|Regions||Mainly Human Settlements.|
Flighty and cunning, eccentric yet discreet; the Ombratore bloodline lie in the middleground of vampiric rarity, less common than the feral Tresmisae, yet far more common than the Zehler. One would think Ombratore would share many traits with their similarly distributed Umredd cousins; however, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Despite their healthy numbers, the Ombratore are the hardest of all vampires to spot, and can rival the evasive abilities of even the Zehler they serve. Ombratore gain very little in the way of physical mutations, which give them their trademark subtlety. Similarly, they also gain very little means to defend themselves, leaving most Ombratore to rely on their wits and vampiric abilities to survive. With a knack for enduring sunlight, innate Guided Sensation Hex, limited self-disguise ability, and terrifying celerity, the Ombratore make for excellent sneaks, scouts, and socialites. Their interests often closely align with Zehler, making Ombratore perhaps the most loyal of any vampire to their given Coven. They’re prime picks for a Zehler’s right-hand-man or ambassador or, in times of strife, their infiltrators or negotiators.
The Ombratore, like all common bloodlines, owe their roots the Zehler. Like the others, their bloodline is effectively an extremely diluted, modified version of their elder’s. However, the Ombratore have not enjoyed the longevity of their lordly superiors. In fact, the Zehler -- who were created shortly after the Cataclysm -- only created the first Ombratore somewhere around 122 AC, using kidnapped villagers as fodder for their experiments. Of the three common bloodlines, the Ombratore came last. The Tresmisae were created first as an easily-to-control, disposable, rapid-expansion bloodline to bolster the Zehler’s numbers. Next came the Umredd to function as front-line soldiers and muscle. For a short while, this was all the Zehler bothered to create, however, the ongoing conflict with the Kingdom of Hedryll proved that to conquer Human society, one needed Human lookalikes. Hence the Ombratore, who were created to be master infiltrators and deceivers.
The Ombratore are thought to be integral to the Kingdom of Hedryll’s defeat. Although the vampiric invaders were stronger and on the path to victory regardless, the Ombratore turned the tide further in their favour by infiltrating the Hedryllian King’s council and infecting his closest advisors. Within a few years, the King himself was slain by the invading vampires, and his son and heir fled to the southernmost isles where the kingdom remains to this day. The old lands effectively became a vampire stronghold. This is the only time such a thing has existed, for the hubris of the infected was their undoing.
About ten years later, somewhere around 140 AC, the Unspoken War is first mentioned in history books. Driven by the politically-skilled Vladimir Kade, the Unspoken War was effectively a holy war declared against the vampiric menace which received backing from several local leaders around the vampire’s stronghold. Emboldened by their grand victory, the vampires met the assaults head on, and for a long while seemed to be entirely capable of holding their own. However, in 148 AC, holy water was developed by the Sancella of Union, turning the tides in favour of the Ailor armies. Combined with the timely discovery of Nenya stakes and their effectiveness, the vampires rapidly lost ground and were nearly wiped out entirely. The Ombratore especially suffered in this time, with little defensive ability and no structure to rely on. With their leaders slain, Ombratore were slaughtered in the thousands. Nobody truly knows how many Ombratore escaped the Kingdom of Hedryll, but it has been estimated to be less than one-hundred.
While the Zehler fled to hide and hibernate, the Ombratore were left to their own devices. Without leadership for the first time since their creation, the Ombratore sought out safety in the ordered world of Human society. Taking up residence in large cities and towns, the Ombratore’s first tentative steps were rocky to say the least; but, thanks to their unassuming appearance, they managed to evade detection and meld into the weave. For a long time, Ombratore were easily the most successful bloodline active in Aloria, enjoying minimal risk for years by practically surrounding themselves with their prey. By the time the Zehler awoke from their hibernation, the Ombratore were almost reluctant to rejoin their near-forgotten creators, but eventually saw the ways to use their newfound skills to benefit the newfangled Covens the Zehler boasted. This meant rapid success and expansion for vampire kind. To increase numbers even further and as a response to increasing commerce in Aloria, all bloodlines began to mutate to support other humanoid races at around this time.
The Ombratore were not exempt from the Great Vampiric Convergence; they heard the bizarre, subconscious call to destabilize the Regalian Empire. While the Zehler rushed to this order, the common bloodlines met it with more cynicism due to their lesser dedication to the void. Many Ombratore soon took up the order as a challenge, while others simply enjoyed the lure of the largest city around. For one reason or another, the Ombratore flooded into Regalia with their brethren, but without fear of sunlight, they flooded the streets rather than the city’s sewers. For years, Ombratore evaded detection by hiding in plain sight or, for those capable, among nobility. For a long while, Nobility became a close second goal to many Ombratore, with the first being serving their Coven. It was seen as the finest act of trickery and guile one could achieve, and was worn as a trophy among their kind. Inevitably, however, this mostly fell out of fashion by the time the Undercroft War occurred, causing several Ombratore to abandon their noble titles so they could better serve their sewer-going keepers.
In modern Regalia, Ombratore have diversified and flourished into something almost unrecognizable from their former selves. They can be found acting as deceitful, self-serving members of Nobility; information-hoarding, smooth-talking rogues seeking purpose; or loyal Coven members acting as fantastic second-in-commands. The only thing to remain certain is that you’ll never see an Ombratore coming.
The Ombratore are easily the most difficult vampire bloodline to identify. They have no obvious giveaways in their physical appearance that would give hints as to their vampiric nature at all. In fact, the only visible change upon infection is paling of the skin; Ombratore tend to have smooth, pleasant, and notably pale complexions. Additionally, Ombratore have little tolerance for muscle growth, and can support light, athletic frames at best. Any host who exceeds what their metabolism can provide for will quickly lose weight until they can be supported properly. Body fat in any form seems to be unaffected, though overweight Ombratore may struggle to make use of their evasive abilities.
By strict definition, an Ombratore’s eyes are a ruby red color and their canines are notably long and incredibly sharp. However, through some void essence-induced mutation, or perhaps some sort of perpetual Hex Magic, both of these traits are nearly always obfuscated. An Ombratore’s eyes will appear as their regular color before infection, but have been observed as looking a little more alive or energized, perhaps via some overcompensation to hide their vampiric nature. Their teeth will remain fairly normal looking the vast majority of the time. The only time an Ombratore’s shroud lowers is when they utilize their innate spellcasting or when they feed. Both of these circumstances are further detailed below.
Although capable of acts of grace and precision, Ombratore can have frighteningly quick reaction times and knee-jerk reflexes, thought to be some passive bleed-over of their superior blood dancing ability. Lastly, due to their dedication to guile and time-consuming hunts for prey, an Ombratore cannot progress beyond the Fighter level of physical combat dictated in the Military Guide.
While they lack the outright force of personality of the Zehler, the Ombratore are unmatched in their ability to beguile, charm, and conspire. Ombratore who don’t meet the bloodline’s cut in terms of wit will often go hungry due to the bloodline’s lack of forceful abilities, and rarely are met with compassion from their fellow infected. Ombratore are terribly judgemental towards their kin, frequently engaging in feuds to impress their Coven leaders or to boost their own egos. Older Ombratore tend to lean towards one of two mindsets. Some lose their ability to empathize but retain their convincing ways, often resulting in a fake or two-faced aura, as if a convincing actor was playing the part of a real person. Others simply become wily eccentrics, consumed by their power to convince and beguile, they become charlatans and rumormongers. However, these are only the two most prevalent archetypes. Ombratore vary wildly from subject to subject.
Lastly, Ombratore have a notable lawfully inclined nature which sets them apart from their kin. While most vampires tend to crave eventual anarchy in some way or another, Ombratore believe a lawful structure is the best way to reach their eventual goal. This isn’t to say that an Ombratore won’t commit a crime; in fact, this is far from the truth. They simply believe some form of law is easier to exploit than plain chaos, in which brute strength usually wins the day. With or without a coven, Ombratore can be found exploiting the loopholes of the law, deceiving guardsmen or even holding noble titles. This trait also makes Ombratore fierce advocates of their chosen coven, often showing dedication that far exceeds their vampiric cousins.
Ombratore have a relatively average blood intake when compared with other common bloodlines. When idle and making little to no use of their innate abilities, an Ombratore only needs to feed every three to five days. They rarely feed on the same person more than a few times and prefer fresh conquests to tried and tested, guaranteed feedings, owing to an innate flightiness.
The Ombratore have a uniquely painless bite that they share with no other bloodline, which helps them preserve their delicate masquerade. Victims of an Ombratore’s bite suffer from a strange, daze-like trance that leaves them quasi-paralyzed and content within the vampire’s grasp. This phenomenon ends the moment the Ombratore’s teeth leave their prey, but the victim will only feel as though a second or so passed, even though the feeding itself may have taken up to a minute. Additionally, Ombratore wounds do not bleed openly the moment the Vampire’s fangs leave the flesh, and close up remarkably quickly -- far quicker than what the Ombratore themselves could heal at. All of these benefits come at a cost, however. When an Ombratore closes in to feed, their fangs show their true form, and more notably, their eyes wane into a wicked, ruby red. The victim themselves is incredibly unlikely to notice these changes -- or completely unable to if they’re under the Ombratore’s trance -- but onlookers and interlopers will have a much easier time identifying the Ombratore in this state.
The Ombratore suffer from most vampiric weaknesses to a lessened intensity than the other bloodlines, but also lack a few of their noteworthy defensive changes.
Ombratore have only a handful of abilities, most of which are shared with other vampiric bloodlines. They do, however, have a signature affinity for blood dancing, which exceeds that of even the Zehler. Activating these abilities will make the Ombratore hungrier. A fully-fed Ombratore effectively has five ‘slots’ with which it can cast. Each ability uses one slot. When the Ombratore reaches zero slots, they are starving and cannot use their abilities. A full feeding replenishes all lost slots. Lapis will hinder an Ombratore’s ability to use their spell-like abilities, such as sensation touch or shimmering mask, but it won’t hinder them when using vampiric abilities such as blood-dancing or darkwalking.
Ombratore, like most bloodlines, enjoy a few bonuses for being within their Coven’s nest. While none of these abilities make the Ombratore physically dangerous, they do present the Ombratore as a threat in their own right. With supernatural charisma and further enhanced speed, they become excellent pests or sappers of morale.
Curing & Infection
Physically, Ombratore have fairly standard infection and curing rituals. Any bite from an Ombratore suffers the victim a fifteen percent chance of being infected with their bloodline. After three days without seeking medical help, the victim will turn. Consuming Ombratore blood is a far more effective means of assuring infection, however. Minute amounts of blood consumed from an Ombratore increase the odds of infection dramatically. Curiously however, Ombratore seem to be sparing when it comes to infection, and only infect those they truly deem worthy, for a socially inept Ombratore is surely destined to starve.
Curing an Ombratore is completely possible and fairly routine, thanks to the bloodline’s lack of physical mutations. Like most bloodlines, Ombratore are best cured via traditional methods rather than Light Magic due to the pain it can cause them. After three days of blood purging, the Ombratore curse is lifted from the host and they are cured.
- Within the confines of larger cities such as Regalia, Ombratore are known to hold many positions of power to use for their self-serving ends. Several noble houses are made up entirely of Ombratore, as are a handful of city guards, and supposedly even a few members of the Celeste Order.
- Umredd tend to find Ombratore annoying or insufferable due to their aligned leanings with the Zehler. While Umredd may happily serve the Zehler just as much as the Ombratore, the Ombratore tend to try to impress more often. They’re often mocked as ‘Wannabe’ Zehler.
- Some particularly arrogant Ombratore forgo their Zehler superiors, trusting in their own abilities to persuade and charm their way to the top of the social ladder. Several examples of these individuals are well known in Ombratore folklore, primarily Kalissa Kataris, fourth Cardinal of Trade of Arvost. Nobody truly knows if Kalissa was infected, but her chaotic and self-serving impact on Arvost’s trade certainly seems to be enough to spawn rumor.