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The Lasombra Clan: The Road of the Abyss

on Mon Oct 09 2017, 20:39

Jealousy is the provenance of fools and pretenders.

The Lasombra are leaders and prophets, kings and caliphs, generals and holy men. They are scrupulous in deciding who merits the Embrace, and ruthless in destroying those of the clan who prove unworthy. The only threat to the power of clan Lasombra is, perhaps, clan Lasombra itself.

No longer as actively involved in clan affairs, Montano, Lasombra’s eldest childe, rules distantly from the Castle of Shadows in Sicily. It is there that he guards his sire’s slumber, which is said to be troubled with dark dreams of shadows and the Abyss.

Religious sentiment runs deep; perhaps it is because of the clan’s deep connection to darkness, but many of the clan walk the Road of Heaven. This deeply-held fervor fuels conflict within the clan and turns their attention inward. In Iberia, the Shadow Reconquista rages – a war between Christian and Muslim Cainites dividing the clan. The ripples extend far outside Iberia, involving even distant partisans.

Christian Lasombra within the Church funnel resources toward Christians forces, while Muslim Lasombra seek alliances with other clans, especially the Assamites.

They also try to convince their Jewish clanmates to stand with them, as they will surely face worse treatment should the Christians seize power in Iberia.

For Christian Lasombra, the schism without is mirrored by the schism within. Within the ranks of the Church lurks the Cainite Heresy, a heretical cult dominated by Lasombra priests and bishops. The Cainite Heresy believes that Cainites, having been marked by God, are akin to angelic beings, and the Curse of Caine marks Cainites as holy beings. Of course, even non-Christian Lasombra find this view to be blasphemy and take every chance to expunge such teachings they can.

Sobriquet: Magisters

Appearance: The Clan of Shadows is diverse, with its membership evenly split among those of Spanish, Italian, Jewish, North African, or Arabian origin. Most Lasombra dress in the finest clothes that money can buy, be it precious silks from China, rich French brocades, or the lush woven fabrics of Arabia. Even those in the Church, which nominally eschews wealth and its trappings, are often of sufficiently high rank that some sartorial extravagance is to be expected.

Haven and Prey: 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. Some members of the Cainite Heresy feed on their congregants, passing it off as a sacred rite. Butthis practice is best kept secret, as it is sure to draw the ire of Christian Lasombra with more orthodox religious convictions.

The Embrace: 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.

Clan Disciplines: Dominate, Obtenebration, Potence.

Weaknesses: Lasombra cannot be seen in any sort of reflective surface, which makes it difficult to conceal their supernatural nature from mortals. Additionally, members of the Clan of Shadows cannot abide the presence of bright light; they take an additional level of aggravated damage from any exposure to sunlight.

Organization: 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.

The Amici Noctis is most powerful in central Europe.

Montano famously dislikes the Friends of Night and has barred them from Sicily and the Castle of Shadows. In the Iberian Peninsula, the Shadow Reconquista hampers the power of the Amici Noctis. Officially, the Amici Noctis has declared neutrality on any issue relating to the Shadow Reconquista. In practice, this is because they have no power to impose order on the chaos in Iberia.

High Clans: A useless distinction drawn by equally useless people. The Lasombra hold power because we value excellence, not birth. That we are counted as High and not Low says more about them than it does about us.
Low Clans: Let the other High Clans spurn them. Only a fool shuns a useful tool or an invaluable ally.
Assamites: We share more with the Children of Haqim than we do with most other Clans. Let others be blinded by prejudice. They are honorable and worthy allies.
Ventrue: The Scions have always confused power and station, much to their detriment. Let them chase after high office; it only makes them easier to manipulate.
Followers of Set: Let them try to bring back the worship of their dead god. Time moves ever forward, and those who try to stand against progress will get trampled every time.
Tzimisce: Godless heathens, the lot of them. They have been offered the chance to turn away from their pagan ways, but have refused. While we cannot deny their power, we cannot trust them either.
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