|Regions||Human and Elven populations.|
The Zehler Bloodline, more commonly known as the “Lordly Vampire” bloodline, is the rarest and most elusive Bloodline in existence. The Zehler Vampires are the most powerful Vampires of all, who have given their essence wholly through service of the Void and the Arch-Demon, as well as the Macabre Night, leading other Vampires in so-called Covens. With these Covens, Zehler Vampires create lairs for the damned from which they have their minions create an army of thralls and blood cattle, planning the downfall of whatever order they live beneath. Zehler rarely interact with other Zehler Vampires and can go decades without seeing another. Due to their chaotic nature, Zehler Vampires often wage war upon other Covens as well, to establish dominance and superiority. It is generally assumed that the Zehler Bloodline was the original Vampire Bloodline brought into existence. It is also thought that it was intended to be the leading Vampire Bloodline, with the other more subservient Vampire Bloodlines following after. The Zehler Bloodline makes the host extremely powerful, granting many abilities to harness the vile strengths of other Vampires, but also renders them very vulnerable to Vampire hunter attacks. Their machinations are always spun from the darkness, as sunlight is their worst enemy, more so than that of their minions.
After the Cataclysm the Arch-Demon Behesael was trapped in a limbo state between worlds. Following the many Void Invasions of ages before, the Arch-Demon was half-defeated in that his form in Aloria was dispelled and trapped in an Unholy Banshee. In spite of this, Behesael sought to continue to destroy the unity which it had faced during the last Void Invasion through agents of his doom. Through assistance of a few Attribate, the first blood curse of Vampirism was created: the Zehler Curse. The first infection of the Zehler Bloodline is very hard to trace due to their hibernation abilities. The first Zehlers were seen in northern Ellador, where they quickly passed into local legend due to their rare sightings. The term Vampire also stems from this era, as the locals referred to these beings who dragged off villagers in the night as Ljupære or Viljuspaer in Old Ceardian, meaning Stalking Thief. Only in 122 AC did these random killings and legends substantiate into something more of an epidemic in the Kingdom of Hedryll, which at that point had a much larger population and spanned much of the south of Ellador. It was in these early years that the common Bloodlines were made from these villagers that were dragged off in the night to sustain the Zehler Vampires.
The plague of Vampires (though at this point it was mostly the minion Vampires that did all the work while the Zehler remained in their Coven Nests) became so overbearing that it started destabilizing the Kingdom of Hedryll. The King declared a war on these unholy creatures in name of the Old Gods, but it was a losing battle from the start. Both the seductive powers of Vampirism as well as pure greed of Humanity caused many of the King’s closest advisors and loyalists to switch sides. The Tresmisae often heralded an invasion, followed by the main host. Infiltrant Vampires would then activate their traps and harass the enemies from the backlines. Within years, the Kingdom of Hedryll was brought to its knees and sent out requests to foreign nations for assistance. The King of Hedryll himself was killed, while his son fled to the southern islands where the Kingdom of Hedryll remains to this day.
In modern history, the actions of Vladimir Kade as Grand Chancellor of Regalia are often repressed, though he played an important role in establishing a military task force around 140 AC that meant to declare Holy War on the Vampires. Together with troops from various other local rulers and even some Ogres, this force clashed with the Vampires. This period, sometimes referred to as The Unspoken War, is a military conflict that historians find hard to trace; the Regalian Empire has largely destroyed all historical records of it to avoid glorification of Vampiric forces. The war itself lasted for nearly a decade and was a fairly even struggle for the first 8 years until out of nowhere, the Sancella of Union developed Holy Water in 148 AC. A mere chance encounter between a Vampire Scout in Daendroc and an Elf with a Nenya stake, a special prepared piece of wood holy to the Cielothar, resulted in the discovery of the Vampire weakness to all things Holy. With new weapons to fight the Vampires (and calming of the raging storms of Ellador due to shifting climates), the Vampires were pushed back and brought to the brink of extinction.
Were it not for the Zehler Bloodline, the Vampires would have surely been eradicated on the Elladorian continent. After their defeat in The Unspoken War, the few Zehler Vampires that remained either went in hiding, hibernated, or fled across the far reaches of the world to escape the now rising Vampire hunting sentiments. They often took shelter in small towns hidden by mountains or far from civilization to avoid alerting major regional powers to their presence. Slowly but surely, some of them established notable Covens that operated on a small scale and sometimes even waged war on each other. For even when they were closest to utter destruction, the Zehler Vampires still couldn’t stand one another or face cooperation. The Zehler had the largest amount of success in Ithania prior to the annexation of the Realm by the Regalian Empire. The locals were often ill-defended and surprisingly pliable to the seduction of Vampirism. Many who do know about the Vampires woes of the world, speculate often that the primary reason that Regalia conquered Ithania was to deny the Vampires a safe haven from which to construct a Vampire Empire, the financial gains only coming second. Around the period of 190 AC, the first Nelfin Vampires came into the world, and Ch’ien-ji and Qadir as well as Solangeria would follow shortly afterwards as their people started migrating around more due to increased commerce across the world, as Umredd infected in Ellador would infect others in far off continents.
The Great Vampiric Convergence is an event generally referred to by the Vampires as the time when they received some form of subconscious instruction to destabilize specifically the Regalian Empire. All Vampires normally feel the need to eradicate any order and authority that rules over the land so that they may revel in anarchy, but most Vampires were at this point specifically instructed to reach Regalia and commence tactics to overthrow the Empire from its heart. The arrival of the Vampires was not silent, nor undetected by the Empire itself. As soon as Vampires started flooding the Regalian Sewers, official guilds were established, with the most notable guild being the Crimson Watch which would later become the Crimson Inquisition. The Crimson Inquisition in particular received charters to inquest citizens and to smoke out any Vampires in hiding. This became particularly troublesome during the rule of the terrible Morgann Kade who gave them ever increasing rights, but suspended their ability to inquest the nobility. Many Zehler found their salvation among the nobility, and as such managed to infect more and more vampires. The Crimson Inquisition was fighting a losing war with the Vampires below the surface as they could never end of the source of the problem. Things began to look up after the Chancellor Morgann Kade’s rule ended, and Justinian the Second succeeded his father, Justinian the First.Justinian the Second turned out to be a zealous Vampire hater himself. This disposition resulted in many of the law enforcement Orders being set to serve the Crimson Inquisition instead, which was granted full freedom in its task. Another Unspoken War occurred in the Regalian Sewers which is generally called The Undercroft War. In this conflict, the Crimson Inquisition once more almost eradicated the Vampires, however the uncanny abilities of the Zehler and their hibernation allowed them to survive once more.
In recent years, Covens have started growing again as Zehler Vampires awaken from their slumber or are created by unknown forces. These Vampires continue to make lairs from which to plot the downfall of the Regalian Empire, as well as any other major established nation on Aloria. This is all with the intent to herald the next great Void Invasion, and to ensure that the world will be defenceless against the return of the Arch-Demon, who has promised his children of the night to plunge the world in eternal darkness and feasting.
Zehler Vampires are the jack-of-all-trades among the Vampires. They excell at seduction and combat, but also subterfuge and leadership among those of their kin. The most obvious part about a Zehler Vampire is their glowing red eyes which are always visible and unblinking. Their eye-whites are of a darker grey shade, while their pupils are always small. Even in complete darkness, their eyes are visible from dozens of feet away. Zehler Vampires have extremely dulled or outright grayed skin, much like the Shendar, while they often have raven-black or snow-white hair. What exactly dictates their hair color is unknown, but it never remains the same from their pre-Zehler form. Zehler Vampires, regardless of previous body shape or fitness, tend to be more on the strong side. Zehler faces tend to often be very charming however. Few wrinkles or skin imperfections can be found, with strong expressive eyes, a striking jawline and well groomed facial hair if any. Obviously, much like the other Vampires Zehler have enlarged canine teeth by which they can puncture a victim’s neck. Zehler Vampires cannot be made by infecting another person with the blood of a Zehler. An extremely complex ritual involving some meddling by an Attribate is necessary to create a new Zehler.
Zehler Vampires are the pinnacle of Vampiric arrogance and charisma. Despite their sometimes brutish appearance, Zehler Vampires are often classy, have fine tastes in victims for feeding (as well as wine, curiously enough), and often boast high intelligence. They are able to accurately plan tactical strategies for accomplishing their goals, and excel at talking other Vampires into supporting their Coven. Zehlers are greedy and impersonal. They only truly care for themselves, but do have some sense of a fatherly or motherly bond with their Coven members, extending to a desire to protect and nurture the members as children. Zehlers rarely leave the confines of their Coven Nest, but are known to wander to recruit more Coven members or wage war on other Covens. Zehlers are often obsessed with their own appearance, wishing to look attractive or appealing. They also only feed on those they deem worthy of their bite, avoiding dirty sewer stragglers. Zehlers are not overly sadistic, cruel or masochistic. They often leave killing and maiming to their minions and prefer to keep their hands as clean as possible. They are the leaders of the Covens, and aim to keep control over the other Vampires by a mixture of class, excellence, power, and political force. Zehlers adore bright colors and flowing silks, as well as jewelry and sometimes even make-up. They can’t stand dirty unkempt hair and aim to appeal to their own vanity as much as they can.
Zehler Vampires require a lot of blood, almost a feeding session a day, though they consume less blood per session than other Bloodlines on average. Zehler prefer healthy, clean and attractive preys and sometimes develop a very obsessive attitude towards their “feeding cattle” which they refuse to share with other Vampires and often even mark with either tattoos or decorations. To be a Zehler’s favorite feeding subject can often be favorable, especially if one aims to survive among a Coven as a non-Vampire. Zehlers frequently feed in battle. Any defeated opponent, if given enough time, will have some of their blood drank, regardless of if they are a desireable feeding subject or not. This is largely related to the Zehler’s immense pride and arrogance, and their belief that to consume a fallen enemy’s blood is the ultimate statement of victory. This mindset is only doubled when it concerns Vampire hunters.
The Zehler Vampires have all traits belonging to other Vampires as well, however they have more exaggerated effects caused by these traits. Below is an informative table which explains the individual traits and their effects.
Zehler Vampires have abilities more commonly shared by all other Vampire Bloodlines and then some. These abilities may differ in strength compared to other Bloodlines, so below is a table which explains the effects and terminology for various abilities.
Zehler Vampires, much like the other Vampires, have some abilities and traits strongly tied to their Coven Nests. Coven Nests are not places one should tread in lightly due to the increased powers Vampires enjoy in their home bases. These abilities or traits are only usable or active while within the confines of the actual Coven Nest, and as such cannot be used outside of it. Below is a list of all such traits and abilities with descriptions.
In order to be permitted to play a Zehler, a player must be approved through a process of Coven Canonization. This system is maintained by MonMarty and Plecy currently, allowing players to appeal to them for the canonization process. Before the canonization process starts however, there are some points that the players should be aware of. The Coven Leader (The Zehler Vampire) is expected to agree to a Code of Conduct for Vampirism on an OOC basis, and must also agree to hold this standard to their Coven members. Furthermore, Coven Canonization is not something that is just handed out on the fly. In order for a player to be eligible to Coven Canonization, such a player would need a track record of good (OOC) behavior, as well as some backing in community service, or some means by which they can prove that they have benefitted the whole Roleplay community or at least part of it in some way. If these obstacles are out of the way, the canonization process permits the player to produce a Coven by their design with its own culture, flag, name and Wiki page. As long as this Coven is valid (and the Code of Conduct) unviolated, the player who appealed to the process of canonization has the right to portray a Zehler Vampire for said Coven. While this is a Special Permission, it does not count towards your Special Permission limit, nor does it get registered on the Forum. Questions should be directed to the Lore Q&A, as the Vampire Managers primarily only handle the canonization processes.
Curing & Infection
A Zehler Vampire is often made through a very complex ritual that involves the direct investment of one of the Great Powers as a catalyst. Zehler Vampires are often made out of mundane non-Vampire Ailor, though Nelfin Zehlers have been known to exist as well. Some adventurers or common Vampires scour the world looking for any clues as to how to create a Zehler, though hardly any find what they are looking for with death in the wake of a search, though some yet become victims of the very ritual they wish to discover. Most Zehlers in the world existing are older Zehlers that have been around for a while, though the creation of a new Zehler altogether is not entirely impossible. Still, it is known that discovering the means to do so, or indeed becoming subject to the ritual required, requires vast resources and manpower as well as bravery and wit. Those infected with Vampirism by Zehler bites will always default to the Tresmisae bloodline. Curing a Zehler Vampire is impossible. Zehler Vampires have given themselves into the bloody arts to such a degree that a curing will irreversibly damage their bodies and kill them.
- One immensely powerful Zehler Vampire exists in the far north of Ellador. He has supposedly managed to create a Vampire city-state where he is the sole ruler over thousands of Vampires living in complete anarchy. Few have survived looking for this infamous Vampire city.
- One particularly infamous Zehler Vampire by the name of Pierre de Dulois once lived in the small County of Tirgunn in the West of Regalia. This Zehler was extremely gifted in the art of Necrotic Rise, often having corpses laying around his nest just for the sake of forming horrible monsters with them to kill would be adventurers to add to the corpse collection.
- While the Crimson Inquisition no longer exists in Regalia due to charges of corruption and unjust rule, a smaller less known Vampire hunting organization exists as a branch of the Witch Hunting Order called the Celeste Order.
- For unknown reasons, Songaskia with slitted pupils cannot become infected with the Zehler Bloodline. Songaskia with normal pupils can, however.