HistorySeveral thousand years ago, a tribe of proto-Maasai people were ordered by a pale spirit to produce a child for him. This child was trained to lead by having every member of the tribe obey him, and he was trained to be loyal by extensive gifts and rewards from the Lasombra Antediluvian. The experiment failed. Before rerunning the experiment, Lau-Som-Bheu was visited by his child's playmate, Ontai. This shaman in training offered his life to Lau-Som-Bheu (who had already punished the tribe by wiping out half of its population) – in life, death, and beyond, with no price offered. Lau-Som-Bheu, disturbed by the offer and Ontai's already impeccable honor, tested the shaman's resolve by demanding he slaughter his tribe. Ontai obeyed, and a shaken Lau-Som-Bheu called off the execution and embraced Ontai, renaming him Montano and bringing him to the Mediterranean. Thereafter, Lau-Som-Bheu was always uncertain whether his childe's unswerving honor had gotten the better of him.
From the very beginning, the Lasombra have been tied to the sea. Sicily, where Lasombra had his lair, was the center of the Clan, from which they inserted themselves into various seafaring cultures that arose. It is said, that after the eruption of Thera, Lau-Som-Bheu began various lengthy travels, leaving his progeny free to discover the world around them. Reveling in piracy and the freedom of the sea, most Lasombra fought against both Greeks and Romans, refusing to accept the feeding rights of any Cainite overlords. Others traveled to Iberia and the lands of the Roman Republic. Some particular adventurous even traveled so far as China, where their broods still survive secluded and hidden away from the wrathful Cathayans. Together with the Ventrue and Malkavians, the Lasombra clan ruled over the Roman Empire until it dissolved. While the Ventrue left for the north and the Malkavians were seen with suspicion and fear now, the Lasombra remained.
Dark AgesIn medieval times, the Lasombra were centered around the mediterranean in the feudal realm of the Sea of Shadows as one of the High Clans, headed by their Antediluvian himself. The Lasombra were heavily involved with the religious constitutions of this age, particularly the Roman Catholic Church and with Islam, leading to an internal conflict between the two factions within the Clan that resulted in the Shadow Reconquista in Spain, where both sides battled against each other for control over the peninsula. Most Lasombra had strong ties to the clerics and nobility and were able to utilize them to their own endings.
FactionsLasombra consensus holds that overly rigid structures turn on their creators. Thus the institutions within the clan operate flexibly and with substantial local autonomy. These informal distinctions are just as deadly earnest as anything chartered and codified, but they are much more lethal for being open to interpretation like any Court of Blood can prove. Most of the Lasombra subcultures have no organization or even a well-known name. They are outlooks rather than institutions. A group that became organized enough to challenge the courts would be co-opted and folded into the Friends themselves or destroyed, depending upon how well the group's leaders pled their case.
Corsairs– The Corsairs are Lasombra that have answered the call of the sea that seems to be inherent to their blood. They spend most of their time on the waves, often masquerading as pirates, and some never come on dry land.
Kings of Shadow
Children of the Abyss– The Children of the Abyss follow the ancient traditions of Abyss Mysticism, often paying only lip services to the Sabbat, but staying in line, as the sect provides them with the means to pursue their arcane art.