VAMPIRISM IN THE WNU
Types of Vampirism
In the article Aliens Among Us, I came up with the theory that Vampirism was caused when DNA from parasitic races ie. the Gouald and the Hive intermingled with that of the Immortals of the Highlander type, while I still think that may have been a cause of a form of vampirism, it certainly does not explain all of the differing types of vampirism which can be found in the WNU.
Here are some likely explanations for some of the more common varieties of vampirism. Many will seem very similar so I hope I am not being too redundant
1. Vampirism is the result of an natural evolutionary process- on Earth they would be the ultimate predators at the top of the food chain as depicted in Suzy Charnas Vampire Tapestry. However her vampire species is very rare and the really successful predators are actually quite numerous, so this could actually be a rare random evolutionary blip.
2. Vampirism is a natural evolutionary process of a species which
other dimensions such as Drakulon in the Vampirella tales-the original
speculate that his was extra dimensional
because the laws of physics in our universe would not create a naturally create a planet which had oceans and rivers of blood. If however it does exist in the same dimensional space as earth in WNU it is possible that the Drakulon was created by the Old Ones or Preservers as a entertainment, firstly to create a "living" planet, that is an entire planet that is a living creature and populate it with creatures out of Ancient Earth legends ie. vampires.(Remember I speculate that the Ancients are beings from Earth's far future living in the Universe's distant past) How this species got to Earth is also conjectural. It is possible that the Ancients also created legendary beasts and placed them in Earth's past, vampires being long lived survived the ages.
3. Vampirism was accidentally created by the Ancients and/or Preservers. Using a genetic viral encoding the Ancients hoped to hasten the evolutionary process and bring humanity into a state closer to transformation into pure energy. The result was a being who had vast powers, including vast control over its physical state and vast mental powers but one which has serious flaws as well.
The body absorbed energy like a sponge constantly but most of the energy was immediately bled off into other-dimensional space. The human body could not absorb the vast amount of energy and so had a tendency to dry up into a dry husk, creating mummified corpses. The only thing that kept the body at its physical norm was infusion of blood serum which had to be taken directly from another living being. The body could also not be exposed to vast amounts of energy or it would combust from an excess, this of course would be direct sunlight, electricity and fire applied directly to the body.
4. Vampirism is simply a virus that confers on its host body, longevity, control over its physical structure, vast mental powers, in short releasing the potentials of the human body. However the virus is subject to destruction by direct exposure to sunlight, to garlic, silver or wood.
5. Vampirism is a form of demonic possession created by Lovecraftian or
as a means of gaining and then controlling subjects. The first such beings created directly infected or possessed by the Demons were imprinted with a portion of the demon's consciousness, becoming in effect distant extensions of the demon's personality. These beings were Master Vampires or the First Born. When a Master Vampire creates a slave, companion or protege, this secondary vampire is imprinted with a portion of the demon's consciousness and also with a portion of the Master's personality.--Possibly when a Master Vampire is "killed" or seriously injured it can move its full consciousness into the closest of its subjects, extinguishing the subject's personality and reconfiguring the body into an exact genetic duplicate of its own.
If we have these above scenarios as the possible origins of the various strains of vampirism in the WNU why are there so many variations or are there variations in terms of powers and liabilities.
I believe there are differences but it has to do with the fact that over the millenia the various vampiric strains have mingled a bit and some vampires have traits of several differing strains of vampirism.
Only Vlad Dracula has actively sought out and successfully incorporated all the existing strains of vampirism into his physical being. He has achieved mastery of them all and in doing so has become in essence the true King of Vampires.
Yet even in his almost supreme power, Vlad Dracula is still subject to many of the liabilities of vampiric existence.Every strain seems to have its own unique form of liability but there are several that are common to all vampires, these are direct sunlight, garlic, silver and wood. There is also exposure to holy objects.
This brings us to one of the more crucial questions about the vampires in the WNU, are vampires evil. Yes, and no. Actually it to me it seems to depend on which type of vampire strain the vampire has in them and also in their personality. Those who have the demonic strain are almost of a certainty evil, the influence of the demon is much too great for most people to overcome, on rare occasions you will find certain individuals so infected who will not succumb to the Dark Thirst or to the Urge to Kill but this is a rarity.
Other forms of vampirism are often mixed with the demonic strain and so will probably result in the vampire turned evil.
Of the vampire strains that are not intrinsically evil, probably more than half will become evil. This is because although the vampiric nature of these particular strains is neither good nor bad, merely a fact of nature, they do carry with them a great deal of power. Most individuals if given a chance of great power, would, in my cynical opinion, start out with great intentions but eventually grow corrupt as they use the power for more and more selfish ends. Some such as Andrew Bennett or Jack Fleming have demonstrated the strong will to resist the temptations of power but most do not.
If many Vampires are not truly evil but merely exhibit evil sides of their all too human personalities then why do holy objects work on them. The answer to this lies in prehistory. Despite his claims Vlad Dracula was not the first vampire. They were probably even rarer than they are now but various humans began to realize that if they were not controlled the Vampires could rule over mankind for all time. The first method of control was extinction, vampires were hunted to death by early people on down to the present day.
Over time religious organizations developed treaties with vampire circles and individuals. The Covenant or Compact was formed. Vamoire's were allowed to hunt for blood but were not allowed to kill a sentient being to do so. Those who did so were deemed in violation of the Compact. Part of the compact, unbeknownst the the vampire's consisted of brain washing, Vampire Hunters sanctioned by the Vatican would capture Master Vampire and program he or she to have severe to lethal symptoms when exposed to holy objects. This was actually quite clever in that it used the vampire's own powers against them
Vampires who broke the Compact or failed to live up to it, were subject to extermination by Vampire Hunters. Vampire Hunters are usually highly trained men and women sanctioned and possibly funded by the Vatican. Among the famous Vampire Hunters were Captain Cronos, the Van Helsing Family, Jack Crow and his crew, Hannibal King, Blade, and the Vincent family, Starting with Peter Vincent. You may recognize the name, a later day Peter Vincent was a main character of Fright Night. He was an actor who cashed in on his family's history of vampire hunting and starred in a series of B bilms about his famous ancestors. Harry Vincent of Shadow fame was brother to Peter Vincent and David Vincent is his nephew.
The Encyclopedia of the Undead
by J. Gordon Melton, Visible Ink Press, 1994
Gallery: A Who's Who of the Undead
by J. Gordon Melton, Visible Ink Press, 1998
Shadows: Shadow Saga 1.
Ace Books, 1998
Devil Hearts: Shadow Saga 2
Ace Books, 1998
Martyrs: The Shadow Saga , No 3
Ace Books, 1998