Art by Michael Gaydos
c. 8000 BCE
[Lasombra] is the name "modern" Cainites use (the term dates back to the Roman Empire). Around 1991 BCE, [Lasombra] was named Lau-Som-Bheu, which can be translated from Proto-Indo-European as "profiting by knowledge" or "profiting together through domination". His priests among the seafaring people worshipped him as Laza Omri Baras, the "God of the River of Darkness".
|“||Who was Lasombra in life? Perhaps he was himself a man of power. I suspect, however, that he was a pathetic failure, Embraced (as we call it) for some trivial reason, who flourished unexpectedly. Someone who had lived with real success would surely not be so obsessed with the matter forever after. Gratiano was perhaps what Lasombra wished he had been.||”|
|— Ming, Clanbook: Lasombra Revised|
The Lasombra describe their forefather's mortal life as "unremarkable". He was always close to darkness and when the Great Flood came the Shadowed One reveled in it. When the waters abided, [Lasombra] joined his brethren in the Second City until the Revolt against the Second Generation led to their judgement by Caine. The Ventrue are eager to point to [Lasombra] as the main culprit, out of jealousy against Ventru, who was the rightful and approved ruler of the Third Generation. The Lasombra themselves say nothing about the matter, and so, many things about [Lasombra] are unknown. Even the identity of his sire is not clear. [Lasombra]'s connection to the sea is something that echoes through his blood and many elder Lasombra develop the urge to submerge themselves in bodies of water.
After the fall of the Second City, [Lasombra] returned to the sea, eventually settling on an island in the Mediterranean (which one is not certain, the most likely being Malta). From there, he assumed command over the pirate people of the Hyksos, directing them against the civilizations populated by his brothers' progeny. Still, [Lasombra] himself was seen little in those days. He dwelled upon an island, some said, or in the depths of the wine-dark sea, rising from time to time to hunt and to guide his worshippers. Occasionally he granted his Embrace to a chosen few, but less and less often as time passed. For centuries the Sea Peoples were strong under the watchful guidance of their dark god. After the eruption of Thera, darkness clouded the sky and [Lasombra] left the sea, wandering extensively across the earth, visiting strange cultures and engaging in social experiments to seek for desirable childer, as evidenced in Montano's Embrace around 1496 BCE.
When [Lasombra] returned in the early age of the Roman Republic, he took residence in Sicily, building himself the tomb-fortress that would be called the Castle of Shadows by his descendants. There he would remain, in torpid meditation, attended only by his closest childer, contemplating the great Abyss. Occasionally, he would waken and leave without announcement. This made him one of the more active Antediluvians of the time, as the only other directly active Antediluvian was Tremere, in the short period of time before Saulot's consciousness overwhelmed him. The Sea of Shadows, one of the great Kindred feudal realms of the age, was nominally under his control, but he delegated much of the administration to his childe Montano. In his waking time, however, [Lasombra] took a keen interest in the developments of the world, searching for more potential childer.
The Sabbat scholars claim that [Lasombra] sealed his fate when he introduced the young Italian bishop Gratiano de Veronese into the Clan, ignoring warnings from Montano. Among the Lasombra, there is still debate about the motives of [Lasombra] to introduce Gratiano into the Clan. Some believe it was a plan that had gone awry, others that [Lasombra] finally felt the weight of ages and wanted to commit suicide, others that his mind had become feeble and weak, and others even presume the influence of infernalists and other forces behind it. Most believe that it does not matter.
|“||None of you know what it's like to exist in the presence of a god, or something so powerful that it might as well be a god. You look at your leaders in the Festival and find them intimidating, but not one of them is more than four centuries old. I was the oldest present at the rite, and I am less than a thousand years old myself. But I know what our founder's gaze was like, and why it made the great patricide necessary.||”|
|— Brother Oso, Clanbook: Lasombra Revised|
What follows is sketchy, something noticed by several Lasombra. The view espoused by the Clan is that [Lasombra] was diablerized, either by Gratiano (who refused the role as leader of the Clan afterwards), by Gratiano and a group of elders, by Anarchs led by Gratiano, or by contracted Assamite killers who had joined with Gratiano. These Assamites would become the first antitribu, led by the Hulul, in whose veins allegedly flows the blood of [Lasombra] himself. Stories tell that they faced no guardians in the resting place of the Antediluvian and that the Shadowed One smiled upon Gratiano while his son devoured his blood.
There is another tale, fiercely denied in the Sabbat. It tells that [Lasombra] allowed for his own diablerization, to free himself from the shackles of his physical body. After that, his soul entered the Abyss, seeking to become one with it. In the process, he became more than a mere vampire, turning into an abyssal monstrosity void of any remains of humanity that were left in his undead form. Unfortunately for [Lasombra], the native beings of the Abyss regarded the creature as insignificant for his past as a creature of flesh and it seeks to remedy this by causing the Abyss to collapse into the physical world, blotting the sun out forever and recreating the original world, before God created light. To this end, it has begun to use those who command Obtenebration as his sensory organs in the physical world to find a way to achieve this goal.
As Lucien Edit
- The Ventrue have referred to Lasombra the Antediluvian as Lucien, "who drove his brother into torpor and salted the earth where he lay."
- Abyss Mystics have discovered over four hundred names for the Lasombra Clan founder, and these names still have a potent sway over the denizens of the Abyss.