Scrolls of Elorath 9 - Vampyre Organizations


Staff member
There have been many different types of organizations within Vampyre Culture over the years, including Houses (Covens), Clans, Orders, Guilds, and Courts–each of which retains its own traditions, culture, structure, identity, and rituals. Organizations generally come and go, though a few have managed to survive for longer periods of time. The first organization for the Vampyre Culture was the Order of the Vampyre (OOV) founded in 1984 as a part of the Temple of Set (ToS) and followed by Hekmel Tiamat in 1998, which went public as the Temple of the Vampire (ToV) in 1989. Both of these organizations are still active as of the time of this writing. However, due to the rise of the iInternet and social media, most members of the Vampyre Culture have embraced their solitary nature and consider themselves ronin (solitary practitioners), reflecting a highly individualist Vampyre spirit.

Houses (Covens)

House (or Household) is the most common VC term for a coven of Vampyres. These groups were most active from the mid-to-late 1990s to the mid-2000s. The term was brought into the VC in 1996 when the Sabretooth Clan adopted it from the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) for use in the Sanguinarium network., A House consists of a circles of like minded individuals focused on spiritual development, learning, initiation, group ritual practice, and socialization. Each House possesses its own distinctive culture, philosophy, and traditions. Some Houses are centered around a specific ideal–one house might worship the goddess Isis or emulate Japanese Geisha, while another might encourage its members to embody the spirit of Viking warriors. A group of Houses banded together is referred to as a Clan.

Traditionally, Houses operated like Pagan covens and were led by an Elder who took on a leadership position as the Patriarch or Matriarch, the equivalent of a High Priest/ess in a Pagan coven. These Elders served as the leader and teacher. Over the course of a Household’s development, a portion of it might split off to form a new, embryonic House known as a “clutch.” In the old-school (evolved in 2005) Sabretooth Clan and Sanguinarium (circa 2005), an Elder needed a “charter”–an official endorsement by the heads of the Clan–for his or her clutch to be officially recognized within the Clan. As the new group evolved and organized, it would eventually gain the status of Household. The first House charter was given in 1996 to a clutch named O'Mallie, and the second was given to House Sahjaza later that year.


Orders are different from Clans and Houses in that they center attention on a specific mission, purpose, or paradigm of esoteric study rather than the familial spirit shared by members. Sometimes, an Order co-exists with a House of the same name, under which circumstance there is a crossover of members and associates belonging to the House who study the esoteric paradigm of the Order. Examples of non-vampiric orders include the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (HOGD), Ordo Templis Orientis (OTO), Hermetic Order of Luxor, and the Illuminates of Thanateros (IOT, est. 1978). Examples of vampiric magickal orders of the Sanguinarium include the Kheprian Order and Ordo Strigoi Vii (OSV, est. 2002).


Guilds evolved more directly from the medieval craft guilds and trade unions that focused on a given craft, trade or form of artistic expression. Although no longer in popular use within the VC, the Sanguinarium did once have many Guilds, including the Fangsmith Guild, and the Belly Dancers Guild, among others. These existed mainly to set standards of pricing, quality control, and agreement.


Geographically-based, organized gatherings are often known as Courts. The first Court was the Vampyre Court of Gotham, founded by Father Sebastiaan in 1997. Each Court is held on either a monthly or bimonthly basis, and gatherings with a council that administers the group which is usually a not-for-profit 501c3 (charitable) organization. They are different from Households and not to be conflated with Halos. There can be several Courts within a Halo, such as the three active Courts in Gotham Halo (NYC). The head or president of a Court is traditionally known as a regent. Salons are events like Courts, but they have a more artistic than aristocratic orientation.