The Black Veil, also known as the "13 Rules of the Community" was composed
by Father Todd of House Sahjaza, Michelle Belanger of House Kheperu and
COVICA as an voluntary standard of common sense, etiquette and ideals for
the greater vampyre/vampire community. Although copyright 1997-2001 by
Father Todd and Michelle Belanger, the Black Veil is an open licensed text
available for reproduction on related websites or in print for organizations
and individuals who wish to promote it's concepts and ideals. All that is
asked is that the Black Veil not be changed, amended or modified in ANY way
and include the text and links detailed between the asterisks * here.
1. DISCRETION This lifestyle is private and sacred. Respect it as such. Use
discretion in who you reveal yourself to, and make certain that your motives
are to truly communicate about our culture and to engender understanding. By
no means should you talk to others about yourself and our community when
your motives are for selfish reasons such as self-promotion, sensationalism,
and attention-getting. Do not hide from your nature, but never show it off
to the those who won't understand.
2. DIVERSITY Our paths are many, even though the journey we are on is
essentially the same. No single one of us has all the answers to who and
what we are. Respect everyone's personal views and practices. We cannot let
petty differences of ideology prevent us from maintaining a unified
community; there are enough who would attack us from the outside. Our
diversity is our strength. Let our differences in viewpoint enrich us but
never divide us upon ourselves.
3. SAFETY Use sense when indulging your nature. Do not flaunt what you are
in public places. Feed in private and make certain your donors will be
discrete about what happens between you. Donors who create rumors and gossip
about us are more harm than they're worth. If you engage in blood-letting,
put safety and caution above all other things. Blood-born diseases are a
very real thing, and we cannot risk endangering ourselves or others through
irresponsibility. Screen donors carefully, making certain they are in good
health both mentally and physically. Never overindulge or get careless. The
safety of the entire community rests upon each member's caution.
4. CONTROL We cannot and should not deny the darkness within. Yet we should
not allow it to control us. If our beast or shadow or darkside is given too
much sway, it clouds our judgment, making us a danger even to those we love.
Never indulge in pointless violence. Never bring willful harm to those who
sustain you. Never feed only for the sake of feeding, and never give over to
mindless bloodlust. We are not monsters: we are capable of rational thought
and self-control. Celebrate the darkness and let it empower you, but never
let it enslave your will.
5. LIFESTYLE Live your life as an example to others in the community. We are
privileged to be what we are, but power should be accompanied by
responsibility and dignity. Explore and make use of your vampire nature, but
keep it in balance with material demands. Remember: we may be vampires, but
we are still a part of this world. We must live lives like everyone else
here, holding jobs, keeping homes, and getting along with our neighbors.
Being what we are is not an excuse to not participate in this reality.
Rather, it is an obligation to make it a better place for us to be.
6. FAMILY We are, all of us, a family, and like all families, various
members will not always get along. However, respect the greater community
when having your disputes. Do not let your individual problems bring
emotional strife to the family as a whole. Settle your differences quietly
among one another, only seeking out an elder's aid in mediation when no
other solution seems possible. Never bring your private disputes into public
places and never draw other family members into the issue by forcing them to
take sides. Like any normal family, we should always make an effort to
present a stable and unified face to the rest of the world even when things
are not perfect between us.
7. HAVENS Our havens are safe places where everyone in the community can
come to socialize. There are also often public places where we are likely to
encounter people who don't understand our ways. We should respect the
patrons of these places as we should also respect the owners of the
establishments and always be discrete in our behavior. We should never bring
private disputes into a haven. We should never initiate violence in a haven.
And we should never do or bring anything illegal into a haven, as this
reflects badly upon the community as a whole. The haven is the hub of the
whole community, and we should respect it as such, supporting it without
business and working to improve its name in the scene so that we can always
call it home.
8. TERRITORY The community is extensive and diverse. Every city has a
different way of doing things, and a different hierarchy of rule. When
entering a new city, you should familiarize yourself with the local
community. Seek out the local havens. Learn what households have sway here.
Get in touch with key members of the community, learn who is who, and show
proper respect where it is due. You should not expect to impose your old way
of doing things on this new scene. Rather you should adapt to their rules
and be glad of their acceptance. Always be on your best behavior when coming
to a new city either to visit or to stay. We are all cautious and
territorial by nature, and only by making the most positive impression
possible will you be accepted and respected in a new community.
9. RESPONSIBILITY This lifestyle is not for everyone. Take care in who you
choose to bring into it. Those who are mentally or emotionally unstable have
no place among us. They are dangerous and unreliable and may betray us in
the future. Make certain that those you choose to bring in are mature enough
for this burden. Teach them control and discretion, and make certain that
they respect our ways. You will be responsible for their actions, and their
behavior in the community will be reflected back to you.
10. ELDERS There are certain members of our community who have established
themselves as just and responsible leaders. These are the people who helped
establish local communities, who organize havens, and who work to coordinate
the networking of the scene. While their word does not have to be law, they
should nevertheless be respected. They have greater experience than many
others, and usually greater wisdom. Seek these elders out to settle your
disputes, to give you guidance and instruction, and to help you establish
yourself in the local scene. Appreciate the elders for all they have given
you: if it was not for their dedication, the community would not exist as it
11. DONORS Without those who offer themselves body and soul to us, we would
be nothing. We cannot be other than what we are, but it is the donors who
sustain our nature. For this service, they should be respected. Never
mistreat your donors, physically or emotionally. They are not to be
manipulated or leeched off of for more than what they freely offer. Never
take them for granted. Appreciate them for the companionship and acceptance
which they offer us, which so many others would refuse. This above all:
appreciate the gift of their life. That communion is sacred. Never fail to
treat it as such.
12. LEADERSHIP When you choose to take a position of authority in the
community, remember that you do not lead for yourself alone. Leadership is a
responsibility, not a privilege. A good leader must set an example for
everyone through his actions and behavior. His motives should be selfless
and pure, and he should put the interests of the whole community before his
own. The best leaders are those who serve to better the community and whose
person and behavior gives no one -- even those outside of the community -- a
reason to criticize them.
13. IDEALS Being a vampire is not just about feeding upon life. That is what
we do, but not necessarily what we are. It is our place to represent
darkness in a world blinded by light. We are about being different and
accepting that difference as something that empowers us and makes us unique.
We are about accepting the dark within ourselves and embracing that darkness
to make us whole beings. We are about celebrating the thresholds: body and
spirit, pleasure and pain, death and life. Our lives should be lived as a
message to the world about the beauty of accepting the whole self, of living
without guilt and without shame, and celebrating the unique and beautiful
essence of every single soul.*