The vampire is one of the most feared and dangerous of the supernatural creatures. A creature of deadly grace and fierce intelligence.
The common vampire hails from eastern Europe and holds a place in a wide number of myths. The most popular variation can be tied to the tale of Dracula, an ancient vampire from Romania with immense power.
The oldest of vampire myths view them as a creature born after the death of a human, the body raising itself from the grave to attack its’ former friends and family. They must consume the blood of the living to continue on existing, and seek no other resource. Some early stories account the natural changes of a decomposing body, such as the swelling from gases or ‘growth’ of hair and nails (caused by skin shrinking) as signs that the body has continued to change and live after its’ apparent death. The victims would feel lethargic, ill, and depending on the myth may rise as a vampire themselves.
Traits and Behavior
The vampire’s most basic trait is the consumption of human blood, which is its’ only food source. The vampire needs only blood to remain ‘healthy.’
Vampires are the reanimated corpse of a human, infected prior to death. The most common form of infection is via the vampire’s bite; typically the vampire must feed upon the human, and then allow the human to drink its’ blood, to achieve the transformation. Once changed, the physical transformation is immediate.
Vampires have pale skin, elongated and sharpened canines and often have red or yellow eyes. They can see in the dark and have heightened senses, strength and speed. In addition, some vampires have the ability to mesmerize anyone that looks directly in their eyes for any length of time. They otherwise will physically appear human, but a number of traits may be noticed if one pays close attention.
The second major trait of the vampire is that they are effectively immortal. Unless directly killed, they may live on forever. They do age, but at a far slower rate than that of humans, and therefore may be identified by how long they have gone without any clear indication of aging.
Vampires do not appear on any surface treated with silver, hence the old superstition of them not appearing in mirrors. Any mirror that is made of a silver surface will not show a vampire, and any photos that were developed in silver nitrate will also not show the vampire. More modern methods can display a vampire, as cheaper mirrors now use aluminum and digital cameras do not use silver.
A vampire has no need to eat besides blood, and they do not need to breathe. A human that does not appear to breathe may well be a vampire or other supernatural creature, although plenty learn to fake the behavior. A vampire may physically ingest food but will be ill from it, so most will refrain. Liquids do not cause the same issues, but offer no nutritional value.
A vampire’s eyes will often react to light much stronger than the normal human’s, as they are nocturnal. A strong flash of light will likely be startling and cause temporary blindness; as this is also common in humans, this reaction may not be a clear indicator.
Vampires are naturally solitary, and rarely form large groups. Many will live alone, and will prefer a home that is secluded. Many gravitate towards older constructions and stone buildings, though whether the preference is due to the layout of said buildings or based on the material is unclear. Due to their immortality, many vampires avoid interacting with humans outside of seeking out prey.
Vampires often speak in formal tones, and will frequently have a slight lisp. This is due to their fangs, which cause some difficulties in human speech. Vampires do not have their own language, but they do make a number of sounds not audible to human ears to communicate with each other. Werewolves and other enhanced species can hear these sounds, but rarely use them to communicate.
To feed, the vampire will bite the human, typically near a large artery to increase blood flow. Their fangs carry a natural numbing agent to minimize pain, and their saliva will cause the wounds to clot at a faster rate once the fangs have been removed from the skin. A human after being fed on will feel lethargic but will face no other repercussions outside of what is normal for blood loss; if you have been bitten, consumption of liquids and sugar will help the immediate shock, and rest should resolve any remaining issues. A human can be killed from being fed on, due to blood loss, but no other symptoms should present.
The creation of a new vampire requires the human in question to drink the blood of a vampire, then be bitten. The combination of the numbing agent of the fangs interacting with the blood of the vampire will trigger the transformation. The process is not a guarantee, as the blood loss can kill the human in question before they fully transform. Should it be a success, the human will become a vampire within hours. It will be imperative for the vampire to feed immediately upon transformation, as their new body needs a great deal of blood after the transformation. Afterwards, they will need to feed frequently for the first few years, up until at least their first decade. Older vampires do not need to feed as often, and can go months or even years between. A feeding does not need to be the full blood volume of a human, but it is noted that doing so will result in a much longer time before they need to feed again.
The blood does not need to be human, but it seems that human blood is significantly more sustaining. An equal amount of blood from another animal can be less than half as effective. Vampires can feed on other supernatural creatures as well, with those feedings being slightly more effective than animals, but less so than human. This is possibly due to something unique about human blood, or perhaps related to the vampire previously being human. There are no known cases of a supernatural creature becoming a vampire, and it is unclear if this is impossible or merely very unlikely. Vampires will not drink another vampire’s blood unless absolutely necessary; it will keep them from starvation, but it causes extreme physical reactions and illness.
As a vampire ages, they can develop a series of secondary powers. These will not generally show up until their first century at the earliest. These powers can vary, but the most common is the ability to shapeshift. Bats are a common form, as is a fully black wolf, and a fog bank. Other forms are rare but possible; it does not seem the vampire themselves has control of which they develop.
There can also be an increase in their natural abilities to mesmerize, growing into the ability to temporarily control others, and increasing in strength to the point it can effect other supernatural creatures. An older vampire will be slower than a younger vampire, however, and their strength will stagnate. This does not mean an older vampire is an easier target; older vampires will be physically tougher than a young one, their skin and flesh hardening to the point that very few weapons will easily penetrate.
Vampires are most susceptible to daylight; direct light on their skin will cause immediate burning, and a few minutes of exposure will burn them to ash. Burns caused by the sun will take longer to heal and cause scarring, one of the few ways to permanently mark a vampire. Older vampires will last slightly longer than young ones, but they will not survive long.
To kill a vampire without sunlight, they need to be stabbed through the heart with a wooden stake, then beheaded. Burning the body after this is recommended; sunlight will not incinerate the body if the vampire is already dead, so actual fire needs to be utilized. The wooden stake used to stab the vampire should be made from oak, ash or birch to be more effective, and can be rubbed down with garlic or rose oil. The beheading does not need specific materials, but silver is traditional for the blade.
Vampires can be repelled by either wild rose blooms or garlic flowers. The best method would be to weave a wreath or garland and situate them around what you wish to protect. The flowers are more potent fresh, but dried blossoms will be somewhat effective depending on the vampire’s age.
Vampires cannot easily cross running water; it will cause severe pain and even repel younger vampires. Even shape shifted vampires will face this issue. They can do so if surrounded by grave dirt, but there needs to be a large volume of soil to be effective. It is unknown what would occur to a vampire trapped in the middle of running water such as the ocean. It is not recommended to try this method.
Some vampires, older ones especially, feel a compulsion to count and sort items around them. Throwing a bag of small seeds onto the ground can cause some vampires to feel the need to count each one, and this can be used to escape. A vampire caught in the compulsion will continue even if the sun is rising, but not all vampires are susceptible to this.
Vampires cannot enter a private dwelling without express permission from the owner of the property. Be aware, though, that there are issues with this method. An apartment is owned by the person who lives there, not the one who owns the building, but the hallways and common areas belong to the landowner. If the property belongs to no-one but is lived in, the residents have to welcome the vampire in. Public spaces, even hotels, qualify as public space and therefore do not require an invitation. A welcome mat or sign outside can represent an implicit welcome. An invitation can be rescinded, but there is no guarantee the vampire will have to leave immediately if they are already inside.
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