The Sabbat are a sect of Vampires originally formed in opposition to the more organized Vampire society of the Camarilla. Composed of entire clans who reject the Camarilla, such as the Lasombra and Tzsimice, as well as rebellious Antitribu from Camarilla-aligned clans, they are often described as the Vampires who scare even other Vampires. The current leader of the Sabbat, Logrus de Mordechai (aka Mordred), is the only remaining active antediluvian in known space. He claims to be the leader of all vampires.
After a supernova bomb destroyed the Enoch system, and a major expansion of the Crusader teams under Clarke, vampires have been scattered and leaderless for some time. Although those that survive are more powerful, they are reluctant to expand their ranks for fear of being revealed and destroyed.
Although the Kingdom of Enoch could have been eliminated easily through conventional means, Mordred whispered into the ears of Fleet admirals to wipe out Arikel, leaving him the last antediluvian standing. With the War of Blood over, Mordred was slowly building a shadow empire, consolidating control of the illegal trade throughout the Federation. The Caal Invasion and chaos that followed destroyed a good chunk of his network, but did not stop it completely. He’s now hoping for a more active role in the universe, seizing Wilke’s Star through a puppet, hoping to use it as leverage into the new power structure.
The Sabbat are also known as the "Sword of Caine" and once had the stated goal of destroying all Antedeluvians, whom they felt were responsible for the Camarilla and Jyhad. The Sabbat evolved into an umbrella organization for various factions of Vampires who chafed under the restrictions imposed on their activities by the Camarilla, especially the tradition of the Masquerade, the mandatory hiding of their Vampire nature and the very existence of vampirism from mortal society. Some merely wanted freedom from the restrictive control of their elders and resented being mere pawns and hostages to the power games and petty political squabbles of older members of Vampire society. Others burned to reveal their true natures to the world and openly rule over mankind, domesticating the living as mere food animals for the undead. Still others reveled in their fallen status as the damned and wished to glory in the most cruel, vile, and depraved practices imaginable, and to practice their debauchery openly rather than hiding from both mortals and their more organized and ancient undead kindred.
The Sabbat was officially founded in 1493 in reaction to the Convention of Thorns which established the Camarilla. The two most important documents in the Sabbat are the "Purchase Pact" and the "Code of Milan". The Purchase Pact was a basic non-agression treaty observed by the Sabbat at the beginning of the 1800s that ended infighting that was taking place at the time. The Code of Milan was the contitution of the Sabbat and defined the code of conduct within the sect. In a nutshell it formented peace and and mutual aid among members of the Sabbat. It presides over the political and social responsibilities of the organization. It established the chain of command and guidelines for handling wayward members. It preaches loyalty to sect and Packmates, and to ones freedom within the sect provided that one's own good is never placed above the good of the Sabbat itself. It defined punishments for cowards and traitors. A plethera of Cardinals, Archbishops, and Prisci witnessed the signing of the code. It is considered the single most unified effort the Sabbat had ever undertaken possibly up until the War of Blood. And of course many of the same Vampires who resented the rules and order of the Camarilla ended up resenting the structure and hierarchy of the Sabbat they had helped form to combat them. As a result, the Sabbat has never been as organized or as orderly as their enemies, and suffered from even more infighting and internal strife.
The Sabbat is not a highly structured sect. The most capable vampires obtain positions of power. Of course those of lower generation tend filter towards the top. Advancement in ranks is usually through the death of the higher ranking members, whether in battle against their enemies or at the hands of an ambitious subordinate.
At the ground level the Sabbat are organized into Packs of 3-10 vampires, called Brothers and Sisters, which has been the most unique part of Sabbat structure. In some cases the formation of Packs happens voluntarily or by appointment. These Packs are run by a ductus and a Pack Priest that reminds the members of their responsibilities to Caine and rituals performed by the Pack. The members of the Pack are held and united through blood-sharing ceremonies known as "vinculum" or the "Vaulderie". The Vaulderie is a ritual that ensures the loyalty to the Pack. In the past, Packs have stayed in one place and make one location their base of operation although that tendancy might have changed during recent centuries.Above the pack level the hierarchy mocks the organization schema of the Roman Catholic Church. For example a Bishop oversees multiple packs. An Archbishop would oversee a city and have two or three Bishops as advisors. Above Archbishops are Cardinals. A Cardinal generally oversees geographic areas on larger worlds or they could be in charge of all operations on a smaller colony planet. The Cardinals are led by Prisci who are the inner circle of advisors to the Sabbat's nominal leader who holds the title of Regent which is their highest level of leadership. Throughout history there have been several Regents of the Sabbat, but there has only been one at a time. The current Regent is of course Mordred.
Additionally, the rank of Templar, Paladin, and Shovelhead are positions within the Sabbat. The Templars and Paladins are Sabbat that are not within the normal leadership heirarchy, while the Shovelheads are Sabbat who are such new members that they have little or no status or rank, and no real responsibilities except to be disposable foot soldiers of their bettters. Previously, the Sabbat had Voivode to oversee inter-clan affaris, but since the Sabbat defeat over the Black Hand, they have very few vampires holding this position. The Sabbat used to have vampires in the position of Les Amies/Amici Noctis or "Friends of the Night." This was a secret organization within the Clan Lasombra.
While titles are formally acknowledged within the Sabbat, to a great extent they are determined by self-selection. Sabbat members have a formal rite for recognizing Bishops or higher ranks, however, any other member may claim a title and defend it. Furthermore, while many Sabbat are members of packs, some of the elders might live and operate without packmates. At the highest levels, the difference between Sabbat elders is small, regardless of how it may appear to outsiders or the lower orders of the hierarchy.
Formerly, the Sabbat included among their ranks a hard core of warriors who bore the brunt of their fight against the Camarilla and the Antediluvians, the Black Hand. However, during Gehenna, the Black Hand was revealed to actually be an organization secretly dedicated to carrying out the will of the Antediluvians and serving them in all ways. The resulting expulsion of the Black Hand from the Sabbat nearly broke the organization. However, when all but three Antediluvians fell in combat against each other and against other factions during Gehenna, and the victorious Technocracy and their Tech Infantry foot soldiers drove Vampire society underground and into the Wraithlands, the Sabbat was able to put itself back together in exile, hiding as before in the urban centers of the many worlds of the newborn Earth Federation.
Behind the ScenesEdit
The Sabbat are an actual faction in the World of Darkness. Since in this universe, the antediluvians rose in Gehenna, it made sense that the most powerful non-antediluvian would rebuild the organization to fight them.