For there is no Light without Darknesse and no Substance without Shaddowe.
-- Peter Ackroyd, Hawksmoor (suggested by Craig Oxbrow)
Description: Some clans are thought to be opposite sides of the same coin in some important respect, like the deformed Nosferatu and the lovely Toreador. The Lasombra and the Ventrue have a similar relationship and are easily described in comparison to one another. Both clans come from a tradition of proud blue blood; for centuries they favored the children of royalty and nobility and they continue to Embrace the most politically powerful mortals even now. Neither clan has given up the idea that some people are simply born better than others, and certainly more fit to rule the unwashed masses. No matter what age you're in, there are always tides of peasants in need of being directed and there are always the precious few who know how to best go about it. It could be said that the difference between the clans is that, by and large, the Ventrue are interested in directing and ordering others, while the Lasombra are more interested in manipulating and outright controlling those below them. And make no mistake, the Lasombra believe most others to be below them.
This overweening pride is not entirely undeserved. The Lasombra have earned their reputation for master manipulation, iron-fisted power, and ingenious political games. They have also brought about their reputation for cruelty and heartless efficiency. But perhaps more importantly, they are one of the few clans that has reputedly taken down an Antediluvian - for, during the chaos of the Burning Times, many Lasombra clan members contributed to the destruction of the Lasombra Antediluvian. After that, the clan decided to rule in a new way and took part in the conception of the most monstrous sect of vampires to date: the Sabbat. Thus, the Lasombra, along with the Tzimisce, make up most of the leadership of the Sabbat and enjoy the bloody fruits of their labor. Despite their lack of an Antediluvian, the Lasombra are still called and considered a clan by most; perhaps their accomplishments have earned a grudging respect, or perhaps the Lasombra viciously insist on it.
Allegiances: In modern nights, nearly all Lasombra belong to the Sabbat. This is because the Sabbat Lasombra hunt and kill any Lasombra who tries to leave the Sabbat behind (unless they are acting as a Sabbat spy). Some Lasombra manage to remain independent but they are very rare indeed; few survive in the Camarilla for very long, if they are allowed in at all. While most other clans are called Antitribu after joining the Sabbat, the Lasombra are called Antitribu only if they remain outside of the Sabbat. Lasombra tend to do better in the company of the Anarchs than the Camarilla, but the Lasombra regularly hunt for rogue clan members. Given all of this, the Sabbat is often the only option that offers any hope for power to a Lasombra, even if it is a hope drenched in blood and threatened on all sides.
Founder: For thousands of years, the Lasombra Antediluvian was the master of shadows and ruled his clan with an iron fist. No account of his personal name survives so he is simply referred to as "Lasombra," if he is referred to at all, but it is widely known that Lasombra was male. In the modern nights, most Lasombra speak of his death as the clan's great triumph over an unfit leader and an Antediluvian. A few, however, have the presence of mind to wonder exactly what happened on that fateful night during the Renaissance. It is said that Lasombra's most recent childe, Gratiano, made a deal with some Assamites to storm the dark castle; many believe that Gratiano diablerized his sire. Some say Lasombra did not put up a fight; some surmise that Lasombra actually wanted his childe to take his blood. But beyond the propaganda the fearful questions persist, even after five hundred years: Are the stories true? Is it possible to kill a master of shadow and a master of Dominate? And if Lasombra is not dead, what does that mean for the clan that gloats at his downfall? The Lasombra tend to keep these questions to themselves for fear of their clanmates, and that shadows that are always listening...
Weakness: Lasombra cast no reflection in normally reflective surfaces like mirrors, nor do they appear on film except as blurred images. This makes it easy for them to get around security surveillance but difficult for them to deal with their grooming and identity. Thus, Lasombra often have worries attached to their appearance and the longer they exist, the more likely it is that they'll develop obsessive behaviors about it (in the form of a flaw or a derangement).
Disciplines: Dominate, Obtenebration, Potence
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