The following is an exhaustive narrative compiled by our resident expert on the occult, one Sir Tophat, who fancies himself a dabbler in all sorts of mysteries. The undead commonly known as vampires are a favorite subject of his research, and he's been good enough to share it with us. Furthermore, additional accounts from agents in the field have been added as more data has become available - Mike 013.
Hello, gentle souls, and welcome to what I believe to be a reliable reference on the origin and capabilities of the accursed undead creatures commonly known as vampires to mortals such as we. In the unfortunate event that we should happen across any of these fell beasts in our investigations, it is my sincere hope that this information will be of use - and save the lives of our field agents.
To begin with, there are several theories that relate the origins of these risen beings, most of which are likely suspect, in that they come from the mouths of vampires in the first place. One tale tells how ancient, land-locked Atlanteans inadvertently created the curse of vampirism with the aid of some unholy magical tome, such as the dread Necronomicon.
A second claims that vampires are the result of some sort of evolutionary mutation, akin to that which has created mutant humans, and which can be spread like some sort of gene-altering retrovirus. While the 'offspring' of such vampires are normal, the evolved humans, having been born as vampires, wield dread powers over and above those currently known to the Agency.
Yet another theory about the origin of vampirism has Biblical roots, claiming that Cain, the murderous son of Adam and Eve, was cursed by God to be a vampire for all eternity, and that all resultant vampires 'descend' from those who have been 'turned' by this fiendish soul over the ages. This theory also contends that successive generations of vampires are increasingly weaker, but this has yet to be proven.
At any rate, it is known that vampires have been with humanity for the whole of recorded history, and that while some have attempted to influence the world some, most fail. This is because, contrary to the popular image of vampires produced by a flood of movies and books, being a vampire isn't simply an excuse to lead a romantic existence through the centuries.
A majority of vampires are bound by their continual lust for blood, the one substance that allows them to continue their horrid existence. This constant hunger, which manifests mere hours after a mortal is 'turned' by some vampire or another, slowly erodes the personality of the risen being, eventually transforming it into an inhuman monstrosity unless it is possessed of tremendous will.
In fact, the longer a vampire goes without feeding upon blood, the weaker it will become, until it eventually lapses into a sort of suspended animation that will last until an immediate opportunity to feed presents itself. However, a vampire need only feed once a night to satisfy this craving, though some are rather gluttonous, and ensure that they have much more than one person per night...
No kidding. Remember that freak-o thing that me and Deathmonger ran into over in, what was it, Pleasantview? He has this entire cult of people hanging around him, and he fed off of each of 'em every night, until we started snooping around. The funny thing about him was that he maintained a cover as a mere Ariel-Shijitzu accountant at the same time... - Mike 013.
Though bound by this powerful, and often revealing limitation, vampires are blessed (to stretch the term) with several supernatural powers with which to improve their chances of survival. For one thing, they are effectively immortal, no longer being subject to the ravages of time. Vampires do not age, and there are few means of actually destroying them permanently.
Such means include exposing them to an extended amount of direct sunlight and/or the piercing of the heart with a wooden object. If destroyed in either of these fashions, a vampire will not be able to recover from the injury, unless specifically resurrected by some sort of supernatural means (like magic, or some rare natural raising abilities).
One one particular mission, when I was out investigating possible werewolves out in Nevada, I ran into a tricky vampire indeed, one that could change into a wolf (go figure). I wasn't ready for it, but I used the silver bullets I had handy instead; this seemed to cause the thing undue stress, hurting it like regular bullets against regular folks. Mebbe we can use this, eh? - Chase Storey.
If otherwise injured, a vampire will recover from the injury with significant speed. Furthermore, most vampires are seriously resistant to harm in the first place, and have astounding protection from most mundane forms of injury. This is why, stereotypical though it may be, villagers are usually depicted brandishing torches and the like at suspected vampires: flame is more effective against them.
Another significant ability the vampire wields is the ability to shape change. Most risen drinkers of blood have the power to transform into at least one form of animal, usually a bat, rat, or wolf, and a cloud of mist. The animal form conveys all the special abilities that the specific form allows for, and the misty form, though a vampire can't attack through it, makes them immune to conventional injury.
That ain't all it does, either. While out investigating the dwarf Och, me and a couple of good people ran into this former Part-time Vampire that went Full-time. This jerk was able to force his way into Och's lungs and actually take control of him while in his mist form. I dunno if this is normal, but we did see it, and it caused all kinds of trouble - Senor Barnett.
Yet another power of these fiends is the capability to impose their will upon other beings. With humans, this requires eye contact or a previous blood-draining attack to function. However, these undead may also summon forth and command various forms of available vermin, such as bats, rats, roaches, and wolves. Of course, in urban environments, wolves are much less common.
Other, less common abilities known to be wielded by these fiends include the ability to walk upon any horizontal or vertical surface like an insect, the power to influence the weather to some extent, and even the capability of flight - in any form! These are not what one would define as 'standard' vampiric powers, however; some exceptional specimens may have one or more, but they are not common.
We've seen some more, disturbing capabilities lately. For one thing, when Sticks McLellan and I were backing up Deathmonger's investigation into the Frankologists, we ran into one of these things with four arms! Apparently, it was 'turned' by some former mutant gone undead, and it passed its own mutation onto its fiendish offspring. Watch out for this - it's most unpleasant - Mike 013.
Finally, I should offer you some quick notes about a new vampire's creation. Most people become vampires thanks to the fatal blood-draining inflicted upon them by the beast's feeding. However, some folks have managed to avoid death by this attack, and still transform into an undead creature some days later. This isn't a certain thing, and it can be prevented.
Being blessed by a faithful priest (of any religion) is good enough to prevent such a transformation. A series of blood transfusions also seems to be effective against an unwanted transformation. Other than that, the only way to prevent a vampiric transformation in the body is to decapitate and burn it (which may not be preferable if a bite victim is still alive).
But then, one never knows!
The following is a summary of Sir Tophat's essay on the origin, powers, and weaknesses of vampiric beings. Furthermore, a description of the known vampires that Agency 13 has identified is provided, though several of these folks are also described elsewhere. If this is the case, these files have been cross-linked for ease of use, so don't worry about forgetting where they are - Mike 013.
Armula: a previously low-rent mutant thug with like capability, Simon Furst was the unfortunate victim of what he thought was a random vampire attack. Rising from the dead anew, he has rechristened himself Armula - the four armed vampire! Availability:
the Accountant: made an undead horror by the sorcerer Icthyon, George Zimmerman was reborn a vampire - though he didn't let that ruin his life. Using skills learned via accounting skullduggery, he began to carve out a little empire all his own...! Availability:
Barnaby Eveningstar: a scholar researching evil magic in order to better combat it, Barnaby Billingsly studied vampirism intently, and even managed to wield it as a mere mortal. Unfortunately for him, however, his diabolical power got the best of him. Availability:
the Eidolon Empress: an ancient vampire with dreams of global conquest, the Eidolon Empress naturally thinks very highly of herself. Wishing to improve herself beyond even her undead state, she has studied the Anthropy Society's teachings with earnest. Availability:
Mos Quito: after his vampiric transformation, Father Quincy Alvarez snapped, his veritable sainthood being reduced to 'mere' heroism, and he donned the persona of a sword-wielding swashbuckler in his abject denial of his new state of being! Availability:
Vampires, Classic (Typical): a highly refined form of biological vampire, these undead creatures subsist solely on the blood of animals - most often fellow humans - to persist. In exchange, they have a bewildering array of powers at their disposal! Availability:
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