Vanguard of the Four Pillars
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This page is for the Vanguard of the Four Pillars Mind's Eye Society Vampire the Masquerade Sabbat game located in Sacramento California, and contains information about the history and setting for our game. Unless specifically noted otherwise, all of the following information is considered IC information accessible to anyone with a sufficient justification to know it. If you are unsure as to whether or not a character has sufficient justification to know something, please consult the VST Christopher Foster. If you are considering portraying a character in our game, whether you are creating a new character or just visiting, please review our Venue Style Sheet.
Once one of the most powerful Sabbat strongholds in the world, the City of Sacramento used to be home to some of the most powerful and feared Cainites in all of the Sabbat, but in the aftermath of the Second Sabbat Civil War the city was lost. While the Sabbat warred among themselves, the hated Camarilla called upon the blood sorcery of Clan Tremere to summon forth a storm to flood the valley, burying the Sabbat beneath the blood, mud and waves. The survivors clawed their way to the surface to find not only the Camarilla lying in wait, but the Anarchs and Independents as well. By the order of the Camarilla's Archons, they descended on the survivors, hunting them to the brink of extinction. Only a handful of Sabbat escaped the purge, each driven by the lure of their persistent vinculims, of oaths sworn to abandoned comrades crying out to them through the blood, compelling them to return to the spider's web. They were scattered and lost, joined with tattered remains of the Sabbat wherever the Sword of Caine could be found. Through the war the survivors made enemies of each other, siding with opposing political factions and adhering to different Paths of Enlightenment, but their rivalry only made them stronger. Whether in battle, or politics, genius, or spirituality, each of them seemed bound together by the vicissitudes of fate.
When the Camarilla launched an all out assault on Mexico City they arrived at the Sabbat's seat of power to find its armies decimated, and its eldest members cast as ashes to the wind. Taking up the reigns of leadership, they rallied the Sabbat, and helped to turn the tide of battle, and at the end of the war they stood side by side on the field of victory - no longer enemies but respected rivals. With the death of the old Regent and the implementation of the Code of Milan, they four met in solidarity and proposed an alliance - the Vanguard of the Four Pillars - a pledge to set aside their differences and commit themselves to retaking what was rightfully theirs. The siege of Sacramento was bloody glorious retribution. Under the leadership of Archbishop Viator, the Sabbat stormed the city, engaging the enemy as if participating in a trivial game of instinct, taking 10 of them for every 1 of their own. Secret wars raged across the city, the pawns of the Antediluvians exposing themselves to tend hopelessly to the Masquerade. The four burned the Camarilla from their havens, stalking them in the streets, and ashing every last so called Kindred they came across until none remained. In the final nights of the siege however, were laid seeds of conflict that would later threaten to tear the Vanguard of the Four Pillars apart, forsaking all oaths of fellowship. Alejenado del Castillo, then Ductus of the Magni Nominus Umbra, claimed the ashed of the Prince of Sacramento, declaring himself Kingslayer and disgracing Bjorn Ironside, Ductus of the Blood Eagles in the same breath. Bjorn had sworn to kill the Prince, a boast he was forced to see unfulfilled at the cost of his honor. With the city in hand, the Sabbat set about settling into their respective territories, but no sooner had the packs established their hunting grounds than news of the Archbishop's assassination at the hands of a resurgent Coterie of Camarilla Elders rocked the Sabbat. It was then that Alejandro stepped forward to fill the void, only to have Bjorn Ironside challenge him. At the end of the Monomacy, Bjorn drank Alejandro's soul, declaring to the assembled Sabbat that there would be no Bishop.
The Loyalists defy the Ultraconservatives. The message was clear, and it was the first instance of politics dividing the four since the establishment of the Vanguard of the Four Pillars, a fact that did not go unnoticed by Heralds of Woe and the Ancient Lawgivers, who were not even involved in the dispute to begin with. The loss of one of the four is seen as a senseless tragic loss, even to some members of the Blood Eagles who argue that by killing a member of the alliance they have placed themselves outside of its fellowship, and thus its protection. Tensions have been high between the Blood Eagles and the Magni Nominus Umbra for months. Open hostility between the rival packs are common, and violence has already occurred in isolated incidents, kindling heated political discourse among the packs and threatening to shatter the Sabbat's precarious unity. Meanwhile, rumors begin to circulate that there are surviving Camarilla Elders operating secretly within the city, possibly with the assistance of Archbishop Viator's assassins. Cainites are missing. Several members of the Magni Nominus Umbra have gone missing, and Bjorn Ironside is also missing. In an effort to staunch the flow of blood between the packs and to address the rumors of a hidden threat, Roland Allain Cuthbert III, Ductus of the Ancient Lawgivers, has called Esbat, extending the hospitality of his pack to all Initiated members of the Sabbat.
Complete Historical Timeline
Note: The following information is NOT considered to be IC knowledge. Please consult the VST before using any part of it. If you are making a new character you are free to use the information below to write your background, but what you know and how you know it, is still subject to storyteller approval and should be noted in your character's background.
- 1579: A historian accompanying Sir Francis Drake on his expedition off the coast of California reports there is no land there without a reasonable quantity of gold and silver. This report is intercepted by a cult of Sabbat Infernalists called the Angellis Ater. They erase all memory of its existence and begin making preparations to claim the fortune for themselves.
- 1775: Spanish-born Lasombra who had been in the New World since it was first colonized by Europeans faced encroaching packs of newly immigrant newly Embraced neonates, many of which were Tzimisce who desired more space and more freedom from the Elders. So began the First Sabbat Civil War. The American Revolutionary War was used as extremely effective cover for the raids and counter-raids launched by the fractious Sabbat. The younger Sabbat were driven from the cities, taking refuge among the Native American tribes who then suffered in their place.
- 1779: The American Revolution came to an end with the formal creation of the United States of America and the withdrawal of British military influence, but there was still sparring going on between the Eastern-urban Elders and the Western-rural Neonates. The Camarilla took this opportunity to insinuate itself in several East-Coast cities, namely Washington, D.C., the new capitol of the United States, New York, Atlanta, and other townships. From here they launched surgical attacks against both sides of the Sabbat divide.
- 1799: Lieutenant Gabriel Moraga leads an expedition from a Mission in San Jose and discovers the American and Sacramento rivers. The Angellis Ater accompany the Lieutenant and his men on this expedition. They encounter native werewolves who attack them on sight killing several Elder members of the cult.
- 1803: As the Sabbat realized that the attacks were not in fact undertaken by unruly neonates, the First Sabbat Civil war came to a grinding halt, as they scrambled to uncover and eliminate Camarilla agents in their own cities. In an effort to end the war, the Sabbat's leaders drafted the Purchase Pact, putting an end to all overt antagonism between the elders and their childer and allowing the Sabbat to focus on driving out the Camarilla influence.
- 1810: The Sabbat reassert their control over Mexico, as Mexican born Spanish, Mestizos, and Amerindians, rebel against Spain for their independence, resulting in the Mexican War of Independence, and an unlikely alliance between Mexican ex-royalists and Mexican guerrilla insurgents.
- 1833: Calling upon the powers of hell the leaders of the Angellis Ater afflict the indigenous people with disease sparing only those tribes who swore allegiance to the Shadow God. The epidemic kills 20,000 Native Americans, and leaving the surviving population unable to resist foreign expansion in the region. Mad with grief over the loss of their people, their culture, and their loved ones, many werewolves gave into the death rage, and with the assistance of their Shadow God, were put down by their own people.
- 1840: John Sutter, formerly a Captain of the Swiss Guard, swears allegiance to Mexico, and receives a land grant for 50,000 acres. He employs the native Miwok and Maidu tribes, who are now loyal to the Shadow Gods, in the construction of a fort and trading colony at New Helvetia, providing the Angellis Ater with food, shelter, and protection.
- 1841: The Angellis Ater sabotage other nearby settlements to bring livestock, manpower, and additional agricultural trade to Sutter's Fort. The cult instructs John Sutter to lease hundreds of acres to prospective farmers to plant and harvest crops near New Helvetia. With control of the supply all they would need to do is create the demand, but with the Sabbat having direct control of Mexico, revealing their secret would only create competition.
- 1846: John Sutter is called into military service by the Mexican Government during the Bear Flag Revolt, proceeding the Mexican American War. The Angellis Ater manipulate these events to distance themselves from the Mexican Sabbat. After a decisive victory in Monterey the citizens of Alta California declare independence from Mexico and swear allegiance to the United States, eliminating the Regent's control over the territory.
- 1848: The Angellis Ater permit the discovery of gold, initiating the California Gold Rush. Kine from every corner of civilization flood the valley, transforming the burgeoning town into a bustling city overnight. The cult quickly accumulates a fortune supplying the forty niners with equipment, food, drink, entertainment, and other amenities.
- 1849: William Sherman, a soldier, businessman, and educator, establishes the first buildings in the area on the embarcadero of the Sacramento River, and Darius Ogden Mills, founds the first bank, later to become president of The Bank of California. The speed at which the City of Sacramento came into being was intentional, primarily to prevent other vampires, especially staid Elders, from interfering in the Angellis Ater's affairs.
- 1850: At the time, Sacramento's power, wealth, and influence made it one of strongest Sabbat held cities in the world, rivaling even that of Mexico City, and its leader quickly rose through the ranks of the Sabbat to become Archbishop. The Regent however, was wary of the Archbishop's autonomy, and later declined his nomination to become Cardinal of the West. It was an insult the Archbishop would not soon forget.
- 1860: Using the American Civil War and French Invasion of Mexico as a smoke screen, the Camarilla launches a massive campaign against the Sabbat in North America, during which time the Regent is slain, not by the Camarilla but his own sect. The Archbishop of Sacramento was party to this conspiracy, exacting his revenge through the careful manipulation of the Ravnos Antitribu. That combined with the staggering loss of Sabbat territory to the Camarilla sent the sect spiraling into the Second Sabbat Civil War.
- 1861: As a direct result of the influence the Camarilla seized in the First Sabbat Civil War, and after several decades of failing to destroy entrenched Camarilla positions, Elders and their childer begin sniping at each other once more, each blaming the other for the lack of progress against the foe. The Northern Territories such as Canada, which had a stronger Tzimisce presence, and the Southern Territories, Mexico, where the Lasombra exercised more power begin antagonizing one another, resorting to isolated raids against one another's' holdings.
- 1862: For his part in the Regent's assassination the Archbishop was to become Regent, but he too was betrayed, by a co-conspirator called Melinda Galbraith who revealed his duplicity and exposed his allegiance to the infernal. He denied the allegations and clung to his power, outmaneuvering the Inquisition, and thwarting the Black Hand's attempts to assassinate him, until suddenly and without warning the valley was rent asunder by a catastrophic flood.
- 1863: The flood decimated the Sabbat's numbers in the area, trapping their armies deep in the earth where they quickly starved into torpor. Those who make it to the surface immediately renew hostilities, allowing the Camarilla an opportunity to take control of the city tentatively through their influence of mortals.
- 1864: The Camarilla arrive in Sacramento accompanied by an Archon and claim praxis over the domain. They form an alliance with the Anarchs and contract the Independents to help them drive the Sabbat from the city. The Sabbat are routed and run to ground. Only a handful of packs escape the Camarilla's purge. The rest flee into the wild or take refuge in neighboring Sabbat domains. Those who remain are hunted down and killed by the Prince's pet Josian.
- 1933: After seventy years of civil war Melinda Galbraith becomes Regent of the Sabbat and the Code of Milan is signed into sect law. The amended document forbids members of the sect from acting against the Sabbat or other members of the sect, putting an end to the Second Sabbat Civil War. This singularity of vision enabled the Sabbat to overcome its disorganization and emerge resurgent as legitimate contenders for the Camarilla's crumbling power.
- 1957: The Third Sabbat Civil War, the shortest in sect history, lasted only a hundred nights, and was an attempted coup by the Brujah Antitribu in New York against the Lasombra and Tzimisce who had held the city since its inception. Instead of plunging the Sabbat into another protracted and devastating war however, the conflict resulted in the rarest of Cainite diplomacy, compromise. The Lasombra and Tzimisce finally recognized the efforts of their Antitribu compatriots, and acknowledge them as equals, and even acknowledged the clanless, by conferring upon them clan status as Panders.
- 2000: The Camarilla's losses become so staggering they are forced to take action. Mexico City is hit directly by a massive Camarilla operation under the guise of the War on Terror. Despite the Sabbat utilizing every resource at their disposal the seat of their power is nearly undone by the Ivory Tower and the influence they wield over mortals. The Final Deaths of many of the Eldest members of the Sword of Caine, many who were themselves veterans of the major Crusades, are all accomplished within a few nights. The Sabbat, however, emerge victorious.
- 2003: The Regent is called to task for her failure to hold what was the Sabbat consider theirs and a little known Freak issues a call of challenge. The terms were quickly decided. Monomacy to the Final Death with the loser accepting they would lose their soul. Charles Walker kills Melinda Galbraith and becomes Regent of the Sabbat.
- 2005: With their warriors defeated and their resources exhausted, the Camarilla lies exposed and defenseless. Seizing this opportunity to finish off their enemies once and for all, the Sword of Caine declares a Crusade, laying siege to Camarilla cities all across the world. One by one Camarilla cities fall to the Sabbat. In Sacramento the packs return to exact their revenge and reclaim what is rightfully theirs. They set aside their differences and foreswear their enmity, sealing their pact with the vaulderie and thus binding their success to their loyalty.
- 2009: The Camarilla falls. The Sabbat slake their thirst upon the souls of the eldest, their blood rich with age and power. Four packs, the Magni Nominus Umbra, the Blood Eagles, the Heralds of Woe, and the Ancient Lawgivers, lay claim to their former territories. The Magni Nominus Umbra reclaim Sacramento proper. The Heralds of Woe take West Sacramento. The Ancient Lawgivers seize Davis, and the Blood Eagles lay claim Sutter and Yuba City/Marysville.
- 2012: At Palla Grande, the Sabbat gathered to discuss how they would retake their essential territory. It was here that they were interrupted by a weeping man by the name of Ignacio Parduke; the Ductus of a pack called First Evenings Light. Ignacio then detailed how crucial information was leaked through his pack to Camarilla Elders, aiding them in the destruction of brothers and sisters, and confessing to the murder of Archbishop Viator, a Cainite once known as the Savior of the South West.
- 2013: The first attempt to establish a hierarchy in Sacramento is made by the Ductus of the Magni Nominus Umbra, resulting in a challenge of Monomacy from the Ductus of the Blood Eagles. The Ductus of the Magni Nominus Umbra is killed, creating a rift between their packs. The Ancient Lawgivers supported the establishment of leader but refused to support a self proclaimed leader, while the Heralds of Woe argued against predetermined leadership in any form, asserting that when the time comes to choose a leader, that the Ducti instead choose who among them is best suited for the task at hand.