The Laibon were, during the Dark Ages, viewed as a single bloodline by European vampires. The vampires of Africa nearly all referred to themselves as Laibon and certainly seemed distinct from regular clans.
Unlike the Asian Kuei-jin, Laibon are not a separate supernatural race, but the Laibon are in many ways quite different from "regular" kindred. They ascribe their origins to African gods and legends, unlike the Kindred's Noddist version. However, there are distinct similarities: the Laibon Cagn is strikingly similar to the Kindred Caine. Also, being resident in Africa (which the Laibon call the Ebony Kingdom) does not make you Laibon. Laibon have a distinctly different worldview forged by centuries of contact with the culture and supernatural of Africa. For example, although there are a few Ventrue in Africa, they are considered outsiders. However, the Mla Watu (the African Cappadocians), although feared for their power over the dead, are considered part of the Laibon because of their long history in Africa.
Contrary to the Kindred, no Laibon follows the Path of Humanity, nor any other Path of Enlightenment for that matter. Instead, Laibon forge their lives around two separate paths of Morality: Aye, which is their morality towards humankind, and Orun, which is their morality towards the supernatural. Depending on where they stand on these two scales, their appearance and supernatural power fluctuates. This fundamental difference forever separates the Laibon from the "typical" Cainite.
- Main article: Legacy (VTM)
In the same way the Kindred are divided into clans, the Laibon are divided into Legacies, each with their own Disciplines, weaknesses, and legendry.
The major Legacies are:
- The Akunanse, wanderers and storytellers, close to nature. Parent clan: Gangrel
- The Followers of Set, lore-keepers. Other Laibon tend to avoid them.
- The Guruhi, the dominant legacy, the natural rulers. Parent clan: Nosferatu
- The Ishtarri, who strive to blend in and make themselves integral to Laibon society. Parent clan: Toreador
- The Kinyonyi, travellers who can obtain items or carry out tasks for other Laibon. Parent clan: Ravnos
- Naglopers, frightening monsters of rumor and myth. Parent clan: Tzimisce
- The Osebo, who are passionate creatures with a heated temper. Parent clan: Brujah
- The Shango, composed of fearsome warriors and enigmatic sorcerers. Parent clan: Assamites
- The Xi Dundu, self-professed lords of the night. Parent clan: Lasombra
In addition, there are minor Legacies and outsider clans who have some presence in the Ebony Kingdom:
- Malkavians, shunned for their madness, which is blamed on demonic possession.
- Mla Watu, hideous necromancers. Parent clan: Cappadocians
- Nkulu Zao, the "dead souls of Zao-lat". Parent bloodline: Salubri
- Ventrue, competing with the native Guruhi for dominance over Africa.
- The Bonsam, a Dark Ages Legacy known as territorial and vicious hunters who would later spawn the Akunanse and Nagloper Legacies.
- Impundulu, a Dark Ages Legacy of necromancers bound to a coven of mortal witches.
- Ramanga, a Dark Ages Legacy that would later become the Xi Dundu