Von Kërle Bloodline
|Von Kërle Bloodline|
|Origins||The Calemberg/Drachenwald region|
|Niche||Darkwald Nemesis, Vampire themed hunter/soldier/gladiator|
The von Kërle Bloodline is not a very popular Bloodline, but one that is frequently heard in the Regalian Archipelago due to their constant clashes with the Darkwald Order, and their near-constant threatening presence in the dark wald regions of Drachenwald in Waldmark, Baldmark and Calemberg, attacking carriages riding through the night on window roads between the trees or mustering larger warbands to attack forts and claim them for their own. The von Kërle were originally made when one of the Dorkarth Princes fled Ellador after the Vampire Wars, ironically landing in Calemberg, the rousing capital from which the New Regalians sent armies north to fight the Vampires. Proverbially living in the den of the lions, the Dorkarth Prince eventually managed to murder and plot his way into the peripheries of the court of Adriaan von Kërle, the Count of Parchstadt, some while away from Calemberg. The Dorkarth Prince used his Vampire wiles to seduce the Count of Parchstadt, slowly converting him to Void Worship and inducing him into familiarity with the Coven and using the Count's power at the Cadar Court to keep the eyes of the Regalians away from their escapades. What the truth of the events that followed were are not known to anyone but the Count, but the Count has claimed that Woldemar the Scarlet Scourge spoke to him in his dreams, whispers of power and fame and adoration, and eternal life to call his own for a price. The price was for the Count to kill his Dorkarth Prince lover, which perhaps to his own surprise, he readily agreed to. Even though the Count was not a Vampire at the time of the killing, it was said by the Count that as soon as the deed was done, Woldemar appeared before him and allowed the Count to drink his blood from his finger, making him the first von Kërle Vampire. The Count has since disappeared, though appeared from time to time to attack a fortress in Baldmark, Waldmark, or Calemberg, hold court there before disappearing again for several years, spreading the von Kërle Bloodline in his absence from the victims he made during his conquest. This makes the von Kërle Bloodline somewhat unique, in that it is claimed that it was not by act of the Arken that the Vampires altered (like is the case for every other Bloodline), but the Ancients of Void Worship themselves. To this day, the von Kërle produce so-called Courts of Crimson Blades, where they engage in planning to capture military forts or abandoned ruins of castles to host their military might from. Such Courts of Crimson Blades exist dotted all over the New-Regalian regions of the Regalian Empire, right under the noses of the local rulers, but often too well hidden or fortified to become an active priority, with the local rulers risking themselves being bogged down in an eternal hit-and-run battle with the von Kërle who perfected their martial skills in the dark forests that hide many other beasts and secrets.
von Kërle Mentality
von Kërle Vampires are surprisingly pleasant, though with a somewhat unnerving twist. They are well-spoken, New Regalian in styling, and very martial with heavy focus on discipline. But all this restraint does tend to hide a veneer of mockery or repressed glee at the harm they inflict, or their victims. It is often said that their composure is only a slight veneer for the beast that lies beneath the surface, something that can occasion be seen through the Mutations that they can acquire. von Kërle to many are what Alais were, if Alais were less cowardly hiding in the shadows, and didn't have the benefit of having their Vampiric status be broadcasted by their appearance. They are immensely cooperative with other Vampires, even from other Bloodlines, and especially the Dorkarth Vampires as footmen or soldiers. The von Kërle are not interested in being the most powerful, the most respected, or the Vampire with the largest blood cattle. In a way, the von Kërle have a very pragmatic view of things, and believe that instead of simply taking what they think they are owed, that they should work for what they deserve. Von Kërle strive to be seen as the most skilled in combat, and the most prized champions of whomever they work for. Von Kërle can however also work independently, and do not necessarily need to be part of a Coven. While they can definitely maintain good relations with Covens, they can exist on the peripheries of Covens and barter with them for supplies and socialize with them, but otherwise work independently. Many von Kërle enjoy gladiatorial battles, and frequently challenge each other for friendly blood sport to prove who is best in the ring, and hopefully attract a powerful or wealthy patron. It is as such, not even unheard of, that some von Kërle seek to work for non-Vampire Nobles in the shadows, doing their dirty work in exchange for money and favor.
von Kërle Niche
Von Kërle are at a base warrior Vampires that seek to become soldiers, and prove their worth as soldiers. A coven led by a strong von Kërle is not unheard of, but generally speaking the von Kërle love the thrill of battle and continue to train themselves to become more skilled to eventually reach that status of becoming unbeatable. Von Kërle are also intended as flexible Vampires, while other Vampires definitely have "evil" goals (even the Cratos Vampires when they do not align with Vampire goal still engage in Void-related activities), the von Kërle are more pragmatic and some can even be found working with city authorities or nobles, if these lawful authorities happen to have the same moral flexibility as the von Kërle themselves. Von Kërle have a sense of pride and self-worth that makes them gleeful and sadistic in combat, but they are mentally strong enough to repress it other normsl situations and can come across as very much in control.
von Kërle Common Abilities
Common Abilities are mechanics that all von Kërle Vampires have access to, meaning they are implied and it is not necessary to record them on a Character Application, though you may for posterity sake. Important instructions for Character Apps are included in the Vampire Form table row at the bottom.
|Standard Ability||Ability Category||Range||Description (Standard Mutations are free but Mandatory, All von Kërle Vampire have them, and they can use these Abilites while in their non-Vampiric Form and Vampiric Form (Karmark Form))|
|Blood Collaring||Target Curse||Emote Distance||The Vampire can Target either a willing or restrained person to attach a Blood-Collar to their neck, colored in crimson blood yet solid and shaped like brambles with thorns. While the Vampire is in Emote Distance, any command issued must be followed, else the collar will dig its spikes into the neck and cause bleeding. While within range, any number of commands can be issued, but only the last command will remain active when leaving Emote Distance. Blood Collared individuals cannot be infected with Vampirism, and the Collar can only be removed by any type of Exorcism-Like Ability that removes Possessions. Any Vampire can only have one person Collared at any time.|
|Immortal Aging||Constant Passive||Self||The Vampire does not age from the moment of infection. Their aging ceases visually, and they can sustain themselves beyond their natural undeath. This is not true undeath, but a state of suspended unlife. If a Vampire is cured when they have lived a number of years as a Vampire, they will proceed to age rapidly over a period of 2 weeks. Becoming re-infected during these two weeks will restore the Vampire back to the age they were when cured. If they cannot be re-infected before the end of the 2 week period, the aging is permanent, and re-infection causes the character to freeze at the new age. If a character has aged far beyond their natural lifespan, if they are not re-infected before the end of the 2 week period, they will die. (It is not allowed to perma-imprison a character to prevent infection to their death during these two weeks) Vampires require an Backstory Special Permission in order to be older than 100 years old. Vampires who are turned through active roleplay can be older than 100 years without a Backstory Special Permission (Though in all cases, a character older than 150 requires a Backstory Special Permission)|
|Belliard Monster||Constant Passive||Self||
Von Kërle have been blessed by the enemies of the Belliard Guild, granting their hands and forearms immunity to Puretek shots. This means that if they can reasonably hold their hands or forearms in between the firing weapon and the intended shot location (or if the arms are the intended target), then the Puretek shot simply bounces off. This does not grant them protection if they are shot from behind, or if both arms are pre-occupied and could not reasonably be raised or moved fast enough to try and intercept a Puretek shot aimed at their chest or head. Generally speaking, as long as at least one arm isn’t doing anything, and as long as the shot isn’t coming in at an odd angle, the von Kërle can raise their arms fast enough to intercept.
|Drachenwald Cur||Constant Passive||Emote Distance||
Von Kërle Vampires can sense the presence of Dragon Warriors (Wardens, Knights, Champions) as well as Dragonsouls within Emote Distance, through walls, and they can even pinpoint their location. Additionally, von Kërle Vampires are not affected by any of the defensive Abilities of Dragon Warriors, such as Mundane Protector, Prism of Defence, or Dragon All-Armor. Furthermore, von Kërle can even outside of Vampire Form extend their claws to climb up vertical surfaces, no matter how high, and they can also halt their momentum at any time by holding on and hanging from the wall. When jumping off, the von Kërle do not take any damage from falling, but if in any other case they take falling damage it will apply.
|Karmark Feeding||Vampire Spell||Touch||The Vampire, when sinking their teeth into the neck of their victim causes a partial paralysis that makes it impossible for the victim to struggle out of their grip or fight back, but still aware enough to know what is happening, be able to see, hear, and speak. The Vampire can consume as much blood as they want, but can drink no longer than 10 minutes which is their upper fill. Upon releasing their teeth from the victim’s neck, the effect is instantly canceled, but the victim is too weak to immediately turn back and fight for at least half a minute. This Ability may not be used to tie someone up at the same time, and the Vampire cannot fight or use Abilities while drinking.|
|Karmark Body||Constant Passive||Self||
|Karmark Power||Constant Passive||Self||
|Karmark Form||Mythic Shift||Self||The Vampire can activate their Karmark Form, which is a Mythic Shift that turns them into a so-called Vampiric Form. Vampiric Forms are alternate appearance versions of the Vampire’s normal form that give creative liberty to the player in terms of design, with some noted limitations. All Vampiric Forms (per bloodline) have some basic rules so that a Bloodline can easily be read from their appearance, however beyond that, many different aesthetic aspects can be modified at will. It is required to produce a “Vampiric Form” section on the Character Application, detailing in a Paragraph what your character’s Vampiric Form looks like. Having a separate skin for Vampiric Form is not required, strongly recommended for immersion. The following rules apply to the Karmark Form for this Bloodline:
von Kërle Form Mutations
Form Mutations can only be used in Vampiric Form (Karmark Form). Each Player may choose up to 5 Mutations from this list, which must be recorded on a Character Application. Abilities may not be used before the Application is approved. Abilities may only be changed once, repeated changing of Abilities will result in a Character App being revoked. Some von Kërle Mutations can apply outside of Vampire Form. Where applicable, this is mentioned in the description.
|Form Mutation||Ability Category||Range||Description (Choose up to 5 of these Mutations, they can only be used while in Vampiric form (Karmark Form))|
|Karmark Shroud||Trigger Passive||Emote Distance||For every second attack on the Vampire that creates a new wound that draws blood (whether it be slash or piece, this cannot be self or ally-inflicted), the Vampire can make a hand gesture to draw the blood out of the wound. From here, the Vampire can do one of two things. Either they can mend the wound that was drawn from, or turn the blood clot into a throwing dagger that they can then launch at any target within Emote Distance. When hit, the target suffers a Stagger that causes any Channel Ability to be canceled, and any charge to attack the Vampire to be interrupted. The dagger will imbed into the target’s skin and draw blood, but not pierce deep enough to do considerable damage beyond causing bleeding. The throwing dagger counts as an Ability projectile, and is a Vampire Spell, even if the effect of summoning the blood from the wound is a Constant Passive. After using this Ability, the next wound does not trigger it, but the wound after that does, and so forth.|
|Karmark Shred||Mythic Shift||Self||The Vampire performs a Mythic Shift that does not outwardly change their appearance, besides their hands and their legs. Their hands become more beastly with large claws, while their legs become digitigrade. While they become unable to wield any traditional weapons because of the length of their claws, these claws are large and strong enough to pierce armor up to chainmail quality. Additionally, they are able to outrun any race, except for the Varran, to whom they are matched in speed. This Shift can be activated and undone nearly instantly, but cannot be re-used within 10 seconds of being removed.|
|Karmark Steel||Vampire Spell||Self||
The Vampire can cut any small piece or part of their skin, causing blood to flow out and rapidly envelop their forearms, upper arms, shoulders and torso, as well as their head. This blood near-instantly hardens into a Steel-like armor cuirass, forearm guards, shoulder guards and helmet without visor where the face remains visible of any design the person likes, though it must always be crimson red in color. This armor acts as any normal steel armor would, though if it is pierced or damaged, that particular piece disintegrates and cannot be remade until the Ability is activated again. The Ability cannot be activated again until all pieces are destroyed or until the Vampire chooses to dispel the armor, in both cases it has a 4 hour cooldown.
|Karmark Song||Vampire Spell||Self||The Vampire can summon blood-sung weapons made out of crystallized blood with the toughness of steel. They can summon one weapon (or two if they dual-wield), but they cannot give these weapons to anyone else, as when they leave their hands, the weapons disintegrate. After disintegration, this Ability goes on a 20-second cooldown. This Ability can summon ranged weapons also, but any and all weapons including ranged obey Proficiency mechanics. Additionally, projectiles shot with a Bloodsung bow will be made out of Bloodsung material also. Bloodsung arrows somewhat disintegrate in travel to their target, before splashing onto them in puffs of red smoke. This does not cause actual wounds, but does equivalent harm to the target as if they were actually hit with an arrow. Finally, Bloodsung weapons can be exploded while in the hands of the Vampire. This causes a shockwave that pushes everyone (excluding the Vampire) within 8 blocks back by 3 blocks, but does not knock them off their feet, yet will interrupt charges or Channel Abilities. If this mechanic is used, this Ability goes on a 1 hour cooldown.|
|Karmark Sight||Vampire Spell||Viewing Distance||
The Vampire is able to immobilize themselves into a standing position of meditation, usually with their hand in some form of gesture in front of them with their eyes closed. After five seconds, they can open their eyes, which start flaring a bright red glow, even radiating red search-light like glow onto whatever area they are looking at. While in Truthsight and remaining unmoved, the Vampire is able to see through all Illusions, including camouflage, abilities that change visual appearance that would normally require 10 Perception Training to see through. They can keep this up indefinitely, though as soon as they move their feet, the Ability is canceled, and is on a 10-second cooldown before it can be used again so long as the Vampire is not being attacked. This is classified as a Detection Mechanic.
|Karmark Beast||Vampire Spell||Emote Distance||The Vampire gains a permanent (so long as they are Vampire) familiar, a corrupted version of the Ailor Drahl bird companion. This companion is instead a mixture between a bird of prey without feathers and a bat with a long prehensile tail. This familiar is capable of minor aesthetics for the Vampire such as fetching small items from within Emote Distance or feasting on some meat on their shoulder. The familiar may not leave the same street as the owner, and cannot be used to deliver messages back and forth. Additionally, the Vampire gains +5 Perception Training through communication with the bird’s eye view. Finally, the bird can be commanded to, once a day, strike the foe somewhere on their body except in their face, though this cannot be interrupted, and the familiar follows the rules for Ailor Drahl birds, preventing it from being harmed. If the Vampire is a Drahl, they have two Vilebeasts, gain only one +5 Perception Boost, but can command each bird to attack separately once a day. This Mutation remains active outside of Vampiric Form and can also be used outside of Vampiric Form.|
|Karmark Bones||Vampire Spell||Self||The Vampire can stand still and cast an Immobile Channel for 30 seconds that when completed, causes a set of Vampiric skeletons in armor with spears to rise from the ground in a (up to) 5 block wide 1 block deep single line formation (it can be as short as 2 blocks wide also). This Bonewall cannot move from the position they were summoned, but can be placed in a doorway or a gateway to act much like a Mage Ward in that it will create a barrier. The Vampiric skeletons cannot be killed, and will attack anyone who reaches within 2 blocks with their spears, automatically stabbing outward, though they cannot attack backwards and ignore what happens behind them. A Bonewall can only be removed by anyone who has a Mage-Ward destroying Ability or Mechanic. If someone who has a Mage-Ward breaking Ability or mechanic approaches the Bonewall, it will ignore them, they still cannot pass, but they can start their Mage-Ward destroying Channel (if there is one) without being attacked by the Bonewall. Those with flying Abilities can fly over the Bonewall, but only if the clearing above the floor is at least 7 blocks high, otherwise they will get stabbed by a spear on their way through. Each Vampire with this Mutation can only have one wall active at any given time. They can choose to destroy their Bonewall from anywhere, but the Ability goes on a 5 minute cooldown after they break it, or it is destroyed with a Mage-Ward breaking Ability or mechanic. In order to place a Karmark Bonewall, use an in-game ticket to ask Lore Staff or World Staff for help. A Bonewall is represented by dark gray glass 2 blocks high with skeleton skulls on top and a sign in front identifying it as a Bonewall. This Ability can be used outside of Vampiric Form.|
|Karmark Howl||Emote Distance||Self||For any person that the Vampire has drawn blood on, as long as they are still in Emote Distance, the Vampire can activate their Bloodhowl ability. They perform a howl, after which the victim that has a bleeding wound starts producing red bloody scratches on whatever surface they walk or stand on, wherever they move, that is only visible to the Vampire. This Tracking effect remains active for up to an hour, or until the Vampire wills it to end, after which it can immediately be applied to someone else.|
|Karmark Step||Constant Passive||Self||The Vampire is able to detect any kind of Hunting Proficiency designed trap, snare or otherwise mundane form of trapping mechanism that would require them to walk into it, or trigger some sort of mechanism by knocking into it. They can detect such things before stepping into them. Furthermore, their footsteps make absolutely no sound whatsoever so long as they are not wearing armored boots or shoes. This Ability can be used outside of Vampiric Form.|
|Karmark Raven||Trigger Passive||Self||The Vampire can summon a Raven (even underground) to intercept an incoming mundane projectile (from for example a bow or a throwing weapon). The Raven is pierced and instantly killed, dropping to the floor, after which it will melt into a pile of blood. This Ability can be used twice per day. Additionally, the Raven’s post-demise blood pool can be used to raise a blood arrow out of the ground over the course of a few seconds, and shoot it back at whoever shot the arrow that killed the Raven. This arrow will guarantee to land on the shooter, on whatever bodypart the shooter was originally aiming at, unless the shooter has gotten behind cover in the meantime. The arrow still obeys ranged weapon rules as defined on the Proficiency Page with regards to damage, and reflects the same damage the original arrow would have done.|
- Before House von Drachenburg ruled prominently from Lödenthal-Dessau, a coven of von Kërle once tried to assault the fortified Drachenburg Castle in an attempt to stage a hostile takeover. While the actual attack failed and was repulsed, the night is still remembered as "Nachtblätter Tanznacht", which translates to "Night leaves dancing night", celebrating the victory of the locals every 3rd of December by wearing all-white clothing with a single green sash tied around the waist and a small 5-inch dagger bound with ropes on the shoulder. Many Waldmarkers died during the attack, but it is still fondly remembered by the citizens for their brave defense against the militarily superior von Kërle Vampires.
- Count von Kërle has not turned any Vampires himself over the past 100 years, however claiming descent from 3rd removed infection or higher by von Kërle himself is a frequent boastful claim by Vampires, as von Kërle was also one of Calemberg's most skilled and unbeaten fencers.
- Speaking of fencing, von Kërle Vampires absolutely adore fencing, as in many ways, the sport represents so many parts of their identity and their favorite activities, enshrouded in class and grace.