Vampires are a species that are very common in mortal mythology. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of novels that have the vampire as their central character. Nevertheless, he is considered fictional in mortal society, which is why the following information is not generally known on Calyria. If you openly admit that you believe in vampires, you can quickly end up in a psychiatric hospital and play the guinea pig there. Or end up as dinner for the very people whose existence society so stubbornly denies.
Vampires are descended from mortals. They're dead mortals kept alive by the curse. Accordingly, the anatomy of the undead is only slightly different from that which they already had in their mortal lives.
Although most vampires are descended from humans or elves, there are also some dwarven or even orcish vampires, who, however, are no better off in vampire society than they were in mortal society.
Differences from mortal anatomy
Although the anatomy of the species remains largely unchanged, death does not leave anyone untouched. In the course of the transformation, new muscles are formed in the upper jaw, which allows the muzzle to retract, so that they are not permanently visible. These muscles are activated voluntarily when drinking or involuntarily when hungry, scared or in combat situations, which is why the vampire's fangs become visible in such situations.
In the first few days after the death of the body, the change that makes the vampire so desirable to mortals sets in. The body fat percentage drops massively, any excess pounds disappear and leave the vampire slim, even almost lean. For this reason, many male vampires appear either very lanky or very muscular concerning their physique.
The internal organs wither away within the first weeks after the death of the mortal body, leaving only dried, completely useless tissue behind. The vampire's entire metabolism is now geared to blood, which he or she urgently needs for survival. The need to breathe evaporates at the very moment of death.
However, every vampire can give himself a glimmer of life by making his dead heart beating and pumping blood through his veins again. This action is quite exhausting and increases the vampire's need for feeding.
The undead develop a massive allergy to sunlight, which causes spontaneous combustion. This allergy is much more pronounced in older and more powerful vampires than in young or weak vampires, who can hardly be counted as undead.
Genetics and Reproduction
Except certain times and rituals, vampires are infertile in the conventional sense. Instead, they reproduce by creating so-called "children". This works - quite simply - by drinking a mortal and then giving him a few drops of his blood to drink. This blood, the Vitae, starts the transformation process that turns a corpse into a vampire - if nothing goes wrong.
However, some vampires traditionally continue their bloodline. For this purpose, certain rites must be performed at a fixed time and place with great power. A mortal woman can become pregnant by a vampire. However, she does not give birth to a vampire, but a Dhampir, half-human and half-vampire, but not belonging to either world.
Growth Rate & Stages
Neonates are the youngest of the vampires and those with the least power. A Neonate is still trying to find his way in his unlife and the new vampire society. Usually, a vampire remains in this status for about 50 years from the night of his embrace.
An Ancilla has left the status of a neonate behind but is not yet old enough to be considered an elder. Ancillae are usually undead for 50 - 150 years and have a fixed, but not very powerful, position within the city they live in.
If a vampire manages to survive for 150 years without being destroyed by his rivals or diablerized by an up-and-coming Ancilla, he has truly earned the position of elder. The Elders are the ones who lead the destiny of a city, advise the prince and - if possible - claim all blood for themselves.
Even the elderly fear the Methuselahs. Vampires who have lived for over a millennium and have amassed much power. The most ancient monsters, some of whom have been on earth since the ancient Egyptians built their pyramids. No one knows how many Methuselahs are still around, but everyone knows that they are better watched out for.
Ecology and Habitats
Vampires are wherever there are humans. The more humans in a place, the more vampires you're likely to find. So it's no surprise that they are mainly in the sprawls, where they mingle with their prey, unrecognized and unnoticed by most. Especially in modern times, life has become easier and easier, while humans increasingly only care about themselves, and the vampire can go hunting unnoticed.
Nevertheless, it would be a mistake to believe that a vampire cannot also live in the country. Many elders do just that from time to time to escape the intrigues of the cities. Then they retire to the countryside with their most loyal servants, the ghouls, and stay there. Sometimes a few days, sometimes a few years.
Besides, one should not forget the vampires who have spent the last decades in Torpor. Due to the massive sprawl, a vampire may wake up in a wasteland that was a thriving small town 60 years ago.
Dietary Needs and Habits
A vampire needs blood to survive, just as a human would need food and water. However, because blood is difficult to grow on trees, vampires need either animals or mortals to feed on. Especially strong vampires even need other vampires to feed on.
The way a vampire feeds depends largely on his or her morals and how old or strong he or she is. While a neonate may still feed on animal blood and can make ends meet at the slaughterhouse, older vampires need human blood. Either from willing donors, from blood banks, or from ignorant prey who only suspect a love bite in the kiss.
Vampires are predators, but they are still dependent on social interaction. The broadest classification of a vampire is by Kindred Clans
and possibly bloodline. This defines the ancestry as well as the natural talents and weaknesses of the vampire, which were created with the embrace.
The political convictions and goals of a kindred
are reflected in the choice of the Covenant
. Although the sire
of a kindred can influence this choice, the final choice is that of the vampire in question.
A smaller group of vampires is the coterie, an association that can be as loose as a community of purpose, but at times as closely connected as a family.
Geographic Origin and Distribution
Vampires not only appear in the myths around the world but are represented in the big sprawls around the world. Usually, there are about 10,000 mortals per vampire, but this calculation also includes the surrounding area, so the number of the entire catchment area for the vampire population must be included. Cities and regions with a high level of tourism can also feed more vampires than those that are largely cut off from the outside world.
Perception and Sensory Capabilities
A vampire hunts in the dark, and his body adapts to that darkness. He sees better than a mortal, and if it's too dark even for that, he uses his hearing. Hearing that is similarly improved - and only gets better over the years. While a fledgeling vampire can hear a mortal's heartbeat from a distance of 3 meters, some elders can hear it from a distance of 30 meters.
This ability pales in contrast to the ability to smell blood. Even a recently created vampire can perceive blood from a distance of 30 meters, for an elder 300 meters is sufficient. Like sharks, they are attracted to it - even if they do not enhance their senses with the abilities that come with death.