==An Overview of the Sabbat==

The Sabbat is seen by those outside the sect as an organization with no purpose other than to prey on other Kindred and consume their vitae through Diablerie and to spread of dissension and rebellion throughout the younger members of Kindred society. It's members are seen by other Kindred as callous and vicious brutes who place no value on Kindred existence, let alone human life, and seem to revel in releasing the Beast during frenzy. They are entrenched in the occult, carrying on bizarre and unspeakable rituals unseen by outsiders.This is a gross generalization and misinterpretation of Sabbat ideals. In fact, once one sets foot outside the walls of the Sabbat, a black cloud of misinformation permeates most discussions of the sect. It is this mystery of the Sabbat that has long fascinated younger Kindred of the Camarilla: indeed, some even turn their backs on the Camarilla to join the Sabbat's ranks, never to be heard from again by their comrades in the Camarilla.

Rumors and mistruths do indeed abound concerning the Sabbat, often fueled by the sect itself to prevent the Camrailla frommlearning too much. Most of these can be dismissed, although some of hold a ring of truth.

  • The Anarchs are in league with the Sabbat, acting as spies for them and as recruiters from within the enemy.
  • The Sabbat was founded by Caine himself, it is the Camarilla that is controlled by the Antediluvians.
  • Diablerie is the true goal of the Sabbat. The sect intends to devour its way through all the blood lines of the Camarilla.
  • Certain Sabbat Vampires know a ritual that allows them to move freely in daylight hours for periods of time commensurate to their powers and generation.
  • No member of the Sabbat can be Blood Bound to another Vampire outside of the Sabbat. The Sect uses special rituals to prevent the creation of blood bonds and to break existing blood bonds.
  • The Sabbat is organized in a way similar to the Tremere. There is a small group of Elders to which all member of the Sabbat must be Blood Bound.
  • Clans within the Sabbat are not recognized as distinct and do not hold clan gatherings. Sabbat Vampires consider the Sect first and the Clan second.
  • Sabbat rituals involve Fire Walking and other uses of fire. Some Sabbat Vampires have even developed immunity to flames.
  • Assamites are among the Sabbat and are the assassins of the Elders, practicing diablerie for the benefit of the Sabbat Elders.
  • The Black Hand is another name for the Sabbat.

In reality, the Sabbat is founded on two basic principles: Freedom and Loyalty. Each vampire is taught that she is part of a larger reality in which her life is dependent on those with whom she is Bonded. The Sabbat also teaches new vampires that it is their responsibility to become as strong as possible in order to be effective warriors when the Antediluvians wake. Before the time of Gehenna, they must hone their skills through contest and battle with the servants of the Antediluvians, the Camarilla infidels.The Sabbat is unliving proof of Darwin's theory, the strong survive. The Sabbat heavily bases the creation and recognition of new Sabbat on choosing only the strong and then putting them through trials to prove themselves. They do not see themselves as Kindred, but as Vampires and only use the word Kindred with sarcasm. The Sabbat consider themselves at the apex of the food chain. They speak as if they were the true sons and daughters of Caine and continually try to convert the Camarilla Kindred to their own wild ways. All within the Sabbat are Embraced by members of a pack and then are Blood Bound to each other. Vaulderie, the giving of blood from all Sabbat members to create a bond between the embibers, is practiced. Clan lines are often crossed to gain strength and although different packs within the Sect may arise by city, their loyalty to the Sabbat as a whole can be considered fanatical.

The Sabbat preach freedom from the ruling fist of Elder vampires. The Sect was founded on the principle that no vampire should be forced to die for the cowardice of those who created him. The idea behind the Vinculum is that this shared Blood Bond creates loyalty among all vampires of the sect and inspires them to unify in troubled times in order to destroy the enemy. Participation in the Vinculum also prevents one vampire from being secretly Bonded only to another. Like the Catholics they parody, the Sabbat see the ritual of Vaulderie, in which all participants spill some of their blood into a chalice and then drink from it, as sort of vampiric communion with Caine.

The Sabbat has very firm beliefs about all outsiders. Sect members are known for their distinct separation of everyone into a categorization of "us or them". To the Sabbat, all non-Sabbat are "them", regardless of whether "they" are Vampires, Lupines, Mortals, or whatever. The Sabbat does have a few allies, but the Sect cooperates only to a limited degree, and only when it is to the Sabbat's advantage.

Conflict within the Sect is dealt with through Monomacy, a dual, fought within the Arena. The winner wins the conflict and the respect of the loser. The Challenger sends the offender a challenge which must be promptly accepted or denied. If a Sabbat denies a challenge, he is usually branded a coward, and while no one may force a Sabbat to accept a challenge, the cowardly Vampire is regarded with suspicion by his superiors. If the offender subsequently takes an action deemed harmful to the sect, the Sabbat's superior will remove the Vampire's title an right to lead. Vampires who continuously abuses Monomacy as a way of achieving power over others are usually assassinated under orders of the Inner Circle. They do not like threats to their positions.

Sabbat feel they are superior to humans. They feel no sympathy for humans; indeed, to live and act human, to feel human, is against their nature. Sabbat is the chosen. Mortals are not considered even of the same race as Sabbat. Mortals are considered animals and treated as pets and food. Sabbat occasionally use mortals as followers, servants, and spies. Mortal retainers are viewed as property and their owner may use them in any manner they see fit. Some of the most faithful mortals may become ghouls. Each ghoul is Blood Bound to only one Sabbat Vampire and does not participate in the Vaulderie. The sponsor or owner, is held accountable for all the ghoul's actions.

The Paths of Enlightenment describe, to an extent, how each Vampire views freedom, loyalty and his own vampiric nature. Sabbat have no humanity, so the Paths are essential to character formation, as they provide the moral code by which the vampire lives. Freedom and loyalty can be taken in many directions and usually are. Most packs have common ideas of how these two principles function, and many share similar Paths, clans and political factions.

It is a Sabbat belief that anyone who is not serving the Sabbat is serving the Antediluvians and must be converted or destroyed. The Sabbat continues to plan and raise sieges against Camarilla-held cities in hopes of achieving this end. The Sabbat's primary goals include destruction of Camarilla Elders, Methuselahs and Antediluvians.

Clans of the SabbatEdit

The Sabbat is composed of 16 clans/bloodlines. They are the Antitribu (or anti-tribe), of every Camarilla clan (with the exception of the Giovanni). They consist of parallels to the primary Camarilla clans. In addition to these Antitribu, there are also two other clans that are very rarely found outside the Sabbat: the Lasombra and the Tzimisce, as well as other lesser Bloodlines (the Ahrimanes, Kiasyd and Blood Brother and the Panders - a unifed group of Caitiff).

The clans of the sabbat are many, and they hold many secrets. Some of these are listed below

  • Assamite Antitribu
  • Brujah Antitribu
  • Gangrel Antitribu
  • Lasombra
  • Malkavian Antitribu
  • Nosferatu Antitribu
  • Panders
  • Ravnos Antitribu
  • Serpents of the Light
  • Toreador Antitribu
  • Tremere Antitribu
  • Tzimisce
  • Ventrue Antitribu
  • Ahrimanes
  • Blood Brothers
  • Kiasyd

History of the SabbatEdit

Early in the millenia the Tremere Mages recreated themselves as vampires using Tzimisce, Gangrel and Nosferatu blood, and then began expanding from their bases in Transylvania into the Tzimisce territory of eastern europe. The Tzimisce lost much of the Carpathians fighting and losing ground to the Tremere, and the other Clans who moved in to pick off the weakening Tzimisce. In their zeal to win the Tzimisce abused their childer more than usual.The Vaulderie was found by a coterie of Tzimisce and shared with the disgruntled childer of other Clans, notably Gratiano of the LaSombra. Gratiano Diablerized his Sire, LaSombra, and by force, leadership and playing on his Clans approval of a successful coup, formed the Sabbat along with the Tzimisce and those Anarchs who did not return to their Sires after the Anarch Revolt ended with the Convention of Thorns.

The LaSombra rule the Sabbat, backed by the Tzimisce. There are suspicions that the Tzimisce are the true rulers but in the name of freedom, something which never particularly interested either Clan before, they were able to attract the Childer of their enemy Clans into the Sabbat to fight the emerging Camarilla for them.

After 200 years of conflict the Sabbat moved to Scandinavia. During the transition the Sabbat developed new codes to live by, denying that they were human any longer. The Paths of Enlightenment are:

  • Path of Caine
  • Path of Cathari
  • Path of Death and the Soul
  • Path of Evil Revelations
  • Path of Harmony
  • Path of Honorable Accord
  • Path of Power and the Inner Voice

The Sabbat also developed magical rituals of their own and formed the Black Hand to police the Sabbat itself.Early in the 1600s they moved again to theAmericas and set about controlling key cities. As more Camarilla filtered into the colonies these cities became battlegrounds, some of which were lost and some of which are still contested, New York City being the most significant.

Goratrix of Clan Tremere and many of his followers joined the Sabbat, along with others of the Camarilla Clans, but the Sabbat still failed to defeat the Camarilla in the colonies and many in the Sect began to suspect their leaders weren't as strong as they had thought. From the mid-1800s to the 1930s internal power struggles reorganized the leadership and brought about a schism.

Ranks in the Sabbat

The Sabbat is not a very structured sect. There are many levels and positions of leadership. However, unlike the Camarilla, the positions are filled only by the most loyal and capable vampires, regardless of generation. The role of leader in the sect is just that: A Leader. Leaders are not rulers. However, the higher the level of leadership, the more Sabbat will listen to and obey the leader.The Sabbat uses the titles of clergy to denote the basic levels of leadership that exist within the sect. The practice started partially out of mockery, but has developed into a useful representation of leadership.

Regent - The highest title in the Sabbat is that of Regent, who is the absolute leader of the Sabbat and (according to Sabbat doctrine) is merely overseeing the sons and daughters of Caine until Caine returns to lead his children himself. The Regent is the president, so to speak, of this vampire sect. The Regent does not have absolute authority, but her directives are usually carried out. The title of Regent is currently held by Melinda (Lasombra). There have been only 4 Regents in the Sabbat's history (3 Lasombra and one Tzimisce). The Regents responsibilities include:

  • Oversee all matters of the Pack
  • Handle all disputes that cannot be resolved by the Cardinals/Prisci
  • Has the authority to make/break alliances and declare enemies *
  • Has all powers regarding promotion and demotion of those within the Pack *
  • May bring others in to Unlife or give them Final Death *
  • Member of the Inner Circle with full voting power

Cardinals - Assisting the Regent are the Cardinals of the Sabbat. This lot has managed to gain control over large geographical regions, similar to how the Tremere Inner Circle have large assigned territories. . The Cardinals seldom answer to the Regent or the Prisci unless their activities have a detrimental effect on the Sabbat as a whole. The Cardinals are responsible for all that happens within their regions, and for planning and delegating all Sabbat activities within their respective regions. There are 13 Cardinals, chosen by status within the Sect and not by clan.

The Cardinals responsibilities include:

  • Assist and advise the Regent
  • Handle all disputes involving more than one Clan that cannot be resolved by the ArchBishops/Bishops
  • Has the authority to make/break alliances and declare enemies *
  • Can promote or demote those of a lessor rank *
  • May bring others in to Unlife or give them Final Death *
  • Members of the Inner Circle with full voting power

Prisci - Below the Cardinals in power are the Prisci. The Prisci act as a board of directors for the Regent, similar to a Camarilla city's Primogen and advising the Regent and the Cardinals about the affairs of the sect. Atthought they report to the Cardinals, they serve the Regent directly. Most are Elders or powerful Ancillae. One member from each clan is chosen, for a total of 13. The most prestigious of the clan members generally hold the rank of Prisci .

The Prisci's responsibilities include:

  • Advise the Regent and Cardinals of the Pack
  • Members of the Inner Circle with full voting power
  • Unable to bring others into Unlife, give them Final Death, promote or demote, or make/break alliances and declare enemies *

Together the Cardinals and the Prisci form the Inner Circle. No one with status less then 4 could ever see the Inner Circle to meet with them, unless they summoned you for whatever reason.Arch-Bishop - Serving each Cardinal of the Sabbat are ArchBishops. Arch-Bishops serve their territory's Cardinal, holding sway over a smaller region, similar to a Camarilla Prince ruling a city. These vampires usually rise through the ranks, serving lengthy tenures as priests and bishops of the sect. Each Cardinal has the power to appoint whomever he wishes to the position of ArchBishop. Some accept bribes, but vampires who gain their positions in this manner often mysteriously disappear. Multiple Arch-Bishops preside over these smaller domains, all contained within a single Cardinal's region.

The ArchBishop's responsibilities include:

  • Oversee all matters of a clan within the Pack and lead that Clan
  • Assist and advise the Cardinals
  • Handle all disputes involving members of their Clan
  • May bring others into Unlife *

Bishop - Below the ArchBishops are the Bishops. The Bishops serve the Arch Bishops and are given domains in a city to control as a vassal for the Arch-Bishop.

The Bishop's responsibilities include:

  • Advise the ArchBishops of the Clan
  • Assist ArchBishops in Clan matters when necessary
  • Unable to bring others into Unlife, give them Final Death, promote or demote, or make/break alliances and declare enemies *

Priest - Serving the Bishops are Priests, who serve as the religious leaders of Sabbat Packs, of which there is one Priest per pack. The Priests are responsible for leading the Sabbat rituals and ceremonies for the Pack. They may be any ranking or non-ranking member of the Pack and are often the Pack Leader as well.

The Priest is the only member of the Pack that may directly speak to the Bishop about a subject. You may have any status to speak to the Priest, but Status:2 to the Bishop, Status:3 for Arch Bishop, and Status:4 for the Prisci/Cardinal. Status:6 or greater is required to meet the Regent personally. Going against these norms are deemed very deadly, as the Status game is followed by the assassination game.Paladins - Also called Templars. The protectors of the Sabbat. Originally formed as a response to the fears concerning the loyalty of the Black Hand. The Leaders of the Sabbat may call upon the Paladins, or Templars, of the Sabbat as protectors. From the Rank of Bishop on up, have at least one Templar bodyguard. Many have whole packs of them. The Regent has the largest at 30 members who follow her every whim. The Templars are more loyal to the people they protect then to the Sabbat.

Sabbat PacksEdit

The pack is a basic unit of structure for the sect, serving both social and military functions. All Sabbat, even the sect's leaders, are members of a pack. A Sabbat vampire does not have much choice about the pack to which he will belong since he has no control over who chooses to embrace him. He must remain a member of the pack that created him. Packs maintain their own permanent communal havens. They travel occasionally, but one city remains their home. Packs conduct their business on a certain night each week. These weekly meetings are known as esbats. Often an Ignoblis Ritus will be held during the esbat, but it is mainly used to conduct pack business. All pack members must attend unless a good reason for absence is given in advance.

All Sabbat put their sect before themselves and everything else in the world. They know what will happen to them if they do not. The Sabbat treats disloyalty very harshly, and some members have perfected the art of torture and disfigurement. Final Death is the only real choice for the disloyal.

This does not mean that all within the sect possess the same opinions. Among the fanatics are those with differing views on all Sabbat activities. The Sabbat leaders do not want mindless drones. They want strong-willed vampires ready to face death for the second time. Only strong Sabbat can understand true freedom, and they are the ones who push the sect on to domination.

The Sabbat provides protection, freedom and loyalty to all its members. These gifts are not without their costs. The members are required to protect sect interests, carry out missions and to give the Sabbat total fealty and devotion. All Sabbat have what are called Vinculums, or special bonds of love and loyalty shared with their pack. The Vinculum varies between all members, but always translates into a strong love for and loyalty to the sect itself. While Vinculum strength may vary with each individual bond, Sabbat vampires tend to be stronger in their loyalty and devotion to the sect itself than to individual members. Because of this Vinculum for the Sabbat itself, its members are considered fanatics. Most are willing to accept Final Death for the good of the sect. In addition, this special Blood Bond makes the Sabbat's secrets especially hard to uncover.

From the day a Sabbat vampire is Embraced, she has certain responsibilities. All Sabbat must uphold pack tradition and practices. They must choose and support leaders who serve the good of the Sabbat as well as the good of the pack itself. They must challenge weak and incompetent leaders as well as those who serve only their own interests. They must perform missions for their leaders. They must work to destroy all the enemies of the Sabbat. Finally, they must be willing to give up their immortal lives for their sect.

Unlife in the Sabbat is wild and dangerous. Most Sabbat vampires do not exist long after they have been Embraced. Younger members are considered the most expendable. Constant fighting with the Camarilla and other foes, such as the Inquisition and Lupines, forces Sabbat to live on the edge. While the Camarilla vampires fear Final Death and seldom take great risks, the Sabbat's basic beliefs lead all sect members to do whatever it takes to carry out the mission of saving Kindred from Gehenna.

The pack fills two important, connected roles for the Sabbat. First and foremost, it serves a combat function. This military aspect is important for furthering Sabbat plans. The second function of the pack is to provide a social group for individual Sabbat.

The Clan does not play an important role in the pack. Each clan maintains its own ties, but these are secondary to those of the pack. Clans sometimes hold their own gatherings, and members often partake of the Vaulderie together.

Rituals of the SabbatEdit

The Sabbat has established may rituals to strengthen its bonds of loyalty and fraternity. Some rituals, called the Auctoritas Ritae, are practiced by the entire sect. Other rituals, called the Ignoblis Ritae, vary in manner and observation among the packs.Auctoritas Ritae The entire sect practices Auctoritas Ritae because of long-standing tradition, as well as their significance in Sabbat beliefs. The rituals are usually led by the clergy (the priests) of the Sabbat. The following are the rituals that will be observed on a regular basis:

  • The Blood Bath:
    The Blood Bath is held whenever sect leaders recognize a Sabbat Vampire as having rightful claim to a title. All the Sabbat who will be under the leadership of the vampire are invited to attend the ceremony. Each subservient vampire is brought before her superior. The superior recognizes the vampire and proceeds to give praise and advice. The titled vampire then shares in the Vaulderie with all present. After this, the vampire is actually led to a pool of fresh and blood bathes in it.

    All ranking vampires (Regent, Cardinals, Prisci, ArchBishops, and Bishops) will be treated to this ritual upon their taking upon their rank. It will be attending by all vampires who are able to be in attendance, whether they will be subservient to that vampire or not.
  • The Blood Feast:
    The Blood Feast is held at almost all important gatherings. Humans, and possibly an enemy Kindred, are chained and hung from the ceiling upside down. The Sabbat at the gathering are allowed to bite open the victim and fill their glasses with blood. It is customary to lick the wound closed when finished, so as not to waste any vitae. The Blood Feast is blood on tap.
  • The Creation Rites:
    This ritual is used when recruiting new members for the sect. In it, all those chosen to become Sabbat are drained of their blood and then given a small amount of vitae from their sires. The Sabbat then bludgeon the chosen unconscious and bury them. Those who claw their way to the surface are knocked out again. They are taken to the secret haven of the pack, where they are awakened and their new status explained.
  • The Vaulderie:
    Of all the Auctoritas Ritae, the Vaulderie constitutes the most important ritual the Sabbat practices, for it is the source of their freedom and solidarity. In fact, it is essential to what the sect is, the foundation for Sabbat society and success. It is a ceremony of Blood Bonding with all other Sabbat present. The Vaulderie breaks all other Blood Bonds and establishes a Vinculum (bond) between all Sabbat taking part in the ritual. The feeling the Vaulderie creates is one of fellowship, comfort and intense loyalty. It raises the morale of the participants and gives them a tremendous rush. The loyalty created by this bond is far beyond any human emotion and therefore, much more profound.
  • Games of Instinct:
    Sabbat believe the strong alone survive. The Games of Instinct test vampires to see who among them are the strongest. The games are meant as competitions and many place bets on who will win. There are many types of games, and Sabbat are always inventing new ones. The games test such things as hunting ability, resistance to pain, fighting ability, bravery and wit. The Games of Instinct are like sport for the undead.
  • Monomacy:
    Monomacy is the method for handling grievances among Sabbat vampires through combat. It allows vampires to challenge each other in duels to settle their differences.
  • Sermons of Caine:
    All vampires in the Sabbat know the story of their origins from the Book of Nod. The Sabbat often gather to hear sermons on their history to remind them of who and what they are. The sermons are used to strengthen Sabbat loyalty and ideology. Sermons of Caine are usually carried out by Sabbat priests following the Path of Caine, and by higher-level leaders during other rituals. Sermons of Caine are always followed by the Vaulderie.
  • The Wild Hunt:
    Sabbat vampires seldom turn traitor, but those who do rarely survive. The Sabbat is a sect which protects its secrets. If a member reveals something to the enemy that could harm the sect, she is punished severely. Should the enemy ever manage to gain something of vital importance from a Sabbat vampire, the Wild Hunt is called. The Wild Hunt is much like a Blood Hunt, except the Wild Hunt targets all those who may possess the secret knowledge. The hunt is truly wild. The Sabbat stop at nothing to destroy all who possess their secrets, especially the Sabbat traitor who revealed the secrets in the first place.

Other rituals may be observed on special occasions, such as the Festivo dello Estinto, Palla Grande, or Danse Macabre. In addition, all vampires must swear to the Oath of Loyalty. There will be a Pack Symbol and a Test of Verification that each vampire will be made aware of upon completion of all necessary requirements to reach the rank of Cainite. Any time a ritual is to be observed, all members will be given advance notice of the coming festivities. The eldest and highest ranking priest will be responsible for determining which other rituals will be observed and when. If someone would like to see a ritual held they must contact this person to set it up.