|Also Known As:|| Night Children|
Children of the Night
|Leader:||Vlad III (Originally)|
|“||The Night Children are a wise and careful people. Any scheme that draws their ire draws my suspicions.||”|
Vampires, also known as the Children of the Night, are a species of Downworlders. Along with werewolves, vampires are humans infected with a demon disease. However, unlike the former, vampires are considered "undead"; that is, their bodies are no longer alive in the sense that living humans' are. Their undeparted human souls reside within their own animated corpses, kept intact and animated by the demon disease.
Like warlocks, vampires cannot bear children, although they are able to continue their vampiric bloodline by turning humans into vampires.
Description & Abilities Edit
Vampires are, like warlocks, immortal beings. They generally tend to look pale, sallow, and thin, as though weakened by malnourishment or some wasting disease. Contrary to this semblance of death, their blood shimmers a bright red, much brighter than the blood of humans. Being reanimated corpses, vampires do not have a heartbeat, nor do they need to breathe, although they are able to inhale oxygen in order to utilize their heightened sense of smell, to pass as human, or to blow on something. Their lack of breath makes them impervious to such things as asphyxiation, drowning, or gasses. Their lack of heartbeat is another means by which a vampire can be set apart from a living human.
Like werewolves they possess superhuman strength, grace, speed, and the unnaturally accelerated healing abilities inherent in most other Downworlders and are able to heal quickly from most mundane injuries. Their most prominent ability is their raw physical strength which allows them to subdue any mundane prey with little effort. Allegedly, their abilities increase and grow stronger as they grow older. They have the ability to sheath and unsheathe their fangs on command, a feat harder to master with younger vampires.
Their most mysterious power is the encanto, or "fascination", the power to mesmerize and essentially control their prey–mundanes. Vampires can, with simple prolonged eye contact, convince mundanes and even Shadowhunters of almost anything, and can persuade them into almost any act. This is a skill that must be developed and practiced by vampires, and so it is typically the older and more powerful vampires that can make use of it.
Vampires, more than other Downworlders, seem to not be entirely present on Earth and to be simultaneously present in Hell as well. This is believed to be the reason why they do not leave footprints or fingerprints as they move through the world. They cannot be tracked by normal tracking magic, either demonic or Nephilimic; however, powerful vampires tend to travel with mundane subjugates who can be tracked.
Vampires can also shapeshift into bats, rats, and dust, maintaining their intelligence in either forms.
Vampires are comfortable in darkness; their eyes adjust to seeing in darkness and seeing in light almost instantly, much faster than the eyes of humans. Vampires also have sharper hearing and eyesight than humans, and any fledgling who wore glasses in life will no longer need them as a vampire.
The dirt of the grave in which a vampire was buried after being sired holds special properties for that vampire. He or she can tell, for instance, if that grave has been disturbed or is being trod upon or if dirt from that grave is removed from its site. Vampires have made use of this power to communicate simple messages over long distances-for instance, breaking a container of a vampire's grave dirt could be used to alert and summon that particular vampire.
|“||It is how we are made. We are drained, blooded, and buried. When he digs his own way out of a grave, that is when a vampire is born.||”|
A human who has consumed enough vampire blood does not abruptly turn into a vampire. The human, who is known in vampire culture as a fledgling, must die, be buried, and, in being reborn, make his or her way out of his/her own grave. They must then feed on an exceptional amount of fresh human blood within the next 24 hours to complete the transition, or else they will fade and die. If the would-be fledgling is not buried after death, his/her soul will remain trapped in the lifeless corpse,never moving on.
Upon mortal death, the undead body will enter into a state of transition. They must then be buried, reanimate while in the ground, and then must dig themselves out of their grave to be 'truly born'. Like a ghost, a fledgling rising from his or her grave draws energy and strength from the living things nearby, drawing their heat and producing a distinctive cold spot around his or her grave. If no one is there to help them dig out of their grave or if they are unable to, they stay trapped like rats under the earth, starving underground. If they are not buried, they will stay in the state of transition, dead but not quite dead; never waking.
When the fledgling rises, he or she will be nearly feral and starving for the blood that will, for the rest of of his or her undeath, sustain him or her. Unable to control his or herself, the fledgling will have the urge kill anything or anyone around them for blood. This is why fledglings are considered the most dangerous of vampires.
Sometimes a vampire clan will turn a human into a vampire purposefully, and in those cases the transition usually goes smoothly. The clan and the fledgling's sire can be present for the vampire's rising, mostly to make sure that he or she is able to successfully rise, and can supply him or her with blood and take him or her to a safe place to recover.
Another way vampires are made is through consuming vampire blood. Humans who ingest vampire blood are called darklings. These humans begin feeling as if they are turning into vampires themselves, mainly because this is how vampires pass their powers to others—through blood exchange. Anxiety in the sun and when seeing vampires, even in movies, are some signs. Although the effects fade eventually, most darklings are drawn to the place where they received the blood, or the vampire from whom they ingested the blood.
The turning process will then only continue if the darkling is killed, or bitten by a vampire and drained of blood. Given the healing and transformative properties of vampire saliva, most darklings survive this stage and remain at the verge of the transition until they go through the process fledglings go through to complete the transformation. The process is said to be like being drugged; painless and pleasant, as if merely going to sleep.
However, the most common case of vampires are actually made by accident, mostly darklings who unintentionally ingested vampire blood. In those cases, the darkling is buried by friends and family at death, as any other mundane would be, and rises unexpectedly, in a mundane location, desperate for blood and barely knowing him or herself. These are the circumstances that lead to vampire attacks and the deaths of mundanes. While such an out-of-control fledgling must be stopped, it is not the policy of the Shadowhunters to consider these fledglings rogue vampires, and thus the fledglings should be turned over either to a local vampire clan or to the Praetor Lupus, both of which are well-equipped to take care of the fledgling's needs.
Mundane food can make a vampire sick since they cannot digest it, although some have learned to eat food in some unexplained way.
Blood is the main component of a vampire's diet; all vampires need to drink some kind of blood for their survival. Whether it is the blood of humans or animals is up to the vampire.
Victims of a demonic infection which turns them into drinkers of blood, they possess retractable razor-like fangs that are deployed from their upper canines when their bloodlust is roused. They sink these fangs into a surface vein of their victim and then consume that victim's blood until satisfied. The act of drinking blood brings a rush of energy and vitality to the vampire. Experienced vampires can resist this rush and cease their drinking in order to leave their victims alive and able to recover, though new vampires may have trouble controlling their urge to drink their victims to the point of death.
After the initial sting or a vampire bite, the poison contained within vampire saliva dulls the victim's pain and may make the experience pleasurable for the victim. The poison acts as a muscle relaxant and a euphoric, and even a strong Shadowhunter will respond to its effects. A well-Marked Shadowhunter can retain his or her consciousness much longer than a mundane, though there is still a heavy risk associated with being bitten.
Instead of becoming weak from blood loss all the time, the healing properties of vampire saliva helps them live longer—increasing their red blood cell count, making them stronger and healthier, albeit still making them seem skinnier and paler. It was once not against the Covenant Law for a vampire to feed on a human, as it doesn't really hurt them, but eventually, it became illegal.
When a vampire decides it wants more than a snack and wants a subjugate, the vampire will start feeding its bitten human small amounts of vampire blood to keep it docile and connected to its master. Subjugates worship their masters, and love serving them. All they want is to be near them. They follow their every command and finds offense when others speak badly of their masters. Most darklings continue serving their master in hopes of becoming vampires themselves once they die.
Human subjugates do not eat food. They live on a mixture of vampire and animal blood, keeping them in a state of suspended animation. They are not immortal, but they age very slowly.
Vampires are extremely vulnerable to fire. While they are much stronger and more durable in many ways than mundanes and Nephilim, their bodies are weaker and less resistant to burning than humans'. As such, vampires not only can be harmed by fire but can often be kept at bay by a protective boundary of fire or a burning torch.
Holy water, and other common blessed materials, such as angelically aligned swords, are harmful to vampires and will scorch and burn their flesh. More generally, holy symbols may be anathema to vampires if the symbol holds weight with the specific vampire addressed. A crucifix may repel a vampire who held Christian beliefs before he or she was sired, but a vampire who was raised as a person in a Buddhist faith would not generally respond. Most vampires that did not ascribe to a religious faith as mortals do not develop an aversion to holy names as part of their vampirism. In addition, older and more powerful vampires often regain the ability to speak holy names, although it's not clear whether this is because the aversion fades over time or because as the vampires age, they descend more deeply into the demonic and become able to speak God's name as a curse.
Vampires cannot stand the direct light of the sun. Mythology explains that this is a facet of their status as demonic, damned creatures, that they are cursed to not be able to look at the sun that gives life on Earth. Whatever the reason, sunlight burns the skin of vampires, as does witchlight, to a lesser extent, being light of angelic origin. A ray of sunlight will cause burns on a vampire's skin, but full exposure to the sun or being exposed fully to unblocked sunshine will cause them to burst into flame dramatically, and they will be consumed and reduced to ash quickly. For this reason, vampires are normally careful to remain dormant and inactive during daylight hours. Artificial light, such as that of gaslight or electric light, may cause discomfort in vampires if it is strong enough, but they are normally able to remain undamaged unless already very weak.
An exception to this are "Daylighters", or vampires who are invulnerable to sunlight due to having angelic blood in their veins. One of them, Simon Lewis, became one after being fed Nephilim blood, particularly Jace Lightwood's, who has more angel blood than most of his kind.
As stated by tradition, a wooden stake pierced through a vampire's heart will slay them instantly. Vampire-slaying stakes are usually crafted out of oak, which is believed to help guide the wielder's hand to the source of demonic magic, in order to eliminate it.
Silver is toxic to vampires and causes them to experience pain, headaches, nausea, and so on, though it will not kill them. Cutting off a vampire's head or bleeding them dry are among other ways to kill them.
The first vampires were created in 1444 A.D. in a public ceremony for which the Nephilim have multiple written accounts from those who claim to have been present. The Greater Demon Hecate was summoned in a massive blood-based sacrifice held at the Court of Wallachia (modern day Romania). The ruler of Wallachia at that time, Vlad III, had a great circle of prisoners of war impaled on tall wooden spikes. In exchange for this impressive sacrifice and act of savagery, Hecate transformed Vlad and a large majority of his court into the first vampires.
Spread of Vampirism Edit
Vampirism did not spread seriously until a few years later when Vlad led a series of raids into neighboring Transylvania. There, he and his men appear to have gorged themselves on the blood of their enemies and spread vampirism through the entire region. The city of Cluj became the site of the first vampire clan officially recognized by the Clave, and Transylvania took over as the epicenter of the vampire epidemic. For whatever reason, Vlad and his men did not sire any significant number of vampires in their own home area, and vampire activity in Wallachia diminished to near silence after Vlad's death.
War with the Nephilim Edit
The Cluj Institute in the late fifteenth century was home to a Shadowhunter named Simon who provided a detailed record of the original spread of the vampire plague. He described an all-out war between the Nephilim and the earliest vampire clans, with mundanes being taken from their beds and left drained in the streets, and vampires chained to the ground in village squares and left to burn in the rising sun, and other such acts. Shadowhunters, especially those already experienced in hunting Downworlders, traveled to Transylvania for the sole purpose of vampire slaying; new vampires began to appear just as fast as old ones could be killed. Within months, the Cluj Institute, formerly one of the smallest and least important Institutes in Europe, had become the epicenter for the largest demonic epidemic the mundane world had ever seen. Chaos arose, as neither Nephilim nor vampires yet understood how new vampires were made or how they could be reliably killed.
The war ended with no clear victor. Knowledge of the vampiric disease grew, vampirism spread to other parts of Europe, and Shadowhunters returned home to sign treaties with local vampire clans and keep the peace in their own territories. Transylvania remained a devastated battleground for hundreds of years, where mortality rates for both vampires and Shadowhunters remained the highest in the world, and where the authority of the Clave was tenuous at best. Only with the unofficial end of the Schism in the first half of the eighteenth century did the battle die down, and today the Cluj Institute is, while more vampire-focused than most other Institutes, no busier or more dangerous than any other, and Shadowhunters visit not to wage war but to see the Muzeul de Vampiri, where magically animated wax figures re-create the carnage of five hundred years ago.
Exposure, the practice of binding vampires outside to be burned by the sun, was banned in the Third Accords of 1902 after the popularity of Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula, the titular character being based on Vlad III, which led to an enthusiasm for hunting and brutally killing innocent, Law-abiding vampires.
It is not against the Law for a vampire to drink blood from a human, provided that the human remains alive. This is because of the healing properties of vampire saliva; when a vampire bites and drinks from a victim, their saliva enters the victim's bloodstream and increases his or her red blood cell count, making the victim stronger, healthier, and able to live longer. The effect is small, but it mitigates the weakening effect of losing blood, and so a bitten human usually remains unharmed.
Nevertheless, the risk of accidentally killing a human by drinking from him or her too deeply, and the general sense of menace around having one's blood drained, have led most "civilized" vampires to eschew drinking from living victims in favor or pre-drawn blood or the blood of animals. By the Accords, vampires must abide by the same mundane laws against murder as any other Downworlders, however vampires are the only Downworlders who might commit murder for food, potentially for survival.
Like werewolves, vampires consider themselves to be, on some level, brethren with each other, no matter what clan they are affiliated with. A vampire who raised a hand against another, except in the rare circumstance of a clan war, would be considered anathema by the vampire community, and his or her undeath would be forfeit. The Nephilim generally stay out of these matters of internal justice, although they will sometimes intervene to arbitrate conflicts between clans to stave off full-out battle. When clan wars do occur, leadership changes, as it does with werewolves: Whoever kills the head of a vampire clan becomes its leader.
Among Downworlders, only faeries are more committed to notions of honor and etiquette than vampires. Vampires are often found making oaths and vows, which they take very seriously. These vows are usually written and signed with the vampire's blood. These blood oaths are binding: Vampires are compelled by the oaths' contents and cannot violate them unless the bond is broken through further, and more onerous, ritual. A vampire who has sworn an oath under these circumstances can be trusted to follow at least to the letter of the oath in the strictest detail. Conversely, it is considered wise to be suspicious of a vampire who is willing to to make a promise but will not swear to that promise in blood.
Known Clans Edit
A clan was existent in London during the Victorian era and led by Alexei de Quincey until his untimely death in 1878. Before this though, de Quincey led the clan liberally, secretly encouraging them to defy what he saw as the oppressive Covenant Law. During the raid on one of his parties, the Shadowhunters murdered several of the vampire members; de Quincey was later executed, with his few remaining followers. Whether the clan recovered from this is unknown.
Ine New York, a clan is existent as of 2007. The clan resides in the Hotel Dumort. This clan has motorcycles that can fly through the demon energy that runs them. Formerly led by Camille Belcourt, and temporarily by Raphael Santiago, the clan is now presumed to be under Maureen Brown after killing their leader.
Known Vampires Edit
- Simon Lewis
- Camille Belcourt
- Raphael Santiago
- Alexei de Quincey
- Maureen Brown
- Louis Karnstein
- Marcel Saint Cloud