Vampire society was organized around five secret societies, called covenants:
- The Invictus were the strongest faction. They had heavy influence in politics, both vampire and mortal. Most cities with vampire influence were controlled at the top by Invictus. Their power structure was based on the cities they controlled, and with the great disappearance, the playing field was leveled as all vampires sought to adjust to the new world. They are currently trying to claw their way back to prominence, but their emphasis on tradition often rings hollow. They are the strongest proponents of the argument that the Frozen Billions might return any day, and the old ways should be maintained for that eventuality. Fang cities ruled by Invictus tend to be explicitly feudal constructions, with rulers manipulated by puppetmaster Invictus. The masquerade is strongly enforced.
- The Carthians were the youngest and weakest of the factions. They promoted democracy within vampirism, voted on their leaders, and tended towards egalitarian ideals. Whether those ideals extended to humanity as a whole or just vampires varied heavily from city to city. The collapse of society created a power vacuum and Carthians were one of the first groups to successfully reorganize the population into cities. Fang cities ruled by Carthians are as varied as the vampires that rule them. Each city might have a different idea of best government and a different idea of how rights apply to humans. So you might have Carthian cities on a loose Roman model with Vampire senators ruling human citizens and slaves. You also might have a city founded under force, but now kept together by being the best option any of the inhabitants know of.
- The Ordo Dracul are followers of the teachings of Dracula. A highly regimented, quasi-monastic sect of vampires, they vie for power in order to be left to their own devices. They seek to understand and overcome the limitations of the vampiric conditions. Of all the covenants, they are the most inward-focused, and thus only take rulership of cities when they feel necessary to advance other goals, rather than as an end in itself. Fang cities ruled by the Ordo Dracul are, to use the obvious term, draconian. They are likely to be subtle of means, but their ends are a predictable population that does exactly what the covenant needs them to do.
- The Lancea Sanctum is a religious covenant reminiscent of a particularly twisted vein of catholicism, although their beliefs can be applied as a twist to any monotheistic variant of religion. Vampires are believed to be God’s special scourge for the evils of humanity, and so vampires preying on humans is not only moral, but divinely justified. They revere Longinus, a particularly sinful Roman soldier who pierced Jesus on the cross and was turned vampire by his blood. Since then they claim godly authority on morality for vampire and human alike. Since the fall, their influence has increased. In America, this is especially true in the Midwest and South. In many places where Lancea Sanctum were once advisers and allies to rulers, they are now rules themselves. Fang cities ruled by the Lancea Sanctum tend to be well ordered, with strong religious influences and harsh justice that is usually evenly applied.
- The Circle of the Crone is another religious covenant, this one focused on pagan beliefs and sorcery. They tend to have a greater diversity of beliefs and philosophies than the Lancea Sanctum. These two covenants have clashed violently in multiple cities over the last thirty-or-so years. In America, they are strongest in the east and west coasts. Fang cities ruled by the Circle of the Crone show almost as much variation as those ruled by Carthians. They range from peaceful communes where harmony is enforced by vampiric magic, to warlike cities who have instituted literal human sacrifice. Given the last example, the illusion of the mundane tends to be weakest in these cities.
- Belial’s Brood are chaotic vampires who rule no cities but delight in destruction and violence. They don’t maintain the masquerade, and with the collapse of civilization have devoured small homesteads leaving scenes of horrible violence. Even the Circle of the Crone doesn’t want the secrets of their existence spread that obviously, and all other covenants considers Belial’s Brood outlaws to be hunted and destroyed. To the extent they have long-term coherent plans, they’d like to keep civilization weak and fragmented and are at least partially responsible for acts like destroying power plants and burning libraries that might have aided in reconstruction.