A mysterious yet important house, the origin of the Sombras family name is widely contested. It is debated whether the original family were Aethers or Oneiroi. This dispute was never posited by any member of the Sombras family themselves, it was however a prevalent argument amongst other noble houses who sought to employ a Sombras.
They were great protectors, skilled fighters, assassins and diplomats.
Aethers argued that you need light to cast a shadow and being loyal servants to other noble Aether houses, the Sombras were content to stand in their shade.
The Oneiroi argued that the Sombras family shade and protect their own kind, other Oneiroi, from the Aetheran lights.
The Sombras family exploited and capitalised on this dispute by being hands for hire for any family willing to pay enough money. This dual nature is reflected in the white and black checkered pattern of their shield, which became a popular architectural design within medieval/renaissance Europe and identified the families and properties under the protection of a Sombras.
The popular version of the family’s origin dates back to the Reconquista. There were five brothers, each one in the employ of one of the five Spanish states, known only by their Christian name, their affiliated state and their sobriquet. As each brother had some form of variant shadow ability, they were each known as “La Sombra” – ‘The Shadow’. Alessandro La Sombra de Castile, Alvaro La Sombra de Aragon, Anastas La Sombra de Navarre, Abilo La Sombra de Catalonia and Angeles La Sombra de Leon. After the campaign to drive the Moors out of Spain and reclaim territories was coming to an end, it was hoped that there would finally be peace, however the Inquisition of 1478 brought two options for Oneiroi families, baptism into the Christian faith or death. More Aethers embraced Christianity as their ancestors had, but now it had become increasingly impossible for the Sombras’ to play both sides, now was the time to choose and cement their legacy and identity for generations to come. They chose to continue being protectors and save those families who refused to convert, many of whom were Oneiroi. Then in 1519 those who went by the moniker Sombras fled to the Americas with Cortez, in a bid to earn favour with Spain.
Many Conquistadors, including the five brothers were captured by the Aztecs. However on the day they were to be sacrificed to the sun god Huitzilopchtli or Totec as the priests called him, it is reported that there was a total solar eclipse. In that moment the first of the five brothers stood up and said ‘Yo soy La Sombra de Castile, traigo la noche.’ This prompted the four remaining brothers to each identify themselves and take credit for blotting out the sun. Then in unison it is claimed they said, ‘Somos Las Sombras y sin luz existamos – we are The Shadows and without light we exist.’
It is unlikely that the brothers were responsible for the eclipse as it is an extremely rare ability, the only documented eclipse since the time of Alexander the Great which has been credited to an Oneiroi was in the 12th century. It is also unlikely that these accounts are accurate as it would mean that at the time of the eclipse the five brothers were at least 300 years old.