- For the sourcebook, see Road of Kings (book).
Via Regalis, commonly called the Road of Kings, is one of the major Roads that Cainites may choose to follow in Vampire: The Dark Ages and Dark Ages: Vampire. Followers of Via Regalis control their Beast by ruling over others. Mortals are inferior, promises will be fulfilled, and power is everything. Those who follow the Road of Kings are known as Scions.
Like the followers of Via Caeli, the Kindred who follow Via Regalis see their Road stemming directly from the lead of Caine. It is considered by many to be the first true Road. Caine was said to declare himself and his childer superior to the mortals, and indeed, he ruled over the greatest city of the age, the kindred-based Enoch. However, Caine was adamant that Cainites were not to be worshipped by mortals; in return for the protection and guidance of himself and his childer, mortals would willingly serve the Kindred. His childer ignored his words and were risen to god-status by the mortals; in turn, God destroyed Enoch with the flood.
After Caine scattered his childer following the destruction of the Second City, one, Veddhartha, decided to heed his sire's words. He began organizing and laying down the philosophies that would eventually become the Road of Kings in its Dark Ages form. In recognition, many view Veddhartha as the proper founder of Via Regalis.
Rules and Practices
Many Cainites consider themselves superior to humanity, but none so much as the Scions. However, while some Cainites view humans as playthings or objects to be used and abused, many followers of Via Regalis recognize that without humans, there is nothing to rule over. With exceptions, Scions do their best to be fair and just to humans so that their flocks remain happy and content under their rule. To upset humans without justification is to not only create chaos, but to show weakness to the Beast.
Those who wish to join Via Regalis are usually fostered, and all are ritually initiated in some manner. The Scions also have more teachers and mentors in the other roads, to constantly improve and add to the knowledge of the Road's followers. The hierarchy of the Road itself is distinctly-ranked, with specific tasks expected of those at every level. However, Scions are not all seriousness and study; they are also quite social and enjoy the occasional party or festival as much as the next socially-adept Cainite.
Within Via Regalis are several orders of knights, both Cainite and mortal, guilds, merchant houses, and even the occasional cult. They also have strong influence in the church and gentry.
The four optional Paths of Via Regalis are:
- Via Equitum ("Path of Chivalry") - Those who follow this Path believe that as superior beings, they are beholden to defend those lesser than them, both Cainite and human. These Scions believe most strongly in the concepts of duty and honor.
- Via Mercator ("Path of the Merchant") - To these Scions, power and money go hand-in-hand; therefore, they spend much of their time acquiring wealth and using to subtly affect things behind the scenes. However, they also treasure their own reputations, and will go to great lengths to make sure it is a positive one.
- Via Tyrannus ("Path of the Tyrant") - Although many have a reputation as fierce, controlling, and power-hungry, the Scions of Via Tyrannus are also among the more honor-bound of Via Regalis. If one of them has an obligation to you it will be kept, regardless of the cost. They are the most prone to ruling through fear than appeal, however.
- Via Consuasor ("Path of the Vizier") - The Scions on this Path are content to advise rather than directly rule, but that does not make them any less adept at wielding power than the others on the Road of Kings. In fact, these Scions are among the best at subtle manipulations and noticing details that might threaten the influence of those in charge.
V20 Dark Ages adds two additional Paths that draw from oriental sources of authority: The Path of Daena, which orientates itself at Zoroastrian doctrines about justice and hierarchy, and the Path of Devaraja, an southeast-asian belief that postulates that the ruler is himself a divine being.
Hierarchy of Sins
|Via Regalis ("Road of Kings")|
|10||Neglecting your duty.||Those who fail in their responsibilities often lose them|
|9||Treating a peer with disrespect.||A leader earns respect by acting respectfully|
|8||Treating an inferior as an equal.||Everyone should know their place, including you|
|7||Breaking your word to a peer.||Trust is earned by being trustworthy|
|6||Behaving shamefully before your peers.||Honor and reputation are everything|
|5||Showing weakness in front your inferiors.||A leader must be seen as strong|
|4||Failing to answer a challenge to your honor.||Honor must be maintained; challenges can not go unanswered|
|3||Treating a superior with disrespect.||Superiors must be given the respect they are due|
|2||Breaking your word to your superiors.||Your word is your bond, if your word is worthless, then so are you|
|1||Breaking a sworn oath.||Oaths of fealty hold the world together|