering him her left hand, he is to lightly take her fingers in his right hand and kiss the back of her hand while giving a partial bow. If for some reason the lady does not accept the warrior’s greeting, traditionally referred to as being ‘shunned’, the warrior must leave the lady’s presence quickly, quietly, and respectfully.

     The partial bow is also widely used when casually offering assistance either with or without the right hand extended and in parting. This is most commonly seen when a lady or child is being helped in and out of a carriage, though there are other circumstances as well. When offering assistance it is slightly different for the warrior as the respect The Code of Honor demands they show fluctuates based on circumstances and the parties involved. For example, if it is an upper class lady and immediate physical assistance is not needed then the full bow would be used combined with a verbal offering of assistance. This would also be used if a lady or non-warrior is approaching you and it is clear they are either wanting or needing something. On the other hand if assistance is expected, like when assisting a lady or child into or out of a carriage, then the hand will be offered while giving a partial bow just like you would when casually greeting a lady. However, it is important to remember that a lady, even as an adolescent, can always decide to shun your assistance and if they do you must respect it without question.

     Because this can get so complex, it is recommended that all warriors refer to The Code of Honor, whereas male non-warriors as well as warriors-in-training are to follow one simple rule. If it is a casual situation and the person you are greeting is not considered of higher class or status then the partial bow is used. Otherwise you are to use the full bow. If you are uncertain than it is better to show too much respect than not enough; in other words, only use the partial bow when you are absolutely certain it is appropriate. That way you do not risk offending them.

     In formal situations the full bow is always used, though how it is used depends on the situation. If you are simply greeting someone who is not a warrior than the full bow alone is adequate. In the case you are to escort someone then this is not enough as it is considered offering assistance. In this situation whether or not you are a warrior will determine the proper course of action. Male non-warriors will simply give a full bow and verbally request to escort them. Regardless of the situation, requesting to escort them is required regardless if it was agreed upon beforehand as it gives them the option to change their mind. Warriors as well as warriors-in-training, on the other hand, will give the full bow followed by lifting their right hand with their lower arm parallel to the ground and their elbow at a ninety degree angle while verbally requesting to escort them.

     When it is a child or lady the formal bow of invite is used. Because this particular bow started in the vampire traditions and only later extended into The Code of Honor it is not considered disrespectful for non-warriors to use this, though the process of escorting is slightly different when it comes to escorting a lady as this is considered part of The Code of Honor. The formal bow of invite is surprisingly similar to the informal partial bow though there are some very clear differences. First they will greet them and request to escort them. In the case it is a child the request would be directed at their parent or guardian, as they are the one with the final say. He then will click his feet together, put his lower left arm along the small of his back, and offered the lady or child his right hand while bowing at the hips until his body is at a forty-five degree angle in relation to his standing position.

     Once the request has been formally accepted it is time to escort them. If it is a male then they will simply walk alongside them, traditionally on the left side unless circumstances state otherwise. A child will simply hold their right hand, much like they would with their parent or guardian. In the case it is a lady, the lady will accept the invite by offering her left hand for them to kiss. The warrior will then straighten, leaving their lower left arm on the small of their back, and turn so they are on the lady’s left side while at the same time adjusting their hand and arm into what is traditionally referred to as the escorting position, of which is used in both formal and informal situations.

     While still in front of them with their body turned so their right side is towards the lady and their eyes focused on the lady’s eyes, the warrior will place his right elbow at about a ninety degree angle and lift his forearm to a comfortable height for the lady he wishes to escort, being sure to keep his hand and wrist in alignment. This use of the escorting position is traditionally referred to as the formal escort, and the lady has every right to accept or shun it. To accept the formal escort, the lady will lift her left arm in a similar fashion and place her hand and forearm on the back of the male’s hand and forearm gently and gracefully. If the lady wishes to shun the formal escort, then she will place her left hand on the back of her right hand in front of her with her arms gracefully curved while keeping her eyes focused straight ahead as if looking right through them. In this case, the warrior is to lower his hand and proceed in front of the lady without any complaint or hesitation. The lady can then decide how far behind the warrior they wish to follow, if at all in the case the lady is shunning the entire offer to be escorted.

     In the case they are not a warrior, they will turn their arm just enough so they can gently cup the lady’s fingers in their hand without gripping it at all, where the warrior must keep their fingers straight and palm down. This is so the warrior has easy access to his weapons at all times regardless of which hand is their dominant hand. With the non-warrior this is not an issue so cupping the lady’s fingers is appropriate. In the case any part of the escort is shunned they will simply walk ahead, thereby giving the lady the choice to follow at whatever distance she wants, assuming she hasn’t shunned the escort entirely.

     In comparison, even more is expected from the royalty. This is especially true for The Count, The Countess, and their heirs as they are viewed as the benchmark of the vampire community. As a result, they must always exemplify these traditions in everything they do. Even as warriors, The Count and his heir are revered above all other warriors and male non-warriors within the vampire community. Therefore, they must reflect this superiority by working extra hard to ensure the ladies and children under their care are safe and protected at all times. With that said, they must work equally hard to show their unconditional and undying respect for their ladies, especially the superior status of The Countess and her heir. Because of this, the expectation for The Count and his heir to be sworn and honorable warriors is even greater than it is for any other vampire male.

     When it comes to formal occasions, they must ensure The Countess and her heir each have an escort regardless of who they choose. While they cannot force an escort onto either The Countess or her heir, The Count and his heir can make suggestions if not offer themselves. In the case they do not escort The Countess or her heir, The Count and his heir will follow behind them into the formal occasion. Although they are not required to escort someone, they are expected to escort a lady of high social status as it reflects the pride they have as the primary protectors of the ladies and children within the royal family.

     During the formal occasion, whether or not they escort The Countess or her heir does make a minor difference in where The Count and his heir will stand. Assuming he escorts a lady, regardless if it is The Countess or her heir, he will stand to the lady’s left and slightly forward. With his feet hip-width apart, his hands are to be in loose fists, his left arm straight down at his side, and his right arm bent so the forearm is resting on his vest and his right hand is right above his belt buckle.

     When the lady he is escorting is The Countess or her heir this places him right up front, whereas if his escort is not The Countess or her heir he will only be up front if there is only The Countess or her heir present, not both. Otherwise they will be behind them, The Count behind the escort of The Countess and his heir behind the escort of her heir. In the case The Count or his heir are not escorting someone they will stand in line with the warrior escorts of The Countess and her heir, The Count to the far left and his heir to the far right of where The Countess and her heir are sitting.

     As always, the one exception to these rules and expectations is when extra assistance is needed, like physical support. Whatever this extra assistance may be it comes first, even if it breaks tradition. This is especially true when it comes to vampire women as they are to be respected, attended to, and protected at all costs. This duty to protect and help the vampire women is the heart and soul of the vampire traditions, even as it evolved over the generations. Therefore, any traditional and honorable warrior and male non-warrior will take great pride in doing whatever they must to ensure the vampire women are always highly respected and well protected.

Lady

     From the time a female hits puberty she is considered a lady, though it is not uncommon for little girls to start acting like a lady as early as their toddler years. Not only is this highly accepted within their culture, you could even say that to an extent it is expected. This is because the lady holds the highest status within the vampire traditions, thereby giving her the final word despite vampire warriors holding a certain level of dominance over her.

     The most widely known way a lady can show her superior status is through what is traditionally known as ‘shunning’. This means she either refuses to accept something offered to her she would otherwise be expected to accept, or she refuses to acknowledge someone and therefore expects them to leave her presence immediately, be it by will or by force. This can be done at any time during her interaction with someone, but in order to shun them the lady must be able to provide a reason if ever she is asked to present one, though they rarely are and the reason does not have to be justifiable. Despite being so widely known, shunning is actually relatively uncommon though it is not rare. Because of this every lady must know how to properly show respect, especially to their warriors. There are two general ways a lady can do this: properly accepting what is offered to her and physically showing the proper respect.

     The first of these is in greeting. In the case she is with either a warrior or male non-warrior she will always allow them to do the initial greeting. Not only is this a sign of respect for the warrior’s or male non-warrior’s dominance but a direct reflection of the respect the lady has for her own higher social status. It is also a sign of trust that the warrior or male non-warrior will not let any unnecessary harm or insult to come to her by determining if the person is safe and worthy of being in her presence. Another way she shows this trust and respect is by keeping her eyes straight ahead as if looking straight through the person until the warrior or male non-warrior introduces her.

     Only when the lady has been properly introduced will she acknowledge the person’s presence. In the case she is not in the presence of a warrior or male non-warrior she will wait to be properly respected in greeting before acknowledging the person. Again this is a reflection of the respect she has for her higher social status. In the case she wishes to shun them she will simply put her left hand on her right hand in front of her with her arms gracefully curved, or gently resting in her lap if she is sitting, and turn her head to the left. This is a clear sign the lady refuses to acknowledge them and the person will be expected to leave quickly and quietly without hesitation or complaint. There are two exceptions to this. The first is in the case of an emergency and the second is in the case of significantly higher social status, like in the case of being addressed by The Count or The Countess.

     In the case the lady is not shunning the person she will look them in the eyes. This is a sign that she sees them as worthy of acknowledgement. In the case she is being greeted by a warrior she will greet them by gently raising her left hand to them with her wrist pointing almost completely upwards and her elbow at a ninety degree angle with her hand and fingers gracefully drooped down. This is referred to as the offering of the hand and, when given in greeting to a warrior, the warrior is expected to take her hand and gently kiss it. When a warrior kisses a lady’s offered hand it is considered a sign of respect, a reflection that the warrior honors the lady’s higher social status.

     The offering of the hand is used in many situations, the most common being in greeting a warrior and when accepting assistance. Being helped in and out of a carriage is an excellent example of accepting assistance with the offering of the hand. The reason the offering of the hand is so widely used among ladies is because it is an easy way of showing respect while at the same time reflecting the respect they have for their higher social status. With that said, as the years have passed it has become more and more frequent for females to become warriors, though it is not considered common.

     While this mostly happens among non-vampires, there are extremely rare occasions when vampire females have also become warriors. In the case of a non-vampire, she will simply follow The Code of Honor as she will indefinitely be treated and viewed as a warrior. Comparatively, vampire females are forbidden to fight as it is considered highly disrespectful towards the warriors vowed to protect them. This makes hostility taboo among ladies, more or less any thought of becoming a warrior. Consequently, she will always be treated and expected to act like a lady. The only exception to this is when she is standing in as a warrior. This is because a warrior’s vows require them to follow The Code of Honor, otherwise they risk dishonor. As a result, it will be expected for her to be honored and treated as a warrior despite vampire traditions requiring her to be respected as a lady. Needless to say, this makes being a warrior extremely difficult for vampire females and is often the biggest deterrent.

     Just like the warrior, the lady has both a formal and informal greeting. These are regularly used on a daily bases and are most commonly seen when greeting non-warriors regardless of age, gender, or species. The curtsy of high respect, sometimes referred to as the full or formal curtsy, is as follows. The right foot is stepped back slight and she bends down so she is sitting on her right heel with her left foot kept flat on the floor. Her back remains straight, her head bows, and her hands flare out her skirts so they rest around her, not under her. The fingers of each hand then gently rest on the floor to either side of her. Just like with the full bow, this is only held momentarily, as it is meant to be quick, graceful, and fluid.

     In comparison the curtsy, sometimes referred to as the partial or informal curtsy, is done by their knees only bending halfway. The rest is fairly similar to the curtsy of high respect. While the curtsy is easily the more common of the two as it is used in most casual greetings, the curtsy of high respect is the one with the most demand. Not only is it used in formal situations, but it is the required greeting whenever a lady is greeting someone of significantly higher social status, like The Count and The Countess for example. A lady is also discouraged from personally greeting a warrior of equal or higher status unless it is unavoidable. This is because it reflects her respect for the warrior’s dominance as well as her own higher social status as a lady.

     Despite this strict restriction, this is normally not an issue. First off, there is almost always a warrior nearby that is acting as her escort or protector. This means greetings have already been made and she is free to address him as desired or needed. Secondly, and easily the most convenient, The Code of Honor requires a warrior to instantly greet someone the second they approach and verbally offer assistance regardless of class or status. This is especially true when it is a lady approaching them. Because of this, the lady can approach almost any warrior without fear of showing disrespect as any honorable warrior would greet her long before she would ever have a chance to.

     When being escorted, a lady’s response all depends on who is escorting her and how much escorting she accepts. Because a lady cannot escort a lady, in the case an escort is required they must have either a warrior, male non-warrior, or servant accompany them. If it is a servant, how much they acknowledge them hinges on how much respect the lady feels they deserve. Typically, the servant will not be acknowledged and therefore the lady will simply look straight through them. During the escort the servant will flank the lady on her right, standing just behind her so they can put themselves between the lady and any danger in an instant. If in fact the lady does acknowledge them, the servant might be permitted the privilege to walk to her immediate left.

     In the case it is a warrior or male non-warrior the lady has accepted as her escort, how he escorts her all depends on how much of an escort she is willing to accept. A partial escort allows the lady to follow behind them at whatever distance she chooses. This is fairly uncommon as a certain level of shunning is involved. This is done by her placing her left hand on the back of her right hand in front of her with her arms gracefully curved, keeping her eyes focused straight ahead as if looking right through them. Because of this mild shunning, the full escort is easily the more common of the two.

     When being fully escorted, she will lift her left arm to a comfortable height with the forearm parallel to the floor and elbow at a ninety degree angle. The forearm, wrist, and hand must be in alignment and she will rest it on the back of her escort’s forearm and hand gently and gracefully. If it is a warrior her hand will remain level and on the back of their hand. This way she does not hinder the warrior’s movement if ever there is danger. With a male non-warrior, on the other hand, they will gently cup the lady’s fingers, which often results in the lady keeping her forearm next to his as it is more comfortable for her.

     Comparatively, even more is expected from the royalty. This is especially true for The Count, The Countess, and their heirs as they are viewed as the benchmark of the vampire community. As a result, they must always exemplify these traditions in everything they do. Among the royalty, the most pressure is easily on The Countess and her heir. This is because they are viewed as the epitome of what a lady should be as a graceful and honorable leader regardless if it is over a household, coven, or the entire vampire community.

     Being the highest ranked vampire in social status, The Countess has the right to approach anyone without restraint. With that said, as a lady of superior social status, she expects to be greeted and acknowledged the second she approaches someone. A failure to do this can and will be severely punished by law as it is viewed as a blatant sign of disrespect. She is expected to always be more graceful and gentle than any other vampire, especially among the ladies, while at the same time reflecting her self-respect and pride through everything from her speech to her posture to every movement she makes. The trick with this is to show the pride of a leader while at the same time showing ultimate respect for the honorable warriors that have vowed to keep her safe from all harm.

     The biggest sign of this social status is during formal occasions. While as a lady she holds the right to a partial escort as well as her choice of any warrior, male non-warrior, or servant as her escort, both The Countess and her heir are required to have an escort and are expected to accept a full escort from an honorable upper class warrior of high social status. During this escort The Countess is always first, followed by her heir. In the case The Count and his heir are not escorting them, The Count and then his heir would be behind them, further reflecting the lady’s superior status despite the male’s dominance. Any other members of the royal family would then follow behind.

     When escorted to this formal occasion, unless circumstances require otherwise, The Countess and her heir expect to be led to luxurious chairs if not thrones that are blocked off in the back and on both sides, leaving only the front open to the general public. They will then be assisted into their seats by their escorts. Only after she is seated will her escort move to stand next to her as her protector. This is why she is expected to accept a full escort from an honorable warrior. A servant will stand to the right and slightly behind her, as is expected from a servant. A male non-warrior will stand to her immediate left, a respectable position but still not ideal. A warrior, on the other hand, will stand to the left of her and slightly forward, giving him an optimal position to protect her.

     Once sitting, to show her superior social status and exceptional grace, The Countess will sit with her knees together, feet flat on the floor, elbows in, and hands resting gracefully on her lap with her left hand on top of her right. This way all she has to do to shun someone is turn her head to the left, but at the same time can easily acknowledge someone with minimal effort or worry. During the formal occasion, The Countess and her heir are required to stay with their escorts throughout the entire event, thereby ensuring they are always protected. This further reflects why she is expected to accept an honorable warrior as her escort as they are the most capable and reliable in this duty to protect her. On top of this, who she chooses as her escort is viewed as a direct reflection of her respect for her superior social status as not only a lady but The Countess or her heir.

     As always, the one exception to these rules and expectations is when extra assistance is needed, like physical support. Whatever this extra assistance may be it comes first, even if it breaks tradition. This is especially true when it comes to vampire women as they are to be respected, attended to, and protected at all costs. Because of this, a traditional and honorable lady will do everything she can to respect and honor the warriors, male non-warriors, and servants around her by letting them do what is traditionally expected and required of them.

Youth

     Youth spans from birth to the start of adolescence. As soon as puberty starts they are considered either a warrior-in-training or lady and therefore are expected to act accordingly. With that said, it is not unusual for children to start mimicking the warriors and ladies as early as their toddler years, so the transition from youth to warrior-in-training or lady is relatively seamless. Within vampire tradition, because warrior training is expected to start in early childhood, most warriors-in-training will take their vows as warriors around their mid-adolescence.

     Compared to the adults, youth have few rules to follow by and simple expectations. With that said, the rules and expectations they do have are significantly stricter. This is because the youth are the most vulnerable and have a limited ability to defend themselves. While it is never spoken, the youth are the real reason the ladies are so highly respected and fiercely protected. A lady holds the promise of life, both in pregnancy and as a mother. They are the ones ensuring the future, even if the number of vampire men was to be drastically reduced. By keeping a child close to their mother as much as possible securing the future of their entire species is relatively easy, especially with their traditions. This is one of the biggest reasons why covens are so popular among vampires. It provides even more protection for their youth and ladies, further securing their future.

     The number one rule for youth is they must always be with an authorized caregiver, their mother or father being the most preferred. Some other common and traditionally accepted choices as caregivers are honorable warriors, trusted nannies, and respected bloodbanks. Youth are also expected to show respect for the authority of the caregiver by doing as they are told and not talking back unless absolutely necessary. However, they also have the right and responsibility to speak up and report anything disrespectful, dishonorable, or harmful they see, hear, or experience, especially if it involves the caregiver. That way it can be addressed quickly and accordingly.

     At no point or for any reason is a youth to be left unsupervised. If they are, not only will the youth be severely punished if they are even partially to blame, typically by their parents or guardians, but the one responsible can and will receive the strictest punishment the law sees fit for the circumstances, which can be up to and including death. In a coven, this rule is not as restrictive as honorable warriors and other traditionally accepted caregivers are almost always close by if not within the room. As a result, the youth have more freedom to move around at will without fear.

     While it is not required, it is traditionally expected for boys to be raised as warriors. Because of this, it is not unusual for them to receive things like toy swords as toddlers. This is seen as preparation for their formal training as warriors, which typically will start in early childhood. Little girls, on the other hand, are raised to be graceful, gentle, quietly respectful, and strong-minded, all of the most common traits shown by ladies. Youth is the only time when these rules of grace and composure are relaxed. This is because vampire youth need to learn how to physically control and mentally understand their own extreme abilities. So in order to become traditional and honorable ladies, little girls must be allowed to act unladylike from time to time during this early stage of life.

     This learning period is also seen in mutated vampires when they are first turned. This is called turned youth due to the childlike sensation resulting from the sudden change in their body and abilities. Consequently, the turned vampire often spends the first few years adjusting to and learning about their new vampire life. Turned youth is considered the first five years after being turned, though some can and will readjust quicker than others. Very rarely will it take more than five years, and outside forces are often to blame when it does. During these five years the turned youth will be expected to follow most of the same rules and guidelines youth do, thereby giving them structure and making the readjustment period a lot easier and smoother.

Servant

     Servants easily have the simplest yet strictest rules when it comes to showing respect, which often results in the harshest punishments. Due to having the lowest social status and being non-vampire, their primary rule is to do as they are told quickly, quietly, and without interference. Furthermore, a servant cannot do something they have not been given permission to do beforehand. On top of this, they cannot address someone who is not a servant without permission, which is obtained by first showing the proper respect.

     The first step in showing the proper respect is never looking a vampire or anyone of upper class in the eye. In fact, it is best to refrain from looking anyone who is not a servant in the eye unless given permission to do so. The proper way to do this is to keep the eyes downcast while the head is kept level. On top of this, a servant cannot enter a vampire’s presence without permission, which is given by the vampire of highest social status with that particular room or space. To request any sort of permission, the servant must give what is referred to as the servant’s greeting, which is given at the edge of the room or space the vampire is in. In the case they are already in the same room or space as the vampire, they will give the servant’s greeting at the vampire’s feet, being careful not to obstruct them in any way.

     The servant’s greeting starts with the servant’s posture. With head level and eyes cast down, the shoulders are pushed back and the elbows slightly bent so their arms are behind them and their chest is pushed outwards. To greet them, the servant will then step their right foot forward, lower their left knee so it rests on the ground next to their right foot, and bow their body and head until their chest is lightly touching their right knee, always being sure to keep their arms behind them. They will then hold this position until they are either addressed or the vampire walks away. Any other greeting is seen as disrespectful and will be severely punished.

     Only when the servant is told to ‘state your purpose’ or is otherwise questioned will they be allowed to speak, but only if they keep it short and to the point. Otherwise they are required to obey the vampire’s wishes quickly, quietly, and inconspicuously. There are only two exceptions to this, extreme emergencies and being sent by any of the vampire royalty. Easily the most crucial permission to obtain with the harshest punishment if disobeyed is when a female servant wants to become pregnant. If disobeyed or not given this permission beforehand they will most likely be forced to have an abortion and then severely punished. In some cases, the female servant might even be rendered infertile.