The Concord of Ashes
(modified from Constantinople by Night, p. 63)
The status background listed in Dark Ages Vampire rulebook (p. 157) represents a more Western European feel to Cainite society. In the Byzantine empire and parts further east, the political hierarchies of the clans becomes increasingly alien to the western observer. It is still quite common to find a prince, or somebody with similar authority but a different title, at the top of the political structure in any given city or region. However, this is not exclusively the case.
Centuries ago, when the power of New Rome was at its apex during the reign of Justinian, the Trinity families decided to extend the aegis of the Dream beyond the walls of Constantinople herself. With their new found authority, they granted charters to numerous ambitious and powerful elders throughout the far flung reaches of the empire.
Gangrel warlords arose in the Balkans, the southern valleys of the Transylvanian Alps and across Anatolia and the shores of Asia Minor. Brujah and Toreador despots and potentates were recognised in Greece and the islands of the Aegean. Lasombra princes claimed parts of Thrace, Syria, Egypt, North Africa and, of course, Italy. And Ventrue progeny of the Antonians claimed most of the cities in the interior of the empire. Many of these gains were lost within a few mortal generations, particularly with the rise of Islam in the East. Many of the cities of the Byzantine empire still recognise the authority of the Trinity however, and many more remember the brief glimpse of a united and visionary Cainite legacy.
Byzantine status, as opposed to that of regular status, recognises the place of a Cainite in this greater legacy that almost was. The influence of this particular brand of status is most keenly felt within the walls of Constantinople itself, where it effectively replaces regular status altogether (except in the Latin Quarter). Byzantine Status can be, and frequently is, possessed alongside regular Status. A rare Cainite might even have Byzantine status and regular (Latin) Status within Constantinople itself.
Cities such as Nicaea, Arcadiopolis and Chalcedon all honour their loyalties to the Trinity families. Others such as Thessalonica, Nikopolis, Nicomedia and Adrianople tend to be more opportunistic in their loyalties, but maintain their ties readily enough. Others cities, whether through blatant disloyalty, the passage of time, erosion of influence or the vicissitudes of mortal politics, have only vestigial traces of loyalty to the Trinity and the Dream. In these cities, such as Trebizond, Alexandria, Cairo, Limasol, Iraklion, Corinth, and Athens, a Cainite possessed of Byzantine status will receive a polite nod but nothing further.
- Level One: You are a minor member of a Scion family or a prominent provincial neonate. Example: Sir Conrad de Monreal, Ioannes, Gallasyn
- Level Two: You are a known member of a Scion family or a minor member of a Trinity family. Alternatively you might be a prominent ancilla of the provincial families. Example: Procet, Lady Katerina, Lucien, Anna Szgorina, Peter the Humble, Galatea, Verpus Sauzezh
- Level Three: You are a prominent member of a Scion family, a known or relatively ineffectual member of a Trinity family, or a respected elder or minor prince of the provincial families. Examples: Belisarius, Alexia Theusa, Gregory the Wondermaker, Paul Bathalos, Sarah the Chaste, Urbien, Myca Vykos
- Level Four: You are a celebrated member of a strong Scion family, a leader of a weak or poorly respected one, or a prominent member of a Trinity family. Alternatively you might be an unduly powerful elder or prince of a provincial family. Examples: Narses, Malachite, Natalya Syvatoslav, Baron Thomas Feroux, Sarrasine, Pakourianis the Dove, Prince Marcus Licinius of Adrianople
- Level Five: You are a Scion family leader or a celebrated member of a Trinity Family. Examples: Anna Comnena, Nicepherus, Baron Thomas Feroux, Khay’tall, Anthemios of Tralles, Gregorius Dimities
- Level Six: You are a Trinity family leader. Examples: Petronius, Gesu, Symeon & Caius.
- Level Seven: You are one of the legendary founders of the Dream. Examples: Michael the Patriarch, the Dracon.