The Camarilla (kam-uh-rē-uh) is the largest of vampiric sects, a loose organization which seemingly represents and protects all vampires by enforcing and promulgating the Masquerade. It is currently composed of seven clans, though officially it considers all Kindred under its influence and welcomes any that obey its laws.
The Camarilla's birth was grounded in the growing threats of the Inquisition and the Anarch Revolt, both of which were threatening Cainite domains throughout Europe. The formation of the "Camarilla" (a word that denoted both that it was a convocation of peers or comrades and that it met in session secret from mortal knowledge) was announced in 1435 as the Founders began openly rallying support for a coalition to protect vampires from the dangers of roving Anarchs, the invading Assamites, and the increasingly dangerous mortal mobs.
War continued to rage over the next several decades and the Founders, now called Justicars, fought to hold the new sect together. In 1486 the first national conclave was convened, during which the Justicars were given broader authority to punish vampires who violated the Traditions. A new body of agents was also formed to report to the Justicars and free them to further develop the sect, creating what would eventually become the position of Archon.
In 1493, the Convention of Thorns marked the end of the First Anarch Revolt and the birth of the Camarilla as it is known today. The Traditions were accepted as law. Representatives for the Brujah, Gangrel, Malkavian, Nosferatu, Toreador, Tremere, and Ventrue clans officially joined the sect, while those speaking for the Lasombra and Tzimisce, who were mainly anarchs, rebelled against what they considered an offensive ultimatum and went on to form the Sabbat. While the Convention of Thorns was a significant victory for the Camarilla, it set the stage for the next five centuries of conflict between the two sects.
In general, much of the Camarilla's approach to maintaining order involve enacting the Traditions, which among other things means supporting a system of feudal domains and the responsibilities of sires for the conduct of their childer. The latter idea is often taken farther to mean the sire has authority over the childe, and that elder vampires are intrinsically more deserving of respect and fit for leadership than younger vampires. Whatever the merits of that position may be, it has a tendency to instill great resentment among young Kindred and in the past has driven many to the Anarchs. Older vampires naturally support the social order which they have mastered over the centuries.
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