The Truth Behind The Legends
If we’re to speak of my kind, you must put aside the lies told to you by pop culture and be willing to listen. What I’ll tell you the hunters have already discovered, but you are an Innocent and know only what was fed to you. It is your own who created the lies. Religion and rulers gave us made-up weaknesses to provide you hope that we could be defeated with ease. It made you feel less helpless and gave you faith. I will take that away from you – your naivety and your innocence. In doing so, you will become a target for my kind, or even the hunters. You must understand that in knowing you create problems for both of us.
Little of the legends are true, but were correct in stating that we are nocturnal creatures. That doesn’t predispose us to the complications you so strangely believe. The sun harms you more than it does us, in body at least. As your kind was created to walk the day and suffer consequences from attempting to change that, we suffer the opposite. Vampires who attempt to accommodate a more human schedule grow fatigued and increasingly lose the ability to control their powers. In that way, you could say the sun does us harm but, in truth, vampires have no specific weaknesses, common aversions, or fears.
What we do suffer from is the need for blood. Specifically, we require human blood to survive, animal blood is no more use to us than the blood of our own kind. Without it we will wither away, much like one of your own will suffer if starved, yet we will not die. Still, blood is not quite as integral as you have been led to believe, and it’s a rare time we lose our heads to it. However, for a vampire to subsist solely off blood they must become killers. The amount it takes to maintain ourselves this way creates monsters. Perhaps to mirror their corrupt souls, their bodies become shriveled and not pleasing to the eye. To the rest of vampire society, they are a reminder of what we can become if we lose ourselves to the predator. So we feast on food, and blood, and wine. We nourish our bodies and hope that time and power don’t turn what is under our flesh into the demons our blood-soaked kin fell to so readily.
Locked In Time
Unlike the ones who made us, Descendants lose our ability to adapt to the world. Our bodies never change and thus we slowly begin to stand out. This inability to adapt also affects our comprehension of changes in society and technology. Once a few hundred of years pass, a great number resist the changes happening in the human world. They will pull away from the humans, except to feed. These vampires are known as Anchorites.
As a whole, vampire society thinks a few hundred years behind our human counterparts. It takes new and fresh Descendants to overrule the most dated beliefs of their elders. There are those who do not become so stagnant, however, even they will pull back from human society as both their power and appearance can make them become obvious.
The name is obvious; we descend from the blood of the Paragon – our Dominas – and carry on their legacies. Some bloodlines are close, like a family. Others stray far from their clan or bloodline – whatever you might have it – and live independently. Yet we are irrevocably tied to each other by a bond that can be severed only by death. Though we are incapable of creating others, we are often the ones who bring forward those worthy of Paragon blood. Each bloodline has its own trials when it comes to the turning, and some – one in particular, is rather lethal if the candidate isn’t, well … prepared.
“If vampires have so few weaknesses, how is it we do not overrun the world?”, you may ask. Other than a short supply of Paragon, and the sheer amount of blood and time it takes to create a new vampire, the answer is simple: we are our own worst enemies. We Descendants were all once human and as our growing power lays into us with the teeth of entitlement, we struggle to hold onto that morality. The truth is though that we are no longer what you are and there is no escaping that we are the hunters of men. Those who try wither and die, or at worst starvation turns them into the monsters they feared becoming in the first place. There is no return from that.
There are crimes among our kind. Laws and punishments are decided upon and enforced by the Magnate and a council of Paragon. The lesser crimes are ours to deal with. Vampires must be careful who they make enemies of because while – if we’re lucky our clan will avenge our deaths – we are still dead and no greater force will care or fight to stop it from happening to another. A Descendant is lucky if they remain close to their Domina because no Descendant in their right mind would wish to anger one of them.
This young-looking vampire has incredible influence and wealth in which to draw on. Vincent is a calm voice of reason and faith.
Michael Bayne‘s Guardian, Amy, is trendy and outspoken, taking no trouble from anyone. She is a master of manipulation and guile.
Praefect of Michael’s clan, he’s the enforcer of the clan’s laws. Surprisingly powerful, there are few that could stand against him.
The ShadowCrafter’s Guardian, Marcus is cruel yet patient, he sees the greater plan behind every subtle move in the game.
Powers and Abilities of Vampires
If you do not use a muscle, it will atrophy. The same happens with our powers. Upon turning, vampires are granted gifts of the blood, abilities and powers quintessential to our existence. We move faster, have better stamina, heal more quickly, and are far stronger than you, but these do not get better on their own as we age. Take our speed for example. Upon turning a vampire must adapt to this ability, the body may move, but the mind must be trained to accept this. Instinct kicks in and vampire reacts, but may become confused after finding they have done something they hadn’t expected.
It takes time, practice, and dedication to surpass the simple creature you become. Some are content with the initial gifts, or perhaps – untaught by their brethren – they simply don’t know there is more. The extra abilities that come with enough power are varied, and though your bloodline may make is easier or even possible to learn them, they must be taught if one is to get truly proficient with them. Those who are not taught, or do not listen, rarely survive. If a vampire calls on more of the power than their body or mind can handle, they could easily die from it. It is unfortunate, but a reality. One does not learn to swim by throwing themselves in the ocean and hoping for the best, and yet every year many Descendants do exactly that.
True reward comes to the most determined of vampires – a hint of the powers wielded by the Paragon themselves. An Essence is an aura that takes our powers and makes them affect an area around us. Essence affects the emotions of those within in. Fear, calm, pleasure, or whatever is at the core of its owner. It ensures a successful feed. Through this ability we can create the hunt we wish, and with it we can truly become more than the predator we house.
Becoming A Vampire
It’s said that a Paragon can tell who will survive turning by looking at them, by their smell, or maybe a note within the blood. If you cannot tell by now, becoming a vampire is not so assured as your movies would have you believe. If you survive turning, you must then survive your own powers trying to kill you, then survive other Descendants and the hunters, and if you’re lucky, you will live long enough to know what it is to watch the ages pass.
For a human to be turned there must be as little blood in their body as possible, but enough to hold them on the edge of death. Only at this time will the Paragon blood take root. Once it has, the human will drop into a coma. During the next couple of days they stand a significant risk of dying as their DNA is rewritten. Changing species, as you might imagine, is not particularly easy.
One of the final steps of the transition happens when the vampire fangs form under the gums. They push out the human canines and emerge in their place. While vampires have pronounced canines, they do not become usable fangs until they are unsheathed. This can happen either through conscious effort or through pronounced hunger or stimulation. Speaking of which,
Baring fangs as a threat is considered a sign of weakness as is growling and other animalistic tendencies. Still, they are instinctual reactions that take time and dedication to learn to control. Only one clan accepts them from their brethren, but the Watku keep to themselves.
In the End
This insight into our people is only that, a page in a book. Should you ever be turned, the story will be revealed to you one more page at a time. You must earn the trust of your people, and that of the Magnate who has spies everywhere. If you are selected by a clan that cares for their own, the tale will unfold quickly, if not, find a teacher – as fast as you can – and pray that you can trust them. Ours is not a world with much forgiveness.