At the end of the first millennium, the members of House Tremere realized the Hermetic arts were failing and found its immortality potions no longer working. Facing the possibility of losing everything, Tremere ordered research into alternate methods of sustaining their lives. House Tremere undertook numerous experiments, but it was Goratrix who devised a solution in his investigation of vampires. Whether Goratrix knew what would happen is known only by him and, perhaps, Tremere, but at the completion of the ritual the participants fell unconscious and were reborn as vampires, their avatars destroyed and magical abilities lost. The mages had gained their immortality but lost the power they lived for. Though the others would likely have slain Goratrix for his folly or trickery , Tremere ordered them to halt and declared that they would remain at his side, leaving their chantries in the hands of subordinates while they discovered the powers of their new forms in secret.
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The Council of Seven created offices pontifices Clanbook: Tremere 14 drove both sides back and forth without resolution. Eventually, exhausted, the two sides settled into an uneasy holding pattern.
The Christian Church, unsatisfied by its failure to prosecute the unbelievers, turned its attentions inward, particularly in Western Europe. So began the Inquisition, the mortal uprising that would decimate the Kindred society. Inquisitors started their careers seeking out signs of unorthodoxy. Priests and secular witch-hunters watched their peers for any signs of deviation from the tenets of the Church, and ruthlessly stamped out heretics. Anyone who questioned the church, or who seemed different or strange, could be a target; ruthless peasants and nobles alike betrayed their neighbors to the Inquisition with tales of deviltry.
Little did the mortals know of the monsters who truly lurked within their midst. Once the first unfortunate undead found their way to the Inquisitions flames, though, the rest were not long to follow. With Pole Innocent IIIs approval of torture, and the Inquisitions fondness for burning, heretics could be easily culled from the general populace.
Formerly inconvenient difficulties such as nocturnal existence or cadaverous appearance suddenly loomed as beacons that set Kindred apart from the remainder of humanity, and thus became grave dangers. Even elders, formerly the uncontested rulers of their claimed domains, found themselves staked upon the pyres. Inquisitors learned to recognize Kindred through their resistance to torture Saulot and Kin Of course, what few neonates in this modern age realize is that Tremere managed not simply to discover Saulot, one of the fabled Antediluvians, but also to diablerize that eminent Kindred.
True, many of the Salubri seemed to have slipped into persecution complexes or the pursuit of past glories. Eradicating them proved to boon all Kindred.
Rumors that Saulot somehow summoned Tremere, or that the demonic Ancient arranged the circumstances of the diablerie, are of course misguided. Kindred who spread such wildly inaccurate propaganda should be dealt with most harshly.
Travel remained slow, due to the perils of long journeys and the inconvenience of nocturnal habits, but slow means little to beings with centuries to watch their plans come to fruition. The more mortal populations swelled, though, the more they accelerated their own violence. Controversy regarding religious orthodoxy spurred clashes between Arab nations and Europeans, Leading to a series of Crusades.
Europes nobles mobilized to attack the paynim, but the fortunes of war Chapter One: The Price of Immortality 15 and slowly unearthed the classical weakness of fire and sunlight. The Tremere, as both Kindred and warlocks, had perhaps the most to lose: Not only did Inquisitors flush us out as undead, but our chantries were seized and burned, valuable books were destroyed, and great troves of thaumaturgical knowledge lost.
A few hunters, specially sanctioned by the Church and protected by their faith in God, even proved resistant to Thaumaturgy and other Disciplines, making them dangerous indeed. Kindred across Europe scurried for cover; elders who could not adapt to the times and who continued to see the kine solely as slaves or food perished. The entire social order of Kindred was upset. For the first time we truly realized that humanity could indeed rise up and destroy us all.
And the blow to our pride was grave, indeed. An invitation went out to Kindred across the continent. Elders would attend a convocation where they would propose the union that could preserve us all. By meeting in secret, the Kindred hoped to avoid the eyes of the Inquisition. False ruses and dupes drew away any attention, while the kindred met to decide upon a means of survival. So long as the Inquisition continued to enjoy success, it would only increase its efforts; every vampire burned led another hundred suspicious mortals to join the fray in search of more monsters.
Only by convincing mortals that their job was finished that no more monsters remained, that vampires were gone from the world as if theyd never been could the Inquisition be satisfied. The first conclaves were terrible indeed. Elders unused to bowing to others whims found that they had no choice but to subdue their monumental egos if they were to survive at all.
Kindred squabbled over their centuries-nursed grievances, and some clans declined to attend the gathering at all. Eventually, we joined the representatives of six other clans in the declaration for this secret society. The Founders brought forth impressive evidence elders around the continent, rooted out and destroyed; childer bringing down entire broods of vampires with a single misstep; lords whod held sway over their lands for centuries, deposed; rampant diablerists, the breakdown of Kindred society, the destruction of sires at the fangs of their childer.
Kindred knew that their entire existence teetered on a precipice. Naysayers found themselves ejected or turned over to the The Camarilla As Kindred after Kindred perished in flames, panicked individuals across Europe convened hurried gatherings or sent cautious missives to other cities, hoping to learn how Kindred fared afar.
The Inquisition burned its way across all of Europe, leaving no place to hide and destroying entire bloodlines.
The many clans concluded that only secrecy through cooperation could insure survival. Just as the mortals banded together in masses and drew their strength from the fact that no lone Kindred could assault them at all, the Kindred themselves needed to set aside their age-old differences and come together for mutual protection. Clanbook: Tremere inquisition, whole those who supported the notion of secrecy helped to withdraw from society and conceal the movement of kindred among humans.
The Ventrue widely clam credit for the formation of the Camarilla, and the Toreador not that the impassioned speeches of one of their own swayed enough reluctant Kindred to make the union work.
But our own weight, lent quietly behind the planners, forged the union. With our gifts we could secure meetings from intrusion, track infiltrators and establish the certitude of other Kindred. Careful placement of a vote here or a favor there enabled us to be certain that other clans would move in the directions we proposed. By backing a certain Ventrue lord, we could call upon his support later against someone he would normally champion; praising a Toreador here would mean the Toreadors eloquence used on our behalf.
Let the others take credit for the Camarilla the Ventrue would still be trumpeting their responsibility to lead Kindred to safety, and the Toreador still making impassioned speeches, if we Tremere had not been there to make sure that things were done. Many of the elders from other clans were unused to rapid change, and could not foresee creating a union such as the Camarilla in less than centuries. We, on the other hand, knew only too well the need to remain constantly vigilant from night to night, adapting to survive in the hostile arenas wed newly joined.
Eventually many elders of the Brujah, Gangrel, Malkavian, Nosferatu, Toreador and Ventrue clans joined us in recognizing the need for secrecy. So came about the Camarilla, accepted widely among these clans and upholding the Six Traditions as a means to hide amongst humans and coexist without open warfare.
Those Kindred who felt the Camarilla too restrictive, or who had committed crimes too grievous to be allowed to survive, found themselves outside the aegis of the organization. The Founders quickly set justicars and archons to the task of rooting out such treacherous influences. These rogues formed the anarchs; ostensibly they protested the Camarillas political structure, but in truth many simply fled because as diablerists, kinslayers or wanton menaces they threatened the stability of Kindred society by their existence and knew that they would be subdued should they attempt to join.
The Camarilla ultimately succeeded. As Kindred disappeared from common sight, mortals turned their attentions from monsters in the dark to the pursuit of reason. Like a young adult putting away childish things, humans left behind their superstitions and instead took up knowledge. We inherited the truth of the occult. As rational and scientific humans trickled into the folds of other clans, those clans accommodated; their own knowledge of the Kindred condition and Chapter One: The Price of Immortality 17 Naturally, the tenuous security of the new-founded Camarilla precipitated danger.
The Tzimisce and Lasombra clans set themselves in opposition to the Camarilla as anarchs claimed credit for the destruction of those clans progenitors; the unaffiliated clans and anarchs wantonly violated the Camarillas Traditions but still claimed protection of Camarilla sires. The situation became nigh untenable as the combination of anarch sensibilities and Tzimisce sorcery brought forth an even greater threat the Sabbat.
Somehow, using Tzimisce witchery, the anarchs learned to break the blood bond and form feral packs of mutual defense. From the Iberian Peninsula to the crags of Romania, disenfranchised or hunted Kindred threw in their lot with the rebels. Discarding the secrecy of the Camarilla as weak, the Sabbat undertook vicious rituals and rites to strengthen their own inhuman nature. Even our own clan was not unscathed: Goratrix, long the most ambitious supporter of the Tremere, openly defected.
He took to the Sabbat several apprentices as well as his own knowledge of Thaumaturgy, casting havoc over the entire clan and laying our own best weapons at the feet of the enemy, who would have the Inquisition burn us all. Perhaps sensing the blood already awash, the Assamites of the Middle East redoubled their assaults upon Camarilla Kindred. Princes fell to the thirsty fangs of the assassins, who diablerized any elder they could find. Sabbat packs, too, roared into cities and bade their own grisly festivals, bringing war to the Camarilla with ever-increasing swarms of crazed, fanatical neonates.
Pressure built for the Camarilla to do something, but the justicars were spread thin and unable to counter the innumerable sites of battle. The only chance lay in a massive turn of events. Advantages The formation of the Camarilla not only assisted us in hiding among mortals, but also gave us other decided advantages.
By taking positions as founders in the Camarilla, we managed to legitimize our place in Kindred society. Those who once called us usurpers and diablerists now had to acknowledge our acceptance as equals.
Furthermore, we improved our own specialized position. Kindred with real comprehension of occultism became scarcer in passing years as the Masquerade eroded arcane knowledge in favor of reason.
Fledglings and neonates had little real information regarding the Kindred condition. Our network of learned members allowed us to trade vital information and preserve occult secrets, which we could sparingly use as leverage with other Kindred.
We retained this wisdom as keyholders to the arcane. Anarchy and the Sabbat As the Dark Ages gave way to the Middle Ages and then the Renaissance, Kindred struggled with their own transformation from potent lords to hidden predators. Stripped of the means to coexist as masters of mortal realms, Kindred turned their attention to one another. The Camarilla provided a means for Kindred to meet safely and to measure their standing against their peers.
While solitary feudal lords remained in some isolated parts of Europe largely in the ancestral lands of the barbaric Tzimisce most courts grew to accommodate Kindred of varying clans, who had only one anothers approval to preen their egos. Camarilla Kindred used political influence, blood bonds, mortal intermediaries and blackmail to humiliate their enemies and garner prestige.
Early on we recognized the folly of becoming targets in such games, so while other Kindred vied for positions of power and influence, we fortified ourselves with the careful brokerage of our specialized skills.
Ventrue princes and Toreador harpies fought bitterly over matters of status and prestation, Brujah and Gangrel struggled against Camarilla oppression, and Malkavians and Nosferatu sulked unaccepted in polite society, but we gave them all tools to fulfill their petty ambitions, to ruin their enemies and to defend their domains. Beyond the domains of the Camarilla, expatriates and anarchs established their own social order of sorts.
Some truly believed that the Camarillas structure boded ill, while others simply proved incapable of existing in civilized society. Regardless, these malcontents provoked the Anarch Revolt, a hidden conflict as foolish neonates or diablerists Kindred sought to make their fortunes outside the auspices of the Camarilla.
For the better part of a century these anarchs clashed with the Camarilla, while foreign clans Assamites, Ravnos, Setites plied their trades or even struck at the Camarilla before fading back into obscurity. Bonds of Thaumaturgy Once again, our clan rescued the elders of the Camarilla from their inability to react to change.
Recognizing the dangers of a subtle war on multiple fronts, the Council of Seven undertook to develop some of the most potent Thaumaturgy ever considered. As the Camarillas spies infiltrated the Assamite havens, and the followers of Goratrix ensconced themselves in the Sabbat as maniacal mirrors to our own clan, the council made its will manifest in ritual.
Using principals of Contagion and fueling the massive effects with their own potent sorceries, the council managed to cast a set of rituals that affected entire blood lineages. Camarilla spies had already penetrated the Assamites stronghold when the concerted weight of the sect brought the assassins to heel. To enforce matters, the council cast a mighty curse over the Assamites that attended the signing of the Treaty of Tyre.