Vampirism, also known as the Sanguine Curse, is a Void-spawned blood-curse that has plagued Aloria for thousands of years. A disease hated by most of Aloria's people, this Affliction causes the infected to undergo both physical and mental transformations, and has come and gone with the ebb and flow of Void Invasions. Vampirism can be cured by an aggressive and somewhat lengthy process, though many Vampires desperately attempt to avoid being cured, or even seek re-infection, spurred as much by the mental changes incurred by the curse as it is by the excessive cruelty of Alorian authorities towards Vampires. In the Regalian Empire, Vampirism is regarded as unholy or even demonic, as often treated with curing as it is imprisonment or outright execution; Unionist faithful make frequent shows of Vampiric executions, driving Vampires into living in the outskirts or underbellies of settlements. Vampires are considered leeches on society as they feed themselves on the blood of the unwilling and powerless, empowered by darkness and Void Energies. 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 has been on the rise since the end of the Great Vampire Wars, often following 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. Even far in the north, a Vampire Principality exists in Ellador, the state of Dorkarth entirely inhabited by Vampires and their feeding cattle, seeking to overthrow neighboring kingdoms.
Playing a Vampire in Regalia
Vampirism in Regalia is extremely illegal, and the Regalian Guard (The State Metropolitan) are constantly on the lookout for Vampires to catch and cure them. To be a Vampire is illegal in Regalia, and so when playing a Vampire, you should expect to constantly be hunted. Vampires are designed to perform well in one-on-one fights, and will by nature of their Affliction always outperform individuals they are squared up against, though Vampires might consider twice to attack someone with Puretek or advanced Magic. Vampires can both be upfront and obvious, but sometimes may find that being subtle and using subterfuge is more effective. Vampires group together and cooperate in covens, but players who play Vampires should expect to be disliked by the majority of the non-Vampire population, with only a few scant sympathizers among the other rejects of Regalia.
Vampiric Infection can occur in a number of ways. The most common method for Vampiric Infection is through feeding, which is explained in the Vampire Special “Vampire Feeding” (see below). There exist, however, two other forms of infection also that are somewhat lesser known. The second method is to perform the dark ritual to the Archdemon. This involves finding a Dark Altar, which are usually effigies built by Vampires to praise the Arch-Void, the greatest of all Demons from the Void. Any blood offered to this Dark Altar will turn into infected blood; consuming this blood will cause the drinker to instantly become a Vampire. The third method is to willingly drink half a cup of blood from any Vampire who had directly blood-letted their own blood into a cup. Vampires gain no sustenance from feeding on other Vampires, but the mundane can be turned into a Vampire by consuming a decent amount of Vampiric Blood; this does not work on large quantities of liquid, and so Vampiric Blood cannot be used to unwittingly infect large groups of people.
Exceptions to Vampirism
- Urlan cannot be infected with Vampirism. Vampires also cannot feed from Urlan, as any attempt to bite through their neck fails, and even if they got their hands on Urlan blood, it would burn their mouth.
- If a Vampire uses Magic, this Magic has to be Void, and have Blood-based aesthetics (even without the Blood Spell Pack). If a Vampire uses Engineering, they may change their Branch to Dark Metal.
- Characters with Exist based abilities or afflictions cannot be infected with Vampirism due to the saturation of Exist essence. This includes Mages.
- As Vampirism is an Affliction, those who already have any other type of Affliction are unable to become Vampires. Additionally, those that already have Vampirism cannot become Afflicted with any other type of Affliction.
- Primal Mages and Archons are immune to becoming Vampirically infected. They can still be fed from like normal however, even if Vampires say that Archblood blood tastes exceptionally stale.
- Ordial Mages, Undead, and other Ordial empowered are immune to becoming Vampirically infected. While Ordial Mages can be drunk from, Undead don’t have blood that Vampires can be satiated from.
- Immunity from Vampirism can be bought through Affliction Scholarly Point Buy. This pack does incur Proficiency cost, but grants immunity to Blood Sickness that occurs when infection does not take hold.
When a Vampire becomes infected with the Sanguine Curse, their mental outlook on themselves, others, and the world changes. This is a magical effect caused by the Affliction itself, and thus applies exactly the same to everyone who becomes a Vampire, though the severity may differ between races. For example, while an Ailor may become more selfish and vain, the egotistical and self-aggrandizing nature of Altalar will be amplified to even greater heights. For ease of reference, the mental changes are recorded in a bullet point list below:
- Vampires do not have a conscience. In most cases they can just do whatever they like without feeling guilt or remorse over anything. They are certainly not self destructive and can distinguish long-term effects of their decisions, they just no longer care about the feelings and wellbeing of others. Vampires can be anxious, but only rarely suffer from self-doubt.
- Vampires gain a more possessive and domineering sense of love or friendship. While Vampires can certainly still have friends and lovers, by far and large, this affection is more through the scope of “You belong to me”, instead of “I love you”. They can still care, but only insofar one cares for their own possessions, and are very prone to jealousy.
- Vampires are very full of themselves, believing in their own physical and mental superiority over those who are uninfected. They see the uninfected as either: soon to be infected, undeserving of infection, or blood-cattle to sustain on. Vampires will frequently use the uninfected to achieve their goals.
- Vampires are anti-religious. Any concept of spirituality is lost to Vampires, with the exception of Void God or (Void) Arken worship. A Vampire may still pretend to worship their pre-infection faith, but know deep down that it is all pretend. Vampires show particular disregard for holy sites or religious artifacts.
- Vampires are not necessarily anti-establishment. While many Vampires seek to destroy the Regalian Empire, there are just as many who believe that the Empire is in fact the easiest tool or vehicle through which to expand their own influence and power, and to infect more with Vampirism. A Vampire can still be loyal to the Emperor, hoping to one day make him a Vampire.
The Vampiric Infection can only ever truly be cured through one way: the Sakrosanct. The Sakrosanct is an ancient ruin found on the Crown Isle which houses an inner chamber which has some sort of effect on the Vampiric Infection (or Cahal Affliction). The exact first curing of a Vampire through the Sakrosanct has been lost to time, however the process has been transferred between Arcanologists. In order to cure a Vampire, the person must meet the requirements described in Scholarly Point Buy#Affliction Wisdom Pack and be present to lead the ritual. The exact process of the ritual is not wholly relevant and may be up to the player to dictate. The individual intended to be cured must be placed inside the curing chamber (which can contain up to two people at a time), after which the chamber is sealed and the curing begins. The ritualist may then perform their desired ritual, and a timer should be set for 10 minutes. If nobody has shown up to try and free the Vampire in the curing chamber (and the player being cured not notifying that someone is on their way), then the curing process is time-skipped and completed instantly. If someone arrives and attempts to break out the Vampire, then the Curing can only be completed when the attackers have been defeated and left. If the defenders are defeated by the attackers, the Curing ritual is interrupted and the Vampire may be freed. In both instances, attackers and defenders may not be captured, and must be allowed to leave by the victor.
Abilities and Specials
Vampires do not have any Abilities in their Base Kit. Instead, Vampires gain 4 commutable Point-Buy Points that can be spent in specific Categories. These commutable Point Buy Points do not increase any Proficiency Stat, and allow the purchase of additional Point-Buy Packs, but do not allow them to exceed the cap. These commutable Point-Buy Points must be mentioned on the Character Application, and are lost instantly when the Character is cured. These Commutable Point Buy Points may be used in the following Categories: Artificer Point Buy, Roguery Point Buy, Spell Point Buy, and Afflicted Point Buy a unique category only certain Afflictions have access to. Each Vampire Type does still have Specials though.
Blooded Vampires or just Vampires, are the most commonly found type of Vampire which can either operate as a lone wolf, an occasional ally, or a member of a greater Coven or group.
- Vampiric Glamor: Vampires have a Glamor, the ability to perfectly imitate their pre-infection appearance. However, a few things break their Glamor, and make it obvious that they're a Vampire. If they use any Abilities gained from the Commutable Points (not Specials), feed, or are targeted by some kind of forced reveal Ability, then the Glamor breaks. Glowing red eyes is the universal sign of Vampirism across all Vampire Forms and visual designs. A Vampire may choose to walk around without their Glamor. It is important to note that a Glamor cannot ever look like another person, and only exists to obscure their status as a Vampire.
- Vampiric Bloodlust: Vampires are cursed with a hunger for blood: food and drink do not sate them. Their curse means that they do not age, so long as they continue to drink it. This even extends their lifetime beyond what is natural (although Vampires over 200 require hibernation to sustain themselves). If a Vampire stops drinking blood or is cured, they rapidly re-age, and become extremely weak, unable to use Abilities. While this will never kill them, it makes them old and frail, until they acquire fresh blood or are re-infected. When Vampires are exposed to blood, they become anxious and have to suppress the urge to drink it, which can compromise their ability to keep up a Glamor. Vampires must feed on player characters once every two weeks, and are not allowed to feed on NPCs. Players who go on hiatuses can choose to have their Vampire Hibernate.
- Vampiric Feeding: Vampires can feed on unconscious or restrained targets by sinking their fangs into their neck. This only requires a few seconds of contact, and is painless for the victim, while also erasing any memory of the feeding and any memory from the last 24 hours that would allow them to conclude that the person who fed on them was a Vampire. It is not possible for a Vampire to feed mid-combat. Vampires can feed from a willing target for a longer period of time, or allow any target to remember the feeding. As well, if a Vampire successfully feeds, within the 10 seconds after they finish feeding, they can instantly teleport to their Rental Region, Regalian Business Region, or a Noble Estate or Clandestine Base that they belong to. They must be out of combat. Anyone besides the victim who sees them teleporting will remember.
- Vampiric Infection: Most Vampiric infections happen through biting. However, Vampiric infection is consent-based. If a Player does not want their Character to be infected, they will receive Blood Sickness instead. If a Player does consent, either the Character can be instantly infected, or they can go through a slow process of infection where they have Blood Sickness and are corrupted over the course of a week before succumbing and drinking blood to turn. Blood Sickness causes -2 Strength and -1 Constitution for 72 hours after successful feeding. (This does not affect Point-Buy Packs.)
- Vampiric Influence: Vampires can subtly and telepathically send desires, emotions, and feelings to a target non-Vampire in the area around them. They cannot interfere with actions or movements, or does it work if their target is mid-combat. These sensations can never force a target to act a certain way, but the target's Player can decide to give in and do what the Vampire wants. This influence only lasts as long as the Vampire is in Emote Distance. With the OOC consent of the target, the Vampire and target can agree for the target to become the Vampire's thrall, who obeys every command given by the Vampire to the letter until Exorcised. Additionally, Vampires are immune to any Specials that would mind-control them, unless they want them to work.
- Vampiric Presence: Vampires cannot be detected during Server Events or Player Events that are recorded in the Calendar, including Imperial Court events. Anyone who wants to attack or capture a Vampire during one of those events forgets what they were doing and that the Vampire was there, walking somewhere else. This effect is broken if the Vampire attacks anyone or ridicules anyone there or the host. The Vampire must leave before the event is officially over, as they lose Vampiric Presence immediately when it ends.
- Vampiric Visions: Vampires may send visions or dreams to those they have fed on. These cannot trigger when the Character is actively doing something else, but can be constructed entirely as the Vampire player wants, and communicated OOC with a time/date and whether it is a waking vision or sleeping dream. Vampires can continue to send visions to victims until they are Exorcised. If the visions are OOCly disruptive, the victim may offscreen Exorcise themselves to get rid of them.
- Vampiric Physiology: Vampires do not naturally breathe and do not require oxygen. They can exist underwater and in vacuums, and can never be suffocated. As well, they are not affected whatsoever by the cold, although they can still be inhibited by snowfall, and frozen in place if encased in ice.
- Vampiric Familiar: Vampires are able to summon a Vampiric Familiar. It can be any type of small housepet such as a rodent, domestic canine, domestic feline, bird, small mustelid, rabbit, pygmy pig, reptile, or amphibian, or any other kind of small, domesticable animal. All Vampiric Familiars have some kind of bat-like features imposed on their natural form. They cannot be used in Combat RP and cannot be harmed by others. They can however carry hand-held items and interact with the environment, as long as they stay in Emote Range of their owner. If the Vampire already had a Familiar, it becomes their Vampire Familiar instead.
- Vampiric Dressage: Vampires are able to magically change their clothes. They can change the texture, color, pattern, shape, and appearance of any fabric or leather clothing piece. Additionally, they can instantly and seamlessly summon or resize any article of clothing on themselves. This Special cannot be used to summon armor. However, it can be used on any Vampire Thralls the Vampire might have, while within Emote Range of them.
- Vampiric Duplication: Vampires are able to magically copy the appearance of another person that they have been within Emote Range of at least once before. This Special only works on Player Characters, and not Event NPCs, but allows the Vampire to perfectly copy the appearance, visuals, voice, etc of a person exactly, while also disguising their Vampiric Nature. A Vampire can don or remove this Disguise at will, and it cannot be removed by others. This Special is utilized by copying a person's Minecraft skin and nickname.
- Vampiric Aesthetics: Vampires have a deep connection to the Void. Any summon or magic aesthetics that they use should be hues of red or black. Visual themes should be based on blood or blood-singing in some way.
- Vampiric Form: All Vampires have an alternate appearance called a Vampire Form which is a Special Transformation that changes their appearance to such a degree it can also function as a disguise. Vampiric Forms can have a number of additional traits such as extra arms, eyes, horns, wings, tails, spikes, tendrils, appendages and more. It is important to remember however that a Vampire Form is purely aesthetic when it comes to Combat Roleplay, so for example, extra arms cannot be used to wield extra weapons, though outside of Combat Roleplay they can be functional to perform non-hostile/competitive actions like pouring a drink or holding an item. This Special cannot be combined with, or used at the same time as, any other Disguise Ability or Special. Vampiric Forms have an additional set of rules that must be followed:
- Vampiric Forms may never imitate other Transformations of other Abilities or other Races. Additionally, some element of red must be prominent, but exactly where is up to the player.
- Players may design their own Vampiric Form, but the description must be placed on a Character Application under “Vampiric Form” somewhere in Abilities.
- Vampires who are members of Covens may have traits in their Vampiric Forms that are similar, usually defined by the Greater Vampire Player to make them appear like they belong together.
- Coven based traits may appear and disappear depending on the Vampire’s allegiance. Generally a Vampiric Form must be recognizably the same between loyalties.
- The Player may decide that their Vampiric Form is unrecognizable from their normal appearance, or has the same face. It functioning as a disguise is optional. Vampire Forms are, however, always recognizable as a Vampire.
A Vampire becomes Greater when they have infected four or more people and those people form a Coven with them, with those four Vampires being considered the Greater Vampire's "Pledged Vampires". Alternatively, they can have a currently infected Vampire pledge to them, but this pledge is permanent until that Vampire is cured. It is important that their Coven members stay active- Greater Vampire status is lost if their total active Pledged drop below four. Greater Vampires must write down the names of their Coven members on their Character Application. Bonded Vampires cannot become Greater Vampires. They have access to the following extra Specials:
- Coven Telepathy: The Greater Vampire is (while stationary inside a Rental Region / Regalian Business Region / Noble Estate / Clandestine Base) able to manifest an illusion of themselves made out of blood-smoke within Emote Range of their Pledged Vampires. This illusion cannot move, but can gesture and communicate within Emote Distance. If attacked, it disappears, dissolving for a minute. Pledged Vampires belonging to a specific Greater Vampire can call for them to appear with their illusion, which the Greater Vampire may accept or decline.
- Coven Mender: Pledged Vampires belonging to the Greater Vampire may drink from their blood and restore all wounds, including body parts lost in the past 24 hours. This Special can only be used inside a Rental Region / Regalian Business Region / Noble Estate / Clandestine Base belonging to the Greater Vampire or their Coven, and can only be used if the region is not being attacked or besieged.
- Coven Control: If a Greater Vampire's Pledged Vampire is captured, imprisoned, or cured, they become aware of their imminent fate by prophetic vision. If the Metropolitan is planning to cure them, the Greater Vampire must be OOCly informed of the date and time. It is the Vampire not the Metropolitan's responsibility to do this. As well, Greater Vampires cannot be cured conventionally (the Metropolitan OOCly knows when a Vampire is Greater). If they are to be cured, a Palace inquestor is called down, who sends the Metropolitan to fetch additional necessary quest items, after which they can be successfully cured.
A Greater Vampire becomes a Master Vampire or Desprince when they have produced (or Pledged) six or more Blooded Vampire followers. The Master Vampire can designate one of these six Pledged Vampires as a Greater Vampire. They cannot swap around who their "lieutenant" Greater Vampire is, but if that Greater Vampire is cured, they can pick a new one after 1 week. Master Vampires retain all Greater Vampire Specials, in addition to their Master Vampire Specials. (They can use Coven Mender and Coven Control on their Greater Vampire, but the Greater Vampire cannot use Coven Mender and Coven Control on the Master vampire.) They can make a ticket to discuss a Custom Kit with Lore Staff, which will remain in effect for as long as the Coven has the 7 necessary members or more. This Kit can vary greatly depending on the Master Vampire's niche. There can only ever be one Master Vampire in a Coven.
- Ultimate Blood-Bond: The Master Vampire is capable of magically maintaining a bond of blood to all of their pledged Vampires. When one of these Pledged Vampires is Cured, the Master Vampire is capable of instantly creating a Blood-Clone of that person at their Rental Region / Regalian Business Region / Noble Estate / Clandestine Base etc. This Blood-Clone is an exact copy of the prior Pledged Vampire, but is still infected as a Sanguine, and acts as a "split off" version of the target. While this Blood-Clone cannot share information that its 'original' would not have shared otherwise, it can act completely independently of its 'original,' and in perfect service to the Master Vampire. The Blood-Clone cannot be cured, but can be killed, or alternatively re-merged with its 'original,' if they are captured again by the Master Vampire, allowing for instant re-infection (and the destruction of the Blood-Clone). Blood-Clones automatically die after 1 Month's time, and require full re-infection to be created again. Blood-Clones can be played by the original character, or alternatively played by another player, if the original player consents.
- Call of the Void: When one of the Master Vampire's Pledged is cured, they can optionally activate a 'latent curse' in the individual. This essentially acts as a fake-curing, drawing the target back to the Master Vampire for re-infection via some magical force, once they are no longer under watch or suspicion. This Special relies on OOC consent, and generally exists as an IC explanation for people who still want to play a Vampire, but feel like their un-cured character wouldn't willingly return for infection.
Bonded Vampires are two Blooded Vampires in a romantic relationship who do not join a Coven. If for some reason their relationship changes/deteriorates, they become regular Blooded Vampires. Bonded Vampires can be family members, good friends, or have a Lord/Knight relationship of service and protection, or alternatively exclusive romantic partners (polyamory only counts if all members are Vampires and Vowed). They inherit regular Blooded Vampire Abilities and Specials, but get a few extra:
- Bonded Embrace: While within Emote Range of each other, Bonded Vampires gain +1 Strength. If one of them fails a dice roll, the other one can roll again, and the higher value is taken. This dice re-roll has a 2 hour cooldown, per Vampire. Bonded Vampires are able to telepathically communicate across any distance, through on-server Direct Message. They may also share feelings this way. Any Ability or Effect that counters Info Powers also disables this Special.
- Bonded Desperation: If a Bonded Vampire is about to be killed, knocked out, or dragged to curing, the other Bonded Vampire may descend from the sky on bat-wings to aid them. This landing is nearly instant, and the Player may be informed of the emergency through Discord or DMs. However, if their partner is already caught in a Combat Roleplay, they cannot appear. Landing can chain into an attack or Ability.
A Vampire Brood is someone with a Vampire parent. They can be infected like mundane people, and cured too, but have a unique appearance. They have the following Specials, and the following Specials only:
- Vampire Heritage: Vampire Broods are not Vampires, but are often mistaken for them. They have permanently red irises which cannot be hidden, even through tinted glasses. Broods also have sharp canines, though never quite as long as a real Vampire's, and optionally may also have paler skin, reddened eye sockets, and sharpened nails. Additional mutations are possible and can be inquired after in an RP Community Discord Staff Ticket.
- Bloody Allure: Despite not being Vampires, Broods are attracted to blood. When they see or smell it, they become nervous, fidgety, and lose focus. If they give in to the curse and consume it, they become pseudo-infected, getting access to all Blooded Vampire Specials (but not Abilities) for 72 hours. This pseudo-infection is not curable, but always reverts after the 72 hours.
- Vampiric Form: Even while not in their pseudo Infection or proper Vampiric Infection, Vampire Broods have access to an alternate appearance called a Vampire Form, which is a Special Transformation that changes their appearance. Vampiric Forms can have a number of additional traits such as extra arms, eyes, horns, wings, tails, spikes, tendrils, appendages and more. It is important to remember however that a Vampire Form is purely aesthetic when it comes to Combat Roleplay, so for example, extra arms cannot be used to wield extra weapons, though outside of Combat Roleplay they can be functional to perform non-hostile/competitive actions like pouring a drink or holding an item. Vampiric Forms work slightly differently for Vampire Broods than they do for regular Vampires. If a Vampire Brood becomes infected properly, or has a pseudo Infection, the rules of regular Vampire Vampiric Form apply, and their Vampiric Form may change until they are cured. The rules applying to Vampire Brood Vampiric Forms are listed below:
- Vampiric Forms may never imitate other Transformations of other Abilities or other Races. Additionally, some element of red must be prominent, but exactly where is up to the player.
- Players may design their own Vampiric Form, but the description must be placed on a Character Application under “Vampiric Form” somewhere in Abilities.
- The Player may not decide that their Vampiric Form is unrecognizable. Vampire Broods in their Vampire Form are always recognizable, the Vampiric Form cannot act as a disguise.
To be a vampire is to be hated and hunted by nearly all of Aloria. All over the world, vampires are reviled for their foul curse, seen as power-hungry leeches and agents of malice that only exist to prey on the innocent and powerless. While none of this is explicitly untrue, many vampires have reasons for turning to vampirism beyond the promise of power. To a vampire, vampirism is often seen as a means of self-expression, escapism, and above all, freedom.
Vampiric culture is attributed to both individualism and community; it's typical for a vampire to be very anti-government and anti-religious because these institutions are often very socially limiting. Vampires are driven by their wants, be it power, security, fame, or glory; vampires seek to be the best of themselves, and it's not uncommon for a vampire to feel as if their family, culture, government, religion, or morals get in the way of that. For these reasons, vampires typically either leave or are outcast from their society and are summarily seen as selfish, antisocial, and baleful beings who deeply hate all who participate in society. However, vampires are social creatures who crave to be around like-minded individuals; for this reason, it's not uncommon that a vampire may join or found a coven of other like-minded vampires or bond to another vampiric partner. It's rare to find a vampire who is truly a lone wolf and hasn't at least allied themselves to another vampire or coven as a whole.
Covens are what make up the basis of vampiric culture, and a vampire often defines their own culture based upon what Coven they may be a member of. Covens can vary wildly, and are often heavily influenced by the members that make it up, just as the coven itself influences its members, with some being militaristic, others more subterfuge based. What defines a Coven is simply the gathering of vampires - a Coven does not need to be structured in any particular way, some covens elect to have a single vampire lead them, while others choose for a council, rarely a coven may even be democratic in nature. It’s not unusual for newly forming covens to try and imitate older more established covens. The culturally relevant and longest lasting covens are often referred to as ‘Bloodlines’, the Bloodlines of modern vampiric culture are listed below and are often imitated in some way, be it through name, practice, or symbol.
Rituals and their purposes are typically unique between covens, but there have been instances where two connected covens may share rituals, and some rituals can involve many covens at once. Rituals do not need a specific goal in mind, though they typically do have one, and are often treated as social events that allow vampires to gather and cooperate either within a coven or between them. Some specific rituals have been popularized and passed along between covens, and are now common to vampiric culture as a whole.
The Faceless Masquerade
The Faceless Masquerade, first popularized by Desprince Eveleanda Morvanus, is a ritual that heavily involves the arts of subterfuge and seduction. It’s often Alais that partake in this ritual, though Milôt and Dorkarth have been known to partake as well. A Faceless Masquerade is often not a party hosted by the vampires in question, as the name may imply, but rather is instead the act of a vampire or a coven of vampires attempting to infiltrate an already planned party. It’s not uncommon for a coven of vampires to prepare for a Faceless Masquerade together - the process involves not only a disguise - which is usually done with vampiric magics and makeup - but also involves creating fake personas and coming up with backstories and pseudonyms. Then, members of the coven, if successfully infiltrating, will typically attempt to gain positive rapport with the host or any guests of importance. It’s not uncommon practice for less militaristic covens to use Faceless Masquerades as a chance to acquire new members, and typically the seduction of the host and guest is with the intention of getting new thralls or new coven members who are already high in society.
The Fledgling Hunt
Fledgling Hunts were popularized by the first Desprinces of Dorkarth, and are performed by all bloodlines regularly. Fledgling hunts are, essentially, initiation rites for newly blooded members of vampire covens. Often, Fledgling Hunts are a chance for a newly blooded vampire to prove their own competence and make a place for themselves in a coven’s hierarchy. These initiation rights, despite the name, do not always have to be hunts in the literal sense - for example, a Milôt coven’s Fledgling Hunt may take place in hosting a fun party, an Alais coven’s Fledgling Hunt may involve successfully seducing a target of interest,and a Dorkarth coven’s may be successfully taking a new thrall. Though, it’s not uncommon for a Fledgling Hunt to just be an actual hunt, be it of potential prey or a Cahal - these practices are very common between von Kërle and Wyrden covens.
Dueling of Wutienda
Wutienda Duels are named after the Dorkarth Desprince, Wutienda, who first came up with the ritual, though the duels have been largely popularized in modern times by the von Kërle covens. Wutienda duels are affairs that are used not only for entertainment, but to train one’s skills, and to settle disputes. The ritual involves first drawing a circle of runes on the ground - the size does not matter, it can be as small or as large as the vampire likes, though the circle has to be unbroken. The materials used to draw this circle has to be mixed with the blood of those that intend to participate in the duel - there is no limit of participants, the only stipulation being that all participants must be vampiric and have infected blood, or the ritual will fail. After the ritual circle is drawn, and all participating vampires step into the circle, the ritual can be fully activated with a single drop of Greater Vampire or Desprince blood. Upon activation, the circle is enclosed with a magical barrier that does not allow anyone into the circle, but can let participants out (however, they cannot re-enter upon exiting). The circle stays this way until only one living vampire remains. It’s typical for a Wutienda duel to end in a death or multiple deaths (at the end of the duel, all killed parties are returned to life, though the victor’s wounds are not healed), however this is not always the case. Wutienda duels can be done with non-lethal fights, or more unique fighting styles such as trying to shove an opponent out of the dueling ring. Rarely, Wutienda duels are used in a manner that’s not particularly violent - as some Alais covens tend to do - such as having contestants verbally spar until one gets their feelings hurt and declares defeat by leaving the ring. It’s typical for duellists to either agree on a fighting method themselves, or have the Greater vampire or Desprince who activates the ring decide on the method and rulings, and it is seen as incredibly taboo to deviate from the rulings of a Wutienda duel. It is possible for a Greater Vampire or Desprince to declare a ‘champion’ of their coven through the use of a Wutienda duel - where the winner of the duel can be branded with a glowing mark (which is unique between covens) somewhere on their body as a symbol of their status as the coven’s champion, which essentially declares them one of the coven’s best. This mark can be hidden by glamor form, and there can only ever be one ‘champion’ per coven, which makes the position highly sought after, especially from more prideful vampires.
The Ritual of Projections
By use of this ritual, any Vampire-attuned Ezekiel is able to summon a ghastly ethereal Tome (of any chosen aesthetic design) comprised of their accumulated knowledge, arcane or otherwise. This Tome may not be stolen, conventionally or through arcane means, as any who attempt to touch it simply phase through it. Even the Ezekiel is unable to touch it, instead causing it to levitate ahead of them whilst manipulating page flipping through arcane hand motions. Whilst this tome is summoned, the Ezekiel is endowed with various glowing runes etched into their bodies (inclusive of any transformations to Lich form). By flipping through the pages of the Tome, the Lich is thus able to project visualizations onto any nearby wall (including the ceiling or floor) for others to view. This wall must be prepared with a runic glyph-circle etched or drawn into it, such as with chalk, blood, paint, or carvings. For instance, if the Lich were offering a lecture on Dragons, they could project a vision of Dragons; regardless of whether or not the Lich had ever seen Dragons. As such, they are even able to project their memories, but may only project one vision on one wall at a time, manipulating only what is seen on the ‘screen’. They are unable to perform this ritual within combat, nor for any purpose besides the sharing of knowledge or telling of stories. It is designed to allow for wisened Ezekiel Vampires to lead more engaging lectures and sermons regarding all which they have learned, or to entertain their Coven with stories of their travels.
The exact origins of the Vampiric Curse is unknown, largely because the Regalian Empire has been exceptionally efficient at suppressing information about the Vampiric Curse for centuries following the Vampire Wars. Vampirism itself is thousands of years old however, with a variety of it affecting (presumably) nearly every civilization that suffered a Void Invasion. Within the Allorn Empire still exist some records of claims by the Meraic Civilization where those corrupted by the darkness fed on their own people, which is often regarded as evidence for Vampirism having existed at least as far back as 2000 years. With the Void invasions however, and with the Arch-Void disappearing from the world after a successful purge, the Vampiric Curse would eventually die out as it lacked the population to sustain itself, thus disappearing until the next Void Invasion. A handful of Vampires are known (and rumored) to have survived each civilization fall, going into hibernation and remaining hidden for hundreds if not thousands of years, waiting to be administered a drop of blood to be revived. When the last Void Invasion at the end of the Allorn Empire took place, Vampires once again started appearing among the Altalar, some cults which had become prone to blood worship and cannibalism. When the Void Invasion was halted, Vampirism disappeared along with the rest of the Demonic forces, but re-appeared in Ellador several years later. The theory among scholars in the Regalian Court is that Vampirism was designed to weaken the population before the main Demonic force would arrive, causing in-fighting and terror among the population thus reducing their effectiveness in a fight. Since the Arch-Void was defeated on a more permanent basis however, Vampires have effectively exceeded their purpose, and started defining their own reason to exist in the world, causing the creation of so-called cultural Bloodlines.
In vampiric culture, the term ‘bloodline’ is not referring to literal descendance by relation, rather, it refers to the influence of notable past covens that have become cultural icons. It’s not uncommon for both individual Vampires and Vampire Covens to identify with a bloodline. There have been many throughout history, these are the most notable modern ones.
The Alais Bloodline originated in Ithania during the Vampire Wars. Its Desprince, Eveleanda Morvanus, led her cult-following to Ithania during their height, and managed to seduce one of the richest princesses of the local Hivres. The resulting two-woman power couple quickly spread their influence and soon turned the local courts to Vampirism. The Coven of Alais was founded, and its influence soon spread, as the Coven sent infiltrants to courts within Lusits, Solacia, Pays-Sud, and eventually even the Imperial Court itself. Vampires and Covens who align themselves as Alais pay homage and often imitate the ways of seduction, subterfuge, and infiltration the original Alais Desprinces had, and look to claim their freedom by climbing to the top of the social ladder and reigning over those on the lower rungs.
The Milôt Bloodline originated in the Regalian Archipelago, somewhere in Pays-Sud, around the time of the Ithanian Gem Boom. Unlike other Bloodlines, the history of the Milôt Coven was never well recorded, its Desprince is not known. It’s said, however, that they were a commoner and spent much of their time around carnivals. The Milôt Coven was not a strongly centralized Coven, rather, it was said to migrate regularly, following multiple troupes of entertainers throughout the Regalian archipelago and onwards. Those who align themselves with the Milôt bloodline are often entertainers, partygoers, extroverts and socialites who seek freedom through hedonism and fun.
The Wyrden Bloodline originates from the Morass Willow Walds in Western Anglia, after the Vampire Wars. The Wyrden Bloodline’s origins are steeped in a rich oral history and folktale that has mutated over time. It is believed the first Desprince of the Wyrden Coven was a prophet named Zalora, a vampire who was obsessed with fighting the Uhr-Beasts and ensuring the continuation of the Vampiric Gift. Contemplating how to defeat this mortal enemy, Zalora traveled the world in a great pilgrimage, seeking solutions to their dire problem. It’s said that Zalora found what they were looking for in the Regalian Archipelago, long before the Regalian Empire was formed, and after centuries they had mastered the art of controlling nature itself. It’s then said that Zalora transmuted themselves into a twisted leafless tree, and bled sap that gave birth to the first Wyrden Coven. The legitimacy of this story is questionable at best, though Wyrden often believe it to be true. Whatever the case, the Wyrden Coven started within Western Anglia’s walds, and has spread to forests within and beyond the Regalian Archipelago, and often compete with and antagonize Cahal packs openly and aggressively, believing them to the the Uhr-Beasts Zalora’s prophecy spoke of. Those who align with the Wyrden Bloodline are often sages, herbalists, mystics, gardeners and healers who seek freedom by continuing Zalora’s prime directive: fighting the Cahalic beasts and ensuring the continued survival of Vampires.
The von Kërle Bloodline originated in the dark forests of Calemberg, Baldmark, and Waldmark. The Coven of von Kërle began during the heat of the Vampire Wars when a Dorkarth Desprince left Ellador to infiltrate Calemberg with the intention of weakening the Wirtem armies by seducing the higher rungs of society. This Desprince was successful, and managed to use his vampiric wiles to seduce the Count of Parchstadt and turn him to Dark Ancient worship. He was successful, however, the Count of Parchstadt proved more cunning than his Desprince lover, killing him and taking his power. How, when, or why the Count did this is lost to time, however it is said that the Count was not a Vampire going into the ordeal, and was a Vampire coming out of it. The von Kërle Coven spread through the dark forests shortly after the Count’s disappearance, and the von Kërle bloodline proliferated even through violent clashes with the Darkwald Order. Those who align with the von Kërle bloodline are often dogmatic and militaristic, and seek freedom through physical and militaristic might.
The Dorkarth Bloodline originated in Ellador many centuries ago, and is one of the oldest and largest still-relevant Covens to date. All modern Bloodlines are said to have descended from individuals converted by the fourteen immortal High Desprinces that make up the leadership of the Dorkarth Coven. It controls a state in north-western Ellador of the same name, and still contends with Dwarves and Isldar of the region to this day, all in the hopes of creating a Vampiric Empire. Those who align themselves with the Dorkarth Bloodline are often in favor of powerful, ruthless and Vampire-centric leadership, seeking freedom by being in control.
- It is a widespread belief among many Vampires that imitation is the ultimate form of flattery. To imitate another Vampire; be it in dress style, speech patterns, and even prey or thrall preference is to declare the imitated Vampire superior in some manner, which is often seen as a great compliment.
- It’s not unusual for a Vampire Coven to incorporate void-attuned Ezekiel into their ranks as blooded members. Although rare, there are recorded instances of void-attuned Ezekiel leading covens, or even claiming themselves as Desprinces. Void Silven often share a similar lot with Ezekiel in this regard, though typically Ezekiel are received better than Void Silven.