2015 Toreador Clan Head Candidates

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Blayne Ashbury, Primogen within Austin, Texas

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1. What personal qualities or skills do you bring to the position, if selected, that distinguish you from the other nominees?

Being groomed for political positions as such since my embrace, I believe that my history, sharp mind, and quick and decisive decisions are an asset to the clan.


2. What is your history among the clan and the Sect? Do you currently hold a position? Would you be willing to step away from it?

My history is that of a politician. I was the one that wrong the legality of the Treaty of Versailles, better known as the Germen Ventrue and French Toreador War. Being the childe of Victoria Ash, she bred me to be the perfect statesmen the clan needs. Socially adept for any situation. After her death it was I that helped Lilly Belle gather the support she needed for her term as Clan Head. I currently hold Primogen and have been grooming an Ancilla to take over one day. Should I have a need to, I will step down and place her in the postion.


3. What are some of your latest works of art or recent performances? If you consider yourself a critic, how have you applied that talent in recent nights?

I practice my dance as often as I can. My last performance was a few months ago, but have been compiling a few numbers together for a grand performance in August for the “Deep in the Heart of Texas” Galla we shall be holding. Starting in San Antonio or Houston, and then ending in Austin.


4. If there is a particular piece of art of which you are especially proud, please describe its significance to you. If you consider yourself a critic, describe a work by another that you value most.

Since my art is that of movement and not a physical thing you can hold, I am proud of all of my performances. Though if I had to pick a favorite, it would be the one that performed for Victoria a few years after my embrace.


5. What vision do you have for clan, and how do you plan to support this vision?

My vision for the clan is to bring the soul and passion for beauty in all its forms to not only the clan, but have us be the representation of it to all the clans as it should be. As to how I plan on doing so, is to uphold what Lilly Belle has put into place of support and encouraging the guilds to flourish, as well as finish what Victoria started.


6. With only a year granted to effect change and have contact with the Justicariate, how will you use your time to further clan agendas? Have you had any contact with the Justicariate (either now or in the past) and if so, under what circumstances?

My time will be spent working not only with clan Toreador, but the other clans, which I currently work with some of the clan heads, and the Justicariate to progress on things already at hand that have not been settled and things that are yet to come. As to my having contact with the Justicariate, I have visited my cousin, Her Grace Katherine of Montpellier whenever I have the chance to go to Europe.


7. How will you ensure that you fairly represent all members of our clan within the Camarilla?

Having been and still practice being a lawyer, I strive even with my seat as Primogen to represent all the arts, talents and strengths Austin as to offer. Here in Austin, we do have a variety of talents to showcase, whether it be artistic as a painting, or more combat orientated. Was just last night, March 21th of 2015, I spoke of such acts to the prince showcasing the Toreador to the city.


8. Your predecessor was an ambitious woman but also, very accessible to the clan. Do you believe that it is appropriate for a clan head to be approached by any Rose?

I fully do believe that. I am accessible by whomever needs me simply as Primogen. I do believe one that wishes to be clan head and is unattainable save through the Steward is looking more for a seat upon a throne that to help better the Toreador as a whole. I myself, when having issues and need to speak with Lilly Belle, will reach out to her for whatever reason. I would encourage all roses to not be shy and get to know the person that represents them not only as Clan Head, but also as a fellow Toreador.


9. With respect, the clan head is a misnomer as the real leadership of the clan lies with whoever represents us on the Inner Council, the Toreador Justicar, and the elders collectively. Many elders dislike the notion of a clan head who believes the position grants rights it does not. What do you feel the position does not entitle you to do?

It does not entitle me to cast out my enemies simply for the reason of having a tiff with them. Additionally, it does not grant me the right to be a dictator and place ridiculous request, orders, or whatever you wish to call them upon the clan simply “because I can.”


10. Do you think, at its core, that there is any difference in electing a Toreador versus Volgirre to the position of clan head? If so, what are the differences that are most of note and should be taken under consideration?

I would have to say no, there is no difference. At its core, we are all Roses. Yes, Volgirre came from a different place, but Volgirre adhere to the laws placed by the Tower. And so long as they follow the laws things shouldn’t be a problem. But that goes for any Toreador. Volgirre or not.


11. As clan head, what measures would you recommend/support to keep our clan free of Sabbat or Independent infiltrators? Under what circumstances would you allow a caitiff to join our clan, if ever?

Due to most people making sure that Toreador are whom they say they are upon entering the city, I believe that we would not have a problem with that. However, I speak for myself when I say at least my city does. I lost my sire to Sabbat infiltration, if I can help it, I will make sure that we lose zero Roses to them. Be it fitting alongside of my kinsmen or lending aid in other ways.

If I were to allow a caitiff to join, it would be for a very good reason. One reason would be that, due to a mishap in the process, a Rose embraced improperly leading to the childe being different. However, if a caitiff was not originally from a Roses failed embrace and wished to be part of the Garden, it would take many nights for said caitiff to prove him or herself worthy of being called a Toreador.


12. Finally, what else should the clan know about you?

I am an open book. That’s not to say I am without my secrets. Should anyone wish to know anything else about me, they simply can contact me and inquire. I take not ill will against people wondering whom they’re leaders are.

Clé deMontes, Master Harpy of Houston, Texas

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1. What personal qualities or skills do you bring to the position, if selected, that distinguish you from the other nominees?

The Toreador has a wealth of women who are as intelligent as they are graceful and as witty as they are lovely. I am one of these women. I am a leader, not a follower. The other clans will know of the artistic social elegance and raw creative power of our clan with me at the helm.

Also, have fan will travel.


2. What is your history among the clan and the Sect? Do you currently hold a position? Would you be willing to step away from it?

I have spent most of my years tending to the humanity of my fellow kindred. Humanity is the cornerstone of our society and an aspect of our nature that we must always nurture. At a number of points in my history, I have stepped away from my position in order to help those in need whether Princes or paupers.

Those positions include acting as Lesser Harpy for the Parisian Court, Whipping for my clan during more than a handful of occasions, standing as Primogen for the Rose and currently performing the duties of Master Harpy of Houston.

Given that our clan should be a political force in our society, I am willing to devote my focus to the duties of Clanhead.


3. What are some of your latest works of art or recent performances? If you consider yourself a critic, how have you applied that talent in recent nights?

I am a sculptor. In that capacity, one of my most recent works include Poseidon’s Paradise located in the Houston Elysium known as Sanctuary. In this room, I have essentially written a love letter to the sea through a giant installation of coral reef. It reminds us of nature’s incredibly ability to make art, as we stand so very small among its commanding beauty.

I have also created memorial statues to honor the departed, including one of Elder John Ketwick that captured his last defiant moment in the face of danger.


4. If there is a particular piece of art of which you are especially proud, please describe its significance to you. If you consider yourself a critic, describe a work by another that you value most.

While I have created large, public pieces, my favorite are the small tokens and figurines I make to be passed among each other. They range from tiny concealable charms to miniature statuettes that act as reminders of the emotional tie between two people. While I derive no public accolades for these works, I am more proud of them because they are so very personal.


5. What vision do you have for clan, and how do you plan to support this vision?

Imagine a clan united in purpose. A clan that cannot be ignored or brushed off as pawns of another. A clan whose collective will helps define and shape the future of the Camarilla. This is my vision of the clan.

We do this through a three pronged approached. In one aspect, we prove that members of our clan are devoted to the stability of our society through acquiring positions at every level. In another aspect, we connect our history and traditions to this modern age. Our guilds must innovate or be relics of the past. Even now, we see participation in the tradition wane more quickly than ever. In a last aspect, we support individuals and the Council of Petals to create the events that bring the members of the Camarilla together. Whether it is for a small meeting, the signing of political agreements, or celebrations and soirees, we should be offering the space and appurtenances. We are the hosts of our Sect for a reason.


6. With only a year granted to effect change and have contact with the Justicariate, how will you use your time to further clan agendas? Have you had any contact with the Justicariate (either now or in the past) and if so, under what circumstances?

I have never had any contact with the Justicariate and can see how that might be both an advantage and disadvantage. On one hand, it gives me the ability to be a fresh face with no historical bags under my eyes. It gives me the chance to share ideas without past prejudice. On the other hand, I do not have a personal relationship with any of the Justicars, and so must spend part of my granted year developing a professional association.


7. How will you ensure that you fairly represent all members of our clan within the Camarilla?

We are a clan of family lines that each have a culture developed over the centuries. I wish to understand each of those cultures by hosting salons that bring representatives of the families together.


8. Your predecessor was an ambitious woman but also, very accessible to the clan. Do you believe that it is appropriate for a clan head to be approached by any Rose?

I would not wish to usurp the traditional roles of Primogen, Guildmeisters, Councilors, Matriarchs and Patriarchs of our clan. The young must learn the etiquette expected by Elders and benefit from the education provided by those who represent them. I would not be inclined to games of mommy versus daddy because letters were sent directly to me. So, in that way, no it is not appropriate for a Clanhead to be approached by any Rose.

I would empower the Steward, Myrmidon and Guildmeister General to represent the office of the Clanhead with some measure of autonomy and personal responsibility. As a general overview: The Steward would handle business of the clan. The Myrmidon would oversee the safety of the clan. The Guildmeister General would assess the health and needs of the guilds.

However, the Clanhead should conduct an open forum during clan meetings. During these scheduled events, I would welcome anyone to present items for consideration or to ask questions of the office of the Clanhead no matter station or age.


9. With respect, the clan head is a misnomer as the real leadership of the clan lies with whoever represents us on the Inner Council, the Toreador Justicar, and the elders collectively. Many elders dislike the notion of a clan head who believes the position grants rights it does not. What do you feel the position does not entitle you to do?

The position of Clanhead does not entitle me to eat bon-bons while prancing around like a pretty-pretty princess. The position also does not entitle me to advance personal agendas or petty revenge.


10. Do you think, at its core, that there is any difference in electing a Toreador versus Volgirre to the position of clan head? If so, what are the differences that are most of note and should be taken under consideration?

Yes. I am an advocate of anyone who wishes to join of Sect. The Camarilla is the peaceful shore for those who no longer wish to drown in violent waters, and the Volgirre brought a great amount of useful intelligence with them when they joined us. For their decision and contributions, they should be commended.

This said, I am concerned that there are still a number of the line who hide themselves. What does this choice say to the other clans? What does it reflect regarding our clan as a whole? Does this not, at least in part, suggest that the Volgirre do not trust their brethren? This is the most important difference that should be taken under consideration.

For those of the line who do not hide themselves, I see no reason why they could not be candidates. They may be treated with prejudice, but an individual who can manage the beliefs of others while changing how the line is perceived, would be a worthy opponent.

However, in the end, someone who does not come to the position with this type of checkered past would best lead the clan. We are in need of proactive leadership. The Toreador need to be ‘do-ers’. The Toreador need to achieve acclaim for their deeds. Our clan should not be stymied or distracted by a debate of loyalty to the Sect because of our Clanhead.

With my unquestionable loyalty to the Camarilla and my regard for the Volgirre, I am a powerful asset to our clan.


11. As clan head, what measures would you recommend/support to keep our clan free of Sabbat or Independent infiltrators? Under what circumstances would you allow a caitiff to join our clan, if ever?

I leave the matter of infiltrators to Princes and their Graces. Of course, I would advocate measures to remove infiltrators from our sect, but I do not believe this is the purpose of Clanhead. If there were an individual who wished to be part of the clan, the office of the Clanhead would rigorously vet the request.

I have a great amount of sympathy for Les Unfortunates (caitiff). Should we leave babies out to die of exposure? Should children be allowed to starve in impoverished slums? They had no choice in the circumstances of their birth. Neither did Les Unfortunates. If one of these deprived darlings showed spark, I would hope that any Toreador worth his or her blood would nurture that creative fire. If that Les Unfortunate, educated and guided to exceptional quality by Toreador hands, wished to join our clan, I would allow it.


12. Finally, what else should the clan know about you?

Each night, I perform a single act of charity. In this act of charity, whether large or small, I do one thing to make someone else’s evening better. Some times that is something small like serving a young neonate a warm glass of cocoa after a difficult night at court. Other times, it is a larger measure like tending to the soul of someone clinging to his or her humanity. This reminds me that my purpose in this society is to be of service.

And now, I would like to be of service to my clan.

Dorian Burroughs, Steward of Clan Toreador; Primogen of Atlanta, Georgia

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1. What personal qualities or skills do you bring to the position, if selected, that distinguish you from the other nominees?

I am a skilled and experienced politician and economist. Early on I made it my mission to take on the minutiae of negotiations, politics, and the managing of wealth for any Toreador who needed assistance. In so doing I have freed many artists so they could create the beauty that stokes the sparks of humanity within the Tower. I have an accomplished history of enabling and fostering the talents of artists, both Kindred and mortal, by removing the more banal aspects of existence so they may concentrate on metamorphosizing into the wonders they are meant to be.

Some of us have a passion for the visual or performance arts, my passion is to find those diamonds in the rough. I locate those artists who would not have the chance to express their passion and giving them the resources to create something magnificent and significant before fate snatches them from us.


2. What is your history among the clan and the Sect? Do you currently hold a position? Would you be willing to step away from it?

I have spent the past century acting as a political adviser and prestation broker for multiple Elders and Princes. My talent and service to the clan in these endeavors have earned me great privilege and standing within the Clan and the Tower. I recently returned to the city of whom stole my heart, Atlanta, and was quickly elevated to become the Primogen over the single largest population of Toreadors on this continent. A significant responsibility, as the Prince of Atlanta affords Greater Accounting over all Toreadors within the city to their Primogen. A burden I did not ask for, but which I have carried with grace and executed with wise leadership.

Over this past year I served as the Steward of the clan and acted as a communicator for and adviser to Clan Head Lilly Belle Stafford. In that role I communicated and negotiated with luminaries of the other clans and assisted the clan head in shaping her words to reflect her agenda.

For the past few years, I have been the Master of the Guild of the Climbing Rose, guiding multiple patrons and artists in navigating the hazards of the political world.

In the event of my elevation to Clan head, arrangements have been made so that I may step away from the Primogenship of Atlanta and as the Master of the Guild of the Climbing Rose.


3. What are some of your latest works of art or recent performances? If you consider yourself a critic, how have you applied that talent in recent nights?

Instead of the term Critic, I prefer the term Patron. A Patron chooses to select which artists will receive influence and favor. Recently I have concentrated my efforts on fostering Elysia in the domain of Atlanta. One Elysium was saved from misguided attacks on its finances and another was recently established as an artists cooperative.

The cooperative incorporates a model that I have used successfully for many decades to attract a cycling group of aspiring artists who work together teaching and challenging each other to push the envelope of their skills and their styles. This most recent project attracts young mortal artists who are exploring the Avant Garde style known as Urban Art, which is only now becoming mainstream. The gallery boasts two masterpieces by the Toreador artists Umlaut Ennui and Michael Fuller Miller (more commonly known as Elder M). As with any new artistic school of thought, their art pushes the envelope of social boundaries, yet the Impressionists were also equally challenging in their day.

My patronage is a statement that gives their new style the opportunity to fly or fail on their own merits… but not for a lack of resource. What I receive from this, and what many who visit this Elysium receive, is a window into the passionate energy of the mortals with whom we share our cities. The works of these artists who share the shadows of the streets with us remind us what it was once like to be alive, to feel hope for what the next day may bring through the energetic pulse of life flowing through these raw and emotional works.


4. If there is a particular piece of art of which you are especially proud, please describe its significance to you. If you consider yourself a critic, describe a work by another that you value most.

In my collection, I have a number of written accounts of Rafael de Corazon’s treatise upon hiding our nature. Most of these are second or third hand writings, as no direct dictation of those three speeches was ever made, and each one is slightly different. Through these accounts I am able to experience the wonder of those nights… not directly, but through the eyes, ears, and emotions of the audience. I find myself often brought to tears by the way he captured the audience’s hearts by stinging with hard truths.

Some might argue that such political fare is not art, as this form may neither be hung on a wall, nor be experienced. I would argue those critics are not looking close enough, as such societal oratories have subtle and lasting effects upon the people who listen. The oratories become part of the listener, who then spreads the ideas to the next person and so on and so forth. The ideas take on a life of their own within the hearts of the people, subtly changing in profound ways; in ways not at all dissimilar from the transcendental moments we experience from a truly magnificent statue or a beautiful aria.


5. What vision do you have for clan, and how do you plan to support this vision?

We of Clan Toreador, keep the Tower strong. Without our presence cementing the social fabric of this society Domains would fall apart. Without our gift to so strongly feel the embers of humanity and express those sensations to other Kindred to remind them of what we all must hold on to, the Tower would have fallen long ago as Kindred fell into monstrousness.

My vision is to build upon the strength of the Toreador clan by making sure there are constant reminders in every Domain that we inspired the creation of the Camarilla and it is we who maintain the social order. I will support this vision by elevating the position of Elysia and their role in our society, while integrating their elevation with the need for a “Toreador’s touch” to sanctify the location as a true place of peace and contemplation.

An important secondary vision for the Clan, I will assist all appropriately talented Toreadors to find roles as Harpies and Senechals to subtly shape the local culture and leadership. My predecessor had a similar vision in where Toreadors would be placed as Princes. While a noble goal, I do not believe the talents of the Toreadors are utilized to its best effect. As Senechals and Harpies of Domains, the Roses will be able to move the levers of power without having to burden themselves with the obligations of praxis.


6. With only a year granted to effect change and have contact with the Justicariate, how will you use your time to further clan agendas Have you had any contact with the Justicariate (either now or in the past) and if so, under what circumstances?

One of the Clan agendas I have been campaigning to be accepted among our various conclaves is to recognize Elysia should be a place where stirring works of humanity from our clan are hosted. Too many of these hallowed places that are, dare we say, less than inspiring.

Elysia are places we go to find solace, have our souls touched by history and transcendent beauty. Yet I notice a pattern not unlike the seasons we hear of a road side inn or convenience store that is declared an Elysium.

I have been placing subtle pressure on various Princes and Keepers of Elysium to encourage the idea an Elysium without a masterpiece is just a mere shadow. An Elysium that fails to be an inspiration to the soul is an irreverent example that flirts with profanity. I have had initial success, and predict more in the future. My desire is to see the continent’s Elysia become places where Princes trade boons to our Clan so they may be blessed with our most awe inspiring works.

My meetings and work experience with the Justicariate have always been brief or through a proxy. In my most recent experience was in service to the Justicars Marissa Cole and Eleanor De Valois to assist in the activities in Tunis. I have always made myself available to the Justicariate when they had needs for my abilities. When it comes to furthering the Clan’s goals through the Justicariate, trying to manipulate such a body for the Clan’s ideals is not the best use of our resources. The best way for Clan Toreador to further our own goals is through molding the culture of our society, by sculpting from the foundation to the top to make us stronger, not the top down.


7. How will you ensure that you fairly represent all members of our clan within the Camarilla?

I am aware that even with all of my resources I do not and cannot know the mind of every Toreador who calls the Camarilla their home. During my tenure as Primogen of the Toreadors of Atlanta, I have always invited them to privately discourse upon any matters. My expectations are for the Primogen and Princes to communicate their wishes and needs to their Council of Petals representative. I also expect Toreadors to join Guilds and to communicate their desires to the respective Guild Masters. Lastly, I expect these leaders of the Clan to bring any concerns and suggestions to me privately.

This does not mean I will be able to fulfill the wishes of every Toreador, however I will have a better understanding of the direction the Clan is progressing and receive advice on where the Clan should be focusing. Through the full breadth of the clan and heeding the advice I will receive, I am confident I will be able to represent the clan fairly.


8. Your predecessor was an ambitious woman but also, very accessible to the clan. Do you believe that it is appropriate for a clanhead to be approached by any Rose?

I emerged from a society where I understand the need for processes and appearances. If I were to let any callow Neonate entreat upon me for any manner of request, not only would I be disrespecting the Primogen of that Neonate’s Domain I would also be disrespecting the Master of the guild the Neonate should belong, and the Council of Petals representative of their region.

Many of the young imagine upon themselves an overinflated sense of signification based upon their newfound state. They do not conceive of the fact there are centuries of custom which have been tried and tested to arrive at the culture they now find themselves in.


9. With respect, the clan head is a misnomer as the real leadership of the clan lies with whomever represents us on the Inner Council, the Toreador Justicar, and the elders collectively. Many elders dislike the notion of a clan head who believes the position grants rights it does not. What do you feel the position does not entitle you to do?

The position of Clanhead does not entitle me the power to command only to cajole and influence, as I would never presume to command the Elders of our Clan. What I offer are many opportunities to the Ancilla and Neonates of our clan to prove themselves and earn prominence within our Clan and the Ivory Tower. The role of Clanhead is one to sculpt and shape the young of our Clan for future leadership in the coming decades.

The best method to shape our Clan for the future is to use the influence of the position to reward the impressive Roses who should be emulated, and publicly cautioning the embarrassing Roses whose conduct should be avoided.


10. Do you think, at its core, that there is any difference in electing a Toreador versus Volgirre to the position of clan head? If so, what are the differences that are most of note and should be taken under consideration?

The Volgirre are accepted as members of the Camarilla, though they are still working towards being fully accepted among us. I believe that at some point in the future the memories of their past will fade, and their blood line will prove the wisdom of the Inner Council’s clemency through service to the Tower. On that night, and not before, we will likely see a Volgirre as the Clanhead.


11. As clan head, what measures would you recommend/support to keep our clan free of Sabbat or Independent infiltrators? Under what circumstances would you allow a caitiff to join our clan, if ever?

Infiltrators are a risk that is not just isolated to our Clan. The lengths that some Kindred have gone in order to root out the suspicion of infiltrators are deplorable. Attempting to use the same heavy handed tactics for the Roses would diminish our spirit and shackle the soul of our artistry.

Each city is unique and I trust the Primogen of our many cities will know best on how to contain their own Garden. Each understand the responsibility placed upon them not only by their local Roses, but by the Clan as a whole. I invest within each Primogen the trust they will be able to preserve the inviolability of our Clan. I place upon them the responsibility to see their garden is free of weeds, and for those Primogen whose inattentiveness enables interlopers in our midst, their shame shall be made an example.

On the matter of allowing a caitiff entrance into the Garden, this would have to be a truly impressive individual. An individual whose admission would be one of obvious acclamation by all the Toreadors. I honestly would only consider a caitiff if there was an Elder willing to sponsor, a guild willing to apprentice, and only if the Councillor that represents them finds them sufficiently impressive to be counted as one of ours.


12. What else should the clan know about you?

I am the Guild Master of the Guild of the Climbing Rose. I renewed the purpose of this guild some years ago when the original founder could not continue as he had risen to Prince of San Francisco.

Since I was elevated as the Guild Master, I have driven the purpose of this Guild to uplift the power and prominence of Clan Toreador through our projects, patronage, and advocacy for our members. Even before becoming the Guild Master, my mission has been, to build upon the supremacy of Clan Toreador.

I am a resolute partisan for our Clan. I know that without our Toreadors the Tower would fall. The stronger and more powerful our Clan, the greater the Tower’s magnificence will become. Some of the other Clans do not take seriously the place Clan Toreador holds within the Camarilla. I have been and will continue to build our Clan’s prominence until we are ascendant; not through military prowess or domination, yet subtly shaping our society until there is no choice for the other clans to recognize our superiority.

Finn O'Reilly, Prince of the Domain of Presque Isle, Maine

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1. What personal qualities or skills do you bring to the position, if selected, that distinguish you from the other nominees?

I am direct and to the point. I am a Elder and a centrist who values tradition and etiquette. As to what will distinguish me from the other candidates, this is an impertinent question. I will not speak ill of other Elders nor place myself before them in this manner. I’ve no intention of strutting myself out like a prize goat. If I am selected, I will demonstrate my quality by action, no more and no less.


2. What is your history among the clan and the Sect? Do you currently hold a position? Would you be willing to step away from it?

My history is straightforward and simple. In the Old Country I served my Clan and the Camarilla by my support, living many centuries dedicated to beauty, art, and the preservation of our society. It stands as my strongest claim that I have no discord or scandal as a blot upon my name. Those whose names are known far and wide tend to do so because of some catastrophic failures. My name is not among this list for good reason. I hold Praxis in the North East Region of the United States. No, I would not step away from this obligation. Why would I? Any distinguished Elder of the Camarilla and our blessed Clan is quite capable of handling any number of duties. Other positions and powers only enhance a Clan Head, providing the tools and leverage required to achieve great things for our Blood. It would be foolish to set aside the very tools, status, and positions which bolster a Clan Head’s ability to function and garner the most for Blood.


3. What are some of your latest works of art or recent performances? If you consider yourself a critic, how have you applied that talent in recent nights?

I am currently working on a collection of poetry inspired by the rather dark, and unsatisfying truths of the modern nights. I call the one below,

“Progress”

An old tree obscured my view.
It was sick, it was twisted,
Its leaves a yellowish hue.

I waited for it to die
But it held on day out
And by and by

So I took an axe to its bough,
Cut it down.
Fallow field did I plough.

Now I stare at an unfettered view.
It is wide, it is empty,
Why is it older than new?

It wasn’t sick, that old tree,
I know that now.
It was only me.


4. If there is a particular piece of art of which you are especially proud, please describe its significance to you. If you consider yourself a critic, describe a work by another that you value most.

None of my past work pleases me in the present. It is the process which holds significance for me. Things that I have written, which please others, do hold purpose, but they are nothing I am proud of once they are finished and set. I take pride in moving forward to the next one.


5. What vision do you have for clan, and how do you plan to support this vision?

This question, at least, pleases me. This is perhaps the only relevant thing I’ve been asked to comment upon. I envision a new gilded age, one wherein the Toreador seat Princes of respect equal in number and power to all the other Clans, wherein our Blood dominate Elysium as Keepers, and where most simply assume that the Harpy is a Toreador. This is as it once was and shall be again. Our artistic endeavors will have become the not only the talk of the Camarilla but the goal in and of itself. The point of our immortality is to preserve and exalt. We can only do that, turning our great talents to higher goals, in a stable night. This is my vision and no doubt the vision of most of our Elders. I would see it done as it has been done in centuries past, by a return to the old ways of our politics so that the true avant-garde can be embraced by our passions.


6. With only a year granted to effect change and have contact with the Justicariate, how will you use your time to further clan agendas Have you had any contact with the Justicariate (either now or in the past) and if so, under what circumstances?

If the Clan Head selected is worth his or her salt, there will be far longer than a mere year to effect change. A year is a but a blink of the eye to those such as we, and the constant feuds and struggles created by playing musical chairs does more damage than good. I will return the power to select the Clan Head to the Elders and in doing so I expect the Clan Head position, whether it remains myself or not, would become stable and far longer in duration. Rule will come from true support and not a weird, maniac vote. By all that is beautiful, even the Kine don’t rotate their leaders this quickly. In regards to the Justicariate, this is another impertinent question. If I have had contact with the Justicariate and it isn’t common knowledge, why do you think I would blather it publically now? Justicars make their own announcements and statements. I will not name drop nor presume to speak for them. It would be vulgar.


7. How will you ensure that you fairly represent all members of our clan within the Camarilla?

Fair? I do not intend to be all things to all people. That is the conceit of Kine politicians. I intend to use all my power and ability to exalt us as a Clan and help move forward the goal of preserving beauty, passion, and talent for eternity. Fairness has nothing to do with this.


8. Your predecessor was an ambitious woman but also, very accessible to the clan. Do you believe that it is appropriate for a clan head to be approached by any Rose?

I have no intention of second guessing another Elder of the Camarilla let alone my own Clan. For my own part, I am a Prince of the Camarilla and understand full well royal prerogative. I exercise it as I see fit. If the previous Clan Head chose to be approachable, then it was appropriate for her. What I do will be appropriate for me. I am a creature of ritual, tradition, pomp and ceremony. It is a given that my approach would be different from Clan Heads that came before me. I will put my own mark on things. I will discuss myself but I will not discuss my countless predecessors. It is vulgar.


9. With respect, the clan head is a misnomer as the real leadership of the clan lies with whoever represents us on the Inner Council, the Toreador Justicar, and the elders collectively. Many elders dislike the notion of a clan head who believes the position grants rights it does not. What do you feel the position does not entitle you to do?

What many Elders like or dislike goes to the core of why I am standing for the position. I would put that power directly back in the hands of our Elders. And by that I mean all of our Toreador Elders. If they found my subsequent actions problematic, they would remove me. In that light, the question you just asked is irrelevant.


10. Do you think, at its core, that there is any difference in electing a Toreador versus Volgirre to the position of clan head? If so, what are the differences that are most of note and should be taken under consideration?

We are all Toreador. The Volgirre are not another Clan or some misbegotten Bloodline. The only thing I take into consideration is whether or not someone can be trusted. If a Toreador of this lineage wisely returned a Prodigal Son or Daughter, it goes without saying that the Justicariate have vetted them. To think otherwise is an insult to the Justicars and the Inner Council. It is a given that Toreador who once led wayward lives suffer for it in Status. This in turn could undercut the Clan Head in his or her struggles to get the most for all Roses. That would bear weight against such a candidate, but it would be balanced against the personal merits and skills of the individual. I suspect the greatest difference, and an ironic one at that, is that a Toreador of that lineage will have been closely investigated by the most powerful Kindred our Sect has to offer. Such people will be watched for centuries. They are thus better investigated than many who never wandered astray.


11. As clan head, what measures would you recommend/support to keep our clan free of Sabbat or Independent infiltrators? Under what circumstances would you allow a caitiff to join our clan, if ever?

Part of this is foolish. If I were to tell you the measures I would implement to deal with the Sabbat, it would only take a few nights for miscreants to pass the tale. There are several measures I would take and support. No, I will not share them here. I invite Elders who consider me a viable candidate to contact me privately on such matters. In regards to the Clanless, it would depend upon why said person is Caitiff. If it were some vagabond whose origin was unknown, but is later proven to be of the Toreador Blood, of course I would consider such a person. Family is family. If it is a Toreador who has been cast out who has somehow made amends for previous sins and proven worthy to bear our name, I would consider it. I would not consider someone not of our Blood for membership in the Clan. While I hold great respect for many Kindred from other Clans, they are still not family. I will keep my friends and allies safe; I will not adopt them for the entire Clan.


12. Finally, what else should the clan know about you?

You should know that I speak my mind clearly and I remain consistent in my views. I am not capricious nor do I have dreams of personal domination. I see our Blood as thrice-blessed and the obligation of the Clan Head to exalt us and aid us in moving forward in power and grace. As a centrist steeped in ritual and tradition, one of my first acts would be to return the selection of Clan Head to the Elders. The Council of Petals was formed to plan our great events, galas, and Balls. Selection of Clan Head is a matter quite different from that. I am an Old World Kindred; I do not believe that newer, faster, and louder always equate to avant-garde. Our Clan has risen like a Phoenix many times in our long, proud history. The height of our artistic expression and political power was always steeped in ritual, style, and class. These were times of stability wherein our Elders managed our politics quietly and effectively behind closed doors and the Clan was able to support and indulge its passions and artists. That is why I seek the position; I desire a return to that kind of approach.

Rafael Hernandez, Harpy of Sonoma County


1. What personal qualities or skills do you bring to the position, if selected, that distinguish you from the other nominees?

To the best of my knowledge, that which distinguishes me from the other nominees is my blood. Which is not to say that we are not all Toreador, for we are, but I am of the Ishtarri, and I do not believe any of the other potential clanheads are.

I don’t think it would help in particular, but this is a somewhat awfully worded question. Why not just ask “What makes you the best candidate?”


2. What is your history among the clan and the Sect? Do you currently hold a position? Would you be willing to step away from it?

The Ishtarri have not been officially recognized as Toreador for terribly long; only since 1985, if I recall properly. That being said, I have myself only been a member of the Camarilla since 2009, making my tenure altogether rather short. I am currently the Master Harpy for the domain of Sonoma, and I do not believe I would vacate this position: there are none in the domain currently who can do it better, though I am grooming suitable replacements.


3. What are some of your latest works of art or recent performances? If you consider yourself a critic, how have you applied that talent in recent nights?

Most recently, I gave a reading of a favored poem of mine from a Canadian, Shane Koyczan, entitled “Help Wanted.” My personal art is dancing however, and it would be hard to discuss the particulars of performances in a way that conveys meaning. I don’t tend to choreograph dances ahead of time, you see; the best dances are always in the moment.


4. If there is a particular piece of art of which you are especially proud, please describe its significance to you. If you consider yourself a critic, describe a work by another that you value most.

The tango.

I mean the form of the tango, to be perfectly clear. I helped popularize the dance in its nascent form in the ballrooms of Buenos Aires, and carried it to Europe and beyond. Having steered the course of modern dancing is tremendously gratifying. ((Approval number available upon request.))


5. What vision do you have for clan, and how do you plan to support this vision?

I would like to eliminate the Council of Petals.

In the last year, it has only been a source of contention and frustration for many of our kinsmen, and I don’t see them as having a positive influence on the whole of the Garden. If any might point out example of how Clan Toreador has benefitted from their leadership over the past year, I would be happy to entertain such a notion, but it does not seem to have had a positive effect. Which brings us to the next question:


6. With only a year granted to effect change and have contact with the Justicariate, how will you use your time to further clan agendas? Have you had any contact with the Justicariate (either now or in the past) and if so, under what circumstances?

What _are_ the agendas of the clan? I know of only a few large scale projects, notably Herr Wagner’s Arena which aims to gird our steel. Other aims, such as enrichment of our artistic talents, should lie solely in the hands of those individual members of the clan who wish to better themselves.

I have had no contact with the Justicariate at all.


7. How will you ensure that you fairly represent all members of our clan within the Camarilla?

Vampires are inherently unfair. We steal from others that we may yet live. We exist in secrecy, concealing our true selves beneath layers of mystery and intrigue. How can anyone promise to be fair? I only promise to be entertaining.


8. Your predecessor was an ambitious woman but also, very accessible to the clan. Do you believe that it is appropriate for a clan head to be approached by any Rose?

Certainly. As the one of the prominent public voices of the clan, the role demands accessibility.


9. With respect, the clan head is a misnomer as the real leadership of the clan lies with whoever represents us on the Inner Council, the Toreador Justicar, and the elders collectively. Many elders dislike the notion of a clan head who believes the position grants rights it does not. What do you feel the position does not entitle you to do?

A Clanhead’s authority includes:

● Administering punishments or rewards to members of her clan

● Advising and informing the Justicars and Clan about recent events

● Speaking for the clan at meetings of the Clanheads

● Holding jurisdiction over members of her clan who have recently visited or dwell within her nation.

● Appointing a Steward and Myrmidon

That is literally what the role is “entitled” to do, and so anything outside of that scope is something the Clanhead is not allowed or authorized to enact. However, the role is also very symbolic. Young Toreador may wish to look to the Clan Head for guidance on a number of fronts, including finding out new sources of passion or desire.


10. Do you think, at its core, that there is any difference in electing a Toreador versus Volgirre to the position of clan head? If so, what are the differences that are most of note and should be taken under consideration?

No. The Volgirre are as accepted as the Ishtarri are, and despite whatever indiscretions the line has had in the past, if they are a member of the Camarilla, then they may serve in the role if elected.


11. As clan head, what measures would you recommend/support to keep our clan free of Sabbat or Independent infiltrators? Under what circumstances would you allow a caitiff to join our clan, if ever?

Screening with Auspex and due diligence on the part of the Primogen of the clan to ensure that that doesn’t happen. As the Primogen are the gatekeepers of recognition in the Camarilla, it is their responsibility to maintain excellence among the Garden; large as it is, it requires many careful eyes and shears.

If Caitiff were of merit to the clan in some particular way, I would be happy to allow entry into the ranks of the Toreador. Why not encourage the talented and skillful to find respite under our banner?


12. Finally, what else should the clan know about you?

I enjoy long strolls on the bottom of the ocean to find the remains of ships I have helped wreck decades prior, and I’m an excellent lover.