“Vampirism is an old curse; a wretched strain that thrives from inhumane depravity and the desire to commit one's life to sin under the promise of power and euphoria. There is no cure for it short of death, for not only is it a disease, but the embodiment of all that is corrupt within the mortal soul - violence, sex, greed. ... Though the powers and strengths it grants upon its hosts are indeed great and terrifying, only a damned fool would think that that they are in control, for no matter how long a man may wield these accursed gifts without plight, they shall inevitably become a victim either to the dreaded red first... or to their own immortality.”
Vampirism is a magical curse which has been spread through the ages in Koldenwelt. Characterized by giving the victim superhuman abilities at the cost of bat-like features and an intense thirst for blood, it is perhaps one of the most well known curses among the common folk, who fear vampires for their violence and bloodsucking mannerisms. A number of vampires have united into a single nation known as the Nightshade Clan, but many of them are known to live independent lives.
Vampirism, unlike therianthropy, has a well recorded origin in the mortal world; it was created by Zran Kar, the demonic Simulacrum of Knowledge and Blood, to serve as his minions in Koldenwelt a few centuries following the beginning of the Old Age. It was first created in the form of a species of highly magical race of batfolk known as Pureblood Vampires, led by the demigod figure known as Count Varelos von Dalverat, who would learn of their abilities to curse other races through their bites and lead to the birth of modern vampires. Varelos's vampires would eventually unite into the Nightshade Clan, a city-state composed of vampires and their minions, though not all of the night creatures would join them, some ignoring the Count's authority while others were unaware of his existence. Vampires became universal enemies of the Derevar Elves following the Nightshade Clan's war against their people, which led to them losing their original lands. Corvid Vampirism, an unique strain of the curse, begun with the human named Vanadraedn and has since been contracted by other individuals.
In the New Age, vampires are still shunned from society. The Sovereignty of Dryada, the largest elven empire in the current day, secretly deals with the Nightshade Clan with the objective of changing public view of vampires so that they may be accepted by the peasantry, but these efforts may take decades or more.
Vampirism is a curse of dark magical nature which is transmitted from already-existing vampires to other creatures through a number of manners. There are three forms of vampires in Koldenwelt: Pureblooded, Halfblooded and Ravenblooded. Pureblood vampires are the original species created by Zran Kar which is the source of the curse, while Halfblood vampires are the classical individuals known by the peasantry, men and women with enlarged fangs and superhuman abilities. Refer to the Corvid Vampirism page for more information on Ravenblood vampires. Purebloods transmit vampirism through contact with their blood, while Halfbloods create more of themselves by biting their victims, usually their necks, and allowing their magic to flow into them. Unlike peasantry myth claims, vampires are not undead, nor can undead become vampires, though the two forms of beings do possess similarities.
All vampires are spiritually linked to their creator, the Simulacrum Zran Kar. As such, their souls are sent to Sanguine Hill upon death, where they are tortured for all eternity for the demon lord's amusement. Only by the interference of other divinities can a vampire's soul be saved from such a fate.
Most races can be afflicted with vampirism, including deiwes, beastmen and lesser dragons. Magical affinity grants the user no immunity to the curse - in fact, greater affinity to the Source is known to attract vampires and make them more vulnerable to vampirism - though users of light magic are known to possess a certain amount of resistance. Races known to be immune to vampirism include those devoid of blood, such as Elementals and Golems, and those not native to Koldenwelt - the curse was created by Zran Kar to afflict mortals, meaning Outsiders are immune to its effects. Animals can theoretically become vampires if attacked by one and left alive, but due to their lack of understanding of the curse, most if not all end up dying of dehydration. Due to their great size and power which allow them to fend off vampires, there are little to no reports of Greater and True Dragons afflicted with vampirism.
The effects of vampirism vary between species, but most follow similar pattern including the skin growing pale, the body growing cold, elongated fingers and nails growing into claws. Vampires have their needs for water replaced with blood, and the lack of it leads them to die of dehydration. Any blood can satiate a vampire's thirst, but the blood of non-sapient animals may not be considered appealing to many, leading vampires to prey on civilized races for the sake of survival. Reports show vampires prefer the taste of elven blood and the blood of dark magic practitioners to that of other races. Two halfblood vampires may breed a third one like themselves, while a vampire and a standard mortal may give birth to a creature known as a dhampir - essentially half-vampires, dhampirs possess the strengths and weaknesses of true vampires, but on a reduced scale. Vampirism and therianthropy are not mutually exclusive curses and their hosts can infect one another, creating a vampiric monster known as a werepyre.
Being afflicted with vampirism comes with an array of advantages. Firstly, vampires possess greatly increased physical prowess, much higher perception and greater agility than they had before, as well as increased healing power which allow them to survive most wounds which would otherwise cripple or outright kill normal members of their race. Vampires can see perfectly in the dark and can 'smell' the Source around them, allowing them to easily identify mages and what magic they control. Vampirism also enhances one's lifespan considerably - though it does not grant biological immortality - and the oldest vampires are widely known to be the most powerful, possessing abilities such as being able to communicate with night creatures like bats and ravens, and being able to shapeshift in order to hide their forms from others.
However, vampires also possess numerous weaknesses. Direct exposure to sunlight causes them to become nauseated and, if left to the sun's mercy for too long, they may eventually burn into cinders. Younger vampires are repulsed by the smell of garlic, and the creatures as a whole fear cold iron and adamantine, metals with anti-magical properties which may disrupt their powers. While vampires can shrug off even the loss of body parts, impaling them through their hearts leads them to die instantly, and they are also known to be heavily wounded by the magic schools of the light and sun. A common practice among vampire hunters is blessing water with light magic in order to create holy water to throw at the creatures, who react to the liquid as if it was acidic. A vampire completely deprived of blood may become feral, losing its mind and becoming little more than a beast constantly on the hunt for blood.
Vampires may be cured of the curse, though it is a poorly-understood process. The most known way of curing a vampire by elven and human clerics is to bathe them in light magic while letting out series of incantations, but the rate of success is low and most attempts have resulted in the vampire going on a frenzy from the pain. Because of it, efforts to cure vampires are often ignored in favour of simply killing them.
“This makes me wonder what a Shiarchon vampire would be like. Can Shiarchon become vampires, though? You know what, I'm not going to find out either.”
- - Pelagrios
“Well, vampires are not so far removed from us. We both draw our power from the lifeblood of the living, but at least we don't go mad from the thirst.”
- - Riad
“Crepusculum non scintillābitur. Neque luna prima scintillābitur. Eclīpsis amb annihilat. Aurora amb annihilat.”
- - Valdemar Mistwood reciting the Chant of Scintillating Vampire Protection
- Vampirism was introduced and is coordinated in the Fantasy Universe by OluapPlayer. As such refer to him on all matter pertaining it.