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The Great Expanse
Worlds of Shadow
Started by Armorbeast, April 08, 2020, 05:49:14 pm
April 08, 2020, 05:49:14 pm
The first vampires were beings called the
(aka Bloodwings), creatures that had evolved upon the planet
at the very beginning of existence. They were originally bat-like creatures dwelling in caves and caverns until some of their kind discovered the
. 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.
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
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
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
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
. 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
who are often considered more vampire than werewolf although they were more accepted by werewolves than by vampires.
Powers & Abilities
Listing the various powers and abilities of vampires is difficult because there are so many breeds and strains of vampirism. The classification of
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.
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.
Song: Mitternacht by E Nomine
The Great Expanse
Worlds of Shadow
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