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The Courts of Love were a feudal institution during the Dark Ages and the War of Princes. It was backed mainly by Toreador and centered around western France.

OverviewEdit

The Courts of Love began as a social movement among Toreador of Western Europe taken with the emerging concepts of chivalry in its most poetic expressions and quickly became one of the gathering points for Cainites with interests in knighthood, where those who proved their worth through skill at arms and wit gained status and followers.

The basic ideal of courtly love is that a knight holds his lady as the pinnacle of virtue and beauty and does great deeds in her name, all in return for a smile, a praise or a gentle glance – an experience between erotic desire and spiritual attainment that held much sway among Cainites. Hence, while the Courts of Love rarely issue direct commands to local princes, a queen or king has great persuasive authority.

When the Courts of Love were held, four thrones would be placed on a raised dais and four unbreathing monarchs sat upon them hearing the case being laid before their august judgment. These three women and one man were among the most powerful Cainites in France. The Queens of the Courts of Love where Isouda de Blaise, Queen of Blois, elegant in manner and wise in the ways of the Cainite heart and mind; Hélène la Juste, Queen of Champagne, afire with passion that often outstripped her wisdom; Etienne de Poitiers, King of Poitou, witty, charming, conniving; and Queen Salianna, the Matriarch of the Courts of Love.

The Courts of Love came to the attention of the various princes of France when they discovered that they were a great tool to secure one's domains and advancing one's agenda. Soon enough, that advantage became an outright requirement for those seeking power, and the Courts of Love had become the major axis for intrigue and strife among French vampires. They grew so powerful that they were competitors to the German Ventrue and the Iberian Lasombra.

With the departure of Esclarmonde during the Albigensian Crusade, the Courts of Love were faced with a crisis and eventually fell during the witch-hunts of the Inquisition.

ReferencesEdit

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