Use of language and etiquette is very significant in the Sanguinarium, which claims to promote chivalry, honor, style, and creativity. The expression “The Awakening” alludes to initial attraction to the Vampyre aesthetic, which is also referred to as the “birth to darkness” or “the becoming.”
The code of conduct is enforced by the Elders in a tradition that is known as the “Black Veil” or the “Thirteen Rules of Community”. Composed by Michelle Belanger, Father Todd Sebastian and COVICA, “The Black Veil” has undergone several major revisions since its first incarnation in 1997 and is now comprised of seven ethical tenets of which the first and most important is to keep sanguine secrets confidential among members. It deals with such things as responsibility, etiquette, feeding practices, the lifestyle, discretion, etc.
Punishment entails excommunication from a clan for various lengths of time, according to the violation. It is significant to mention that these tenets only apply to the Sanguinarium and that there are many different sects and belief systems among vampires who are not part of this particular fellowship.
Many vampyres wear a symbol that makes them feel more like a vampire, and that shows that a person is part of the scene or belongs to a given Coven. The Sanguine Ankh is the symbol (sigil) of the Sanguinarium.
Designed by master metal smith D’Drennen, it allows members to identify each other worldwide. It was derived from the ancient Egyptian symbol of eternal life and refers to the priest of the Egyptian god Horus’ use of the bladed ankhs for bloodletting rites.
There are also distinctive Vampyre greetings; in the Gotham Sanguinarium, this involves joining of hands, a kiss on each hand, followed by a mutual kiss on each cheek.