The Inner Council of Seven, also referred to as the Council of Seven and the Inner Council, are the seven eldest and highest-ranking active members of clan Tremere's Pyramid. Each of them is an advisor of the clan's founder, Tremere himself.
Beneath the mythical Tremere founder are seven vampires of fell power, who, combined, oversee the worldly (and otherworldly) doings of the entire Tremere clan. Because the founder cannot be expected to personally guide the clan in all things, or even to be aware of the state of the modern nights, the council operates as an administrative body for all Tremere. While the founder hides in myth and superstition, the council is all too real, especially to those who fail the Tremere clan in some fashion spectacular enough to draw their ire.
After the founder Tremere committed diablerie on Saulot and transformed the Tremere into a full-fledged clan, he established the Council of Seven from his honorary childer, blood bound them to himself, and scattered them across various domains in Europe and the Middle East. Centuries later, as European Kindred and kine had spread across the globe, the Council likewise expanded their domain: where each Councilor had originally led the Tremere of one specific region of Europe, each would now preside over an entire continent.
The council comprises the canniest and oldest of surviving Tremere; indeed, its membership includes some of those who turned from mortal magicians to undead in the first nights of the clan’s usurpation. Each councilor oversees a continental locale, be it Western Europe, Africa, North America, or the like (though not necessarily in person), attended by such aides as he or she can recruit and support. Membership on the council rarely changes; only a total disaster would be able to erode the support or unlife of one of these potent Cainites. Not that such things are impossible...
The council does not sit like some undead Congress that passes legislation and indulges in political fraud, though. Rather, each councilor clings to a vision of acceptable conduct and business, and sets the standards by which Tremere in his or her region are measured. The council itself is a fraternity of equals or near-equals, each with personal agendas and individual visions for the Tremere clan, who recruit supporters for their projects and disseminate important information, while at the same time making sure that problems threatening the entire Tremere clan face a unified opposition.
Should an individual Pontifex become lax in, say, the political scene of a small European country, a displeased councilor might send a letter noting that the choice of a liberal Democrat candidate over a state Socialist does not sit with his long-term vision for the country. Similarly, the councilors make wide-ranging decisions regarding policy. Should a rash Tremere neonate hand out thaumaturgical secrets to non-Tremere, other apprentices and regents will scorn the hapless fledgling and perhaps even move against him to curry the favor of more "respectable" Tremere — those who follow the council’s wishes.
Rarely does the council move directly against someone; instead, a councilor will let his pontifices and lords know what pleases him and what vexes him, and allow the subordinates to sort out the proper course of action for those who wish to remain in good stead. The council is often seen as having impeccable judgment and extremely far-sighted planning, so few individual Tremere would dare to presume superior discretion.
The body of the Council is descended from the original eight conspirators, including Tremere, who founded the chantry of Ceoris; this group eventually became the group of eight mages who were artificially Embraced in the Ritual of Usurpation as the first Tremere vampires.
The known founding members of the Inner Council beyond Tremere himself are:
As of 1995, the members of the inner council were:
- Xavier de Cincao (maybe a founding member- not conclusive)
- Thomas Wyncham (not a founding member)
- Elaine de Calinot (not a founding member)
- Grimgroth (childe of Tremere himself; not a founding member)
- Abetorius (childe of Meerlinda; not a founding member)
Although both Children of the Night and Clanbook: Tremere Revised deliberately avoid naming the exact membership of the Council, numerous sources have confirmed that Etrius and Meerlinda are still Councilors in the Final Nights, and Grimgroth is implicitly the "former Tremere" who appears in Blood Treachery.
The Second Inquisition presumably destroyed the top of the Clan during the attack on the Vienna Chantry in 2008.