"Wielding the shadows is an extension of controlling the darkness into which we are all Embraced."

To the Lasombra, it is better to reign in hell than to serve in heaven. Fear, frenzy, the power to determine whether another lives or dies: these are at the root of the power that the Lasombra hold dear.

Whereas other vampires try vainly to hold the Beast at bay or give themselves wholly to it, the Lasombra beat the Beast into submission, invoking it when it suits them but leaving it trapped inside when they wish to govern themselves. It is with these predilections that the Lasombra style themselves a “dark nobility,” an aristocracy of the night that chose the supremacy of the Cainites over veneration of the Masquerade.

Their regard for such ideas as redemption and salvation are cynical at best, and much of the pomp that shaped the Clan’s pre-Sabbat outlook remains only with a sense of blackest irony or open mockery. The grandeur and rituals of the Church and aristocracy remain dear to the Lasombra, however, and the Clan was instrumental not only in establishing many of the rituals of the Sabbat, but in the institutions that keep it from descending into chaos each night.

Whether they see themselves as God’s instruments or as outcasts from His creation, the Lasombra believe they have a duty (whether to Sect, Clan, pack, or even just themselves), and obligation to their responsibilities gives them a wicked sense of purpose. Even a Lasombra shovelhead may consider himself a cut above the rest; a surprising number of Lasombra mass Embraces survive, perhaps owing to the intervention of their sires.

While the night belongs to all Kindred, the Lasombra are truly born to darkness, to the degree that their very Clan name reveals their tie to shadow. Theirs is the Discipline of Obtenebration, and it allows them to wield the stuff of shadow and darkness, and even reach beyond the darkness of the physical world into the abyss that lies beyond.

NICKNAMES: The Shadows, The Keepers

SECT: The Sabbat would be very different without the influence of the Lasombra, and they remain its most prominent Clan. Young Lasombra often make auspicious starts as Sabbat Ducti or Priests, leading their fellows by charging into the fray or demonstrating mastery of the Beast.

APPEARANCE: The Lasombra are frequently attractive. Whether through the Spanish, Italian, and Moorish stock associated with the Clan, or due to more cosmopolitan modern backgrounds, the Keepers cut a striking figure. Their dress is often conservative or religious, drawing on years of ceremony and faithful ritual. Rare is the Lasombra who cannot at least manipulate shadows to affect a dramatic entrance or enigmatic pose.

HAVEN: The obligation of their leadership leads many young Lasombra to maintain communal havens with other members of their pack. Wealthier Keepers and those who predate the Sect often maintain their own havens, whether sinister penthouse suites or sprawling Old World villas.

BACKGROUND: Prospective sires of Clan Lasombra seek both erudition and ambition in their potential childer. As such, many Lasombra come from professional backgrounds, and display outgoing and even aggressive personalities. Merit in their sires’ eyes takes fledgling Lasombra far, and the Keepers do not hesitate to cull their ranks of flawed, lazy, or boorish childer.

CHARACTER CREATION: Lasombra often have disparate Natures and Demeanors. Mental or Social Attributes are equally likely to be primary. Attributes tend to be narrow and specialized, showing individual expertise. Keepers cultivate Backgrounds of all types similarly in (initially) low quantities, to better diversify themselves.

CLAN DISCIPLINES: Dominate, Obtenebration, Potence

WEAKNESSES: Lasombra vampires cast no reflections. Whether in a mirror, in a body of water, on a polished surface, or in the rear-view of a taxicab, the image of the Keeper does not reflect.

ORGANIZATION: For the Lasombra, the nights of high aristocracy never faded, and the titles and offices a modern onlooker might associate with history still carry great weight among the Keepers. A complex system of patronage, mentorship, and lineage characterizes the Clan, similar to the courts and churches of centuries gone by. Childer benefit greatly from esteemed sires and vice versa, while acts that confer Sect or Clan status may also elevate a Lasombra’s peers, so long as she associates her success with her fellows.

The information on this page was collated and edited from the Vampire the Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition sourcebook.

This website was built by Miles, starting in July 2023. Some work on this site was written by me, and some was not. Individual pages have credits and attributions. Much of the writing on this site was sourced from the original White Wolf Wiki as well as the VTM v5 Paradox wiki. This site was made for personal use, but I hope you find some use in it. View at 80% zoom.