The Camarilla: A Vampire Fan Association

The Camarilla: A Vampire Fan Association

(pop culture)

The Camarilla: A Vampire Fan Association is a gothic vampire fan club founded in the early 1990s by players of Vampire: The Masquerade, the most popular of the vampire-oriented role-playing (or storytelling) games. In the game, the players assume the role of a vampire who is a member of a vampire society called the Camarilla. In the myth, vampires created the Camarilla after the Inquisition in an effort to keep their race from being totally annihilated. They organized the Camarilla into clans, each of which was distinguished by a peculiar aesthetic/intellectual approach to the vampiric condition, or by a certain ethnic origin.

The Camarilla: A Vampire Fan Association focuses on the vampire as a tragic and romantic figure and tends to avoid its violent aspects. Members of the club join a clan and create a vampire persona which is lived out in club activities, such as gaming sessions. The club emphasizes member participation and encourages new members to become active in a local chapter or even begin one themselves. Chapters are often involved in raising money for local charities or hosting blood drives, etc. Community service is emphasized as much as role-playing.

In the Camarilla local chapters in close proximity may be grouped into domains and all chapters and domains in a geographical area are organized into regions. In the United States there are eight regions. At each level a coordinator and storyteller is elected as the primary officers. Regions are further grouped into nations, each of which has a national coordinator and national storyteller who oversee club activities in their country. National officers report to the global office. In the United States, the national coordinator and national storyteller are elected by the regional officers.

Overall oversight of the Camarilla is in the hands of the global officers, who are appointed in consultation with the affiliated nations. The primary officers are the Camarilla’s Club Director and the Master Storyteller. At the national and international level, contact and coordination of regional and national events are done through the online website, through which individuals may become members. Individual members receive the monthly newsletter (posted online) and the journal Epitaph. The Camarilla is best contacted through its webpage, http://camarilla.white-wolf.com/.

Most recently, German scholar Marco Frenschkowski (“Vampire in Mythologie und Folklore,” in Thaomas Le Blanc, Clamens Ruthner, and Bettina Twsrsnick, eds., Draculas Wiederkehr. Tagungsband 1997, Wetzlar: Phantastische Bibliothek 2003, pp. 28–58) offered a detailed deconstruction of the story. Taking as a starting point the observation that the narrator of the story “Laura” needs to visit the physician Dr. Hesselius many years later, interpreting “Carmilla” as a symbolic figure in the imagination of suppressed lesbian Laura. Frenschkowski also gives attention to the many intertextual references in “A Glass Darkly” of which “Carmilla” is just a part.

Sources:

Rein-Hagen, Mark. Vampire: The Masquerade. Stone Mountain, GA: White Wolf, 1991. 263 pp.
Wright, Jana. The Tome of the Kindred. Seattle, WA: The Camarilla, 1993. 44 pp.

Camazotz see: Mexico, Vampires, in

Cappadocian Vampire Clan see: Vampire: The Eternal Struggle