The Camarilla

The Camarilla is a small room, carved out of the Tarpeian Rock, that serves as the center of Kindred society. This is where the Senex sits, and where the most important decisions affecting all vampires are made. It is from this room that the organization of vampires takes its name.

There are several legends about the origin of the Camarilla. Some say that Remus found the room already carved from the rock, and simply took advantage of it. Others say that he burrowed it out with his own hands. Still others say that Senex excavated it under Remus’s direction. A few Kindred even believe that it was first used after the defeat of the Nemeses, and that the room was chosen because it was the site of a final battle. While the older Kindred should know, they disagree among themselves, and some casually affirm whichever legend best suits their current purposes.

The room is carved directly from the rock of the hill, so that the room’s surfaces are all living rock. It is rectangular, roughly 25 feet long by 10 feet wide. The walls are carved with niches, flanked by narrow columns with Doric capitals and surmounted by triangular pediments. There are eight niches in each of the longer walls, and three in each of the shorter. The Camarilla has eight entrances, two in each wall, and each entrance opens through a niche.

The third niche on the northern wall (one of the shorter ones) stands between the doors and holds a large stone chair, also carved from the living rock. This chair is reserved for Senex, and any other vampire who dares to sit in it is cursed. No one is sure whether the chair itself has supernatural power, but sorcerers among the Kindred take it upon themselves to punish such presumption, so the curses are certainly real, and varied, enough.

The six remaining niches on the longer walls are also carved with stone chairs, and with a long, narrow slot just below the pediment. These slots are just long enough for a vampire to stretch out in, and history reports that they were originally the havens of the most important Kindred who sat with Senex. If that was ever true, it has not been for centuries, and the cavities are now merely dusty curiosities.

The niche in the center of the southern wall contains an altar. There are traces of an inscription on the front, but almost all of the inscription has been hacked away, leaving it completely unreadable. Several versions of the inscription circulate among Kindred, particularly the Mekhet, with an interest in such things, but there is no evidence to suggest that any one is correct. The older Kindred simply do not talk about the altar. It is not used for anything, and older Kindred carefully avoid touching it. Most Kindred imitate them, but quite a few younger vampires can testify that nothing actually happens to you if you do touch it.

In the distant past, the Senex sat in the niches to deliberate over the fate of all vampires. In more recent nights, however, as many Kindred as can fit squeeze into the room, with others spilling out and down the corridors, trying to catch what is being said within. Only vampires who are actually within the Camarilla are allowed to speak to the Senex and be heard, but any vampire there may speak, and may not be attacked physically as long as the senex is in session. There is no longer term immunity from retribution, however, and a number of impudent neonates have been torn to pieces in the corridors after being dragged from the Camarilla itself.

The Camarilla is open at all times, and all Kindred are allowed to enter it. Some like to go there, to think about their Requiems in the presence of the past, but most of the time, the Camarilla is empty.

Equipment Bonuses: +1 to two dice for drawing on the history of the room while debating within it.

The Camarilla

Blood of Rome Darkfool