Category:House of the Griffon
The House of the Griffon is a Ventrue house that was formed by Luminary Ventrue Grifo Martel just after the formation of the Camarilla,
loosely patterned off of the French monarchs. The house words are: “Virtue, Power, Chivalry” and they uphold the several classic Ventrue
traditions and wholly support the Camarilla and it’s 6 traditions.
- House Icon & Heraldry: A Griffon rampant
- House Words: Vertu, Chevalerie, Pouvoir ("Virtue, Chivalry, Power", in French).
- House lingua franca: French (formal), English and/or German (informal).
- Grifo is a Frankish noble, who was involved in France for ages, but lived in Frankfurt for centuries.
- As such, official house meetings are held in an archaic dialect of French, but casual conversations are mixed in English, modern French, and German.
- American members of the house even throw in some Southern Creole, just to add in seasoning.
- 1 Introduction
- 2 House Formation:
- 3 House membership:
The house ethics are:
- Support the Camarilla and uphold the Six Traditions; they are the cornerstone of our existence.
- Uphold the Ventrue Tradition of Dignitas. Proper behavior and manners are expected at all times.
- Uphold the Ventrue Tradition of Succor. When a (loyal) fellow Ventrue asks, you act.
- Remember to uphold Noblesse Oblige to all your lessers; the unworthy are beneath your contempt.
- Do not associate with the Outcast and the Anarchs; they are not worthy of our graces.
- Maintain control over your Beast at all times; do not let it control you as the Sabbat has.
- Uphold and cultivate your Humanitas; we are better than beasts that the Sabbat are.
- Those of lesser blood who show loyalty to the Tower & these ethics can be brought into the house.
Grifo created the house in 1550 AD in an effort to organize his lineage without tyrannical control, which he viewed as a violation of the 2nd Tradition.
Grifo's childer are Kindred in their own rights, many of whom are Elders, so Grifo barking commands and “demanding tribute” to them would accomplish very little.
Instead, he encouraged his childer and grandchilder to branch out into other cities and set up their own city branches, known inside the House as a ‘Chapterhouse of <City>’.
Each individual city would have a “chapterhouse”, also called a “rookerie” by some, patterned after a chessboard.
The head of a chapterhouse is called a “King” while the second in command is known as a “Queen”.
- note: in this case, the gender of the position holder is irrelevant; it is the name of the game piece Grifo was after.
Heads of local house security are called “Rooks” and those who manipulate mortals and track house boons are known as “Bishops”.
“Knights” are spies, saboteurs, and warriors of the house, those who go out into danger and head it off and/or take it out.
Mortal associates (i.e. Ghouls and retainers) and those of lesser blood and fledglings of the house and clan, are known as “Pawns” and that is not a misnaming.
Grifo further summarized the tenants, ethics, and structure of the house as “The Ancien Regime” after the old French monarchical system he was so used to.
Modern day members of the Chapterhouses tend to change the wording around or use modern terms, but they all know the original credo by heart.
Internal House Hierarchy
House Leader: responsible for the overall direction of the House at Large and its goals; each House Leader usually creates their own title while they stay in off.
Grifo referred to himself as the “Sun King” of the house back when he was in this position, with the understanding that each King was over his own chapterhouse (as per the 2nd Tradition).
When <insert character name here> was House Leader he referred to himself as <insert chosen title here>.
- King: Head of an individual Chapterhouse. Responsible for the overall direction of a chapterhouse and its longer term goals.
Kings are not to be Princes of a Domain, but nothing prevents them from doing so. Kings are encouraged to be Praetors and or Strategos, clan-wide position holders, as all (Camarilla) Ventrue are “cousins” and Ventrue “are their brother’s keeper”.
- Queen: Head of Operations of a local Chapterhouse; responsible for the day to day operations of a chapterhouse. Unless overridden by the King, the Queen has unquestioned authority within the chapterhouse.
Queens are encouraged to sit as local Primogen for the Ventrue, or even as Prince.
- Rook: Head of Security for a Chapterhouse; this includes outside threats and masquerade risks. Reports directly to the Queen.
- In the case of a large number of Griffons, multiple rooks would oversee various chapter houses in the same city.
- Bishop: Responsible for mortal relations, influence, & masquerade clean up for the Chapterhouse. Reports to the Queen.
- Bishops also function as “mini-harpies” and track boons owed from and owed to members of the house. Chapter Houses are encouraged to work and get their house’s bishops elected as Harpies.
- Knight: Infiltrators, spies, and warriors of the Chapterhouse; they go out and neutralize threats to the chapterhouse. Knights report directly to the chapterhouse Queen.
- If Crusaders are adopted into the house, this is the position they usually wind up as.
- Pawns: These are all of the mortal associates, any adoptees, and clan fledglings are collectively known as “Pawns”, they are assigned as needed.
- As mentioned, this name isn't just a misnomer, it's their role in the house which is to protect it as well as do the dirty and dangerous jobs.
Grifo formed the House proper a few decades after the Convention of Thorns, inspired by de Corazon and the Camarilla both.
Taking a cue from his own name, Grifo, which is Spanish for “Griffon” and the Griffon having long become a heraldic symbol for “Divine Power and Guardians of the Divine”,
Grifo lent his name to the house and thus “The House of the Griffon” was born. Over the course of the next decade, he and his direct childer, full Elders in their own right,
hammered out the rest of the Ethics and organization of the house, as listed above.
Grifo also noted that Kings and Queens are not forbidden from claiming a Praxis, though he did warn against it.
"Princes are pulled in various directions by both the divine and the base”, he dryly noted, “by both the high clans and the low."
"Boons can also force one into compromising positions. It’s better to avoid such entanglements,” he continued, “and avoid bringing the house into disrepute.”
He does encourage members of the House to push for Primogen seats and/or Harpy seats however. “The outside entanglements are much less," he would opine.
"and you can leverage members of your local house to assist you. Further, never leave the Clan (as in the Ventrue as a whole) without a voice on a Primogen Council,” Grifo would say.
"It's a far better to be a Kingmaker than a King, at least in relation to a Praxis."
- Grifo also encouraged members of the House to serve as Primogen, Lictors, and Strategoi as they are able to do so. "Guidance of our cousins is important."
House Formation & the 1600's
Having set up a decentralized house, Grifo realized he would need to create a method for house leaders to select a new overall house leader.
Grifo suggested that in the event of the head of the house being unable to carry out their duties for a full calendar year, such as in the case of torpor or final death, each Chapterhouse head
the “King” position of the Chapterhouse) would select their choice of house leader instead of the usual games of brinkmanship that Camarilla elders usually engage in.
These votes can go in any direction (and yes, the Kings can vote for themselves) and major boons or higher can and are expected to be freely exchanged (or called in) to sway a King’s vote.
House History, 1700’s:
Grifo led the house for two centuries until Torpor began to claim him. He had set the succession rules up agreed to and issued to the house at large,
Grifo celebrated his 1,000 year death night in Frankfurt while Julia was back on the Throne as Prince of Frankfurt.
Grifo had capped off the night with a prepared a crypt and went into Torpor in Frankfurt and <insert new house head here> began his rule of the house.
House History, 1800’s:
House History, 1900’s:
In 1944, all communications out of the Frankfurt Chapterhouse, which was being savaged by Allied bombing in World War 2, was lost and no one heard from Grifo ever again.
Around the same time, The Second Anarch revolt began to fire up along the west coast of the US. However, it largely left the house untouched; the house has been focused in Western Europe
and the Eastern half of the United States for centuries. A few warehouses belonging to a Chapterhouse were set alight, but they were largely empty after this the
house never bothered to deal in the West Coast of the US ever again.
The House and the Brave New World:
<Insert current issues facing the house today.>
In 2016, House founder Grifo was found by a coterie of his descendants in his forgotten crypt in Frankfurt, long hidden in the earth and covered by rubble.
Being fed enough vitae, Grifo was awoken and he spent the next 6 months re-acclimating himself to the modern world, stunned his house in shambles.
With the beckoning having claimed a number of allies and associates, Grifo is lost, but his house, however broken it may be these nights, still stands.
And that will be enough.
- House Founder: Grifo Léon Pippen Martel, Luminary Architect
- Current House Head: ???
Other members and their positions: