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VtM General Information

"When you look into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you."

Early in the millennia the Tremere Mages recreated themselves as vampires using Tzimisce, Gangrel and Nosferatu blood, and then began expanding from their bases in Transylvania into the Tzimisce territory of eastern Europe. The Tzimisce lost much of the Carpathians fighting and losing ground to the Tremere, and the other Clans who moved in to pick off the weakening Tzimisce. In their zeal to win the Tzimisce abused their childer more than usual.

The Vaulderie was found by a coterie of Tzimisce and shared with the disgruntled childer of other Clans, notably Gratiano of the LaSombra. Gratiano Diablerized his Sire, LaSombra, and by force, leadership and playing on his Clans approval of a successful coup, formed the Sabbat along with the Tzimisce and those Anarchs who did not return to their Sires after the Anarch Revolt ended with the Convention of Thorns.

The LaSombra rule the Sabbat, backed by the Tzimisce. There are suspicions that the Tzimisce are the true rulers but in the name of freedom, something which never particularly interested either Clan before, they were able to attract the Childer of their enemy Clans into the Sabbat to fight the emerging Camarilla for them.

After 200 years of conflict the Sabbat moved to Scandinavia. During the transition the Sabbat developed new codes to live by, denying that they were human any longer. The Paths of Enlightenment are:

Path of Caine
Path of Cathari
Path of Death and the Soul
Path of Evil Revelations
Path of Harmony
Path of Honorable Accord
Path of Power and the Inner Voice


The Sabbat also developed magical rituals of their own and formed the Black Hand to police the Sabbat itself.

Early in the 1600s they moved again to the Americas and set about controlling key cities. As more Camarilla filtered into the colonies these cities became battlegrounds, some of which were lost and some of which are still contested, New York City being the most significant.

Goratrix of Clan Tremere and many of his followers joined the Sabbat, along with others of the Camarilla Clans, but the Sabbat still failed to defeat the Camarilla in the colonies and many in the Sect began to suspect their leaders weren't as strong as they had thought. From the mid-1800s to the 1930s internal power struggles reorganized the leadership and brought about a schism.
Sabbat Hierarchy

Source: "The Player's Guide to the Sabbat".
A trademark of White Wolf Productions.
The Structure of the Sabbat (p. 19-20)


The Sabbat is not a very structured sect. There are many levels and positions of leadership. However, unlike the Camarilla, the positions are filled only by the most loyal and capable vampires, regardless of generation. The role of leader in the sect is just that: a leader. Leaders are not rulers. However, the higher the level of leadership, the more Sabbat will listen to and obey the leader. The role of leader is more or less claimed, not awarded. Thus, those fit to lead find their places, pushing out those who are unfit.

The majority of the Sabbat's leaders come from the Lasombra and Tzimisce clans. There are many strong leaders from other clans, but these two clans carry the most prestige, especially since they have had the most success in destroying their elders outside the Sabbat. The Lasombra is most revered of all since it is believed that all of the clan's elders, including its founder, have been destroyed. The Tzimisce clan has worked diligently to destroy all its elders, but a number are though still to exist.

The levels of leadership within the Sabbat are not always precisely defined. The amount of power leaders have is based on how much they can rightfully claim. If they can back themselves up through the support of packs, then they have the right to that level of leadership. The Sabbat uses the titles of clergy to denote the basic levels of leadership that exist within the sect. The practice started partially out of mockery, but it has developed into a useful presentation of leadership.

The highest leader bears the title of Regent, for (according to Sabbat doctrine) she is merely overseeing the sons and daughters of Caine until Caine returns to lead his children himself. The Regent is the president, so to speak, of this vampire sect. The Regent does not have to absolute authority, but her directives are usually carried out. There have been four Regents in the sect's history. Each Regent have been overthrown by the other top leaders. Three of the four Regents of the sect, including the current one, have been members of the Lasombra clan. One was of the Tzimisce clan. The current Regent is a fourth generation Lasombra named Melinda. She is a ruthless manipulator who used assassination and blackmail to gain control of the sect; however, she has proven time and time again to be an outstanding leader.

Assisting the Regent are the cardinals of the Sabbat. This lot has managed to gain control over large geographical regions. The cardinals seldom answer to the Regent or the prisci unless their activates have a detrimental effect on the Sabbat as whole. The cardinals are responsible for all that happens within their regions, and for planning and delegating all Sabbat activities within their respective regions. There are currently 13 cardinals of the Sabbat. With the expansionist policy of the Sabbat, this number will soon increase.

Below the cardinals in power (although some would refute this) are the prisci. The prisci act as Consistory (similar to board of directors) for the Sabbat, advising the Regent and the cardinals about the affairs of the sect. Collectively the prisci is no match for a cardinal in the power politics of the Sabbat. Most prisci are elders or ambitious ancillae of various clans. The prisci, along with the cardinals, form the Inner Circle of the Sabbat. The Inner Circle has the power to depose or overrule a Regent.

Serving each cardinal of the Sabbat are archbishops. These vampires usually rise through the ranks, serving lengthy tenures as priests and bishops of the sect. Each cardinal has the power to appoint whomever he wishes to the position of archbishop. Some accept bribes, but vampires who gain their positions in this manner often mysteriously disappear. Most archbishops simply proclaim themselves archbishop and the cardinal usually approves it. The archbishop is the Sabbat's answer to the Camarilla prince. The archbishop controls a city, referred to as an archdiocese.

Below the archbishops are the bishops. The bishops control the finances and security of the sect. The bishops can call upon individuals or entire packs to carry out activates in the best interest of the sect. Often the bishops control divisions of territory within a city; these divisions are referred to as dioceses. Sabbat members are within their rights to refuse a bishop's request, but they lose favor with that bishop and may be recognized as disloyal to many others.

Sabbat priests are the lowest-ranked leaders within the sect, and assist in the administration of individual packs. Each priest is a skilled leader, though the may not be the only leader within a pack. The priest acts as emissary to the bishops in the city. The priest is also trained in leading Sabbat rituals.

Each Sabbat-controlled city contains at least one communal haven, opens to any and all Sabbat members. Communal havens are referred to as temples (smaller ones), or cathedrals (larger ones). The largest communal haven in a given city is also the haven of the archbishop. The temples are often used by nomadic Sabbat when they pass through the city. The temples are usually meeting places and sometimes havens for more than one Sabbat coven.

The Sabbat has its share of assassins in addition to the Black Hand. These assassins, known as paladins or templars, serve as personal guards to the higher-level leaders. They are also sometimes used to eliminate threats to the security of the Sabbat or the welfare of their personal liege. Some paladins appear to be more loyal to their personal liege than they are to the Sabbat itself.

The fundamental level of organization within the Sabbat is the pack. There are two types of packs — city packs and nomadic packs. City packs generally have more power than nomadic packs. Strong packs may greatly influence the leadership of the Sabbat in their territory. When several packs work together, they can even overrule their leaders. After all, freedom is the purpose of the sect.

Though demagoguery is the primary means of claiming positions of leadership, the Sabbat also has a tradition known as the Monomacy. Occasionally, members of the sect become dissatisfied with the behavior of other pack members or their leaders and wish to make a change more to their liking. Doing that is no small affair. In most cases it ends with the Final Death of the offended or the offender.

Monomacy is a duel, pure and simple. The challenger sends the offending vampire a challenge which must promptly be either accepted or denied. If a Sabbat denies a challenge he is usually branded a coward, and while no one may force a Sabbat to accept a challenge (since the sect values freedom), the cowardly vampire is regarded with suspicion by his superiors. If the offender subsequently takes an action deemed harmful to the sect, the Sabbat's superior will remove the vampire's title and right to lead.

If the challenged party accepts the challenge, the duel will be fought according to the rules of Monomacy. The rules provide for an arbiter who may judge the winner of a duel; the arbiter also sets the level of risk, which is usually until one party or the other is destroyed. Monomacy happens infrequently, since most Sabbat try to find more subtle means of achieving their goals. If the challenger wins the duel, he may elect another person to replace the loser. The winner usually picks himself, though sometimes vampires enter into the duel on behalf of others. Vampires who continually abuse Monomacy as a way to achieving power over others are usually assassinated under orders of the higher-level leaders. They do not like threats to their positions.


The Sabbat Inquisition (p. 22)
The Sabbat Inquisition is just as violent and impassive as the Inquisition that came before it. The Sabbat Inquisition is a special effort made by the leaders of the sect to stamp out the ever-growing disease of corruption in the form of the Path of Evil Revelations.

The Sabbat Inquisition is composed of a select few Sabbat who are powerful and well trusted. It travels to all Sabbat territories and presides over cases against accused Sabbat. The Inquisition issues punishments, usually long and painful beyond measure (even worse the standard Sabbat punishments); it also has the authority to remove bishops and priests from power. The Sabbat Inquisition could become a powerful political tool, but it has yet to do so because all the Sabbat that serve it appear devout in their duties.

The Sabbat Inquisition has the power to go wherever it pleases, and it can stick its nose into any and all Sabbat vampire's personal affairs. The Inquisitiors travel in groups of five, along with two templars. Their wants are always seen to, and they never need to hunt, since vitae is always provided for them.

The Inquisitors number only 15, but they are more than capable of resolving all the problems of Infernal diablerie. The Inquisition prefer to arrive in a Sabbat city unannounced, catching even the archbishop off guard. They consider evidence against all Sabbat, even elders. The Inquisition will listen to anyone's accusation, but if a member of the Sabbat does not provide sufficient proof against the vampires whom he accuses, he will usually be embarrassed and left to the revenge of the vampire he offended .

No one knows whom the Inquisitiors are investigating, or what skeletons they will drag out from the closet. The Inquisitors are very secretive, zealous, callous and harsh. They are naturally intimidating due their power and single-mindedness. They can take the unlife of almost any Sabbat without a moment's hesitation. When they are around, even the mighty archbishops and elders tremble in fear.
Justice and Punishment in the Sabbat

"Whatever is not forbidden is permitted."

The Sabbat protects itself from its members' wrongdoing through the use of a special tribunal. The tribunal is made up of at least four prelates, selected from among the members of the Inner Circle and the Arch-Bishops, with at least one of those members being of Cardinal rank or higher.

The accused is brought before the tribunal and the accuser or another prelate presents the case against him. The accused is then allowed to state his case. The tribunal meets in private thereafter and makes its decision. If the Sabbat is found guilty, she is punished severely. If she is found innocent, the accuser often receives the punishment the Sabbat on trial would have. Sabbat punishment is swift and harsh. The nature and degree of the punishment is based upon the actual crime. The Code of Milan is used as the basis for Sabbat law.

A tribunal will only be called upon in extreme circumstances, such as treason and situations that cannot be worked out by one leader alone. The decision of the tribunal will be final and all involved will agree before the onset of the trial to abide by that decision.

Members of the Sabbat are generally free to do as they please, as long as their actions have no adverse effect upon the sect as a whole, but as it can be clearly seen, the Sabbat is not at all lenient to those who act in a disloyal fashion.

The Black Hand
"O conspiracy ! Sham´st thou to show thy dangerous brow by night, when evils are most free ?"
Very little is know outside the Sabbat of the Black Hand (or even inside the Sect for that matter). The Hand, as it is known, constitutes a tight militia with the Sabbat and serves as the sect's primary assassin pool. If someone needs to be taken out, the Black Hand are the ones to do it. Though Sabbat Assamites are responsible for the maintenance of the Black Hand, other clans are represented within their ranks. An ultra-secretive Sect-within-a-Sect, these elite warriors nevertheless do not exist in packs of their own apart from the rest of the Sabbat. The Black Hand are all marked by a black crescent moon which is magically branded into the palm of their right hands.

The Black Hand comprise the best of the Sabbat, and are the backbone of the Sabbat as well. It was the Black Hand who kept the Sabbat together during the Sabbat Civil War and it is the Black Hand who are called on to deal with the Sabbat's enemies.

The Black Hand members all have a small black crescent moon branded into their right palm. Most members belong to one of the eight categories in the Hand:
  • Raiders -- 80% of the Black Hand, they act as combat troops
  • Convert Agents -- Infiltrators and information gathers
  • Removers -- Exterminators. These elimate internal Sabbat threats
  • Hard wares -- Advanced weaponry, explosives and small arms experts
  • Magicians -- Thaumaturgists
  • Overseers -- Field leaders. Tacticians and generally skilled in a wide variety of area

Usually 3-7 members are called on to form a unit to complete a mission. Assassinations might require only one, while a raid on a Tremere Chantry will always recruit every available member of the Hand. If needed, specialists may even be flown in.

Sabbat Rites

Source: "The Player's Guide to the Sabbat".
A trademark of White Wolf P


The Sabbat has established many rituals to strengthen its bonds of loyalty and fraternity, Some rituals, called to Auctoritas Ritae, are practiced b the entire sect. Other rituals, called the Ignoblis Ritae, vary in manner and observance among the packs.

Auctoritas Ritae

The entire sect practices Auctoritas Ritae because of long-standing tradition, as well as their significance in Sabbat beliefs. The rituals are usually led by the clergy (the priests, bishops, etc.) of the Sabbat. There are 13 Auctoritas Ritae currently practiced by the sect.

The Blood Bath

The Blood Bath is held whenever sect leaders recognize a Sabbat vampire as having rightful claim to a title. All the Sabbat who will be under the leadership of the vampire are invited to attend the ceremony. Each subservient vampire is brought before her superior. The superior recognizes the vampire and proceeds to give praise and advice. The titled vampire then shares in the Vaulderie with all present. After this, the vampire is actually led to a pool of fresh blood and bathes in it.

The Blood Feast

The Blood Feast is held at almost all important gatherings. Humans, and possibly enemy Kindred, are chained and hung from the ceiling upside down. The Sabbat at the gathering are allowed to bite open the victims and fill their glasses with blood. It is customary to lick the wound closed when finished, so as not to waste any vitae. The Blood Feast is blood on tap. There is usually one victim for every vampire in attendance.

The Creation Rites

This ritual is used when recruiting new members for the sect. Each pack may vary the ritual slightly, but overall is the same. In it, all those chosen to becomes Sabbat are drained of their blood and then given a small amount of vitae from their Sires. The Sabbat then bludgeon the chosen unconscious and bury them. Those who claw their way to the surface are knocked out again. They are taken to the secret haven of their pack, where they are awakened and their new status is explained.

Festivo dello Estinto

This is the Festival of the Dead. Held for the entire second week of March, all the Sabbat in a city take part, and even nomadic packs join the celebration. During the festival, the Sabbat celebrate being vampires. Blood Feasts are held along with many other rituals. The Sabbat spend most of the week socializing and drinking blood. Once per night, the entire group of shares its blood in the Vaulderia. Hunting becomes more brutal, and the vampires make little effort to hide from the eyes of mortals. It is a week to loose and revel in the gift of immortality.

The Fire Dance

Sabbat pride themselves on their recklessness, and the Fire Dance expresses their fearlessness. Normal vampires have the hood sense to avoid fire; indeed most fear it tremendously. The vampires of the Sabbat, on the other hand, ho face-to-face with their fears and overcome them. During the Fire Dance, Sabbat enter a trance-like state. They then proceed to leap and dance through blazing pyres. There are some in the Sabbat who knows rituals to make themselves immune to fire for short periods of time, but most of the Sabbat participating are completely vulnerable. The Fire Dance is used to humiliate the weak. Those who do not participate are chastised by their fellow pack members.

Games of Instinct

Sabbat believe the strong alone survive. The Games of Instinct test vampires to see who among them are the strongest. The games are meant as competitions and many place bets on who will win. There are many types of games, and Sabbat are always inventing new ones. The games test such things as hunting ability, resistance to pain, fighting ability, bravery and wit. The Games of Instinct are like sports for the undead.

Monomacy

Monomacy is the method for handling grievances among Sabbat vampires. It allows vampires to challenge each other in duels to settle their differences. The duel is usually fought to Final Death. Monomacy is this a mans of maintaining strong leadership in the sect.

Palla Grande

The Grand Ball, as it is also named, is a masquerade ball held on All Hollow's Eve. All the Sabbat in a city attend this social event. The archbishops go all out to make the party the most spectacular possible. The Toreador antitribu and some Sabbat following the Path of Caine are usually given the responsibility of planning the event. The Palla Grande is always held in a very public place, where mortals can see. There is always a Blood Feast, though it is hidden in a private room. The Palla Grande has as its main event a play concerning vampire legends and history. Humans are sometimes invited to the ball, though they are kept in the dark about what is really going on and what most of the guests really are.

Sermons of Caine

All vampires in the Sabbat know the story of their origins from the Book of Nod. The Sabbat often gather to hear sermons on their history to remind them of who and what they are. The sermons are used to strengthen Sabbat loyalty and ideology. Sermons of Caine are usually carried out by Sabbat Priests following the Path of Caine, and by higher-level leaders during other rituals. Sermons of Caine are always allowed by the Vaulderie.

The Vaulderie

The Vaulderie is the ceremony of Blood Bonding with all other Sabbat present. The Vaulderie breaks all other Blood Bonds and establishes a Vinculum between all Sabbat taking part in the ritual. The Vaulderie is the most important ritual practiced by the Sabbat, for it is the source of their freedom and solidarity. Sabbat vampires Blood Bond with all other Sabbat they meet through this ritual. It is common practice for a pack who enters the territory of another group of Sabbat, or happens to run upon another pack by chance, to share in the Vaulderie.

War Parties

Diablerie is a strong tradition within the Sabbat. Unlike what many outside the Sabbat believe, the Sabbat does not ritually destroy its elders through Diablerie (except for Assamite antitribu). Diablerie is often used against fellow vampires under the rules of Monomacy, and the rumor probably originated from that practice.
However, War Parties gather packs in an effort to hunt down elders outside the sect for the purpose of drinking their blood. War Parties involve two or more packs in competition with one another to see which group will drink the target Metasuleah's vitae first. During their time in the War Path, many of the Sabbat decorate their faces with war paint.

The Wild Hunt

Sabbat vampires seldom turn traitor, but those who do rarely survive. The Sabbat is a sect which protects it's secrets. If a member reveals something to the enemy that could harm the sect, she is punished severely. Should the enemy ever manage to gain something of vital importance from a Sabbat vampire, the Wild Hunt is called. The Wild Hunt is much like a Blood Hunt, except the Wild Hunt targets all those who may possess the secret knowledge. Sabbat are called from all over the territory to participate. The hunt is truly wild. The Sabbat stop at nothing to destroy all who possess their secrets, especially the Sabbat traitor who revealed the secret in the first place.

Ignoblis Ritae

The Ignoblis Ritae are rituals created and observed by various packs. Most packs observe one or more rituals of this type. These rituals may or may not require the use of Sabbat clergy. Most of the Ignoblis Ritae are held during the packs' weekly meetings - the esbates. Many of these rituals are more along the lines of protocol and tradition rather then ritualism. Keep in mind that all packs are not the same, so the type of rituals and the number of rituals they employ will vary. Most packs use somewhere between three to 10 rituals as their own Ignoblis Ritae in addition to the Ignoblis Ritae common to almost all packs.

Common Rituals

These rituals are used by almost all Sabbat, though each pack handles them in its own way. There is nothing concrete about these rituals, so they tend to change as the pack members and the times change. These rituals are often used in combination of the Vaulderie.

Acceptance Rites

Almost all packs have a specific ritual they use to recognize a new leader, accept a probationary member as a full member, and accept a Sabbat recruit as a True Sabbat. The nature of the acceptance rites varies from pack to pack, but usually involves all members of the pack recognizing the new position of their fellow Sabbat, as well as that Sabbat taking some sort of oath or allegiance.

Farewell Rites

This ritual is used to bid a fellow Sabbat, or an entire Sabbat pack, farewell. This ritual is used when a visiting pack leaves, when a fellow pack member leaves for a long period of time, and occasionally to honor the recently destroyed. The farewell rites usually involves the leader of the pack praising those who leave.

Initiation Rites

The initiation rites are an important tradition for all Sabbat. This ceremony transfers rights to an individual, making her a Sabbat. This ritual differs from the acceptance rites in that the acceptance rites involve the entire pack. Initiation rites generally occur before the acceptance. For instance, defectors from the Camarilla go through initiation rites, but it may be years before they get the acceptance rites. The initiation rites are used to confer the power of the sect, not the power of the pack.

Welcoming Rites

Packs use these rites to greet other Sabbat. The welcoming rites of both packs are combined for the celebration, with both bringing some new aspect to the festivities. The rites are more like a party, but at two points certain protocol is carried out. At the beginning of the welcoming rites, all pack members greet each other individually, presenting their names and their home. At the high point of the celebration, a gift is usually exchanged from pack to pack. The two leaders often use this ritual as an opportunity to discuss Sabbat plans.

Vaulderie

Source: "The Player's Guide to the Sabbat".
A trademark of White Wolf Productions.


Blood Bonds - The Vaulderie Ceremony

The Sabbat's founders believed freedom was the key to survival, yet unity was the means of achieving freedom. The Blood Bond is at the very heart of all that is Sabbat. The Blood Bond lets members of the sect share themselves with one another as no other group of vampires does. Through it, they gain loyalty to the Sabbat beyond any human understanding of the word.

All Sabbat share their blood with other Sabbat, and in turn drink the blood of their fellow vampires. All Sabbat present mix some of their blood into a chalice or jorum. The vessel is then passed around and all drink from it in a ceremony called the Vaulderie. All present form a circle after drinking the Vitea. They swear the Sabbat Oath of Fealty, pledging their heart, mind and soul to the sect.

There is equality in the Sabbat, at least in terms of their loyalty toward one another. All vampires in a pack share their blood on a regular basis. The effects of the Vaulderie are not what many Kindred would interpret as a Blood Bond. Instead, it heightens the loyalty and understanding of all who participate. The special Blood Bond created by the Vaulderia is called the Vinculum.

The Vaulderie is usually strong enough to break any Blood Bond a participant may have to a single Kindred. It may take more then one dose, but it seldom fails if the vampire acts in the way he is instructed. The vampire wishing to escape a Blood Bond must not have more than one Blood Point in their system at the time of the ritual. He must then drink six Blood Points of blood from the chalice. If he does so, he will be freed from any previous Blood Bond.

Vinculums resulting from any Vaulderie vary in intensity. The Vinculum is determined at the end of the ceremony each is given a score ranging one to 10. The higher the score, the stronger the bond . The vampire receives a separate Vinculum score for each vampire participating in the Vaulderie. The Vinculum score represents the degree of loyalty and sympathy the vampire possesses toward the other vampire in question.

One vampire may have a stronger Vinculum toward one another than that vampire has toward her. Further use of the ritual may increase a vampire's Vinculum, with 10 being the highest score possible. Each time a vampire participates in the Vaulderie, roll one die, If the number rolled is higher than the vampire's Vinculum score, add one to the score. A vampire knows how strong her Vinculums toward her packmates are, but does not know the strengths of their Vinculums for her.

The Vaulderie should be practiced by all Sabbat - especially the characters. All Sabbat perform the Vaulderie at least monthly, but usually more often then that. In times of Jyhad, the Sabbat practice the Vaulderie each night, with all members of the pack participating. Failure to engage in the Vaulderie on regular basis or without good excuse leads to punishment in a stern matter. Depending upon the reasons, packs have been known to string up and make Blood Feasts of fellow pack members who refuse to participate in the Vaulderie.

The Vaulderie is a powerful tool to keep sect members loyal and provide them with supernatural bravery. Without the Vaulderie, the Sabbat would probably collapse. The innate anarchism of Sabbat ideology is held in balance only through the means of ensured loyalty.

The following rating system describes the amount of influence the Vinculum has on the vampires of the Sabbat.


Vinculum Rating Effects
  • 1 - Virtually no bond exists, though you may be fond of the individual.
  • 2 - You have a feeling of kinship for the individual, but not strong enough for you to go out of your way to help him.
  • 3 - You are basically loyal to the individual as long as that loyalty does not interfere with your own plans.
  • 4 - You will aid the individual if you are asked to do so and there is no personal risk involved.
  • 5 - You respect the individual and help her whenever you can, even if it involves minor risks.
  • 6 - You have strong feelings for the individual and help him even at costs to yourself. You will gladly fight for the individual.
  • 7 - You are willing to put yourself in moderate danger for the individual and will kill for her.
  • 8 - You will gladly donate any resources or influence you might have to aid the individual.
  • 9 -You will do virtually anything for the individual, even putting yourself in great danger.
  • 10 - You will readily give your unlife for the individual.

Some Sabbat believe it is possible to break the bonds of the Vinculum. Doing so removes all the bonds the vampire has to all other vampires, not just select ones. While it is unknown how the Vinculum is broken, supposedly it has been done by a number of Sabbat, particularly Tremere and Nosferatu antitribu.

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When the night touches the ground, the dark creatures come out to play.