California, the Golden State, California, the Free State. The land of Hollywood, palm trees, warm weather, beaches and super models, where movie stars vacation and anyone's dream can be accomplished. But there's a dark side to this glowing hip of land, with vampires lurking in the shadows, waging secret wars amongst their own kind using mortals as pawns and soldiers in their sordid political games. California's night side has always been in the shifting control of Anarch hordes, kindred fighting amongst themselves over rules and ideals, turf and dominance, until times came for them to band together and drive off Sabbat and Camarilla alike, as well as other, younger Anarchs who hadn't put in the time and effort that they had, and had no right to a piece of their pie.
With the Camarilla creeping their control into the Free State through the north, and the Sabbat lashing out from the south and south east, the Anarchs of California fight at unfavorable odds to keep their turfs under their control. Many Anarchs have become the things they so reviled, setting themselves up as Barons of Fiefs, laying their rules and ensuring that their lessers follow those rules through violence and charisma alike.
In a single epic blast the Sabbat was crippled. The Camarilla swept in during this time of weakness, confusion and mourning. They exploited it to secure the borders and begin enforcing their hegemony. Prospect is now a Camarilla City. The Anarchs exist under the tolerance and protection granted by the Treaty of Thorns while the Sabbat have mostly retreated to Tijuana.
Rules and Systems
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The Camarilla is the largest of vampiric sects, a loose organization which ostensibly represents and protects all vampires by enforcing and promulgating the Masquerade. It is primarily composed of the pillar clans, though officially it considers all Kindred under its purview and welcomes any that obey its laws:
Note: In the City of Hope universe, both Assamite and Gangrel are currently pillar clans of the Camarilla. This is not a mistake, this is a deliberate choice by staff. The backstory leading to this situation will eventually be fleshed out. Many other members of these clans remain independent of other factions.
In addition to preventing the growing mortal masses from discovering the existence of vampires, the Camarilla aims to maintain the status quo of Kindred society.
The Sabbat is a loose organization of Cainites who reject the Traditions. Unlike the Camarilla, the Sabbat believes in the Antediluvians (Ancient Vampires) and Caine. Also known as the Sword of Caine, as they believe they will be the army Caine will use to destroy the Antediluvians once Gehenna (the End Times) arrives. They are primarily composed of two clans:
The independent clans have their own internal structure (which are fairly sophisticated for some of the clans) and generally have no truck with any other organization.
(Assamites, Gangrel: See above notes on the Camarilla.)
Anarchs are vampires who reject the status quo of vampire society. They especially resent the privileged status held by elders within the Camarilla and other vampire sects; when the eldest hold the most power in a society of immortals, the lot of neonates is not a happy one. The Anarchs themselves are not a sect, per se; in most areas, they are simply a faction on the fringes of the dominant Camarilla hierarchy. However, a loosely-organized Anarch Movement has emerged over the course of the past century, and has begun to establish its own traditions, power blocs, territories, and all the other trappings of a full-fledged sect.
An Autarkis is a Kindred refusing to be part of Cainite Society and to recognize a prince's domain. One may become an Autarkis either voluntarily, by retreating from sect and clan politics entirely, or involuntarily, by being forcibly excommunicated by one's sect.
The Kuei-jin? I don't believe they exist.