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Our Vampires are Different
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Our vampires are different

Vampires are the immortal, undead denizens of our world. The savviest among them would tell you they are the scions of Caine, who was cursed by God himself for being the first kinslayer. Most vampires, however, know nothing about their history. What they know all too well is their condition and their nightly struggles.

Creation
Every vampire was a human, once. Chosen by another vampire for whatever reason, they were transformed into one of the undead. The process of turning a mortal into a vampire is called the Embrace: the Sire (that is to say, the vampire who bestows the Embrace) drains the victim of all their blood, and then makes them drink a small amount of their own. Instead of dying, the victim undergoes a series of dramatic changes: most of their organs whither away, the need for food is replaced for a craving for blood, their body stops aging and - with the exception of specific flaws such as the Nosferatu's - their appearance is stuck at the time of their Embrace; they also become paler and develop sharp retractable fangs.

Strenght and Weaknesses
After Embrace, one's body is much more resilient to common injuries. While very dramatic ones could still kill a vampire, most will be shrugged off or easily healed by the consumption of some additional blood.

They are also immune to human illnesses; pathogenic agents won't affect them, and won't survive in an undead system either, so barring extreme circumstances (e.g. biting someone while still dripping with someone else's blood) they won't pass on infections from one target to the next (this does not prevent paranoias about vampires passing on all sorts of filth, though).

A vampire's body, however, is extremely vulnerable to fire and to sunlight, that can easily lead to Final Death.

Sun isn't a vampire's bane only because of its lethality. In fact, when the sun rises a vampire (hopefully sheltered in their protected, sun-proof haven) will fall into a deep, death-like sleep, only able to raise again the following evening.

In spite of what folklore claims, vampires are -not- vulnerable to garlic; they will appear normally in photos and mirrors, and won't be affected by religious symbols. A stake through the heart won't kill them, but will render them paralyzed and helpless. Moreover, BLOODLINES will have their own inherited weaknesses on the top of general ones.

Vampires are also endowed with a number of supernatural powers called DISCIPLINES which, again, depend on one's bloodline. Additional Disciplines can be learnt, but it takes more effort.

Feeding
Vampires cannot ingest or even taste normal food, as they only survive on blood.

Blood is consumed to rise each night, which means a vampire has to feed fairly regularly - and while any blood will do, human blood is much more satisfying and nourishing than that of animals.

A vampire does not need to kill their victim: the bite in itself is generally pleasurable, and the wounds caused by their fangs can be healed by licking them closed. However, draining a substantial amount of someone's blood isn't precisely harmless; feeding is always somehow debilitating for the human, and taking more than a small amount can be extremely dangerous. Moreover, blood is highly addictive for the vampire, and the temptation of drinking more than needed is always there. Needless to say, though, starving themselves is even more dangerous: if a vampire is starving, losing control and drinking someone dry is much  more likely.

When the Masquerade was a thing, vampires used a number of techniques to feed: some were serial seductors, disguising their feedings as sexual acts, others took advantage of those sleeping in the open, others resorted to mind control. A few had no qualms about killing, although disposing of corpses on a regular basis was no small task.

Nowadays, all such ways of feeding are still viable, however they will get you arrested on a number of charges if discovered. It is possible, however, to buy bottled animal blood at any decent supermarket; it tastes foul, and the slightly less unpalatable is overpriced, but it is at least a safe option when one's starved and not sure about their self control. It's also possible to buy blood from people willing to sell it; such blood escorts are in a legal grey area, but their activity is tolerated as a lesser evil. There's also no small number of people who'll enjoy being bit because it's exciting, because it sounds edgy, or other similar reasons. Which way of feeding is less bothersome is each vampire's choice.

Morality
The Embrace may be a traumatic experience, but it does not change one's moral compass overnight. A vampire - despite what some preacher will claim - isn't inherently good or evil any more than a human is.

However, vampires do have needs and impulses that are disturbing, as their fellow humans are their natural prey. Moreover, if the Embrace does not erase one's personality and beliefs, it does awaken one's Beast: that is to say, an animalistic urge to survive by all means, fighting back threats, escaping danger, getting sated on blood no matter what. Such instincts are normally under one's control, almost forgotten in the back of one's psyche. When a vampire is starving, however, or when they are provoked and angered, their darkest impulses may take over; if they lose control, the vampire will fall into a frenzy, that is to say a fit of mindless violence, in which they'd either drink the closest target dry, or they'd fight their perceived foe with no restraint. Similarly, when in sight of even a ray of sunlight, or when threatened by fire, a vampire will go for an equally mindless flight, destroying anything and anyone that gets in the way. Both conditions can be resisted by an effort of will, however it is not only extenuating, but it only postpones the issue: a starving vampire must feed, or they must get out of sight of what provoked them, lest they'll end up losing control.

Additionally, a vampire's morality can be eroded by their choices and habits, much more than the one of a mortal. A vampire leading a peaceful unlife and sticking to humane principles and behavior could maintain such mindset indefinitely, however if they do indulge in callous or even monstrous acts, their grip on their Beast will become weaker, their feelings duller and warped, as they become accustomed to a cruel behavior they don't see as an issue anymore. Such degeneration isn't only caused by explicitly 'evil' acts, but even by violent and cruel acts one sees as justified: torturing someone just because one can will lead to a very severe and sudden downfall, but over time even fighting violently for a supposeldy noble cause will destroy one's sensitivity - thus making more ruthless and less selfless behavior much more likely. Recover is possible, but it takes a lot of motivation, and changing one's ways.

Eventually, such a degeneration will lead the vampire to completely lose their mind to their Beast, becoming a rabid, mindless monster bound to destroy anything in sight. If a vampire has reached this stage, recovery is not possible, as their conscious mind is entirely destroyed, and putting them out of their misery is the only option - although a hard and dangerous one.

Traditionally, a vampire's morality was called one's Humanity. Nowadays some argue the term isn't politically correct, either because it implies vampires are inherently less 'good', or because it takes humans as paragons of virtue, a role they don't deserve all that often. The word is still used, however, for lack of better options.

Sex
Vampires don't have hormones, so that part of their sex drive is gone. They might still enjoy it out of nostalgia, however, or out of a desire for physical intimacy, bonding, or whatever million other reasons (besides natural urges), that make people so mad about sex. As for the most technical part of the issue, vampires are indeed still capable of performing the act, although it'll require the expenditure of some blood to liven up their otherwise deadened bodies. Pleasure, in itself, isn't by far what it used to be, but there's still some fun to be found, and drinking some blood from one's partner can make for a different kind of excitement.
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