The Ventrue Directorate is a group of 12 Ventrue who make the clan’s policies and control the important personal decisions. The members of the Ventrue Directorate are also known as Ephors. They traditionally try to keep their number around 12, though only they know their full membership as their identities are kept. The ephors choose the Ventrue Inner Council member (as well as replacements for their own ranks) as necessary, and act as the final arbiters in conflicts between powerful Ventrue or over wide-reaching issues. In addition, they also sit in judgment over those most dire of intra-clan crimes.
In history, the ephors (Greek “Ἔφορος“) (from the Greek ἐπί (“on” or “over”), and ὁράω (“to see”), i.e. “one who oversees”) were leaders of ancient Sparta and shared power with the Spartan kings. Five ephors were elected annually, who “swore on behalf of the city“, while the kings swore for themselves. The ephors did not have to kneel down before the Kings of Sparta and were held in high esteem by the citizens, because of the importance of their powers and because of the holy role they earned throughout their functions. Since decisions were made by majority vote, this could mean that Sparta’s policy could change quickly, when the vote of one ephor changed.