Clandestyne By Night - Vampires
Vampires are among the world's most feared denizens, yet of all the supernatural threats to humanity, vampires are the most vulnerable. A lone vampire is seldom a match for a human mage or one of the Fae folk, and a werewolf would make short work of a lone vampire indeed. Furthermore, a vampire stuck in an area where he cannot feed safely without the authorities taking action, or in an area where places to hide during the day are hard to find, will not lead a long unlife.
It is for these reasons that vampires around the world tend to congregate and band together; a small number of vampires cooperating is much more likely to survive than a group of conflicting individuals. Even though many vampires have different origins and natures, they have formed a conglomerate culture which is known as the Principality.
This society dates back a few hundred years, to the Pact Vampiric, where the Cainites, Nightbreed, and Akasha came together to reconcile their differences. Up until that time, the Cainites had shunned these "pagans", not wishing to damn themselves even more than at present; the Nightbreed were searching for a new Holy Land to resurrect their god Baphomet (they eventually found it in the United States), and the Akasha tended to live in small cliques or in a solitary existence, ignoring all others. By acknowledging some kind of commonality between the different types of vampire, it became possible for them to co-exist.
Since that time there have been others join the Pact. The Gaki and other vampires of the East joined during the mid-Twentieth century; a very rare race calling themselves the Sleepwalkers made themselves known in the 1800s, but are still mostly unknown. The Dracul of Europe have never formally acknowledged the other vampires of the world, but since the destruction of their Dark Master at the end of the last century there has been an uneasy acceptance of other vampiric races by the Dracul. Other, very rare types of vampire tend to take advantage of the Pact Vampiric to blend into Principalities around the world, usually not revealing their true natures.
There are approximately 1900 vampires on this planet, a population explosion that is unprecedented in human history. There may be other vampires in different worlds, but they are not considered here.
This is a societal structure which borrows somewhat from European culture and old vampiric traditions. In each city where a sizeable number of vampires exist, one of them styles him or herself Prince and makes decisions that affect vampiric life in the city - how to deal with human authorities, how to punish troublemakers, and neutralising crazed killers who might call attention to the existence of monsters that stalk the night. There also exists a cult called the Justicars; these are vampires, some of whom were actually present at the formation of the Pact Vampiric, who use potent Disciplines or mystical treasures to ensure that each Prince is adequate (and if not, removing the individual). Eastern Europe and Russia, populated primarily by aristocratic Dracul, tend to ignore the standards of the Principality, while in war-torn regions, it often becomes an all-out feeding frenzy, with little or no control.
The United States is a particularly interesting case. With the fall of Midian, many Nightbreed have spread across America, and a sizeable contingent made their way to Sydney. Other vampires in the States have closed off their cities, making it very difficult for outsiders to learn anything about them. There are possibly over two hundred vampires in the United States, and close to that number in South America (Mexico City has one of the highest vampire populations on Earth).