Monomacy is the method for handling grevances among vampires, (specially Sabbat vampires in the modern nights). It allows vampires to challenge each other in duels to settle their differences. The duel is usually fought to Final Death. Thus, Monomacy in the Sabbat is a way of maintaining strong leadership in the sect.
It is inevitable that, among vampires as headstrong and violent as those of the Sabbat, differences will occur. While vast majority of these conflicts are handled with all civility and reason a Sabbat can muster, some grievances are so deep as to warrant a more serious solution. When two (or more) Sabbat are unable to come to a resolution, the ritus of Monomacy serves to settle things.
To the uninitiated observer, Monomacy looks like a simply duel to the death. In truth it is a good deal more. Monomacy serves the Sabbat as the ultimate evolutionary tool: by culling their ranks of those who are incompetent, the sect grows stronger.
Monomacy is accorded a sacrosanct status amoung the vampires of the Sabbat, who recognize that without strong leaders, their struggle against the Antediluvians amounts to nothing. Additionally, the winner of the Monomacy typically Diablerizes the loser.
Rules of Engagement
Monomacy is usually practiced by only ranking members of packs. Many young Sabbat are too violent and hotheaded to recognize the gravity of ritual combat to the death, and would resort to it everytime a packmate took blood from a vessel they decided they liked. As such, this ritus is conducted by the pack priest, to whom the challenge is issued simultaneously with the challenge to the rival.
The Pack Priest then decides whether or not the grudge is worth Monomacy, and whether or not she chooses to preside over the ritual.
Should the priest deem the cause worthy, the challenged vampire still may decline. In theory, there is nothing wrong with declining a challenge, but unless the challenger is of such little consequence as to be below the challengee’s notice, declining usually involves a great loss of face. ( and perhaps an unsanctioned duel afterwards). If those who pursue the Monomacy hail from different packs, it may be neccessary to involve a neutral third party, such as another pack’s priest or even the bishop or archbishop.
Many Sabbat issues are resolved this way, and to the victor usually go the spoils. Pack members who wish to challenge their Ductus position, Sabbat who take umbrage with their Bishop’s leadership and rival pack priests with claims to each other’s established areas of influence have all used Monomacy to settle their disputes.
The challenger decides time and location of the duel.
The challenged decides whether or not weapons will be used and what they will be, as well as any other details (until first blood instead of Final Death, no disciplines, participants must wear blindfolds, participants must ride the way of frenzy during the duel, etc…).
The priest administering the ritus is an official – the duel begins and ends on his word, and it may be aborted at any time. It is even within her power to declare a Monomacy null and void after the fact, but the priest who does this to favor his own candidate is looked upon with extreme displeasure by other Sabbat.
Arena and Weapons
The Actual practice of Monomacy varies widely – no formal code exists as to the choice of weapons, locations or even terms of victory. Most often, Monomacy duels are fought to Final Death in some ridiculously dangerous or highly inaccessible place like an iron factory or atop a skyscraper.
Whether or not the vampires may use weapons, Disciplines or other assets is typically the decision of the challeged. On the priest’s invocation of the ritus, the combat begins, and the last vampire standing is declared the winner, usually followed by other ritae and celebration.
As Monomacy is an autoritas ritae, formal weapons such as swords and daggers are usually used (if any ); modern weapons, particularily firearms, are considered inelegant, clumsy and vulgar.
Not every Monomacy is this straightforward, however. Several Lasombra disputes have been settled on life sized chess boards with living “pieces”. Another rivalry – involved shooting each others ghouls until one competitor had none left standing.