The first vampires descended from the line of Cain, who was cursed by a god to immortality, to forever walk the land a slave to ‘The Beast’, an inner creature wrought with thirst, hunger, and temperamental rage. Upon his creation as a vampire, Cain was struck with frenzy, and set upon his wife and sister, Awan, draining her of her blood to satiate his thirst. Upon realizing what he had done, he wept, and the god, taking pity on him, granted Cain the ability to make her like him, by letting a drop of his own blood between her lips. However, Cain and Awan still wanted children, but they found her body could produce no heirs. So too, their bodies refused to age. So Cain and Awan set upon the world, finding young adults of prime age, and embracing them, adopting them as childer, and growing their immortal family.
Over millennia, however, the line of Cain and Awan warred amongst each other, the strong bond between Sire and Childe weaker with distance. Childer fought amongst themselves, and separated into geographical and cultural clans. The warring thinned the population, and a council was called. Princes (a title given to vampires of either gender) were placed in charge of clans and families, and tasked with the control of their local population. Over the years, vampires learned to adapt, and blend to society. They fed smarter and more skillfully, and for a time, humanity forgot their existence. Until the great reveal of 1919, when everything changed.
The great reveal leaves the Vampiric community in a whirlwind. Neighbors shut up their houses, and those mortals found to be in the know were ostracized from their communities.
Government units start sweeping communities, going door to door to known vampiric households and sweeping them away to camps. Vampires are listed amongst the most dangerous of the supernaturals, and are considered a violent threat on humankind.
The Peace Accords are signed to outlaw the internment of supernaturals in work camps. This does not mean the social opinion of Vampires has changed, and many are forced to dedicated communities where it is difficult to find blood to feed.
Many vampires begin descending upon New York, a city lacking many of the social structures supernaturals experience in other communities. This high influx of Vampires looking for better feeding grounds means there are many that claim Princely status, or some that reject the structure altogether. Vampires can face danger from their own kind as much as others here.
All vampires were once human, so they bear similar likeness to most humans. Their skin can be exceptionally pale or a rosy pink depending on how recently they have fed. However, Vampires do not lose melanin in the skin when they are turned. For this reason, a vampire of darkened skin tone will still retain their darkened tone, though their skin can appear ashy, and nailbeds blue (typical signs of cyanosis) when they are not well fed. All vampires possess a set of fangs, which they are not able to retract. For this reason vampires do not often smile, and when they do, it is a striking sight. Fangs are not typically easily spotted while talking, usually requiring one to pull their lips back to reveal the top row of teeth clearly. When overcome by The Beast, Vampire’s eyes turn red and the veins around their eyes can become dark and enlarged. Nosferatu are a bit different, and often may appear rotting, and more ‘zombie-like’ when in a frenzied state. Some grow their nails into long talons, though not all vampires observe this practice. Vampires remain as they were on the day that they were turned, with the exception of any fresh wounds, which require feasting on blood to heal.
Resilience: Vampires are extremely physically hardy, and heal easily after consuming vitae (blood). They can withstand most physical injuries, save for those which they are specifically weak to (see section about Death). They still feel pain, but the older a vampire becomes, the more accustomed and desensitized to pain he can become.
Enhanced Hearing: Vampires have exceptional hearing, and are able to hear most whispers within a room (20 m chat range), or able to hear the faint creaking of floors, or gentle sound of a beating heart.
Night Vision: Vampires are night dwelling creatures, so while their vision is often worse during the day, overwhelmed by too much light, they have impeccable night vision. They are able to see clearly in all including the lowest levels of light, provided there is any small amount of moon or candle light to assist them.
Keen to Blood: While vampire’s noses don’t rival that of shifters, vampires are able to pick out the smell of even small amounts of blood in a room. It is possible for them to pinpoint the person or location that that blood is coming from, and it will often trigger their hunger and tempt ‘The Beast’.
Sunlight: Vampires are extremely vulnerable to sunlight, and unprotected, will burn up and die within minutes of direct sun exposure. While they are able to tolerate sun behind glass panes or within shadows, prolonged contact will still have an extremely irritating effect on the skin. While many times they can obtain daylight charms from witches in order to be out in the sun for periods of time, they will still find sun exposure irritating, and often opt to wear sunglasses and cover up. It is possible for vampires with daylight rings and repeated exposure to sunlight to learn to endure this irritation better, though they will always prefer the night.
Fire: Vampires are extremely vulnerable to fire as well and the flame of a match can light a whole limb on fire in minutes. Exposure to small to moderate sources of flame can kill a vampire within minutes. This requires direct contact with the flame.
Wooden Stake: While not a means of death, if a wooden stake is plunged into a vampire’s heart, they will assume a state of Torpor (death like de-animation) until the stake is removed by another being.
The Beast: All Vampires are cursed with a being called ‘The Beast’. It is a version of themselves that suffers from great thirst, hunger, and temperamental rage. The Beast is a product of a vampire’s ‘frenzy’, which comes on when the vampire is experiencing overwhelming emotion or hunger. Typically any victims that the vampire feeds on in this state, are completely exsanguinated, though it is possible for the vampire to resist doing so. If a vampire is not careful, he can enter a state of permanent frenzy, giving over in total to the beast, whom he must always fight against.
The Thirst: All vampires are riddled with a need for vitae (their word for blood). If they do not feed for an extended period of time, they pass into Torpor (a death-like state), until they are fed so they may heal. Vampires coming out of Torpor, or affected by The Beast, often frenzy, and risk exsanguinating any victim they get their hands on. Vampires are able to drink the blood of animals, but it comes at the penalty of their weakness, animal blood not providing the same nutrition as human or supernatural vitae.
Telepathy: Vampires are able to telepathically communicate with other vampire and non-vampires alike, though these persons are only able to communicate back telepathically if they have an inherent ability to do so. This requires eye contact from the vampire with the intended recipient, and when eye contact is broken, so will the telepathic link. Vampires are able to read surface ‘impulses’ from a person’s mind, but not specific thoughts (perhaps that the person is hungry, but not what they are hungry for). If a vampire is able to touch the target during this telepathic link, they will be able to read deeper into the memories and emotions of the target.
Super speed: Vampires can move particularly fast, and for short bursts, they are able to move as if almost in a blur. They are only able to do this at short distances (within 20m) but it is unlikely that a non-vampire would be able to move to counter them. Repeated use of this ability will exhaust the vampire, and make them thirsty to feed.
Compulsion: A vampire can compel the mind of a single other being in order to alter their memories, or entreat them to carry out an order. The compulsion is sometimes absolute, though other times it is tricky to completely alter or wipe memories, or ensure that the subject follows the orders perfectly. Much like with fae, words do matter here, and poorly placed instructions can botch the intention of the compulsion. A vampire requires eye contact to do so, though the compulsion will last even after eye contact is broken.
Fleshcrafting: Once per scene, a vampire can craft the flesh of themselves or another being in order to heal wounds, change appearance, or alter the body in some way. The vampire cannot produce flesh which they do not have available to them, only closing wounds, or reshaping flesh, much like clay. Vampires can attach limbs or other donor skin or parts in this way in order to cover scars, repair amputated limbs, or create additional bodily attachments.
Shadow Mist: Once per scene, a vampire is able to shift into a mist-like state in which they are unable to be damaged by any physical means. This also allows them temporary relief from flame or the sun’s rays, or the ability to allow a wooden stake to pass right through them. They are only able to maintain this state for one posting round, upon which they will return to their solid physical form.
Madness (Noble Vampires Only): Once per scene, a vampire can worm into the head of a single victim within the room (20 m) and manipulate their mind to increase negative feelings, whether that be anxiety, fear, madness, or another mental stressor. The vampire cannot create a madness of their own choosing, but tug on and accentuate the weaknesses already present.
Shift into Bat (Bat Vampires only): Once per scene, a vampire is able to shift into and out of (or out of and back into) bat form. The bat can sometimes look no different than any feral bat, but may appear larger and more unnatural. While in this form, they retain their consciousness, though they are more in tune with ‘The Beast’ and may find it difficult to shed animalistic hunger after shifting back.
Poison Bite (Nosferatu only): Once per scene, a Nosferatu can eject poison from their fangs into the victim that they have bitten. The poison is painful, and is similar to the venom of a snake. If left untreated, a victim can sustain severe convulsions, lightheadedness, dehydration, vomiting, or death.
Birth & Creation
Vampires are created in a process known as ‘The Embrace’. Only humans and witches are able to be embraced, and witches lose their magical ability during the embrace, as a trade for newfound vampiric abilities. During the embrace, the childer is exsanguinated, drained of all their blood, and a single drop of blood is passed between their lips from the Vampire that intends to Sire them. Some Vampires wake relatively immediately, while others may take up to 8 hours to regain consciousness. A vampire is Sired to the vampire that created them. Vampires cannot be born via natural means.
Love & Bonding
Vampires are very territorial creatures, and they feel a strong bond with their Sires (the vampires that embraced them). They are able to communicate telepathically with their Sire, and feel a strong sense of duty toward them. Telepathic abilities will only work within 20m. Some Sires are in romantic relationships with their childer, while others are simply a relationship of respect, or control. The Sire bond is permanent with two exceptions: The death of the sire (upon which the childer feels great loss), or through a witch’s ritual in which the vampire is put into a state of Torpor (a sort of temporary vampiric death) via staking, and the bond is severed. Vampires retain the ability to love, though years of immortality can often harden their hearts, and non-vampires that make up their main food sources, they often struggle to separate fully from a territorial protection over their food source. Vampires are able to take thralls and blood dolls, the difference in their level of supernatural devotion. Thralls are any non-vampiric species which drinks the blood of the vampire regularly (once bi-weekly) in order to maintain a supernatural bond with the vampire. The Thrall will experience greater health (longer hair, stronger nails, clearer skin, less sickness, etc) and feel a strong duty to serve the vampire to which they are thralled. Vampires are typically viciously territorial of their thralls, as they make up the most reliable source of their sustenance. Blood Dolls, conversely, are not supernaturally bonded to the vampire, and often shared between a family of vampires, in order to provide sustenance to the family.
Vampires are extremely hardy, but are able to die in two ways. They are extremely vulnerable to fire, and the smallest touch of a match to their skin, can easily light up a whole limb. Small to moderate amounts of exposure to direct flame can kill a vampire in minutes. They are also vulnerable to the sun. Without a daylight charm, a vampire will burn up and perish in the sun within minutes if they do not seek shade. This requires direct exposure to sun rays (daylight shadows, sunlight behind window panes, etc, will not have a lethal effect). Vampires are able to endure a state of temporary death, called Torpor, achieved by staking them in the heart with a wooden stake, or after very severe injury. Vampires who are staked will remain like this until the stake is removed, severely injured vampires will wake after their body repairs itself, though this can take anywhere from several days to decades. The only other method of killing a vampire is decapitation, from which they cannot return.
Food, Drink, Drug, & Healing
Vampires sustain themselves through vitae, living blood. It is how they heal their wounds as well. It is most potent when taken directly from the vein, though some vampires opt to drink from blood bags and consume ‘blood wines’. A vampire pierces the being of a non-vampire with their fangs, in an act often referred to as ‘The Kiss’. The act is pleasurable to the vampire, as well as the victim, sometimes, but not always sexually. Non-vampires can become addicted to the bite, if they are bitten repeatedly. A vampire can heal the bite wounds of their victim by licking them after the bite, though this does not work on any other types of wounds. They are unable to stomach and digest food, and those that choose to eat to maintain social behaviors or secrecy, must vomit the food up before laying to rest or they risk severe stomach upset. Vampires are able to drink from animals, though some cannot stomach it, and others experience weaker abilities and states when feasting only on animal blood. Vampires cannot digest, and are therefore unable to feel the effects of any conventional alcohol or drugs, only able to experience a sort of drunkenness or high by drinking the blood of an imbibed victim. Supernatural blood is different from human blood, and can become quite addictive with repetitive consumption (or vampires can carry an allergy to a specific race type’s blood). Supernatural blood feels potent, and has almost a stimulant type quality to it, giving the Vampire a burst of energy, rejuvenating their health more quickly, and contributing to a euphoric mind.