There are many schools, orders and secret societies on Earth that explore, use and teach Magick, but chief among them are The Six Families. Among the oldest of the organizations, the Six Families are clans of sorcerers that have in some cases focused their energies upon exploring specific disciplines.  Each one has their own goals and motivations, be it simple self survival to monetary gain, to even world domination (or at least domination of the shadowing Magickal underworld).

SARGASSO: This family is also comprised of powerful Western sorcerers, They began extensive investments in the Americas as early as the 1600’s, expanding westward as fast as the wagon trains would let them.

The Sargasso family has been waging a war against the undead for the past several centuries ever since Baron Klaus von Straunheim was foolish enough to abduct one of their members to take as his bride.  The Sargassos reclaimed her and swore vengeance on all undead.  That woman had been Annette/Gray, the driving force behind the formation of The Vindicators and Maximum Justice.

Joseph Sagat/Grimoire is also a member of the Sargasso clan.

VANSADIA: Another western clan, the Vansadias are artificers, magical craftsmen (and women) who construct objects of great power.  Not all of their number possess the gift of artifice, those who cannot are trained as enforcers and bodyguards and wield mighty weapons.

The Vansadia has had a pact with the Sargassos for the past two centuries in regards to the undead.  While they are competetors on the financial and political fields in regards to vampires and their ilk they are agreed that they are vermin and should be erased.  Vansadia weapons have been wielded by Sargasso vampire hunters for two hundred years to provide them with a decided advantage.  In these cases the Sargasso is bonded with the weapon so that only they may wield it.  This is a practice also employed by Vansadia enforcers.

FONG-KABAYAMA: Eastern families had been in existence since the inception of the Chinese emperors, but inner conflict and inbreeding had dwindled their numbers.  In the seventeenth century these families united with  younger, fresher stock from Korea, Vietnam, Thailand and Japan to strengthen their power, which went strongly against the racist attitudes many of these people harbored.  This worked well for the next century and a half, but the outbreak of the Second World War and this rise of Communism in China caused schisms in the family.  It was only until the seventies that the family factions finally united.

Fong-Kabayama’s Eastern magic works along different, unexplained principles than Western magic.  This does not necessarily mean it is more powerful, but a Western sorcerer fighting an Eastern one does have to prepare to face the unexpected.

GRAVES (general background): The other five families cannot be called in themselves evil.  Their interests are primarily self-serving but this is natural.  But the Graves clan is steeped in infamy.  Torture, rapine, cannibalism and numerous other heinous acts can be attributed to this foul family.  The only reason they aided the other families in resisting the Alvares’ Gold Plot of ’85 (see below) was to prevent their own financial interests from crumbling.

The Graves worship the dark forces of Death and Entropy, rumor has it many of their number have embraced vampirism to further their dark aims.  This has yet to be proven, but it would surprise no one.

ALVARES: Alchemy is the Alvares family’s trade.  Their skills may make them the weakest of the seven families in terms of raw power, but financially they are giants.  In fact the Alvares had created a plan to destroy the world market in ’85 by flooding it with tons of artificial gold.  They would be perfectly safe with their careful investments and would ride out the chaos.  When the smoke cleared, they thought, they would buy everything in sight.  It was the only time in the histories of the families that three united in a common front to thwart the plot.  Annette Saguriette, legendary Vansadian enforcer/artificer Martin Vanderbek and Kazuo Ren, acting on a tip supplied to them by the Graves stormed the Alvares Sao Paulo compound where the bogus gold was being smelted.  A mighty battle ensued in which the Alvares were crippled.  The four families directly involved made off with the gold and split it evenly, cutting a deal by which they would release a pre-arranged amount of the gold onto the market every year.  Accountants from each family carefully watch the others.  So far all four families have honored the arrangement.

The Alvares have spent the past seventeen or so years rebuilding their power base.  They have sworn to take vengeance on the four families that they know were involved.  The Alchemist is a member of the Alvares clan.

Witches Brew/The Alchemist is a member of the Alvares clan.

BUDROS: The youngest of the seven families, this clan has a disturbing history.  Originally there was a clan known as Claire-Savant, they practiced slavery extensively in Cuba, the West Indies and Louisiana.  Their goal was to cull “breeding stock” from their specially selected slaves to create powerful sorcerers through miscegenation in order to give them an edge against the other families.  What the clan’s elders had not counted on was that the loyalties of these new sorcerers were not with the family but with the slaves they had been born from.  When their numbers grew strong enough they not only broke away from Claire-Savant, they massacred them in a series of revolts that ensued up until the end of the American Civil War.  Budros, as the clan was now called, carved a bloody niche in the Americas and woe to any clan that even thought of taking what was theirs.

It has taken a century for Budros to calm its rage against white people.  The fact that their blood contains white stock is to them both shameful and an undenied source of their power.  This duality has made any conversation with a Budros about his past a touchy subject at best.  In fact Budros hierarchy is  partly determined by one’s family tree.  The stronger the link to Claire-Savant, the lower the glass ceiling.  Budros are strictly neutral and will not interfere in any squabbles between any of the other families.

Budros employs both Western magic and Voodoo traditions.  This combination has worked very well for them, as their understanding of Western magic linked to their mastery of mysterious Voodoo techniques make them formidable opponents.

THE OUTCASTS: In some cases members of the six clans have been known to either voluntarily leave the protection of their group or have been expelled.  These outcasts often wind up forming small groups for a variety of reasons; protection, knowledge, even star-crossed love.  A couple examples of this are the members of Sorceress Seven's band, which consists of Alchemy Eight (a former member of the London Knights), Necro Nine, Wizard One and Santeria Six.