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 Vampires
Rune
 Posted: Apr 26 2014, 12:41 AM
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The Vampires
The Blood Bound

Vampires are exactly what you'd expect them to be: Undead blooddrinkers that move in the night.

While older vampires might be able to manage sunlight in small, filtered doses, the vast majority of vampires do not risk burning themselves and keep to the hours after dusk. Vampires have a whole bag of tricks to coerce humans into being fed on, everything from implanting false memories in humans to, among the older, teleportation (150+ years of age.) They are, as would be expected, magical beings and are heavily tied up by these magical attributes like fae. For example, they cannot cross a threshold without an invitation.

Formerly human, these beings were fed upon repeatedly by a vampire until they eventually succumb to it themselves. The process of becoming a vampire is slow, painful and generally nasty. Because of this, there are not many vampires. It isn't an overnight process, taking months to complete. Starting as an average human, they are taken in by a vampire and fed upon until they begin to show signs of vampirism themselves. The in between stages are brutal, likely killing the victim as opposed to turning them. The victim will slowly begin to avoid daylight, their teeth will slowly turn into fangs and their body will begin to cease living. If they are kept around a menagerie, they will chew on the necks of their sire's sheep in an attempt to drink their blood but this is frequently ineffective. If not kept properly under control by their sire, fledgling vampires frequently become violent and if left hungry they will go find their own food - often with disastrous results.

The majority of vampires originate as human members of another vampire's menagerie. Potential fledgling vampires are carefully groomed by their makers and given the combination of maker and overlooming Seethe control, actually becoming a vampire is generally a very strict process that is, surprisingly, fairly heavily regulated. Anyone that isn't in their right mind would be outright killed by the Seethe leader in an effort to protect the Seethe as a whole. Because vampires are not out to the public their secrets are closely guarded and every effort is put into keeping themselves safe. Once turned, a new vampire is under direct control of their maker. As they age and gain control over themselves, the bond is slowly broken.

Vampires appear exactly as they did when alive. They might be more pale, but they remain, otherwise, unchanged save for fangs. They can will colour into their cheeks to appear more alive and can put up the pretense of having a pulse. They do not progressively become 'perfect' nor do they grow more physically strong the older they are. While they do possess strength and senses better than human's, they are not going to be flaunting this because vampires are still hidden from society and intend to keep it that way. Vampires gain powers (see below) as they age but do not gain any marked increase in strength.

Vampires do gain claw-like fingernails and can move at a faster speed than a human. They are stronger and have stronger senses, though they are not on par with a werewolf in terms of smell. While they can flip a car or tear through it's doors with their claws, but have a wide variety of weaknesses to make up for their strengths. When feeding, their eyes grow a fiery red-gold.

Weaknesses and killing.
Vampires are surprisingly difficult to kill.

They are weak to holy water, sunlight and religious symbols with a twist. The religious symbols only effect them if the bearer possesses belief in the symbol. For example, a Muslim attempting to ward off a vampire with a pagan's pentacle would warrant no effect. A christian using a sheep they felt represented Christ, however, would. It has nothing to do with the vampire's belief and everything to do with the individual attempting to ward them off. Being touched by one of these religious symbols will burn the vampire and cause them to avoid it.

Holy water must be blessed by a priest, obviously. It will burn the vampire on contact. It will not kill them, but it will cause a great amount of pain. They cannot step foot on holy ground. While an older vampire might survive being in filtered sunlight, it will severely burn a younger vampire. If they stand in the full sun they will burn to ash by noon. Stakes through the heart will kill a young vampire. It will, however, only temporarily disable an older one, buying their foe some time. If they can pull the stake out, they can resume their attack, however that takes time and they will require time and blood to seal the wound.

The only surefire way to kill a vampire is to both behead them and burn the body. Most then expose the ashes to sunlight and scatter them just to be safe. Generally, crushing a vampire or destroying it's head will work just as effectively, but burning it or exposing it to sun should still be considered to make sure it cannot recuperate. Paranoia with vampires is usually a safe route to take.



On Seethes
Service to Power

A seethe is a hive of power.

While a vampire can survive without a seethe, being part of one is generally a wise choice for a number of reasons. The most obvious being that if you are part of a seethe, you are safe from the local seethe. Seethes are powerful, territorial things that have no problem eliminating perceived threats to their land or people. Other reasons might include assistance with settling in a new city, help replacing lost sheep and, of course, a constant supply of blood from the seethe's menagerie. It's far wiser to be part of the local seethe and attribute your power to them than to be on your own and risk having their power turned against you.

A seethe is led by a master or mistress. These vampires are generally the most powerful. There is no need for love between a master and his seethe and the seethe is well aware of it. Some masters might be in good standing among their seethe, but it rarely matters. The master usually holds his rank through a combination of intimidation and strength. Overthrowing a seethe is a nasty business and generally only has one result: The death of the previous leader. Rarely a former master will be banished or flee before he can be overthrown, but most die in the coup.

The master feeds off of his vampires as opposed to sheep, though some may keep sheep as well. Every vampire in a seethe is required to 'donate' their blood to their master and most have schedules arranged so as not to put undue stress on any one vampire. There are a variety of reasons behind this practice, most notably the fact that this makes the master/mistress more powerful. This also forces a bond of loyalty to a certain extent. While vampires can change seethes, they can generally only do so after they haven't been fed on from a while. The bond is not entirely telling in the fashion of a mate or pack bond, but it does allow the master to know when their vampires are hurt or killed and will give them a vague idea of their wellness. (For example, if a vampire isn't feeding, their mistress will likely know long before anyone else.)

Masters generally have at least one enforcer. While some might have as many as two or three, these enforcer's roles are generally all the same: Enforce their master's will. This varies from handling day to day tasks the master cannot attend to killing problems in the seethe. They are a force to be reckoned with and are frequently among the stronger vampires in a seethe. Some, however, are among the sneakier or craftier vampires, asserting their power through the quiet pulling of strings and spying as opposed to physical strength. How the master intends to manage his seethe frequently dictates how the enforcers are chosen. Enforcers are, generally, those a master trusts to at least a certain extent and they are usually the individuals that are the quickest to support their master. After all, if their master is overthrown, they're frequently the next to follow. Unlike other groups, enforcers are hand-picked by the masters and not fought over or obtained through their own motivations.

Some masters may add additional ranks, though these vary from seethe to seethe.

Most seethe leaders are generous with their punishments and seethe bases are usually well equipped with hidden underground basements for everything from meeting rooms to torture chambers. It varies depending on the seethe itself. 'Guest' rooms are very common, regardless, providing a place for vampires new to the seethe (or those that the mistress wishes to keep an eye on) a place to stay for a time.

Most seethes will allow a vampire to go about their business and only manage them in terms of making sure they don't bring undue attention towards the population. While some might hold meetings and treat it as a more business-like affair, others view it as a very loose-knit family and organize events for their followers.

Vampires, unlike werewolves or fae, have no governing body beyond themselves. Because of this, they are extremely strict on themselves and seethe mistresses generally have no problem eliminating anything they deem a threat to their own seethe or vampires as a whole. A vampire that is seen as having the potential to out the race is killed, no questions asked. They police themselves because they must. Masters and enforcers simply make it their job to do so. Even vampires not belonging to a seethe find themselves policed by a seethe's rules or risking their wrath.

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Rune
 Posted: Sep 28 2014, 08:48 PM
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Vampire Powers
Approved For Ages 0+

The 'age' is relevant to the number of years they've been a vampire, not the number of total years alive.

0 - Seduction - The vampire can lure humans in to allow them to be fed on (primarily through eye contact.)

25 - Don't-Notice-Me - The vampire can trick the senses of those around him (Primarily humans, it is harder to trick the nose of a wolf or walker) into not noticing them.

50 - (Minor) Telekinesis - The vampire can manipulate objects around them. This is limited to simply calling objects in their direct vicinity to them and can rarely be used for anything grander.

75 - Manipulation - Humans already under the vampire's seduction can be encouraged to do things they normally wouldn't. This (and seduction) rarely effects werewolves that are part of a pack. Distance and time both play favors in this ability wearing off.

150 - Teleportation - The vampire can move themselves (and only themselves) from one place to another. This power is exhausting and can only be used in limited fashion. (ie: They cannot teleport around like a bunny would hop. Pop it once a day and you should be good.) They can only go places they have already been and are familiar with.

200 - See-Me-Not - The vampire can meld with shadows to avoid detection for a short period of time. This isn't a guarantee to escape detection from those actively scenting about for them.

350 - Misting - The vampire can become mist. Like teleportation, this is an exhaustive power and cannot be used frequently. They cannot stay mist for long and it is frequently used as an escape as opposed to a defensive maneuver.

Some vampires can favor one ability over another. For example, the average vampire can teleport a short distance but another might only be able to teleport home. That second vampire might be able to manipulate a human to a greater extent while the first could not. Just like talents, each vampire's skills lie in different areas. It varies from individual to individual. No vampire can learn an ability before their age hits the required point.

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Rune
 Posted: Oct 10 2014, 05:15 PM
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On Dying
A long process

Unlike werewolves, vampires have no way to be turned "suddenly." It is a long, dedicated process.

The individual in question spend months if not years being a vampire's sheep. They are fed off of regularly. As this process goes on, if the vampire has decided to make them into their fledgling, they might (only after some time of being fed off of, something about being fed from makes the acceptance of vampire blood easier) decide to start giving the human some of their blood. It's rarely ever in large doses, maybe some here and there after being fed on. This will be like getting an energy shot for the human and all the side effects of being fed from will vanish. Of course, most vampires don't change many of their sheep and it's much more common for a sheep to be killed in service to it's vampire than to be turned. Those that are turned endure a long, painful process that might make them wish for death instead of turned.

As this process goes on, over the course of several months or years (we accept months in order to give people a chance to turn on site) the sheep will begin to experience changes of their own. They will begin to crave blood, they will be relying heavily on their maker in order to keep their mind as during this period their body begins to panic and strong pains aren't uncommon. They feel as though they are dying periodically. While this is going on, their teeth will slowly begin to form fangs and even while they aren't fully formed, if their maker does not have control over them they will chew on the necks of their fellow sheep in an effort to feed.

Their strength increases slowly. (You won't find any not-fully turned vampire flipping a car, but they'd be capable of ripping a door off it's hinge.) This is another reason the maker must have extreme control over their turning sheep. Between the increased strength and the craving blood, they will frequently kill their fellow sheep in an effort to feed from them. Any maker worth a damn will limit the amount of blood their not-quite fledgling takes in and will open the vein for them when they do allow them to feed.

By this point the turning sheep will have a blood bond with their maker. Most sheep wind up with at least a flimsy one but once you begin the process of turning it becomes stronger. The bond is strongest with whomever actually completes the process, however, and another vampire could come along and do so. This is considered extremely rude in vampire society, though. The blood bond will give the maker the control over them needed to make sure they don't start slaughtering sheep or going overboard.

Eventually the fledgling will get far enough along in the process that the options will be either to kill them or turn them. If they feel that the fledgling is in their right mind and not a danger, frequently the vampire will turn them unless there's some other underlying problem (vampire doesn't want the responsibility, etc.) This part frequently involves the vampire getting their master/mistresses permission and, usually, the vampire has made the decision long before actually turning them. They've taken the time to instruct their sheep-turning-fledgling on the nuances of vampires. Everything from the expectations of the local seethe to what they'll feel, some of the powers they'll encounter, etc.

As the fledgling gets closer, more details will be explained and they will be prohibited from leaving their maker's home to protect those outside the home. This isolation will likely remain until the change is complete and, even then, might go on for a few weeks depending on how many sheep the maker has at their disposal. This is frequently a good excuse for bringing in more sheep into the fold, though that is usually done months in advance since they are brought in from outside the city/state.

The final act of turning is for their maker to drain them of their blood until they reach the brink of death. They are then fed the maker's blood in a larger amount than they would have been before. Their body will die, they will cease breathing and then they will awaken as a vampire. After eating their fill, they will be taken to the Seethe Master (usually in a few days) and the leader of the seethe will eat from them, effectively making them part of the seethe. Then the fledgling will stay with their maker for a while longer, usually with someone supervising them when they're out to make sure they don't do something stupid. This is frequently someone appointed by the seethe (but not always required. It depends on the control they've shown.) Fledglinghood is a rough life and any slip ups in public frequently result in the end of the fledgling in an effort to protect vampires as a whole. There's no room for mistakes.



Vampire FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions

Are vampires known to the public? No, they aren't. Vampires and walkers are the two races that have managed to stay hidden from the rest of the world. Who knows, this might change in the future. wink.gif

Can vampires grow their hair? Sure! This is never mentioned in the books, but it's also never mentioned (to my memory) that any vampires have out of date hair styles so it would make sense that they can manage something to blend in better. We figured it makes at least a bit of sense that it would happen.

My human was injected with vampire blood. Are they a vampire now? That isn't how Mercyverse vampires work. It takes months if not years of being regularly fed upon and slowly fed blood before a human will even begin to turn into a vampire. It is a long, agonizing process that, frankly, sucks. It's a dedicated process, not something that happens by accident.

Do vampires have to be part of a Seethe? Technically no, but given as each city is ruled by a master/mistress none of them are going to be terribly keen on strays being on their turf. It isn't required that they belong like it is wolves, but chances are they will be pressured into joining by their city's ruler... Or potentially being killed.

Do humans get any benefits from being fed on? Spend enough time getting chewed on (and chewing on in turn) and you get some nifty bonuses! Most of these things take years to even start to develop and most humans in a menagerie don't survive that long. (Average is about 2 years.) Primarily enhanced senses and increased strength.

Can vampires feed off of ____? Yes. The blood will taste different depending on the species, but they can do it. There is no long term effect from feeding off of something that isn't human, however. And bear in mind that most nonhumans aren't going to be keen on sharing their blood.

Can vampires get people pregnant/be pregnant? Nope. They're dead. While they can have sex, they cannot impregnate someone nor can their body provide for a child.

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