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Vampires were a monstrous mistake on Xanth's part, and Elysia? has never let them forget it. The infection caused by Xanth's attempt to resurrect a beloved friend spread among the human population of Elysia? rapidly, turning the weaker species into blood-thirsty mind-benders with terrifying strength and speed. These monsters, known as the Scourge, stalked Elysia? until the other races banded together to stop them, thus sparking the first interracial war that Elysia? had ever seen.

The spread of the virus to non-humans was much slower, and with the majority of their numbers destroyed by the Vampire Wars?, vampires were afforded time enough to evolve from their mindless beginnings into the race that populates Elysia? today. Having regained their original intelligence, vampires, for the most part, now control the Bloodlust virus rather than the other way around. Divided naturally between Charmers who can read and control minds, and Hunters who have kept the awesome speed and strength of their ancestors, they nevertheless face a lifelong struggle against the bloodlust caused by the virus that infects them.

Physical Characteristics

Base by Citron Rouge

Vampires are not the undead. They are living, breathing, eating[^While Vampires need a transfusion of red blood cells (which normally takes the form of "feeding"), they also require other forms of nutrition to survive and so must eat like everyone else.^] people who have been altered slightly at a genetic level by the Bloodlust Virus. As a result, they inherit the looks of their original species. They do often look pale, especially if they haven't fed for a while, but this is a side-effect of the way the Bloodlust Virus destroys red blood cells. (Nor are they cold to the touch or sleep in a coffin.)

While some Elysians? believe vampirism to be glorious and actively seek infection, this is sadly not the case for many of the non-human races. The wings of infected Anyeli and Zanaryans quickly wither and die, becoming useless and skeletal - and this is not even the worst-case scenario. A frightening 5% of infected Therians become the monstrous Hind, while the rest die outright along with infected Dracovari.

It is for this reason that the vast majority of vampires were originally human, which has led to many Elysians? misbelieving that only they can be infected.

Safety notes: When the need to feed begins to take over, vampires tend to find their fangs feel larger and uncomfortable. They do not in fact increase in size, but the sensitivity is such that a hungry vampire may move the mouth more than necessary to speak, which can be a dead give-away to onlookers.

As the need to feed grows increasingly urgent, their pupils enlarge, making them sensitive to light, and their other senses may heighten slightly as if to seek out prey.

If a vampire still has not fed then, they literally begin to suffocate as the the virus devours the last of their red blood cells, making it impossible for the body to get enough oxygen. They become increasingly fuzzy-headed and begin to hyperventilate, eventually leading to unconsciousness and ultimately death.

Infection

In order to become a vampire, a person must be infected with the Bloodlust Virus, a condition which is 100% fatal for Dracovari and dragons, 95% fatal for Therians (the other 5% becoming the terrifying Hind), and physically disfiguring for both the Anyeli and Zanaryans. In fact, only Nymphs and Humans suffer no ill effects physically, so one can be forgiven for thinking only they ever become vampire, but even they also lose any powers they once had as the virus overtakes and alters their bodies.

Ironically, the very virus that makes them so dependent on the blood of others also gives them abilities, perhaps that are directly inherited from Xanth herself, which turn them into very effective predators.

Note: Once infected, vampires lose all previous skills and must start from scratch.

Life Cycle

Starter <15 years
Modest 15 - 100 years
Heroic 100> years

Vampires can be infected by the Bloodlust Virus at any point in life, so they can be any age. However, once infected, they appear to cease aging altogether, and so it is assumed that they are immortal.

To date, not a one has lived long enough, nor died (of natural causes) early enough, to disprove this theory.

Note: The older a vampire is, the closer they'll be in nature to the monstrous Scourge and the less likely they are to have survived the Vampire Wars?.

On the right is a table that charts how long a character can have been a vampire according to the skill pack? you use to create them.

Reproduction

Elysia?'s vampires are not the undead, so technically they could give birth. However, they are created by the Bloodlust Virus which, among other things, prevents the Vampire from aging. If they were to have a child, the infant would contract the virus during foetal development and, once born, would never mature beyond infancy. Given the general abhorrence of children as old as 16 being infected, it's a safe bet that an infected baby would result in a lot of unwanted attention and drama.

Politics

Official Name: Vampire (pl. "Vampires"; fem. sometimes "Vampiress")

Common Name: Vampire, Vamp

Before the ninety-fifth century XA (around 1500 AD), vampires had no government or form of leadership whatsoever. This free-for-all mentality did them no favours and in fact helped to maintain the prejudices and fears caused by the Vampire Wars? that immediately followed Isolde?'s death.

Seen as monsters for so long, they still face racism and abuse, but they have begun to form communities that are each making progress towards establishing vampires as more than their horrifying beginnings.

By around 9,800 XA (1800 AD), a self-proclaimed queen had begun to shape the scattered vampires of Alexshire? into some semblance of a community in an effort to change attitudes, and her attempts have gradually been mimicked by other vampires in other towns. She was also instrumental in the introduction of blood menus that are now present in some cafes and bars across Elysia?.

As the vampires of Alexshire? gradually came around to the idea of having a structured government, the first queen relinquished her title in favour of elections and there have been several other leaders - both men and women - since. Elections do tend to become chaotic and nominees often resort to violence rather than waiting for the democractic process, but as a whole it does seem to be working.

Of course, though Alexshire?'s Black Rose? cabal is currently the largest and most influential, there are others scattered across Elysia?. Some are allied with the Black Rose? and confer with its leader regarding inter-realm politics in the hope of presenting a united front, but they also plot and scheme to serve their own goals.

Vampire Ranks

Each community might have its own name for the position a vampire might hold in their particular hierarchy, but there are generally three ranks. These are not official ranks (although some covens might have those too), but more a mark of the general attitude of other vampires towards them.

  • Fledgling

    As one might expect, fledglings are those vampires who have only just been infected or have not explored their new abilities much. They are usually at the mercy of their bloodlust and must feed every day.

    The attitude of other vampires towards fledglings can be brutal. After centuries of looking out for oneself, few of the older vampires are prepared to help the younger generations and tend to view them as little more than pests who endanger the rest of the species by simply existing. Indeed, until this past century or so, many fledglings did not survive very long as they were consumed by hunger and swiftly caught.

    Attitudes have begun to change, however, as communities encourage their elders to be more helpful, but fledglings are still viewed as nuisance children even if they've lived longer in their previous life than the vampires who look down on them.
  • Vampire

    There is no real name for the middle rank in vampire society, it simply just is. Too experienced to be considered a fledgling, but not yet enough to be elevated to Master status, these make up the majority of the vampire population. Many never master their bloodlust and might be stuck at this level, or perhaps find other ways to earn the admiration necessary to climb that last step.

  • Master

    As the name suggests, a Master is usually one who has essentially mastered their bloodlust. This does not necessarily mean they have conquered it altogether, as it is the rare vampire who can claim such, but being able to live without fear of succumbing to their hunger is something many other vampires, who struggle daily with their own need to feed, envy greatly.

    Of course, mastery of the bloodlust is not the only way to become a Master. Some, who still struggle with their bloody urges, have done so by mastering their skills instead. Either way, Masters are to be admired and are held up as role-models if not quite as idols.

Affiliations

There are any number of vampire communities across Elysia?. Some say there may even be one for every town in the realm, though - given their population statistics - this is doubtful.

Vampires interested in joining such a community tend to hook up with the first one they find since locating them can be difficult in some of the more vampire-intolerant places. Membership is not lifelong, however, which is probably a good thing: Not all of the covens are like-minded in politics or beliefs, so there can be friction amongst members who may leave if they find something that suits them better.

  • The Black Rose?
    A vampire cabal residing in Alexshire and led by Queen Bailey.
Players are welcome to create their own vampire communities as long as they don't encroach on occupied territory (we're open to turf wars but these must be discussed with Emma? beforehand), and to take up any role within them. You'll need to write up an organisations page, using the templates provided, for them to provide information to other players (and remember to include a [[!Vampire Communities]] tag).

Allies & Enemies

Since their creation, vampires have, in some form or another, been at war with almost everyone in the Known Realms, and while there has not been an open declaration of new war recently, few people are willing to ally themselves with a race so many still call "monster". This is beginning to change as vampire leaders attempt to mend fences, but it's a slow process.

And while none of the races will outright call themselves an enemy of vampires, Therians go to great lengths to keep their distance. Until recently, this was assumed to be purely their animal instincts recognising the predator in vampires, but revelations about the origins of the Hind have revealed that there is more to it.

Racial slurs: Bloodsucker, Fang, Parasite

Territories

Vampires as a species do not have a homeland, nor even a claim to territories that is recognised by anyone outside their own species, and they're not likely to find one any time soon. Some towns tolerate the presence of their communities, but they are very much guests of the state and must tread very carefully if they wish to remain.

That said, claims to such reserves are recognised within their own ranks, though as a result of the tentative "friendship" with local governments, many are extremely territorial. And of course, where the other races can be open regarding their governments and official buildings, many covens prefer to keep their headquarters secret "just in case".

Players are welcome to create a HQ for their own vampire community as long as such does not encroach on occupied territory (we're open to turf wars but these must be discussed with Emma? beforehand). You'll need to write up a Places? page, using the templates provided, in order to provide information to other players (and remember to include a [[!Vampire Communities]] tag).

Not all vampires are affiliated with a coven, however, and in fact many are not, preferring to live a "lone wolf" lifestyle. Indeed, a single vampire is able to hide, if need be, much more efficiently than a group. Their feeding habits are much less likely to draw attention as well, even if they continue to hunt live prey, though conversely they'll also be more vulnerable if they are discovered.

Population

Vampires have spread all across Elysia?, and there are reports of rogues still on Earth?, but their need to feed regularly dictates that they stay close to humanoid populaces. For this reason, many vampires can be found in major towns and cities, but this naturally makes them easier to find.

Of course the numbers below fluctuate from year to year (though any major increase in vampire numbers is cause for alarm among local governments so any change is usually small), but it does give a general idea of how many vampires there are in relation to the other races and where their population is focused.

  • Vampires currently make up a mere 0.5% of the Elysian? population.
  • No one is sure how many there are on Earth?, or if any have taken up residence in Nirim? (though the latter is doubtful).
  • The number of vampires living on the Elysian Mainland? is approximately 19,184.
  • The number of vampires living on Dardanos? is approximately 633.

Culture

Vampire culture is a mish-mash of all the infectable races as they come together under one banner. For this reason, and a vampire's natural instinct to claim and defend his territory, the society as a whole can be insanely competitive. While some vampires have switched to the blood menus found in cafes and bars across Elysia?, these aren't available everywhere and many other vampires abhor them. Since they must consume as much as two pints of blood per day (see Bloodlust?), there is a need for territories populated densely enough to feed regularly and, while these territories (often major towns or cities) can often serve more than one vampire, turf wars occur fairly regularly.

For the most part, these skirmishes rarely affect anyone but the vampires involved. Unless they're affiliated with one of the vampire covens, individuals are left to their own devices as long as they don't endanger the fragile peace with other Elysians, and territories can change hands frequently without anyone batting an eye - even when the losing party also loses his life.

It is perhaps because of this competitiveness that many vampires prefer the "lone wolf" lifestyle, but not everyone is happy living this way. Some vampires cluster together, if only for an hour here or there to stave off loneliness, while others live communally as a united front against intolerance and prejudice. Some even try to pass themselves off as human and, barring accidents or mishaps, can survive that way, moving from town to town to hide their agelessness, for years.

Languages

Vampires speak a variety of languages; it ultimately depends on their original species. A Vampire who was once Nymph will speak Sylvan and possibly Elysian, while a vampire who was once Human and hails from Earth? might only speak English.

Currency

As with most other things Vampire, they inherit their concept and use of currency from their original race.

Calendar

Vampires usually follow the Elysian Calendar, though it ultimately depends on their original race.

Religion & Philosophy

Vampires have no specific faith or way of thinking insofar as they originate in a variety of cultures and species that each has its own quirks. This makes them an eclectic bunch and is likely the biggest reason they have such trouble getting along or agreeing on anything, but it also makes them perhaps the most fascinating of all the Elysian? races.

That said, many do think fondly of the Aide? Sylope King? who, as one of the first of the 'modern' vampires, is considered a celebrity among their kind. Some even attempt to emulate her, though how many of them have actually met her is just as much a mystery as her current location.

Education

Vampires don't have a formal education system, seeing as the majority are beyond the age of required learning when they're infected. However, they also lack the structure the other races enjoy when it comes to learning how to use their powers so many vampires find that they are not meeting their full potential.

Some individuals are able to find a mentor, often an older vampire who has either learned from their own mentor or from their own experience how best to use their vampiric skills. Sadly, many vampires seem unable or unwilling to mentor in this fashion, and many feeding accidents can be attributed to vampires simply not knowing their own strength (whether literally of metaphorically).

Since they began to cluster and form communities, however, it has become much easier to find a mentor, simply for the fact that there's someone to contact directly instead of being forced to scour the realms in search of fellows who just might be interested in helping out. This is more true for those covens which are not forced to hide their identities or headquarters, of course, but even for those that are secret it's sometimes possible to locate them by chasing down rumours.

This means that more vampires are learning their true potential, which of course is a mixed blessing. Certainly, fewer vampires are likely to have feeding accidents when they better understand their limitations and strengths, but many Elysians? fear that their being better educated can only mean danger for the realms.

Rogues

Many modern vampires are law-abiding citizens, wherever they live, and work hard to maintain a healthy feeding regimen that does not involve hunting - and certainly not killing - live prey. Those who do feed on humanoids are considered "rogues" by most Elysian? governments and even by some vampire communities. As a result, rogues are often hunted by law officers and bounty hunters, and even the Old Society?. This is especially true if they have killed.

However, while there is no doubt that some rogues find their way to Earth? where most hunters cannot tread for fear of giving away Elysia?'s secrets, it's unlikely that all vampiric residents there are blood felons.

Half-Breeds

There is no such thing as a half-vampire: once infected, the Bloodlust Virus overtakes the victim's system entirely. It's for this same reason that vampires cannot inherit the powers they gained in their previous "life".

Vampire babies are sometimes referred to as half-breeds, but this is an inaccurate moniker since they too are infected.

History

The Vampires were created in 8,509 XA (509 AD) when Xanth tried to resurrect the lifemate of http://faroah.com/index.php?showuser=106/Namiko Akakios, her first Aide?. In feeding Isolde? her blood, Xanth did in fact bring her back from the dead. Tragically, Isolde was driven insane by the effects and Namiko was forced to destroy her.

It was not until nearly a decade later, however, that Xanth realised the extent of her mistake. Namiko had killed his lifemate to stop the bloody havoc she had been wreaking across the continent but she had already made others like her.

For a time, vampires were the scourge of Elysia?, a virulent menace driven by bloodlust. However, as they grew in number, the effect weakened from one generation to the next until they were no longer mindless creatures hungry for blood and much more like their human ancestors.

Their history is a tragic one and they were created out of death but in the last few centuries they have begun to form a civilisation that is slowly knitting them together, albeit somewhat chaotically. As their culture is a new one, however, they have little history to account and certainly not the type they wish to share, yet without them the Therians would surely not exist.

Skills & Weaknesses

Vampires are naturally sorted into two different classes, where some gain telepathic powers like the ability to entrance victims or alter memories, while others find that their physical prowess is boosted.

These "classes" are not political nor deliberate, as there hasn't been enough of a political structure for vampires to devise such a thing. There doesn't seem to be any real correlation between the powers a vampire had prior to being infected and the powers they gain after infection, or even it being an effect of the vampire's lifestyle (a man who enjoys physical activity is just as likely to become a Charmer as he is a Hunter), so no one can be sure what affects the change.

Just as there seems to be no common cause or obvious influence, there seems to be no real difference between the two classes beyond their powers. Anyone can become a Charmer, and anyone can become a Hunter. The only commonality is that neither is given a choice in the matter.

While characters don't have a choice, players do.

Where vampires do not have specialties like some of the other races, there is a point at which they are considered experienced enough or powerful enough that they have essentially mastered their bloodlust. Not surprisingly, these are given the title of Master.

To raise your vampire to the rank of Master, you need to spend 10 skill points and contact an admin.
Skills:

Hunter Skills:



Charmer Skills:

Weaknesses:

Haemophilia

Perhaps owing to the way the Bloodlust Virus interacts with the red blood cells in a vampire's body, they are known for their inability to clot right away so even minor injuries can become life-threatening if not treated quickly. This, however, is not entirely accurate because, while they certainly do bleed out quickly, they don't have the clotting problem attributed to them.

In truth, the danger comes from the body's inability to sustain red blood cells by itself because the virus destroys them too quickly, and that leads to suffocation as much as exsanguination. For this reason, while healing injuries is important for survival, it's vital that a vampire feeds quickly after sustaining an injury that could cause blood loss.

Vampires & the Sun

Though no one quite understands why vampires are vulnerable in sunlight, it has become obvious that the cause of that vulnerability is the ultraviolet light emitted by the sun. The effect of these UV rays, which can cause sunburns and skin cancer in other humanoids, seem to be magnified in vampires so that standing in direct sunlight while on Earth?, Zanarya? or Nirim? will literally barbeque the vampire alive in short order.

However, Elysia?'s sun, Hel, emits fewer of these UV rays. That, coupled with a protective barrier put in place by Xanth, means that vampires are free to roam Elysia even during the day, though a large portion of the population still seem to prefer the night life.

There has been speculation that Elysia? is deliberately the only place that vampires are free to roam, perhaps as a way for Xanth to keep them in check. This may or may not be true, but having their movements restricted has certainly helped to keep their numbers relatively small.

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Related Pages

Races Vampires Hunter Vampires Charmer Vampires