A vampire's appearance depends largely upon the species they were before turning into a Vampire. HVV does not cause drastic changes in its hosts' appearances, although all Vampires do develop sharpened canines to assist in drawing blood for feeding, unless their original species already has sharpened teeth. Due to a weakness to Vitamin D toxicity vampires do avoid direct sunlight when possible, resulting in the paler complexion of an individual accustomed to remaining indoors.
Given their adverse impact on those around them and their frequent ability to blend in while hunting for their next victim, the need to recognize a vampire has never been a more critical skill than it is today. One cannot expect to defend themselves and their families from these imposter and their bloodthirsty ways without memorizing the signs. Fortunately for you, I am an expert in this subject and have written down everything I know.
- Vampires possessed fanged canine teeth, even if their people generally do not have sharp teeth.
- Vampires do not show signs of aging or illness. Sometimes they even seem to age backwards! That neighbor of yours who hasn't aged a day since they moved in eight years ago? Vampire!
- Vampires heal quickly. It doesn't matter what injury it is, they will recover faster than you could ever dream possible. But don't cut a vampire yourself just to see this healing in action! Their blood carries the virus and you run the risk of infecting yourself. Instead using a ranged tool, such as a bow and arrow.
- Watch what they eat. Vampires avoid eating fish, so if you suspect someone of vampirism invite them to share a fish with you. If they refuse? Vampire. Vampires also eat less than the average person due to a slower metabolism, so if your date picks at their meal? Vampire.
- Vampires' skin adopts a slightly pale pallor due to their avoidance of the sun. If your friend is looking more pale than usual, spends all day indoors, and is now unavailable to spend time with you until after dark? They have likely recently contracted vampirism.
- Vampires are cold. Their slower metabolism allows them to maintain a much lower body temperature and many are just warm enough to not freeze solid. If your traveling companion feels cold to the touch, they are definitely a vampire. People who appear oblivious to the freezing cold are also likely vampires.
- Vampires crave iron, especially blood. If your coworker wants your lunchgroup to eat steak regularly, they are probably a vampire. On the other hand some vampires claim to follow a strict meat- and blood-free diet, so your coworker who is carefully tracking their calories or professes vegetarianism is probably also a vampire.
Genetics and Reproduction
Vampires can still reproduce in the manner of their original species, although they will likely infect both their partner and subsequent offspring with vampirism unless sufficient precautions are observed. Vampirism can be contracted through shared exposure to bodily fluids, most notably blood but also through other, more intimate fluids, although there have been no known cases of transmission by sweat or saliva. Once contracted it cannot be cured.
Growth Rate & Stages
Victims of vampirism will no longer age in the conventional sense, but rather maintain their outward appearance forever. They will, however, become more powerful with age as HVV propagates throughout their DNA and the affliction provides them with higher Imperium production and stronger ties to the Magical Fields.
Dietary Needs and Habits
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As a side effect to their vampirism a vampire's body temperature is maintained at a much colder temperature than pre-affliction, just enough to prevent freezing. Some consider vampires to be cold blooded, although the majority of the scientific community rejects this classification because vampires still regulate their own body temperature. They are known for a weakness to sunlight but in actuality their immediate adverse reactions are due to the accompanying heat, rather than the sun itself. Most vampires do attempt to avoid direct sunlight however, even on cold days, due to a weakness to Vitamin D toxicity, but as it takes time for the body to convert sunlight into Vitamin D the effects are not as immediate.
Civilization and Culture
Common Myths and Legends
Many myths surround vampires, most of which have basis in facts. A few of the more common misconceptions are broken down below.
Blood and InfectionThe most common tales of vampires speak of nocturnal monsters seeking to drink the blood of the innocent, and occasionally infect another with vampirism. While vampires of this nature do exist they are on the fridge of vampiric subculture, as most vampires would prefer to live in harmony with the rest of society and resent the more violent vampires for living up to the fears of the general populace. Blood contains high concentrations of iron, and infections with the haemovapira virus (HVV) does increase the afflicted's daily iron requirements due to the increase in Imperium production caused by the virus. Vampires can smell iron, and would therefore be aware of blood as an iron-rich food source. Most vampires rely upon simple iron tablets for their daily intake requirements, but vampires without a mentor or a vampiric family frequently follow the myths of blood drinking out of hunger, desperation, and just not knowing any better way to consume what they require. When it comes to infection, ironically it is safer to be bitten by a vampire than to fight with one. HVV is not transmitted via the saliva and so an individual bitten by a vampire will not contract vampirism unless the saliva also contains blood, such as from an open mouth wound. When fighting, however, there is a greater chance of both parties experiencing open wounds which will increase the odds of an exchange of infectious fluids. This is not to say an individual should simply submit to any passing vampires, but it is an important factor to consider when responding to such a threat.
Sunlight and GarlicVampires are not weak to sunlight itself, but due to their slower metabolism and lowered body temperature they are extremely vulnerable to heat. In addition, they experience Vitamin D toxicity at much lower concentrations and so prolonged exposure to sunlight could actually make them sick as they process the sun exposure into Vitamin D. This is also the root of the myths detailing vampiric aversion to garlic, which is not harmful to vampires and actually quite beneficial due to its high iron and Vitamin C content. Vampires do, however, avoid the consumption of fish due to the high Vitamin D content in the more fatty varieties. Garlic remains a popular ingredient in many fish recipes throughout Fillimet and has therefore been confused with the refusal to eat the fish itself.
Coffins and UndeathVampires without a mentor or vampiric family are forced to fend for themselves, finding what peace and shelter they can on the outskirts of society. Older graveyards remain a popular choice for these abandoned individuals due to the low traffic and various cultural superstitions, and so it is not uncommon to find a vampire in residence within a crilumbling mausoleum. Vampire families seeking new members have also taken to patrolling graveyards in the hopes of locating these abandoned vampires to indoctrinate into their own family beliefs and way of life, which only adds to the myths. Their lower regulated body temperature does little to assuage these beliefs.
TransformationsSome claim that vampires can transform into bats to more easily consume the blood they crave. Reports are backed up by tales of pursuing a vampire until they suddenly disappear, sometimes accompanied by the sound of wings. In actuality the vampires are transforming into Nighthunters a nocturnal bird known for its effective pollination and forming the backbone of Pollination by Night. This skill of transformation requires a more advanced case of vampirism for the HVV to spread throughout the body, as well as training under a more experienced vampire, but all vampires will be able to transform at will once these requirements are met.
Stakes and BeheadingsVampire hunters argue as to whether a stake through the heart is an effective method to kill a vampire, or if beheading is a more guaranteed method to ensure their destruction. The simple truth is that both methods are equally effective, as is any method which kills the vampire outright rather than relying upon them succumbing to their injuries. HVV boosts the immune system and healing processes of individuals afflicted with vampirism but it cannot bring them back from the dead. Therefore the most effective way to kill a vampire is to kill them.
Interspecies Relations and Assumptions
Members from any other sapient species can be converted into Vampires, so their opinions on other sapient species are actually quite diverse and typically built upon their opinions before becoming a Vampire. Many of course now view non-vampiric species as inferior lesser races only useful for food or labor, but others still hold great respect for their former kin. It's all a matter of the perspective of the individual. Other sapients view vampires with distrust and unease and will actively shun known vampires, even if they had formerly been held in high regard. As a result those afflicted with vampirism tend to uproot their lives every few decades to avoid uncomfortable truths about their behaviors and lack of aging. Others prefer to live alone, or in vampire-centric communities. Vampires who do not consume the blood of sapient species, and even those who choose to attempt life as a vegan vampire, have been unable to break free of the stigma of the hungry, predatory vampire draining the life essence of the innocent.
A vegan vampire? Now I've heard of everything. Just wait until you're starving for iron, hunger always shows the truth. You vampires are all predators, eventually.
- Average Height
- Dependent upon original species