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The first recorded meeting of this coterie is in Vienna in 1394, at a meeting gathered by the Ventrue elder Hardestadt the Elder and the Tremere Councilor Meerlinda in response to the threats posed by both the Inquisition and the Anarch Revolt.
There, Hardestadt proposed the institution of a shadow society of vampires, hidden away from Inquisitors and other mortal witch-hunters. Some, such as Prince Mithras of London, rejected this suggestion, but a few heeded Hardestadt's call. These few, the Founders, joined Hardestadt in spreading the word of the necessity of this shadow society, which would eventually be called the Camarilla.
However, the following year, Hardestadt was assassinated and diablerized by the Brujah Anarch Tyler; his identity, and his place among the Founders, were secretly taken up by his childe, Hardestadt the Younger.
The ranks of the Founders included one member of each of the seven clans that would form the Camarilla:
- Adana de Sforza (Brujah)
- Milov Petrenkov (Gangrel)
- Camilla Banes (Malkavian)
- Josef von Bauren (Nosferatu)
- Rafael de Corazon (Toreador)
- Mistress Fanchon (Tremere)
- Hardestadt the Elder/Younger (Ventrue)
The Founders are known to have remained active as a group even after the institution of the Camarilla at the Convention of Thorns. They came to be known as "Justicars", as much of their time was spent policing their sect, until the first true Justicars were appointed at a Conclave in 1504.
The Founders' last known activity as a group was in Rome in 1666; the coterie's subsequent fate, and the fates of all the members save for Rafael de Corazon and Hardestadt the Younger, are largely uncertain. Hardestadt is known to have been a member of the Camarilla's Inner Circle even into the Final Nights, and some or all of the other Founders may have followed suit.
It is worth mentioning that a small coterie of Kindred that first took the role of Archons was also present at the founding of the Camarilla. Staunch allies to the Founders, the four pioneer Kindred that assisted the first Justicars were:
- Gilbert d’Harfleur (Ventrue)
- Father Jean-Marc d’Harfleur (Toreador)
- Federico DiPadua (Nosferatu)
- Lilika Kairos (Brujah)