The Tremere Code marks the clan as unique among Cainites; no other group adheres to a unified set of rules that delineate acceptable behavior. No compelling magic binds any Tremere to the oath, unless some stern Regent actively decides to enforce it; instead, the code is a de facto listing of what constitutes acceptable behavior for a member of the august House of Tremere. The code elaborates on what is expected of Tremere, and what activities would earn disfavor.
Because the code is simply a normal oath, few Tremere follow it to the letter. Indeed, substantial advantages can be gained by flexibly "interpreting" the code; often, with the rule of success, such interpretations may be excused on an individual basis if the results seem promising. However, the code also serves as justification should a Tremere elder feel the need to come down with harsh force upon a lesser, and thus lets the elder give the clan a publicly acceptable face to his vendetta.
In addition to the code itself, most ranking Tremere (those who manage to rise to the third circle of apprenticeship and beyond) slowly unearth the so-called Peripheral Code — the exceptions, assumptions, and loopholes. While a neonate may wither under the weight of the code, a canny regent probably knows at least one or two exceptions to usual procedure.
The following section reproduces the proper oath as spoken by a neonate upon her Embrace into clan Tremere. This incarnation of the oath is the most common, believed to date back to the middle of the 15th century, supposedly inscribed through thaumaturgical ritual as it passed the lips of Tremere himself.
Variations of the oath do exist, whether as a result of imprecise translations from primary sources, the desires of less than scrupulous sires or even fashions of the time. Indeed, one cabal of Tremere even adapted the motto of the French Republic as their oath at the very end of the 18th century — but such was deemed inappropriately liberal by the French pontifex at the time.
|“|| I, [initiate's name], hereby swear my everlasting loyalty to House and Clan Tremere and all its members. I am of their blood, and they are of mine. We share our lives, our goals and our achievements. I shall obey those the House sees fit to name my superiors, and treat my inferiors with all the respect and care they earn for themselves.
I will not deprive nor attempt to deprive any member of House and Clan Tremere of his magical power. To do so would be to act against the strength of our House. I will not slay nor attempt to slay any member of the House and Clan except in self-defense, or when a magus has been ruled outlaw by a properly constituted tribunal. If a magus has been ruled an outlaw, I shall bend all efforts to bring such magus to justice.
I will abide by all decisions of the tribunals, and respectfully honor the wishes of the Inner Council of Seven and the wishes of my superiors. The tribunals shall be bound by the spirit of the Code of Tremere, as supplemented by the Peripheral Code and interpreted by a properly constituted body of magi. I have the right to appeal a decision to a higher tribunal, if they should agree to hear my case.
I will not endanger House and Clan Tremere through my actions. Nor will I interfere with the affairs of mundanes in any way that brings ruin upon my House and Clan. I will not, when dealing with devils, or others, in any way bring danger to the clan, nor will I disturb the faeries in any way that should cause them to take their vengeance on the House and Clan. I also swear to uphold the values and goals of the Camarilla, and I will maintain the Masquerade. Insofar as these goals may conflict with my goals, I will not pursue my own ends in any way that would endanger the Masquerade. The strength of the House and Clan Tremere depends on the strength of the Masquerade.
I will not use magic to scry upon members of the House and Clan Tremere, nor shall I use it to peer into their affairs. It is expressly forbidden.
I will train only apprentices who will swear to this code, and should any of them turn against the House and Clan, I shall be the first to strike them down and bring them to justice. No apprentice of mine shall be called magus until he first swears to uphold the code. I shall treat my apprentices with the care and respect that they earn.
I concede to my elders the right to take my apprentice should it be found that my apprentice is valuable to an elder's work. All are members of the House and Clan and valuable first to these precepts. I shall abide by the right of my superiors to make such decisions.
I shall further the knowledge of the House and Clan and share with its members all that I find in my search for wisdom and power. No secrets are to be kept, or given, regarding the arts of magic, nor shall I keep secret the doings of others which might bring harm to the House and Clan.
I demand that, should I break this oath, I should be cast out of the House and Clan. If I am cast out, I ask my brothers to find and slay me that my life may not continue in degradation and infamy.
I recognize that the enemies of the House and Clan are my enemies, that the friends of the House and Clan are my friends, and that the allies of the House and Clan are my allies. Let us work as one and grow hale and strong.
I hereby swear this oath on [current date]. Woe to they who try to tempt me to break this oath, and woe to me if I succumb to such temptation.
|— The Tremere Code|