Vampirism, also known as the Sanguine Curse, is a Void-spawned blood-curse that has plagued Aloria for hundreds of years. Often seen as a disease and hated by most of the people of Aloria, this affliction causes the infected to undergo both physical and mental transformations. The telltale signs of the Vampire Bloodlines are always the same. Together with their blood-sucking brethren, Vampires seek to destabilize the ruling authorities of Aloria to establish a global anarchy in which they can feed on the blood of the weak without fear of prosecution. Lone-wolf Vampires certainly exist, but those are often captured and cured, willingly or forcibly. Vampirism is a disease that can be cured by rather aggressive magical means, though many Vampires desperately attempt to avoid being cured. This is caused both by the curse itself changing the thoughts of the infected, but also by the fact that most authorities across Aloria are excessively cruel to Vampires. In the Regalian Empire, being a Vampire is seen as being something unholy, something akin to a Demon. Such creatures are either killed on sight by Vampire hunters or dragged away screaming to imprisonment and isolation. Frequent Vampire executions are held by the faithful, causing most Vampires across the world to live in hiding, in dark alleys, caves, and sewer tunnels.
Indeed, Vampires are considered leeches on society as they feed themselves on the blood of the unwilling and powerless. Yet, Vampirism is also a source of power to some. Whole religions have been founded on the idea that Vampirism is the next step in Human advancement (despite the curse also striking non-Humans), and some contract the disease willingly for the powers it grants. Globally, Vampirism is on the rise since the last Great Vampire Wars. Global conflict with the Void Invasion, Empire Wars, and more recently, the Bone Horror Crisis, have all weakened local authorities to the point of breaking. Vampires often follow in the wake of a weary population, feeding and making use of what they can. Vampirism has grown so prolific that among the Regalian Emperor’s close court, some nobles have fallen to the sway of Vampirism, secretly plotting the destruction of the Empire from within.
Vampires are divided into a series of bloodlines which were created by the Zehler Vampires when they started infecting the next generation of Vampires. Later, the Zehler Vampires were also re-classified as a Bloodline to distinguish them from the rest, though have altogether disappeared in recent times. A vampire of a certain Bloodline can ever only infect a person with the same variety of Vampirism. Despite the fact that Bloodlines are often grouped together based on traits and behavior, they have no real connection with one another. Each individual Bloodline has a unique page attributed to it, which can be found at the bottom of the page.
Vampiric Infection can happen in three distinct ways. The first and most obvious manner of becoming a Vampire is to consume a small goblet filled with infected blood. Simply taking a sip or consuming a droplet is not sufficient. After all, the disease is a blood curse, not an actual contagious disease. The act of drinking infected blood is considered more of a ritual than an actual infection by the blood itself. The next way to become infected is to be bitten, or have one’s blood drank by a Vampire of any Bloodline. There is a rough fifteen percent chance that a Vampire bite leads to a Vampiric infection; perform a /dice 0 100 to roll between 0 and 100. If your dice result is below 15, your character has been infected with Vampirism. Inquire with the Vampire that bit your character what Bloodline they should become. The final method to become a Vampire is to perform the dark ritual, which involves sacrificing a goblet of blood to a Dark Altar through a ritual called the Dark Blood Feast. The exact explanation of this ritual can be found on the relevant Wiki pages, however it largely involves ceremoniously sacrificing a goblet of someone else’s blood and then consuming it to surrender one’s will to the Arch-Demon. This process always results in the person being infected with Umredd Bloodline Vampirism. The Vampiric Infection process is practically the same for every Bloodline, detailed below.
The Vampiric infection process takes exactly four days after the first bite has occurred and the person was infected. It is not possible to cure Vampirism during this initial infection process. A Vampire can only be cured when the Infection has taken hold, so sometimes Vampires caught in the process of turning are locked up until their change has completed.
For the first day, Vampirism will seem much like a typical, common ailment. The freshly infected have just had the curse introduced into their system, and will be faced with increasing dizzy spells, sickness, and chills. Their heart rate will vary from fluttering beats to slow pumps and they will be susceptible to headaches. Around this time, the transitioning Vampire may also notice a sensitivity to lights and sounds , which may be mistaken for a migraine. As the day progresses, the early chills are prone to growing more extreme and the sensitivity to light and sound can cause increased frustration.
As the second day comes around, the symptoms only continue to get worse. Transitioning Vampires will notice aching and bleeding in their teeth if fangs are developing, accompanied by urges to swallow the blood and ingest more. Thirst and dehydration will begin to take effect, but normal water and drinks do little to satiate it. Meanwhile, the infected will begin to think about blood more, contemplating its taste and noticing it more acutely in the environment. By the end of the second day, the future Vampire will begin to vomit. . Despite having a freshly emptied stomach, the infected will no longer have an appetite for normal food.
The third day is considered the worst, and has been known to dissuade people from becoming re-infected with Vampirism entirely should they be cured. The infected will wake up with incredible pains in their chest and extreme chills. Throughout the day, the newly-infected will be forced to fight off impulses to bite loved ones, feast on blood, or kill those they care for. As the day progresses, their heartbeat will grow more haggard. Breathlessness will occur, and the infected will undergo crippling pain, typically from their bones and muscles. By the time evening falls on the third day, the infected will feel like they are dying. Often they feel frozen, distant, and as if their body is dying but their soul is trapped within. It’s not uncommon for a Vampire at this stage to see their life flash before their eyes, or have hallucinations of the afterlife.
The instant the infection process is complete, it is as if the infected has woken up from a long, deep sleep. Thirst for blood becomes overwhelming, and Vampires have been known to spring from what may have been the victim’s deathbed seconds before and throw themselves at anyone unfortunate enough to be nearby. This is often called the bloodlust stage of Vampirism, and the Vampire will have to drink enough blood to fill their stomach--usually anywhere between one and a half to two liters. Once they’ve accomplished this, their senses return to them and they begin feeling stable once more. At this point, the traits and abilities of Vampirism take hold.
Any vampire of a bloodline that can be cured, can be done so through Cleansing Light Magic, or extreme bloodletting. Curing through Light Magic is usually an exhausting process for both the mage and the Vampire, and can lead to death if both are not cautious. Curing typically only takes a few days to a week. When curing in-character, the process will take three days in real life. The chance of death remains dangerously high if a victim tries to cure instantly, but gradually decreases the more time it takes to cure. Once a cure happens, most the effects of Vampirism will revert after those three days. There are some common side effects of curing of Vampirism. It can take anywhere between one to four weeks for these side effects to wear off:
- Tightness/soreness in the muscles.
- Decreased range of motion.
- Heavy limbs.
- Bizarre cravings due to malnutrition.
- Sluggish reflexes.
- Decreased vision and feelings of blindness
- Aches in the bones similar to growing pains.
- Heavy bruising around the ribs and joints.
- Shortness of breath.
- Repulsion to food and severe stomach aches.
- Pain around the eyes reminiscent of tiredness or strain.
- Contrary to popular belief, Vampires are not immortal nor do they have longer lives. In fact a Vampire will age and die at the same rate as any other uninfected person.
- Furthermore, Vampires need to breathe and do not survive long falls. As such they cannot survive underwater nor do they have increased bone strength. These fables simply exist because Vampires believe themselves to be immortal due to their superiority complex.
- Curiously enough, Vampires do not need to eat to sustain themselves. Most Vampires that consume regular food will either not pass this down or vomit it out immediately upon ingestion. Liquids are excluded from this, which results in Vampires often consuming Wine. Vampires purely survive by drinking Blood, though when this is tried by any non-Vampire it results in their death by starvation. It is often assumed that by Magical means, Vampirism sustains the host without food.
- Individuals that are possesed by an Existling or Voidling cannot be infected with any form of Vampirism. The three day infection period will still occur with all side effects, but when the person supposedly changes into a full Vampire, the possession will nullify and cure the infection instantly.
- While not enjoying full night-vision like Varrans do, Vampires of all Bloodlines can see considerably better and farther than their non-Vampire racial counter parts. They are able to easily distinguish objects and faces even in the darkest reaches of the Sewers.
- Vampire Shadow Walking is often deceptive in that those who see it, do not fully understand that the Vampire doesn't actually disappear or turn into the actual smoke. The smoke is an illusion, and the person is still physically there, able to interact with objects. As such, while Shadow Walking, a Vampire cannot move vertically and will only move at the speed of a regular walking pace. They are able to leap onto objects roughly a meter high, but they cannot pass through objects that would otherwise be too small for them.