by T.A. Saunders ©2009 v1.8
Average Height: Dependent on race/gender before being turned.
Average Weight: Dependent on race/gender before being turned.
Description: Dependent on race/gender before being turned.
Languages Spoken: Whatever languages were spoken before being turned.
Racial Age Limit: Immortal, until slain.
Racial Nicknames: Bloodsucker, Leech, Creature of the Night.ht.
Vampires vary wildly in size, shape and color, depending on what species they were when they were turned (only Humans, Asyndi, Shei, Xalayi and their associated sub-races may become vampires. All other races are simply slain by the process). A few things are consistent however, if not otherwise protected by illusion or glamour: skin will be much more pale and eyes will take an animalistic sheen in direct light, and develop a red glow when in frenzy.
Racial Abilities and Limitations
NOTE: When playing a Prestige Race, the previous racial bonuses are dropped in favor of the new race’s bonuses. A human vampire for example does not retain both human and vampire bonuses.
Vampiric Might: All Vampires are incredibly quick and strong, granting them incredible abilities of physical power above and beyond their mortal prey.(+15% to melee/ranged attack rolls, 40% to feats of strength and 75% to evade one attack per round or +12% to a class Evasion-based skill).
Vampiric Fortitude: Given their documented supernatural origin, the vampires of Khavos’ bloodline can take surprising amounts of damage from a conflict, then moments later, seem as though nothing at all had ever happened. Providing you can hurt one at all, the only way to really prevent this swift regeneration talent is by magical fire. Even normal flames have little effect of these vampires. The closer to Khavos’ blood one is, the more overall damage and punishment they can take and recover from is exponentially increased. (-15% armor bonus vs. all forms of attack, 1d6 rounds to regenerate limbs, 1d4 rounds to recover from internal damage).
Mist Form: All of Khavos’ progeny can turn into a fog-like mist at will. This mist can effect a fifteen foot area and can move against wind. This is often used as a form of escape or evasion, as the vampire has few talents in this state. However, while moving mist, they are able to cause terror in those trapped within and can fill the lungs to suffocate their adversaries. Likewise, only magic-based attacks (not including magic weapons) and blessed/bane weapons can harm them while in mist form. This talent is available 3 times per night. (Mist attack: suffocation in 4 rounds and has a 25% chance to cause terror in those witnessing the mist. Immune to physical damage save by magical attack or blessed/bane weapons. Usable 3 times per night).
Shadow Step: Given their propensity for the dark, vampires of Khavos’ bloodline have learned how to move through the shadows. Three times per night a vampire may step into the shadows and appear in another nearby shadow to attack an adversary from behind or as a means of escape should he or she be cornered. (Move through any shadow within 120 feet of the vampire. Usable three times per night. If used in combat, considered a 95% Evasion tactic for all forms of attack).
Mind Control: Any vampire of Khavos’ line can at some level, enact mind control over either humanoids or animals. The weaker the vampire is however, the less chance there is that a target will be effected. There had been a story of Ko herself once commanding a man to walk into the ocean and to not stop till he found the coast of Shalzaar. That man was found drowned to death days later. This talent is usable once per night. (Base 75% chance to mind control an intelligent target, -15% penalty for potentially self-harming commands. This power increases to base 95% chance for Elders. Usable one time per night).
Minor Mask of Mortality: By way of this talent, the vampire wills into effect an illusion that it allows the vampire to pass for a mortal. They will look much as they did before they died. This illusion can be foiled by coming too close to an active holy relic (such as a Crusader turning undead 50%), walking on consecrated ground (50%), or walking in front of a mirror (40%).
Blood Frenzy: A vampire can choose to willfully enter a blood frenzy state by which they allow themselves to be overcome by their animal instincts for a time to attack with greater ferocity. While this frenzy only lasts 1d4 rounds, the vampire is exceedingly dangerous during this time and will attack without relent. (+10% to melee/ranged attacks, one attack per round gained, +15% armor penalty for 1d4 rounds. Usable once per combat scenario).
(Permission must be attained by the GM to play an elder vampire. 15 EP per skill.)
When a vampire reaches an Elder status at roughly five hundred year, he or she has been around long enough to have both mastered their mundane gifts and to gain knowledge into secrets of their condition that were not apparent when they were first turned. Some of these talents are learned from their makers or from research, others develop on their own over time.
There are only a handful of vampires that have reached the status of Ancient and they too have additional powers and fewer weaknesses. However, as rare as these vampires are, their powers are nothing more than rumor and conjecture.
Mask of Mortality (learned): By way of this talent, the elder vampire wills into effect an illusion so powerful that it allows the vampire to pass for a mortal. They will look much as they did before they died and this illusion cannot be foiled, save for being exposed to their weaknesses directly. Being near holy symbols or walking by mirrors will not foul the effect of this illusion.
The vampire does not use Mana to fuel the spell, but their blood’s own power. This allows the vampire to slip by the net of magic detection and aura-reading as well. (99% infallible illusion, save for direct contact with a known weakness).
Pass Unseen by Mortal Eyes (learned): This talent is an advanced form of their Mind Control talent, that makes them mentally ignore the vampire’s presence; whether it be by making the victim(s) look the other way when the vampire passes, or become deaf to their footsteps. So long as the vampire takes no hostile action while using this talent, any individual not immune to psychic attack will be effected minute possibility of resistance. This talent has an effective one hundred foot radius around the vampire using it. (99% effectiveness, usable three times per night).
Savage Form (Learned): Khavos’ progeny can all take the forms of a large hawk-sized bat or a ‘Savage Form’ that is a bestial cross between humanoid and bat. This allows them the ability of flight over great distances. The Savage Form is far more durable than a normal humanoid form and can afford the vampire the ability to withstand enormous amounts of damage, even above and beyond what he or she could otherwise endure. (Man-Bat Savage form grants four attacks per round at +25% to hit for melee and grants the vampire -45% armor bonus vs. all forms of attack. Usable once a night for 1d6+2 rounds if Man-Bat form us used. Shape-shift into a bat can be done three times a night and does not grant armor bonuses).
Entrancing Gaze (developed): An elder vampire has the ability to lure his or her prey to them by merely focusing their gaze upon that individual. Should that gaze be met and returned, the vampire can draw that person to them and remove all thoughts or sense of hostility. The victim will be spellbound by the vampire and will seem amorous towards them as well. Gender has no bearing on the effect of this lure, though it can deaden the amorous effect to one of admiration and respect. Once the gaze has been enacted, it does not require any further concentration, but any hostile action will break the effect instantly. Using this talent before Mind Control can increase the likelihood of its success. (75% chance of success, grants an additional +20% to Mind Control, Usable once a night).
Blessed Silver: Normal silver will not effect one of Khavos’ line, though the weakest of her brood have shown very minor allergic reactions to it. When blessed however, silver can rend wounds onto Khavos’s progeny that they cannot regenerate until given time to nurse the wounds. Blessed Blacksilver can cause a blood poisoning effect, that effectively neutralizes the vampire’s abilities that draw power from the blood. (Unable to regenerate Blessed Silver wounds, Blessed Blacksilver poisons the blood, giving a 65% chance to negate use of a vampire’s blood talents for 1d4 rounds).
Blessed Ashwood Stakes: As with silver, shoving any wooden stake or even a normal ashwood stake through the heart of a vampire will not harm it. Once blessed however such a stake will indeed make it impossible for a vampire of Khavos’ line to use their abilities or move. (15% to be paralyzed and unable to use blood talents, if the heart impalement check is made.)
Holy Weapons: Any weapon sanctified with the blessing of a lawful deity will have effect much like blessed silver would with the additional holy damage considered. Likewise, the weapon in question must be wielded by a chosen follower of that religion for this to be effective and that follower (a priest or a knight) must be in good standing. Holy water falls under the category of a holy weapon. (+40% armor penalty vs. holy weapons).
Holy Symbols: These do not turn vampires of Khavos’ line as such simply by their presentation. However if a priest or a paladin in good standing with their deity forcibly presents it with the intent of turning the vampire there is a possibility of success or at least damage. Those not chosen representatives of the deity they worship or those who do not follow a deity cannot use holy symbols in this fashion. (Can be effected by Turning per Priest and Knight talents).
Decapitation: Decapitating a vampire of Khavos’ line will indeed bring one to final death, providing such is done with at least a blessed silver, holy or magical weapon. Doing so will turn most of the body to ash but leave the head and sometimes bones. It should be noted that vampire bones are extremely valuable for this reason and can be used in an assortment of weapons and magic rites. If a vampire is decapitated by a non-blessed weapon, the head and body can be reunited. (Permanently slain if decapitated, unholy resurrection possible providing the head is present).
Consecrated or Holy Ground: Any land blessed in such a manner by a deity of lawful influence will repel a vampire, save for the strongest of Khavos’ line. Even Elders of the line feel nominal pain and strong discomfort upon blessed ground. (Neophyte vampires are instantly repelled, vampires can withstand holy ground for 1d4 rounds, before being repelled and Elders can resist holy ground with a -20% penalty against all bonuses.)
Mirrors: Mirrors will not show the reflection of a Neophyte or a regular vampire but an elder one, using Mask of Mortality will in fact show a reflection.
Garlic: All vampires of Khavos’ line will show a varying degree of allergic reaction to garlic. The older the vampire is, the less this will be effectual. Additionally, these vampires can eat and drink food normally but due to their undead state, never actually digest it. Commonly they will purge this food when convenient. (Garlic allergy: +30% armor penalty to neophyte vampires for 1d6 rounds, +15% armor penalty to normal vampires for 1d4 rounds and no armor penalty vs. Elder vampires.)
Sunlight: This will work to varying degrees…though that is to say any sunlight to a vampire is bad. The older a vampire of Khavos’ bloodline gets however, the more he or she can tolerate daytime. Ko herself is rumored to have been able to walk around on cloudy days with a hood over her features. The youngest of Khavos’ line will indeed burn and turn to ash if exposed for more than 5 minutes, with the average being about 10 to 15 minutes before death will occur. Pain however incurs instantly, as it begins to burn the flesh. (Neophyte vampires: 1 round before destruction, vampires 2 rounds before destruction and Elders 1d4+3 rounds before destruction.)
Dependent on the race of the vampire in their mortal life.
History: The Fall of Ishaela and the Rise of Vampires
There are few tragedies greater than the Cataclysm of Ishaela. Once a world of peace and understanding, Ishaela and her various populations of races lived in mostly harmony with one another. No greater of these races were the wise and powerful Sivanoshei or Elves of the Wood. Proactive and champions of causes great and small, the Elves sought to help other peoples increase their awareness of the world through magic and divinity through nature.
Largely this was successful with mutual cooperation. The Dwarves of Ishaela assisted the Elves in constructing great spires within their vast forest lands where magic was taught to all who would learn, including the comparatively young race of Humans. While the Dwarves shared with Humans the knowledge of metal and stone, the Elves shows Man how to call mystic forces to their aid or to heal the wounded without bandage or salve. Initially the Elves were very apprehensive about teaching the Humans magic of any kind. It was the Prince of the Sivanoshei that felt that Humans would not be responsible with such power, but many of the Elvish Magi felt differently, even going as far as teaching the Humans in secret. Eventually the Prince relented and the knowledge was freely gifted upon Humankind.
But not all Humans used this gift wisely. Sorcerous power opened the pathway to temptation from infernal powers that poisoned the mind of some of the Humans, drawing them to dark rites and whispered the names of long forgotten Evils into all too carefully listening ears. Hidden amongst the trusting Elves, hard-working Dwarves and the majority of responsible Humans, these blackened hearts lurked in wait.
The accounts of the events that led to the Great Exodus have been lost, but it is widely believed that it started with Human priests that began performing black rites to an Arch-Demon known as Khavos. This largely secretive cult performed sacrifices on an almost nightly basis, in an attempt to open an infernal gate to the Abyss. Stray children, homeless and those caught walking alone; no one was except from this silent bloodbath that happened in every city across Ishaela.
This of course was just the beginning. To prove their loyalty to Khavos, the most devout priests and priestesses subjugated themselves to powerful black rites that corrupted their mortal soul and eventually turned them into vampires. They would, in turn create their acolytes into vampires by the more commonly understood method of exchanging blood.
Turning this cult into a coven of vampires then ensured Khavos would have obedience and control through the head priests and priestesses, while they controlled the clergy through sharing of their blood through ritual. These blood slaves or blood dolls (in the case of particularly willing female blood slaves) brought them sacrifices and new followers to Khavos.
Eventually, the good races of Ishaela took notice. It was the Elves that were the last to concede that there had been Humans that had twisted the knowledge they had given them, although that was largely in part due to a great deal of in-fighting amongst the various sects of the Sivanoshei as to why so many humans had fallen under the thrall of Khavos.
By this time however some Elves had joined this cult as well, swayed perhaps by human lovers or other lure of power or prestige. Even a handful of Dwarves were sucked into this addictive cult that only required that one drink ‘the wine of life’ from a cup to prove their loyalty — a cup of wine tainted with the blood of a vampire.
The Hand in the Shadows: Ko’rashae Ri
One such Elf was the prominent illusionist Ko’rashae Ri, or simply ‘Ko’ to her friends and admirers. Ko was a lovely Elvish woman with lovely white hair that swept the length of her back, full pink lips and striking blue eyes that were expressive with her wants and desires. Ko also loved the finer things in life and had very little in the way of moral difficulty plying subtle manipulation and illusion to get what she desired. When word of this cult spread to her own ears, it was not by temptation of any kind that she heeded the call. In Ko’s mind, this cult would be her own way of increasing her power base especially if she could usurp it somehow or at least plumb its secrets of dark magic.
Many things happened to Ko in her ascension through the ranks of Khavos’ cult; the culmination of which being her being turned into a vampire by one of the high priests. The exact truth of it all is sketchy like so many things of this time but most believe Ko may have been actually turned against her will upon discovering what this gambit of hers would need in sacrifice. Whatever the means, the shrewd woman given perhaps the very thing she wished on the plate of her proverbial reckoning.
The years to come were marked with wars between not nations, but cultists within nations. There were no borders or truces in this conflict taken to the hearts of the whole of Ishaela, but blood drawn within families, within homes. Brother turned against brother, husband against wife and so on until there was simply no end nor means to contain the bloodshed the Cult of Khavos reaped.
The cult of Khavos had grown incredibly strong and had swept control from within so many cities by having vampires in key positions in politics armies and elsewhere. Because of this, when the final end game came defenses were almost impossible to muster. Where once cities were bastions of wisdom and knowledge, now became rioting pits of anarchy with citizens helplessly fighting their own kin, their friends and their own governments to stay alive.
With Ishaela in so much global conflict, it became an easy matter for the cultists to complete the ultimate task: to open a permanent gate from the Abyss, so that Khavos could enter the plane. With all the infernal creatures all ready wreaking havoc across the moon and the dead now rising by the black rites of Khavos’ priests, there were few who could have turned the tide before. Now, with Khavos roaming this world unchecked there was little hope for survival now. Too many people had been turned into vampires, or slain and raised again as ferocious and mindless zombies. Demons of every sort now terrorized homes, the streets and everywhere in between.
The last stronghold of the free peoples of Ishaela became the very place sorcerous and divine knowledge became twisted by wicked men; the School of Sorcery within the Elvish capital city of Am-Shei. A council was convened within those walls and it was here, the fate of those who were to survive this apocalypse would be decided.
The Dwarves, bitter at the Elves and the Humans both, announced they would lock the doors to their great halls and let the filth that magic called up claim them for their misdeeds. The Elves could not dissuade the Dwarvish people’s anger and accepted their choice with a saddened knowledge that even in the deep ground, eventually they too would succumb to this evil.
As to the fate of Elves, the choice became a clear one. On the grounds of the school a great World Gate had been constructed. With this sorcerous edifice, they were able to cross into the World of Imarel, that previously the Prince forbade any great contact. Mostly this had been used with reserve for fear that something unwanted may follow explorers back, but with Ishaela in such jeopardy of becoming swallowed by the evil unleashed upon it this seemed the best choice; start again and hope wherever they went would be more hospitable.
The fate of Humans became a topic of debate with the Elvish delegates. The humans that remained indeed were few and of them, most of them had been tribal gypsies and barbarian nomads that had sought the Elves for shelter from the great evils that plagued even the outlaying wilds. These peoples had no part in the evils placed onto the world and merely suffered from it. Others argued that Humans had failed as a race and this would all repeat again if they were allowed to escape with them.
When the votes were cast by the Elvish delegates that remained, it was the vote of Ko’rashae Ri that finally swayed the decision to take what uncorrupted Humans remained across the World Gate. Ko had been clever and knew that these survivors did not know she was a vampire also. Now and with the skies blackened with the burning bodies of the dead and the fires of war, there was not enough sunlight in the skies anymore to detour her from moving around in the daytime.
So it was done. All the remaining peoples of Human and Elf crossed the World Gate to Imarel. Some Elves remained behind to defend the World Gate as the colonists left, knowing that they very well might perish. Every bit of art, lore and relic that could be spared was taken to this new realm called Imarel that day by the wearied hands of Human and Elf alike…oblivious to the fact that amongst them lurked the very thing they had been fleeing.
The Start of Vampires on Imarel: The Coven of Ko
And so arrived the Sivanoshei (who would rename themselves Tallis-Shei, or Moon Elves, Humans and a single Vampire upon the continent of Shalzaar where waiting for them were the Shar’Vaire allies they had made. These were the very sorcerers that assisted them with creating a permanent portal on Imarel’s side and welcomed them to this realm with open arms.
Ko soon realized vampires did not exist upon Imarel; these Shar’Vaire were simply immune to the turning process she discovered on a night of drunken debauchery with one that died for the trying. However, with this small herd of Humans at her disposal it would only be a matter of time before she would establish her own dark reign.
New cities were built and treaties were made, broken and burned on the flames of war with the Shar’Vaire. Ko’rashae Ri laid low during these centuries and slowly, selectively built her power base amongst Humans and a handful of Elves. She never turned very many nor took control of very many. This is the way she taught her own vampire progeny so they might remain hidden and cultivate their only food source on an increasingly hostile world.
When the time came for the Moon Elves to go into hiding within the untouched cities of Humans, Ko had made her way to the city of Brookshire and helped the people there, under the guise of a war refuge so that she might take control of the entire political system here. With her and her progeny working their way slowly and steadily into the royal cabinet and influencing changes, Brookshire eventually blossomed into a financially stable city and sea port and Ko herself gained a great deal of influence with the Grand Duke. So much in fact, that when the time came to send settlers across the sea, to address the city’s overcrowding problem to the new lands being offered in Tal`Rah as part of a non-aggression pact with the Shar’Vaire, Ko was only too happy to take the position as colonial overseer to the new colony of Sundown.
It is also by design that she chose to not allow Sundown to join the other Human/Elvish cities in the Windsong Accord (which brought forth the Nation of Windsong). She knew if Sundown were to join this conglomerate, there would be great risk of her manipulations being discovered. While the thought of taking over the whole accord was tempting, Ko knew this would be over-reaching. Besides, the skirmishes with Human forces that would eventually seek to invade would help keep her people distracted, whilst she continued her little shadow game of control.
Ko had also established a rapport with the Shar’Vaire. While they were distrustful of Elves overall, Ko used her charm, wit and a little seduction of the powerful elder race’s political players that won her an alliance for Sundown on the promise her people would never rise against the Shar’Vaire and that they would have free reign over Sundown’s skies with their Airships, where they could find a friendly port if they wished.
Ko’s coven had infested into every walk of life within Sundown. Vampires were in heads of office, in the Guard and in the merchant guilds. The normal people under them were given a steady diet of their vampire master’s blood in secretive ways to ensure their docile obedience and the assurance they could at any time be turned against any one person in the city that could start trouble for the coven. Ko had so much time entrenching herself within the city that nothing short of a full scale civil war finally removed that control at the cost of a great deal of life.
This control was so deep and so complicated, that there were Humans and Elves alike in the city that served Ko and were completely unaware of it because of being controlled by progeny of hers that ensured no direct connection is ever made to Ko herself. Those she could not control, she duped with the ancient illusionist sorcery her people carried from Ishaela. Having lived for nearly six thousand years between Ishaela and Imarel, she had plenty of time to secure herself into power and to fill key minds with the propaganda that vampires never existed at all; which made it all the easier to move the pawns of Sundown as she saw fit.
The Coven Today in the Post-Khavos Era
In the last two years, Sundown has seen both the fall of Ko during the Sundown Civil War and more recently the destruction of Khavos. Many had postulated this would be the end of the vampire race as it has been known on Imarel, however this was not to be the case. With the destruction of the Spirit of Decay, so too was lost a binding will that controlled the vampires and forced them to move as Khavos wished. It might well be that both Ko and Nevi would still be alive had they not sacrificed themselves at the bidding of their dark master.
Immediately following the Sundown Civil War, the vampire nation was in complete disarray. With Ko slain, control fell to Nevi, who was more interested in preserving own interests than the intricate web her sire had built. Enter Lord Aero Lyons, a slaver that Nevi had sired some decades ago as part of a mutually beneficial business arrangement; Aero gave Nevi pet slaves whenever she wished and she gave Aero immortality. He handled all her business dealing and for the last twenty years, including handling the books of her infamous whore house, Naught Nevi’s House of Sin. During this time, Aero slowly began pooling together his power-base while heroes were chasing after his sire. When she too, finally submitted to Khavos’ will and let her own doom come to pass so Khavos might establish his link to the Abyss once more, Aero had all but cemented himself as the new Elder of Sundown.
With the recent destruction of Khavos and a truly free destiny, Aero is by all rights the new Elder of the Sundown Coven. With this status, his power and influence has grown impressively; enough so that the Elder of the Coven of Brookshire, Lady Ariadne Amarys has established a sort of treaty with Aero. The details are hidden, but the end result is a unified vampire nation with edicts, etiquette and code to adhere to. The caitiff created during the civil war are encouraged to return to the fold and those that don’t find it difficult to operate in either Sundown or Brookshire.
It is unclear if this unification of the covens is part of an endgame to establish vampires in all major Human and Elvish cities across Imarel or merely a means to keep those that remain organized and held together with a unified purpose of survival. Much remains to be revealed about Aero’s plan and its effect on both Sundown and Imarel as a whole.
The Structure and Guidelines of the Coven
The two remaining covens of vampires is kept small purposefully to remain unnoticed and out of harm’s way of large acts of military aggression against them. Ko’s ultimate failing was she had over-reached her sense of purpose and took too much control. While she had maintained the facade of Sundown for several hundred years, it took the domino of a single event to bring it all crashing down around her. Now, with the remaining covens banded together secrecy and control become paramount to ensure that vampires once more become an obscurity.
The two cities with a sizable vampire populous, Brookshire and Sundown have established a closely-knit hierarchy of order that ensures that creation of more progeny is done only with the permission of that city’s Elder. This had not been the rule with Ko; her will was that the four elders that ran Sundown for her were given notice on such things. The tradition of asking permission before turning one into a vampire originated in Brookshire, under the gentle guiding hand of the Lady Amarys. This maintained a more personal relationship between the elder and both the sire and the one to be made. Those turned without permission are almost always destroyed, though this is usually at the discretion of the elder and the sire is punished in some fashion.
Wanton acts of violence or revealing one’s nature in public has also been cast as a unfavorable act. Those that choose to flaunt their existence openly are shunned by the coven and no aid will be rendered if they are hunted. Killing without regard to location and in the public eye earns the same treatment from the elders of either city; such acts rob the vampires of the ability to blend in and to quietly infiltrate society.
When a vampire from one coven visits the city of another coven, it is expected and polite to make one’s presence known to that city’s elder. This is an unwritten rule of vampires in general, so it is expected of even vampires not of the Khavosian line. Those who enter the city without the leave of that city’s elder will at the very least be shunned and depending on their further actions, may actually be hunted by the coven.
Above all things, the elder’s word is law. Disobeying a city’s elder is essentially asking to be hunted or have that elder turn the city’s resources against the one who disobeyed his or her will. Lord Lyons often deals with rogue caitiff by simply informing Sundown’s Shadow
Hunters, through various third parties that a vampire is on the loose and lets them deal with the rogue. The Shadow Hunters are none the wiser that they may have gotten a tip indirectly from a vampire Elder.
The Process of Turning
The turning of a mortal into a vampire requires a few things: first and foremost the race of the individual makes a difference. Shar’Vaire, Quar`Vess, Dragons, Dragonkin and Voraath cannot be turned into vampires; to attempt to do so would simply kill the aforementioned race in question. Humans, Elves and all other races can be turned.
There has been speculation whether animals can be turned; in all documented attempts, the answer would seem to be no, however an animal can be fed vampiric blood for a blood slave-like effect. Most daylight guardians of a vampire will be given the blood as a means to ensure obedience, whether it be animal or person as well as boost the strength of such protectors.
Should a proper victim be found the process requires that person to be brought to near death by blood consumption by the turning vampire, then the victim must drink the blood of the vampire with their dying breaths to be fully turned. There is no half-phase to speak of, or a required three bites to occur to complete the turn. However, newly turned vampires need to feed within twenty four hours of being turned or face going into frenzy. Once the turn has occurred, it cannot be reversed by any means, short of very rare and dangerous temporal magic, or divine intervention.
When the blood of their sire is consumed, the neophyte gains many of the memories some of the knowledge required to be a vampire. It is through this shared knowledge an intrinsic and intimate bond is formed, which is often why the vampire’s neophyte will often feed from their sire’s wrist. It gives a strong sense of familiarity and intimacy that both enjoy. This sort of bond is very difficult to break and in many cases, a neophyte will sooner kill themselves than betray their sire. Acts of cruelty, neglect and brutality against the neophyte can sometimes overcome this bond but even then it is quite difficult.
Sexuality and the Vampire
Khavos’ progeny are considered undead for all intents and purposes. And while capable of feeling emotion, its generally a twisted sort of emotion that becomes a dark parody of human emotions. Can vampires of Khavos’ line love? Yes. As one might expect however, it is an abusive and often controlling sort of love that rarely ends well.
Vampires cannot reproduce sexually by any means…even magical. Further, vampires view sex as a means to feed, not as a means to find pleasure. While the pleasure aspect of sex remains mostly intact it pales to the rush one finds from an erotic feeding.
The only case that any sort of half-vampire (Dhampir) can exist is if a blood doll of a vampire becomes pregnant while under the influence of that vampire’s blood. More often than not, such women will more likely have a stillborn child as the vampiric blood plays havoc with the woman’s body. However in very rare cases a half-vampire can be born this way and are often considered aberrations and slain as soon as they are discovered by the coven.
Even rarer still, those half-vampires that survive have a rough life ahead of them, with the need to take blood for nourishment as well as food and water, though in lesser quantities. They will have minor aversion to sunlight, but be able to move and function normally in the daytime.
Half-vampires will have somewhat enhanced strength, speed and endurance, though never matching that of a true vampire. Additionally, they will inherit two random abilities from their vampiric influence.
Blood Slaves and Blood Dolls
The blood is the power of a vampire. Through it a vampire may steadily and reliably control other people and animals even. Those who unwittingly (or at least at first) drink the blood of a vampire become under their thrall to the point of near suicidal obedience. So long as a steady diet of at least a half pint of blood is consumed every week, that individual will become and remain what is called a blood slave.
The longer one is a blood slave, the more likely they will become physically dependent on the vampire’s blood until such point they will actually begin to suffer withdraw symptoms. Should this go on for more than a month, the blood slave will break the thrall.
Additionally, the longer one is a blood slave the more fractionated abilities of the vampire they serve they will get. Usually this manifests in increased strength, reflexes and durability, though the oldest blood slaves have exhibited slowed aging and in a few very rare cases, a talent their master or mistress has.
A blood slave is mentally linked to the vampire, though the slave is not cognizant of this link. The vampire can experience all six senses of their blood slave just by concentrating. This talent only works on one blood slave at a time. In this manner, a vampire at any time can see whatever it is their slave is looking at or listen in on conversations he or she hears and so on.
A vampire can have as many blood slaves as he or she wishes, though most will only have one or two. Anymore than this runs the risk of the vampire’s blood being run too low to sustain their slaves’ thrall. All blood slaves to the same vampire will be instinctively harmonious with each other, even if they despised each other before becoming blood slaves.
Blood dolls are those who willingly and knowingly submit themselves to becoming the slaves of the vampire. Most often this is usually somebody the vampire is amorous with and seeks to make them a special pet. This relationship does have a domination/submission theme to it, though it is not always sexual in nature…just most of the time.
These individuals are almost always female but there are male blood dolls as well. Often, these blood dolls are kept not only for amusement but a steady blood source should there ever be a lack of victims to hunt. Some vampires actually prefer to feed from their blood doll, finding it to be a deeply intimate bond made, much like sex is between two normal people.
Whatever the case, blood slaves and blood dolls will protect their master or mistress onto death. They will jump in front of stakes, they will throw themselves at attackers to ensure the safety of the vampire they serve. When defending their master or mistress, blood slaves cannot be feared with anything short of divine power. The only recourse at that point is death or being rendered unconscious or incapacitated in some way.
A particular kind of blood doll, a dirty doll is loosely considered one of the lowest of their kind. A dirty doll is given intoxicants such as alcohol, thistle weed or it’s derivative thistle drops, juka, or some other intoxicating substance. The difference between a regular blood doll, which may be given drugs to suit the whim of their vampire master, and a dirty doll is that the latter is kept intoxicated frequently enough to develop an addiction. This addiction can be anything from mild to debilitating. Dirty Dolls are the least common kind of Blood Doll and without their masters, most of those with stronger addictions will die within a relatively short frame of time as they have often lost the ability to care for themselves without keepers and will deprive themselves of necessities in order to afford feeding their addiction. (class information contribution by C. Gray)
Statistically, treat Blood Slaves and Blood Dolls as Dhampir should a player wish to play one, with a notable exception that the Immunity to Vampiric Mind Control does not apply to the Blood Slave/Blood Doll when it’s their master or mistress calling to them.
With Age Comes Power: A Vampire’s Ascent to Infamy
All vampires become stronger with age. As they feed on the blood of mortals, their unliving bodies learn to metabolize it more efficiently and draw greater power from it. Combined with the time it takes to learn some of the greatest secrets of their kind, immortality is not an entirely leisurely activity for vampires. Age progression is described below:
Neophyte: The neophyte vampire has only access to their increased speed, endurance, strength and senses. None of their other gifts have manifested at this point. Killing one of these vampires can still be treacherous business, but nowhere near the threat a fully aware vampire is. The neophyte is taught by their maker and learns other powers within the weeks and months of their new unlife. A neophyte remains such for at least the first three months after creation.
Vampire: This is a full-fledged vampire that has access to all their main talents and can fend for themselves without their maker, though many remain loyal to their maker upon becoming a fully aware vampire. This is often for mutual survival and further, company in a world where your food can offer little understanding about the death they’re to receive or answer questions the dark can bring.
Elder: A vampire elder has been alive for over five hundred years and understands many of the deep mysteries associated with being a vampire. They are physically far stronger, more durable and exceptionally dangerous to anybody who would face them. Many elders are loyal to their makers even still, though it is likely they have branched out in their own travels and will likely have a neophyte of their own by this point.
Ancient: The title Ancient is reserved for vampires that have lived for 5,000 years or more. These are the most dangerous sorts of vampires, that have developed powers that allow them to walk in daylight, or strike down enemies with a gaze and worse. Only a handful of these vampires exist, now that Ko and Nevi have been destroyed, though the names of these ancients are heavily guarded. It is believed that Lady Ariadne Amarys is one such ancient, though is a matter the wise do not discuss openly. Many of these ancients have unique powers they developed and are not shared with others of their kin, giving them an element of surprise when dealing with those who would usurp their power. *
- No player character will be of ancient status. All PC vampires are neophyte, vampire or elder.