From Path of the Vampire Wiki
|This article requires cleanup or modification to improve clarity and readability.|
Vampires in Path
Vampires in Blood
The following is an excerpt from Diary of a Vampire Hunter by Richardo Radien, 1790 (translator unknown)
"What is a vampire? A vampire is not, contrary to popular mythology, a walking corpse. Although they are abominations of the worst kind, they are not the same as the walking undead that other men whisper about in the countrysides of Brittany.
Of course, it is impossible to say for sure what re-animates a vampire. Much of the following is my own speculation based on my experiences hunting and killing vampires over the past thirty years.
A vampire is, simply, a lie. They are ghosts made flesh; spirits who are able to re-create physical bodies for themselves using some some mysterious ritual, though their own bodies would have long since withered and died. Though some unknown force brings them back and chains them to a body that can be healed a hundred times faster than our own, this body is not who they are. Vampires have been known to pass through solid walls, teleport from the inside of a jail cell, and drift over a raging torrent as though made of nothing but mist. Their bodies are a lie. In my opinion, it is the fact that they are able to convince themselves of this lie that gives them the ability to maintain a physical form and walk among us like men.
Harm their bodies, and they may heal, but they will not heal immediately. The same lie they tell themselves that convinces them that they are able to dress, drink, shake our hands and drain our women is the same lie that wavers slightly when their physical substantiation is harmed. Make that lie waver enough when they are drained of the blood that gives them their power to heal, and they will disperse just like any other wicked spirit.
Unfortunately, the older a vampire gets, the less they seem bound to the laws of physical reality. They become less chained to the notions of physics and nature they were taught growing up as mortal men as they shed their ties to their previous lives. With that age and self-delusion comes greater abilities, stronger physical forms, even the ability to heal their bodily fabrications at an even more advanced rate."
Identifying a Vampire
The following is an excerpt from Diary of a Vampire Hunter by Richardo Radien, 1790 (translator unknown)
"It would be difficult for me to describe to you how to identify a vampire. Perhaps the most monstrous thing about them is that they are not monsters on the outside at all, but men and women, just like any man's wife, son, brother. A person you had known once to be of God's children, a mortal like any other, could -- with but a night away from your gaze -- be transformed into such a creature. You might even have been fed on by such a creature, and had your memories erased or been put into a drunken stupor and simply awoken the following day with a headache and a stiff neck.
Not all of their number are pale, their teeth are not always sharpened, their skin is seldom covered in boils and hair, as the ancient myths would have us believe. They do not smell of the graves from which they have risen, they do not often leer at young maiden's necks or stalk about in the forest communing with witches and devils. As you might imagine, hunting one can prove difficult.
A vampire can be identified in these ways, and only these ways:
1) They harness supernatural powers such as no living mortal could hope to attain. They can leap the height of a church's spire, or bewitch a King's daughter with but a single look. Their powers are as varied as they are ghastly, and though they do have limitations, their demonistic feats reveal them for what they are, time and again.
2) Although it would seem that no vampire is the same as another, they cast no reflection in a common mirror. Although reports have reached my ears of vampires who cast the reflections of blackened silhouettes, corpses, or ghosts of wicked old men with shining red eyes, none of these have yet been substantiated by me personally. However, a vampire's lair will often be completely devoid of any reflective surface that might give them away to be the beasts they are.
3) When the sun rises, it does two things to a common vampire. First, it sends them into the deepest of sleeps, from which only pain can wake them (often into an uncontrollable frenzy). Second, sunlight sears the very skin of a vampire, causing it to smolder and sizzle like the breast of a swine on a roasting spit. Although it heals quite quickly, sustained sunlight can cause more lasting wounds to vampires, and certainly reveals their true nature to mortals.
4) Vampires do not breathe. Oh, they might force their chests to swell and deflate in mockery or imitation of mortals, and the wretches might even suck in same air as us, but their ghostly bodies do not require it. When a vampire forgets, or thinks that nobody is watching, they will cease to breath entirely. In cold weather, this can be especially telling, as their mouths will pass no steam. Some attempt to disguise this fact by constantly smoking a pipe or wearing a scarf, and many avoid cold weather entirely for this reason.
5) Vampires cannot enter your abode without being invited, so be weary of your words. Open a door for unknown people and step aside if needed, but do not ask them to enter, for you never know what you might be visiting upon you or your family. There have been cases where some vampires have entered a house uninvited, but it is seemingly very rare, and restricted to a particular variant of the beasts.
6) When about to feed, the wretches give themselves away. This is when their fangs are literally bared, and their true selves are revealed for all. Although all vampires seem to be able to pacify humans and put them into a sort of drunken delirium, some victims will have time to cry out before this strange seduction takes effect.
7) Lastly, vampires stick mainly to cities. It has been hypothesized that they do this in order to blend in, or to find humans to prey upon, but that is not my opinion. There are places outside of the cities where a vampire could survive for years purely on the blood of foxes and snakes, without fear of being discovered or hunted. My theory, based on two encounters in particular, is that there is something powerful lurking in the deepest wilds that scares even vampires, and prevents them from straying too far from the civilizations of man, for their own protection."
Additional RP Notes
- Vampires usually cast no reflection, but may be seen on film or on camera. On a mirror or in any other reflective surface, even a vampire's clothing is invisible.
Every vampire must choose a path when they return from the dead. The choice is usually one made subconsciously, most often (but not always) determined by their personality, interests, or aspirations (for more information on path specifics, go to the Paths page). The choice in which path the vampire pursues determines the powers they are able to learn, and which order they learn them in.
As well as path powers, all vampires automatically gain huge boosts to their natural statistics when they are turned. The boosts vary from path and person, but vampires will find themselves able to think more clearly, remember more details, their reactions will be sharpened, their senses will all be magnified, they will be stronger, faster, fitter, and able to heal much faster.
The reasons for vampiric variations are unknown, as is much of the vampire's supernatural properties. All that is known for fact is that vampires seem to follow one of 6 "paths", and their variations usually (but not always) stem from these different path growths.
Path variations are not limited to powers and personalities, however. For example, each vampire dies and is reborn in a slightly different manner. Shadows disperse as though turned to smoke, whilst a mystic returns by possessing a new host, which (often) rapidly changes appearance to match the image they perceive themselves as. For more about path variations, see the Paths page.
Variations exist outside of path types, however. There are lineage variations, which can be anything from not casting any shadow at all, to vampires who feel their hunger constantly and insatiably, even when fully fed. These small variations are passed down by blood, as though through some kind of supernatural DNA.
Lastly, there are individual variations, which are more rare than path, power, or lineage variations, and are almost always more of a curse than a gift. Some vampires may be more sensitive to sunlight than usual, for example, while others might feel the need to return to the earth each night to sleep in a grave.
A large percentage of vampires have always claimed that innate evil (which they call the "Darkness") is passed on with the transformation of the turning ritual, but this only seems true in most cases. The exact reason for The Darkness could in fact be based on simple psychology, despite claims to vampires being darkness incarnate. In fact, there are quite a few vampires who do not exhibit hardly any behavior traditionally thought to be "evil" at all.
To Kill a Vampire
Sunlight, of course, will harm a vampire, but will not kill one outright. They will receive burns which will make them easier to spot, and thus harder for them to feed without being noticed / attacked.
Despite what popular fiction says, crosses do not harm a vampire. Neither does "holy" water, garlic, running water, "holy" symbols, silver or anything similar. However, stakes do indeed harm vampires, as does anything else plunged into their chest. Incidentally, though, a stake made of certain woods seems to be more damaging to vampires than a blade of steel, and can take many more days to heal than other kinds of wounds, if one can get close enough to use it. The reason wooden stakes can be so harmful to vampires is unknown, but is thought to be tied into the enemies of vampires, the nature spirits called Fae.
A vampire can be harmed by all kinds of other things, from swords to guns to poisons and fire. Some work better than others, and most heal too quickly to deal any substantial or fatal damage. However, vampires do NOT heal instantly, as they do in other vampire fiction. In Path of the Vampire, a bullet wound can take a day or two to heal, and a severed limb or shot to the head will take a full week to recover.
Meanwhile, a vampire is weakened and very vulnerable. While critically wounded, a vampire is unable to feed properly, and cannot take in more than around a pint of blood per day. This is when they become easiest to kill.
If a vampire is drained of blood entirely, they will not die as Humans do, they will continue to fight on. However, the same thing that keeps vampires alive when severely wounded is taken away from them when they are drained of blood; namely, their rapid healing. If an individual is able to critically wound them while they are drained of blood, they will die. Finishing a vampire can be done in a number of ways, such as stabbing them in the heart (with anything), burning them to death, decapitating them, breaking their back, or shooting them in the brain. The only way of killing a vampire with one single blow is to decapitate them, regardless of their blood level.
When a vampire is participating in a PVP battle, it is good to be aware that even if a critical wound never lands, a vampire with 17 wounds in total will die.
The conflicting beliefs vampire's hold to regarding their origins are as varied as that of humanity's own origin myths, and like humans, wars have been fought and religions formed based on these origin myths.
You can read many of these origin myths on the Origin Myths page.
The most popular myth amongst vampires of the old world (particularly those of the Sangñero clan from the medieval era), is that the shadow realm literally is vampirism, and that vampires are darkness incarnate, in every sense of the word. The legend of lightfalls (click to read a more detailed version of the story) states that a bargain was made between a human boy, and an army of living shadow creatures which sought to feed on him. In the bargain, he agreed to become a vessel for their darkness, and spread the shadows to areas of the world they could not reach, and in return he asked for his life to be spared. Strange as the creatures were, they assumed the boy meant he wished his life forever spared, and so they gave him immortality.
In return he was told to go into the human cities and make more like himself, by feeding them his blood, which was now blackened, and bubbled and boiled, like a cauldron of simmering ink. In this way, the shadow entities were able to reproduce, and spread their darkness to all corners of the world. The boy became the first shadow vampire.
Although this legend seems peculiar at best, there are parts of it that make an odd sense, such as giving reason to why sunlight burns the flesh of vampires, and vampiric hunger (and seemingly innate desire to turn others). It is possibly this internal logical consistency that made it the most widespread vampire origin belief for over 300 years before The Vampire Holocaust. Though a more likely reason for its popularity is that the Sangñero clan were in essence a vampire version of Nazism, believing Shadows to be the superior and true path of vampires, and that all others were weak and deserving of death. This story likely gave them a religion to justify their beliefs, and control their numbers.