Supernatural society naturally gravitates into alliances of like-minded individuals, united by a common goal or belief. The Nights of Antiquity are nothing like the rigid Dark Age society where fealty is owed to a powerful lord or Prince, and the Camarilla and Sabbat factionalism of the modern era. The only constant in Rome is ambition, the only certainty a hunger for power. Be it temporal or spiritual, monetary or mystical, no immortal or human force can resist the richest banquet laid out before them.
Rome seethes with a changing landscape of loyalties and sectarian divisions. Most vampires divide along clan lines, and a majority pay lip service to the Eternal Senate. Sires command fealty from their childer only so long. The young join political movements that fall apart within weeks or last decades, and coalesce into something more. Terrifyingly charismatic ancients gather cults of personality around them, and secretive coteries form in reaction to delve the depths of secrets no Elder wants revealed. The primary factions active in vampiric society are listed below.
Spearheaded by the Lasombra and few choice allies, these Cainites form a shadow cabinet against the Eternal Senate. Vampiric society and concerns trump melting into a society in the They pursue, at least in their minds, a more expansive view towards developing power and manipulating affairs in supernatural and mundane worlds. Courtiers eschew the restrictive trappings of humanity enforced by Camillus' edicts, following an obscure and clandestine code of conduct instead. Their membership is rarely widely advertised, and they portray themselves as the faithful opposition on occasion. Faithful to whom?
Led by Camillus, the "legitimate" body of Roman vampires purports to represent Cainite affairs and to exercise authority across Italy. The assembly enforces the Pax Romana et Vampirica, a ban upon the Jyhad that powerful ancients and rebellious courtiers erode in these nights. Technically every clan save the Baali and the Followers of Set are entitled to a seat in the Eternal Senate. In reality, the Ventrue, Malkavians, Lasombra, Toreador, and occasional Nosferatu dominate its membership at the expense of outsiders and foreigners.
- Senate: Rome's dominant political faction.
The Neo-Carthaginian faction remembers the noble efforts to build a city to rival Enoch's glory when Rome was barely a collection of muddy huts and feuding tribes. Ventrue and their allies defaced the great dream for challenging Roman prominence under a pretext of war. Elders remember the promising philosophies that never had a chance to reach fruition before infernalism tainted the city. Idealistic neonates embrace a bright legacy of open co-existence with humanity or its dark reflection in unchecked freedom for all Cainites. The old story goes, if you can't beat them, join them... and beat them at their own game. Neo-Carthaginians intend to subvert Rome to their own image.
A Tribunal is a social assembly within the Eternal Senate focused on particular aspects of vampire society, be that insinuating influence among merchants or contemplating the mysteries of the void. Membership is limited to vampires acknowledged by the Senate, and tribunes have no obligation to participate in politics. These assemblies act with relative autonomy and serve as a forum for expressing clan views, especially as particular bloodlines dominate the Tribunals most aligned to their interests.
- Augurs: The tribunal of prophecy and divination concerns itself with Rome's past and future.
- Patricians: The tribunal of intellect and wealth aligns itself to the higher castes of Roman and Kindred society.
- Plebeians: The Plebeian tribunal represents those Kindred invested in mortal society.
- Peregrini: The youngest of the Eternal Senate's tribunals speaks for the concerns of the peregrini, clans not well-established on the Italic Peninsula.