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Baron (VTM)

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Baron is a title used by the Anarch Movement. By its simplest definition, a baron is the Anarch Movement’s equivalent of a Prince.

OverviewEdit

When all is said and done, a Baron is a Kindred with all the responsibilities of a prince, but without the tools. He can’t count on the respect that the prince’s title inspires, because he doesn’t have the strength of a prince. In addition to having less political clout than most princes, a baron isn’t necessarily one of the eldest or most powerful Kindred in a region.

The anarchs believe in a system that awards merit, and that means the best administrator in a city - and thus, the best baron - could easily be 70 years old and a pushover as compared to the ruthless prince in the next city who’s seen three centuries since her breathing days. The anarchs know that any territory with even a modest Kindred population requires someone to moderate it. Most of the Baron's time is devoted to mediating conflicts and disputes between Kindred, orchestrating agreements with other local Kindred leaders (both within the movement and the other sects) and enforcing those traditions that even the anarchs must obey.

An anarch baron normally isn’t one for passing a great number of policies; again, he must avoid the appearance of dictating the behavior of those below him. The problem barons face when it comes to mediating disputes is that the aggrieved parties rarely come to them willingly. If two Kindred are battling over a corporation, a street corner, a bit of territory or even a favored mortal, it’s the baron’s job to keep abreast of the situation and to step in before it gets out of hand. Sure, an anarch occasionally comes to the baron with a problem, but that’s usually because she’s come out on the losing end of a conflict she’s already tried to handle on her own. Barons can try to prevent such conflicts before they start, of course. By “suggesting” that a newcomer set up shop in one portion of the city rather than another, the baron may head off a conflict before the two parties even meet.

This has to be couched in very careful terms, however, and the baron has to do a good job of selling the new arrival on the territory. An anarch who thinks she’s being ordered to stay away from a specific area, or who feels she’s been given the worst domain in the city, may cause a ruckus purely out of spite. Most often, then, the baron becomes involved only after things get ugly, and that means his job is one of enforcement as often as mediation, if not more so.

Motivation for the jobEdit

A Baron forever straddles a fine line between being a wise leader and a power-mad autocrat, and the impractical nature of revolutionary ideology dooms many of them when the nightly affairs of the domain need attention.

Many anarch barons hold the position because they feel a responsibility to the goals and well being of the sect. Not for personal glory, nor for power over their fellow Kindred but out of an actual sense of civic duty that most Kindred lost along with their sex drive. That, along with their precious few other virtues, is why the Anarch Movement just might survive, despite the obstacles and the enemies arrayed against it. Despite what most others believe about it, it actually stands for an ideal, and it’s an ideal that most members of the sect are actually willing to work for.

On the other hand, some anarch barons do indeed seek the position as a means of gaining power in the sect. It’s not quite as efficient a means, or as steady a power-base, as the princedom in a Camarilla city, but it’s the best the Anarch Movement offers. These barons don’t look, on the outside, much different from their more devoted brethren. They still spend far more time mediating and managing than they do pushing through mandates or enjoying the perks of power. Many of them use their position as a means of acquiring boons and favors from the other local anarchs, since such a web of favors is often the only personal authority a baron can glean from the position. This is often as simple as mediating any given dispute in favour of whichever party has the most to offer in return. Anarchs don’t’ play the game of prestation as religiously as the rest of the Camarilla, but it’s not good for the reputation to renege on a debt.

ReferencesEdit

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