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You may rule from the shadows, but I am the shadows.
The Ventrue lineage called Lasombra flourishes in Spain and Italy, though members of the bloodline have moved to other countries as well. Potentially over a hundred Lasombra now walk the night, an impressive number for a bloodline that’s just five centuries old. According to accepted histories, the bloodline began with a Ventrue named Betriz, a Spanish abbess Embraced in the kingdom of Aragon during the 14th century. Betriz maintained connections with the royal family of Aragon, and stronger connections with select members of the Spanish church hierarchy. Her undeath and damnation did not quench Betriz’s piety. If anything, her devotion burned stronger. Betriz never claimed that she drove the Christian reconquista of Spain from the Moors, but she certainly became an important supporter in the long struggle. During the 15th century, Betriz fought and destroyed a mortal mage. As a result, Betriz developed a shadow-shaping Discipline that she called Obtenebration. Other Kindred learned to fear its eerie power and dubbed her La Sombra Prelada, “the Shadow Abbess.” Betriz also rose to become the Sanctified Bishop of Barcelona and, in time, its Cardinal. In the 16th century, Betriz sired eight childer (an unprecedented number within just 100 years) and maneuvered them into positions of power throughout Spain and Aragon’s possession in Italy. Her childer followed Betriz’s example by cultivating influence within the Roman Catholic Church. They also inherited her mastery of Obtenebration. By the early 18th Century, her descendants achieved general recognition among Europe’s Kindred as a distinct bloodline, the Lasombra. Cardinal Betriz remained one of Europe ’s most powerful Kindred, in blood, descendants and mortal influence, into the 18th century and despite two voluntary torpors. She disappeared after a fire destroyed her haven. Some Kindred in Barcelona, and many of her descendants, suspect that Betriz still exists but chooses to exercise power from even deeper in the shadows. The Lasombra stand out as some of the most ambitious and despotic members of an ambitious and despotic clan. The Confessors seldom play the emotional games of other Ventrue. They prefer the mastery of Dominate and the subtle terrors of Obtenebration… and a great deal of blackmail. Lasombra have a reputation for moving among their enemies as unnoticed shadows, hearing their secrets. These “confession,” however, only remain secret if the Kindred do what the Lasombra wants. The Confessors are also not above threatening the kine associates of their victims. Many Lasombra keep a connection to the Roman Catholic Church and wrap their ruthless power-mongering in a cloak of religious authority as the mailed left fist of God. These Lasombra repeat Betriz’s argument that the Kindred have a place in God’s plan. They are the evil that exists to remind mortals to fear God and seek His protection, and to punish mortals when they stray. The Lasombra claim the right to rule other Kindred because they see this duty most clearly. Some of them even believe it. Parent Clan: Ventrue Nickname: Confessors Covenant: Most Lasombra join the Lancea Sanctum. They have become an important force in the sect, and they supply some of the Sanctified’s leading ideologues. Their moral influence stretches far beyond Europe. Invictus Lasombra tend to care less about the forms of tradition and more about maintaining power over kine and other Kindred. Some of the youngest Lasombra chafe at the slow pace of advancement in the Invictus and the Sanctified, and they turn to the Ordo Dracul or Carthians in hopes of gaining power more quickly in these less traditional sects. So far, few Lasombra join the Circle of the Crone, and the notion of an unaligned Lasombra sounds more like a joke than any Confessor’s true political stance. The Confessors in other covenants still tend to keep strong ties to Sanctified Lasombra. In fact, it ’s not unusual for Lasombra to serve as double agents within a covenant — pretending to serve the goals and believe the doctrines of a covenant, while actually remaining loyal to the Lancea Sanctum. Loyalty to the bloodline, however, often trumps all other allegiances. Appearance: So far, most Lasombra come from Spanish or Italian stock (including Sardinia and Corsica). They show the same range of appearance as south European mortals, from the duskiness of a part-Moorish Andalusian to the blonde hair of a part-Nordic Lombard. They dress as tastefully and expensively as other Ventrue do. Some young Lasombra follow more contemporary, radical-chic fashions, such as fine leather jackets instead of tailored silk suits or clerical habits. Haven: Many Lasombra seek luxurious havens that reflect their own wealth and power, such as secluded mansions, flashy condominiums or pricy townhouses. The fraction that operates within the Church (or at least appears to do so) often lodges
The bloodline retains an edge of piety as well. any 1s that come up on the roll subtract from successes. she faked her death and left the abbey. who accept power as their due. for people with the will to lift themselves from humble origins. Betriz spent ten years as Bohemund’s ghoul. Two centuries of undeath did not quench Bohemund’s desire to reclaim Christian territory from the Paynim. She came from a noble family of Aragon. In 1448. while the girls who returned home passed Betriz ’s views to their families. shadowy headmistress. she became the Sanctified’s Bishop in Barcelona. Their duel lasted a full year. Her tracts on the role of the Kindred as God’s scourge against mortal wickedness remain popular in that covenant. Instead. By 1500. Betriz joined the Lancea Sanctum. Others prefer to watch the lower and middle classes. Background: The Lasombra look for ambition in prospective childer. She also wrote a series of letters to kings and nobles exhorting them to war against the Moors who still ruled part of the Iberian peninsula. Although this monk’s sorcery made him as much a violation of the order ’s doctrines as Betriz. Our Lady of the Addicts Betriz distinguished herself through her writing. In time.Christopher Kobar et al within churches or small monasteries. The monk finally found the vampire’s haven and tried to expel her into the Outer Darkness of destruction. the onetime abbess arranged her promotion from primogen to prince and cardinal. by enslaving nuns and priests to her blood and her will. A group of Carthians tried to murder Betriz in 1512. Only much later did other Kindred realize how Betriz must have spied on them in the form of a shadow. he sought to destroy the vampire and purge her influence from the Church. This Norman knight from Sicily fought in the Crusades before his Embrace into the Ventrue clan.) Organization: Barcelona remains the center of the bloodline. to make sure they can uphold Lasombra tradition and prestige. Unlike some Ventrue lineages. the Shadow Abbess Betriz. Some prefer to look among the upper classes. did not manage to destroy or drive away the Carthians before they told other Kindred about Betriz ’ power. Concepts: Priest to the Damned. high-class madam. political consultant. as they hunted each other’s servants and allies. Betriz remained powerful in the Church. . too. Confessors who were in holy orders when alive may adopt other occupations in undeath. from primogen who sought to usurp her in turn to jealous rivals within her own covenant. (This latter part of the weakness does not affect dramatic failure rules. she shaped the Lasombra into an instrument of her will. even after centuries of separation. the Lasombra recruit from women as much as men. Elder Lasombra often demand that their childer’s childer spend at least a year under their grandsire’s training. Majesty. Some Lasombra still prefer to take childer from holy orders. No one knew right away that the monk’s curse changed Betriz’ potent vitae. Betriz’ secret influence within the Church attracted less welcome attention. Early in the Fifteenth Century. retired army officer. few Lasombra scruple to gain influence among the lower classes. Bloodline Disciplines: Dominate. Sires stay in contact with their childer. a Confessor might refuse to conduct serious business with another Kindred until they both scourge themselves and pray for God to forgive their sins. a fellow Dominican who possessed magical powers. Many Lasombra cultivate contacts. She kept her new Discipline secret for decades. Only Betriz herself knew when her power over shadow first manifested. she clashed with a mortal mystic. Lasombra also suffer a greater fear of sunlight and fire than other Kindred. as part of their personal Masquerade. mob boss. Much to her annoyance. Betriz slew the mystical monk. Betriz’s eldest surviving childe still rules the city ’s Kindred as her viceroy. enslaving the priest or other residents as their retainers. the history of the Lasombra was the history of its founder. as one of the most powerful Kindred in the new kingdom of Spain. Her parents readily acceded to Betriz’ desire to become a Dominican nun. Some Kindred wonder if she still guides the bloodline from the shadows — or from beyond the shadow of Final Death. making contacts among Aragon’s nobility and bishops and arranging her affairs for after her transition to undeath. Like her sire. Betriz’ political skills and piety made her abbess of a Dominican nunnery in Barcelona. Those who became nuns joined Betriz’ propaganda machine. He saw Betriz as a tool to promote the reconquest of the Iberian peninsula. Obtenebration. The 10 again rule does not apply to Lasombra for rolls to resist fear frenzies triggered by flame or light. For instance. allies or influence within the Church (or Catholic lay orders such as Opus Dei). and she escaped by turning into a shadow. Resilience Weakness: The Lasombra retain the Ventrue’s propensity for madness. and few Lasombra childer were notably irreligious before the Embrace. Life and Death Betriz Maria de Castrovejo y Gasset was born near the end of the Thirteenth Century. A collection of her mystical meditations on the suffering of Christ and the martyrs was popular for a time (though now known only to a few historians). Undeath did not reduce her piety. derangement often takes the form of religious obsession. Her new rank brought Betriz new enemies. business tycoon. She distinguished herself at an early age for fervent piety. In the case of Lasombra who operate within the Church. For all their aristocratic pretensions. It was soft power. Noble families often sent sons and daughters into the Church to watch out for their interests in that powerful institution. however. but she could open many doors to other Kindred through her aristocratic and Church connections. Her History Until the Nineteenth Century. Additionally. though not Barcelona. a deed that further raised her prestige among Barcelona ’s Kindred and helped her become a primogen several years later. They also brought her to the attention of Bohemund of Marsala. Many noble daughters of Aragon received Betriz ’ the Dominican tutelage. Eventually. Betriz remained abbess for 20 years after her Embrace. She also gained a stable of informants about the plans and activities of the nobility. though they take power wherever they can get it. For centuries. Most new Lasombra follow professional concepts.
but no Lasombra directly challenged her leadership of the bloodline. Betriz wanted the Lancea Sanctum to silence Martin Luther and his followers. A few operated openly as envoys from the Shadow Abbess to princes or bishops who sought her favor for one reason or another. the city’s elders remember many times when Betriz and Corazón were seen together. The Twentieth Century saw steady expansion of the Lasombra. After centuries of undeath and predation. No one dared to challenge the Shadow Abbess. After Betriz awoke and resumed the cardinalcy. A Confessor must work to sever ties with the rest of her bloodline. Another theory says that rivals in the Lancea Sanctum murdered Betriz. immediately led to her nickname of the Shadow Abbess. The rest of Europe took longer to learn about the Lasombra. a former nun like Betriz named Corazón Almagro. She also “adopted” four Ventrue neonates. Once again. A few dozen Kindred simply could not control events on an international scale. Society and Culture The Lasombra never suffered any serious conflict within its ranks. Several Lasombra made the perilous journey to other continents. Some Confessors cut their ties to the Shadow Abbess. Cestus Dei Members of the Lancea Sanctum often study Cestus Dei. Becoming known as the inceptor of a Discipline raised Betriz ’ prestige even further among the Lancea Sanctum. Her eldest childe. The Shadow Abbess continued to exhort the Lancea Sanctum to support Holy Mother Church against Protestant heresy. After a year of infighting. with her remaining ties to the Roman Catholic Church. Few . While Betriz existed. The Lasombra retain strong loyalty to each other. No Kindred known has equaled Betriz’ record of siring eight childer in one century. and reinforced her rule over Barcelona’s Kindred. The bloodline chiefly grew through Embrace. the Lasombra. Most of her childer hid their identities. At least two dozen Lasombra now dwell in Latin America. the Monsignor proved that he knew Obtenebration. Betriz’ new Discipline. Betriz. until God chose to return her. One popular theory suggests that a group of primogen arranged the cardinal’s murder to clear the way for new leadership. Barcelona’s Kindred presumed the Shadow Abbess had met Final death at last. still insist that sires catechize their childer from Cestus Dei. the Lasombra were widely known in Europe as new but large bloodline. or they did not want to be seen following another Sanctified’s lead. but her campaign against a social movement now centuries old made younger Sanctified view her as a crackpot. Betriz’ next childe. which made it common knowledge among all Barcelona’s Kindred. Betriz used her immense prestige to fight a new foe she considered deadlier than any she faced before: the Reformation. By the Eighteenth Century. she made her own. The bloodline no longer pretends to serve one overriding goal. bishop or cardinal. though. Unfortunately for romantics with fantasies of Betriz returning to power in the guise of her own childe. though. nuns and lay devotees. or to fake her Final Death as part of a deeplaid scheme. Since the Shadow Abbess found herself without Kindred allies who shared her obsession. and smaller numbers occupy North America and the Philippines. After Betriz The Cardinal’s campaign to quash the Reformation proved almost totally ineffectual. since so many Confessors hid their identities. Bishops in other cities considered the Reformation a merely mortal affair. Other Kindred speculate that Monsignor d’Arroscas did it. Betriz found the potency of her own blood too much a burden and entered a voluntary torpor. most of them Betriz’ childer or adoptees. Betriz’ childe refused to take the titles of prince. the Shadow Abbess still considered herself a loyal daughter of Holy Mother Rome and took Luther’s defiance as an attack on Christ Himself. but her influence evaporated beyond Barcelona. A number of anonymous tracts circulated through the Lancea Sanctum. a collection of Betriz’ commentaries on the Testament of Longinus. and simply tried to acquire power in the Lancea Sanctum. Monsignor d’Arroscas established himself as her successor. did not know how far they strayed and took another voluntary torpor.” Older Lasombra. She soon found the limits of her influence in the covenant. The Monsignor met Final Death himself during the chaos of the Spanish Civil War. took the regency in turn and remains leader of Barcelona’s Kindred. All her childer came from Church backgrounds as priests. A few Kindred even wonder if Betriz burned herself… as a suicide so she could face God’s judgment at last. shielded by distance from her childer. By the time she woke again. Her Mekhet primogen coined the name of Obtenebration for the new Discipline. The bloodline’s most rapid growth now occurs in these “colonial” regions rather than in Europe. accusing Betriz of seeking to become a “She-Pope” of the covenant. she sent him or her to another city to work their way into the Lancea Sanctum or Ventrue power structures and oppose the Reformation any way they could. she ceased siring childer but continued to adopt other Ventrue into what Barcelona’s Kindred now acknowledged as a distinct bloodline. ruled Barcelona’s Kindred as her proxy during her torpor. He declared himself merely the regent of Betriz. Very few of Barcelona’s Kindred believed the fire was an accident. Betriz’ haven — a small nunnery she’d used for decades — burned down during the day. Early in the Seventeenth Century. Monsignor Tebaldo d’Arroscas. some of Betriz’s childer gave up the project as hopeless. Once she considered each childe adequately trained. The title roughly translates as “God’s Brass Knuckles. During his regency. most Lasombra schooled their childer in loyalty and obedience as carefully as the Shadow Abbess trained them. In 1839. the Roman Catholic Church and the secular world. Other Sanctified elders still respected Betriz for her work at developing and explaining the covenant’s doctrines. adoption of Ventrue neonates declined without Betriz’ powerful blood and driving will to build an organization throughout Europe. monks. Monsignor d’Arroscas served as her regent. to secure his sire’s job for good.Christopher Kobar et al primogen council demanded that Betriz demonstrate and explain her power.
Lasombra often use both Disciplines when they recruit mortal minions. Animating shadows and changing their shape can provoke vague disquiet or stark fear. because she considered it the most important of all institutions. In fact. depending on how obvious the Lasombra makes the alterations. She considered it unjust to kill anyone whose fate after death lay in doubt: A mortal who died before the Church could shrive him might still go to Hell despite his repentance. leaving a perfect locked-room mystery. Cestus Dei encourages vampires to prolong the hunt. he should die. God created vampires to serve as His instrument to test and punish a sinful humanity. politics. Betriz particularly sought influence in the Roman Catholic Church. Therefore. A Lasombra who fully masters the Discipline can reach almost any place she can see: Just about every location a vampire might go has a shadow nearby. The greatest sins. Betriz reminds her readers. Cestus Dei tells Lasombra to rejoice and thank God. the Church remains highly influential. over Kindred and kine alike. she taught them to use their influence in the Church as a springboard to any sort of power they could find. so who would notice one more shadow? Lasombra use their unique Discipline in many other ways. and emerge from another shadow inside the building — and then leave the same way. whereas he might have died unrepentant and damned otherwise. Lasombra can also use shadow-play to send simple. If a mortal refuses to repent. Their Disciplines provide their first avenue of power. so he cannot lead other people into sin. and so impel them to make peace with God. Power in the Shadows Vampires’ supernatural gifts are not enough for them to serve as God’s Brass Knuckles. even to sacrificing their unlives. Betriz taught her childer. and the most severe testing to winnow out sin. Lasombra often write accounts of mortals who resisted their worst torments. Kindred who encounter Lasombra often note the Confessor ’s readiness to employ both supernatural charisma and outright mind control in pursuit of their goals. so this is the best time to kill a victim. Italy or Mexico. however. For instance. shadows act out playlets about something else. have nothing to fear from death. dispute the point and argue that a repentant but unshriven victim merely goes to Purgatory. not just their thoughts. This slim volume puts forth the argument that undeath is not some pointless curse inflicted on humanity. she helped her childer build influence in the Church. She wanted to control the emotions of Kindred and kine. Cestus Dei has more to say about the Kindred’s duties when people commit evil openly and without repentance. They need worldly power as well.Christopher Kobar et al Lasombra now follow Betriz’ teachings in every detail. but they have a few favored venues and methods. Lasombra seek influence in business. Through their depredations. Betriz did not consider animals very useful as tools. Rather. though. but the book still shapes the attitudes of many Confessors. are despair and lack of faith in God. Disciplines. though. or had received confession and absolution. the Kindred may tempt and torment mortals to expose their secret sins. Many Lasombra. In this case. Therefore. not to kill a victim begged God’s forgiveness and protection — not unless they were sure the mortal had recently attended Mass. When a mortal responds to temptation and terror with resolute faith and virtue. The Church needed the most protection. but even a vampire might not notice an area of even deeper darkness where a Lasombra might hide. Betriz exhorts her readers to strike in God’s name with all their power — to make an example of the evildoers that will terrify others and remind them of their duty to God. Betriz never told her childer or disciples to restrict themselves to the Church. Betriz exhorts her readers to defend such holy mortals as fervently as they tested them before. or twist into words. just like other Ventrue. Betriz argued. In strongly Catholic countries such as Spain. Many Lasombra still use the Church as their first avenue of mortal power. step into a shadow. Vampires often keep the lights low anyway. a Confessor who wants to kill someone inside a locked building could look through an uncurtained window. as she did herself. The book also recommends that vampires make their feeding as frightening as possible: Terror shall teach mortals how quickly death may come. Majesty removes a mortal’s will to resist: He wants to believe whatever the Confessor tells him. Such testaments help Lasombra and other Sanctified combat despair at their own damnation. silent messages: While a Confessor talks about one subject. The chance to witness true holiness is a gift greater than rubies and sweeter than vitae. and so she gave her childer an aptitude for Majesty instead. or at least strongly encourage them to negotiate. Others suggest that a mortal who dies while praying has a better chance of Heaven than at any other time. merely ease the way in gathering power over Kindred and kine. Following Betriz’ own example. or who confessed their crimes and found their way back to righteousness. Lasombra often condition their minions to incredible loyalty. A sin committed in thought consigns one to Hell just as surely as one committed in the flesh. Just as God permitted Satan to torment Job as a test of his faith. nuns and friars) in- . and then Dominate adjusts his thoughts and memories so he thinks his new goals are his own idea. through fear for their own lives and grief at the deaths of their loved ones. giving the victim ’s fear time to grow. Vampires spend much of their time in darkness. She never really accepted the Church ’s decline in power. Priests (and to a lesser degree. Betriz also came from an age when the Church could humble kings. The Confessors’ chief use for Obtenebration is to spy on other people. however. Those who fear God. Kindred society and everywhere else. The Lasombra discard their parent clan’s facility with Animalism. he will repent and ask God ’s forgiveness if he is truly righteous at heart. and other Sanctified. but sin can only be exposed and punished once a person actually commits an evil deed. vampires automatically tempt mortals with the sin of despair. however. vampires should push mortals to act on whatever vices lurk in their hearts: Once a mortal confronts his own depravity.
and this mere fact of access is a useful commodity a Lasombra can sell to other Kindred. to perform any violence. at some point or another. • Whip: Lasombra who prefer direct coercion through Disciplines and threats to more subtle forms of persuasion often seek this office. The Herald is too much a subordinate. not soldiers. A Lasombra Whip who tries to avoid this conflict of interest may come under pressure from her bishop to represent the Lancea Sanctum’s interests. bought or threatened. or sell to their supplicants. Every deed. he also attracts the most envy and hatred. or simply a pool of labor. • Sheriff: Though few Confessors seek this office. Kindred or kine. Many Lasombra prefer to take offices with a lower profile — to be the kingmaker rather than the king. Any Confessor who achieves this office must be exceptionally ruthless. The Lord would not pardon them because of their devotion. though. Church-run schools place the children of the faithful in a Lasombra’s claws. She taught her childer to share her contempt. since their members tend to be especially fervent and loyal to each other: Ambitious people in business and politics may join a lay order simply for the chance to network… conveniently gathering them in one body for a Lasombra to cultivate them as contacts or enthrall them as minions.” Even the most pious congregant may also grow suspicious if their local priest. or simply to learn the passions and vices by which a mortal may be tempted. to indoctrinate or hold as hostages for their parents’ good behavior. While the Prince wields the greatest authority in a Kindred community. Confessors prefer to recruit other people. • Priscus: Some older Lasombra manage to become Priscus for the local Ventrue. a Confessor obtains service by threatening someone ’s reputation. mobs to put pressure on secular authorities. At most.Christopher Kobar et al teract with mortals from every level of society. • Primogen: The Lasombra are simply too new for many of them to reach this office. The Church also watches its own finances closely: A Lasombra might explain funneling money into a new software company as a venture to build the Church’s assets.… • Prince: The highest Kindred office is not the one most sought-after by Lasombra. they must dedicate to the greater glory of God. More often. and all the power they gained. and make the most of it until some more congenial position becomes available. or at least use mortals to cover for them: “I’m sorry. and many Lasombra relish this sort of direct. Any statement about “most” Confessors might not apply to any particular individual. A Lasombra Herald faces great temptation to misuse her role as the Prince ’s proxy. many Lasombra consider this the perfect title. A Lasombra may also take whatever office she can. with too little authority of his own. hands-on control. the few who achieve it tend to be frighteningly enthusiastic about their . and often obtain them. Lay orders are especially useful for the Lasombra. without the veneer of legitimacy and accountability that accompany other offices. or loved ones — or simply by possessing the authority to give a command. They hear confessions — a valuable source of information for blackmail. The spiritual authority of the Church compels obedience from the faithful: Congregations offer a reserve of political power. They regard themselves as priests. making the Lasombra notably unfriendly to Harpies. troubleshooter and power-broker for her clan. The Lasombra often make their own job openings. Favored Offices Like other Ventrue. So far. but a (mortal) archbishop’s auditor might look askance at payoffs to local crime bosses. most Lasombra consider the Herald’s post demeaning. Since the Priscus’ power depends entirely on her reputation and skill as an arranger. Betriz had little respect for public opinion in pursuing what she thought was right and necessary. They favor some offices more than others — though of course. assets. Confessors usually seek offices and titles in Kindred society. every Lasombra creates her own career. On the other hand. They were already Damned. • Herald: On the other hand. “The Prince’s Shadow” — an unofficial nickname for a Lasombra Seneschal — can easily become his gatekeeper. she also drilled into her childer that nothing they did was for themselves. Tithes and Church properties can finance other ventures. their deeds were redundant. screening the Prince’s information as well as his petitioners. Whips who also belong to the Lancea Sanctum often bully their fellow Ventrue to support Sanctified theology and attend the covenant’s ceremonies. a clever and circumspect Lasombra can leverage influence in the Church into a spreading web of secret power they can turn against their rivals. which often requires seniority as well as raw power. Exploiting the Church demands a lot of careful work from a Lasombra. or even through the direct use of Dominate and Majesty to compel obedience. the few Lasombra Princes all belong to the Lancea Sanctum and therefore use the title of Archbishop. but they must serve Him anyway. Most Lasombra prefer not to combat what they perceive as heresy or evil through direct attack. For instance. even if they aren ’t members. God might reward the Damned by granting them annihilation after Final Death — instead of the eternal torment given to the unrepentant and defiant. The faithful usually expect to see their priest during the day. Lasombra usually find they must drop out of direct Church participation and work through mortal proxies. you just missed Father Alvarez. and issue commands she thinks the Prince ought to give. a Confessor might have trouble convincing a Catholic contractor that adding secret chambers to a church’s crypt is a pious activity. monk or nun keeps recruiting them for projects or protest rallies that have nothing to do with Church affairs or their own lives. cunning and power-hungry even by the standards of this ambitious and competitive clan. • Harpy: Most Lasombra disdain this office. few doors are closed to them. The Seneschal often handles night-to-night administration of the Prince’s properties as well. • Seneschal: Many Lasombra would rather be Seneschal than Prince. Despite these difficulties. but maybe he can see you this evening. Lasombra don’t get their way by threatening to beat people up. Betriz taught her childer to shirk from no crime or betrayal in their pursuit of power.
A Prince often finds that a local Confessor is the “go-to guy” for anything dealing with the Church. as victims will panic and scream as they fight back. vaguely able to perceive what he does but unable to leave. however — and such a tenurial domain may entitle the Lasombra to enter and meddle in hunting territories and geographical domains throughout the city. it’s that they often show as much interest in exposing the crimes of mortals as in enforcing orthodoxy among vampires. as it enters any available orifice. but the aggressive Lasombra are more likely to relish such conflicts than avoid them. and thank the Prince for clarifying the limits of his power. but some Confessors enjoy the license to push around other Kindred. Action: Reflexive. The Sheriff has an active mandate to ferret out secrets and force other Kindred to obey. other Lasombra urge her to act as a spiritual guide to her comrades. Eminence of Shade (Dominate •••••. The Eminence of Shade is different from Possession. and formally recognizes that influence through a regency. Any Lasombra who joins a multi-covenant coterie certainly faces pressure to promote Sanctified views to other members. this is the highest honor they can attain. like Betriz’. If the Prince says a vampire ’s regency extends to 30th Street. Success: If the vampire acquires more successes. Such zeal can lead to conflicts with their nominal master. it takes possession of the victim for a number of hours equal to its success- . Willpower may not be spent to increase dice pools during that turn. There is no “discreet” way of doing this other than doing it in a secluded area. who may want some crimes to remain hidden. seeking influence for themselves instead of providing a neutral ground where other Kindred can gather safely. Lasombra Inquisitors tend to approach their job with utter devotion: A Confessor who abused his inquisitorial power for entirely selfish ends would receive great scorn from other Lasombra. If the Sanctified have one complaint against Lasombra Inquisitors. Devotions Echo of the Subtle Vizier (Dominate ••. Of course. • Bishop: For Lasombra who prefer covenant politics. • Priest: Few Lasombra don’t try to become Priest to their pack. Where. The Willpower point is spent in the same turn that the Lasombra uses Dominate. however. 1 Willpower. Not a few Lasombra become Inquisitors. or “media control”? A Lasombra who goes too far can simply apologize for his excessive zeal in seeking control over his delegated institution. but perhaps they give in to it more easily than other vampires might. The Lasombra are hardly alone in this temptation. that vampire cannot easily argue he thought the Prince meant 35th Street instead. Failure: If the victim acquires more successes. does authority over “monitoring the police” end. The Regent over a domain defined by an institution or sphere of activity can push the boundaries of his authority more easily than can a vampire whose tenurial domain is defined by geography. as normal. Roll Results Dramatic Failure: The vampire becomes a prisoner inside the target’s body. and the bloodline’s tradition encourages them to see undeath as a continuation of their duties (however twisted). This facilitates the physical union of the vampire in the body. Regents often clash over the limits of their domains. Obtenebration •••••) This power allows a vampire to become insubstantial and physically enter a host. and adds religious authority to boot. maximum of one per hour. and view inquisition and punishment as holy acts. • Regent: The Lasombra actually prefer regency over unconventional domains. Betriz exhorted all her childer to expose and combat heresy. After all. Cost: 1 Willpower Dice Pool: This power involves no roll. • Hound: Lasombra often regard this office as too servile. All rules. Cost: 1 Vitae. This power costs 12 experience points to learn. Confessors face the temptation to spy on their guests or temper with their minds. Obtenebration ••) A Lasombra with this power may silently whisper commands to a target’s shadow without ever making a sound. Because Willpower is spent to activate Echo of the Subtle Vizier in the same turn as Dominate. Zealous Confessors often feel they are especially well qualified to lead their fellow Sanctified and keep them focused on their covenant ’s holy mission. • Inquisitor: This office holds every feature of the Hound or Whip that could appeal to a Lasombra. and leaves the victim some willpower. rolls and modifiers apply to the use of the follow-up power. The vampire must be in shadow form. It allows the Confessor to follow up with an application of Dominate • or ••. Tales tell of foolish vampires who were trapped only to free themselves too close to dawn to find safety. The vampire may attempt to escape with a Resolve + Stamina roll. it resists the vampire’s attempts. of course. Indeed.Christopher Kobar et al job. The physical presence of the vampire in all parts of the victim’s bloodstream allows him to overwhelm what ’s left. A Confessor can turn nearly any institution or profession into a tool. • Master of Elysium: Lasombra who achieve this office generally make a mockery of it. Sanctified Sheriffs may believe they uphold the laws of God as well as the Prince. Their favorite domain is. controlling them from within like an obscene marionette. Only a cardinalcy. the Church. not a few of them held some holy office in life. Dice Pool: Intelligence + Intimidation + Dominate versus Resolve Action: Contested. in that the possession is rapid and unstable. could hold greater attraction. whether the Lancea Sanctum gave them formal authority or not. Even if a Confessor doesn’t join the Lancea Sanctum. and must surround a target. many Lasombra seek offices in the Lancea Sanctum as well as in general Kindred society.
creating a familiar. This power costs 15 experience points to learn.Christopher Kobar et al es. the threats come true by intolerant Lasombra elders who need to keep the younger Sanctified in line. torpid Lasombra task their childer or associates with providing their shadow servants with the vitae needed. Obtenebration ••) Another devotion that has become an essential and iconic application of Lasombra power. This power costs 15 experience points to learn. spectre needs to spend 1 point of Vitae for sustenance or the familiar dissolves into thin air. Action: Instant Success on the creation roll creates the shadow servant which through the power of Dominate. Yet. gains basic consciousness. The bloodline has found great use for these creations. Often. six feet horror of great strength. childe. for the shadow tentacles may get you”. “Do not disrespect your sire or the Bishop. equal to the character’s ratings and can attack with a +1 damage modifier (as well as grappling foes). or manipulates shadows into taking the form of the tentacles. but the vampire may re-enter the same target at a later night without spending a Willpower point. require Vitae to sustain their unnatural state much like their creators do. the . These creatures. Cost: 1 Vitae Dice Pool: Wits + Crafts + Obtenebration. lest they risk losing memories that will undoubtedly be altered by the Fog ofEternity. The tentacles have ratings in all physical attributes. The Lasombra using this power. equal to the successes gained on the activation roll. Shadow Tentacles (Obtenebration •• or •••••. as per the fifth-dot ability of Obtenebration. Its powers allow the Lasombra to shape shadows of themselves and instill a small part of their consciousness in to the shadow. even when in Torpor. either takes her Shadow Form. the tentacles are part of the character’s shadow and grow small claws on various parts that inflict aggravated damage. or even protect their domains from intruders who have no idea what they ’re up against. the Shadow Familiar allows a Confessor to literally bring darkness and shadow to life. For every number of nights. a number of tentacles equal to the character’s Resolve transform from a disturbing two-dimensional illusion into a tangible. Exceptional Success: As per Success. which serve its creator as either a vessel for memories or even a spy that can move anywhere. Action: Instant On a successful roll. Cost: 1 Vitae Dice Pool: Manipulation + Crafts + Obtenebration. the tentacles appear and spread around the caster. This power costs 30 experience points to learn. though. It seems like yet another fairytale to keep fledglings in line. Umbral Familiar (Dominate •••. attacking according to her commands. even if its creator slumbers. at any time. The result is the number of times per hour that a victim can attempt to reestablish control. They inflict lethal damage if the devotion is activated by the second-dot ability of Obtenebration. Subtract its successes from the victim’s willpower. Then. Protean •••) This notorious devotion has brought much notoriety and respect to the Confessors. When activated along with Shadow Form.
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