Senators created tribunals to address specific interests among Kindred society according to proper tradition and practice. Laws are worthless without someone to enforce them. Divine rituals and omens are meaningless without a priest to interpret them. Tribunals handle mundane and supernatural concerns within an official aspect of Kindred life and social class.
Many Kindred aspire to the title of tribune. Tribunal members are permitted to choose candidates from the Eternal Senate at their discretion, although any of the Triumvirs or the Pater may make a suggestion. In practice, these appointments are almost never turned down for fear of social backlash. Citizens selected for the duty carry a clear sign of favour which accelerates their political advancement. Cynics claim tribunals solely exist for the great clans to cement political strangleholds over their preferred venues. Certain clans hold undisputed influence over tribunals, but in theory any Kindred citizen can be selected to serve.
Augurs: The tribunal of prophecy and divination concerns itself with Rome's past and future. Some Augurs claim protection and inspiration from divine sources; others hide their insight gleaned from extenstive information networks behind mummery and shadow cults. Invaluable advice granted to the Pater and his senior courtiers during the Punic Wars cemented the prestige of the Augurs. They are privileged with sensitive information to determine how a law or a vote affects the Eternal Senate's fortunes. Augurs perform a function similar to Roman state religious colleges, with equal restrictions on their prognostications and rites. So long as they toe the party line, tribunes benefit from broad political support. However, triumvirs and the Pater take a dim view of rebellious statements out of step with official policy and announcements. The chief Augur, the Pontifex, guards the remaining Sibylline Book of prophecy fallen into Kindred hands.
Dominant Clans: Lasombra, Malkavian, Toreador
Patricians: The tribunal of intellect and wealth aligns itself to the higher castes of Roman and Kindred society. The Patricians embody cast themselves as the Kindred most concerned with legislation and the dogmatic mindset of the Eternal Senate. Though sometimes called reactionary and hidebound to tradition, there are equally many members who espouse a higher creed. Camillus' grand vision to construct the Third City inspires many neonates and ancillae. Elders remember the barbaric wars that convulsed the Italic Peninsula and raged with Carthage, or even older times, and position their efforts to ensure ongoing prosperity and stability. As a whole, the tribunal embraces strategy, duty, and service to the vampiric state as their hallmarks. That is not to imply the Patricians see themselves or act in a wholly noble light. They take advantage of commerce and new-made men for their own ends with cunning and cruelty by turns. There are plenty of vampires willing to insinuate themselves into mortal life only at a distance, through their ghouls and bound servants, rather than distinguish themselves by dirtied interactions. Tribunes maintain a close alliance to the Augurs, their natural allies. Patricians and Augurs collaborate annually for their most important role, the renewal of the binding upon Carthage.
Dominant Clans: Lasombra, Ventrue
Plebeians: The Plebeian tribunal represents those Kindred invested in mortal society. The common interest of this political body may be the only common factor between a Toreador invested in commerce and those in the lowest strata of society who do not wish to live within the law. By far the most diverse body in the Eternal Senate, the tribunal includes criminals and prostitutes, former slaves and respected entertainers alike. Higher caste tribunes look with disdain upon the unsavory pursuits of certain Plebeians, dismissing their cares with one hand, and courting the genteel patrons of artists and philosophers with the other. The same judgmental vampires are quick to ask for information. The Plebeians have extensive information networks spread throughout Roman society, and a finger on the pulse of the mob.
Dominant Clans: Nosferatu, Toreador
Peregrini: The youngest of the Eternal Senate's tribunals speaks for the concerns of the peregrini, clans not well-established on the Italic Peninsula. The tribunal is an exotic group with a disproportionate number of Brujah supporters of its central founder, tribune Marcus the Advocate. Detractors claim the peregrini little better than thugs and rabblerousers in a cult of personality, led by a man harbouring ambitions to rebuild Carthage out of the shell of Rome. This political faction tends towards a progressive stance for greater representation and equality for all Kindred, though its senior members do not dare advocate against breaking the privilege or power of the Triumvirate. Outsiders petition peregrini tribunes to bring forward concerns that would not receive an audience among other factions. Its tribunes are better informed on outside events and information from foreigner diasporas residing in the city. Further, neonates strive to follow a noteworthy Brujah minority by affiliating themselves to the couriers and soldiers attached to the Roman legions to demonstrate their loyalty to the Empire.