Lasombra

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Lasombra
Lasombra symbol.png Lasombra logo.png
The Night Clan, Magisters, Keepers, Shadows, Abyss Mystics, Turncoats, Traitors
Disciplines:

Bane:[[#Bane|Distorted Image]]


Compulsion:[[#Compulsion|Ruthlessness]]


Introduced in:Vampire: The Masquerade Chicago by Night Renegade store / DriveThruRPG store

Background

Lasombra are one of the fourteen vampire clans of Vampire: The Masquerade. Creatures subtly at odds with mundane reality, Lasombra vampires are expected to triumph at any cost. Ruthlessness is a sought-after trait in progeny, making their reputation as betraying interlopers well deserved. Most do not seek attention, preferring to act as puppeteers, powers behind the proverbial throne. To a Shadow, the ends justify any means.[1]

The Lasombra rarely have time for the weak, with a perspective that the only way to survive is to excel. Sympathy and morality do nothing but weigh them down and prevent their inevitable climb to power. They generally Embrace those who fought against the odds and came out on top, those who survive dangerous situations or otherwise exemplify excellence. Their childer tend to be targeted towards those who are fit for something beyond mortal life, such as sociopaths, deviants or other scarred survivors. The Magisters also tend to lean heavily into organized religion to find their new prospective, however they are not looking for the truly faithful or depraved souls, instead they seek out those who arose to power in the church from a desire to have complete control. Priests, nuns, monks, vicars or rabbis who have used their congregation as a tool to bolster their power. [2]

Disciplines

Below are the powers innate to the Lasombra as well as the uses they find in it. [3]

  • Dominate is the reason they are able to crush wills and command obedience, they will without hesitation use this power to feed.
  • Oblivion enriches their Blood and allows them to manipulate and control shadows around them.
  • Potence is the reason some Kindred are able to display such feats of strength unseen by man, however they do not generally use this to feed, instead using it to crush their enemies in demands of respect.

Bane

Distorted Image - In reflections or recordings (live or not) the Lasombra appear to be distorted, those who know what vampires are know precisely what's going on, while others might be confused but know something is wrong. This does not however, hide their identity with any certainty and they are not likely to be caught more often on surveillance than any other Kindred. In addition to this, modern communication technology which includes making a phone call requires a Technology test at Difficulty 2 + Bane Severity as microphones struggle with them as much as cameras. Avoiding any electronic vampire detection system is also done with a penalty equal to their Bane Severity.[4]

Compulsion

Ruthlessness - The next time the vampire fails an action they receive a two-dice penalty to all rolls until a future attempt at the same action succeeds. This penalty applies to future attempts of the same action still.[4]

Example archetypes

  • Religious Parasite - Through their congregation they grow their power, hiding behind the faithful they sway the true believers to elevate themself onto a pedestal.
  • Ambitious Winner - This winner at life strived in every sport and won, determined and able enough to take down anyone that opposed them. This translated into their unlife, even if they truly aren't the brightest their ambition keeps them at the head of the pack.

Notable characters

Montano - With the clan having shifted towards the Camarilla in the modern night they now sing his praises. It's rumored that it was his will that Christianity rose to it's prominence. When the vampire society originally split, he was one of the few to not abandon the newly formed Camarilla and join the Sabbat. [5]

Talley - The cold, professional hitman and former high ranking Sabbat member possesses mastery of Oblivion. Though he usually resides in Washington DC defending major Lasombra powerbases. Soon the elders of the clan approached him with a special job. The brutal Shadow began to work on facilitating the Lasombra's entry into the Chicago Camarilla. In this efforts, he is said to have defeated Lucita in battle and brought her final death. [6]

Lucita de Aragón - Lasombra Antitribu, and Archbishop of Madrid and follower of the Path of Night, a variant of the Path of Cathari. The once-rival and lover of Fatima, Lucita is high profile Sabbat member who still uses her human name; Madrid was usually her domain, but it is now contested with the Camarilla. it is said Talley succeeded in killing the Archbishop, but her pack of over a hundred is still being directed in Spain.[7][8][9]

Sierra van Burrace - Childe of Talley, her strong skills as a negotiator and businessperson person impressed Talley, as did her calm in cleaning a murder scene. Even during her tenure as antitribu, she showed restraint rather than follow other Lasombra in degeneration, increasing her resources and influence. Even while bound to a pack, she still showed loyalty to her sire and the Amici Noctis. For this she and her brother-in-vitae were eventually selected for the Lasombra delegation to Chicago Camarilla. With this offer on the table she sent her pack on a suicide mission so she can be free pursue her new duties as ambassador.[10]

Malenkov - Childe of Talley and war hero of the Sabbat for his service in the Sect war. A survivalist to the core he had long fought to survive and succeed. His years of wars and bloodlust had slide him dangerously close to Wassail for ages even with the path system. He thought he would meet his end in the Gehenna war, but instead Talley has selected him and Sierra, his sister-in-vitae, to act as envoys to the Chicago Camarilla.[11]

Culture

Embrace

The Lasombra prefer to Embrace those that beat the odds. The people who survive dangerous situations, dire odds, and sit at the top at a level of success. Those deemed fit for more than a mere human life are targeted. They also are drawn to those who see the dark side of the world and come back stronger: counter-culturalists, deviants, and scarred survivors. The last group of popular Embraces are those from religious organizations. Corrupt religious officials who use their office for power and control rather than altruism make ideal childer. Some even go as far as to create adversity from the shadows to see if their prospective childe will succeed and earn the Embrace.[12]

Mortal society

The Lasombra most infamous realm of influence is the Church. Many younger members may not know or have yet adopted the religious strategy, but the Clan of Night’s method is effective. They can’t elect a pope, or influence body wide doctrine, but they can access secret Vatican files, have religious institutions work as their eyes and ears, or even manipulate a religious body at a regional level. This still proves effective in the New World with the dominance of the Catholic Church in Central and South America as well as the number of Protestant churches in North America.

Most Keepers only use the Church for power rather than spirituality, even the elders of the clan decree this method is the most preferential. Churches can be used for havens where the Lasombra sleeps underneath during the day, congregations can be turned into a herd of blood dolls, and turning priests into retainers so serve the Keeper's will. The Lasombra's knack for hiding behind religious institutions and performing horrible acts in the dark are legendary.

Not all Lasombra are drawn to the Church; there are some that occupied other realms, media field is an example. As long as the Lasombra feels they are able to court influence and eventually triumph to prove their superiority they will go that path of power. That is why some secular Lasombra are beings who are at the top of their field and continue to do so in unlife. Lording their success over the mortals and unworthy.[13][14]

Kindred society

Due to the devolution of the Sabbat and the elders of the clan realizing they were threatened by the Sabbat crusade, the main body of the clan made political motions to the Camarilla for admittance. Elder who call for revolution of the old realized they were the ones their childers and great childer may aim for next. This notion of joining the Camarilla wasn’t just supported by the elders, some of the younger members saw this as an opportunity. No longer forced to be Bound to each other and some pact priest just to be used solely to fight the crusade. They also appreciate the blood tax the Camarilla may call for, the sacrifice of an elder Sabbat member.

The Lasombra has made diplomatic meetings all over with Chicago is being of the famous ones. The induction of the Keepers is not without a cost, some cities call for different stipulations and tributes than others. Some domains may call for a moratorium for Lasombra to be able to hold titles, limit the number of Keepers, Blood Bond, or even ask for an elder to sacrifice. Of course this differs from domain to domain, some Prince in dire straits may be more lenient on what they impose as entry fees.

The clan is seen to have fickle loyalties now by Kindred, but the Shadows are willing to prove their worth as ruthless strategists. In domains where they are allowed to hold titles, they have made fast gains both by virtue of their need to triumph and by the current state of the Camarilla. Clan Tremere’s fracturing has offered a break in the Warlock’s influence that the Banu Haqim and Lasombra compete for. In some domains this has become the case as Ventrue Princes love to lord over Lasombra, placing them as advisors, personal bodyguards, regents, etc. Many Lasombra are happy to take the titles given and slowly carve a place for themselves in the sect. This act has caused Clan Toreador much annoyance, being rivals and passed over by newcomers when Roses were Camarilla founders.

Plenty members of Clan Lasombra are at war with themselves. Pushing to grasp at titles, outmaneuver their foes and succeed. There are parallels to the Ventrue, but power is only a byproduct of the Lasombra needing to triumph and be on top. Many are aware of how their Blood pushes and the restraint they need to exercise. Though they can be feral beasts doing anything to win they usually settle to take up a more calculated and safe approach. With the nights filled with the Second Inquisition surveillance and the Camarilla’s wary eye, they need to adapt to survive.[15]

In coteries, the Lasombra are known to be ruthlessly efficient. They will generally not take half-measures in their drive for success. This makes them excellent allies to have. Most Lasombra see a coterie as a tool, a means to drive success. Success brings rewards, while failure gives experience and growth. One can be mistaken to think the Lasombra see the parts of the coteries as tools too. The Keepers see the members and the need for an obligation to each other. They know the worth of collective cooperation and the worthiness in celebrating victories. They typically excel in coteries where espionage is paramount. Though Lasombra are still newcomers to the sect, embellished stories of Keepers backstabbing and sacrificing coterie members float around making others keep a wary eye on these Kindred. [16]

Amici Noctis

“The Friends of the Night” in English. This group is of clan legend, the Lasombra’s inner council of vampires chosen from the most capable for clan interests above all. Traditionally they are a stabilizing force banning in-clan assassination, diablerie, or power grabs without them sanctioning such actions. If they are going to do it, might as well be productive about it.

The seats are said to be filled with Lasombra of various ages. The only stipulation to be a member is to provide evidence of overcoming hostile circumstances. This council is surprisingly bipartisan, even having Sabbat Lasombra with seats, of course such a council causes the Sabbat to try to assassinate the Sabbat Lasombra habitually.

They are the ones to use their influence to change the clan’s sects and use their devoted agents, such as Talley, to act as envoys to Camarilla princes and assassins to resist Lasombra. Of course while they remain unknown, they have made a backroom deal to exclude themselves as tributes for entry to the Camarilla.

They are similar to the shadowy Directorate of Clan Ventrue.[17]

Factional differences

The Camarilla Lasombra are members of the clan who have gone along with the agenda of the Amici Noctis to change sides. Some may have changed their side based on new opportunities or the degeneration of the Sabbat. There are some Lasombra that have seen the fruitlessness and fear of the Gehenna War. There are reports that either their antediluvian or some old Methuselah is alive and devouring younger vampires in droves. These reports and the power of the ancient had made some elder and foot soldier Lasombra adamant that the Sabbat are doomed. Leading to them working to advance their place in the Camarilla.

Many Lasombra turn their noses up at the Anarchs, they want to be free of their elders control but want to rule a hierarchy not get rid of it. They would rather throw in the with High Clans than go Anarch and “lay with the dogs.” [18]

About half the clan remain in the Sabbat. Like other members in modern nights they want to transcend the trappings of clans, they call themselves Lasombra antitribu. They are thought to be degenerates the clan broke from. Once the heart of the Sabbat, many Sabbat regard the Lasombra with disdain and suspicion now.[19][20]

Exclusive Loresheets

Lasombra characters have special access to the following loresheets:

Descendant of Montano


Gallery

Game concepts
Beginner's guide Vampire: The MasqueradeConsiderate playOfficial TTRPG sources
Character creation Merits and FlawsCoterie Backgrounds and MeritsLoresheetsPredator typesMortals and ghouls
Quick references Hunger systemResonanceHumanityIndex
Clans Banu HaqimBrujahGangrelCaitiffHecataLasombraMalkavianThe MinistryNosferatuRavnosSalubriToreadorTremereTzimisceVentrueThin-blood
Disciplines AnimalismAuspexBlood SorceryBlood Sorcery RitualsCelerityDominateFortitudeObfuscateOblivionOblivion CeremoniesPotencePresenceProteanThin-Blood Alchemy
Factions CamarillaAnarchCults
Antagonists Second InquisitionSabbat

References