Template:Vampire One of the most disturbing and confusing creatures on Aloria is the vampire, carrier of the Sanguine Curse and creature of blood and night. Within the world are many vicious anomalies, but few match the vampire’s cunning ability to relate and maliciously manipulate. The vampire, in its physical understanding, is a being infected with the Sanguine Curse—a disease whose primary feature is the need to ingest blood in order to survive. Although they are more often than not depicted as wicked, destruction-hungry creatures, their history is as rich as it is diverse. In present Aloria, vampirism is a vastly widespread disease and issue, particularly in the capital city, Regalia, where they have been reduced to sewer dwellers, beggars and spreaders of sickness.
During the time vampirism has been prominent on Aloria, the Sanguine Curse has had time to mutate and transform into a variety of different bloodlines. A bloodline is a differing strain of vampirism, packed full of different effects and in some cases, cultures. Most bloodlines stem from the Qul'Ess Bloodline. Regional migration, cultural growth, and magical or alchemical influence had effects on various strains of these vampires as time passed, allowing a variety populations to mutate into both common and uncommon bloodlines all about Aloria.
Recently, in 302 AC, Wutienda made an appearance by causing what many scholars call the Great Vampiric Convergence. Over the span of a few months, the vice demon Malice traveled throughout Aloria, working her magic and meticulously spreading the Sanguine Curse to every sentient race she could find. As non-human bloodlines spread—some more subtly than others—with it came changes to the Qul'Ess and the way vampirism worked as a whole. Not many can name the event that changed the future of the curse, but those who experienced its effects still remain bewildered as to how vampirism spread from humans to other races across the planet.
A series of effects will occur that is synonymous among all humans and human bloodlines. Please be aware that these do not necessarily apply to all races.
- Humans infecting Humans: Since humans have a plethora of bloodlines they can become infected with, a human infecting another human will pass on the attacker's bloodline to the victim. This means if somebody of the Chyga Bloodline were to infect another human, that human would inherit that bloodline's traits.
- Humans infecting non-Humans: The Qul'Ess bloodline is the only bloodline capable of interracial infecting. The victim will receive their own race's default bloodline. If a Qul'Ess infected a Dwarf, the Dwarf would contract the Irontooth Bloodline.
- Non-Humans infecting Humans: Non-humans cannot infect humans with vampirism.
Vampiric infection occurs predominantly through the consumption of infected blood, by a certain ritual involving an Altar of Darkness, or by being bitten by an infected individual. Consuming blood is by far the most definite method. By consuming only a cup’s worth of infected blood, the victim will become infected with that bloodline, while being bitten by an infected individual only incurs a chance of around 15%. If they fall under the following circumstances, the process of infection begins almost immediately:
- The consumer is under the same racial classification as the infected (such as a human, a nelfin, or a mer).
- The consumer is not currently infected or recovering from vampiric infection.
When a victim drinks a cup’s worth of vampire blood or is bitten by a vampire, they become infected with the bloodline that infected them. When a victim uses a Dark Altar to become infected, they gain the bloodline specified in their ritual, provided it is within their classification. When a person becomes infected with vampirism, the process of infection takes three days to complete itself.
While each vampiric bloodline and each affected race is vastly different from the next, all vampires have a few traits in common:
|Blood Diet||The thirst for blood is a rudimentary trait of vampirism. While some bloodlines will ingest blood along with other liquids or materials, blood is the prime staple in a vampire's diet. The term "Bloodlust" was coined from a vampire's need to satiate their thirst for blood, sometimes driving them to murderous violence. Consuming one's own blood does nothing; blood must be from another being, be it animal or person. In most bloodlines, food and drink becomes moot; food will often settle or rot within the stomach and non-blood liquids will do little, including water. The exception is alcohol. Since blood flow is sped up, vampires become inebriated much faster, and alcohol has much stronger effects on those cursed.|
|Sensitivity to Sunlight||All vampires will find themselves much more sensitive to sunlight. While some will only find their skin become red, peeled, and cracked in severe sun burns that could leave scarring, in more severe cases, bloodlines and vampires may be prone to rapidly catching fire and burning to a crisp when exposed to the sun.|
|Sensitivity to Holy Water||Holy water is known to scald a vampire upon contact with any part of their body. This means if they were to be splashed by it, it would cause burns on their skin, and if ingested, will proceed to burn the vampire from the inside out unless they removed the water from their body. This process happens within seconds. Holy water behaves like acid to those cursed.|
|Increased Strength||For vampires of any bloodline, the strength increases dramatically. The default strength would be double that of their normal strength (a thin preteen might find the strength of a well-toned twenty year old). However, this differs with each bloodline. Vampires will also discover that their flesh (or scales, in some cases) are much more resilient to damage and less prone to bruises or cuts.|
|Better Healing||Vampires will heal faster and more thoroughly than those uninfected. Depending on the amount of blood intake, a small cut can take minutes to heal, while a larger would can take a few days. Things like scars and acne clear up, and limbs that have healed crookedly will remedy themselves. Healing will never be visible. Watching someone heal is like watching water boil.|
|Feeding Aids||Teeth, claws, or other sharp implements will grow to aid the vampire in feeding. While this usually takes on the form of sharpened or otherwise changed teeth, some bloodlines will develop claws, other mouth parts, or entirely new teeth where there weren't before. These new parts will almost always be for the sake of assisting in their newly discovered feeding habits.|
|Wood Aversion||Wood will not hurt vampires upon contact. Vampires are not weaker against wooden weaponry. Even though anyone whose heart gets pierced by a wooden weapon will most likely die, a vampire will combust into ash and flames upon the weapon (primarily a stake) puncturing their heart. If the stake is sharp enough, the vampire's death will be quick, but painful.|
Any vampire of any bloodline can be cured through the use of the following: a light mage skilled in the Healing Light form (must be Mage level or higher). Curing through Light Magic is usually an exhausting process for both the mage and the vampire. Light Magic curing typically only takes a few days to a week. When curing IC, the process will take three days IRL.
While under normal circumstances, the new blood would instantly become reinfected with the Sanguine Curse, blood that's magically transferred or healed has the capability to remain uninfected for a prolonged amount of time, usually in the span of a week to a month, depending on the mage's skill. The chance of death remains dangerously high if a victim tries to cure instantly, but gradually decreases the more time it takes to cure. However, if the mage takes too long, the magic will wear off and the Sanguine Curse will overcome the healed blood.
Curing differs from bloodline to bloodline. Qul'Ess vampires' eyes will go from red to their normal color, but their fangs will not fall out. Meanwhile, Sun-ji vampires will continue struggling with motor control until therapy improves this. Please take a look at the individual bloodline to determine what effects remain and what don't when the vampire is cured.
- Vampires cannot procreate. If a woman infected with the Sanguine Curse is impregnated, she will immediately miscarry. Furthermore, male vampires are simply infertile—they cannot produce children, and in fact risk infecting females they attempt to with the Sanguine Curse.
- Vampires have very rapid metabolisms, meaning their hair and nails grow faster than that of the uninfected.
- While lapis does little to a vampire, a number of scholars have suggested that massive amounts of lapis can have effects, such as weakening the cursed, and even reverting it entirely. The amount of lapis needed to achieve this would be unrealistically high, though, making it an incredibly impractical means of curing.
- When feeding on the blood of a vice or a virtue, the vampire will experience extreme euphoria that some might describe as a 'Natural High', similar to the effect Shendar have, but stronger.