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Ava's Not-So-Private Journal of Wordiness Exactly what it sounds like - a quasi-private place for me to dump any information and thoughts that I don't wanna waste precious Profile space gabbing about. I might post stories here, too, if I feel like it.

Avaline Fitheach
Community Member
RPC Follow-up: Vampires
"So, now that you know who I am, I thought I'd come back to a topic a lot of people have been bugging me about over the years. Lots of people are dying to know how vampires work back on Earth, and the fact that there’s more than one type is confusing enough even on Earth, nevermind a world like Gaia that operates on a fundamentally different rule set.

All vampires from Earth are afflicted with a curse known as vampirism, and, in most cases, we aren’t too much different from Gaia’s native vamps. There are rare exceptions, though, and while all vampires are rightly considered dangerous, those rare, exceptional ones are hazardous on a whole ‘nother level. I’ll be talking about both types of vampire, separately at first, to show how they differ. I’ll start with what I know best, which is the common vampires you’re most likely to encounter.

Most vampires, such as myself, started out as humans that turned as a result of being bitten and drained until we died of blood loss. I will go into the specifics of how it works later on when I talk about the commonalities, but what you need to know, first and foremost, is that these vampires retain their soul and consciousness. Because of how we turned, our strongest memories and feelings are usually the ones we experienced when we died; everything else is still there, though, so we still know who we are and we still feel the full range of human emotions.

Many of us are still good people at heart, since we still have a sense of morality and can empathize with each other and the living alike. This makes us relatively emotionally fragile beings burdened with a difficult moral dilemma. We have to subsist on human blood because food can no longer sustain us, and the thirst for blood is a constant urge that can never be fully satisfied. Try to go without drinking blood for more than two days, and you’ll almost certainly loose all sense of self and attack the first living person you come across out in the open. So if you want to avoid killing people out in the open, you have to lure somebody away from densely populated areas and kill them where nobody can hear their final moments.

No matter how you cut it, murder is an inevitable and unkind consequence back on Earth. Some of the younger ones desperately cling to their humanity by acquiring a taste for refrigerated I.V. bags, and I certainly could go for that myself, if it’s the best option at the moment. The problem is that it doesn’t quite sate the thirst to the same degree as warm, fresh blood taken from the veins of a struggling... sorry about that. Old habits die hard, and I'd forgotten how much easier it is for vampires on Gaia now that Vladimir Von Helson's foolish crusade brought us out into the open.

Anyway, that’s enough about what I am and what I drink. Let’s talk about what you could do to repel a bog-standard bloodsucker if you ever needed to. Hunting vampires is not easy because of how strong, fast, and resilient we are, so your best, and often only, option is to make it so we can’t get close to you. Garlic is an abundant and readily available vampire repellent anybody can use, and both the flowers and the bulbs can be used, so it should be your first line of defense when you’re in a building. As long as you keep it by every possible means of entry, you’ll be untouchable for as long as you stay inside.

If you have religious paraphernalia that can easily be worn or carried - such as a cross or charm or rosary, or a copy of a holy text - and hold genuine faith in what it stands for, you’re protected wherever you are. You can also use a paste made from holy water and powdered communion wafers to safeguard doorways and other means of entry in much the same way as you would with garlic. By themselves, holy water and communion wafers are effective vampire repellents, and both of them can also be used offensively to inflict burns.

These are all effective for repelling the other type of vampire that exists on Earth, as well. Which, as much as I really don’t want to discuss it, brings us right to the next topic of discussion.

Remember how I mentioned there are rare and exceptional vampires who pose an even greater risk to humans? Even among the common vampires, they’re a feared and reviled bunch. Being bitten is insufficient for the creation of this particular kind; they come about as a result of some of the wickedest necromantic curses. And because of the wizardry that creates them, they get a much wider range of powers and abilities. They can do extraordinary things, like turn into mist or elemental dust, and wild beasts that prowl around at night, like wolves, are at their beck and call. They even have the power to enthrall humans and the vampires they create to make them serve as minions. None of that is what makes them a particular danger. No, what really makes them awesome - in the Biblical sense, which means terrifying - is that the curses that create them come at the heady cost of their eternal souls.

Why would losing your soul in exchange for immortality be a bad thing? Because a human body that is no longer being controlled by a human spirit is the perfect nesting ground for demons and damned souls. If your real soul is still in there at all, it’s only because the evil spirit that has infested your body wants to absorb your memories so it can better imitate you, before ousting you completely. These vampires aren’t capable of feeling real human emotions and they have no sense of morality to keep them in line, so the most immoral actions imaginable come as naturally as breathing - figuratively speaking, of course.

The only thing remotely positive about this arrangement is that Bram Stoker knew a lot more than he let on. These vampires get literally every weakness in the book to go along with the abilities, as a sort of built in power dampener or nerf patch. They don't cast a reflection; they need an invitation to cross a threshold; they need to conserve energy between meals by sleeping for most of the day, in a coffin filled with soil from the place of their rebirth, etc. Even with all of the incredible things these vampires can do, those weakness, if nothing else, mean it would be wise to think long and hard about whether or not your soul is worth incredible power.

What's more, by exploiting these weaknesses, vampire hunters would be able to take you down far more easily - if they get lucky and manage to catch you off-guard during the day while you sleep. If they don't, the best they can hope for is a quick and painless death; surviving is a miracle, more so if they come away from the encounter unscathed. To date, only one group of brave and determined gentlemen is known to have gone up against one of those monsters on his own turf and live to tell about it, and even then, one of the two who managed to strike a killing blow passed away shortly afterwards from wounds he sustained during the attempt.

Both types of vampire do have a number of things in common. Let’s change the subject, because I’m getting hives from talking about... them.

Both types have much more raw power than any human will ever have. With the strength of twenty men combined, and enhanced speed, strength, stamina, and reflexes, all vampires are tricky to fight in close quarters - something I’m pretty damn proud of, myself. Our senses of hearing and smell are also beyond human, and we can see up to fifty yards away in the dark.

As mentioned, both types of vampire share a few weaknesses. No matter what Hollywood would have you believe, sunlight is not one of them. All vampires from Earth can freely walk around in broad daylight and suffer absolutely no ill effects from it at all. We don’t even get sunburns any easier, like Gaia’s native stock does. What we can’t do from sunup to sundown is shapeshift.

Yes, this means all vampires can shapeshift. The common ones like me can only turn into one animal, though, and we have to practice and have detailed anatomical knowledge. The other kind get to cheat. They can shapeshift into whatever creatures they like without having to practice at all, even if they don’t have the detailed knowledge normally required, and they have exactly one chance to shapeshift while the sun is out, which is at noon, and not a minute before or after.

It's impossible to tell the two kinds of vampire apart with a side-by-side comparison. Both types have an unnaturally pale skin tone. Both types also have the same sunken red eyes ringed with dark circles, as well as fangs that never retract. The good news is that we just barely look human enough to pass for goths as long a we wear sunglasses to hide our unnatural eyes, so it's not too hard for us to move around during the day if we need to. You still get some odd looks, and there's always going to be a few people out there who can see through the illusion, but it's better than hiding in abandoned buildings during the day.

Both types of vampires are capable of siring other vampires by draining humans of their blood. Siring is entirely voluntary, and it seldom occurs. For one thing, siring another vampire comes with a lot of responsibility, because it's just like parenting; you're obligated to show your child the ropes, and you're the one who's going to foot the bill for any mistakes they make - not that any of that stops some vampires from skipping out on their charges.

There's also the tricky nature of the curse that turns people into vampires. It won't take hold unless the victim is drained until they're dead, at which point they need to remain buried in a shallow grave for three days, in unhallowed ground. Biting them and letting them bleed out, even if it kills them, simply isn't going to work for siring, and neither is draining them and leaving them out in the open. They have to be drained, and they have to be buried.

You can feed them a small amount of your blood while they're being drained, but that doesn't have any effect on the process itself. The only benefit that comes from it is that it establishes an unbreakable psychic link that allows for total awareness of where the other half of the equation is and what their status is, which also enables telepathic conversations that can be held from anywhere in the world, no matter the distance.

All vampires sired will rise as the first type of vampire, even when they were turned by the second type, and the reason for this is that the necromantic curses that create those vampires can't be transmitted through bites alone. Those curses have to be deliberately placed upon a target, using whatever spells or demonic influences are involved. As previously mentioned, however, those exceptionally powerful monsters have found a workaround that enables them to keep those they sire spellbound and under their control until either they relinquish their hold or they’re disposed of.

Finally, we have a rather interesting topic of discussion, which is vampires interbreeding with humans to create actual children. These half-breeds, dhampirs, are an incredibly rare occurrence. They can only come about as a result of a vampire-human pairing where the mother was the human, and even then, there aren't many women in the world strong enough to carry a dhampir to term - most die before the end of the second trimester. As with siring, it doesn't matter which type of vampire the father was, you still get the same being. I really don't know too much about dhampirs beyond how they're made because I've never met one myself, but I am intrigued. If I ever go back to Earth, I'll have to track one down and learn something about them.

That’s about everything I know. I talked about the subject for far longer than I care to, but I hope this information proves helpful if you ever find you need it.”

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