The Black Veil is a set of ethical guidelines designed to serve as a moral compass for the vampire community.
The original Black Veil was written by Father Sebastian for the Sanguinarium in 1999. The first published version of the Black Veil was found by many reminiscent of the seven Traditions of the Masquerade.
These rules were followed by the fictitious secret society of vampires supposed to exist within and throughout the modern world as depicted by the authors of Vampire: the Masquerade.
Subsequently, Michelle Belanger got involved and requested permission to revise the Black Veil in order to increase its legitimacy and appeal. The resulting 'Thirteen Rules of Community', released in the fall of 2000, were clearly removed from any RPG influence and tailored more to the needs of the community at that time.
At Endless Night in October of 2003, a meeting between representatives of the Vampire Church, Bloodlines, the Sanguinarium, and individuals from many other independent organizations gave rise to a second revision of the Black Veil.
This version was released a few weeks later. Trimmed down from thirteen and back to seven rules, the new Black Veil was streamlined to remove pretentious and overly "Goth" language to once again increase its appeal to the continuously evolving greater community.
The central philosophy of the "Black Veil" revolves around 1) hospitality - 2) unity of the family - 3) prevention of negative media exploitation and fundamentalist attacks - 4) maintaining the mystique of the vampyre aesthetic - 5) inspiring chivalry & honor.
There is no obligation on the part of anyone within the vampire community to strictly follow these rules, and there is certainly no way to enforce them. At the core, they are simply common sense rules of behavior based upon respect for oneself and for others.
This document may be printed out for personal or non-commercial or community use, only if proper credit and no alternations to the original text are made. Amendments for each household, court or community made be freely added as long as the original test is not altered. Please respect those who have brought the Veil to you.
Respect yourself and present yourself so that others also respect you. Take care in who you reveal yourself to. Explain what you are, not to shock, but to teach and to inform. Do not flaunt what you are, and know that whether you want them to or not, your actions will reflect upon the rest of the community. Share your nature only with those with the wisdom to understand and accept it, and learn to recognize these people.
Among us, there are many different practices and many points of view. No single one of us has all the answers to who and what we are. Respect each person's individual choices and beliefs. Learn about them and share what you know. Our diversity is our strength, and we should not allow misunderstanding to weaken our community. Find the path that is right for you and uphold this freedom for others.
Do not allow your darkness to consume you. You are more than just your hunger, and you can exercise conscious control. Do not be reckless. Always act with a mind toward safety. Never feed because you think this makes you powerful; feed because this is what you must do. Be true to your nature, but never use it as an excuse to endanger those around you.
Give respect to those who have earned it. Anyone can claim a title, but a true leader will prove him or herself through dedication, hard work, and great deeds. Even so, leaders should be guides and not dictators. Look to them as examples, but always decide for yourself what you must do. Respect the person, not the position, and understand that your choices are always your own.
Know that there are repercussions to every action, and that you alone are responsible for your decisions. Educate yourself about risky behaviours, then always act with wisdom and common sense. Do not allow others to abuse you, but also, do not selfishly abuse. Respect the rights of others and treat them as you would be treated.
Feeding should occur between consenting adults. Allow donors to make an informed decision before they give of themselves to you. Do not take rapaciously from others, but seek to have an exchange that is pleasant and beneficial for all. Respect the life that you feed upon and do not abuse those who provide for you.
Reach out to others in your community. Exchange ideas, information, and support. Be hospitable to others, and appreciate hospitality when it is extended to you. Do not engage in illegal activity, for this can endanger us all. Seek to nurture our community and support all those who do the same.
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