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Anarch Revolt

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An Anarch Revolt refers to an instance where large numbers of younger vampires rebel against their elders, either because they no longer wish to be manipulated by the older Cainites or they wish to take the elders' power for themselves.


There were two notable Anarch Revolts that have shaped the history of vampires: the Great Revolt (or First Anarch Revolt) of the 15th century, and the Second Anarch Revolt of the 20th century. Sources that refer to the Anarch Revolt generally refer to this first period of conflict.

First Anarch RevoltEdit

The First Anarch Revolt was spurred on during the days of the Inquisition. Vampire neonates were appalled by their clan elders who were eagerly sacrificing their young to the Inquisitors. The neonates were perishing at alarming rates during this period. A voice on the Ventrue council was the Brujah named Patricia, expressed to Hardestadt and the elders that they must stand up and fight against the mortal humans. However, Hardestadt and the fellow elders rejected her notions. They felt it was better to hide and masquerade, and form rules that would later be known as Camarilla. Disgusted with inaction, Patricia left the council and sided with rebellious neonates. To drive her point across to the elders as to what she felt was best for vampire society, she donned the name Tyler, formed a resistance of Brujah, and marched right into Castle Hardestadt. A huge battle ensued. Though she suffered heavy losses, she successfully committed Amaranth on Hardestadt.[1]

When news of the Elder's defeat spread, the young Brujah of Spain turned against their sires in a frenzy that seemed to spontaneously grip all the younger members of the clan. Believing that the systems of blood lineage, clan loyalty, and feudal power, that had dominated Cainite society, were just tools of older vampires to maintain control and use the younger vampires as they pleased. These rebels called themselves Anarchs as a declaration of their rebellion against the laws supposedly left by Caine.

The Great Revolt

The Great Revolt

Initially regarded as a Brujah problem, the lack of organization, internal rivalries, poor communication, and the greater resources possessed by the elders, prevented the anarchs from making any large gains. The war devolved into a series of skirmishes, starting in Spain. As word spread throughout Europe, however, all the clans began considering the heretofore impossible notion of younger Cainites banding together against their elders. Ironically, this likely increased support for the formation of the Camarilla. But by the same token, it also motivated the rebellion to get organized, thus spawning a domino effect of historical anarch campaigns, namely in Italy and Romania.

The Italian Front

The movement moved to Italy, when Gratiano de Veronese joined with the Anarchs in a plot to kill his sire, the Lasombra Antediluvian. He led a group of Assamite allies to the Lasombra Court at the Castle of Shadows in Sicily, where Lasombra remained in torpor. With the Assamites' help, Gratiano tried to make it appear that his brother Montano had turned against their sire. This created a chaotic event that served as a distraction for a full-fledged Anarch attack that the house of Lasombra was unprepared for. With the Assamites assisting in the fight, Clan Lasombra fell apart. Of the remaining Lasombra, almost all joined the Anarchs following the deaths of many of their elders and their Antediluvian.[2]

As to who actually drank the Antediluvian's blood, seems to be some debate. It is interesting to note that the Shadow Guards were reputedly absent when Gratiano and his allies descended on the Antediluvian's tomb. It is assumed that Gratiano performed the Amaranth on his sire, but some claim that an Assamite antitribu drank the Antediluvian's blood, while others say that he was drained in unison by the anarchs that survived the battle. Few witnesses seem to agree on what exactly happened.

The Romanian Front

With news of Lasombra crushed and the Antediluvian dead, it spurred on another campaign to take the Tzimisce down. Led by Lugoj and his anarch army, they invaded houses of the Tzimisce Lords killing all those who did not convert. At the House of Tabak, Lugoj captured and converted the childe, Lambach, who was used to give the location of the Tzimisce Antediluvian.

Thereafter, Lugoj and his army of anarchs stormed the Monastery of Sernog, one of Romania's most ancient cathedrals. A huge war broke out between the Anarchs and the Tzimisce Szlachta. The guardians were decimated by the anarchs who successfully infiltrated. According to many eye witness accounts, Lugoj stood before everyone present, dispelled the magical protections over the Tzimisce Antediluvian's body, and unearthed the Ancient from his torpor. Without delay, Lugoj greedily consumed its blood not sharing with anyone. The body just crumbled to dust. The Anarchs rejoiced in triumph, this event now setting the stage for a new age, a new Sabbat. It seemed now that Gratiano's prediction was holding true: that all the other clans would fall as easily as his own.[3]

However, this event was far from over, at least for the Tzimisce. Lambach, who was present at the time of the Cathedral Raid, knew something no one else did. Despite all of the eye witness accounts, the Antediluvian Tzimisce was not destroyed. The body in torpor was a decoy. Tzimisce had this decoy in place so that he was able to kill Lugoj during heavy battle, then flesh-crafted himself to look like Lugoj to fake his own diablerie and usurp Lugoj's leadership position in the Sabbat.[4]

The end: Convention of Thorns

As the Tzimisce anarchs moved into Western Europe they brought with them the secret of the Vaulderie, which allowed Cainites to escape the blood bond in exchange for a pledge of loyalty to the anarch cause. This brought the revolt to every clan. As the battles intensified, however, so too did the efforts of the Inquisition, and the pressure of twin assaults led directly to the creation of the Camarilla. The Anarch Revolt continued for seven years after the Camarilla's formation, but the Anarchs were outnumbered and outmatched, and, after suffering heavy losses, their rebellion formally ended with the Convention of Thorns in 1493. Most of the remaining anarchs joined the Camarilla, but those who did not, mostly the Lasombra and Tzimisce, went on to form the Sabbat. Three years later, the Camarilla forced the Assamites to end hostilities; the Tremere enforced this peace by placing the blood curse over the Assamites' entire clan, save for the first of the antitribu.

Not long after the Convention, the Camarilla made peace with the Giovanni. Clan Giovanni had earned the enmity of the nascent Camarilla in 1444, when they usurped the status of the Cappadocian clan via diablerie. However, the Camarilla could not spare the resources needed to battle both the Giovanni and the greater threat presented by the burgeoning Sabbat. The Promise of 1528 formally established a détente between the Giovanni and the Camarilla, giving the Giovanni a neutral status in the battle between the sects — and giving the Giovanni the freedom to complete their purge of the last remaining Cappadocians.

Second Anarch Revolt Edit

Despite the formation of the Camarilla and the Sabbat, self-proclaimed anarchs would continue in isolated groups. During the French Revolution prominent anarchs used the opportunity to fight the traditional claim of the Toreador to France. Despite intentions to take the fight to the rest of Europe, the mortal revolution soon fell apart, allowing the Camarilla to move in and restore order.

Afterwards, many of the remaining anarchs made their way to the United States and from there to the West Coast. As Los Angeles quickly increased in prominence the Camarilla established Don Sebastian as prince with the hope that he would curb the growing number of anarchs in the region. He largely ignored their presence, however, and over the next few decades several famous anarchs made their way to the city. Finally, in 1944 Don Sebastian realized the full extent of the discontent in his city and ordered the savage beating of one such luminary, Jeremy MacNeil. Instead of instantly rebelling, MacNeil lead the anarchs in locating and studying the havens of the local Elders over a period of six weeks, and on December 21, 1944, the Second Anarch Revolt began.

The prince was killed and those Elders that were not destroyed fled the city, making it a strong victory for the anarch movement. Soon thereafter the anarchs moved south to San Diego and then attempted to liberate San Francisco. They were repelled by the then-current Prince of San Francisco, Vannevar Thomas, but in those three months they had claimed everything from the border of Mexico to San Jose. This region would come to be called the Anarch Free State, ruled under a set of principles entitled the Perfect State.

Despite such ideals, the Anarch Free State soon became little more than a region dominated by roving gangs that were often at each other's throats. Whatever the reasons for the inability to create their perfect society, the invasion of the Cathayans and their efforts to turn the anarchs against one another resulted in several anarchs eventually joining the New Promise Mandarinate, with little remaining of the Free State by the year 2000.

Contradictions in the TimelineEdit

There are a surprising number of contradictions concerning the timeline of the Anarch Revolt, even within the same editions. The VTM: Encyclopaedia Vampirica Bullet-pdf Bullet-nip states that [Lasombra] was killed in 1205 and that the Anarch Revolt started in 1240. This cannot be correct, for all other accounts state clearly that [Lasombra] was destroyed after the uprising began, and Dark Ages: Vampire begins in 1230 — well after the year given for the attack on the Antediluvian. The diablerie of [Lasombra] is more commonly stated to have occurred either in 1405 or 1483, though the former is almost certainly correct since the supposed diablerie of [Tzimisce] occurred in 1413.

The inconsistency may be a result of typos, deliberate attempts to obscure the history of vampires, or even some sort of widespread manipulation by an ancient Lasombra (as seen in the Clan Lasombra Trilogy). VTM: Archons & Templars Bullet-pdf Bullet-nip states that Tyler killed Hardestadt in 1335, but by all accounts this is before Tyler's Embrace, which occurred during or after the Peasants' Revolt in England per Children of the Inquisition, and specifically occurred in 1381 per both editions of Chicago by Night. All accounts agree that the Anarch Revolt ended with the Convention of Thorns in 1493.

Mage: The Sorcerers Crusade Rulebook and Crusade Lore refer to a time period called the "Anarch War" or "Vampyr Crusade", occurring from the foundation of the Camarilla in 1450 to the Convention of Thorns in 1493; presumably, this is simply a reference to the Anarch Revolt as a whole, as seen through the mages' imperfect frame of reference for the conflict. Although these terms could be names for the specific period in the Revolt after the formal recognition of the Camarilla but before the Convention of Thorns, it seems unlikely that such a definition would only ever appear in a Mage sourcebook rather than a Vampire book.

References Edit

  1. VTM: Who's Who Among Vampires: Children of the Inquisition, p. 22
  2. VTM: Who's Who Among Vampires: Children of the Inquisition, p. 41
  3. VTM: Who's Who Among Vampires: Children of the Inquisition, p. 41
  4. VTM: Who's Who Among Vampires: Children of the Inquisition, p. 43-44

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