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What Is The Masquerade?



The Camarilla is a fictional sect of vampires in Vampire: The Masquerade. The Camarilla are composed of seven clans, and are the largest organization of vampires, and possibly of any supernatural creatures, in the World of Darkness.

Camarilla policy is that vampires should try to fit in with and hide from the rest of humanity, as to easily feed on them. For this reason, they created a web of lies and misinformation, called the Masquerade, to make the public believe that supernatural beings like vampires could not possibly exist.

The Masquerade refers to an organized conspiracy primarily orchestrated by the Camarilla to convince the general public that vampires do not exist. The Camarilla believes the Masquerade is the cornerstone survival strategy for Kindred and fear that without it the kine would rise up and exterminate all the undead.

Prohibitions against exposing the existence of Kindred existed prior to the 15th century in a set of ancient laws known as the Traditions. The First Tradition reads:

"Thou shall not reveal thy true nature to those not of the Blood. Doing such shall renounce thy claims of Blood."

This stricture was not consistently nor as strictly enforced until the Inquisition of the 15th century required it. During this period vampires were destroyed in large numbers by vampire hunters which largely prompted the formation of a sect known as the Camarilla whose primary purpose was to promote and enforce the Masquerade as a means of survival.

The Masquerade is largely enforced through self-policing, but it is primarily the job of the Prince in Camarilla controlled cities to enforce it. Princes may use any means at their disposal to ensure vampire society stays hidden and that those who break the Masquerade are duly punished.

Punishments for breaches have a range but are usually draconian in nature due to the seriousness of the Masquerade. Final Death, often by means of a ritualized "Blood Hunt" by other vampires, is not uncommon. When breaches do occur, the Camarilla takes great pains to repair them.

This could include anything from erasing mortal's memories using supernatural powers to manipulating mortal pawns in order to keep events out of the media.

The Clans of The Camarilla also believe that the only way the vampire species can survive is to become united in their efforts to maintain the Masquerade.  Any breach of the Masquerade by any vampire risks exposing the entire race.

This is opposed by other vampire sects such as the Sabbat but we follow the Camarilla here, so whatever.

As a member of the Camarilla, we also enforce the belief that the Eldest should rule over the younger vampires clans and classes.

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