Chronicles of Neverael
Vampires are known in mythology and local folklore as undead monsters who rise from the grave to stalk the night and feed upon the blood of the living so as to sustain their own cursed, immortal existences. The truth of the matter is much stranger.
Vampires are a relatively new development – the first of them appearing no more than five thousand years ago. How they began their existence is an interesting tale. All Vampires can trace their lineage back, in an unbroken line, to the very first of their kind – a man living in the time of the Atlaneians who would come to be known by the name of Czarael Kain.
According to what scholars have been able to piece together, Czarael Kain was a talented witchborn who was adept in the discipline of Channeling. The details are unclear as to how or why, but, at some point, the man became embroiled in a spiritual battle for dominance of his own body with a powerful spiritual entity called Chenguinata – known to the Atlaneian magisters as an ancient demon of considerable power and an enemy of the Atlaneian Gods. Chenguinata was called the “Keeper of the Black Rains,” and the “Blood Thief,” for his curious aversion to light and his abominable thirst for the blood of living creatures. The demon actually possessed enough raw power to extract the blood of physical beings by force in his purely spiritual form.
Theories abound as to why Czarael was attempting to channel this monster – some even believe that he hoped to cage the demon in his own flesh and then kill himself to end it’s monstrous existence. Czarael overestimated his own abilities, perhaps. The demon began to take his body over and the man was forced into a no holds barred duel for possession of his own soul. Something happened and Czarael ended up devouring the demon Chenguinata instead. What resulted was an abomination – a spiritual amalgamation of previously independent spiritual entities.
Czarael found that he had been transformed by the experience – he had become vastly stronger, faster, and more vital. His senses had all been sharpened immeasurably and his witchsight had changed in such a way so as to allow him to see into the minds of others. He found that he healed with a speed which defied all reason and that there seemed to be no injury which could kill him. But with all of this power came an unnatural sensitivity to light and a peculiar and deadly allergy to sunlight. Coming into contact with large amounts of water also caused Czarael considerable discomfort and pain. Fire was also a problem for Czarael. Finally, and most importantly, Czarael had developed the demon’s unnatural thirst for the blood – the life force – of living things. And, to top it all off, Czarael had lost his ability to channel other spiritual entities when he had become fused with the demon.
How the process for creating new vampires came to be known is another big mystery but it’s actually pretty simple – the vampire in question draws out most of the blood of the vampire-to-be and then feeds them some of the tainted blood which runs in their own veins. If the process is done correctly, a new vampire is born of it. Vampires vary in their individual powers and inclinations – no two are exactly alike and they only grow stronger as they age. It’s believed that the demonic blood in their veins takes time to transform their bodies – thus the reason they get stronger with age. Vampires, over time, not only grow stronger but also grow to physically reflect their own inner natures – becoming monstrous and inhuman looking the older they become.
Most Vampires don’t show significant signs of transformation for at least two or three centuries – just abnormal beauty or some other odd traits. Some Vampires gain abilities which enable them to disguise themselves or cloud the minds of mortals to make themselves seem normal. Many of the most ancient vampires are, however, restricted from moving about openly due to the monstrous nature of their evolution. Each transformation is more-or-less unique but vampires who are closely related in a bloodline often exhibit similar physical mutations. Regardless, all Vampires require blood – the more potent the spiritual force behind the blood, the better.
Are Vampires undead? Yes and no. Vampires aren’t truly alive but they haven’t technically died, either. Undead are beings who have returned from death in a mockery of life. Vampires are caught between the two states – their spiritual natures warping and twisting their physical forms as they are constantly pulled at by the forces of both life and death. Can Vampires reproduce in a normal manner amongst themselves or with mortals? No. Vampires fall outside of the skein of fate and, thus, cannot write anything new into the pattern of fate. They are abominations who can only destroy and corrupt – they lack the capacity to create anything new. Their aversion to sunlight and water stem from this – both are elements necessary to life. Fire represents the purifying potential of destruction – thus their weakness to it’s power. Finally, their thirst for blood is indicative of their parasitic and corruptive natures – they subvert the life force of other beings to maintain a semblance of life for themselves.