Light in the Shadows
Ashwood Abbey is a compact of hunters, originally founded as a hedonistic society in Scotland. They have since evolved into an influential formal hunting club, seeking to track down the creatures of darkness for sport.
Founded by the Reverend Doctor Marcus McDonald Ogilvy, the Abbey originally served as a sort of “Hellfire club”, indulging its members in any sin or taboo they could afford. During one such outdoor excursion, a group of revelers accidentally defiled a sacred Uratha artifact, causing a pack of werewolves to attack and devour a number of club members. Fascinated, Ogilvy lead a group of followers to the place to defile it again, this time carrying an elephant gun loaded with silver shot. The werewolves didn’t stand a chance. From this, the members of Ashwood Abbey developed a taste for sport, specifically hunting down and making trophies out of dark and unholy creatures
Unlike many hunter organizations which seek out creatures of darkness out of a deep fear or a desire for power, the Abbey’s members are in it purely for what they perceive as fun. The ordinary offers no joy, and they seek out the extreme thrill that only torturing a vampire or tracking a werewolf can give. Many of the Abbey’s members possess trophies from successful hunts, such as fangs, demonskin clothes, and so on. Many members also proudly sport scars and missing body parts as marks of their encounters.
Ashwood Abbey has chapters around the world, particularly in Europe and America. Recruits are often groomed by seasoned members to join, and must always pass an initiation called “drawing the white ball” to become a full-fledged member. Quite simply, it forces a potential to lead a hunt; if the initiate survives, they are granted full rights and benefits befitting a club member.
For all their enthusiasm, the Abbey does not go about their activities with much in the way of actual knowledge of what they hunt. There have been instances where entire an entire chapter has been obliterated thanks to leaping before looking. What Ashwood Abbey does have going for them is society; many members are wealthy, well-connected, or both, and can obtain almost anything a member might need to track down their prey.
There are many cliques within the Abbey. The three primary ones are Competitors who are in the Abbey simply to prove themselves the best and brightest at hunting down their quarry, the Pursuit who enjoy seeking the secrets and experimenting with the dark creatures they uncover, and the Libertines who want to break as many taboos as possible in the process.