The Sword of Caine

I've been running a meta-chronicle for a number of years; one that crosses multiple game lines and includes characters (Player and Non) across several cities. When I heard about the updates and setting changes to Vampire the Masquerade that would occur with the 5th edition, I was excited, to say the least. I love the new systems and most of the new setting changes: For example, I'm really excited to find out how the Hecata have evolved from all the previous, disparate Clans of Death, and I think that the inclusion of the Second Inquisition within the setting really changes the way Player Characters think and act in different ways, bringing about more caution some of the time. One of the things about the setting update that I've been less clear on, however, is the change occurring within the Sabbat.

In my meta-chronicle, one of the cities within the local setting is wholly controlled by the Sabbat, creating a sort of "Mordor" for most of the Player Characters; a place of danger and violence that was mostly off-limits to them if they wanted to continue living (or whatever). My dilemma comes with the prospect of updating my own meta-chronicle to be more "in-line" with the setting. Do I go all in and have the city be mysteriously emptied of Cainites? What ramifications does that carry for the rest of my setting? After all, any good setting is a fleshed out ecology, with various groups (some supernatural, some not) all being interlinking pieces of the same community. If one is removed too quickly, that creates an imbalance in another part of the community.

Do I phase them out slowly, like an occupying force being withdrawn from a previous site of conflict? That would seem to make more sense, giving time to tie up loose ends (plot threads) and having final confrontations as necessary. But then, for the better part of 6 years, the Sabbat has been built up as a major antagonist, and if you've been reading my posts at all, you understand that I'm all about quality of the story. Are you beginning to see my dilemma?

Do I keep them intact and completely ignore the Gehenna War? What about the previous appearances by Methuselahs (and an Antediluvian!) that have already occurred in my setting? These are all legitimate questions that any Storyteller should be prepared to answer, if only in the most basic of ways.

So then, one of the burning questions regarding the 5th edition of Vampire is this: Where do the Sabbat fit in?

As the official answer to this isn't quite ready to be revealed by White Wolf (or their chosen emissaries), we are left to ponder this mystery for ourselves. For so much of this game's history, the struggle between the Ivory Tower and the Sword of Caine has been the focal point of the plot. I fully understand the desire to bring back the Anarchs as a credible threat in and of themselves, but what of those more monstrous enemies? Is there still room in the World of Darkness for the Cainites? What do YOU think?