- archon: A high official, a ruler; One of the nine principal magistrates of ancient Athens; An authoritative figure, a leader
Archons are almost always selected by their Justicar at the beginning of the Justicar's term and are usually dismissed when their Justicar is replaced. Individuals may be chosen to become an Archon for a variety of services ranging from combat prowess, tactics, investigative, or espionage capabilities. They are often chosen from the ranks of the servires who have proven themselves as valuable aides-de-camp among senior Archons.
Archons themselves are usually quite skilled in their own right, and as envoys of their Justicar's will, carry a lot of political clout. However, Archons do not always act openly, and may simply divert resources and information to certain Kindred from behind the scenes. In fact, it is a large embarrassment to a city's Prince for an Archon to be dispatched to help maintain order. Given the traditionally untrustworthy nature of vampiric society, Archons usually have their loyalty ensured artificially through the blood bond.
Though they acted as Archons for the Founders, the four pioneer Kindred that took the position were not under Blood Oath to their respective Justicars – unlike many in modern times. Hounded by more powerful Cainites during the first nights of their new unlives, they learned of the power of the Blood Bond and opted to bond to one another through sharing their blood. Each Archon was under the Blood Oath to another, who had in turn sworn the oath to yet another. The bonds that existed within this coterie were its greatest secrets, yet also a source of strength it could depend upon in times of crisis.
The first Archons were:
Over the years a number of different ranks and branches have formed among archons:
- Praetors are notable archons who have been given authority over their peers. The position normally only lasts as long as a given assignment, but some continue to use the title with pride.
- Alastors are those who hunt individuals on the Red List and answer directly to the Inner Circle. They are given a mark indicating their exemption from the laws and persecution of a local city, though few would recognize it as the alastors are technically a secret organization.
- Dogcatchers is an informal title for archons that have made a habit of taking on werewolves and coming out of the exchange victorious. They possess a far greater knowledge of werewolf abilities, habits, and societies than other vampires.
- Doppelgangers are deep-cover archons who study and replace an individual in order to spy on their peers. While such individuals may be sent to spy on the Sabbat or Independent Clans, such assignments are often considered too dangerous. Instead, doppelgangers are typically used for internal security.
- E Division is a branch of archons devoted to investigating matters of the occult and unknown phenomena that is beyond the experience of most Kindred.
- Josians are dedicated to uprooting Gehenna cults while also secretly investigating discovered Noddist lore for any evidence that Gehenna may be a real danger.
- Quaesitors are almost entirely Tremere archons that tend to all the sect's sorcerous needs, whether its combating Sabbat koldun, mages, or hunting rogue Tremere.
- Lilika Kairos
- Gilbert d'Harfleur
- Father Jean-Marc d'Harfleur
- Federico DiPadua
- Anna Petrova
- Rüdiger Kleiss
- Theo Bell
- Vidal Jarbeaux