A Prince is a vampire recognized as the leader of a domain (usually a single city) and possessing the authority of an Elder as described in the Traditions (see Camarilla).
The title "Prince" is primarily used to describe Camarilla vampires, while the equivalent office in the Sabbat is generally Bishop or Archbishop. While the office in modern nights is synonymous with the Camarilla, the title stretches back to the feudal structures of the Dark Ages and is occasionally used by vampires who predate the Camarilla. "Prince" is used for rulers of either gender; despite the title's patrician origins, the modern usage of the term owes more to Machiavelli than royalty, and in any case sex has little meaning for Elder vampires.
Generally, a Prince is advised by a council of Primogen; Elders representing each of the major Clans of the Camarilla. The Prince holds authority over unlife and Final Death by virtue of the Traditions. These rights traditionally include:
* Alloting hunting grounds
* Declaration or revocation of Elysium
* Granting authority to sire new Kindred
* Punishment for violating Tradition and the Masquerade
* Calling a Blood Hunt
The true capability and powers of a Prince vary from domain to domain. Powerful Princes may micromange the entire city personally, while a less capable Prince may be a rubberstamp for his Primogen. The Camarilla has no set policy for succession and will usually recognize the most powerful vampire who wants to claim the title of Prince, however in certain cases the Camarilla takes an active hand in the installation of a city's ruler.
DAMIAN ALEXANDER III:
Prince of Los Angeles
Born during the Hundred Years War, Damian was destined to end up on the battlefield. Being of noble birth he was raised a knight, being taught virtues such as courtesy and manners, cleanliness and religion, along with various battle skills before even hitting puberty. At the age of 14 he started serving as a squire, aiding a highly respected knight in battle, and outside. He watched and learned, and at the age of 19 was knighted by his master for saving his master's life on the battlefield.
He served the English with vigor, earning himself a reputation for being the epitome of what a knight should be - couragous, just, merciful, and noble - until he one day was fatally wounded during battle. He was taken back to his tent, and in the dead of the night was Embraced by a Ventrue who'd been keeping an eye on him for the last couple of years. The Ventrue had wanted to wait another year or so, but with Damian on his deathbed, they didn't want him to slip through their fingers.
Since then he's spent his time indulging himself in the virtues of the Ventrue, and has thus become a powerful leader and a shrewd business man.
During the mid 1600's, he was lurking around the Spanish court when a young lady, Adele, caught his eye. She was still only a teenager, but already possessed the poise and manners of a queen. He had one of his ghouls, the King's physician, keep an eye on her and keep Damian updated with the on-goings of her life.
Only weeks after first seeing her, Damian had decided she would be granted the Kiss as she was clearly meant to be a Ventrue. However, he also decided to wait a few years, so that she would first reach her full potential.
However, she suddenly fell very ill, and fearing that they would loose her and that he would suffer the wrath of Damian in the process, the doctor quickly sent for the noble Ventrue.
Damian had no choice. If he wanted her, and he did, he had to Embrace her right then and there on her death bed, much like the way he himself had been Embraced.
These days he resides in Los Angeles, and some two decades ago, was elected Prince of the city.
He's still considered just, noble and couragous, but he no longer shows mercy on those who betray him or let him down in any way, and he's been known to plot and manipulate younger Kindred into serving his own needs.
The Ventrue blood has also turned him into somewhat of an arrogant snob, as he, like any Ventrue, considers himself a born leader with the duty to guide and care for the Kindred in his town.
If you're a vampire and you've just arrived in L.A., it is required that you look up the Prince and introduce your presence in his city, as is it expected that if you wish to Embrace someone, wage war against Kindred, or call a blood hunt you should seek his permission before doing so.
You'll be most likely to find him in his penthouse office in the "V", a skyscraper in downtown Los Angeles, owned by Damian himself.