Version 2.0 Reviewed version, more complete, excluded some irrelevant stuff, re-arranged order of information in order to make it easier to read and more interesting as well. Hi all, This is a setting I wrote in order to use when I RP about vampires. I also wrote it after learning about the canceled MMO game World Of Darkness, just in order to shut up all the screaming ideas in my mind. This idea is hugely inspired by the legendary video game Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines and yet, different enough to be an original idea. Index - 1 - What is an Original Vampire (short) 2 - Infected Vampires and Blood Generations 3 - The vampire anatomy 3.1 - Feeding 3.2 - Main organs 3.3 - Secondary organs 3.4 - Day light and day time 4 - Powers and Magic 4.1 - intro 4.2 - magic elements and abilities 4.3 - magic abilities and blood lines 4.4 - Powers and abilities summary 5 - Organization and the masquerade 6 - extended origin (supernatural explained) 6.1 - Supernatural science behind existence 6.2 - Reincarnation 6.3 - Heaven and Hell 6.4 - Reapers 6.5 - Demonic Possession 6.6 - Haunting 7 - For Example - Dracula WIP - Zombies 1 - What is an Original Vampire (short) Later in this document I have a section in which i talk about the after life and better explain what lies on the other side to justify the existence of vampires. In short an original vampire would be a soul that manages to cross back from the Spectral Realm into the Physical Realm, that requires a power even stronger than the one of a “Reaper” (Reaper concept also explained later). That usually requires a very strong link to Physical realm, either an object of affection or loving/hating someone or something very strongly. Also a vampire has likely been able to defeat and consume the “Reaper”(s) that would try to take them, by consuming the “Reaper”, the vampire, yet to be (a crossing soul at this stage), becomes stronger than the “Reaper” and then uses all it’s willpower to return to the physical realm. Thought it may seem simple in terms of understanding, it would be a task almost impossible to achieve. Through history only very few people have been able to achieve this feat. So, when a soul becomes a vampire it’s not something premeditated, simply that soul would be too strong, or maybe wickedly creative giving it an edge in battle, or both. So the soul, after staying sometime in the spectral realm, where time itself is distorted and they may never actually learn what is happening, returns to physical realm in the form of a vampire. So, to put it short and stupid: 1 - Person dies; 2 - Soul is not taken by the “Reaper”; 3 - Soul has an exceptional strong connection to the life it left; 4 - Soul has (gathers) enough “energy” (rest, consuming other souls or reapers); 5 - Will to return to this earth is so strong it crosses back to the Physical Realm reborn as a vampire. Since in the physical realm we perceive things through our senses and that information is recorded in our brain, and that’s the memory we use mostly, most of the after life experience is forgotten, a new “Original” vampire only remembers what he tries hard to think about on the first seconds after its return, all the other information (soul memory) is not physically recorded in the brain and is very hard to reach, maybe later through dreams, hypnotism wouldn’t work on a vampire since a vampire’s psych would be more powerful than any human hypnotist. Most original vampires, have no clue what is happening or what happened when they “return”, they just remember dying and then “awakening” in their place of burial. If the body has been mutilated and is not in a single location, the remains would vanish and the “return” would take place either where the majority of the body was or in a place of great meaning to the vampire, a place where he would feel safe. 2 - Infected Vampires and Blood Generations The previously described method of becoming a vampire creates a “First Generation Vampire”, also called an “Original” or a “Returned”. A vampire can turn a human into another vampire, for that the human must consume the vampire’s blood in the instant between life and death (opposed to draining all the blood and then feeding one drop). The vampire blood must not be stacked, it must be consumed in a couple of seconds after leaving the vampire’s body. If the blood is given too late (past the instant between life and death) the soul departs and a Zombie (later chapter) is created instead. If the vampire blood is consume too soon the human will instead heal back to a stage not so critical, the more blood the faster it heals (White Wolf refers to this as “Ghouls”). The way power strays from generation to generation would happen like in the “Vampire the Masquerade” set up, “Originals” have much more power potential than later generations, “thinner” generations may lack certain/random powers and weaknesses (later will talk about Thin-bloods and Dhampirs). Who the first vampire was is not clear, but if a new vampire emerges now through the “First Generation” method, it would be equal in potential to an older one (notice equal potential does not mean equal power, millenniums of power growth and experience would play an huge role). 3 - The vampire anatomy 3.1 - Feeding Vampires need to feed on the blood of the living (blood packs wouldn’t work), human or animal, but human satisfies it more. A vampire needs about 5 liters of blood per night just to stay alive, certain actions spend more energy, therefore requiring the vampire to drink more blood. If a vampire does not feed enough it will feel pain, fatigue, hunger, anger, depression, additionally it will start to deform and lose its mind becoming a creature that lives out of instincts (watch movie - Daybreakers) (let’s call this “the Beast” for now). After long periods of not feeding a vampire may enter a state similar to a coma, from which only feeling blood nearby will awake it (let’s call it “Torpor” for now) (must be very close so that he can start drinking with a quick movement to regain enough energy to move properly). While in Torpor vampires will decompose as if dead, but never to the point they wouldn’t be able to move just enough to start drinking blood, the bodies will decompose to certain extent and they mummify. 3.2 - Main organs A vampire body would have two main organs, the brain, that controls everything, and the heart, which pumps the blood and keeps it flowing. Any injury that would separate brain from heart would be fatal (such as decapitation, for example). Being impaled through the heart would stop it from functioning making the vampire paralyzed and enter an involuntary state of Torpor, until the object impaling the vampire is removed. Same would apply for the brain, but it’s more complicated since different parts of the brain control different stuff in one’s body, but if impaled, or a object lodges on the right part of the brain, not allowing that part to regenerate due to the invasion, it could paralyze a vampire, or stopping it from being capable of certain abilities, for a short period of time, due to the strong regeneration factor the brain would either rebuild the affected part where it was damaged, if it was not impaled or with anything lodged, or could even temporarily assign those functions to a different brain section (a bullet in the head for example, could K.O. a vampire and it would seem dead, but it would just get up hungry for blood a couple minutes later). 3.3 - Secondary organs The stomach would be there just in case it would consume food, but it’s not really needed, since a vampire would not feel hungry for food, the palate would be altered, so that he’d recognize flavours, but not derive physical pleasure from that, it could still however trigger nostalgia from a flavour from the past and the brain would associate with a past pleasure, creating sort of a placebo effect. The bowels would be there to digest which ever the vampire would eat since none would go into the bloodstream, it would all be waste to be disposed off. We could say that if a vampire does not eat food, it won’t need to “poop” and not needing to do so, could be a reason for them to avoid consuming food, since they don’t need it, or derive pleasure from it. Consuming blood from blood bags, or dead bodies (blood that is not straight out a living/dying victim), would do nothing for the vampire, it would go on their stomach and be eventually expelled, often a vampire would become angry after tasting this sort of blood, due to the frustration. Vampires don’t need to breath but they still have functional lungs in order to use air to create sound, speak, scream and so on, not breathing can be uncomfortable, but a vampire won’t drown or anything like that. All other organs that we use to survive, such as the liver, kidneys and so on, would change into muscle tissue. Their bones become denser and the rib cage tightens up to better protect the heart since lungs don’t need that protection anymore, this may make their torso look slightly longer since the chest area would be reduced, making them look more elegant. Also they would grow slimmer since they would not use the stomach it would reduce with time and nothing that they consume would give them fat, the fat they had if life would be wasted in short time after the change. The denser bones and strong muscle tissue make the vampire very little vulnerable to any bash damage. Vampire physical muscle strength exceeds human capabilities so they become muscular with much more ease than humans (but not like body builders, their muscles get ripped but don’t grow to abnormal proportions). Also their physical strength can be augmented with supernatural abilities, therefore looking more muscular may not mean a certain vampire is stronger than another. 3.4 - Day light and day time Vampire skin will quickly burn and crisp when exposed to sunlight and their blood would be highly inflammable. The lower the generation (closer to being an original) the more a vampire can endure sunlight. Weaker generations may burst to ashes almost instantly, while an older generation can last several hours. Vampires enter a state of stasis/sleep when the sun rises, even if not taking direct sunlight, despite of entering that state almost automatically a vampire can be awaken during day time, but it will feel very tired and weak. A vampire will start to feel extreme fatigue and the urge to find a safe place to rest a couple minutes before sun rise, this instinct serves to protect them from exposure to sunlight which burns them to ashes. In addition, when a vampire burns it does not carbonize but rather bursts into ashes. 4 - Powers and magic 4.1 - intro (Some concepts taken from white wolf vampire masquerade system) Physical prowess and disciplines like celerity or potency would be the most evident, since they are very physical, it’s just do what we do but better. Others like protean for example be related to mindset of the 1st gen vamp who came up with it. Through time, certain energies from human souls and other beings have associated themselves with particular words or rites, creating what we know as spells and sorcery. Through the right rite and words a person may evoke energy that once belonged to a soul. When casting a spell a person also adds a fraction of their own willpower to the spell enhancing it, or, alternatively, reducing its effectiveness, if the willpower is not sufficient for the power that is being summoned. 4.2 - magic elements and abilities These are the known magic elements: The living elements: Fire, Water, Air and Earth - vampires can’t use those powers The death elements: Light, Darkness, Blood and Death - vampire’s can’t use Light, they are weak against it. Non elemental abilities: Telekinesis and Telepathy, Animalism and Transformation, Physical augmentations. Living elements, not much needs to be said about these spells, cast a fireball, start a fire, freeze someone, use water and air together to cast a lightning bolt, create a controlled earthquake… spells with these sort of effects. Death elements Now, there are two very different ways to use death magic, one is to cast spells with specific effects, the other is too control the elements creatively and freely. Both vampires and Humans can cast spells (provided that they know about the spells have the right magic artifacts and so on…), but Vampires can control the elements of Darkness, Blood and Death. Light Light magic is magic that mimics the sun light, therefore it can damage vampires. Examples of spells could be a flash bean that would stun opponents making them temporarily blind, it could reverse effects of some darkness spells. Light magic would have different effects on humans and vampires, since sunlight burns vampires. Darkness Also known as shadow magic, it’s the power to control darkness and shadows. Examples of spells would be to summon minions from shadows that would vanish with light, blend with shadows becoming invisible while in a shadowy place, summon darkness clouds that blind enemies or a whole area, transform in a shadow and move unseen through the shadows path, summon a darkness clone that you can control to explore an area that can be too dangerous to venture alone… Blood There are two very different yet linked versions of blood magic. First is the ability to cast blood spells, for example write a rune in blood on a wall to create a portal… in this settings blood spells shall be used creatively but withing reason. Second the control of blood as an element, this would enable many different and unrelated abilities, such as drink blood by sucking it through the air from open wounds during battle while your foes are still fighting you, control someone like a puppets or make explode in blood, summon blood minions from blood pools, use their own blood to cast healing magic on their minions/companions/party… And also the ability to use blood spells much easier (since they don’t need to, for example, draw a magic symbol in the blood, they can control the blood to form that shape, therefore making casting blood spells much more simple, easy and natural). Death Necromancy abilities, raise a fallen foe/companion/party member as zombie minion, summon ghosts, grim reapers and other creatures. Cause instant death on an enemy or prevent death of a party member with low health. 4.3 - magic abilities and blood lines For vampires, the originals can have access to all those powers but it's not easy, it takes years of practice to control each element, plus a lot more to master the abilities effectively. Infected vampires are restricted to the elements their creator had unlocked control by the time their creator infected them. Non elemental abilities such as: Telekinesis, Telepathy and Physical augmentations are owned by all vampires, but younger infected vampires may take ages to develop control over those abilities. There are vampire blood magic rituals that can be used so that a vampire can share a skill or element they have mastered with another vampire if they want to. But that's not common practice, since vampires struggle for power with eachother. It is often used as a reward for a favor. For example, Vampire1 can control shadows and has a feud with a vampire hunter, he does not want to risk his skin engaging the hunter, he asks another vampire, Vampire2, who does not control shadows, to try his luck. Vampire2 succeeds so, Vampire1 rewards him by sharing with him the ability to control shadows. 4.4 - Powers and abilities summary All vampires can: Move with uncanny agility at supernatural speed; Use physical strength that is not matched by any man; Feel the blood around them, feel it moving and pulsing as if it’s a new extra sense we as humans can’t reach. Older, more powerful vampires can: Use telekinesis; Use blood magic (spells) easier than humans. Specific blood lines that descend from a vampire that unlocked certain abilities can use this abilities (but very few master many abilities together, most vampires have only one or two): Telepathy (telepathy in vampire usually drives them a bit insane, they can see auras and hear voices, some are manifestations of their supernatural perception some can be latent spirits - see the example with Malkavians from White Wolf); Shadow/darkness element control; Blood element control; Necromancy; Shapeshifting (to shape shift a vampire must drink all the blood from a victim, human or animal and will then be able to take that shape, the more the shape differs from the vampire, the harder it will be. Advanced shape shifters aren’t restricted to a single shape but can, for example, shift into a pack of wolves or a swarm of bats). 5 - Organization and the masquerade Vampires through the ages sought power, they created many empires, mafias, religions... eventually more and more humans became aware of the truth about them, eventually the age of the inquisition began and vampires were purged almost extinct. After that vampires united and formed a high council and some rules to uphold their secrecy, the masquerade is born. Vampires are now perceived as myth and rule the world from the shadows, kinda like the mafia. There are factions who don't agree with the rules imposed by the high council and want different things, some want to live in freedom and anarchy, some want to expose vampires and rule over humans like humans rule over cattle. 6 - Extended origin (supernatural explained) 6.1 - Supernatural science behind existence The supernatural science behind existence, I believe that to discuss the origin of the vampires we must to discuss the origin of the “supernatural” and therefore the origin of the natural and everything that is. My idea is, we don’t know for sure how the universe was created or how we came to be, what we know is what we see, that is the physical realm we inhabit and can perceive through our senses. Now, when we die what happens to our willpower, all our hopes dreams and intentions, our "soul energy"? We don’t know, but we have through the ages refused to believe that we just cease to be. In our new “mythology” that “energy” could/should be the source of all the “inexplicable” supernatural “stuff”. So through the ages all the living energy, not just from our “souls” but all living energy in the universe (beings that came before us, plants, animals, etc) created a parallel world, a distorted version of what we perceived in life. some images to explain better Spectral Realm (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Spectral Realm (open) Spectral Realm (close) Once someone dies their “soul” would “cross over” to that “dimension”, there the soul would exist manifesting the image of what it remember it was in life. Once in that realm a creature is made of pure emotional and willpower energy, there are no physics there, the limit of what a soul as capable of lies in it’s creativity, but there’s a catch, each soul has it’s own “willpower” that is wasted within every action that soul takes and replenished by resting. 6.2 - Reincarnation If a soul wastes all it’s energy it won’t die, instead it will cease to exist in the spectral plane and become dormant in yet another plane, between the physical and the spectral, that plane is the energy that composes the “tissue” between the realms, when new life is created in our plane that’s the energy from where a new soul is born, dormant souls in that plane will randomly reincarnate instead of a new soul being born. Only after that second (or third, or forth and so on…) incarnation dies, the soul, once the spectral realm, will remember different past lives. Randomly and very rarely, as if, a “glitch” in the fabric of existence, a person may remember a past live. That can sometimes be triggered by hypnosis, a near death experience or randomly awaking a very strong emotion/memory of a past incarnation, more reasons have yet to be discovered, it’s not an exact science. 6.3 - Heaven and Hell Some more “wicked souls” found another way to regain energy other than resting, by consuming another soul. In other to do that, the consumed soul must either allow itself to be consumed by the other, the “predator”, or the “predator” soul must trick/lure the “prey” into being consumed, or, and most common, they fight and the defeated (first to run out of energy) is “devoured” by the winner, if the winner desires to “devour” it, instead of going dormant to the 3rd plane of existence. When that happens, the “predator” soul energy is renewed plus it absorbs all the energy the “prey” soul had before the “fight”. And thus the vampirism begins, by soul consumption in the spectral plane. Quick note about previous topic Reincarnation - if a soul is “consumed” rather than “exhausted” it becomes part of the “consumer” only if the consumer is eventually exhausted than both souls go dormant waiting for next incarnation. Now, if we struggle for resources in life, why would we stop in death? Right? So this is beginning of “Heaven” and “Hell”, factions of souls forming to fight each other. Heaven is faction whose majority of souls desire no further power than what they have and see no need to consume other souls, due to this idealistic way of “living” they would be easy “prey” if they didn’t form a faction to stand for themselves. In order to have enough power to fight “Heaven” is organised in 2 classes, the “Prayers”, these souls rest and meditate and share their energy willingly without allowing themselves to be consumed, and the “Knights”, these are the ones that fight, they receive energy from the “Prayers” in order to match their foes without resorting to their methods of soul consumption. Hell is composed of souls that desire nothing but power, they wouldn’t have a “Prayer” class, since they all would want to be “Knights”, because if they would operate in total anarchy they would be obliterated by “Heaven” they have imposed a few rules among themselves, they are to avoid internal fights at all costs and try to work together to defeat their enemy whose souls they can “feed” on. Because Hell does still need energy from souls, other than it’s own fighters, to match Heaven, it would “kidnap” new souls (from people who just died) and take advantage of them, keeping them prisoners and torture them, making them lose all hope or faith in their ability to fight back, therefore denying them the knowledge that they could fight back. Instead, new souls captured by Hell believe that they are suffering for their past “sins” and that there’s nothing that can be done. This would be the beginning of most religious belief systems. Because Heaven wants mainly peace they try to prevent new souls from joining, or being taken by, “Hell”. Because Hell needs energy from new souls and does not want their number of enemies to increase they try to avoid new souls from joining Heaven. 6.4 - Reapers This leads both factions to need “scouts” to “recruit” new souls. For this both factions allow certain souls enough power to see into our reality, this beings are usually neutral in the fight, more powerful than the other fighting classes, they focus their powers in seeing past the “tissue” between the “Physical” and “Spectral” realms and decide which side the souls of the living would take. These souls are known as “Reapers” (“Grim Reapers” for Hell and “Angels of Death” for Heaven). If a person is very likely a suitable candidate for Heaven on the eyes of the “Reaper” that watches it, when it dies the “Angel of Death” will protect it from “Hell” and guide it into Heaven. “Grim Reapers” may often explore their abilities to mess with the physical realm in order to set events in motion to avoid that a soul follows a “path” that would be lead to them being “Shielded” by and “Angel of Death”. If a soul is not protected by an “Angel of Death” at the time of “departure” a “Grim Reaper” will take it to Hell, there it shall face trial if it will join join the “Knights of Hell” or be imprisoned and tortured to serve as energy supply. Not all souls are taken like that, some manage to escape the reapers, join the faction they desire later on, remain neutral and hidden, joining small independent groups, but the ones that manage to escape “Reapers” are scarf. 6.5 - Demonic Possession Sometimes a soul may gather enough power as a “Reaper” or even more without being assigned, if a soul is more powerful than a “Reaper” it can manifest itself on this real through possessing a another living being (demonic possession) once in this realm it can feed on our emotions and fear and takes a very strong force to drive them back, usually that force is meet in the form of faith and/or love by an exorcist and the family of the victim. 6.6 - Haunting There are also souls who are trapped in the physical plane and manifest themselves through haunting. This would happen if at the time of death the soul was lingering on a very strong emotion giving it enough power to purge the reaper without even understanding what is happening. Sometimes this souls are not aware that they are death and their perception of reality is distorted, they can trap other souls with them and these souls would “live” on each others emotions, for example, in Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines in the Ocean House Hotel, the woman ghost would be trapped by the man ghost, he would feed on her fear and she on his hate, creating an eternal cycle of reliving their last moments, sometimes they would be aware of what is going on, others they wouldn’t, until a 3rd party breaks the cycle, therefore freeing the ghosts. Sometimes, when someone is murdered, that soul will want revenge and pursue the killer, even if the killer is unaware of that during live. This souls are trapped in the physical realm and can only cross over when the killer also perishes. 7 - For Example - Dracula (Prince/Count/Voivode Basarab - Vlad III Dracula “The Impaler” (or “Tepes” in Romanian, his Original Language) I’ll give the example of Dracula. Vlad was the rightful heir to his throne and that’s all he ever wanted, his “object of affection”. Once dead, as a ghost the whole kingdom of Wallachia was is “link” to the “Physical realm” (Wallachia makes frontier with Transylvania and both are a central part of Romania). Vlad killed in life between 40.000 and 100.000 people, so he had all those ghosts waiting for him in the afterlife (yup there’s a loop hole of about 60.000 people that he might have killed or not). So this is how I pictured things could have happened, upon dying in battle like all souls he’d be confused not sure what is happening he believes that he is still in battle and carries on fighting the ghosts that haunted him till this moment. Without even knowing each “kill” makes him stronger making the next one easier, plus being a superior fighter than those that haunt him and having a natural wicked cruelty would make him able to fight as a soul much more efficiently. It’s a long battle while it happens he recognizes some of his victims and is spooked of what could be happening, his own wicked and cruel imagination would cast any ideas reality now that now that he’s not bound to physical rules, so he starts to understand what he can do, sorta like Alucard’s amazing shape shifting abilities in the Hellsing Anime/Manga. Once all his hauntings are consumed by him he can finally stop thinking about the fight and killing and try to assimilate what is going on, at this moment he would start to cross over seeing the realm becoming more distorted, thinking he may be in “Hell” (the way he perceived it) his willpower would start wanting to go back to his throne in the “Physical Realm” and and rule with the tremendous power he discovered in this battle, before he can make coherent thought about all this he’d be attacked by a “Reaper” that wants to drag him to “Hell”. Vlad would easily dispose of the Reaper at this point the only disadvantage was that he was taken by surprise, he’d still manage to win, even if he didn’t had over 40.000 souls power, his cruelty alone could make him able of fighting as a soul much more effectively than the reaper, he would lack experience how to use it, but would improvise into victory. With so much power inside him now (the Reaper and over 40.000 souls) and such a big “link” to this realm (the whole country of Wallachia), Vlad quickly return to this earth as an undead Vampire. Upon his return he would remember none of this, but his abilities as a soul would now be part of his instincts. He would appear at night and alone in a lost tomb and quickly start to realize he now lusted for blood, that he had a lot of powers and weaknesses and that he was out of his time. He would establish control over his country now by ruling in the shadows, becoming some sort of an underworld boss, kinda like the mafia. Vampires inspired by myth, religions and history Other vampires besides and before Dracula could be beings that mortals throughout the ages perceived as deities, such as Seth, Odin, Hades…(even Cain if you want). Not all deities were vampires but some, then they would tell tales about their family, friends and foes to mortals and those would be other deities from ancient pagan religions. Also each “Original” vampire would be the origin of it’s bloodline that would lead to the formation of clans and factions. Other historical figures who could be “Originals” could be Elizabeth Bathory, Nero (the insane Roman emperor who set Rome on fire just to watch it burn - maybe origin of some Malkavian like clan), other roman emperors, Pharaohs, Cleopatra and a few others (I am thinking that an original vampire is a rare event, there shouldn't be many, I'd say something between 10 to 20).