(Vampires over 1000 years of age must be pre-approved by the race lead of Blue Lotus before applying. Vampires who have been vampires less than a decade would still likely need to be under the controlling influence of their sire.)
Strengths: Exceptional speed. Moderately enhanced strength. Addictive/euphoric bite. Heal/regenerate by ingesting blood. Immortality (very hard to kill -- regenerate by drinking blood). They have magical powers of persuasion called the Voice, which makes non-vampires more succeptible, but not does not completely compel them, to doing their bidding. The weaker willed the race to person, the easier the Voice can manipulate them. It is powerless against Wraiths and Elohim.
Weaknesses: Must drink blood regularly. Sunlight burns them quickly (protected from such inside the city walls). Three times as much damage from fire. Must leave a personal dwelling if permission is clearly and verbally revoked. They do not have to be invited in, but must leave if permission is revoked. May not enter a church or temple, as these are the "personal dwellings" of the divine, and they have not been granted permission. All vampires are repelled by a symbol with deep meaning, be it a cross, an anarchy symbol, a zodiac symbol, etc. (For our purposes, it must be a symbol you stand a REASONABLE CHANCE of running into in Convergence at some point. While it does not have to be a religious symbol, it should be something which had meaning, positive or negative, to your character when alive.) Vampire society is very strict, because of the blood shortage. Rogues are regularly hunted down and killed, and punishments are handed out liberally for those who break laws.
Lifespan: Immortal (Unless killed through very specific means)
Susceptible to D13: No
Part of the Consortium: Yes
Race Leaders: Vampires are ruled by the Carpathian Council, made up of bloodline elders, overseen by the Voivode. Vampires are immensely powerful, and their laws reflect the need for following strict and archaic rules in order to keep their society from becoming a power-mad bloodbath like it has in the past. Areas in size from a city to a continent may be ruled by a Prince, and Princes report to the Carpathian Council. They don't have to, if they are powerful enough to defy the council, but few Princes are that powerful, and certainly none are that powerful in this D13 age.
Background: There is a reason that vampires have been the most influential supernatural race on Earth. They have many strengths, many gifts. But, if you know where to look, they have just as many weaknesses. For thousands of years, they have subtly directed the course of human events from the shadows, and have managed to avoid outcomes such as that of the mages, whose meddling in human affairs ended up weakening the position of their race. Although vampires may not be the oldest race, or the most magically adept, they nonetheless have used their gifts to sink their teeth into almost every human society or major institution. They have even been able to slowly influence popular culture into changing their opinion of vampires. Once, they were regarded as monsters. Now, they are often regarded as romantic and beautiful.
The central text of ancient vampire lore comes from Ancient Egypt, and is known as "The True Book of the Dead". This tome contains not only the currently known Book of the Dead, but additional material relating to undeath and the origins of the vampire race. The current "Book of the Dead" has been scrubbed by vampire scholars to obscure their origins from humanity. The original tome is rare, with only three copies said to exist, one of them located in the Vatican. (During the Celestial War and the Battle of Rome, this book is believed to have been pilfered by the Carpathian Council's Sesmu agents and removed to a safe location.) However, each clan maintains their own "Revised version", each different from the next.
However, in general, the story goes thusly:
Two powerful creatures of magic, perhaps Gods, perhaps some other supernatural origin, were in love like no other love has been before or since. They were Osiris and Isis, brother and sister, husband and wife. Jealous of their connection and power, their brother Set contrived for Osiris to be attacked and torn apart by crocodiles as he walked along the bank of the Nile one day. The blood of Osiris turned the Nile red for seven days and seven nights.
Isis, unable to cope with her loss, quested day and night, and eventually retrieved all parts of her husband, save one - the phallus. With her powers of magic, she was able to resurrect her husband. However, unable to conceive in the normal way, Osiris instead bit Isis, penetrating her with his teeth and injecting his life force through that bite. Isis then bore Osiris seven children, the first six born in a state not unlike their father's -- undead. Only the youngest, Horus, was alive. Whilst Horus went on to rule Egypt, the other six became the founders of the founders of the first major vampire bloodlines.
After the death of the last descendant of Horus, the bloodlines warred against each other, both openly and through human pawns. However, around 1100AD, the Carpathian Council was established. A representative from each bloodline sits on the council. Every hundred years, a new council leader, known as the Silent Voivode, is elected from outside the council by the council members. The Voivode is the public face of the council and tie breaker in votes. He or she may not serve more than once. More locally, each city tends to have a Prince, who reports to the Council and is often chosen by them. Some Princes do go rogue, and defy commands of the Council, but unless they are particularly powerful or well-connected, this tends to end them up severely and summarily dead.
Vampires are immortal, and from the day of their turning, do not age. It is also incredibly hard to kill them. The known ways to slay a vampire include removing and completely burning the heart, leaving them in the sunlight until they are ash, and diablerie (drinking all of the vampire's blood as well as their magical essence) and decapitation. However, a wooden stake through the heart will suspend a vampire in living death known as torpor until the stake is removed. And preventing a vampire from accessing blood to regenerate will also keep them incapacitated.
Vampires are made by exsanguination of a human, and then feeding them vampire blood. The vampire who feeds them then becomes their sire, and is bound to them always -- able to feel their distress and eventually locate them. Vampires can also "ghoul" other races through the utilization of Sangromancy, which is an immense source of power for them, but the edicts of the Consortium require that they no longer ghoul non-humans against their will. Additionally, the blood of other races has different effects on vampires. This is listed below:
Mages: Nutritious, enhances magic.
Mutants: Nutritious, may cause a harmless temporary mutation (like eye-color changing)
Other Vampires: Doubly nutritious. (Once a vampire becomes several thousand years old, they can subsist only on the blood of other vampires.)
Cyborgs: Half-potency unless ghouled. Blood from Cyborgs is only half as useful to vampires as normal blood. It is also said to taste "bitter". Ghouling a cyborg fixes this problem.
Robot: Robots who have synthetic blood are tasty, but not at all nutritious. Those who do not, can not be fed from.
Fae: Nutritious, intense euphoria and occasionally hallucinations. Addictive over time.
Shifters: Nutritious, enhances strength
Underkin: Nutritious, pain relief (like morphine). Addictive over time.
Wraith: Half as much nutrition. Gives ability to see and speak with the dead but causes intense depression. Wraiths only have blood when they are skin-riding. Wraiths can not be ghouled.
Sylvani: Nutritious, blood mimics effects of shrooms. Not addictive.
Elohim: Angel blood is toxic to vampires. It tastes like burning justice, or just...burning. And it has no known positive effects.
Nephilim: Nutritious. But, Demon blood tends to confer insanity and megalomania to vampires. Extremely addictive.
Yokai: Nutritious. Tends to cause vampires to behave in a manner contrary to their nature.
When bitten, all races experience euphoria induced by the vampire's bite (though it is reduced somewhat for Robots and Wraiths). The bite has a mild memory-altering aspect, which generally leaves one unable to exactly remember being bitten. All that is remembered is the euphoria. However, with subsequent bites, this memory-altering aspect becomes less and less, and the person will be able to remember more and more what happens during this time. This happens around 5 bites for humans and 3 for non-humans. Additionally, a vampire licking a bite wound can assist it to heal more rapidly.
Generally, vampires can only be active at night due to the fact that they burst into flames in sunlight. However, the city of Convergence has a sort of "dome of magic" over it which filters the air coming into Convergence, as well as filters the sunlight. The light in the city is not harmful to vampires. However, should they go beyond the city walls during the day, they will burst into flame if unprotected.
Note: It is extremely rare for vampires to be turned and then abandoned without any knowledge as to how vampire society works. Doing this means the new vampire might unwittingly break the law, and often the sire is held accountable for the new vampire's crimes. If this is part of your character concept, we may ask you to change it. You have a higher chance of being destroyed for very little reason.
Note: At this time, we are NOT accepting vampires over 2000 years old.
The Qeteshi: The Qeteshi are the blood descendants of Qetesh, known in some cultures as Astarte. Qetesh was the first daughter of Isis and Osiris, and it is said her beauty was "terrifying to look upon", and that many men killed themselves after seeing her. The curse of Qetesh, however, was that she could not see her own beauty, and when she looked at her reflection in the Nile, she saw only a rotting monster. Although this curse has weakened over the centuries, it still haunts the Qeteshi. They are obsessed with their own beauty, but see flaws and hideousness constantly attacking them, creeping in. The more they thirst for blood, the more they see themselves, and others, as monstrous and hideous. Nonetheless, the Qeteshi are the pinnacle of all things seductive and beautiful, and it is they who have crafted the current media image of "beautiful vampires". (The Qeteshi are intensely beautiful to behold, and pleasing to the senses, not just sight. One does not have to be a sexual being, or even typically 'attracted' to what they look like in reality, because their appearance is magical in nature. They can use this power to compel people to want to please them and treat them like movie stars. Their beauty rivals that of the Sidhe. However, if the Qeteshi is aggressive, cruel, or rude the effect will rapidly wear off and remain gone for 24 hours. Qeteshi have no effect on other Qeteshi.)
Shades: Originally known as "The Shades of Apophis", and now generally just referred to as "Shades". Apophis was the shadow warrior who protected his mortal brother, Horus, from a slew of assassination attempts. His bloodline has continued the tradition, working from the shadows. During the early days of the bloodline wars, they killed indiscriminately, and were exiled from most vampire lands. Many of them ended up at the remote island of Japan, where it is believed they were instrumental in the formation of the ninja clans. When the Carpathian Council convened, the once chaotic killers were now refined warriors, living by a strict code. Shades are some of the most honor-bound vampires, despite their immense capacity for death. They will rarely go against their word and are known to be trustworthy. For instance, it is considered a terrible dishonor to lose one's weapon during battle, and if one does, they may not purchase, make, or be given another. They must steal one, or kill someone and take theirs to restore their honor. Additionally, it is considered dishonorable to kill someone over a personal matter in secret. Assassinations may only be done via contract. Other battles, those over personal matters, must be done via a duel or publicly. Shades take contracts very seriously, as it is another form of oath, and those who are oathbreakers are scandalized. Oathbreakers must give up all possessions, even their clothing and weapons, and start from scratch in order to atone for their dishonor. (Shades have exceptional swiftness on their side, and may be the fastest creatures known, able to move so fast they are unseen to the naked human eye. However, this swiftness, if used in more than short bursts, will begin to burn blood rapidly. As falling to a hunger frenzy is dishonorable, not to mention dangerous considering recent proclamations, Shades use this ability sparingly.)
The Sekhmeti: The goddess who would be portrayed with the head of a lion, known as the Eye of Ra, was known for her exceptional wrath. It is said that she once succumbed to such intense bloodlust that the gods themselves had trouble keeping her from destroying the entire human race. Often warriors and tacticians, their ranks are occasionally drawn from human politicians or positions dealing with the justice system. They are fueled, forever, by a cause they see as righteous, whatever that cause may be. When channeled correctly, the Sekhmeti spirit is inspiring and world-changing. But it can become damaging, ending up in wrath or untempered bloodlust and a love of violence. The Sekhmeti have intense charisma and an ability to inspire. It is additionally known that Sekhmet and Apophis are bondmates and an argument between them is somehow responsible for what was later believed to be the 'random eruption of Mt. Vesuvius' which destroyed Pompeii, and two of their childer, also bondmates, are responsible for the destruction of the Library at Alexandria. The older a Sekhmeti gets, the hotter they tend to be even at rest. The air around them may heat up with their anger. However, generally, only the first generation of Sekhmet's children can burn a person without touching them. (The Sekhmeti have a power known as 'Burning Hands' which allows them to raise the temperature of their blood enough to burn their opponent if they are touched. This burn will continue to increase in painfulness and area over the next day. This additionally marks the opponent, and the mark will call to the Sekhmeti over the next twenty-four hours, allowing them to hunt their prey even if they escape an initial conflict. Like the power of the Shades, Burning Hands burns the user's blood swiftly and must be used sparingly. This power inflicts fire-level damage to other vampires. The Sekhmeti, unlike most vampires who are always cold to the touch, are always warm. Their ability does not make them in any way immune to the vampire weakness to fire. Additionally, the Sekhmeti are known for their extraordinary tempers. Vampires of this bloodline have a hair trigger temper and are easily provoked. Anger is a constant companion for the Sekhmeti and they are never removed from it, although they do learn to live with it over time.)
The Disciples of Thoth: Also known as the Scribes, the Disciples of Thoth are the vampiric bloodline of the 'god of writing, wisdom, medicine and history'. They are the intellectual powerhouse of the vampires, the original writers of the True Book of the Dead, and promoters of many advances in science within human culture. Sometimes not in the best way, and it is said that the basis of Doctor Frankenstein was a Disciple of Thoth vampire. Blurring the line between science and magic, the Scribes often get accused of being 'mad scientists', and many of them become unscrupulous in their quest for knowledge. Indeed, some of them do go quite mad. However, the Disciples of Thoth also have cured diseases which have afflicted vampires in the past, as well as made some blood substitutes, which taste horrible, and are only half as nutritious as normal blood. These are now difficult to find in the D13 world, but can be made in small amounts by knowledgable Disciples.(The Scribes have the ability to access The Vault. The Vault is a magical pocket dimension which contains a massive library and laboratory which rivals the internet for it's thoroughness, containing reference materials of many kinds. Generally, Scribes can only go there in their minds, their bodies remaining in the real world. However, an extensive hour-long ritual can be done to go there bodily, which is sometimes done to bring samples to the laboratory. This ritual is a bit different for each. It is forbidden and impossible to remove anything from the Vault once entered into the Vault's coding system. Additionally, the Disciples of Thoth can tell if a person is lying or telling the truth, though they must maintain physical contact with, or look into the eyes of, the person to do so.)
The Sobeki: Sobek, the 'crocodile god', was the kind and wise philosopher, a twin brother of the beautiful Qetesh. It was said that he was the one person who saw through her beauty to her heart, and that he dedicated himself to finding a cure for her sorrowful curse. His quest took him far and wide, until he came to the land beyond the sun, a dark world ruled by people resembling crocodiles. (These people are sometimes believed to be Underkin Lamia or Erzheka.) Their evil queen fell in love with Sobek, but when he refused her advances, she became malicious and jealous of Sobek's dedication to his sister. Feigning taking pity on Sobek, she gave him a potion that she said would lighten his sister's heart. He tried it first, worried it might be poison. The potion turned him monstrous, with the head of a crocodile and the body of a corpse. Sobek was furious and in his wrath, killed the queen and fled to hide. Qetesh found him, however, and when she did, she was delighted despite the queen's attempts to drive a wedge between brother and sister. She could not see anything wrong with the monstrous body of Sobek. To this day, the monstrous looking Sobeki are one of the only things the Qeteshi can look at and see only perfection, and in return, the Sobeki are unaffected by the beauty of the Qeteshi, seeing only their hearts. The Sobeki have since embraced their calling as 'monsters' and 'hideous things', some taking this beyond the physical appearances into the realm of torture and grotesquery. Others follow a path seeking wisdom and enlightenment. And some do both, seeing no paradox between the two. Most of them learn the magical art of illusion so that they may hide themselves in human society. (The Sobeki can cause a person to see nightmarish visions. Typically, they can't control these visions. However, their bite delivers a deliriant more directly, allowing them to manipulate and control the visions for as long as they have a hold on the person, as well as learn by tasting their blood what the person's greatest fears are. The Sobeki MUST touch the person to activate this power, or bite them to activate the more intense version. Additionally, the Sobeki get the ability to insta-cast level 1 illusion spells, if they take Illusion.)
Children of Khonsu: Also sometimes derogatively called "Moonies", the bloodline of Khonsu, god of travel, the moon, and childlike wonder are perpetual explorers, and imaginers. Their desire to see new worlds often drives them to travel extensively. Those who don't travel tend to build worlds of their own through their sheer imagination, often via writing and poetry, and in recent years, via the internet. Their knowledge of the world and cultures makes them the natural diplomats of the vampire race. But, one should not believe the Children of Khonsu some sort of harmless dreamers. They do not allow access to their worlds easily, and often are the creators of tests, riddles, and enigmas. The Khonsu are believed to be behind the legend of the Sphinx and other similar riddles. For those they deem unworthy, there are often malicious pranks ranging from cute, to humiliating, to downright deadly. A few of the Children of Khonsu were said to have defected Egypt with the Shifters, and for this reason, this clan alone has long had a truce with the Shifters and their kin. Khonsu himself is known to still be walking the Earth, whilst most vampire progenitors are said to slumber now, and it is believed that the Khonsu have a DEEP tradition of hospitality and charity due to the fact that 'Khonsu may be weary traveller in disguise'. It is believed that along with the mage 'L'Etoile Arcana, the Children of Khonsu are responsible for the bohemian and hippie movements of the 20th century. (The Children of Khonsu can pull people into their imaginations. This is basically like a controlled acid trip. It can't hurt the person physically, but it can inspire them to become more creative, frighten them, reveal things to them, or take them on a mental "trip". Willing or weak subjects are easier to do this to than healthy or unwilling ones, and vampires have increased resistance to it. The Child of Khonsu MUST be touching the other person to use their power, and the Child of Khonsu is unable to defend themselves when this is in use. The Khonsu may not use this power on a single person more than once a moon (28 days).)
The Selkene: Although the children of Isis and Osiris were the first vampires, according to the legends depicted in the True Book of the Dead, there were other vampires made shortly thereafter whose clans sit upon the Carpathian Council. Legend states that the Selkene are the children of the scorpion goddess, Selket. Chosen from amongst the purest maidens in Isis' temple, so pure that even a scorpion's fatal sting could not harm her, a marriage was arranged between Horus and Selket. However, before their wedding night, innocent Selket was seduced by one of the newly turned vampires, and turned into one herself. The usual suspects are Qetesh and Apophis. Selket has never said who it was. This contention, and the subsequent exile of Selket by Isis, led to one of the largest early disagreements between the vampire progenitors. Some said Selket couldn't have known what she was doing, whilst others said that she was very aware of her wrongdoing and was, in fact, the one doing the seducing after she saw something she wanted. Either way, the Scorpion Whore wandered Egypt ever after, vengeful in her loneliness. She became identified with not only deadly stings and insects, but transmission of disease to the impure, and later all plagues. By the time the Carpathian Council convened, the Selkene were too powerful to ignore, and were invited to reconcile with their kind. The Selkene, whilst often presenting themselves as paragons of cleanliness and virtue, are driven to corrupt, defile, and infect. They are excellent at getting inside someone's head and making them do all those naughty things they want to do, and in turn, they usually play off that naughtiness to get fodder for blackmail or control people via addiction. (In addition to the normal euphoric vampire bite, the Selkene get an alternate bite effect of their choosing, which they must explain fully upon creation, which they can activate (or not). It can be anything from loosening inhibitions, to a type of poison, to transmission of a particular disease. They additionally get Intensity, the ability to (by touch) purify a person of the effects of an outside toxin or intoxicant, or intensify the effects of an outside toxin or intoxicant. They can purify intoxicants within themselves as well. On the downside, the Selkene all have a particular type of blood they will only drink, be it the blood of young women, or redheads, or priests, or coma victims. Whatever it is, anything else tastes foul.)
The Priests of Sesmu:Little is known about Sesmu, who in legend is known as the god of blood, wine, and execution. It is known that he helped Isis reconstitute her dead husband, Osiris, using wine created from magical "blood grapes". As a reward he was later allowed to sacrifice himself to Osiris and view the underworld, and then was brought back from the dead with a chalice of Osiris' blood. Ever after, Sesmu was charged with bringing 'sustenance' to Osiris and his offspring. The High Priest would sacrifice those unworthy or unrighteous, and their blood would be given to the vampires. This practice of human and animal sacrifice permeated throughout many cultures and religions, including Aztec culture in the form of the god Mictlantecuhtli. Although the Disciples of Thoth wrote the True Book of the Dead, the priests of the cult of Sesmu were those who most strictly followed its tenets. They are said to have infiltrated almost every religion on the planet, even Christianity, and that they wage a secret war from within, working to weaken those religions, waiting for the time when Isis and Osiris may be re-awakened as the prominent deities on Earth. The dark priests are those who hold the traditions of the vampires most dear, and preside over almost all ceremonies, festivals, and holidays. The are immune to the vampire weakness of being unable to enter holy ground, or the places of god. However, they have an alternate weakness that they must bleed or see blood spilled before they can activate their magic, the more complicated the magic, the more blood that needs to be spilled. They must cut themselves or another before casting magic. (The Priests of Sesmu can, with a touch, replenish the blood of any non-vampire creature that has been fed from up to three times per day. The Priests only learn one casted magic. This is because their second magic is Thaumaturgy, which allows them to use the magic of another by tasting their blood, but only to the level to which they have obtained Thaumaturgy (level 1, 2, or 3). They may only borrow one magic at a time, and may only use it for three days. The other person retains their magic during this time. Although they can use the magic of another, they will never be as good at that magic as a natural caster of it, and it will take more energy and time than a natural caster to utilize.)
In addition to their clan abilities, vampires may choose two forms of magic to utilize.