The Gerousia is an institution created by the Ventrue vampires to organize themselves and regulate clan policy. They effectively adjudicates Ventrue concerns within the city's territory, overseeing Ventrue business and political interests within a domain. One joins the council only by invitation and majority approval by the sitting members. Once a Ventrue ascends to the Gerousia's ranks, he cannot be removed except under the most dire of circumstances (as determined by the clan Ephorate).
The Board is officially headed by the Praetor, who might be a Prince or the highest-ranking Camarilla title-holder. It is the Praetor who brings issues before the rest of the Board and hosts their meetings. Below the Praetors are the Aediles, who aid the Council and Praetor just as supervisors assist managers in a business. By their turn, the Questors act as assistants for their elders or otherwise experienced Ventrue. Below that rank lie the common Ventrue, without a formal title or useful experience to the Clan, they are called Eiren.
This organizational structure leads not only to managing funds or taking positions, but also monitoring the individual Ventrue's investments and their activities. As a general rule, Ventrue do not compete directly with one another for the same contacts and resources. The Gerousia acts as arbiter of any local conflicts of interest that might arise. If it so chooses, the council might demand that a clan member cease his or her efforts in a particular area, and it can enforce the demand as it sees fit.
The Gerousia holds two types of meetings: clanwide meetings regularly scheduled to discuss new and old business, hear complaints and reports, and to pass down messages, edicts, or announcements from the upper reaches of clan hierarchy. They also hold private meetings on an irregular basis as needed.
Despite the honor and dignitas associated with serving on the Gerousia, the council has very little formal power. It cannot order Ventrue within the city to do anything. Rather, it can, but it has no capacity to directly punish those who disobey. Indirect punishment abound, however.
Without the Board's protection, other Ventrue can and will assault the anathema Kindred's financial and political holdings. For the most part, though, individual Ventrue are loath to turn to the Board, because doing so implies that they are incapable of asserting their own dominance.