The Camarilla is also known as “The Ivory Tower,” and the Sect lives up to that moniker. Created in the 15th century, the Camarilla was formed to preserve and protect vampire society against the decimation brought on by the Inquisition as well as the power drain presented by the War of Princes during the Dark Ages. The leaders of the Camarilla ruthlessly enforced the Tradition of the Masquerade, elevating it to the Sect’s highest law, a priority they continue to pursue even in modern nights. These so-called “Kindred” seek to maintain a quiet harmony between vampires and humanity—a goal constantly threatened by the Sabbat.
The Camarilla considers itself to be vampire society, and there is some validity to their hubris. It is the largest Sect of Kindred, after all, and nearly any city on the globe likely has some Camarilla presence. A Kindred who walks into a new city and looks for the local vampire population will, more often than not, find a Camarilla court. This expansiveness is partially due to the fact that the Camarilla says that any vampire, regardless of Clan or bloodline, may go to a Prince and claim membership in the Camarilla. It’s also partially due to the fact that the Camarilla claims that all vampire society falls under its authority, regardless of what other vampires believe. Many Kindred find it easier to sit in the shadow of the Ivory Tower than debate the point.
Over the centuries, the Camarilla has moved to make good on its claims of global dominance, but with limited success. Vampires are territorial by nature, and there is a world of difference between a Prince supporting the idea that a Justicar claims total authority over the globe and Archons showing up at the borders of her domain and demanding total obedience. Elder vampires who remember a time before Sects scoff at what they see as “neonate audacity.” Still, the fires of the Inquisition continue to burn in many elders’ memories, and many are willing to give up a few rights to continue preserving the Masquerade and assure their safety against mortal society.
Camarilla cities are not as cosmopolitan as the Sect asserts. While Kindred of any lineage can claim membership, most come from the founding Clans of the Camarilla: the Brujah, Gangrel, Malkavians, Nosferatu, Toreador, Tremere, and Ventrue. These Clans helped to create the Camarilla, and they have a seat on the Inner Circle. Vampires of other bloodlines can attend conclave and meetings, but they are treated as minority voices or simply ignored.
After the Sabbat formed, the Camarilla opposed them as the only way to preserve and protect the Masquerade and its own Kindred. As the Sabbat threw away the Traditions and all pretenses of humanity, the Ivory Tower stood its ground and declared the Sabbat as enemies of the Sect. Since then, the Camarilla has been in an alternating cold and hot war, trading territories like two warring nations, and anyone who does not stand with the Camarilla against the Sabbat may be considered to be aiding the enemy.
As a result of this ongoing conflict with the Sabbat, in modern nights the Ivory Tower is crumbling, losing a few bricks here and there while it proudly proclaims itself to be strong and whole. The elders cling to their power bases, growing increasingly paranoid that other Kindred are Sabbat infiltrators or Anarch sympathizers. Neonates feel more and more like serfs to the elder nobility, asked to protect and uphold an organization in which they have little hope of advancement but plenty of opportunities for punishment. The ancillae end up in the worst position: unable to break the glass ceiling of elder dominance, but given enough scraps of power to make the younger Kindred sharpen their knives in jealousy.
The enemies of the Camarilla have taken notice, and bide their time.