Vampires are undead predators that are characterized by their human or mortal shapes, elongated canines, corpse-like pallor, the need to drink mortal blood (or in some cases, consume mortal life force, chi, energy, etc), and their weakness to sunlight. Many nation states of Siveth consider them kill on sight, as vampires frequently leave behind a string of murder victims in their wake. They tend to be solitary creatures that do not tolerate the presence of rivals well.
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No one can really say for certain where vampires came from, even among the fanged predators themselves. Many cultures around Siveth have a story or myth about a sort of corpse like predator that preys upon weaker mortals, and their origin stories are all varied within them. Some say that it was originally a curse from a local deity. Others say it was the result of foul blood magic and the trafficking with demons. Whichever it might be, the fact remains that vampires do exist. If a single progenitor for vampires exists, then they are a well hidden secret.
No matter their origin, vampires share many of the same traits:
- Aura of Undead: Despite their best attempts with magic, vampires exude an malefic aura that many mortals feel as uneasiness they can't quite explain. Clerics, paladins, rangers, druids and many races of beastkin are particularly sensitive to this aura and can detect when a vampire enters their presence.
- Corpse-like Pallor: Vampires are dead bodies animated by a magical curse, and as such, their skin is bloodless white, or outright ashen. There is something very uncanny about their appearances that can be unsettling to mortals. Many vampires use cosmetics or utilize their magical blood to fill their outer tissues with the bloom of life.
- Elongated Canines: As predators, vampires have longer canines than their mortal origins. In many vampires, these fangs are retractable and are only extended when it comes time to feed.
- Hunger For Mortal Life: Vampires cannot sustain their magical lives on normal, mortal food. Depending on the type of vampire, their consumption of the blood or the mortal life essence takes different forms. Many vampires simply drink the blood of living creatures, receiving the greatest potency of sustenance from humanoid life; some must consume the flesh to receive any sustenance. Others feed on the essence or life energy of their victims, sometimes simply by existing within the mortal's space.
- Immortality: So long as a vampire can feed on mortals, their unnatural lives can span centuries.
- Sunlight Vulnerability: All vampires on Siveth are extremely vulnerable to sunlight, insomuch that they instantly burst into flame under direct sunlight.
Properties of Vampiric Blood
Vampiric blood can bestow many boons upon the mortals whom imbibe it. Enhancing the mortal drinker's speed, constitution and strength, vampiric blood is similar in effect to steroids. Mortals can rapidly heal themselves of grievous wounds utilizing the vampiric blood's magic that lingers in their bodies. There is a finite amount of artificial magic that a mortal can absorb from vampiric blood, so mortals must be careful how they utilize the blood's magic. Vampiric blood can expand mortal's lifespans, so long as there is always some of it remaining in their bodies.
Naturally, there are drawbacks to drinking a vampire's blood. Not only is it extremely addicting, but mortals find themselves fascinated by their vampiric donors, willing to believe promises, and often seeking their approval and praise. Regular drinkers can be bound to the vampire's will, and will discover that their desires are no longer their own. Withdrawals from vampiric blood are severe, and in the cases of those mortals whose lifespans have been extended past normal limits, they will simply die. Often times, vampiric slaves must be chained in spaces until they can detox from the heady draught of temporary immortality.
Vampires are known for hypnotizing, captivating, seducing, or drugging mortals to be their chosen servants. Capitalizing on their addictive blood, vampires will sometimes slip small samples of their blood into the food or drink of mortals they're hosting. Once this happens more than once, victims will find themselves attracted to the vampire. Often times, free will is stolen from the mortal servant, until they are sustained on nothing by the vampire's regard. Servants who have managed to survive past their normal lifespan are completely reliant on their vampire to continue providing the blood that powers their unnatural lives. This is just one more way that a vampire ensnares their victims.