The series initially focused on San Francisco Police Detective Frank Kohanek (C. Thomas Howell) who discovers his city is home to numerous vampires while investigating alleged mobster, Julian Luna (Mark Frankel).
Julian is not really a mobster as Frank supposes.
Julian is the Prince of the city, ruler of five groups of vampires in the city, collectively called “the Kindred.”
Julian, in his role as Prince, is shown to be the only force that can stop the clans from breaking the uneasy truce that keeps them from fighting with each other.
The vampires survive through the “Masquerade,” disguising themselves as humans, and Julian strictly enforces the laws that govern them to protect their anonymity.
Any vampires who break those rules find their lives ended.
Vampires are shown to slip into human society rather easily, holding a variety of jobs.
The senior vampires who compose the conclave of San Francisco are depicted as wealthy heads of industry and business leaders.
Julian and Frank form an uneasy bond due to Frank having been romantically involved with Julian’s former lover, who was also a vampire, and who made Julian promise to protect him as a last favor to her before her death.
Because of his past physical intimacy with a vampire, Frank is shown to be somewhat resistant to a vampire’s powers.
Frank and Julian work together to try to prevent a vampire war.
Additionally, Frank uses his connection to his advantage when investigating crimes.
Julian struggles with his romantic feelings for human reporter Caitlin Byrne (Kelly Rutherford).
Further, Julian is assisted by and finds comfort in his trusted friend, Daedelus, who is the senior vampire for one of the five clans.