Fiefs of the Black Cross
FIEFS OF THE BLACK CROSS
The Fiefs of the Black Cross (named for the symbol of the Deutschorden) were a feudal monarchy among the German Cainites in the Dark Ages. Under firm control of the Ventrue and the Elder Hardestadt, the Fiefs of the Black Cross were strong bastions of feudalism and Ventrue supremacy in medieval Europe.
Following the fractured nature of the Holy Roman Empire, which covered most of the domains within the Fiefs of the Black Cross, most princes within the domain constantly schemed against each other, bowing only to the authority of Hardestadt himself. Conflict not only between the various princes, but also with the other Cainite feudal realms, such as the Lasombra from Italy or the Courts of Love from France, as well as many Ventrue who declared their independence from the Black Cross, was the nightly order of things. The Fiefs were also at war with the Voivodate, under the leadership of Hardestadt childe Jürgen, following the campaigns of the Teutonic Knights and purchasing an alliance with the Tremere in the Omen War. Hardestadt was known to enforce the Sixth Tradition (which would later form the Masquerade) with utmost severity, similar to the ideals his clanmate Antonius from Constantinople and later culminating in Hardestadts involvement in the Convention of Thorns and the formation of the Camarilla, which officially dissolved the Fiefs of the Black Cross when Hardestadt assumed his post as one of the first Justicars.