The Anarch Revolt

The Anarch Revolt is generally assumed to be an indirect consequence of the witch-hunts of the Inquisition and the attempts by elder vampires to use the younger Cainites as cannon fodder. The Brujah Tyler is credited with sparking the uprising when she gathered a large group with which to attack the castle of Hardestadt, who was attempting to rally elders behind the formation of the Camarilla. Though suffering heavy losses, the assault was successful and Tyler committed the Amaranth on Hardestadt. When news of the elder's defeat spread, the young Brujah of Spain turned against their sires in a frenzy that seemed to sponanteously 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.

During the 13th Century the Anarch Revolt took place mostly in Spain and was regarded as a Brujah problem. Lack of organization, internal rivalries, poor communication, and the greater resources possessed by the Elders prevented the anarchs from making any large gains as the war devolved into a series of skirmishes. As word spread throughout Europe, however, all the clans began considering the hereto impossible notion of younger Cainites banding together against their elders. Ironically, this likely increased support for the formation of the Camarilla.

The Destruction of the Lasombra Antediluvian

Supposedly the anarchs approached Gratiano de Veronese, who made plans and contacts with them in order to eventually lead the attack on the Castle of Shadows in Sicily against the Antediluvian Lasombra and those loyal to him. Accounts surrounding the destruction of Lasombra vary widely, leading some to speculate as to whether the Antediluvian was manipulating the anarchs. There is evidence to suggest this, as the Eldest Lasombra's shadow guards were reputedly absent when Gratiano and his allies descended on the Antediluvian's tomb, with the ancient himself giving no resistance against his assailants. Lasombra was diablerized, though the identity of the diablerist remains uncertain. Most assume Gratiano performed the Amaranth on his sire, but some claim that an Assamite antitribu drank the Antediluvian's blood, while others say he was drained in unison by the anarchs that survived the battle. Few witnesses seem to agree as to what exactly happened, and there is even disagreement on the year the attack took place. Of the remaining Lasombra, almost all joined the Anarch Revolt following the deaths of their Antediluvian and many of their elders.

The Destruction of the Tzimisce Antediluvian

Following the example of the Lasombra, the Tzimisce anarchs, led by Lugoj, attacked the Antediluvian Tzimisce in its haven within the monastery of Sernog in Romania while distracting the ancient with a series of koldunic rituals that disrupted the energy of the land. While the Eldest Tzimisce was guarded by fleshcrafted monsters, it appeared to have the strength of a neonate and was publicly diablerized by Lugoj, who then announced that he would go into torpor and return to aid them come Gehenna. Only Lambach Ruthven, upon studying the supposed remains of the Antediluvian, recognized the body as a fake. Of those present, the Methuselah was the only one able to see through the illusion that hid Lugoj's body impaled on a massive wooden hook. Seeing this, he realized that the Lugoj speaking before the anarchs was in fact Tzimisce. Fearing for his unlife, Lambach fled the monastery without telling anyone, though his ramblings on the Antediluvian's survival in subsequent centuries would mark him as deranged by his peers.

The Peak of the Revolt

As the Tzimisce anarchs moved into Western Europe they brought with them the secret of the Vaulderie, which allowed Cainites to escape blood bonds 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, particularly the Lasombra and Tzimisce, went on to form the Sabbat.

While the Anarch Revolt appeared to have failed miserably, it had nevertheless triggered massive changes in Cainite society. Not only had two major sects been fortified from the conflict, but elders could no longer truly abuse those younger than them with impunity, safe in the belief that their advanced age granted them the power to hold off wouldbe usurpers. Neonates and ancilla now knew that even the great vampires could be destroyed, and the feudal relations between sire and childe only lasted so long as they were tolerated.

The French Revolution and the Second Anarch Revolt

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 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 others' 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 Timeline

There are a surprising number of contradictions concerning the timeline of the Anarch Revolt, even within the same editions. The Encyclopaedia Vampirica 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 before either event. 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 Elder Lasombra. Archons and Templars state that Tyler killed Hardestadt in 1335, but this is before Tyler's recorded Embrace, and probably happened in 1395. All accounts agree that the Anarch Revolt ended with the Convention of Thorns in 1493.