Vampirism

Once, they were human, but not anymore. Through the blood, Vampires are able to maintain a facsimile of life, but they are still undeniably walking corpses. They do not age or heal, but stay forever pristinely, freshly, dead.   Beyond giving them a second life, the blood imbues the vampire with a supernatural fortitude, an enhanced sense of smell and hearing, and far superior night-vision. Some are even offered further dark powers. As time draws on, Vampires slip further and further away from humanity.  

The Blood

  The blood and the vampire are one. Vampires can control their own blood within their body. They don't blush nor bleed unless they want to. Blood can also be spent to restore the body to the state they were in during their resurrection, barring any changes made by the blood itself. This is the only way vampires are capable of healing themselves.   Every night, a vampire spends approximately a pint of blood maintaining their unlife. It is unnatural for them to wake up while the sun is still in the sky, and it costs them an additional pint of blood to attempt to rise during the day.  

Degeneration

The longer a vampire lives, the further removed they are from humanity. Only through self-control can a vampire keep ahold of their humanity. However, vampires are inately creatures of instinct and ego. With the blood, comes a disposition towards frenzies. During a frenzy, vampires can't keep themselves from instant gratification, be it hurting someone or taking what they want.   As the humanity slips away, which it inevitably does, the blood blooms. As it blooms, the vampire develops new traits that not even the restoration can revert.  

Supernatural Fortitude

  Vampires do not heal, but the sort of damage that would normally be lethal to a human does little to a vampire. Blunt trauma does not cripple them, and unless a bullet is directed at the heart or head, it does very little actual damage to a vampire, who simply doesn't need their body the same way humans do.   All vampires, however, have an intolerance for the sun. Even in the least advanced cases of Vampirism, a ray of sunlight burns like fire, and indirect sunlight can be enough to cause a sunburn within minutes. They have a similar intolerance and natural aversion to fire.

Vampiric Society

  Euphemistically called Polite Society, Vampiric society is an machivellian web of secrets, grudges and favours. Polite Society is no misnomer. Without strict rules of social conduct, Vampiric society is impossible. When your senior cannot keep himself from tearing out your throat if you displease him, it is, indeed, best to avoid such displeasure.   Polite Society is archaic, maintaining traditions long past their time of glory among humans. In Europe, vampiric Queens and Kings still reign supreme over their courts.  

Affiliations

While most vampires consider the social season a necessary part of business rather than pleasure, others thrive in the vampiric social scenes. Known as Socialites, these vampires congregate even outside of the social season, and often make it their business to know who's who and what's going on with everyone.   Secret societies are rife within polite society, where hidden ingroups are always trying to get the better of the rest. Not all ingroups are quite so secretive; The Order has established itself in most courts. The Order are masters of the dark arts, capable of blood magic far beyond that of any other vampire. Distrusted and disliked, many still find themselves bargaining with the Witches of the Order to protect their interests.

Cover image: by Annie Stein

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