Dreams at the Crossroads
The Lexor Brujah
(modified from Constantinople by Night, p. 74)
While the Antonian Ventrue have ruled Byzantium through its emperors, the Lexor Brujah have overseen the mundane administration of the empire. Interested most in the plight of those who live under the weight of Ventrue and imperial ambition, the Lexor Brujah have inspired the creation of a unique and complex bureaucracy, without which life in Constantinople would grind to a halt. Led by Tribonius, a Brujah of Roman descent who survived the catastrophe of Carthage, the Brujah family of Constantinople has become an indispensable tool of the Ventrue.
The origins of the family date back to the second council of 489 CE, when Tribonius and his progeny (Theophilus and Dorotheus) were given charter to codify the old and obscure Lex Regia- Roman Law- into what would eventually be known as the* Justinian Code* in 530 CE. They were also assigned the task of codifying the ruling principles of the Trinity, and so established the Codex of Legacies. The Lexor Brujah have since added to the already lengthy Code of Justinian, and are responsible for its contemporary incarnation.
The Lexor Brujah collectively refer to themselves as the Senate, or Gerousia. Their leader assumes the title autokrator and is held responsible for coordinating family activities. Below him are the senators, whose number constantly changes. Each senator (or gerousiastí̱s) assumes responsibility for some if the administrative branches of Constantinople, including law, trade and finance, construction and ceremony. Senators’ roles also include a number of lesser duties that change hands constantly, adding to the complexity of an already involved bureaucracy. The various codices that serve as the template for Constantinople’s bureaucratic and legal system number in the thousands. Only Tribonius knows them all by heart.
A PARTIAL ROSTER OF THE LEXOR BRUJAH
- Tribonius, Autokrator, (Childe of Aderbaal, e. mid 1st century BC)
- Natalya Syvatoslav, Gerousiastis (Childe of Tribonius, e. first years of the 11th century AD)
- Theophilus, Gerousiastí̱s (Childe of Tribonius, e. early 3rd century AD)
- Dorotheus, Gerousiastí̱s (Childe of Tribonius, e. early 3rd century AD)
The Lexor Brujah have never maintained a particularly large presence in the city, but over the centuries Tribonius, Dorotheus and Theophilus have sired numerous childer that have spread out into the other cities of the empire. Greece, Thrace, Thessaly, Macedonia and the Balkans all contain prodigal members of the Lexor Brujah, though these bonds have weakened as the power of the Byzantine empire has waned.
Unlike many of the other families, the Lexors have concerned themselves mainly with researching, developing, and innovating the City’s legal systems, not with climbing to the top of the political dog-pile. Tribonius is responsible for Justinian’s Code and the Codex of Legacies. His nearly infallible memory and encyclopedic knowledge of the Byzantine legal codes is indispensable to the success and function of the Trinity family structure, and his work to streamline and harmonize the many convoluted, often hypocritical, laws has been unceasing since he was first invited to the city by Antonius. His childer assist him in this considerable task and act as councilors or advisors to elder and fledgling alike.
RELATIONS WITH OTHER FAMILIES
Although the Lexor Brujah are an indispensible asset to the Antonian Ventrue, they were traditionally overlooked and taken for granted. Tribonius understands the role that his family plays in the grand scheme of Constantinople, but his newest childe, a Russian Brujah by the name of Natalya Syvatoslav, refuses to remain the meek servant. Over the last few years she has proven outspoken and opinionated, qualities which have not endeared her to the Ventrue. Moreover, Natalya has begun to openly cooperate with Baron Thomas Feroux and his Gangrel, looking for ways to strengthen the legitimacy of the Codex of Legacies. At court she and Malachite push strong rhetoric regarding the moral imperative of the Dream over the pragmatic management of the Antonians. This has caused considerable tension between the Russian princess and her Carthaginian sire.
RELATIONS WITH OUTSIDERS
For centuries the Lexor Brujah has been a quiet family. It diligently devotes its time to precious tomes of laws and legacies. Natalya Syvatoslav, however, knows that the time for change is approaching and is searching for allies to help weather the coming storm. The Russian princess has never Embraced, but this crisis is sure to change after she becomes more active in the city and finds a need for progeny to aid and represent her.
The Lexor Brujah are rarely held in esteem by their western brethren, who see their service to a Ventrue faction as a form of betrayal to those who perished at Carthage. Tribonius is always quick to remind visitors that while he was born a Roman, he was a citizen of Carthage and worked tirelessly on its behalf. Seven centuries later, he offered his services to Antonius the Gaul because that particular Ventrue was not involved with Rome during the Punic Wars, and to hold a man responsible for the crimes of his family was a folly common to Rome. As the Trinity had turned their backs on the injustices of Rome, any vestigial stain upon the Antonian Ventrue honor had been cleansed. Michael, the Dracon, and Antonius stood for an ideal every bit as important as Carthage- that of the Dream. Indeed, Tribonius has been heard to say on many occasions that the ideal of men and Cainites, inspired by God and working together to make a lasting tribute to Heaven on Earth, was the only way the Brujah ideal could move forward in the modern world. On one occasion he publicly claimed to his colleagues in the Praedicanda that Constantinople was the spiritual successor to Carthage- in effect stating that Byzantium is the Fourth City of Caine.
Throughout much of the City’s history, the Lexor Brujah have doggedly and almost single-mindedly seen to the form and function of Byzantine bureaucracy and justice system. Lately, however, there is trouble brewing in the Senate. While Tribonius, the undisputed Autokrator, has always quietly supported the Antonian Ventrue, his youngest, the fire-brand Natalya Syvatoslav, has expressed her contempt for the Trinity family’s backbiting and often self-defeating intrigues. Her outspoken support of and association with the Baron’s Gangrel has caused some tension within the Brujah Senate.
Dorotheus and Theophilus are unwaveringly loyal to the autokrator and are skilled patricians in their own right, but they have grown increasingly frustrated by Natalya’s impertinent posturing and their sire’s refusal to discipline the insolent neonate. As a result, relations between the two elder senators and their young sister-in-blood have polarized into the coldness of formal civility. Though there has yet to be an indication that Tribonius’ childer work directly against one another, as do the Antonian Ventrue, such a development would not be especially surprising if reconciliation cannot be reached.
Much of the work on this page was written by Haligaunt for his chronicle The Concord of Ashes . I have made some minor changes to ensure the wiki’s are suitable for my setting and game. Many thanks to Haligaunt chronicle for all his hard work and allowing me to use his work.