Laws of The House of Graves:
These Laws are written for the sake of being referenced in writing only. They should be obvious and mere common sense to everyone. These Laws, unless otherwise stated or specified, apply to both Dominants and submissives. And remember, even if it is not clearly and specifically written here, the 5 Keys above all else is the whole of the Law.
- The Law: The 5 Keys shall be upheld by all members, at all times, in all situations, Vanilla and Lifestyle. The 5 Keys are: Respect, Honor, Loyalty, Trust, and Discipline. To break one is to break all. To hold and keep all is to gain much more.
- On Names: You shall greet people initially by their proper titles and names. Then submissives shall speak to them with Sir or Ma'am and refer to them to others with their proper titles and names, unless told to do otherwise by the respective Dominant/submissive person. Dominants shall speak to and refer to other Dominants as the other Dominant wishes to be called, or their proper title and name if their preference is unknown. Dominants shall refer to submissives by the terms that their respective Dominant wishes, or by their name if the Dominants preference is unknown.
- On Homes: You shall always treat the homes and living spaces of others as they instruct and request you to. You shall not treat them as you would treat your own home, but as the home of another and with all do gentleness and respect, as if even the floor you walk upon might break should you tread too heavily.
- On Property: You shall not touch another's property, in anyway, without express permission to do so from the owner of said property. If that property is an object, a structure, or a person is irrelevant. A person is the property of themselves and, if submissive and owned, the property of a Dominant. Therefore, a person must give you permission to touch them, and in the case of an owned submissive, it is required to get permission from their Dominant, regardless of what the submissive may tell you.
- On Working Together (Play Partners): Unless both you and your prospective partner are unowned, you shall always gain the express permission from all Dominants involved before any work/play is even fully considered. The submissives in our community are considered property, and therefore you shall gain permission first to speak with the submissive in question and then to work/play with them as well. This includes submissives that are Under Consideration, In Service to, or are Owned and Collared.
- On Events, Meetings, and Other Public Gatherings:
- You shall follow all rules set forth by those who are in charge of any gathering you may attend. Should such rules conflict with the Laws, Rules, Protocols and Rituals you are required to adhere to, you must either find a way to make them work together or gain permission from those in charge of the event, The Lord Master of the House of Graves or another House Leader, your Dominant, or all of the above to alter how you behave at said gathering. Event rules, in most cases, override House, and Dominant rules and should not be an issue. When conflict does arise, if you are unsure how to handle the situation, ask, do not assume.
- You shall not attend any Event that the House has marked as an Unsupported Gathering. Such Events have proven, in some way, to the House to be improper, too dangerous for those attending, or otherwise unsuitable for support. To attend such Events is to imply that the House supports it, and as such may tarnish the reputation of our House. Additionally, it may prove to be unhealthy, physically or mentally, to our members.
- You shall attend all House Events marked as Required Attendance. Unless work, or other priorities supersede said Event. Notice must be given in advance of the event by at least 24 hours, reasons must be detailed and approved of. The House holds few such Events, the most common being the Monthly House Leaders Meeting, which is required attendance for House Leaders only, although House Elders are also permitted to attend. House Meetings are scheduled every few months, and are Required Attendance for all House Members. There will be few, if any, other House Events marked as Required Attendance.
- On Safety: You shall always follow any and all possible precautions available to ensure your safety, and the safety of others involved and viewing any activity, both physically and mentally. Prior to any actions, you shall determine, with all present, and agree upon: Safe Word(s), Emergency Word(s), Safety Sounds, and Safety Actions. You shall always make sure that at least one or more of these things are available, to all persons present, at all times, and be sure to adhere to them strictly and without fail. Not so much as one second of time should pass without a minimum of at least one of these safety measures available to all persons, including viewing guests not directly involved it the activity at the time. Safety is to be considered paramount over all other things of interest or importance. Safety overrules all Laws, Rules, Protocols, and Rituals, including all House, Event, Personal, Dominant, and even City, State and Federal Laws and Rules.
- Safe Words: These are the words you use to say that something is going too far and needs to be lessened or stopped. They shall be uncommon words that will not be likely to be used during your activities. Preferred words are made up words that have no real meaning, are easy and quick to say and can be easily recognized. The generic House word you may use if you choose to is: Uria (YOU-rye-a). This word has no hard sounds, and is short and easy to say.
- Emergency Words: These are words you use to say that something is very wrong, and that things not only need to stop, but be reversed if possible, and that there is a risk of requiring medical attention or that medical attention is already required. Do not use these words lightly, they are for medical emergency circumstances only. They shall be uncommon words that will not be likely to be used during your activities. Preferred words are made up words that have no real meaning, are easy and quick to say and can be easily recognized. The generic House word you may use if you choose to is: Bonon (BO-non). This word has no hard sounds, and is short and easy to say.
- Safety Sounds: These sounds are used when speaking is not possible due to a mask or gag. There should be two separate sounds, distinctly different, for Safe and Emergency Sounds. Such sounds should be patterns or sounds as most will only be able to make a grunting or humming sound. It is recommended to use a short humming patterned sound for Safe Sound, and a short grunting patterned sound for Emergency Sounds. The generic House sounds you may use if you choose to are: Safe Hum = 2 short and fast and 1 long hum (Hum Hum Hummmm), Emergency Grunt = 1 short, 1 long and one short grunt (grrr grrrrrrrrrrrr grrr). These sounds should be repeated with a short 1 second pause between them until the sound is acknowledged and actions are taken in response.
- Safety Actions: These are usually used in conjunction with Safe Sounds as an added measure, or in noisy situations where the sounds may not be able to be heard. These usually consist of various touches, snapping of fingers, rapid or patterned eye blinking, tapping or waving the hand or fingers in pattern, or other such motions available that will be visible and easily recognized. As all situations are very different in the mobility of a person, there are no generic House actions. Be sure to set up good, clear actions if speaking is not going to be possible.
- On Responsibilities to The House: You shall always show your best behavior in public, whether Vanilla or Lifestyle, to prevent tarnishing the good name of The House of Graves. You shall always do your utmost to maintain and improve the reputation of this House, and to always improve the House, its Members and yourself. Always defend the honor of the House and its members, but in an appropriate and respectful way. Should a situation come to violence, it had better be as a last resort, physically provoked but the other party, and only as much and as far as absolutely required to end the situation at that time. You shall always follow the Laws of the House, at all times, whether you agree with them or not. If you disagree with the Laws of this House, and refuse to follow them, you are free to leave at any time you wish.
- Dominants shall consider themselves in service to, but not owned or under command of, the House and its Leaders. To serve the House is to obey its Laws, and do as asked by the House Leaders if able. Although this is a point of Law, you are able to refuse with reason, or delegate the task your submissives if appropriate, or another Dominant if they are willing to do it for you. (See 'House Structure of Orders' below for more information.)
- submissives shall consider themselves completely in service to the House. Although no command can be of a work/play orientation without the permission of your Dominant, simple commands must be followed if given by a House Leader or Elder. Such commands can be of the nature of being quiet, sitting, standing or moving from one place to another, answering a phone, taking out the trash, or other such light and basic commands. Less light and basic commands must have the permission of your Dominant before the command is given. (See 'House Structure of Orders' below for more information.)
- House Structure of Orders: On House matters, meaning things that relate directly to the house or its members, during House events or when the only people present are House Members, the order of commands are as follows: Lord Master/Mistress overrides, Lady/Lord of the House overrides, House Master/Mistress overrides, maiden/squire overrides, other Household Dominants overrides, other household submissives overrides, guests. The only exception to this rule is the orders of a Dominant to his/her owned submissives. If a Dominant gives a command to his owned submissive, Even the Lord Master/Mistress cannot override it, unless it is extremely important and no one else is available to do it, or an emergency. Otherwise, if the command given is related to the House, its members or the current event, then the chain of command here described still stands. A Dominant has full control over his submissives at all times, even over House Leaders, for personal commands and desires.
- On Drugs: You shall not use any drugs, outside of legally obtained prescription medication, over the counter medication and supplements, cigarettes (actual, e-cig, or vape), cigars, pipes, and alcohol, at or before any House Event or any other Event where the reputation of the House is being represented in any way. It is up to you what you do in your own homes and time, but do not bring such things into public where they may cause the House reputation to suffer. You shall not arrive to any such Event high, stoned, drunk or otherwise under the influence of any substance that alters your mood, state of mind, or physical capacity to function. You shall not drive while under the influence of such substances. Nor shall you work/play, publically or privately with anyone who has not fully agreed, while all are completely sober of influencing substances, to do so while under such influences. Even then, work/play should always be done while completely sober. Accidents, injuries and other harm to participants who are under the influence of such substances shall be reacted to harshly and swiftly, and may result in dismissal from the House. Therefore, to work/play while under the influence is done at your own risk.
- On Bestiality and Necrophilia: You shall not condone or participate in bestiality or necrophilia in any way. Though the House stays out of the business of your personal tastes and fetishes/Kinks, these two items are not tolerated in the slightest. If you are caught doing these things, or not doing anything at all to prevent others from doing them, you will be dismissed from the House and permanently and forever banished from our sight. These actions are fully illegal by law, and should be reported to the House Leaders and the Police as soon as possible.
- On Abuse: Should it be found that a House Member is abusing their privilege as a Dominant, and is preforming acts that are considered to be abuse and not work/play, you shall report it to the House Leaders at once. An investigation of a most serious and through nature shall be launched into the matter. Should abuse be found to have been, or is currently happening, the abuser will be instantly dismissed and exiled from the House. The Police shall be informed and all evidence gathered by the House shall be submitted to them. Failing to report suspected abuse may result in being dismissed from the House.
- On Legal Matters: Should you experience issues with the Law, and are found guilty by a court of justice of committing a crime, Regardless of the crime committed or the penalty imposed by the court, you will be considered for Dismissal from the House, if not Exile or Banishment, by the House Leaders and Elders. The more severe the crime, the more severe our judgement shall be. If we find you have been wrongly accused and/or convicted, then we will stand by you and do all we can to help your defense, regardless of what it may or may not do to the reputation of the House or its Members.
- On Dismissal, Exile and Banishment: Certain Laws may result in either Dismissal, Exile or Banishment from the House. This may also result from frequent, purposeful, or very severe cases of breaking one or more of these Laws. All determinations of if, and which, one of these actions are taken is done by the House Leaders and Elders.
- Dismissal from the House: Should you be dismissed from the House, for any reasons, you may reapply to join the House after three to six months have passed depending on the reasons for your dismissal. You must also prove, beyond doubt, that you are truly regretful of the situation that caused your dismissal, and that it will not happen again. At Which Point the House Leaders and Elders will consider your request, with the opinions of the House Kith, for your rejoining of the House on a probationary basis as a Childer, for a length of time to be determined by the House Leaders, before your previous position will be granted back to you.
- Exile and Banishment from the House: Should this happen, no one shall acknowledge your presence, speak to you, or otherwise interact with you, ever. Should you walk up to a House member, that member will be required to turn their back to you and ignore that you exist. Should you choose to physically attack a Member, your assault shall be met with the most severe of force needed to incapacitate you and the police will be called and you will be arrested and taken to jail.
- If you were only Exiled, this shall continue until such time as you can prove, beyond doubt, that you have changed for the better, and that whatever has caused you to be Exiled will never happen again. At which point you may, after careful consideration by the House Leaders and Elders with the opinions of the House Kith and Childer included, be allowed to rejoin the House, on a probationary basis, as a Childer.
- If you were Banished, this shall continue forever, with no chance of ever rejoining the House, or any other Group, House or Family connected to it.
These Laws can only be changed by a group decision of the House Leaders and Elders resulting in a unanimous or near unanimous vote of at least ninety present of all votes. Kith may request, and debate the points of a change in the Laws, but only the House Leaders and Elders can actually vote to change them and to what they should be changed to. Childer have no say in the Laws, but may ask a Kith, Elder or Leader of the House to support a change, should they agree with it, on their behalf.
These are the Laws of the House of Graves. To Join this House is to agree, whole heartedly, to abide by them, and to except the punishments that may befall you should you fail to do so.
Originally Written on: 03/06/2016 at 8:00pm EST, By, Lord Master Vic Graves.