has some notably different features from other types
, particularly those involving transmission and blood chemistry.
- 1. Summary of main properties
- 2. Pathology
- 3. Sunlight
- 4. Feeding
- 5. Transmission
- 5.1. Susceptible species
- 7. External links
1. Summary of main properties
This particular strain has these characteristics:
- Life is indefinitely prolonged
- the vampire won't die 'naturally', though it may be killed (see Extermination)
- physical signs of ageing stop, leaving the victim looking whatever age it was when infected
- Healing processes are changed
- greatly improved for flesh injuries
- broken bones still take a while to heal and can sometimes develop infection-type complications
- Reflexes and stamina are improved to a modest degree
- Senses are reconfigured
- improved dark vision
- slightly improved other senses (vs average; someone with, eg, exceptional hearing beforehand might find it degrade)
- especially tuned to humanoid life
- The vamp must drink blood to survive
- around a pint and a bit/750 ml minimum [subject to change; it's surprisingly hard to google for the number of calories in human blood] every 24 hours
- otherwise it becomes comatose and unable to feed itself, and so starves to death
- Sunlight is painful and burns the flesh
- Flesh becomes pale (i.e. any suntan fades) within days after infection
- in light-skinned subjects
- those with naturally dark skin retain the colour, though look anaemic, and will not tan
- Changes to teeth
- canines seem to lengthen slightly and become sharper, extending further while on the hunt
- new vampires who had no teeth will actually grow them
- in fact the bones undergo some changes too, but these are slow and long-term
- The saliva is filled with sedative chemicals and toxins; these and other chemicals are also present in the vampire's own blood
- Psychological changes of an unknown quantity
- some victims show no discernible change in personality
- others seem to go nuts
- some degenerate into instinct-based killers; these usually cause a lot of damage and get themselves killed quickly
The original source of this vampirism is unknown. It's definitely a mixed bag, having more (and more serious) drawbacks than other types of vampirism
. In particular, new vampires are especially vulnerable (see Transmission).
This is cited, particularly by clerical researchers, as evidence that the vampirism is 'unnatural' because it is ill-adapted to survive and contains many major flaws not found in 'natural' creatures. Arguments along these lines tend to look weaker on closer examination because not much effort is spent precisely defining the terms 'natural' and 'unnatural'.
Sunlight causes burns, much like sunburn on a healthy human but a lot faster. More than a few seconds in direct sunlight is fatal. The burns always heal if the vampire escapes in time, but can take months to do so.
Weaker sunlight, such as moonlight, or most kinds of artificial light are bearable. Near or total darkness is best. The vampire's dark-optimised eyesight is also very poor in bright light.
The vampire catches and subdues a victim using whatever method is appropriate, then uses its fangs to open a vein. (Not an artery. Those fountain
.) A vampire couldn't possibly drink an entire eight pints at a time; this means some victims may survive if the vampire wants them to.
The chemicals in the saliva get into the victim's bloodstream, with sedative and mildly poisonous effects that can linger for a few days.
Animal blood will do instead of humanoid, though vampires tend to be snobbish and smaller animals don't contain enough for a decent meal.
The chemicals in a vampire's blood, and the energy level principle, mean that another vampire's blood is less nutritious than a healthy person's. It'll do at a pinch but it's a poor meal.
Vampires don't have to understand the ecology of it all to know this. Along with the physiological changes come different chemical receptors and instincts. Another vampire just doesn't smell as tasty.
A vamp makes more vamps as follows:
- Feed upon the intended victim
- not necessary and certainly does not have to be to the point of death; the sedative in the saliva just makes the victim more manageable
- Forcefeed the victim some of the vampire's blood
- it contains a stronger sedative agent along with immunosuppressives
- but, equally importantly, this stage serves to stimulate the vampire's body to manufacture the proper toxins
- Wait 24 hours
- for the victim to be in an ideal state
- and for those toxins to be at their peak concentration
- Bite into the victim's spine at the neck, injecting the main infectious material
It takes two or three nights for the infection to take hold completely, during which time the new vampire is weak, helpless and in a lot of discomfort. The new vampire must be fed blood if it is to survive this time. This is usually done by the 'parent' vampire, in what one writer has described as "a perverted mirror of a mother bird bringing food home to her chicks".
5.1. Susceptible species
Incomplete list of species that can be infected by this vampirism (i.e. can become this type of vampire).
- Humans from Silver's world - fully compatible (as far as this strain can be compatible, anyway)
- Animals from Silver's world - not compatible, though can be poisoned
- Species from Shade - not compatible, possibly can be poisoned
- Animals and humanoids from Weft's world - incompatible, would be fatally poisoned
The author assumes any species not mentioned here will be incompatible in the same way as Shade, but is happy to arrange things otherwise by mutual consent with other writers.
Several organisations exist with the purpose of eliminating vampires
. Many of these are sponsored by the major religions
, who usually teach that vampires are abominations.
There is no cure. Holy symbols have no effect other than the psychological (which need not be discounted in victims who had religious upbringing); placebos work just as well.
Killing a vampire is easy but dangerous. Dazzling it with a bright light is a tried-and-true tactic. Despite its regeneration factor, a vampire will die if it sustains injuries too far beyond what would kill a healthy human. Puncturing a ventricle will kill anyone; lop off a limb or two and it will probably bleed to death. Getting it out into the sunlight does the job for you.
Dead vampires do not turn into dust or assume the appearance of a body that has been dead since the time of infection. They do, however, decompose relatively fast. Their remains are toxic thanks to the cocktail in their blood.
7. External links
- A note about [melanin] from Wikipedia, explaining the difference in pigmentation between Caucasian and others