The Cathedral of Flesh was a bastion of the Tzimisce clan created by the methuselah Yorak. It was located in the Carpathian Mountains for thousands of years up until the Dark Ages, when it devoured its creator and vanished.
The Cathedral was the creation, the haven, and the ward of Yorak, a childe of the Tzimisce Antediluvian, the clan's preeminent scholar of Metamorphism and also Voivode among Voivodes. It was built to protect a germ of the Antediluvian’s consciousness that Yorak was charged with, and in time it took the form of a harrowing church-fortress, sculpted from the ﬂesh of peasants, slaves, rivals, beasts, and any number of other victims who were built into the pulsing, suppurating walls of the structure built by the methuselah and his retinue over a span of millennia.
However the Cathedral was much more than that, it was a living (or perhaps undead) vessel of mad collective consciousness. The cathedral displayed some very disturbing ambiance, like a pool of blood lined with sitting victims whom you could use as a chair, pillars of grafted bodies, walls of mouths that sang a wailing chorus as you passed them, or the open gallery where corpses remained impaled by stalactites. Those thick stalactites and stalagmites formed the Cathedral's pillars, with bone trusses over which limestone grew and formed an osseous mix of liquid architecture. Either skulls – with their eyes and surrounding muscular structure still intact – thin enough to behold the sea of viscera and floating organs comprised the walls.
Scores of ghouls moistened the eyes so they could blink properly. Even more Revenants conducted the ritual tattooing by drawing charcoal-dusted threads through their victim's skin with bone needles. Later, Yorak and his childer would carefully slough the flesh from their screaming sacrifices, treat the flesh canvas in a preservative, and stretch it over the windows like a mosaic.
In 1472, Yorak summoned a guest to the Cathedral with the intent of Embracing him into Clan Tzimisce. This guest – none other than Vlad Țepeș, Dracula – had been prophesied to bear a great influence on the world of the Cainites; thus, many other influential elders had sought to Embrace him into their own clans, if only to prevent him from acting as an agent of some other clan. Although Dracula was initially intrigued by Yorak's offer of the Embrace, the Cathedral itself had other plans.
The Cathedral – likely acting under the demon Kupala's influence – drew upon the vitae congealed within its living veins to engulf and diablerize Yorak. It then attempted to do the same to Dracula and his companions. Dracula and the Cainites managed to flee from the Cathedral's squamous clutches, despite the fact that the Cainites had been driven into a mad frenzy by the horror that threatened to consume them. Dracula, having seen the lengths that Cainites would go to amass power over one another, decided that he would still seek out the Embrace, but only under his own terms, and without the vulnerability that came with the blood bond.
Soon after its fatal revolt against its master, the Cathedral liberated itself from the Carpathian soil where it had rested for ages, leaving nothing but a gaping hole in its wake. It eventually became the residence of a group of Baali led by Ansen, the nominal Prince of the Romanian city of Deva. In time, the Cathedral tired of the Baali and simply devoured them en masse. The Cathedral was later inhabited by corrupt Lupines, who formed a loose alliance with Marelle, Archbishop of Deva. Its subsequent activities and whereabouts are unknown.
Tonight, none knows where the Cathedral of Flesh is located, though stories of its survival persist. Indeed, those who know the ways of the Tzimisce suggest that multiples of the Cathedral may have spawned in parthenogenesis from the original. Others argue that the Cathedral is now the body of the Antediluvian itself: an enormous, unholy church that slakes its thirst on those who foolishly or defantly brave its halls. The massive, mutated form of the Tzimisce Antediluvian that currently lies beneath New York City is described as having formed a Cathedral of Flesh in Nights of Prophecy, although it is directly stated that this Cathedral was created by the Eldest from its own flesh and vitae.
- In Vampire: The Masquerade - Redemption, the Tzimisce methuselah Vukodlak dwells within Vukodlak's Cathedral of Flesh beneath New York City. Although Vukodlak's Cathedral could easily be (part of) the Eldest's Cathedral-body, it is unlikely that either of them is meant to be Yorak's original Cathedral of Flesh.
- The details of Redemption's canon are frequently at odds with the established the World of Darkness – although the game's protagonist Christof Romuald does appear elsewhere in Vampire canon, suggesting that at least the essential elements of the game's storyline are canonical.