The Sabbat:

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The Sabbat:

Post by The Prince on Wed Mar 13, 2013 8:32 am




The Sabbat is a loose sect of vampires that believes Cainites should accept their vampiric nature and subjugate humanity as the inferior species. Also known as the Sword of Caine, the sect has the stated goal of destroying the Antediluvians, who they believe are the masterminds behind the Camarilla and the Jyhad.

The Sabbat is at best ironic, at worst dangerously hypocritical. It is composed of both the oldest and the youngest vampires in the world, who rejoice in their damnation while fearing for their souls, and fight against the Antediluvians, the elders, and their own pack members.

Philosophy:

All Sabbat adhere to a code of conduct called "The Code of Milan", which preaches loyalty to sect and packmates, and to one's own freedom within the sect, as long as one's own good is never placed above the good of the Sabbat itself.

In addition to a very firm "if you're not with us, you're against us" mentality, the sect considers vampires to be a higher form of life than humanity, and is based upon the principles of Loyalty and Freedom. Loyalty to the sect and to one's comrades is one of the important aspects of the sect, and the Sabbat vampires maintain this loyalty through a ritual called Vaulderie, where strong emotional bonds are created between members of the Sabbat. Freedom is preached in accordance to the Sabbat belief that every vampire is free to create their own destiny without being hindered by the reputations of their elders, and that no Sabbat has to lay down their life for cowards who cannot take care of their own matters. Of course, it does not always work like this in practice.

Unlike the Camarilla, the Sabbat believes in Antediluvians, and for the most part considers them a great threat. This is unsurprising, especially considering that the Sabbat was formed in the wake of the Anarch Revolt, and both of the core clans (the Tzimisce and Lasombra) claim that their clan founders were killed long ago (though in the case of the Tzimisce founder at least, that doesn't seem to stop it).

Organization:

The Sabbat as a whole is not a very structured sect. Though their leadership lacks the iron-handed authority that can be found in the Camarilla, the Sabbat does not regard generation (potency of vampire blood) as a guideline for promotion. Instead, simply the most capable of vampires fill the positions they are most suitable for. It is purest coincedence that those of lower generation happen to be the most qualified.

The cornerstone of Sabbat organization is the pack; Sabbat packs are organizations of 3-10 vampires mutually bound through the standard blood-sharing rites of the cult. Packs have a ductus, who is the pack's warleader, and a pack priest who reminds the pack of its responsibilities to Caine. The members of the pack are bound together by blood-sharing ceremonies known as the "vinculum" or the "Vaulderie". Each pack has its own prescribed ritual to undertake the Vaulderie, and it is an important part of each individual pack's culture. Packs generally occupy communal havens; given the Sabbat's rejection of human mores and its use of artificial loyalties enforced by the vinculum, there is less need for privacy.

Above the pack is a set of hierarchical titles specifically mocking the titles of the Catholic Church. Bishops oversee multiple packs and may also have a specific portfolio; overseeing the Bishops are Archbishops, generally holding a position analagous to Prince for a city. Above the Archbishops are the Cardinals, who oversee large geographic regions (such as Canada, or the Eastern Seaboard). Above this level are the Prisci, a circle of advisors to the Sabbat's nominal leader, the Regent. The higher ranks of the Sabbat enforce their will through agents commonly called Templars.

These titles are formally recognized, but also generally involve a certain degree of self-selection. The Sabbat has a formal rite for recognizing Bishop and higher ranks, but any Sabbat may claim a title and try to defend it. However, the higher the rank claimed, the more likely the claimant will meet a gruesome end. The Prisci, in particular, are selected only by other Prisci.

In addition to this structure, two parallel organizations exist within the Sabbat: the Inquisition and the Black Hand. The Sabbat Inquisition investigates vampires within the Sabbat for any signs of demon worship or other deviance from the moral structure set up by Sabbat elders. The Black Hand is a sect within the sect, and operates semi-independently from the Sabbat, which it predates. Rumors persist that it stands as the remains of an even older group known as the Tal'Mahe'Rah; this group claims entire bloodlines as its members, though these bloodlines are all but nonexistent in the modern nights.

As with all Vampiric organizations, organization eventually bows to the demands of power. While most Sabbat belong to packs, elder Sabbat are more likely to live and work without packmates. At the higher levels of the organization, the difference between Camarilla and Sabbat elders is negligible, regardless of how different it may appear in the trenches.

Ranks and Status:

Despite its open structure at the bottom, the Sabbat maintains several Ranks, listed from "high" to "low" in the sect organisation.

  • Regent: Though there have been several Regents through out the history of the Sabbat, there is only ever one at a time. It is essentially the "Leader" of the Sabbat, assuming one can control the force that is without a strict (or any for that matter) set of laws. In the End of Times, the final Regent was Melinda Galbraith, a Toreador antitribu. She was killed, though the perpetrators and motives remain unknown. The Regent always keeps a fairly large advisory staff (Normally a handful of Prisci and some "trusted" Cardinals.)
    Means of address: "Most Distinguished Excellency"
  • The Consistory: the group of Cardinals and Prisci that serve as direct counselors to the Regent
  • Cardinal: A practical Head of State within the Sabbat. The formal duties of the position are to hold major Ritae and rule over a designated area under Sabbat control. A prestigious title, one will normally find a Cardinal's territory ranging from a European country to a single major city to something along the lines of the entire Eastern seaboard of the USA (ex. His Eminence Cardinal Polonia.)
    Means of address: "Your Eminence"
  • Priscus: Similar to a Bishop, but higher in status and prestige. The Priscus' (pl. Prisci) job is one of advising to rulers. Most have a designated area of influence, as well as a leader they are related to. A good Priscus works with a Cardinal. However, one of less substatinal standing may work with an Arch-Bishop.
    Means of address: "Very Reverend Sir/Madam"
  • Archbishop: Similar to that of a Camarilla Prince, the Arch-Bishop's job is to rule over, most likely, a Sabbat held city of some importance. An Arch-Bishop may also extend his "diocese" into smaller surrounding regions. Normally keeping a Bishop or two around as advisors, or helping hands in keeping track of surrounding territories in and outside of Sabbat control.
    Means of address: "Your Excellency"
  • Bishop: An advisory staff member with some political standing. Becoming a Bishop is not easy, it is, however, almost always the stepping stone for getting any higher in Sabbat politics (excluding a few monomacies here and there.) Bishops are known to work with Arch-Bishops in an area, and can sometimes earn the honor of keeping track of important resources, varying from territory to important tasks necessary for the improvment of the Sword of Caine (and one's own standing, of course.)
    Means of address: "Your Excellency"
  • Paladin/Templar: Paladin referring more to a bodygaurd and Templar referring more to an assassin of the Sabbat. These positions are held by members who work directly for important standing Cainites. They may hold little political power on their own right, but a good servant always has the ability to ask his Lord for a favor. An extremely experienced or well trained Paladin/Templar may work for a Cardinal, while a new recruit may simply serve alongside a Bishop. Paladins and Templars are always tested for their loyalty, and it is almost assured that if you have one under your rulership, you have them til Final Death (yours or theirs.)
    Means of address: "Sir ----/Lady ----" (as with a knighthood) (ex: "Sir Talley", a Lasombra templar)
  • Ductus: Basic minion to all above them, and drill sergeant to all beneath. A ductus(pl. ducti) job is to lead a Sabbat Pack. Sometimes the job of Priest and Ductus fall on the same person, and sometimes the Preist may actually lead and the ductus just has the title in word alone. These instances are not near as common as simply having the ductus lead their Pack.
    Means of address: "Ductus", "Boss", "Head Honcho", "Papa", etc, etc.
  • Priest: A Pack's spiritualist. Versed at least somewhat in Sabbat Lore and Ritae. A Priest's job is to learn the Auctoritas Ritae and administer them to the Pack when necessary. Most importantly this means leading in the Vaulderie, the blood tie that keeps a Pack together through forced loyalty. They also create and lead the pack's individual ignoblis ritae.
    Means of address: "Reverend [Sir/Madam]"
  • Brothers and Sisters: Rabble. Children. Meat shields. Grunts. Or simply Brothers and Sisters in Caine. These are the Sabbat with no actual status. They are members of a Pack. They have yet to earn anything, and more than likely in these Final Nights they shall meet Final Death before ever having the chance. Survival rates are grim, at best, among a Sect like the Sabbat. However, there are always paths to power. Whether it be diablerie, or a lucky Monomacy, it's possible to move up in rank with a Sect with such high turnover. Just remember no matter how ruthless these Brothers and Sisters may seem, the only reason higher ups don't seem so out right evil is because they have simply learned to hide it better.
    Means of address: None ("Brother/Sister", "Grunt"; as a group "Coven" or "Pack")
  • Shovelheads: There is one catgeory of Sabbat vampires below even the Brothers and Sisters: the shovelheads. These are the vampires who have been mass-Embraced during a time of war and have not yet suffered the trials that will make them True Sabbat. So named for the practice of Embracing a group of mortals, knocking them unconscious by means of a shovel to the head, and then burying them in shallow graves. Those who fight their way to the surface, blood-mad and near Frenzy, are used as footsoldiers in a Sabbat campaign.
    Means of address: None ("Shovelhead", "Grunt", "Meatshield", "Bitch", etc, etc.)


Source: Sabbat


Last edited by The Prince on Wed Mar 13, 2013 8:56 am; edited 4 times in total

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Re: The Sabbat:

Post by The Prince on Wed Mar 13, 2013 8:45 am



  • Antediluvian: Lasombra
  • Nicknames: Keepers, Shadows, Magisters
  • Allegiance: Sabbat
  • Disciplines: Dominate, Obtenebration, Potence

The leaders of the Sabbat, clan Lasombra are darwinists, predators, elegant and inhuman. Firm believers in the worthy ruling and the unworthy serving, the Lasombra have maintained their traditions even as they have turned the Sabbat to their own purposes.

Lasombra naturally seek positions of power and authority, as a result they form the bulk of the Sabbat's administrative offices - ducti, prisci and the like. Tzimisce are more likely to be pack priests, while the Lasombra focus on the practical matters of administration and leadership.
Separate from Sabbat organization, the Lasombra maintain a clan-specific organization, the Friends of the Night, usually called les amies noir (amici noctis during the Dark Ages). While a Lasombra can be in the clan and not a Friend of the Night, all Lasombra who matter are part of the organization. The Friends are something of a formalized favour network within the Lasombra - they grant prestige and prestation, but the most notable feature of the friends are the Courts of Blood, which regulate diablerie.

The Lasombra are a clan driven by ambition, and consequently they accept diablerie as a necessary facet of their existence; from the Lasombra perspective, the only tragedy in diablerie is that such an unworthy vampire as the vessel was sired in the first place. The courts regulate diablerie by accepting petitions to diablerize other Lasombra and authorize hunts - these hunts usually have conditions attached because the target must be guilty of something before the hunt is authorized. The court system ensures that diablerie is managed - Lasombra are allowed, if not flat-out encouraged to cannibalize appropriate targets, but those targets must be judged worthy of this attention by a court before the attack can take place.

Lasombra are fiercely predatory creatures, and the Lasombra mindset is defined by an enthusiastic embrace of social darwinism. The Lasombra firmly believe that power is best held by the most worthy, and that the primary test of worthiness is acquiring said power. As a result, they are predatory, backstabbing, power-hungry and unapologetically arrogant about their position. Needless to say, the Lasombra and Ventrue despise each other. Historically, the two clans have sought out parallel dominions - the Lasombra focused on the Mediterranean, the Ventrue on Germany. The Lasombra went to the Church, the Ventrue went to the state. The Lasombra went to the Sabbat, the Ventrue to the Camarilla. As the ruling clans of their respective sects, they are naturally prone to come to loggerheads.

The Lasombra are also noted for a strong fascination with chess; the game serves as a metaphor for Vampiric existence (or at least, as the Lasombra see it), and consequently any Lasombra who plans to get anywhere in the clan is proficient in the game.

Finally, something must be said about the impact that the lost visage has on the Lasombra. The clan weakness makes it impossible for a Lasombra to ever see his own image again - mirrors, photography and other reflective media fail, and the Lasombra react to this problem in a variety of ways. Clan culture places a strong emphasis on not overreacting to this problem - it is generally acceptable to sit for a portrait every few years, but extreme reactions (such as hiring a Tzimisce to fleshsculpt a ghoul) is considered a breach of good taste and grounds for diablerie.

The Lasombra, as a rule, loathe ghouls with a passion. To them, a mortal in the world of Cainites is as absurd as a poodle putting on a tutu and walking around on it's hind legs. Due to their command of Potence and Dominate, mortals are laughably easy to control, both physically and mentally - how could the Lasombra possibly respect or value such a pathetically weak and frail thing? As a consequence, the ghoul of a Lasombra is typically a snivelling and timid wretch, living in terror of a single mistake which could end their lives.

Lasombra ghouls fall into two broad categories. The first are the raft of accountants, lawyers and bankers that the Lasombra need to keep the finances rolling in, and perhaps these are the luckier of the two groups - as long as the books balance at the end of the day, they'll live to see another one. The second group cater to the Lasombra's difficulty with their own image. Some Lasombra keep an army of personal attendants - scores of ghouls to brush the mistress' hair, do her make-up and dress her. Such attendants are punished severely for infractions. If the hair is not brushed with exactly one hundred strokes, the ghoul might find themselves on the wrong side of the hairbrush, a Potence fuelled hand wielding it. Also due to the Lasombra's curse, ghouls of either stripe might have their faces reduced to identical spider-webs of scar tissue, or be forced to wear featureless white masks.


Source: Lasombra

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Re: The Sabbat:

Post by The Prince on Wed Mar 13, 2013 8:46 am



  • Antediluvian: Tzimisce
  • Nicknames: Fiends
  • Allegiance: Sabbat
  • Disciplines: Animalism, Auspex, Vicissitude or Dominate
The Tzimisce were once the most feared of all clans. With the downfall of feudalism, and the rise of the usurper Tremere, they are a shadow of their former selves. Disjointed as any clan in the Sabbat, they don't even fill the majority of the leadership positions. Still, they hold a great deal of power, regardless of who realizes it. The clan has access to many powerful sorceries, Disciplines, and eldritch lores.

The clan has many dark points of its history. However, bargains with demons, twisted experiments, and unforgivable sins have yielded powerful weapons.

The Tzimisce belong to the Sabbat - or perhaps it would be fairer to say that the Tzimisce think that the Sabbat belongs to them. The Clan takes credit for many of the Sabbat's ritae and ideological movements, a point that has been fought over between the Tzimisce and the Lasombra since the Sabbat's inception. For the past five-hundred years, then, the Tzimisce have struggled for supremacy over the sect, and at two separate times this exploded into outright war with the Lasombra. It speaks to the inherent self-centeredness of both Clans that neither of them consider the antitribu or the Panders much of a threat to their rule, in spite of the fact that the current Regent of the Sabbat is a Toreador antitribu.

The Tzimisce role in the Sabbat occupies both the most spiritual and most base position. They often serve - simultaneously - as both the priest and the most vicious and depraved warrior of a pack. Though the Clan's childer are not well-known for their cunning or intelligence, the elders of the Clan still operate a rigorous political machine that seeks to maintain the status quo of the sect. The Clan has even carried the position of the voivode into the Modern Nights; labelling the position as a "figurehead" would be generous, as few Tzimisce bother listening to the current voivode, Minerva Schwalke-Wojtkiewicz, at all.

The Tzimisce value the appearance of many things: the appearance of honor, the appearance of generosity, and the appearance of authority. So long as the rules of conduct are not forcibly thrown out the window, members of the Clan can get away with some truly inhuman acts. It should be noted that these rules only apply to the Tzimisce themselves; other Clans are on their own, and considered free game for anything a Tzimisce wishes to take from them.

Clan culture has devolved noticeably from the ancient days when Tzimisce ruled the nights with an iron fist, but offered unconditional hospitality to their guests. Now, the tables have turned: Tzimisce rule other Tzimisce with an iron fist, and seem to cater to the whims of other Clans in order to fulfill their political goals. The ancient fear of diablerie is present nightly in the Clan. If rumours are true, elder Tzimisce not only have to fear their childer, but their own cannibalistic Antediluvian, as well. This breeds a society of paranoia and jealousy like nothing else on earth. Old Clan Tzimisce are very popular as targets, since they tend to rule huge estates, have armies of retainers, whole yards of herd-humans, and are of low generation. Oh, and they are not protected by the Sabbat. That said, there's also some very good reasons why they've managed to survive for the past five-hundred-plus years: they rule huge estates, have armies of retainers, and are of low generation.

This dichotomy is prevalent among the Clan, whether New or Old. The appearance of a Tzimisce is often genteel, beautiful, intriguing. Though many of the youngest generations promote aspects of brutality and monstrosity, the Tzimisce who have any real power in the sect must cultivate their appearance for the benefit of politics. Typically, this contrast of appearance hides an ironic nature: young, demonic-looking Tzimisce are often still "too-human", and use their constant cruelty and depravity to conquer their own fears and misgivings. Keep in mind, dear reader, that most "shovelheads" were mostly normal humans prior to their Embrace - it is the shock of the Creation Rites that drives them mad, not their own personalities.

On the other hand, the elder Tzimisce who make the effort to appear more beautiful and human have the darkest, most twisted natures of any vampire Clan. They have distanced themselves from anything that is human either by pursuing intellect to its highest and most detached form, or by giving in to their rabid natures and descending to the level of the Beast. Either way, even the most degraded Tzimisce knows that the best way to capture prey is to present a beguiling face.

The Laws of Hospitality:

The rights and treatment of guests forms an indelible part of Tzimisce culture. There are many and archaic rules concerning deportment, manners, greetings, goodbyes, allowances, and settlement of grievances, but there are a few Clan-wide obligations that are always honoured. A guest of the Tzimisce is entitled to several things:
  1. Shelter and nourishment for three days and three nights (not counting the night of arrival).
  2. The protection of the host against third-party aggressors.
  3. Suspension of inter-family grievances for the duration of the stay.
  4. The best quarters in the home of the host (up to and including the host's own chambers).


However, the guest also has a few obligations that makes them worthy of such special treatment:
  1. A ritual exchange of gifts or services (on arriving, departing, or sometimes both).
  2. Respecting the host's boundaries and property.
  3. Not needlessly angering the host or any of his family.
  4. Not staying any longer than the requisite three days and three nights unless invited to.

The balance of these laws is to ensure that no advantage is taken of either the host or guest - a Fiend's honour can be completely shattered by infringing upon either one of these sets of rules. Given the warfare that exists between lineages of Tzimisce, exercising patience and honouring these laws is a way to ensure that there is always a sort of "neutral ground" where combative families can meet and prevent any further outrages.

The older a Tzimisce is, the more seriously they treat these laws, for they remember the nights when the only shelter to be had was in the domain of a rival voivode, when travel was arduous and only undertaken when necessary. Most elder Tzimisce respect these laws in the modern nights, but their grandchilder may not even be aware that these laws exist, much less still enforced in their ancestors' domains. Minor breaches can be forgiven, though some sort of effort must be made to show that the trespasser is apologetic. Major breaches can fix a Tzimisce's reputation in a very bad way - slaughtering guests during the day is a sure way to make sure no-one comes to visit you, or ever wants to make a deal.


Source: Tzimisce

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