controversial, see below
Lambach Ruthven is one of the most curious characters of the Classic World of Darkness. Sometimes described as a methuselah of the Tzimisce clan, sometimes as a coward and a weakling, he took part in many great events of vampire history.
During the Anarch Revolt he was part of the ritual that used Kupala's Sacred Fire-Flower to break the Blood Bonds that held the Tzimisce under their elders. In 1413 he witnessed the death of Lugoj, and the fake diablerie of the Tzimisce Antediluvian while the Eldest posed as Lugoj to take command of the rebellious younglings. On top of that, in 1495, he became the sire of the infamous Count Dracula, and survived to tell the tale as how Tabak met his Final Death at the fangs of his new childe.
In the modern nights Lambach wanders throughout Sabbat territory, haunted for centuries by his knowledge about the secrets of the Tzimisce founder.
Lambach was a noble-born Tzimisce, raised specifically to become undead, bred to wield power. Unfortunately, the side effect of controlled breeding, creates spoiled childer with weak genes and weaker wills. Thus, Lambach never wielded his command with much confidence or courage. He was rather an indecisive vampire lord. He lived his life in fear of the inevitable Embrace and tried his best to avoid it. Because he spent so much time dreading the bite, he suffered greatly when his sire, Tabak, drained him of his blood. Thus, as a vampire, he became an anxiety-ridden, desperate, terrified bully.
However, a journal entry from Molly 8, chronicler for the Librarians pack of Montreal about the embrace of the methuselah Demdemeh states that Lambach was in fact Embraced by the Tzimisce Antediluvian himself. According to that entry, the Eldest has embraced him because he saw Lambach as a survivor in the purest sense of the word(as attested by his presence in the modern nights). Some might argue that this is an unrealiable source, but be that as it may, both Children of Inquisition and the Clanbook Revised agree that Lambach was privy to the location of the Tzimisce Founder's resting place.
Anarch Revolt: Battle at Tzimisce's Haven Edit
Lambach inherited a large power base to administrate many loyal followers. His Tzimisce leaders demanded that he help fight the Tremere, fend off rampaging anarchs, and control the ebb and flow of mortal power. Trouble then stirred in the Transylvanian highlands. The Anarchs seemed unstoppable, as they had just crushed the Lasombra Antediluvian and were now attacking the Tzimisce in full force.
In 1413, Tabak, called all his childer to defend him, escaping while they were destroyed in his place. However, the only survivor left was Lambach, who was overwhelmed and captured by the renegade forces. While the other childer were slain, the anarchs curiously allowed him to live, demanding that he join them or die. Lambach agreed to convert and joined the Revolt.
The Anarch leaders, Lugoj and Velya, used Lambach's powerful blood to break the blood bonds of their Tzimisce brethren using Kupala's Sacred Fire-Flower. Through Lambach they obtained knowledge of the Tzimisce Founder's resting place. Lambach guided Lugoj and his mob of anarchs directly to Sernog Monastery, where the Tzimisce Antediluvian laid to rest in torpor. A great fight broke out between the Tzimisce Guardians and Lugoj's anarchs, which resulted in the victory of the latter. They dispelled the magical protections and unearthed the ancient Tzimisce from torpor. Lugoj himself greedily consumed the Antediluvian's blood.
Lambach seemed surprised how easily the "Antediluvian's" body crumbled to dust. He knew full well the power of the Tzimisce's ability to mold mortal clay, to disguise, and disfigure themselves as well as others. He realized that Lugoj did not in fact consume the "real" Tzimisce Antediluvian. Rather, it was a decoy that was fleshcrafted to look like him.
After further analysis of the carnage, to Lambach's dismay, his advanced powers of perception allowed him to see through a wall of invisibility where he discovered the real body of Lugoj impaled on a massive wooden hook. Lambach soon realized that during the raid on the cathedral, Lugoj was somehow subdued by the real Tzimisce Antediluvian, who at the time of the infiltration, was not in torpor at all. The Antediluvian fleshcrafted into an imposter Lugoj, to fool everyone into thinking that Lugoj had diablerised Tzimisce. Perhaps this was a tactic for survival since the Lasombra Antediluvian was just killed not too long before.
Not disclosing this secret, Lambach now worked for the Anarchs under a newly formed Sabbat. It is hinted that it was Lambach who spread the word about the slaying of the Eldest, though a person who knew him well wouldn't give his words much credence. Interestingly, Lambach felt the orders from the top were similar to his old orders. Oddly, he regrets keeping this secret for so long and when he attempts to reveal it to others, he is scoffed at.
Meeting Vlad Tepes Edit
Even as a mortal, Vlad Tepes was well aware of vampiric powers. Due to Lambach's incompetence, Vlad discovered a vampire neonate spy. He had the spy imprisoned in Castle Dracula, drinking his powerful blood to gain inhuman strength.
When Tabak caught wind of this violation of vampiric power, he led a group of Tzimisce to depose the Impaler Prince. On their way to the Castle, they were ambushed by Camarilla Justicars who captured Lambach and forced Tabak into torpor, while killing the others. Before they could do anything with Lambach, the mortal Vlad Tepes attacked, driving away the weakened Justicars, just after their battle with Tabak.
At that point, Vlad "forced", or persuaded, Lambach to turn him into a vampire. Immediately thereafter, he diablerized the defensless Tabak. Dracula, now having the power of the ancient, warned his sire never to challenge him, then turned Lambach loose.
Final Nights Edit
At the Final Nights he survived the attack on New York by the Camarilla in 1999, taking refuge in the Bronx with Polonia. After the attack, Lambach follows a Loyal slave Zantosa to the sewers of Manhattan. The slave led him into an unlisted tunnel on the maps, traveling more than 2 kilometers underground.
In the tunnel was a new form of the Tzimisce Antediluvian, who claimed to be protecting Lambach to ensure that he records the it's history. The Antediluvian merged with the Earth itself the animals to begin his ascension, and wanted to absorb Lambach's body. Lambach refused it and fled, leaving an arm behind while escaping.
The following days, he talked about it with other Tzimisce, but none believed him. Since then, Ruthven tries to forget it by drinking only the vitae of drunks and drug addicts.
Lambach does not realize his true purpose to the Eldest: to act as his witness and chronicler, monitoring the Clan while the Eldest sleeps. The will of [Tzimisce] protects Lambach from harm, lending him portions of his Antediluvian power to escape dangerous situations. Lambach will survive up to Gehenna and will be the last being on earth to be united with the Antediluvian once it reaches Metamorphosis.
The exact generation of Lambach is unclear. Nights of Prophecy and Gehenna claim him to be a grandchilde of Tzimisce, while Clanbook: Tzimisce Revised state that he is the direct childe of the Eldest, though this reference might be considered unreliable based on it's presentation as an in-game piece of noddist research.
Lair of the Hidden gives the lineage of Danika Ruthven as the childe of Damek Ruthven, childe of Ruthven, childe of the Eldest. The Dark Ages Clan Novel 13: Tzimisce also has a character called Damek Ruthven, who is confirmed as the sire of Tabak Ruthven. However, the presence of many kindred with the surname of "Ruthven" combined with info from Children of the Inquisition claiming Lambach to be of noble birth, might suggest that the unnamed Ruthven (the family patriarch) may be his predecessor. Children of Inquisition also said that Lambach "lived his life in fear of the inevitable Embrace and tried his best to avoid it", and described him as weak (as both a mortal leader and as a vampire), so his personality stands in stark contrast to that of the unnamed Ruthven who seems to be an actual leader.
Tabak in turn is often listed as the sire of Lambach. In addition to this, Encyclopaedia Vampirica (p. 144) lists him as a vampire of the 7th generation, sired by Tabak. Variously then, Lambach could be taken as either 4th generation, 5th generation, 6th generation or 7th generation at the time of his embrace. However, it could be argued that the Encyclopaedia Vampirica is meant for use as an in-game reference since the authors are listed as actual characters of the Classic World of Darkness.
Some believe that Lambach is in fact a 4th generation and grandsire of Tabak - and has been manipulating the events, trying to look naive and harmless, while being a true mastermind (or at least the major tool of the antediluvian) behind the Anarch Revolt, the foundation of the Sabbat and the fake "Diablerie" of the Eldest (and, possibly, even Yorak's demise at the Cathedral of Flesh).
For additional information you might also check the speculation section on Vlad Tepes' profile