The governing assembly of Roman Kindred is the first functioning undead government in western civilization, the dream of the Second City reborn. Representatives from multiple clans seek the order and stability the Eternal Senate provides. Membership bestows protection at a critical time of change in the Nights of Antiquity. Internal laws and influential Elders enforce cooperation of the gathered vampires against their ancient enemies and infernalism, which destroyed the rival city of Carthage two hundred years ago.
The Ventrue Camillus modeled the Eternal Senate after the ruling body of Republican Rome, and expanded its mandate across Rome and the Italian peninsula. The complex body aims to monitor and manage every function of Kindred society. His Camillus Edicts enforce law upon the assembly, while common practice shapes the vision of the Third City into reality. The Eternal Senate operates as a collective group under leadership of its Pater Patriae (also called the senex), and various Tribunals address specific concerns. Clan politics generate vicious internal factions within the membership, but citizens are told to place loyalty to the Eternal Senate above petty squabbles.
Most Kindred residing within Rome's shadow seek recognition from the Senate, and visitors are wise to bow to senatorial privilege. Those few flouting their independence learn the might of Roman magisters quickly.
The Body of the Senate
Laws: Camillus' edicts act as the fundamental laws governing the vampires of Rome. All members of the Eternal Senate swear to abide and uphold this social contract on pain of punishment or death.
Tribunals: The five august bodies within the Senate oversee the day-to-day affairs of Roman Kindred. Tribunals perform specific rites and traditions unique to their roles.
History of the Eternal Senate
509 BCE: Collat creates the Court of Twelve, the first Kindred assembly in Rome.
360 BCE: Camillus reorganizes the Court of Twelve into the Eternal Senate.
262 BCE: Inanna, a Malkavian Elder, warns the Eternal Senate against the dangers of Carthage during the First Punic War. The Ventrue refuse.
155 BCE: Tryphosa, the Malkavian Seer, warns Senate to scour and salt Carthage. With Lasombra support, the Tribunal of Augurs ascends to favour.
149 BCE: Lasombra, Malkavian, Toreador, and Ventrue form the Tyrrhenian Alliance to destroy Carthaginian Brujah, Assamites, and Baali assembled under Troile.
The Eternal Senate issues a declaration of annihilation on the Kindred of Carthage.
Arikel, founder of Clan Toreador, is rumoured to directly address the Eternal Senate's eldest members.
146 BCE: After Carthage's destruction, the Eternal Senate decrees the city's ritual binding will be renewed annually for perpetuity.
83 BCE: The fifth law is lifted for the Tribune of Patricians to end the First Civil War and restore stability to the city.
80 BCE: Elders of clans Lasombra, Malkavian, and Ventrue declare The Pax Romana et Vampirica (The Peace of Rome and Vampires). Jyhad is forbidden within the Italic peninsula.
27 BCE: Camillus revises the fifth law and forbids interference with the Imperial family.
7 CE: Tribunal of Peregrini established.
33 CE: Tryphosa the Malkavian Triumvir commits suicide.
A Kindred may petition the Eternal Senate for citizenship. Citizenship will be conferred after one lunar cycle (30 days) after you claim a domain within Roman territory and swear to abide by the Camillus Edicts. Another citizen in good standing can sponsor you to reduce the waiting period to a fortnight, but your dishonours during that period will reflect upon her and her clan.
The Eternal Senate guarantees equal rights of participation to citizens.
Pater Patriae: The leader of the Eternal Senate, also called the senex. Though technically "first among equals," his authority completely eclipses other Kindred due to extensive favours and resources available to him. In modern terms, a Prince.
Triumvirs: The representatives of the three founding clans of the Eternal Senate act as advisers to the Pater Patriae. Clans Lasombra, Malkavian, and Ventrue elect one member every year to stand as their collective voice before the Pater.
Tribune: Member of a tribunal. Former members are called Tribune Emeritus.
Sponsor: A Kindred who vouches for a non-citizen Kindred.
Citizen: An acknowledged member of the Eternal Senate.
Diplomat: An envoy from an acknowledged territory abroad.