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Vampirism

Vampires are one of the most advanced undead but are varied in number and often ability. Most vampires can be broken down into four grades of power and danger:

  • Vampire Ancestors Created by the Philosophers Blood the ancestors are the most powerful and closest to mortals
  • Vampire Masters Reborn from the ritual of shared blood with an ancestor vampire the master vampire has most of the powers of the ancestors they are burned by sunlight and can be killed by a wooden stake or decapitation. These creatures have difficulty with more complex emotions and morals.
  • Vampire Lords Created from the ritual of shared blood with an master vampire the vampire or raised from the dead by only the most powerful of necromancers a vampire lord is weaker than the vampire master in terms of power and resistance to sunlight. A lord's emotions are much more muted except anger, fear, and the constant craving for blood
  • Vampire Thralls Can be created by an sufficiently powerful necromancer or a vampire lord. Unlike the rest of their species sunlight will destroy any part of a thrall and can be killed with enough damage to their head or their heart. Most thralls have such reduced mental capacity they are closer to beast than men. Given enough blood a thrall might gain enough of a sense of itself but said awareness last as long as the blood does.

Transmission & Vectors

A Vampire can be created from the Philosophers Blood alchemcical infusion, the ritual of shared blood, and the spell to summon the undead cast by a master necromancer. Depending on who and how a vampire is created will result in one of the four degrees of vampirism.   The ritual of shared blood when performed by a vampire will create another vampire of a power below thus an ancestor vampire who performs the ritual will create a master vampire, a master vampire will create a vampire lord, and a vampire lord will create a vampire thrall who cannot create other vampires.   The majority of vampires are found in Forbuho and Corrlus. Vampires did not appear outside of Forbuho until the Great Undertaking killed off most of the vampires and the drow vanished with Obsidian. Those vampires that were in hiding or away from the city at the time were forced to feed off of animals and titans until they could gather enough of their follow hungry dead to attempt a voyage across the sea.

Symptoms

Necromantic power drains much of the color from a vampire's body making even the dark skinned drow look ashen. A vampire must feed at least half a liter of blood every three days or else they will become lethargic. Should the vampire go a week without blood they will become torpid and longer than two weeks will render a vampire into a hibernation in a near death stasis.

Prognosis

The anatomy and morphology of a vampire depends on their parent species though all vampire gain a second set of teeth ranging from extended canines to a whole mouth of fangs depending on the bloodline. Vampire bodies cease to work like their living counterparts though the blood that seeps throughout their bodies has necromantic properties that allows them to act without any other needs.   Vampire senses become supernaturally enhanced gaining night-vision, enhanced hearing, and the ability to smell blood from more than a mile away. The afflicted will cease to age or grow as the vampire becomes a static creature. While there have been rumors of vampires performing rituals or living long enough to ascend to a higher power none have ever stepped forward to prove such a claim.

History

The drow of Forbuho all suffer the same curse that prematurely ages them. Not wishing to lose their greatest minds they turned to dark magics including the developing the early forms of necromancy and creation of most of the undead. Morgana LeFay and Elan Varlov both were instrumental in creating the alchemical elixir known as Philosophers Blood that transformed Elan Varlov into the first vampire ancestor. From there he gave the same elixir to several close friends and family and developed the ritual of shared blood to pass vampirism to those willing to risk their souls.  

I attempted to convert my daughter with the ritual of shared blood hoping she would arise a vampire lord. Instead she arose as a thrall. Lord Varlov says her soul was not strong enough, that there was nothing to be done. Now she is little more than a mindless beast and without my control she would kill her own husband and drink his lifeblood. Tomorrow we will greet the sun, I know she will die instantly but I fear it may take time for my own end. -Jhuris A'Darorzza Master Vampire
  After establishing the Court of Blood the vampires controlled a third of the drow kingdom until they overthrew Morgana LeFay and took control of more than half the kingdom. But due to the Great Undertaking critically failing and wiping out the majority of the undead in Forbuho many vampires fled or went dormant hoping time would pass. Instead the majority of living Drow vanished leaving most of the undead alone on the island.   Gathering together they took what few living drow and docile beasts to the sea in search of the other mortals. Corrlus was their first stop but the various undead that had sailed across the sea could barely stand each other and spread throughout the world introducing necromancy and the undead to every continent.  
We landed none too soon as we had nothing left save the few living drow we had mesmerised. I feared either falling into dormancy without blood or being devouring during the day by a hungry gast. Mostly I am glad for land for had we waited one more day without sight of land I feared I might try to throw the lich Bleak overboard into the sea. I hear he traveled into some necropolis and made it the seat his empire. I will be sure to send gold to those meddlesome Knights of Rose in hopes they kill the damned corpse. -Diary of Eldaer Lhalune Vampire Lord
  As of now ancestor vampires and almost all vampire masters have all been lost though there is the possibility to make more if the formula for Philosophers Blood is found again. Even with the spell to create undead able to summon a vampire thrall or rarely a vampire lord their numbers are insignificant though this does not make them any less a threat.

Cultural Reception

Vampire Myths

Most myths and legends of the current vampires revolve around the properties of the Philosopher's Blood Elixir or vampires ascending higher states after drinking powerful blood or surviving long enough that their blood matures and a vampire lord transforms into a master vampire. A few vampire lords believe master vampires still reside in Forbuho but lay dormant in hidden locations, waiting for loyal servants to reanimate and reclaim the island.  

Major Figures with Vampirism

  • Elan Varlov the Blood King and the progenitor of the vampire race
  • Vantus Malvolo, ancestor vampire and right hand to the Blood King
  • Torres Buvata, ancestor vampire and High Steward to the Drow Court of the Dead under Morgana LeFay
  • Bella Shrek, ancestor of the most prolific bloodline of vampires that have survived today

Type
Magical
Origin
Magical
Rarity
Extremely Rare

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