|Disciplines||Obtenebration, Potence, Dominate|
|Canon Flaw||Cast no reflection|
|Dark Prospects Flaw||Light Averse - Exposure from Sunlight begins at 10 seconds, instead of the normal timing.|
Lasombra are leaders and survivors. Members of Clan Lasombra insist upon excellence in everything they do. While seeking potential childer Lasombra sires will often select a strong, competent individual and push them to their breaking point; to see if they grovel or push back. If the mortal collapses under the strain then the sire often won’t embrace them, leaving them a shattered mess. Lasombra do not grovel.
The Lasombra helped form the Sabbat in the 15th Century and have served at the helm ever since. For more than 400 years the Clan has guided the other members of the Sabbat toward the sect’s goals. Lasombra rarely make casual embraces, and childer made casually are still expected to rise to the same level of excellence as those cultivated for decades. Lasombra often rise to leadership roles in their packs and in their territories.
Despite all the talk in public, Lasombra view the Sabbat as very much an “Us” and “them” organization, where anyone who isn’t Lasombra is a “them.” There is a significant clan culture that embraces what it means to be Sabbat, but is also much more strict and structured than the life of a normal Sabbat member. In fact, much of the Sabbat culture is built on the framework of the Lasombra clan’s structure, which itself is analogous of the Church.
The oldest of Lasombra claim that the clan’s antedilluvian was a dark god of rivers and the sea, Laza Omri Baras. Some worshiped him under the name Lau-Som-Bheu, which means something like “profiting together through domination.” The two themes, the sea and domination, have formed a core for the Clan from the long lost nights of the Second City through to the modern nights. Members of the Clan are often found captaining ships or serving as Bishops over cities on the coast.
The Lasombra have often found themselves taking up positions of leadership, and in that they often have conflicts with the Ventrue who believe themselves to be the natural leaders of the Night. As civilization sprang up around the Mediterranean, the Lasombra found their place in the many cities and nations vying for power.
When the Christian Church became ascendent, the Lasombra quickly inserted themselves into the organization. Members of the Clan became priests, bishops, nuns, and Abbesses. While other clans did have members who became part of the church, like the Toreador, no other clan sought out power in the Church so well as the Lasombra did. As the church spread across Europe, so did the clan, and members of Clan Lasombra ended up in almost every capital and most major cities. Italy and Sicily would remain the stronghold of the Clan, with the highest density of Lasombra Princes.
As the Dark Ages fell over Europe, the Lasombra rose in prominence and power. This lead to more conflict with the Ventrue and the other clans that claimed significant portions of Europe. Just as with the other clans, many younger Ancillae and Neonates began to chafe at the thought of eternity under their sires’ thumbs. The Inquistion began to put pressure on the vampire elders, and often an Elder would expect his childer to take the brunt of an attack and allow the elder to escape. Many childer resented this, and each time it happened added one more log to the fire of their anger.
That anger boiled up in the Great Anarch Revolt. The 4th Generation Lasombra elder, Gratiano de Veronese joined with anarchs from the other clans, rising up against his sire’s oppressive rule. Gratiano lead a strike force against his sire, who was resting in Torpor in the Castle del Ombros. Gratiano did diablerize Lasombra, and rose up to replace him as the head of the Clan.
There were other clans and other individuals involved in the Anarch Revolt, but we all know that the purpose behind it was shifting power dynamics amongst the Keepers.
Eventually, the revolt was put down. The leaders were given some of what they had demanded, but in most cases, the situation went back to the status quo, as kindred are wont to do. The end of the revolt came in 1493 at the Convention of Thorns, which took place in the town of Thorns, England. The Lasombra and Tzimisce clans refused to accept the newly formed Treaty of Thorns and walked away to form the Sabbat.
As the Camarilla and Sabbat went their separate ways, the mortal powers in Europe began seeking to expand further. Soon, the New World had been discovered. Through careful manipulations of their mortal pawns, the Keepers were able to get significant portions of the new world granted to crowns and nations with heavy Sabbat populations, namely Spain and Portugal. Young Lasombra surged across the Atlantic Ocean to claim new lands in Florida, New Spain, and the islands.
There wasn’t a significant native population of vampires to worry about, and Sabbat kindred flourished across the Spanish and Portuguese Empires. They had some clashes with early Camarilla explorers, but for the most part, the New World was left to the Sabbat. The English, Dutch, and French colonies tended toward the Camarilla, but they were smaller and did not bring in the wealth that the Spanish colonies did.
During the Colonial Revolution, or the US War for Independence, depending on your audience, the Lasombra largely sat out the war itself, though they encouraged their mortal pawns to support the the colonies in their rebellion against a powerful Camarilla lead Empire. Anarchs and young Sabbat neonates flung themselves into the war with zeal, but their Lasombra leaders guided the battles from behind. Severing ties with European powers created a rift in mortal power that reflected the divide between the Camarilla in Europe and the Sabbat in the new world.
The northern cities still drew large populations of Camarilla kindred, but the vast tracts of land that made up the new world were there for the Sabbat to claim.
When the Kine population began to expand westward, the Lasombra went with them. It was easiest to blend in with the Catholic communities. Lasombra moved north out of the Mexican states, helping to plant the Missions and the cities of the West Coast. Lasombra helped support the Creole populations of Louisiana.
Article by JonoH