2016 Toreador Clan Head Candidates

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Below are statements from each of the candidates for the 2016 Toreador Clan Head election. The candidates are listed in alphabetical order by last name.

If you are an Elder, Prince, or Primogen of the Rose, you are eligible to vote! If you do not know how or where to submit your vote, please contact the proctors of the election: Steward Spencer Stanwood, Archon Alicia Vangelista, and Scarlett Thorne.

Best of luck to all the candidates!

Russell Capet, Elder Seneschal of Ellicott City, Maryland

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1. Tell us a little bit about yourself. What is your history among the clan and the Sect? Do you currently hold a position? If so and if necessary, how would you smoothly transition from your current position to the clan head seat?

My name, as you all know at this point, is Russel Capet. I am an Elder of our great Clan, and an Architect of our beautiful Tower -forever shall she stand. I was present for the origination of our Sect, and fought in the wars which preceded and followed that origination. Over the course of my long political career, I have occupied various roles within our society, acting at times as a Prince, at others as Seneschal, and at still others in that most appropriate role for a Rose; Harpy. I have also made it a priority to act as guide and mentor to many young Kindred, helping them in achieving their fullest potential in service to the Tower.

At this time, I hold the distinct honor of acting as the Seneschal for the Domain of Ellicott City in Maryland, serving her Highness, Prince Romero of Clan Tremere. Should I be elected, I will assist the Prince in selecting an appropriate replacement and continue in my role as an adviser to her Praxis.

2. What personal qualities or skills do you bring to the position that distinguish you from the other nominees?

I am, as mentioned above, an Architect of this Tower. That said, I have been advised that -in recent nights- the need to remind others of one's Status as an Architect is the final refuge of one who lacks any other worthwhile accomplishments to note. Whether or not I agree with this claim is of no importance, but it does spur me to look for other distinguishing elements. Instead, I will point to my close ties with other Clans, and the advantages inherent therein. I have an excellent working relationship with Clan Tremere by dint of my assistance to Prince Romero in claiming and maintaining her Praxis, with Clan Malkavian by long alliance with the Thought Police as well as my holding of Favor from their current Clanhead, with Clan Ventrue thanks to my services in eliminating a rogue Elder from their ranks who had sullied the good name of their entire Clan, with Clan Nosferatu by acting as an occasional adviser and envoy to their newest Clanhead, and with Clan Gangrel as a result of my work in assisting several Elders of their Clan in battle against a Sabbat raid not long ago. Naming me as Clanhead will bring to the Rose an unprecedented level of alliance with all of the great Pillar Clans of our Tower, and will provide a certainty that we will be both respected and taken seriously in our role as the social conscience of the Tower.

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

My own artistic bent is toward the political arena. In the clash and clangor of metaphorical (and occasionally literal) battle do I find myself most at home. My art is not to be observed in some museum, far from the nightly experience of our kind, it is to be seen in the actions I've taken to support and protect our Tower and Clan. I am an artist of the stage and the podium, creating works of political theory and discourse, then employing them to prove their worth.

My most recent success was in the Bloodhunt of Elder Architect Geoffrey Plantagenet. Though there remain many who regret the necessity of the action, there are none who doubt that such necessity existed. When an Architect is Bloodhunted, one typically anticipates outcry, contest, concern. When an Elder of Clan Ventrue is destroyed, one anticipates conflict, inquisition, opposition. When this hunt was announced, there was nothing of the sort. The only contacts I received were those of support and apology. His own House carried out the sentence and offered support and alliance to myself and her Highness as a result. Indeed, to send a message to the entirety of CamNet without seeing foolish and pointless conflict is, in and of itself, art.

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 or patron, describe a work by another that you value most and explain why it holds such importance for you.

Shortly, a document will be released to the entirety of the Tower. Though the specifics of this document are not yet permissible for popular discussion, it is no danger to say that it was a message from the Architects of our Tower directly to the Luminaries who lead our Sect, addressed personally to the Imperator himself. I was one of the principal authors of this document, and the specific points it bears were first put down by my hand. Though I cannot claim sole ownership, I can say with great honor that my work provided the structural backbone of that document.

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

Our Tower triumphs over its adversaries in the same way that Christendom triumphed over the barbarian hordes. We are not victorious solely through martial prowess (though we have that), nor are we victorious through our schemes and plots (though we have those as well). Our Sect is dominant because we are organized. Alliances amongst the Pillar Clans are paramount to the success of our efforts, and should be cultivated wherever possible. I will guide our Clan to increase and improve our connection to the other Pillar Clans of the Tower, and to ensure our place at the social forefront of its membership.

I will support this vision largely by continuing as I have been thus far. Negotiating alliances and working in unison with the other Clans, providing peaceful and amicable resolution to conflicts which may occur, and creating opportunities to showcase the unique talents and capabilities of our Clan.

6. Many programs and events were put into place that extend beyond the end of the current clan head’s term (e.g. cultural attachés, Carnivale, The Arena). If elected, do you plan to continue those programs? If not, do you plan to replace them with programs of your own?

I intend to keep these programs, assuming that the electorate of our Clan wishes them to continue. Upon election, I will speak with the Elders and Authority holders in our Clan to determine the level of interest in the continuation of these programs, as well as any changes they would like to see.

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

A year is a short time in view of our lifespans, but a very long time in terms of politics. As a founding member of our Sect, I have interacted regularly with the Justicariate, and as I indicated above, have very recently had the honor to contact them directly once more. Under all circumstances, my contact with these leaders of our Sect has been in the interest of promoting our goals and protecting our interests. As Clanhead, I will do the same. Specifically, I will identify those points of import to our Clan as they arise, and will engage the necessary parties to resolve them. A good Clanhead should be able to promote our interests without resorting to calling upon the Justicariate for help, and should be able to work directly with the Elders and Clanheads of other Clans to resolve issues and promote agendas of import.

8. How will you ensure that you fairly represent all members of our clan within the Camarilla, including the Ishtarri and Volgirre?

I will appoint advisers from both the Ishtarri and Volgirre bloodlines who will be responsible for directly representing those parties' interests so that I can ensure I am adequately covering their needs. Further, I will respect the opinion of any Elder who brings forth a complaint or concern, no matter the specificities of their Blood within our Clan.

9. The current incumbent is 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 believe that the Clanhead should be accessible to any Rose, but that a member of the Rose, creators and enforcers of social norms as we are, should be able to understand propriety and manners with regards to the position. Contacting the Clanhead is always acceptable, and should be met with results, but simply approaching the holder of that position whenever one wishes would degrade the proper dignity of the station. Elders and those of proper Status should, of course, be able to approach the Clanhead at any time, Ancillae and Neonates who lack appropriate positions or Statuses should approach accompanied by one with the proper authority. This is not simply out of elitism or a desire for separation, but also out of a desire to protect the interests of those Ancillae and Neonates. Having a supportive Elder present ensures that your beliefs are properly heard and represented, rather than risk them being discarded because you may lack the practice or skill necessary to frame your concerns properly.

10. With respect, the term “clan head” is a misnomer, as the real global 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?

All leaders rule by the consent of the governed. The Clanhead is entitled to represent the will of the Clan and to further its aims. The Clanhead is *not* entitled to ignore input from his or her peers or act as a unilateral party.

11. As clan head, what measures would you recommend/support to keep our clan free of Sabbat or Independent infiltrators?

Proper investigation into the histories and backgrounds of our membership, and intense scrutiny on Houses or individuals who have been associated with such individuals in the past. Should the problem prove itself larger than it appears at first glance, I will appoint a team to specifically investigate and prosecute such offenders.

12. Under what circumstances would you allow a caitiff to join our clan, if ever?

It has happened before, that a Caitiff was named member of Clan Toreador. In those instances, it was the result of great sacrifice and effort on the part of the individual in question, and came about only after careful consideration. Under my leadership, it would be a similar requirement. Not only would the individual in question be required to prove themselves beyond a shadow of a doubt as a representative of our beliefs and interests, they would have to convince a minimum of five Elders to support their request. Should the Caitiff in question find the requisite number of sponsors, I will discuss the situation with the Toreador Justicar to determine their willingness to accept that individual and will make a decision based on that discussion.

13. As clan head, do you plan to help officially guide the clan away from the influences of the demonic, either independently or in conjunction with other clans?

Of course. Why is this a question?

14. As clan head, do you plan to help officially guide the clan to combat the ever-increasing incursions of the Sabbat, either independently or in conjunction with other clans?

See 13

15. What is your opinion on Anarchs of the Rose?

This question is a difficult one. There exist members of the Anarch Movement who still look upon Architects with suspicion. The very title suggests that an individual took some degree of action in the events preceding the treaty, and I do not pretend otherwise. I lost many members of my family in those bloody nights, and I cannot pretend that I have forgotten that fact.

That said, I recognize that these nights are not those, and these Kindred are often solid, stable individuals who have sacrificed greatly in conflict with the Sabbat filth. I hold many in great esteem and am more than willing to work with them on similar efforts in the future. Of course, as an Elder of the Tower, I encourage any and all Roses to come under its protection, but I will not attempt to force the issue. So long as the Anarchs of our Clan work with us peacefully and fairly, I will be glad to return the favor.

16. What is your opinion of the Guilds currently in existence?

I think they do a great service to our Clan, and that they showcase the skills and talents therein. What else is there to think?

17. What is your opinion of the Council of Petals?

The Council of Petals is, in some areas, regarded as being comprised of little more than glorified party planners. They're thought of as a body of Kindred who care more about their own preening than about issues of any importance. They're looked down upon by those who believe themselves to be morally superior because of their desire to support function without regards to form.

Replace the term Council of Petals with Toreador, and that sentence remains true. Disregarding the Council thoughtlessly shows one to be thoughtless, and dismissing them as party planners demonstrates a lack of proper regard for the import of parties. The Council of Petals holds the potential to be of great use and import to our Clan. However, that requires that they be taken seriously by the members of their Regions, and afforded the respect which should be inherent to any elected office. We are not the Tremere with their "Retainers" and "Apprentices" of various shapes and numbers, Clan Toreador does not follow an individual because of that Kindred's title, they are led because of the respect they hold for that individual. In order to earn that respect, the Councilors must independently prove their worthiness to hold their positions by guiding the Roses of their Regions to brighter futures.

18. What qualities would you look for in a potential Steward?

Organization, diligence, intelligence, a nice hat.

19. What qualities would you look for in a potential Myrmidon?

Conflict resolution skill, organization, diligence, a hard hat.

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

That is for the Clan to decide. Any and all are welcome to contact me privately or publicly with questions.

Clémence deMontes, Incumbent Toreador Clan Head

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Instead, I will give a summation of my work so far and what I see for the future. I can take some questions as time allows, but probably will not be able to answer any sooner than next week. Why? Because I am actually in the trenches when it comes to cleaning out Infernalism.

Brief update: After coordinating with Archons Alicia and June, we have a method to vet your families. I recommend working with Archon Alicia to keep it in the family, but choose as you like. I had a very promising conversation with the Venetian as well this past weekend, and the Thought Police are talking about a seasonal approach to keeping the clans free of taint. However, I am the most excited for the Tremere's initial successes. Madam Hellenbach was able to assure me that we might have some long lasting weapons. We are on the threshold of great things, so I need to go help with that.

The Wonders of Being Clan Head:

Glitter-lips-kiss-smiley-emoticon-test-4.gif Changed the voting process so we would stop killing each other over eight votes and gave Elders back their voices.
Glitter-lips-kiss-smiley-emoticon-test-4.gif Produced Carnivale 2016 - Because Party Planners are a glory unto themselves. Go team!
Glitter-lips-kiss-smiley-emoticon-test-4.gif Returned the Council of Petals to their original purpose
Glitter-lips-kiss-smiley-emoticon-test-4.gif Had the best hair at any given event
Glitter-lips-kiss-smiley-emoticon-test-4.gif Welcomed the Volgirre into the light of the clan and secured their broader acceptance into Society
Glitter-lips-kiss-smiley-emoticon-test-4.gif Created a cooperative effort to root out Infernalism within our clan and the Tower
Glitter-lips-kiss-smiley-emoticon-test-4.gif Negotiated a number of resolutions between parties and clans in conflict.
Glitter-lips-kiss-smiley-emoticon-test-4.gif Embarked on my campaign of Toreador Unity, which continues to this day.
Glitter-lips-kiss-smiley-emoticon-test-4.gif Wrote all the email ever.
Glitter-lips-kiss-smiley-emoticon-test-4.gif Assisted in the ratification of the Anarch Treaty
Glitter-lips-kiss-smiley-emoticon-test-4.gif Conducted a number of Public Shamings
Glitter-lips-kiss-smiley-emoticon-test-4.gif Avoided getting killed! (knock on wood)

Why I Want to Continue My Service:

Glitter-lips-kiss-smiley-emoticon-test-4.gif The Toreador Memorial. I am still aggravated that an Infernalist got her demony-little hands on this. I intend to rectify it.
Glitter-lips-kiss-smiley-emoticon-test-4.gif To continue my diplomatic work with the Giovanni and the Independent Alliance
Glitter-lips-kiss-smiley-emoticon-test-4.gif I like throwing parties. It is a great way for us to build rapport with the other clans
Glitter-lips-kiss-smiley-emoticon-test-4.gif To maintain my efforts of "Diplomacy Before Death" strategies to ensure the safety of Camarilla Kindred both in body and in spirit
Glitter-lips-kiss-smiley-emoticon-test-4.gif To put more Toreador Princes into power. The most we have ever had has been under my leadership of the Clan. I see a future that is replete with Toreador power and grace.
Glitter-lips-kiss-smiley-emoticon-test-4.gif Candy parades!
Glitter-lips-kiss-smiley-emoticon-test-4.gif To purge the clan of every last Infernalist
Glitter-lips-kiss-smiley-emoticon-test-4.gif Because I love all of you and want to keep doing what I am doing

If you like where the clan is headed and what we have been doing, then simply, that is because of me. If you hate everything and think it is all awful... well, I suppose that is because of me too. So, why split hairs on this? You either want my voluptuous derriere in this seat or you do not.

I would like to remain Clan Head.

I would like your vote.

With all my adoration,
Clé deMontes
Toreador Clan Head (US)

Benedict Van Horn, Ancilla of Sioux Falls, South Dakota

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1. Tell us a little bit about yourself. What is your history among the clan and the Sect? Do you currently hold a position? If so and if necessary, how would you smoothly transition from your current position to the clan head seat?

By a far and wide margin most of my time as a Rose, now 200 or more years (but who is counting?) was spent in the Dark Continent of Africa, which is ruled in a much different manner than the rest of the civilsed world.  I am recently moved to the United States and am recognised as an Ancilla - though my age might have qualified me as an Elder I am happy to abide my time in the Camarilla for that.

2. What personal qualities or skills do you bring to the position that distinguish you from the other nominees? Without knowing most of them by name - I am better with faces - it is hard to create comparisons.  My strengths lie in a command of conversational skills, a keen eye for reading someone's motivations and, and I say this in all due humility, I am easily one of the best vocalists, living or undead, in the world.  I have a capacity for critique and I have had many students, I am a performer, able to steal the stage when the Muse or other needs see fit to demand this of me.

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

Every night is a performance, for all the world is a stage, as the saying goes.  But my earnest efforts to delight those around me with my singing have been met with warm applause.  I do not write music myself, and avoid being recorded as much as possible - call me old fashioned - so I cannot provide such, but would be happy to come visit to sing for who would request and be a patron for such.

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 or patron, describe a work by another that you value most and explain why it holds such importance for you.

My art is fleeting, vibrations on the wind which no walls, no pages and no machine crafted by human hand can catch.  It lies first in the preparation, next in anticipation and lastly in reflection.

One of my more precious performances was for a vampire who would be called a Prince in the West, but chose another title.  Normally a stoic Nosferatu, I had Him gently swaying, barely perceptable except to those with a Rose's eyes to see, to a lullaby of His youth and tribe.  Soon after I departed the stage a series of vulgar faux pas came to pass, and this Nosferatu was about to pass judgement when an upstart thought to create a void or alteration in His memory - and his attempt would have worked!

...but for the light humming of the song I had just sung moments before, diving deeply into His memory to unlock the slight from the oubliette created by the idiot who soon found out the sort of revenge an ancient creature like my liege could concoct on short, bloody notice.

The Nosferatu bade me never sing that sing in His presence again.

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

As I stated in a letter to my sponsor, I would rather see the Clan of Toreador being the story being written upon the page, and not just the wonderful illumination and delicate font.  So far, at best, I have seen that our Clan has been at the beck and call of others, or ornaments on others' arms.  We can, and should, have a turn in the center ring, the spotlight, the song being sung.

Not nearly enough have I seen or heard of a Salon, Recital or Exhibition be centrally placed in an event of substantial consequence.  This is how my term as Clanhead would be remembered, as a year of delights and enlightenment for the Tower, but more on that later.

6. Many programs and events were put into place that extend beyond the end of the current clan head?s term (e.g. cultural attachés, Carnivale, The Arena). If elected, do you plan to continue those programs? If not, do you plan to replace them with programs of your own?

I see no need to undo what has been set in motion at this time.

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

I have no contact with the Justicariate, for now.  I would hope merely to be a vessel for the will of the Clan from above and below.

8. How will you ensure that you fairly represent all members of our clan within the Camarilla, including the Ishtarri and Volgirre?

I am Ishtarri myself!  This should make one part of the conundrum simple. As for the Volgirre, well, it'd be more a matter of *if* they want their will to be known than how.  Should they wish something to be done, I am certain it would be presented.  No need to have representatives of all the lines.

9. The current incumbent is 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 was raised (thank you, Mother) to respect your Elders.  Respect most often comes in keeping your mouth shut.  If you have not earned the right to speak then this aspect of your being speaks for you.

10. With respect, the term "clan head" is a misnomer, as the real global 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?

Destabilize the Clan by trimming the thorns for the rightful Roses we are, for one.  Art and philosophy both require tradition, either to reflect upon or to rebel against.  Deviating too far from that course is folly.

11. As clan head, what measures would you recommend/support to keep our clan free of Sabbat or Independent infiltrators?

Each Toreador is a Rose, but is also a gardener.  I would give these custodians the means to root out the weeds from their gardens. Empowerment, rather than dictation.

12. Under what circumstances would you allow a caitiff to join our clan, if ever?

Pish, tosh.

13. As clan head, do you plan to help officially guide the clan away from the influences of the demonic, either independently or in conjunction with other clans?

The Devil cannot entice a soul filled with gladness.  All the tales I know of those who have given to the powers of Hell are filled with those who have a desire for something they perceive out of their reach.  The best defense is to enlighten - to remove their cares or to guide them along a proper path.

Failing that, no Devil in the fallen host can compare to the grace of our Clan, and our lashes and barbs are cruel indeed.  What we cannot win through the light, we reclaim through the crushing dark.

Of course, other the vigilance of the other Clans is welcome as well!

14. As clan head, do you plan to help officially guide the clan to combat the ever-increasing incursions of the Sabbat, either independently or in conjunction with other clans?

This is a means of making the story our own!  As I said above, we can offer both the succor of reflection and delight *and* swift, graceful punishment in ways no other Clan of the Tower can offer.  The mainstream Clan's capacity is the stuff of legends, and the Volgierre and Ishtarri are both becoming known as lines of fierce capacity.  We have a place in the front lines just as well as the Brujah, Gangrel and Tremere.

15. What is your opinion on Anarchs of the Rose?

The starving artist is seldom remembered.  Find a good patron if you truly wish to bloom.

16. What is your opinion of the Guilds currently in existence?

Each a bouquet with a unique perfume.  Collectively, and independently, exquisite.

17. What is your opinion of the Council of Petals?

The best and brightest.  Why this has been forgotten is beyond me.

18. What qualities would you look for in a potential Steward?

- Organizational skills to provide the Clan with the most timely access to their Clanhead. - Be willing to provide a response when one from the Clanhead is not needed - for instance, I hate to repeat myself. - The cunning to know when I am to be disturbed or left to rest. - The courage to be able to ignore that cunning once in a while.

19. What qualities would you look for in a potential Myrmidon?

- The subtlety, grace and composure of lunargent through a falling feather. - The strident, clarion power of a Wagner overture.

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

Whatever they would ask. ---