An Anarch Manifesto
"Behold - a manifesto for freedom! Freedom for all who will listen with their own ears, not the ears others have given them. I, Salvador Garcia, speak to you through great danger to deliver you this message. If you reach deep within, you will find the spark that you call "me." When you find it, that spark, turn it into a flame.
"We are the anarchs. We are those who do not let others lead for us; we do not let others go where we will not lead ourselves.
"You who read this wonders "are they mad?" Is not the prince going to stop them, to burn them with the vengeful sun or banish them from the sight of others? I tell you this, friend - he will try. Yes, he will try. But he will not succeed. We are strong of will and cunning of ways.
"These things I know, and many more, for in my breathing days I was called up on by my Spanish brothers to fight against the monarch and his terrible ways. For this, I was left to die. But one saw me who knew of my flame, one who would not let it go out. This one gave to me the gift all you who read this share: the gift of eternal life, the Way of the Blood. A gift I have used to seek my justice from those who know of no justice. They do not know it, but they speak of it often, for their tongues are those of snakes. Venomous snakes spitting poison are these princes and Justicars.
"Who are the anarchs? And why must you know of us? We are simply those who do not follow the laws of the tyrant, the dictator prince. We have discovered something more important than serving his needs: us. Yes, it is we, each and every one of us, alone or together, that are important. We are equal to this prince, not peasants working his fields. The Power of One, the Power of All. Think on it.
"We all have our own rights to think and do what we want. The elders of our kind have created many fanciful and fearful myths with which to scare us. They say there are giants in the earth, who will one day rise up and eat us all; that we must listen to them so this day never comes. They say the first of our kind was Caine, cursed by God, and thus we are all cursed. These and other lies they give to us, to make us feel sorry for ourselves, to keep us in line to their will, so that we will not realize the truth for ourselves: that we are more alive now than we have ever been. We must seize the moment, every moment, and wrestle with their envy into eternity.
"Because we know this truth - that the Kindred are free, and that we are not cursed or in need of absolution - they persecute us. They reserve for us special punishments, and they try to sweep our bodies under their rugs so no others see their crimes against their own laws. Laws? We will give them laws. Laws of pain, death, swords, bullets and blood.
"This is why we must rebel, why we must live the constant revolution, in every drop of our vitae. If we falter for one moment, they will catch us and destroy us. We fight for our survival, the right to our second life, to live as we wish. Damn the Damned who get in our way!
"The prince and the Justicars have created a monarch from the dusty forms of their first lives. When those old ones were mortal, they breathed the musty air of castles and wore the jeweled clothing of lords and kings. If they knew not these things, they lusted for them. So, when they were gifted with a second brith, they used it to gather themselves all the perverse desires they could not have in their breathing days: the power and cruelty of tyrants. And they wonder why the mortals rose up against them during the Inquisition? Such an Inquisition can come again - but we will hold the fire this time, and burn the prince to blackened ashes.
"We are the children of democracy. We had the power to vote our leaders in life. Why should we lose this now, because those who are too old cannot change? They knew only kings and queens in their youth; they think only of kings and queens in their eternal age. But we can think new thoughts, dream new forms of rule! It is time to turn the tables, to teach the old to be young again. And if they do not listen, we will break their bones, take their blood, and bury them alive in the hot earth."
|Joining the Cause
Our first work must be the annihilation of everything as it now exists.
The anarchs stand in opposition to the status quo of the undead world. They spurn the laws of the prince, and thus the Camarilla, seeing those laws as nothing more than slavery. The princes do not easily let Kindred out of the fold, however, and they use all their powers of draconian justice to bring them back and discourage future revolts.
The Camarilla provides backing to the princes in the form of Justicars and archons. There are certainly cases where these enforcers use their powers against the princes, but when it comes to the issue of the anarch threat, both parties act in unison, working together to smother any rebellion against their laws. Any dissent is put down as soon as possible, although even these powers must move with care lest they spark further revolt.
To the anarchs, this is war. In most cities of the Camarilla, it is a cold war, and the blows traded are ideological - spiced up with the occasional exchange of physical violence. More and more neonates are switching sides these days, and the ranks of the anarchs are steadily growing. The vampires of the new generation, weaned as mortals on the Bob and soulless television, lack any meaning to structure their coming eternal lives - most cannot even comprehend living to 30, let alone 300. This has created a dangerous dichotomy in the Camarilla, as they neonates cannot, or do not want to, understand the consequences of the destruction of the Masquerade. Few of them have experienced the power and perserverence of the vampire hunter; none realize what would happen if mortals once again knew what moves among them in the night.
Most princes and Justicars react tyrannically to the actions of anarchs in their domains. They bring the stark fist of retribution down against any who dare flout their laws. This only exacerbates the situation and strengthens the ranks of the anarchs. And the princes give the anarchs just what they want - a force against which to rebel.
But who are the anarchs? The best way to answer this is to find out who they were before the Embrace. most anarchs are neonates, and they still closely identify themselves with their mortal personas. The ranks of anarchs are filled with bikers, punks, goth-punks, thrashers, bangers, young philosophy students, street gang members, gangsters, rednecks, skateboard freaks, Libertarians, '60s drug gurus, '90s cyberpunk gurus, and anybody else inclined toward anarchy and freedom. They are the types who will never "fit in" - the Eternal Youth with an attitude.
The anarchs and princes are irrevocably opposed. Sooner or later, war is inevitable. The legends of Gehenna persist throughout the gossip of the Kindred, and the anarchs may be the prime movers of this Armageddon, the perfect puppets of the Jyhad. When the smoke clears, who will be left standing?
What Anarchs Do
Anarchs fight the power, using the most effective tool available to the young - violence. When you're new on the block and all the good territory has been taken, and they tell you to take your place on the back of the Cainite bus - screw working within the system you want to punch somebody! You were dragged through hell as a mortal, always told what to do or arrested for just being yourself - and then came release and power! The night you died and were born again into the world of the vampire was the best moment of your life. But it quickly became obvious that nothing has changed. They still told you what to do and push harsh limits on your modes of expression. But you can fight them - you can be an anarch.
There are also anarchs who use cunning and resourcesfulness instead of violence. They build up networks of information and power to use against the prince and his cohorts, but this requires time and usually age. Many neonates are unwilling, or too impatient, to bother with these options. They just want to go out and kick some ass.
Anarchs are the best sources of real dirt on the prince. If the prince has been exempting himself from his own laws, or has been deviating from the desires of the primogen, the anarchs are likely to know about it. They collect such information to use against him, to help turn others over to their side. Thus, the anarchs reveal the oppression of the prince. Certainly their information is biased, and often full of lies. But it can be eye-opening to naive Licks who do not get out often, and who believe that the prince's laws are there only to protect them.
Propaganda by the Deed
One of the tenets of the anarchist political movement is that actions and words together will win the revolution: propaganda by the deed, not just the word. An anarchist must live his credo in every aspect of his life to overcome authority. This is even more true of the vampire anarchs.
In the world of the Damned, actions speak louder than words. The prince controls his domain by acting against those who would oppose him. The anarch has to be even more insistent on action. Not only is it hard for anarchs to talk to the prince, but he almost certainly will not listen. Actions and deeds are the only tools anarchs have to communicate their credo.
In addition, most anarchs are young neonates or childer and they want action. They want to do something with their newfound powers, not just sit on their asses talking about it (although they certainly do this, too). The Anarch Movement is a youth movement, with few elders on the inside.
This constant focus on action is what angers the princes more than anything else. They have entirely too many projects to consolidate without having to keep an eye out for anarch activity as well.
Why They Do It
If one asks anarchs why they do what they do, their answers are sure to widely vary. Just what are the motivations behind their rebellion?
Most often, rebellion is a means of escaping oppression. What if a young Lick deviated a little too much from the prince's dictates, and the prince found it convenient to use her as an example to others? This form of personal injustice is the most common cause for the switch to anarchy. The victim's seething hate for the prince is enough to cause her to spend her nights tearing down what he has built up.
The lust for freedom is another reason. Many mortals are ardent individualists, and they find this habit hard to give up once they have been Embraced. The form of government in the Camarilla is not conductive to the individual political freedom, not to say personal expression. Many vampires, stifled by the traditions of centuries, go rogue and join the anarchs.
A lot of neonate sjoin for the rush. The thought of spending eternity in a nightly routine of kowtowing to others is too dull to contemplate. Why not take up that can of spray paint and give the prince a message - all over the wal of his favorite meeting place? Some vampires just love playing the fox to the prince's hound.
Yet another reason is common among the leaders of the anarchs. It is the lust for power. Unable to gani the prince's position by playing the status games of the Camarilla, or too impatient to gather the years and decades necessary, they gather anarchs about themselves and try to take the power by force. This rarely succeeds, but both California and Perth, Australia, are prime examples of anarch success.
The World Outside
California, the Anarch Free State
This is the paragon of the anarch domains because anarchs own it; there is no prince of the Camarilla lording over domains, California is a prime example of a successful anarch revolt, where the anarchs won against the prince.
The Free States cover much of the northwestern coast of Mexico, through San Diego and Los Angeles, to the neutral Palatiniate of San Francisco. North of the Free States lie the areas of California where princes still claim some hold. The states of Oregon and Washington, hotbeds of anarch revolt, are fed by the constant influx of California anarchs. Seattle's prince may soon be gearing up for war.
The 1940s were the turning point for California's Movement. The prince of Los Angeles was destroyed in 1944, and his city was claimed by the anarchs. The revolt soon spread and, almost overnight, the anarchs owned much of California.
The anarchs set up councils to replace the princes. The most respected (or powerful) anarchs made the decisions needed to keep peace and ensure that other clans did not usurp their freshly won domain. This has worked so far - the mortal life in California holds enough distractions to keep many anarchs from worrying about politics. The clans of the Camarilla are on watch, however, waiting for the night when they can move in and pacify what they consider a dangerous situation.
Los Angeles is a city that betrays its lack of a central governing force. A Camarilla prince would never have allowed the gang situation to become so threatening. The wild and unruly anarchs have done nothing to prevent the violence - they only fuel it. The young neonates in L.A. are just as much a part of the gang scene as they were in mortal life, and their new powers only add to their desire for war with rival gangs. The police chief, under the control of one of the old primogen, did nothing to calm the racial tensions. This caused a fight between the anarchs and the still-existing old crew of the Camarilla primogen, with the result being the ousting of the police chief and the instatement of a Brujah-controlled chief. It is still too early to tell what effect this will have on L.A.'s racial boiling pot.
There is, nonetheless, a constant anarch exodus to California from many Camarilla or Sabbat controlled cities. This has caused problems of overpopulation, with anarchs fighting in the streets for territory. The councils have unanimously voted to invade northern cities, expanding their borders rather than creating the kind of laws they originally wanted to escape. Anarchs are thus spreading north and into other cities all over the continent, wherever they think they can carve niches for themselves.