- A Clan of Mediterranean seafarers, clerics, and power-brokers
- Their Founder was diablerised recently and the bulk of the Clan are with the Anarchs now
- They have a supernatural relationship with darkness, variously revering or fearing it
Believers in the worthy ruling and the unworthy serving, the Lasombra have maintained their traditions even as they have turned to the Anarch Revolt en masse. Freed from their Antediluvian’s rule by the actions of a single ancilla and his allies of convenience among the Banu Haqim, the bulk of the Clan are at war with the Camarilla. They are a Clan of seafaring explorers and pirates as much as clerics and kings. Some view their relationship with shadow and darkness as purely practical, others as deeply sinful, and others still as almost a religious imperative in its own right. They are still trying to understand their new freedom, but very few believe any other Clan is more fit to rule the night than the Magisters.
From the very beginning, the Lasombra have been tied to the sea. Sicily, where the founder had its lair, was the centre of the Clan, from which they inserted themselves into various seafaring cultures that arose around the Mediterranean. It is said that after the eruption of Thera, the Lasombra Antediluvian began various lengthy travels, leaving its progeny free to discover the world around them. Reveling in piracy and the freedom of the sea, most Lasombra fought against both Greeks and Romans, refusing to accept the feeding rights of any Cainite overlords. Others traveled to Iberia and the lands of the Roman Republic. Together with the Ventrue and Malkavians, the Lasombra clan ruled over the Roman Empire until it dissolved. While the Ventrue left for the north and the Malkavians came to be seen with suspicion and fear, the Lasombra remained.
They became heavily involved with the religious institutions of the Long Night and War of the Princes, particularly the Roman Catholic Church and Islam, leading to an internal conflict between the two factions within the Clan that played out in the Shadow Reconquista in Iberia, where both sides battled against each other for control over the peninsula. Most Lasombra had strong ties to the clerics and nobility and were able to utilize them to their own ends. This put the Catholic Lasombra at great risk of exposure to the Inquisition, but also positioned them perfectly to direct the mortal hunters against their enemies. In Cainite terms, Lasombra claimed Domain across the entire Mediterranean in their founder’s name – administered from the Sicilian Castel d’Ombro by its loyal childe Montano.
The Lasombra Antediluvian’s decision to Embrace an Italian noble called Gratiano de Veronese in the early 12th century would soon come to change the course of Cainite history. Like many Lasombra, Gratiano was an Abyss Mystic, an esoteric form of blood sorcery that relies on study of a force transcending and ultimately opposing all light and life. They seek the great and terrible unknown at the centre of creation, and most reject mortal precepts of right and wrong. It is an unlife’s work to truly grasp the power and majesty of the Abyss – but Gratiano was impatient. He desired immediate respect, and did not want to have to wait centuries before being held in even a fraction as much esteem as his Methuselah sibling Montano.
In the early 15th century, just as Gratiano was on the verge of becoming an elder, he was approached by a delegation of Brujah Anarchs from Iberia and Tzimisce rebels from Transylvania. They explained that they could liberate him from his Blood Bond to his sire, freeing him to act against the ancient monster and seize some of its power for himself. Gratiano accepted, and was the first Lasombra to participate in the Vaulderie.
Gratiano and his allies struck at the heart of Clan Lasombra’s hubris – the High Court at Castel d’Ombro. Most of the Clan elders were killed, their souls drained, but Gratiano was unable to find the Founder. Burning with rage, he turned to the Banu Haqim and sought their aid. Over the next eight decades they hunted the Lasombra Antediluvian together, until Gratiano led them into an Abyssal keep and took the greatest prize for himself: he left with his sire’s heart’s blood on his lips.
Gratiano presented the remaining leaders of the Clan with this fait accompli, and dared them to condemn him lest he remake the Clan into something new. Instead, the majority of them chose to support him, as he refused the usurper’s path taken by the Tremere and the Giovanni – allowing the entire Clan to decide for themselves what their lineage meant and act accordingly. Almost all of them have decided that they should continue their war against the ancients.
Within the clan exists an organization known as the Amici Noctis, the Friends of Night. Membership is by invitation only, and invitations are only extended to those who have truly proven their value to the clan. The Amici Noctis preside over the Courts of Blood. Any member of the clan may petition to the Courts of Blood for the right of Amaranth against someone they see as unworthy to be Lasombra. By officially sanctioning the Amaranth, the Amici Noctis maintains strict control of its use. Any Lasombra performing the Amaranth without permission faces summary destruction.
Despite Gratiano’s great achievement, he has very explicitly not sought the status of clan founder or leader, and was a strong advocate that the position not be filled. Montano has left the Clan in disgust, seeking alliance with the Camarilla.
- Balearic Islands
- Holy Roman Empire
- Italian Peninsula
Some Lasombra born to wealth and power choose to remain in their family holdings, masquerading as their own heirs in order to retain control over what is theirs. This allows them plenty of opportunities to feed, as large numbers of family, servants, and retainers are needed to maintain such estates.
Others, not wanting the troubles that come with concealing their true nature among such large numbers of mortals, establish solitary, lavishly appointed havens, sacrificing the convenient availability of prey for secrecy and security.
Lasombra frequently choose their childer from among the wealthy, powerful, or politically elite. However, Magisters will just as frequently Embrace someone of low status but high ambition and intellect. Mere accidents of birth cannot determine someone’s strength of character or their ability to lead.
Lasombra vampires cast no reﬂections. Whether in a mirror, in a body of water, oron a polished surface the Lasombra’s image does not reﬂect.
- Angelic Visage (1)
- Among its other effects, this changes the costuming requirement for low Morality, allowing for more sculpted or contoured looks than simply pale, corpse-like skin
- Social Elite (1 – you may choose one of Moniker, Wild One, or Keeper of a Sacred Text)
- Born In Shadow (2)
- Trusted Confessor (2)
- Flexible Morals (3)
- Walk The Abyss (3)
- This Merit is necessary if you wish to play an Abyss Mystic