The Primogen

The Primogen is the assembly of elders in a given city. Each clan usually has at least one representative primogen (the title is used to indicate both singular and plural), in addition to any other elders of the clans who wish to sit on their meeting. No one seems quite certain when the primogen body came into being, but most Kindred scholars interest in such things point to the councils of elders that have been part of mortal communities for millennia. Where the organization came from, the primogen councils continue into the present nights as clan leaders, filling seats of remarkable power. As a result, the primogen are either a prince's greatest allies or his worst enemies.

In many ways, the primogen council is meant to be a legislative body, a representation of the opinions of the various clans with regard to the governance of the city. Such an assessment is correct in very few cities. Some primogen councils are missing one or more clans, their elders forbidden by princely edict to take their seats, or because the clans are composed entirely of younger vampires and the elders will not deign to acknowledge the clan's right to representation. Those primogen who are seated in many cities are less like an assembled body and more like an "old vampire's club," a nest of nepotism, favor-trading, threats, and treachery. In some cities, particularly those with small Kindred populations, the prince is often the primogen for his clan. In larger cities, this is not so - those involved claim that the prince should be concerned with balanced governance of the city, and that serving as primogen divides his loyalties. Other Kindred point out that having a second clan member serving as a primogen would seem to weigh matters in favor of that clan. However this is not always so as some of the most vicious disagreements between Prince and Primogen can be between two members of the same clan who happen to disagree on a particular policy.

The Primogen can hold a great deal of power, whether or not it is granted them. Primogen councils can squash pretends to the throne, weak princes and outspoken youth in the name of stability for the sake of their unlives. It is their support that confirms a vampire as prince of sentences him to be food for the worms. If they wish, the primogen may drive a prince from office or ensure a prince's long reign with their powerful support. Some primogen councils can becoming the governing body of a city, with the prince continually engaged in fighting with, cajoling, arguing, or threatening them back into line. On the other hand, in cities where the princes are more powerful than most, insane or despotic, the council meets solely at the prince's whim and is often merely a figurehead assembly.

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