In the Modern Nights two groups of vampire clans called "Sects" with opposing ideologies vie for supremacy behind the scenes: the Camarilla and the Sabbat. You play as one of the seven member clans of the Camarilla.
The largest sect of vampires in existence, the Camarilla concerns itself
with the Masquerade, thereby hoping to maintain a place for Kindred in
the modern nights. The Camarilla is an open society; it claims all vampires
as members (whether they want to belong or not), and any vampire may claim
membership, regardless of lineage.
According to the often-contradictory
history of the Kindred, the Camarilla came to be at the end of the Anarch
Revolt, sometime in the 15th century. The Kindred of Clan Ventrue loudly
claim to have been instrumental in the sect's formation, to which
many Kindred owe their unlives. With the enforcement of the Masquerade,
Kindred had a means of foiling the Inquisition, a Church office sworn
to the destruction of supernatural creatures.
Though the Camarilla is the largest sect, just over half of the 13 known
vampire clans actively participate in its affairs. The sect holds meetings
attended by active clans' representatives; these gatherings are
known as convocations. It also calls periodic conclaves, which are open
to any and all members of the sect, to discuss matters of imminent sect
importance. Only justicars, officers elected by the Inner Circle to attend
to matters of the Traditions, may call conclaves. Justicars are always
of great age, and rightly feared; as such, their interpretations of the
Traditions are heeded out of self-preservation. Coteries of vampires known
as archons attend the justicars; meeting an archon is usually a portentous
Officially, the Camarilla does not recognize the existence of the Antediluvians
or Caine. It reasons that these vampires, if they ever existed at all,
have long since suffered the Final Death, and those who allude to them
are publicly derided.
Rumored to have its origins in a medieval death cult, the Sabbat is greatly
feared by Kindred who do not belong to it. The sect is monstrous and violent,
and no longer clings to any trappings of human philosophy or morality.
Members instead revel in their vampiric unlives. Sometimes referred to
as the Black Hand, the Sabbat actively seeks the overthrow of the Traditions,
the destruction of the Camarilla, and the subjugation of humankind.
The Sabbat recruits wherever it takes hold, spreading like a poisonous
weed and tearing down the established institutions around it. Unlike the
Camarilla, the Sabbat recognizes the existence of the Antediluvians, though
it rabidly opposes them. According to Sabbat propaganda, the Antediluvians
pull the strings of the entire world, and it is this malignant control
they oppose. They see the Camarilla as pawns of the Ancients, and oppose
its members politically as well as physically. Most Sabbat express bilious
contempt for the vampires of the Camarilla, whom they see as cowardly
wretches unable to accept their predatory natures.
Outsiders know little about the Sabbat's inner workings. Some Camarilla
Kindred even doubt its existence, believing it to be a rumor created by
elders to keep troublesome childer in line - an undead boogeyman.
Lurid tales about the sect spread like wildfire, including claims that
its members indulge in ceaseless diablerie, worship demons, hunt and kill
other vampires, and possess the ability to break blood bonds. The only
consistent rumor attributed to the Sabbat is its members’ apparent
love of fire - the sect has a fearsome reputation for leaving burning
wakes behind it.