Blood of Rome
The vampires of the Camarilla are not barbarians who Embrace on a whim. That, at least, is what the Kindred would like to think, and the Porta Noctis is a physical location that supports that belief. It is the place where people die, and rise again as Kindred.
The chamber is in one of the more public parts of Necropolis, and watched over at all times by volunteers who call themselves lictors. The walls are clad in marble, the ceiling is plastered and decorated with a fresco showing an evening sky, and the floor covered with a black-and-white geometric mosaic, probably dating from the first century.
In the center of the room is a black marble sarcophagus, with no lid. Carvings on the side depict important incidents from the early history of the Camarilla: the transformation of Remus, the Embrace of Senex and the overthrow of the Traditores. The final short side depicts a male vampire emerging from a cave tomb that was sealed by a large rock, as Roman soldiers run away. The sarcophagus is more than 500 years old, at least, and no one admits to knowing what the final image was originally supposed to represent. The relief showing the overthrow of the Traditores is carved in very shallow relief, and set very deeply into the side of the sarcophagus. Although the carving is as skilled as that of the other panels, and in the same style, many Kindred believe that this carving is a replacement.
A large gilded canopy stands over the sarcophagus, supported on four columns that rest on the floor. Four manacles are fastened to bars along the sides, two for wrists and two for feet. New vampires are typically starving when they awaken, and a human is normally fastened into these manacles, face down, to provide a first meal. Sires make their own decisions about whom to put here: some sires sacrifice random slaves or people picked up off the streets; other sires sacrifice people who were close to the neonate in life. Some sires have two mortal Retainers compete for the right to be Embraced; the winner goes below, the loser above.
Although this is one of the few areas of Necropolis that mortals may enter, it is an absolute rule, enforced by the lictors, that no one may leave alive. Not all Kindred are Embraced in this room, of course. There is a custom, although in recent nights it has not been strictly enforced, that those who were not should spend one night in the sarcophagus, and feed from a vessel restrained above them, immediately before being officially welcomed into the Camarilla. The Lancea et Sanctum, after some debate, has utterly rejected this custom, and very rarely use the chamber for genuine Embraces.