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 in 1855 in Edinburgh, Scotland, the Ashwood Abbey was one of several "Hellfire Clubs" in Britain, created to indulge in various sins and vices of the era. By modern standards, many of these clubs were rather tame. The Abbey was an exception. Led by the Reverend Doctor Marcus Ogilvy, the upper class members of the club partook of vices that even today would be considered wrong and immoral. 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. Fortunately for the club, those killed had not let their families know where they were or what (or rather, who) they were doing. Returning to the site armed, the remaining club members found prodigious scat around the artifact, a warning to the club.
Oglivy instead became fascinated by the prospect of a new variety of vice, and, accompanied by the heavily armed members of the club, he once more desecrated the stone and lay in wait. The moment the werewolves arrived, Oglivy fired the silver shot from his elephant gun and killed off the wolves that came to investigate. From then on until his death, Oglivy continued to lead the Abbey to pursue the world's most dangerous supernatural creatures for their own twisted ends.
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 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 three primary Cliques in the Abbey, each with its own "philosophy" on the hunts and activities they partake in.
Competitors treat the entire Abbey lifestyle as a giant game, endeavoring to be the first at everything, from taking the latest supernatural drug to having sex with the newest creature the Abbey has discovered.
Members of the Pursuit take the Abbey's hunts and record them, often distributing the most fascinating parts of a hunt, or it's aftermath, to other Abbey members.
Libertines are hedonists even to other Abbey members, willing to break every taboo on Earth, things that not even a madman would try to do, while often adopting a heroic position in their own minds as creators of new moral paradigms.