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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 Corvidae
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, especially in light of the fact that there's two types. I'll be going over what sets them apart, as well as what they have in common.

Let's start by talking about the vanilla bloodsuckers like me, who fell under the curse because of an infectious bite. We do need to drink human blood to survive, but the upshot is that this form of the curse doesn't come at the cost of your soul, so you're still you on the inside, conscience and all. With only a few weaknesses and my own mind intact, I'm as close to human as a walking corpse can get.

That said, there is a drawback that never really goes away - the thirst. The primal desire to drag some unfortunate passerby into an alley and make a meal out of them, without a care in the world for who might be watching. It's not uncommon for my type of vampire to sympathize with living humans, because that's what we still are below the surface. But you're also likely to find vampires who accept - maybe even fully embrace - the bleak reality that keeping your thirst in check means having to kill people on a regular basis, unless you can rob a blood bank sight unseen or have a friend in the morgue. It's a difficult and frustrating moral dilemma for most of us at first, but you really don't have a choice if you want to avoid openly attacking people in a crowded atmosphere.

And then, there's the rare and very powerful vampires, ones who came back via necromancy instead of a bite. Those vamps also get a lot of cool powers as a package deal thanks to the wizardry that created them, like turning into mist and the ability to command nocturnal creatures, but all of it comes at the steep price of losing their soul forever.

The real problem with vampires who've lost their souls isn't so much the rare abilities as it is the fact that they stop being the people they once were, because an evil spirit moves in to fill the vacancy. Without your soul and conscience present, your body becomes little more than a vehicle for an entity whose only interest lies within committing the most horrific acts imaginable, just to get a sick sense of enjoyment out of it. Is it tragic when you were "gifted" with immortality because you angered a witch or demon? Yes. The end result doesn't change, though; your body still becomes an irredeemable monster driven by a spiritual parasite. All told, comparing them to Dracula means you aren't that far off the mark.

The only thing remotely positive about this is that these vampires literally get every weakness in the book to go along with the abilities, to even the odds. 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. By exploiting these weaknesses, vampire hunters would be able to take you down far more easily - if they're lucky and manage to catch you off-guard during the day.

In terms of abilities and weaknesses and raw power, there is some overlap. Both types have the ability to shapeshift into or out of the form of an animal, which is an ability neither of them can access from dawn to dusk. The only difference is that normal vampires have to practice and painstakingly educate themselves on the exact biology of whichever animal they choose to turn into, and they can only adopt one form. The super-vamps get to cheat by having multiple choices and not having to take a biology class.

Both types have garlic and holy/blessed objects for weaknesses, and both of them are far more physically powerful and able than any human. Sunlight isn't a problem for either one, in spite of a common misconception, but a wooden stake to the heart or decapitation would be. It pays to remember that vampires still have rib cages, so if you opt for a stake, you'll need to bring a drilling hammer and remember where the sternum is.

In terms of raw physical power, they're about the same. The Dracula type might be slightly stronger than your garden variety vampire, but, thankfully, I haven't met enough of them to make much of a case for that possibility.

It's impossible to tell the two 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 infecting humans - known euphemistically as newborns or children. 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 infection that turns people into vampires. The curse won't take hold unless the victim is drained until they're dead. Biting them and letting them bleed out, even if it kills them, simply isn't going to work.

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 both sire and child to be aware of where the other 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 children sired will rise as the first type of vampire, even when they were turned by the second type. There isn't a conclusive answer as to why, but it is generally accepted that the reason is because the kinds of curses that cause vampirism in the second type cannot be transmitted virally. Those curses have to be deliberately placed upon a target, using whatever spells or demonic influences are involved.

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. A male vampire has to get close to a female human without killing or turning her, and carrying a dhampir to term is immensely taxing on humans - few women are capable of surviving past the first trimester. Given how rare they are, only the most basic things are known about them: They're halfway between their parents in terms of physical capability; they have none of whatever powers their fathers possess; they're not affected by the thirst except under some very specific circumstances; and they're completely unaffected by all but the holiest of holy artifacts.

Nobody knows why there's two types that coexist, or why they have different sets of strengths and weaknesses, or why dhampirs can happen at all, or any of the other oddities. Then again, to be honest, none of that really matters at the end of the day. What really matters is that you know that what it is you're encountering might be more than your basic bloodsucker, especially if you intend to fight it."

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