A covenant is an organization or religious establishment consisting mostly of Kindred, though human servants and ghouls are often present at covenant meetings and are sometimes members themselves. There are five major covenants; others do exist, but the vast majority of Kindred are members of the major five, who often disregard the others. In addition, some bloodlines form tightly knit groups based on political or spiritual belief, as well as blood ties; these bloodlines may also be considered minor covenants.
Unlike clans, which may be thought of as families, a covenant is chosen by the vampire according to his or her beliefs. A vampire's Sire's allegiance nearly always plays a large role in their decision. A vampire may choose not to join a covenant at all; such Kindred are known as the Unaligned, or "Unbound."
While covenants span the globe, they are not truly global organisations; their power is localised. While their practices and beliefs come from a common source, a Circle of the Crone group in Brittany may differ wildly from their counterparts in New Orleans, for example. In general, though, covenant members are accepted by their comrades wherever they travel, but since vampires do not generally stray far from their chosen cities, status in one city's covenants may mean considerably less elsewhere.
- The Carthian Movement works towards finding the best form of government for the Kindred, basing its experiments on mortal systems like Democracy, Fascism and the like. It is by far the youngest Covenant, and many of its members are young by vampiric standards.
- The Circle of the Crone is a collection of many faiths, pagan cults of every stripe who worship a goddess that can be equated with the eponymous Crone. They practice the dark magic of Crúac, and call their largest meetings during major pagan holidays.
- The Invictus believe themselves heirs to the Camarilla, an ancient organization of vampires thought to be the greatest union in their long history. They are the most influential of the Covenants, and hold a large percentage of Kindred power positions.
- The Lancea et Sanctum believe they have been put on the earth by God deliberately as a curse, to prey upon the sinful and test the faith of the pious. Their sorcerous practice, Theban Sorcery, is the invocation of dark miracles upon the world.
- The Ordo Dracul claim to be Dracula's descendants, and study what it means to be a vampire, with the aim to transcend its limitations. Following in the footsteps of Dracula himself, they have developed Coils of the Dragon that remove certain weaknesses of their state.
Those that claim no membership in any Covenant are referred to as Unaligned.
Smaller splinter Covenants are said to exist, though their presence is rarely felt. But there is also an adversary, known only as VII; they hunt other Kindred, they might be in league with the Strix, and they always leave behind their sign or brand.