Gargouille are an extremely complex breed of vampire originating at the end of a vast period of time in Earth's history known as the Cretaceous. This was a turbulent period in Earth's history as one world-ending event after another was taking place. Doorways across time and space were being ripped open between the World of Man and the Worlds of Shadow and through the mists of time came vampires from Sakkara to the Earth. These vampires would prey upon the Tālus, a semi-humanoid species of Saurian better known for their activities within the Worlds of Shadow. From this evolved creatures called the Serpēntine who would become the oldest breed of humanoid vampires on the World of Man.
So too would come the demonic Grotesques, hideous chimera-like beings with the ability to turn themselves into living stone and to turn others into unliving rock. While lesser-known, Grotesques first arrived on Earth around 67 million years ago with volcanic activity that lasted around four million years resulting in mass extinctions the largest of which resulted from a massive impactor during this time. It is at this time that Gaea manifested to summon the primordial god Caelus both to help bring an end to this period of destruction and to unleash the Celestials to purge it of the growing influences of Hell and the Netherworlds upon it.
These Celestials were not sent merely to destroy as they sought to close the doorways between worlds and to deport those they defeated back into their own dimensions. By now, the Gargouille had come into being as Grotesques had merged with the Serpēntine just as they had also evolved to give rise to the first true Gorgons making them related to the Gargouille through arcane processes. Some of these Gargouille would be buried when a cliff was literally crashed down upon them. Thinking them destroyed, the Celestials abandoned them not seeing that sandy beaches and their own abilities to become living stone might preserve them.
Here they would remain until modern renovators working on a cathedral that had fallen into ruin discovered their remains. Thinking them to be among the oldest carved gargoyles in existence and that they had been removed at some point in the past during a previous restoration, they were hailed as a great archaeological discovery and added to the restoration efforts. When they were added to the cathedral thinking they were renovating areas where they once sat, it was only a matter of time before the ideal conditions came to pass where their life-energies became rekindled. At first somewhat oblivious, the Gargouille would be enlightened by others of their kind that had been awakened in previous centuries by human activity.
They would discover that these Gargouille had learned to take human form to blend in and had actually transformed some humans into Gargouille to become companions. Unlike them, these newly awakened Gargouille could not yet take on human form forcing them to continue living in the shadows by night and frozen as stone during the day. Although they were blood-drinkers, the Gargouille are hybrids allowing them to eat raw meat and drink the blood of animals where most vampires are cannibalistic. Breeding was not an issue with the Gargouille as they could breed as egg layers. What would be a new experience for them was their ability to mate with their human descended counterparts to produce live offspring as well.
At some point in their evolution, they had also crossed their bloodline with that of the Dyndreigiau (Dragon Men) and their rebirth brought forward a particularly powerful beast more dragon in its appearance. Possessing the ability to breathe fire made it a formidable adversary which, when slain, was cremated leaving only its head which could not be burned or destroyed. Instead, it would be mounted on a cathedral wall to scare away evil spirits and the tradition of placing stone gargoyles on buildings and holy places began. But where most appeared more like dragons or demons, some took the form of other creatures like Big Cats anthropomorphized into a humanoid shape.
Although better known as Gargoyles, the Gargouille are a vampiric hybrid breed far more powerful than many. While vulnerable to sunlight, they can harden their bodies into a stone-like material which isn't actually inorganic but takes on inorganic properties. This protects them from sunlight but it does leave them somewhat vulnerable until nightfall or dark, stormy days where the sun is obscured. Those who have been free longer have learned to assume human form but retain some vulnerability to the sun so that they tend to wear protective attire. Being transformed into a Gargouille is possible without this vulnerability but humans who are thusly transformed tend to be weaker which isn't so much a liability as it might seem.
Those born to Gargouille come into the world in one of two ways. Those sired between two Gargouille will be born from eggs and it takes time for their ability to transform into humans to develop. The other are live births which occur primarily between those transformed into Gargouille but are also common among human women who have mated with Gargouille without becoming Gargouille themselves. While more rare, such matings between humans and Gargouille are known and when a human male mates with a Gargouille female, it greatly increases the chance they have some form of live birth. When mating occurs between full-blooded Gargouille and hybrid Gargouille, the result for live birth are around fifty-fifty.
While in their stone forms, Gargouille can be destroyed although their forms are among the most durable on the planet and harder to break. If this happens, their forms can be "repaired" and the arcane powers which created them heal and restore them. This doesn't work if they are slain while in human form where they can be killed by "ordinary" methods that would kill a human, but it is more difficult as they recover and heal fast enough that even damage to the heart or the brain might only slow them down. Yet, there is also a vampiric form of the Gargouille which is more akin to Homo Nocturnus making them even more difficult to kill in humanoid form.
Their fully transformed Gargouille bodys can survive heavy gunfire and explosions but they can only animate these forms at night or low-light conditions. Hybrid Gargouille are far more malleable as they can manifest their full Gargouille forms during the day for brief periods. They know when it's time to revert back to human or seek shelter from sunlight when they begin to slow down. A far more impressive ability is to transform only parts of their bodies and, in human form, they can harden their bodies just enough to endure small weapons fire without this particular curse setting in. However, not all hybrids are vampires as some Gargouille are born cleansed of this but will be just as dangerous. Likewise, not all Gargouille can manifest wings although flight is a typical power Gargouille possess.
Last post by Armorbeast - Yesterday at 05:49:14 pm
The first vampires were beings called the Shushunjë (aka Bloodwings), creatures that had evolved upon the planet N'vāṇa at the very beginning of existence. They were originally bat-like creatures dwelling in caves and caverns until some of their kind discovered the Impaled God. Feeding upon his blood would transform them filling their systems with a parasitic spore that would rewrite their DNA with its own. This process would not kill the creature as the spores own survival depended on the host's continued survival. They were, in a sense, forming a symbiotic relationship where the spores benefitted from the host's higher life functions while the host would acquire certain powers and abilities they did not formerly possess.
This process continued to evolve until becoming more akin to a bacterial or viral infection that would be seen as a disease as these Bloodwings began feeding on other species. Their internal organs had evolved to convert blood into the life-sustaining energies they needed to survive as it is the blood that replenishes and provides life energies to the body necessary for rebuilding and preserving it. Bloodwings did not seek to necessarily kill other living creatures as their original hosts were blood drinkers and they took only what they needed to survive and allowed their victims to recover so they might feed upon them again in the future.
The term Darkblood originated to define this "disease" because the vampire's blood would be so dark that it often appeared almost black. The means for transmission would be the bite of the Shushunjë as its mouth was filled with the infectious pathogen and the "cure" if you could call it that, was to be saturated by natural ultraviolet sunlight. This would only work in the initial stages of the infection and required the victim to remain in sunlight which proved extremely painful leading many to seek shelter from the Sun. If they acted fast enough and could endure the pain, their bodys own healing process could undo the damage, but should the infection be too far gone, this process would kill them instead.
When the transformation was complete, the Sun's ultraviolet light could literally cause their bodies to spontaneously combust and turn to ash proving utterly destructive to them. The need to absorb fresh blood was also a result of the transformation as victims that were not Shushunjë found that their internal organs had been transformed and now they too needed to feed on blood. This need became known as the Thirst because they were now blood-drinkers and fresh blood direct from their victim's bodies would prove the most potent form they needed. Because of the supernatural elements of this curse, if they killed their victims, they could gain greater power at the cost that it becomes toxic to them.
To avoid transmission of darkblood, many vampires learned to have their victims donate their blood without touching them with their mouths. They also learned ways to store donated blood for future needs but there would always be problems with the shelf life of such blood. The older stored blood was, the less effective it would be to curb the Thirst each vampire feels and if they did not find a way to resolve this, the Thirst would take over and it would almost always lead to the death of their victims. Yet, even in death, there would be life as the victims of these attacks would have their lives restored to them if there were still blood in their bodies... thus, the creation of a new type of vampire called the Undead occurred.
The infection period within the Undead would be longer than for a living vampire so that the process of decay may have begun before the vampire is restored to a semblance of life. They may still possess the memories of the original victim but their soul may have already departed leaving the body without the vital force that makes it truly living. The Undead regain this vital force from killing their victims, but this is only temporary lasting days, weeks or months depending on the strength of the vital force they take into themselves. Vampires have found various elixirs and sorcery to restore the vital force to them permanently with one of the most effective being to prey on the yet living of their family bloodline.
Vampires would change and evolve into different strains over the passage of time and some could be dramatically different from others. Drinking blood might not be the only way they could steal the life energies of others into themselves and some developed higher levels of immunity to the effects of natural sunlight while others might become so vulnerable that even artificial ultraviolet light could harm or destroy them. Some could feed on other lifeforms while most could only feed on the life energies of their own kind without consequences. In a sense, most vampires are cannibals and where some easily transmit vampirism, this thankfully became more difficult in many breeds of vampire both for them and their victims.
Because of the variations in their powers, some vampires possess the ability to infect and raise the dead to do their bidding. These are not beings who were infected with the virus while living and they are the complete opposite of vampires being instead flesh-eating zombies. This connection is not always apparent because a vampire's blood can be used in spellcasting to create zombies and spells eventually evolved where you wouldn't need a vampire's blood at all. The most intelligent of these would be the Ghūl while the least intelligent would be nothing more than walking husks hungry for flesh because the bacteria in their bodies has been reanimated providing a weak life force to animate the body.
While the term undead would be applied to all vampires indiscriminately, the reality is that only some of them are Undead. Most are still among the living and the soul of the original host is still within their body although a second soul begins to form known as the Anti-Life or Darkness. It is this relatively unknown force within darkblood that is the connection between undead vampires, zombies and ghūl's animating their bodies with a semblance of life. It is also this "second soul" which causes the Thirst to overwhelm them, that grants their shadows certain abilities and which can be resurrected by various means of sorcery.
Vampires also have connections with werewolves for similar reasons as both are darkblooded creatures and both can be shapeshifters. This creates a situation where vampires somehow feel they are entitled to control werewolves and they will even create werewolves to act as slaves transforming the two species into the greatest of enemies. Even so, there are cases where the two interbreed because their human side experiences mutual affection or love for one another. This then leads to the creation of hybrids such as the Vrykolakas who are often considered more vampire than werewolf although they were more accepted by werewolves than by vampires.
Listing the various powers and abilities of vampires is difficult because there are so many breeds and strains of vampirism. The classification of Homo Nocturnus was created for the main branch of vampires on Earth because one particular branch is most prevalent. Homo Nocturnus are a species of vampire that appear human but their genetic structure has been permanently changed by the curse of vampirism. They are essentially a mutation which genetically still tests positive as human but with a different chromosome count and foreign DNA elements that no other human possesses. These additional elements are conducive to supernatural attributes and abilities much the same way that some humans can wield sorcery where most can't.
In the Worlds of Shadow, such distinctions aren't as important because most humans have some level of ability to wield sorcery. likewise, most humans in the Worlds of Shadow have some sort of "foreign" element introduced into their DNA and the variations of vampire breeds and strains are much greater. On the World of Man, a vampire elf would be exceptionally rare because elves are exceptionally rare so that it is considered as only being a human curse. On the World of Man, they are more interested in extraterrestrials than mythical creatures because belief in extraterrestrials is stronger. Most vampires likewise will not burst into flames when exposed to sunlight nor decompose any faster than when a normal human dies.
All vampires have some level of power to transform even if it's just to conceal their fangs. But such abilities relate to supernatural abilities and this requires practice and training beyond the simplest things. They can transform into animals, a wereling bat-like creature, into a mist, to become invisible and to copy the features of others to take on their appearance although such transformations are never perfect. This ability to alter their appearance is why most vampires seem more beautiful based on their desire to be so even should their true appearance be hideous. But, the longer a transformation is retained, the more it will become the natural appearance of the vampire and their true appearance becomes secondary.
They use powerful pheromones to lure a victim to them using their victims' own sex drive against them to turn them into willing victims. They have powers of mesmerism which can allow them to control the minds of others based on the strength of will their victims may or may not possess as well as the ability of the vampire. A weaker vampire can transform themselves into a more powerful form by overdosing on their victims blood or even to take a trace of vampirism and evolve it into true vampirism such as the case with Countess Elizabeth Báthory de Ecsed who both drank and bathed in the blood of her victims.
The most important weapon to use against a vampire is their beliefs from life. If you convince them that a Christian cross will burn or harm them, then it will after they become vampires. Vampires can overcome such vulnerabilities with effort but even the most powerful among them can still be affected. Lord Magistrate Drăcul provides an example as he can still be affected by Christian crosses, holy water and other vulnerabilities if caught off guard... but only for that reason alone. Things like garlic, counting beans and other things that sound more ridiculous tend to result from humans trying a bit too hard to make things up that will stop a vampire.... but sometimes, even these can work if the vampire believes they will.
A vampire can be impaired by ramming a stake through their heart because they are still living things and this can paralyze them leaving them vulnerable to further actions that will destroy them. Simply plunging a stake through their hearts will not destroy them and should they decompose or even burst into flames, they can be restored. Beheading them does not always destroy them. It is an effective action against those vampires descended from Lord Drăcul because they are taught that it will destroy them by human belief systems... it can even work against other types of vampires based on what they believe. Sunlight is often a vampires greatest weakness and yet, many have developed some to complete immunity from its effects.
Cremation, however, is the most effective way of destroying a vampire for good but even that is no guaranty. Some vampires are more spirit than flesh making cremation far less effective and they can influence those in the physical world to aid them in their rebirth. Those descended from Lord Magistrate Drăcul benefit from the fact he is Unholy for this reason as it gives them a stronger, more powerful spirit even if they gain nothing directly from his being Unholy. Psychic vampires are of this type needing a physical body only to anchor them to the living realm and locating this body to kill it results in their return to the Spirit World or Realms of Death because their host will usually be mortal.
Drinking the blood of a werewolf is also known to have a toxic result on vampires because the werewolf strain of darkblood is more powerful and less vulnerable. Any vampire surviving this experience will pass partial immunity on to its particular strain but none are completely immune except the progenitor of the strain. Silver can affect such vampires because trace elements of the werewolf strain survives within them explaining why some vampires can mimic werewolves but while retaining vampiric weaknesses revealing what they really are. Vampires can be vulnerable to mortal weaknesses like blindness but such vulnerabilities are shortlived and they will recover quickly from things that are permanent for humans.
Last post by Armorbeast - April 06, 2020, 11:10:08 pm
Dhampyre's are the children of a vampire and a human. Sometimes called a Daywalker, most Dhampyre appear like any other normal human but there are differences. They possess somewhat longer canines, slightly larger eyes, a more pronounced nose, larger ears that come to a slight point and a tend to have paler (almost grey) skin tones. The most telling sign of a Dhampyre, however, is only seen when they remove their clothing revealing a raised black spinal column (much larger than normal) that sometimes ends with a small tail. Dhampyre's are stronger, faster, live longer, heal faster and are immune to most human diseases so that some of them are drawn into the health care profession.
The Dhampyre is considered a hybrid because vampires are creatures that have evolved into a separate species from humanity itself. If the father is the vampire in this union, the child will appear more like any other human being much weaker than a vampire with the tradeoff being that they are better practitioners of sorcery. If the vampire is female, they will appear more like a vampire with the tradeoff being they have more vampiric abilities with few vampiric weaknesses. Because they can see vampires for what they are no matter what form they might possess, they often enter the profession of being vampire hunters and, because of their vampiric abilities, bounty hunters.
Being faster, more agile and stronger than humans gives them advantages over humans which has led to Dhampyre being hunted by humans for an all too different reason... learning the secret to passing their abilities to ordinary humans to improve their own physiology. They heal more quickly, have better night vision and possess larger canines allowing them to drink blood to increase their strengths for an extended period. Dhampyre don't need to drink blood but it can become an addiction like humans become addicted to alcohol and act like a steroid enhancing their abilities. The risks of drinking human blood are that they gained increased abilities at the cost of enduring greater vampiric and human vulnerabilities until they recover.
While they won't burst into flames, they will blister and burn far more easily from direct sunlight, they heal more slowly and become susceptible to human diseases. However, they normally drink donated blood because drinking it straight from the source can cause them to be overcome by bloodlust and follow a path where they become true vampires losing the protections the benefits of being part human. Such a benefit is the ability to procreate more effectively with the seventh child almost always becoming a Dhampyre like their parent. The most powerful Dhampyre are hybrids called Dhamrẽ (darktooth), Dhampyre who have been bitten by werewolves as a consequence of their willingness to hunt other supernatural terrors to mankind.
On Sakkara, Dhampyre play a major role in maintaining Lord Drăcul's hold on power and that of the Drăculești. Many are they in his service acting as enforcers, assassins and bloodhunters with many being his own offspring. These Dhampyre are raised within the Imperial House of Reigning Blood wherein exists NouȚara Românească (New Wallachia), a metropolitan city-state where technology exists and functions because this Imperial House is an aberration, a region where the laws of the Worlds of Shadow do not always apply. That's not to say it is fully exempt, but it does mean that sorcery and powerstones provide the power that allows technology to function.
Dhampyre are known for their love of technology and, in particular, firearms. When they leave the Imperial House, they take with them technology that uses powerstones allowing it to function on Sakkara where it otherwise fails to work. They generally use vehicles made for offroad travel because there are no highways on this world to make travel easier. While technology has its place, they also carry weapons forged by sorcery like their swords and daggers just in case their tech somehow fails them. Often called the Sturmabteilung, they are prized by Drăcul because they are both devoted and loyal to his desires with rare exceptions where one might go rogue.
Credits: Art: Song: DARKNESS - A Cyberpunk Mix by GG Music
Last post by Armorbeast - April 05, 2020, 10:53:05 am
The Chupacabra is a vampire dog also known as a Priculics. It's unknown when the first of their kind were created in the distant past using sorcery. Some of these beasts are changelings but it generally takes a human influence upon them to make this happen. One such case occurred in the 16th century when a huntsman found a stray dog that only came to him at night. Seeing his loneliness, the female dog desired to be more than a companion and became transformed into a human woman after killing a child killer to save her surviving children. They became a family and then found their way into the Worlds of Shadow being led by an enchanted animal through a doorway with vampire hunters in pursuit behind them.
They gained the name "goat-sucker" because most of them don't become changelings and they primarily feed on other animals drinking only their blood. The animals they attack are based on their size as pups hunt things like chickens while a full-grown adult might take down a cow. While considered changelings, they are also Daywalkers in that their vampiric abilities exist only at night. That doesn't mean they won't drink blood during the day, it means that their supernatural abilities are impaired. Chupacabra's do eat meat but only during the day and it's not that they can't shapeshift without human influence, it's that their forms are almost alien or demonic which they copy from one another or inherit by birth.
Last post by Armorbeast - April 04, 2020, 07:52:17 pm
The Vrykolakas is a hybrid creature born from the rare mating of a vampire with a werewolf. This rarity is because vampires have fertility problems and most are only able to reproduce within days of their transformations. Werewolves, however, can be extremely potent procreators and both possess a common human form which is where such mating occurs. There were two possible outcomes from such mating as their offspring would either be born a Vǎrkolak or Vorvolakas, the former being the child of a male werewolf and a female vampire appearing more werewolf than a vampire; the latter being the child of a female werewolf and a male vampire appearing more vampire than a werewolf.
Drawn together as outcasts and freaks among the two rival species, the children of these creatures would be a further hybridization more similar than dissimilar called a Wurdulac. The surviving victims of attacks by these three offshoot sub-species would be the first true Vrykolakas being that their bloodline would be purer as the first of their kind. What made them different is that their transformations were not complete and they could cure themselves through the simple act of daily sunbathing to burn away the infection. It would be a painful process where those too weak-willed to endure will fail. Concealment from the sun allows the infection to spread and become permanent allowing them to grow stronger and more powerful.
A final transformation would occur through incestuous relations where they grew a thick second skin externalizing their changeling abilities and leaving only the vampire beneath it with what other abilities they might possess. This second skin serves as a bio-weapon as well as being an extension of themselves taking most of the damage their vampiric bodies otherwise could not endure. Others of their kind lacking this ability would learn that they could flay this second skin away from those that could and wear it as their own becoming transformed in the process until they all possessed this ability. Surviving members of the "progenitors" of this breed would become the Ancients and even they participated in this practice.
The most powerful among these Ancients goes by the identity and title of Volkun and their position is held by how they use their collective wealth, distributing positions in their chain of command and the use of favors to make others indebted to them. Other than this, most Vrykolakas strike out on their own as it is very rare when one of the Ancients is destroyed so that the next oldest among them can be chosen to succeed them. New strains evolved from this with the most powerful being the Vǎrkas. What makes the Vǎrkas so powerful is that sorcery can be introduced to create a second skin with different attributes such as the Mngwa (aka the Nundá) of the Queen of Carnage.
Beneath the second skin, all Vrykolakas have grey skin with black markings, black hair, pointed ears, yellow eyes and slight body hair everywhere except their forearms where it grows much longer. They are far more agile in this form and while they are far more vulnerable, their razor-sharp black claws make them more formidable than most humans can overcome. As one of the more powerful vampire breeds, Vrykolakas possess heightened senses are more oriented towards violence, live longer, have greater immunity to disease and heal faster. But, unlike most vampire breeds, their thirst for blood would only be matched by their hunger for raw bleeding flesh as their werewolf heritage allows them to eat meat.
Without their second skin, Vrykolakas will be extremely violent and murderous because they are more vulnerable to vampiric weaknesses such as being burned by the Sun. They are also vulnerable to enchanted silver and while they don't need to feed on living creatures, the flesh and blood they consume must be fresh. Humans are sometimes prey because cannibalism makes them much stronger... and dining on a human victim's heart and liver are considered delicacies. Classified as Changelings, the Vrykolakas can absorb their second skin to take on their original human appearance or a mixture of those they have fed upon during their existence and they can procreate with humans but their offspring will be human.
Last post by Armorbeast - April 01, 2020, 02:35:22 pm
Myrdread is a world of contrasts within the Worlds of Shadow. It is a world where ancient dinosaurs rule the lands alongside barbarians, lizard men and the wreckage of modern civilizations. It is the only world within the Worlds of Shadow where you will find the ruins of modern warfare but where none of the technology functions except on the most basic levels. Imagine a barbarian riding a T-Rex carrying an AK-47 with a sword on his back in a ruined city from World War II era Earth. Sorcery can make destroyed tanks, cars and other vehicles function as they once did on Earth but it is possible to make them function without it if the basic tech doesn't include electronics or computers to make it work... finding fuel is a more difficult proposition when doing this.
The theme of Myrdread isn't that difficult to understand. Think Cadillacs & Dinosaurs, Thundarr the Barbarian, Mad Max, Conan the Barbarian, the Lost world... and toss in some fantasy characters like an Orc driving a battletank fueled by a power crystal.
But, this is also a world dominated by deserts. Not necessarily extremely hot, just arid because only certain areas of this world have water above ground within easy access. Those places which are more lush and full of life also tend to be the places most heavily fought over and where one finds even more modern ruins. This is, overall, a human-dominated world but it's a world where barbarians rule and it is foremost a world of swords and sorcery... and dinosaurs!
It is also a world where you will find more modern clothing and culture so that you might have a barbarian warlord wearing a bikers jacket with a bikini-clad babe listening to cassettes on a Sony Walkman.
Think of it as a post-apocalyptic world where Cimmerians and other ancient barbarians find themselves lost in and where dinosaurs are the dominant lifeforms.
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