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TRANSMIT - initiate the hematophagy signal - RECEIVE - initiate the strigoi cadance - OFFICIAL REPORTS, AFFIDAVITS OF WELL-KNOWN PEOPLE, OF SURGEONS, OF PRIESTS, OF MAGISTRATES; THE JUDICIAL PROOF IS MOST COMPLETE…AND WITH ALL THAT, WHO IS THERE WHO BELIEVES IN VAMPIRES? - illumine the Menagerie of the Vampire - WITNESS - The Vampires.
TUNING… The folklore frequency…
They stalk the stories of every land of your species, sweetling. Murderous fiends skulking in the dark. Long fangs. Impossible strength. Life eternal. Monsters invisible in the mirror and impervious to pain. Their thirst is never ending. That is what the folklore says, anyway. Fact and fiction meet in the strangest places.
Vampires are humans who become something more and something less through the transfusion of tainted blood. They first marred the world during the First Age. They began as biological experiments on humans in the lab of Lilith. She then improved on the design by mixing these mutants with demons. She achieved a hybrid, something of significant demonic power, all swaddled in human-like flesh.
Eventually, Lilith distilled this process down to a blood-borne agent that, when infused in a human's blood system, would mutate the DNA and start the physical metamorphosis. Lilith also administered the agent into her own body. Already an immortal, she never transformed into a vampire herself. Instead, she gained the freedom to create new demonic children outside of her laboratory – by feeding a subject her blood. She then truly became the Mother of Monsters.
Vampires can mimic the creation process of their mother to create fledglings, by spreading the agent they carry in their own blood. The bite alone does not change a victim. The vampire can drink a victim dry without spreading their condition. Only when the host's blood is consumed in larger quantities will transformation start, perpetuated further by the introduction of the blood-borne agent.
Once turned, the human body changes – drastically at first, then slowly for the rest of the vampire's life. The entire biological system transforms and carries very little resemblance to a human's, but, unlike what the folklore says, they are not dead. The person they once were is gone, with only traces of their humanity and personality retained. Their preternatural callousness inspires the notion of a lifeless heart, but they are not deceased.
The vampire ages slowly, can live millennia, but is not truly immortal or undying. They are living, if a different sort of living from you, sweetling. Their hearts beat slower and their body temperature is much lower. They are not dependent on water or food, but their cellular metabolism still requires oxygen. You can asphyxiate a vampire, sweetling. Oh yes. But the process can take a long time. Only through consumption of the haemoglobin in red blood cells can the vampire live, so they must regularly feed on large quantities of human or animal blood to survive. Because they can store the oxygen in the stolen blood, they are able to remain underground or underwater for long periods of time.
Their strength, reflexes, and stamina surpasses that of the strongest and fastest human, and they seem impervious to pain. Regeneration speed is greatly improved, making it very hard to kill them before their wounds heal and close up. Despite all their strengths, vampires also have weaknesses. The greatest of which is their absolute intolerance for strong ultraviolet radiation. Where humans get sunburns and sometimes develop skin cancer, vampires will die from only a few moments in direct sunlight.
If the heart is destroyed or the vampire is decapitated, it immediately dies. Fire will also kill them if they have no means of escaping the flames. Crucifixes, holy water and garlic do little against these supernaturals. Their image is reflected in a mirror and they can cross running water. While animal blood can keep a vampire alive they prefer human blood, which empowers them, but its potency creates an unavoidable addiction. If ignored, the thirst will eventually lead to a rabid blood rage, in which the vampire loses control and attacks anything in sight. Though some vampires pledge to survive on only animal blood, they cannot avoid the blood rage forever.
As vampires age, they become faster and stronger, and they are better able to control their urges. But while age is power, lineage is even more important. A vampire who descends from Lilith's own creations, or in some rare cases, directly from her, is far more powerful than one who is thousands of years old but several generations diluted.
We see the vampires of Bacaş County. We see the Common Vampire. They are young, recently changed, new to their power, and unprepared for their blood lust. Some are recently turned by a parent vampire, while others are the genetically tweaked experiments from the Red Hand facilities in the valley. They are far less powerful than their elders and especially vulnerable to sunlight. Bred in large numbers, their zeal makes up for their weaknesses.
We see the Padded Vampire. Some common vampires cover themselves in heavily padded makeshift armour. They are quite insane, having been entombed in the Soviet Vault, beneath the mountain, since the early 1970s. Mara recently opened the vaults, letting them loose against the villagers as a distraction from her real plan.
And then there are those who lay low. Not all are murderous beasts. You will never hear of them. In a world of apocalyptic conflicts, they are invisible. They are the vampires that lead anonymous, quiet lives, feeding only from consenting donors or partners. They are out there. They might be the manager of a motel, the one running the register at the all-night adult bookstore, or even someone you know. The mirrors do not reveal them.