A unique case in the history of the shifters is presented by the vampires. The dark and mysterious vampire bat shifters were shunned even during the days of Wulfgard, when shifters ruled much of the mortal realm, for their love of the taste of blood. When the old gods were defeated and the shifters cursed, the vampires sought to avoid the fate of beastfolk by seeking aid from the dark, demonic powers. As a result, they instead became soulless creatures of the undead.
The vampires retained all of their former powers and became virtually immortal in their state of undeath. As with most creatures, the power of a vampire varies from individual to individual; however, it is also influenced by how long a person has been a vampire. Also, in spite of some tales, vampires do not have enhanced physical attributes across all forms. When in human form, a vampire is physically on par with an ordinary human in every respect, save for a heightened sense of hearing.
All vampires have at least a few minor psychic abilities. The most powerful vampires can use these psychic abilities to dominate the minds of weak-willed individuals, while lesser vampires can only use them to persuade or mislead. Contrary to the legends built around them, however, vampires cannot read minds or move objects with only their brain, and their psychic powers are limited to sentient creatures alone; they have no control over animals, which is why vampire hunters often bring dogs. Also, it is very difficult for a vampire to control the mind of anyone infected with lycanthropy and beastmen due to their somewhat half-animal nature. It is believed that the First have incredible psychic powers and can even delve into the mind of another creature, but any truth behind such claims remains foggy at best.
Vampires are able to transform into the forms of a bat, a human, or a man-bat. They only have increased strength, speed, heightened senses, and the ability to fly when they are in man-bat form, not in human form. Their man-bat form is stronger than most mortal men, but their strength is exceeded by werewolves and most beastfolk. Also, unlike a werewolf's uncontrollable transformations, a vampire's shapeshifting retains the same power as it did during the time of the Shifters: their changes to and from each form are painless, though they are not instantaneous.
A vampire must drink the blood of the living in order to survive. The bite of a vampire induces a pain that paralyzes the victim, which gives them time to feed. However, vampires must carefully balance the amount of blood that they drink, lest they slip too deep into undeath or too close to their animal side. Vampires who drink blood in moderation can pass as normal humans, but those who do not drink enough look old and dead, while those who drink too much begin to take on bat-like features.
The vampire's victim must be alive at the time of the feeding - or else very recently dead, killed only seconds or minutes ago - in order for the vampire to gain any life force; otherwise the blood is useless to them and only weakens them. This is why vampires must feed from the living and why powerful vampires keep human cattle from which to feed. A vampire who attempts to bottle blood and use this to sustain themselves would suffer the same disadvantages as if they were drinking blood from a corpse, as the blood is stale and no longer true life-blood.
Vampires who do not drink enough life-blood go very deeply into a weakened state of undeath, their movements slowing, their skin becoming pale, their muscles withering. Eventually they become little more than corpses, entering a state of hibernation until either killed by some means or returned to “life” by the administering of life-blood.
Opposite of the deep state of undeath, vampires must keep their hunger under moderation in order to retain control of their powers. Those who drink too much blood become more and more ravenous for it, losing control until they become permanent man-bats with the minds of animals.
As descendants of the Shifters, only those of human blood can become vampires. As undead, however, vampires cannot reproduce through normal biological means. Rather, they spread their curse by bite, similar to werewolves, but they choose which bite victims gain their curse. In order to do this, they must drain the victim of nearly all his blood, effectively killing them, and then drip some of their own blood back into the victim and call upon their innate demonic magic to seal the curse. Six days later, the dead individual will arise as a vampire. The new vampire is extremely susceptible to the psychic suggestions of the master who created them, unless their will is strong enough to break free, or their master is destroyed.
As a combination of undead and Shifter-kin, vampires have numerous weaknesses, but they are nonetheless extremely difficult to kill. However, although vampires often shun the food of mortals, rumors about them being unable to eat garlic are otherwise entirely unsubstantiated.
The chief weakness of a vampire is sunlight. As creatures of the night, vampires prefer the darkness, where they can take advantage of their acute sense of hearing. Even more than this, however, vampires cannot be touched by sunlight because they are undead. Like all undead, they begin to burn and crumble when exposed to the sun, and eventually will disintegrate.
Holy Objects and Running WaterEdit
Also as undead, all things blessed by the higher powers will cause harm to vampires. These objects include holy weapons, holy water, and holy symbols. It is said that vampires are also burned by running water, and while it is not magically impossible for them to cross it, they fear attempting to do so. Holy weapons and holy fire can kill vampires permanently, as can a holy stake being plunged through their heart.
As desendants of the Shifters, they share their weakness to silver weapons. Injuries caused by silver will be extremely painful, take a very long time to heal, and are far more likely to be fatal wounds than injuries inflicted by ordinary weapons.
As the Six are the most powerful werewolves, the First are the most powerful vampires. Their group is comprised of the first vampires ever to come into existence – the eight vampire bat shifters who originally made the demonic pact that caused them to become members of the undead. They have existed since the days of Wulfgard, and their power is immense. However, of the original four males and four females, only two males and one female are known to still be “alive” for certain: the others may have entered a state of dormant hibernation or been killed. The three known to still be active are Duke Draculea, who still rules over a section of the Empire, hiding his vampiric nature; Grimwing the Warlock, who leads a group of feral vampires that live in the mountain caves near the city of Dhuum; and Lady Nefertari (known as Lady Carmina in the Empire), who currently leads a coven of female vampires in Kemhet. All three of these ancient vampires command many followers and thralls.