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The CamarillaEdit

There is structure to this Organization as well.

The Inner Circle

Justicars

Archons

Princes - Edward Williams the Prince noted has sense ascended into torpor when he turned the city over to the one called "James McMasters"

Seneschal

Sheriff

Harpy

Keeper of Elysium

Primogen/Whip

Scourage

The Scourges
(The Masses…)

There are seven Major Clans that founded and comprise the Camarilla. Brujah

Gangrel

Malkavian

Nosferatu

Toreador

Tremere

Ventrue


Other independent clans that have a recognized affliation with Camarilla, but are not of the seven Major Clans, include:

Daughters of the Cacophony

Giovanni

Followers of Set/Setites

Ravnos

Samedi


The Camarilla TraditionsEdit

The First Tradition: The Masquerade,Thou shall not reveal thy true self to those not of the Blood. Doing so shall renounce thy claims of Blood.


The Second Tradition: The Domain,&nbsp Thy domain is thy concern. All others owe thee respect while in it. None may challenge thy word in thy domain.

The Third Tradition: The Progeny,&nbsp Thou shalt sire another only with permission of thine elder. If thou createst another without thine elder’s leave, both thou and thy progeny shalt be slain.

The Fourth Tradition: The Accounting,&nbsp Those thou create are thine own childer. Until thy progeny shall be released, thou shalt command them in all things. Their sins are thine to endure.

The Fifth Tradition: Hospitality,&nbsp Honor one another’s domain. When thou comest to a foreign city, thou shalt present thyself to the one who ruleth there. Without the word of acceptance, thou art nothing.

The Sixth Tradition: Destruction,&nbsp Thou art forbidden to destroy another of thy Kindred. The right of destruction belongeth only to thine elder. Only the edlest among thee shall call the blood hunt. The Unofficial Seventh Tradition: Sneaky, Don Get Caught.

The Camarilla considered all Clans to be part of the Camarilla and thus "bound" by it's Laws. If a Clan does not follow those Laws, they are considered outlaws and enemies of the Sect, essentially like part of the Sabbat, even it is not formally a part of that Sect. The Camarilla (Everything You Ever Wanted to Know, But Would Have Been Killed If You'd Asked) Lets start with some basic views, and see how this august assembly is seen by various groups of Kindred, shall we? From the 2nd edition Main Book: "Camarilla: A global sect of vampires in which all Kindred may hold membership. Its rule is far from absolute, and it serves as a debating chamber more than a government." (page 54) From the Player's Guide to the Sabbat: "The Camarilla is the pawn of the Antediluvians. This sect keeps the younger vampires weak and unprepared for Gehenna. The Camarilla leaders receive their orders from the warlords of the Jyhad and relay information back to them." (page 11)

From the Anarch Cookbook: "…we are told that all [clans] banded together for the common good of all. But this is a lie! … The new laws of the Camarilla were harsh, and they were not questioned at first…But later, when humanity forgot about us, these laws were still as harsh, and princes used them to destroy those they hated personally." (page 15)

From Dirty Secrets of the Black Hand: "The [Black Hand] played only a limited role in forming the Camarilla, which has led many within to wonder if the Inconnu or some other group was involved. … The Black hand discovered it could use the Camarilla to cause continual discord, creating chaos among the Kindred as never before." (page 13)My, that just went from bad to worse, didn't it? Is any of it true? Ask your storyteller, it's her world. Better yet, have your character ask someone! Few things offer more sheer entertainment than approaching an archon and asking him "So, are all the Justicars of the Camarilla pawns of some greater power, or just evil in and of themselves?"

All right, then. Kindred Political Science 101 is now in session. The Camarilla resembles, in a lot of ways, the pyramid structure of the Tremere. Make of that what you will. At the very top is the Inner Circle. Loosely acknowledged as the Eldest of each clan, their primary power is to appoint Justicars. The Inner Circle always meets in Venice, as it has for five centuries.

Right, now we back up a bit. The Inner Circle Councillors are only loosely regarded as the Eldest for a very good reason: they're probably not. Really, really old vampires aren't particularly keen on stepping out of their safe, secure havens every 13 years for a meeting in the same town, every 13 years on the dot. For one thing, people that old have enemies, and being that predictable may not be healthy. For another, people that old have neuroses, and plenty of them. Face it, a mind four or five millennia old just don't think the way the rest of mankind does. They can't. For one thing, they take almost no risks. There's a reason elders are seen by neonates as cowards. A human often takes terrible risks, bungee jumping, skydiving, or rock climbing just to name a few. And why not? What's the most they have to lose? An extra twenty or forty years? Elders have been around for thousands of years, and have the potential to live on indefinitely, and they know it. They have too much to lose, so they hide. They overcompensate. Heck, half of them get so paranoid it ceases to be funny even to me. So. The presumed eldest of each clan gather… No. Only the elders of the seven recognized clans of the Camarilla. On an individual basis, there are Ravnos, Giovanni, Daughters of Cacophony, Samedi, even Settites as members of the Camarilla today. Even some LaSombra or Tzimisce antitribu. But, no matter how effective or loyal these kindred may be, they have no representation in the Inner Circle, nor will they anytime soon. Sorry, guys.

Oh, and here's a good point that I just love! The Inner Circle meets in Venice, of all places, and has for at least five hundred years! Class, who can tell me why that's significant? Anyone? No? Sigh. The Giovanni bloodline is, and always has been, based in Venice, Italy. Rumors of the Mausoleum are by now expected and by and large ignored. Not because they aren't creepy and terrible rumors, just because by now we've all heard them. A lot. Venice is to the Giovanni what Vienna is to the Tremere. So why do the seven single most influential kindred in (possibly the world) the Camarilla visit the Necromancer's fair city every thirteen years? Oh, and when were the Giovanni recognized as a clan? Anyone? Yes, in 1440 A.D. Why, that's just five hundred and fifty-six years ago, isn't it? Huh. How about that.

Anyway, the Inner Circle's only real power (officially) is to select Justicars, the judges of the sect. These Justicars wield the true power, and may pass judgment over any kindred, except those in the Circle. Only a Justicar may call a Conclave, a massive gathering of kindred to settle important issues. Anyone may attend, and all kindred present get one vote, with the Justicar acting as a sort of chairman. This assemblage can call blood hunts, settle disputes between kindred, or even remove a city from it's Prince. Any issue dealing with the Traditions in under the Jurisdiction of the Conclave. Some Justicars schedule regular Conclaves, such as the regular event in New Orleans every third year. Others will call one on a moment's notice, and any kindred present have the power to rule the issue tabled. (Of course, the same kindred who make the decision are sometimes…all right, usually charged with the responsibility of enforcing the Conclave's decisions.) Conclaves notwithstanding, the Justicars are also the final word in decision-making and adjudication power over matters dealing with violations of the six Traditions. And keep in mind, Conclaves cannot be called without the knowledge and presence of a Justicar. Sound contradictory? It is. Why? Again, I tell you, ask your storyteller. Also, the Justicars have at their bidding a group of kindred known as Archons. Archons are the eyes and ears and fists of the Justicars. Think of them as old-fashioned U.S. Marshals. They come and go as they please, and enforce the Traditions however they or their patron Justicar sees fit. This means that any Prince challenging an Archon may be in very hot water, very soon. Archons are usually the progeny of the Justicar they serve, but not always. They are usually willingly blood bound to same, but again, not always. Princes and Primogen alike defer to Archons, because to do otherwise would be near-suicide.

The position of Prince you are all fairly familiar with, I would assume, but today I won't assume anything. In classic feudal style, the kindred ruler of a city is referred to as its Prince, regardless of gender. Not King, because King would imply too much power. Keep in mind, Princes only rule so long as the Justicars feel they're doing a good job. The Prince is considered the highest authority in his city, and this extends to such matters as where hunting is allowed and who is or isn't allowed to create progeny. Usually. You see, each Prince is advised by a council of elders known as the Primogen, a sort of vampiric House of Representatives. These kindred make for a remarkably powerful group, and serve to check and balance the rule of the Prince. In some cities, this may mean that the Primogen really rules the city and the Prince is a mere figurehead. Is there any way to figure out how much authority the Primogen has? No. You see, the Primogen will take unto itself all the authority it can get away with. But what about them? By what authority do they claim Primogen status? That depends on the city. In some, it automatically goes to the eldest of each clan, but that doesn't always work out, for reasons we've already discussed. In others, the clans elect their representatives, in democratic manner. In still others, anyone who wants it, takes it. If they can keep it, it's theirs. Why, in some cities, the Primogen council is handled like the Supreme Court, with the Prince appointing Kindred at his whim. This could mean you could walk into a city with a Ventrue Prince, and a Primogen consisting of five Ventrue, a Toreador, and a token Nosferatu. Not fair, but nice if you're the Prince. Again, it all depends on how much power the Prince can keep for himself, and how well organized the clans are in the city.

On one ocasion, I 've heard of, the Prince was gone from the city for two days, and when he returned, the Primogen had elected a new Prince in his absence, and refused to reinstate the returned Prince. For that matter, his own clan saw fit to refuse him the seat on the Primogen, even if he was the eldest of their clan in the city. Just like that, and he was stripped of all status, authority, and power. He allowed it, and it happened. Could he have prevented it? Probably. Had there been a Justicar nearby to call for a decision, it really could have gone either way. Prince's problem, though. Just remember, after you present yourself to the Prince when you get to town, it may be a good idea to present yourself to the ones with the real power, too. Couldn't hurt, anyway.

So, we have a top rung, who only elects the second rung, and they have all the power. The second rung can rule, but they can also call Conclaves, which rule. Archons are one step up from the very bottom rung, but because of their connections, most everyone has to look up to them. Princes rule over everyone in their city if their Primogen let them, and the Primogen become Primogen only if their respective clans elect them or if they can take it or if the Prince lets them. So. We boil all this down and see that the real power in the Camarilla rests in…well…that is…

Anyone who can control anyone else, that's who. So is the Camarilla controlled by the Black Hand, or the Inconnu, or the Giovanni, or the Antediluvians? Or someone else? Or, and this is a long shot, could it be completely independent? Could it be so convoluted and twisted and generally screwed up just because vampires are still, at the core, people? And we all know that people do some pretty stupid things. Dogs just chase their tails. We've got them beat and then some. Ask your you-know-who. Not that she'll tell you anything, but the asking will be fun, won't it?

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