Harsh Light of Day
AKA "Living the Lie"
The Masquerade may have fallen, but that doesn't mean the Kindred have put all their cards on the table. Secrecy is as much in their nature as bloodlust, and there are many aspects of their nature that the Kindred have deemed too problematic for most people (or anyone) to know. Below are the guidelines for maintaining the Peace, which the Kindred Nation enforces behind closed doors as ruthlessly as the Masquerade ever was. [[OOC note: Unlike almost everything else on this site, which pertains specifically to Canada, the terms of the Peace are worldwide… or at least present in every nation where the existence of Kindred has not provoked some sort of open conflict.]]
1. The Beast does not exist.
The most important point by far, the Kindred keep the existence of the Beast a closely guarded secret, reasoning that even the most accepting of humans would consider them too dangerous to be around if they knew of it. Speaking of the Beast to any non-Kindred is strictly forbidden, the only exception being ghouls who will never again rejoin mortal society (and thus become unbound to their domitors). It is known that Kindred are predatory, sometimes lose control of their emotions, or become irritable when hungry. These are reasonable problems that most humans can relate to. Descending into an unreasoning killing frenzy given the right stimulus? Not so much. It is stressed that all Kindred must be well in control of themselves when going out amongst mortals. Any frenzy in public will be treated by the Kindred Nation as a freak accident or a psychotic break, and the absolute best response the perpetrator can hope for is to be put in torpor until the humans forget their face. Frenzy can be controlled, at least for a short time, and any Kindred who finds themselves falling to the Beast around mortals is responsible for doing their very utmost to minimize the damage.
2. The Embrace is difficult, painful, and prone to failure.
It's easy to make a new vampire, relatively speaking. All you need is a willing Kindred, a fresh corpse, and some blood. Really, if the Kindred wanted to, they could multiply exponentially at a fairly rapid rate. This is not a scenario they want the humans to contemplate. Humanity feels safest when they outnumber everything else, and the Kindred want the mortals to feel safe. They also don't want to be inundated with demands for immortality from every human who's afraid to die (ie, most of them). So, the Kindred have spread a common lie about the Embrace: namely that it is a lengthy, excruciating procedure that commonly fails. Many people would be willing to become undead for a chance at living forever. Not so many if they believe that the most likely outcome is a painful (and permanent) death.
3. Kindred cannot read or control (human) minds.
The full extent of Kindred Disciplines is known to certain government officials and military higher-ups. In fact, peddling these talents to the various world governments is part of how the Kindred negotiated acceptance in the first place. However, it was deemed too risky to go public with these abilities, lest paranoia and fear get out of control. Therefore, the mental and emotional powers of the Kindred have been extremely downplayed in the media, put somewhere between hypnotism and a Jedi mind trick: "Sure, a vampire might be able to nudge you into doing something, but they have to concentrate really hard, and it only works on the weak-minded."
As a general guideline, Kindred are told to not discuss the full extent of their manipulative powers with any human unless they have the proper clearance. In Canada, this means agents of OHKR, ghouls, and high-level government officials.
The exception to this is Animalism. Humans seem to find the influence Kindred have over beasts both entertaining and reassuring- seeing a connection with animals as a sign of common ground.
4. We're all equal.
It's very important that the humans don't think that Kindred perceive them as merely food, and that they see vampires as 'people with a condition', rather than 'monsters'. The buzzword of the modern night is 'symbiosis': Yes, vampires need human blood to sustain themselves, but think about all they can do for humans! Vitae can stave of disease and heal wounds, Kindred police officers and soldiers can protect you, and maybe by studying the Kindred condition, illness and even death will become a thing of the past! Lines like that are common now. Thus, there's been a gag order on vampires referring to humans as 'kine', 'cattle', 'snacks' or any other derogatory term. In mixed company at least. Call them whatever you want behind closed doors, but when the mortals are watching, we're all friends here!
5. We're just like you.
Vampires are still vampires. They are going to plot, scheme, betray each other for power, fight over blood and murder one another in the dark. The Kindred leadership recognizes this, and wouldn't dream of trying to change it. After all, lying, murder and betrayal is probably how they got to be the 'leadership' in the first place. It is important, though, that humans don't see it. The Kindred must present a united and pleasant front whenever possible, so the knives only come out when the lights are off and the mortals aren't watching anymore. It's fine to disagree or not like each other in public, but save the nasty business for behind closed doors. In Canada, this means the Red Districts. Furthermore, detailed discussion of the covenants is discouraged. The public is aware that there are different 'types' of vampires, and clan names are even known to humans in some more accepting countries (such as Canada), and it's know that Kindred have differing political views. What is not known, however, is that some Kindred perform blood-soaked rituals while praying to dead gods or dissect their own failed flesh-monsters as a part of nightly life. Or that they often kill each other over whether praying is better than dissection, for example. The Kindred are doing their best to present themselves as normal people with an abnormal condition, but many aspects of Kindred unlife are either horrific, beyond rational explanation, or both. Most deeper aspects of Kindred culture, especially the more mystical ones, are not even known to the various government leaders with whom they deal with directly.