Vampires are a form of undead. They are cursed humans who have relinquished their mortal coil in order to become immortal creatures - unholy amalgamations of both bat and man.
Vampire spreads through a process known as 'siring', essentially a blood contract made between vampire and victim (or fledgling).
A vampire's bite alone will NOT turn someone.
Siring is a risky and time-consuming gamble, potentially fatal to both participants, and is therefore quite rare. To turn, the 'victim' must be drained of all blood, surrendering their soul and their life to to their sire, who will ‘revive’ them as a vampire. In return, the sire lets their fledgling drink deeply of the sire's own blood, gifting a portion of their power to help the fledgling survive the ordeal, but weakening the sire themselves for a time.
Certain factors can improve chances for success, including the sire's inherent power or the fledgling's willingness to turn.
In absence of ones own sire, some will seek well established sires to fill that missing role. If both parties agree, they can go through what is called "spiritual siring".
The consenting parties perform a sort of blood exchange ritual to attain this status. Though the bond would not nearly be as strong as ones original sire or fledgling it can give some beneficial effects to both parties.
To perform the ritual:
1- with the use of hypnosis to achieve a better effect, the new sire will tell the new childe that they are theirs now. (or other choice words)
2- the new fledgling will drink a considerable amount of their new masters blood. (Vampires blood is generally tasteless, slimy and cold. Deep red or black in hue)
3- the new master will then do the same and drink the new fledglings blood.
The effects of the spiritual siring will wear off slowly if the childe is somehow reunited with their true sire.
Strength in Numbers
A sire and fledgling shares a mutual pool of strength. In cases of strong bonds, master and servant can share sense-feedback, and rarely, even develop telekinetic abilities. While sires lend their power to their fledgling, the more fledgling vampires nurtured and empowered, the stronger a sire grows.
Because of this, even for the most prepared hunters, old, tight-knit vampire clans are an extremely dangerous force to take on.
The loss of sire or fledgling will always impact the other, physically and psychologically. Fledglings have been known to die if their sire is slain, but not always. While not as likely to be fatal to a sire, the effects can still be quite devastating. As such, the death of either is a risk that must be weighed before choosing to sire or turn.
AppearanceA vampire will often attempt to conceal their iconic traits when in the company of unsuspecting prey, either through articles of clothing, or, if strong enough, through their shape-shifting abilities. Powerful vampires are also often uncannily attractive.
Three physical features mark a vampire:
- Pointed ears
- Fanged canines
- Deathly pale pallor, alluding to their near-death state.
Some vampires have been seen to have red irises even while calm, but in the heat of blood lust, all vampires eyes gain a red coloration.
For a variety of reasons, some vampires abstain from the blood of former fellow humans, resorting instead to animals. This diet can leave them with animal trait(s) of their most common or recent meal.
‘Vegetarian’ vampires are greatly weakened, left with barely more than the strength they possessed as a human. These vampires are often looked down upon by their brethren as weak-willed cowards, wielding immortality without the courage to properly feed themselves.
While perhaps morally applaudable, this diet exposes the vampire to great risk, as they are quite susceptible to being overpowered and slain by vampire hunters, and even their own kind.
- Immortality: A vampire can exist forever so long as they maintain themselves. They are already dead - Diseases cannot touch them, and time cannot age them.
- Physical Power: When their thirst is quenched, vampires are swift and strong.
- Supernatural Healing: Though susceptible to injury, wounds fatal to mortals are mere hindrance to vampires due to their ability to swiftly heal. Underfed vampires heal far more slowly.
- Shape-shifting: Vampires have the ability to conceal their defining features of fangs and red eyes while properly fed. It is quite difficult to learn this skill without help from a fellow vampire.
- Bat Form: Vampire possess the ability to manipulate their form. Weaker vampires may only be able to turn into bats, whilst powerful vampires can achieve a humanoid bat form, and other strange manifestations.
- Magic Affinity: Vampires have an unnatural affinity for the arcane arts. Some find that they learn faster than the most gifted human. Practice and study will determine how powerful these abilities are.
- Charm & Hypnosis: Vampires often have an aura of charisma. Many use this to beguile and lure their prey. The stronger the vampire, the more effective this alluring hypnosis will be.
- Were Control: Vampires exert mysterious control over werecreatures. Were creatures of all species are more prone to be swayed to obey a vampire’s commanding voice.
- Thralls: A more vicious form of alluring magic can turn an average human into what is known as a ‘thrall’, a slave to the vampire's will, who does their best to serve their master. Thralls gain no special powers, but are a keen tool used to lure other humans to a vampire’s lair. The ‘hypnosis’ must be maintained and the duration is dependent on the vampire and human’s individual strengths of will and proximity to one another. (More on Thralls)
- Blood Diet: Vampires must regularly consume an adequate amount of human blood to sustain their power or else risk starving to death. Younger vampires take longer to ‘dry out’, while older vampires farther removed from their humanity must eat more regularly, or else quickly decline in power. Injury will drain a vampire's reserves and leave them in dire need to feed and replenish. A starving vampire may act irrationally, and can even turn feral.
- Sunlight: Sunlight is harmful to all vampires without exception; direct exposure will burn a vampire's skin within a short time. Prolonged exposure is torturous, and in time will petrify a vampire permanently. With proper cover, vampires can venture in daylight.
- Garlic: Garlic is repulsive to vampires. Non-lethal, the smell alone is a strong deterrent.
- Natural Running Water: Vampires cannot cross natural running water, like a babbling brook or river, on foot nor over bridges except by flying, either as a bat or with other magic.
- Holy Relics: Prayer and items that have been blessed by a holy authority are a great threat to vampires. Relics seem to have a similar effect to that of sunlight, potentially inflicting serious wounds. Holy water, crucifixes and specially prepared stakes are just some of the items that can inflict great agony on vampires, even without direct contact. Unless the relic or prayer is incredibly powerful or the vampire is very weak, it is usually non-lethal.
- Invitation: A vampire cannot enter a household without invitation. If one does so, they will find themselves rapidly drained of blood until they leave the premises, or until express permission is granted. This custom is a very secure defense, but deceptively frail. Watching one’s words is important, as invitations given carelessly do extended to vampires, such as: ‘you are welcome’. Additionally, all are welcome guests in the Lord's House; vampires brave or stupid enough to enter a church may do so.
- Obsessive Counting (Arithmomania): Some vampires have been known to develop a very intense obsession with counting, and can be deterred by simply dropping seeds or other small, plentiful objects nearby. The creature is then grabbed by an irresistible urge to count each object, or until somehow shaken out of the urge.
Sometimes considered a joke, a number of mortals have escaped death with this trick, and more than a few vampires have been destroyed after counting all night. While not always lethal, it can bring a vampire down a peg or two.
- Stake to the Heart: A stake will not end a vampire’s life, but instead leave them paralyzed and comatose; pacifying them without destroying them. How many vampires reside in coffins with stakes in their hearts, unable to live or die within an eternal prison, is unknown.
- Beheading: End a vampire's un-life is no easy task, but is possible. There are various rumored methods of ending a vampire, but the most reliable is decapitation, which they cannot heal from.