Dominions compose a permanent rank between the Seraphim and the rest of the Black Hand members. The Dominions are the senior executive officers, the mission commanders who oversee anything from a small operation involving only a single Kamut to a full-scale siege.
The Dominions are proven leaders, usually with a century or more of experience, and have demonstrated a good sense of strategy, the ability to improvise successfully when plans fail, the capacity to lead and inspire those under their command, and of course exceptional combat abilities. To be raised to the rank of Dominion is considered a high honor, a recognition of decades – if not centuries – of stalwart and selfless service to the Black Hand and the Sabbat.
Most Dominions do not serve under the command of a particular Seraph, but obey the orders given by the council as a whole, which allows for flexibility in assignment, and also theoretically prevents any one Seraph from developing his own personal officer corps. When the necessary number of Seraphim approve a mission, one Seraph takes ultimate responsibility for overseeing its completion, and appoints one or more Dominions to carry it out according to their particular specialties or backgrounds.
In practice, each Seraph has his own opinion of which Dominion is right for a given job, and tends to use the same list of proven Dominions from one mission to the next. Some Dominions have been selected by different Seraphim for different missions, though the choice may be as motivated by the Seraph's own political agenda (or even clan bias) as an honest assessment of the Dominion's abilities as a leader in the field.
A dominion may lead a kamut on a particular assignment, captain a permanent column, or command a Watch. He may represent the Black Hand as an emissary to the Sabbat leadership, be assigned to a particular Sabbat leader as an military advisor, or serve as an aide or second to one of the Seraphim.
Dominions oversee the recruitment, training, and initiation of new Black Hand members, and serve as the messengers and intermediaries between the Council of Seraphim and the membership at large. A Dominion may be sent with a kamut of advisors to provide strategic advice and support to a Sabbat siege, or given an assignment that he must accomplish alone. More than anything, a Dominion is a highly effective operative in her own right, who can be trusted to carry out an assignment to completion no matter what obstacles stand in her way.
Dominions generally can select any Black Hand member they want for their kamut; they sometimes compete with each other over particularly talented operatives. There is also some status involved among the membership as to which Dominions they have served under, based partly on the Dominion's personalities, rumors of their relationships with the Seraphim, or Sabbat leaders and their leadership abilities in the field.
Impressing the right Dominion can take a Black Hand operative far, and lead to more plum assignments, greater responsibilities and possibly even advancement to the rank of Dominion. Technically, an operative does not have to accept a call to join a mission, but few refuse. Turning down a selection can make the operative look less than totally dedicated to the subsect's cause, afraid of possible risk, or simply rebellious and disloyal – none of which bode well for a member's future existence, much less status in the Hand.
Becoming a DominionEdit
Dominion is a rank of honor, not a job title. While many Dominions still belong to Sabbat packs – in fact, those who do often lead them as ducti – some others do not, dedicating all their nights to the Black Hand.
A Black Hand operative is raised to the rank of Dominion by the recommendation of other Dominions and the approval of the Seraphim. A sizeable number of the Dominions have been freshly promoted in the wake of the Assamite desertion, and the attrition from the East Coast war or the fall of New York. However, none are neonates by any means, and all are eager to prove themselves worthy of their new rank and responsibilities.
- Tariq the Silent, Assamite antitribu, Djuhah's former Dominion and Red List target.
- Ingram Frizer, Nosferatu Dominion and shakar. Codename "Falstaff"
- Henri Lavenant, Lasombra Dominion and shakar. Codename "Laocoun"
- Jafar, Assamite Dominion and shakar
- Juleidah, Dominion of the Eastern Hand