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 The Camarilla

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Isamary White
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PostSubject: The Camarilla   Fri Oct 03, 2008 9:45 pm

The Camarilla was founded during the 15th century (the first meeting cited was in 1450) in response to the Inquisition and the Anarch Revolt. Largely, it was formed by the desperation of the vampire elders of its seven main clans as a means to marshal their powers into a united front and beat back the Anarchs. This it managed to do after forty years of fighting, and the Anarch Revolt was officially ended at the Convention of Thorns in 1493. Nevertheless, some Anarchs refused to give up peacefully, and created the sect known as the Sabbat, with which the Camarilla is still at war.

In the modern setting of Vampire: The Masquerade, the organization is headquartered in Vienna, Austria. The Camarilla is composed of seven main Clans, though the Camarilla considers that all vampires are subject to their laws and rules, whether they want to be or not. The core group of seven clans dropped to six when the Gangrel officially became independent in 1999. Other bloodlines often affiliated include the Daughters of Cacophony, the Lasombra antitribu, and the Samedi.

Recently, a second, smaller Anarch Revolt has started. This new Anarch faction has taken power on much of the West Coast of the United States.

The third edition of the game has a different clan composition and puts more emphasis on political diversity within the Camarilla, and gives hints as to the eventual dissolution of the Camarilla, which is not yet considered archaic and exists even to the declared end of the Vampire: The Masquerade line of products by White Wolf. The third edition is not fundamentally different from the other editions, but does include more that was once published extraneously to the earlier rulebooks in associated game products.

Philosophy

Camarilla policy is that vampires should try to fit in with and hide from the rest of humanity, as to easily feed on them. For this reason, they created a web of lies and misinformation, called the Masquerade, to make the public believe that supernatural beings like vampires could not possibly exist.

The Camarilla also believes that the only way the vampire species can survive in these modern nights is if it unites - any breach of the Masquerade by any vampire risks exposing the entire race. Both viewpoints are fundamentally opposed by the Sabbat.

The Camarilla also enforces the Eldest as ruling class over the younger vampires. When in the Dark Ages one Elder claimed land as his and all other vampires had to obey his ruling if traveling his lands. In modern nights the Camarilla still holds to this tradition. The ruling Elder of a so called domain, usually a human metropolitan and surrounding areas, is called the Prince. His rule is essentially that of an autocrat-all power, executive, legislative, and judicial, rests with the Prince. The six fundamental rules of the Camarilla grant the Prince the right to destroy other vampires, grant or deny the right to hospitality and allow him to decide whether or not a vampire is allowed to create offspring. Besides the Prince usually the oldest Member of each of the Clans holds a fair amount of power and the title Primogen. The Council of the Primogen usually advises the Prince, but since in modern nights many vampires live in one domain, sometimes a primogen or even more, hold a power similar or even surpassing the power of the Prince.

While the Camarilla is indeed ruled by the old and enforces their right to rule, the sect still maintains the impression, that it is the one, true organisation for all vampires. Whenever there is a greater social tension in an area, the Camarilla might send an one of its enforcers, the Justicars, along with his servants, the Archons, to the scene. There is one such Justicar from each Clan appointed for a 13 year term. During meetings, called Conclaves, every vampire, even the young, may speak if they have two advocates. While this creates the impression that the Camarilla officials have an open ear for anyone, the Justicars usually have the obligation to keep a solid 'status quo'. So, before and during Conclaves many boons are made and collected to gain as many influential advocates as possible, so that the Justicar is convinced that one is the best govern the domain.

Views on Antediluvians

The official stance of the Camarilla on the matter of the Antediluvians, and Gehenna, is that it is nothing more than superstition. They say that the Antediluvians do not exist. This is in stark contrast to the Sabbat, who claim that Gehenna is approaching and that all vampires must prepare for it by readying to fight the Antediluvians.

After the Week of Nightmares, in which the Ravnos Antediluvian woke, certain upper echelon members of the Camarilla came to realise that Gehenna was an imminent possibility; however, the Camarilla's official stance did not change. This was especially notable when the Camarilla refused to lend aid to the Justicar Xaviar when he encountered what he believed was an Antediluvian, after which he led the Gangrel clan out of the Camarilla.
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