Name: Sasha Worthington
Job Title: Case Worker Type II BANI New Contacts Department, Integration
Annual Review: Free Written Section
Anormal Classification: Vampires (Homo Nosferatus or Homo Cruorimbibe)
With vampires, some of the popular fiction and old myths are true, some aren’t. They are in fact considered undead, no vital signs, no body heat, and no function of a normal human body. How they continue not only mobility but intelligent thought is not understood. The remarkable change upon turning (the act of being changed into a vampire by sharing the blood of an existing vampire) has yet to be quantified as well. All that is truly known is that upon turning, the individual who rises retains all memories and baser personality traits, but they are completely geared towards their own survival and gratification. In short, all vampires are psychopaths, using charisma, manipulation, intimidation, sex acts, and violence to keep them unlive and diverted.
They are apex predators, requiring living blood to sustain them. Blood stored by refrigeration is of no more use in sustaining them than Coca Cola, although they can eat and drink mortal fare and even enjoy it. Fresh animal blood can keep them going, but extended use leads to malnourishment. Experiments have proven that somehow, the intelligence and self awareness of the victim is directly linked to the efficacy of the blood.
The reports of their remarkable charm and hypnotic talents are definitely not underrated. It is their chief hunting tool and primary method of preserving their images of themselves. Obviously immortality cannot be verified as of yet, but their longevity has been proven by genetic dating. Using their talents for charisma, manipulation, intimidation etc. etc. they not only garner the victims they need, but the entertainment they require to center themselves. Any change in their perception of self is anathema to a vampire.
They can’t handle sunlight, or silver entering their body. As far as sunlight goes, it has to be actual sunlight to kill. Electric simulacrums might make the vampire uncomfortable, even cause pain, but it won’t destroy them. So, tossing a vampire into a tanning bed won’t kill him, but it will probably annoy him. There is no empirical data to support the reasons why silver and sunlight are deadly.
They do dissolve into dust upon total death, as if they had been instantly cremated. They do have to sleep during the day, but stronger ones can function, although not well, for a few hours past dawn. And it does seem that the whole needing an invitation to enter a private residence is true. Also, despite all the laws of physics that dictate how light works and travels, they have no reflections.
A stake through the heart will kill them whereas a stake through the brain won’t. The composition of the stake doesn’t matter for them anymore than it matters for anyone else, though. Ram a stake through just about anyone’s heart and they probably will cease to function, whether the stake is wood, concrete, or recycled plastic. It’s the same with immolation. Engulfing someone in flames is pretty definite for everyone, alive or dead.
Rarely do they refer to themselves being ‘killed’ or ‘dying’. They seem to prefer terms like ‘unmade’ or ‘destroyed’. Considering they’re undead, it makes sense.
Garlic isn’t something they are crazy about, but it seems to be more along the lines of a mild allergy than an all out killing tactic. Running water just gets them wet, and the soil of their homeland is just dirt. One vamp went on record with a reasonable explanation for the whole running water gag.
Transcript of audio excerpt:
“So, somebody really likes the idea of vampires needing dirt from where they were born, right? What if someone was born on a boat in the middle of the ocean? Would they have to dive to the bottom of the Mariana Trench? So, they made up the whole running water thing to cover their hack ass.”
End audio insert.
When they speak of being born, they are referring to the moment of their turning, not their birth as a human. Their lives as humans are rarely thought of, and in some cases, not even remembered. It is theorized that the memories are repressed, as the emotions of empathy and compassion felt by humans are so alien to vampires, they cannot understand them, and therefore do not like them.
No vampire is comfortable discussing the effects of holy items, though. It has been asserted that it is the strength of the faith of the individual wielding a religious icon rather than the icon itself that does the damage or creates a protective perimeter. No one is quite sure why. Of course, definitive evidence is difficult to procure.
A Star of David used in the Jewish faith, say, won’t work for a Buddhist. Atheists are kind of out of luck on this point. Holy water works for everyone, the theory being that somehow the faith of whoever blessed it is encapsulated within the properties of the water. Wine and wafers having undergone Catholic transmutation have similar effect, as do various holy relics.
Of course, there are also various magical spells, anormal abilities, and so forth that are effective against vampires, but as they are currently impossible to get empirical data on, they are not included in this review.
The method of ingestion for a vampire generally includes the use of extended incisors (created upon turning) puncturing the skin, and the drinking of blood from the wound. The vampire produces a powerful pheromone and anesthetic, which in some cases can actually lead to a victim becoming addicted to the bite. Death is not a mandatory requirement of drinking.
For turning, it is required that at the point of death for the victim, they receive at least half as much blood as they had lost from the vampire that drank from them. A dying human cannot be turned if they simply drink from a vampire, the vampire must drink from them first. Additionally, if the victim does not receive the correct amount of blood, they do not experience the turning.
It is postulated that in addition to the above, a bit of the vampire’s own essence, or ib as they term it, is infused with the victim, giving them the arcane spark of unlife, and creating a bond between the sire and the victim. The process of the blood exchange is how the vampire transmits their ib, attuning it to the genetic code in the victim’s blood and returning it. Incomplete or incorrect transmissions, as previously outlined, lead to the victim rejecting both the blood and the ib, and rather than becoming a vampire, either dies or becomes a ghoul. Again, this is just a theory and no method of proving it has yet to be discovered, aside from using unwilling test subjects which is of course, not going to happen. It is a very tricky business, and as vampires are quite territorial, narcissistic and possessive of the existing blood supply, turnings are relatively rare.
The older a vampire is, the stronger they are. Again, there is no data on why, only that it is so. Powers of telepathy, telempathy, telekinesis, shape shifting, and other unexplainable phenomena like what they term traveling (teleportation) all become evident as a vampire ages. It is also known that the age and strength of a vampire turning someone directly impacts the strength of the turned. The older and stronger the sire, the more powerful the offspring.
Vechi, from the Romanian word for “ancient”, are vampires over the age of 500 or so and are considered very powerful. The word, however, is thought to have been adopted by the Romanian language from the vampires, not the other way around. The oldest vampire registered with BANI is 536 years [confirmed]. The oldest Vechi on record overall is reported to be over 800 years old, exact age unknown. It is thought that every century after the first 500 increases a vampire’s power exponentially. This cannot be proven as there are very few Vechi willing to cooperate with the experiments. I can’t really blame them.
Vechi who have reached the millennium mark are called Marea Vechi, Marea being Romanian for “great” (see above for etymology note). They are inclusive, and exceedingly rare to come across. Next to nothing is known about them except that only Marea Vechi are given House seats to tend to their internal politics.
Bloodlines are extremely important to vampires and Marea Vechi in particular. Marea Vechi can have entire vaults outlining their complicated lineage. There are families or clans of vampires, called Great Houses with smaller Houses existing within them. Unfortunately, detailed information is not shared with non-vampires, so very little is known about the Houses.
Houses have their own specialties, be it martial, artistic, or other. It is postulated that vampires accepted into a House choose a surname based on the theme of their House. Known Great Houses are Pathos, Hubris, Diamachi, Dedomena, and Idonismos. These seem to be the Houses most comfortable working with humans. Other Houses exist, but we know nothing about them.
House Pathos is most interested in creating some sort of emotional connection to life through emotional manipulation, they see emotions as weapons, and so the names chosen for Pathos are weapon related. Examples of surnames: Katana, Claymore, Stiletto.
Hubris seems to enjoy twisting the pride and egotism of humans; their names are based on emotionally charged (but generally tragic) fictional or historical characters. Examples of surnames: Medea, Lear, Pendragon.
Diamachi is the militant House, the warriors, and their names are chosen from great military leaders. Examples of surnames: Alexander, Bonaparte, Patton.
Dedomena is the House of research, exploration, and invention, and their names are similarly inclined. Examples of surnames: Magellan, Tesla, Hawking.
Idonismos devotes itself to all levels of both pleasure and pain, and choose their names from famous historical lovers or murderers. Examples of surnames: Capulet, De Sade, Bathory.
We do know that newly turned vampires are never simply inducted into Houses; one must attain both age and wisdom even if they have the correct genealogy. Anyone can affiliate themselves with a House, even a Great House, but they will not enjoy any of the privileges of being a true member unless they are inducted. That’s pretty much the limit of our current knowledge.
One thing the myths and legends got wrong was while all vampires are indeed predators, not all vampires are ravening monsters. They are as individual in personality as any mortal human. Their commonality, the aforementioned psychopathy, does not prevent them from different methods of existence.
For example, one vampire might indeed be a true monster, preferring to instill fear and horror into their victims to prepare them for a slaughter. However, those cases tend to be the exception to the rule. Most vampires understand that they do not have the numbers or the necessary “wiring” to work cohesively, and that a concerted effort by mortals could result in genocide. Additionally, they need us, we are their food. The general understanding between vampires is, boiled down, “Don’t spook the cattle, they might stampede.” As such, they tend to keep low profiles.
The numbers of vampires who fought against the Alliance during the Purjare Incentive were remarkably small, making up less than one half of one percent of the revolutionaries. More remarkable still were the numbers of vampires who actually fought with the Alliance, but then again, they saw their main food supply in jeopardy. Most of them were just bored and chose what they saw as the winning side.
In short, while we can now definitively prove most of the whats about vampires, science fails to explain the whys. They, like most anormals, are still mysterious and dangerous creatures of legend, and should never be underestimated or taken for granted; no matter what we think we’ve learned.