The five covenants:
The Invictus are, and always have been, the most powerful covenant in the British Isles. They have controlled London as far as records go back. About two-thirds of the cities in Britain (and all of the dozen or so largest cities except Cardiff and Glasgow) have Invictus Princes. Most of the aristocratic families of Britain have produced a vampire at some point. The First Estate’s links to the royal family have always been far more tenuous than the vampires liked to admit, but, even now, there are ghouls whose blood is very blue indeed, and some of the more distant relatives of the Queen owe their quite stunning youthfulness to means other than Botox. Still, the First Estate has seen better days. Once, the Invictus Lords could plausibly claim that the House of Lords was theirs to control. Although – even in the covenant’s heyday – stories of Invictus-controlled cannibal coteries in the Lords may have been exaggerated, now they’re just stories.
The Lancea Sanctum has seen better days. Once there was a time when Britain’s Christian heritage – and the tradition of authoritarianism it brought with it – could be relied upon to make a raw neonate give the Sanctified a bit of respect. Now, with faith a rare commodity in the United Kingdom, the new breed often see the Sanctified as peddlers of little more than mumbo-jumbo. Even so, the Lancea Sanctum is widespread.
The Carthian Movement has, over the last few centuries, grown as quickly as the Lancea Sanctum has shrunk. Their heritage goes back to the 17th century, vampiric Levellers whose demands for equality echoes those of their living counterparts. Today, the Carthian Movement continues its push for modernization, much to the ire of the Invictus of London.
Circle of the Crone
The Circle of the Crone has not held anything like the balance of power among the British Kindred for more than 1,500 years. In England, the Circle has long been a persecuted minority among the vampires, and has suffered a great deal throughout history, particularly at the hands of the Lancea Sanctum. While the Acolytes have been slightly more successful in Scotland and Wales, the Circle has never really been powerful. However, as the Sanctified and Invictus have made losses over the last century, the Acolytes have also capitalized, and there are currently more of them than there have been since the time of Augustine.
The Ordo Dracul have always been few in numbers, though they have been growing recently due to the influx of younger vampires of a scientific bent. They largely keep to themselves and do not partake in politics as much as the other covenants – nevertheless, the higher ranking members are fairly influential in London.