Clarke was one of the various Setite coteries in Sabbat-controlled New York. One of his clients was a powerful kamut of the Black Hand, who competited with them for territory. Only through a deal with italian crime lords could Clarke maintain his dominance within his domain. This earned him the criticism of one of his Clan mates, who persisted that this was a Kindred affair and mortal intervention would only do harm. After a heated argument, he received a poisoned dagger into his back and was left to die. He survived, however, and began to work against a centralized temple within New York, knowing that it would be headed by his rival.