??????????? This book is a supplemental to the ?Forgotten Blood? series. It is written as if it was from the character ?Hectar? and is in no way meant to be its own full story. Please keep that in mind as you read.

A Little background on Hectar.

??????????? In his conceit, Hectar views himself as a sage and believes he may be the oldest (and most knowledgeable) vampire in the world. In truth, many young vampires have sought him out for answers to questions that do haunt them after the novelty of being a vampire wears off. The reason they seek him out is that he makes it publicly known that he was born in 760 BC and that he has traveled the world looking for answers to the question of the origins of vampires. There are things that he states in person and in his ?Book of Knowledge? that are untrue or not true for all vampires. His teachings and advice have caused the deaths of several ?abnormal? vampires. Unfortunately, young vampires continue to seek his wisdom and he gains further influence daily in the vampire world.


??????????? To Hectar the ?typical? vampire is himself or someone he has had extensive dealings with, which actually represent a very small percentage of the species. A good example is the whole question of sleep. According to Hectar, the older you get the less you have to sleep. In truth, the closer you are to the original bloodlines, the less you have to sleep. Those that are born or turned within three steps from an original bloodline do not ever have to sleep from day one. Another example is the ability to project ones mind/senses from the body. He believes all vampires can do this. In truth this ability is present in less than half of the vampire population and is prevalent in vampires originating sixteen steps from original bloodlines or further. It is considered a weaker power by those close to the original bloodlines.

Remember: To Hectar, it is all about him. He truly doesn?t care if his words cause any discomfort, pain or death to others, as long as he looks good in the end.

From this point on, you are reading Hectar?s writings.

A Vampire's Book of Knowledge
By Hectar the Vampiric Sage





I write this book for those of you that are like I was. I was curious when I was a young vampire. Curious about our history and origins. Curious about what was myth and what was truth. Many have sought me out over the millennia that I have been alive to ask me of such things. Many more have sought me and failed. This book is to answer those questions that I can and dispel those myths that many believe.


About Me

??????????? My name is Hectar. I was born in a small village in what is now the country of Egypt in the year we now number seven hundred sixty B.C. At the age of seventeen I was married to a woman named Lissa and together we made a daughter whom we named Mara. At the age of twenty one, when my daughter was just three years old, I was given the gift of immortality. The one who made me was a wanderer from the Far East and at the time I did not know his name or anything about him. He had shown up in our village in the late spring.

My family and I were out working our fields in the evening when this man walked by us on the road to the village. As I was young and curious then, I was eager to finish working for the day that I might go and see what he was about. At dusk we took our meager tools and walked into the village. We put our tools away and my wife took our daughter to our small home and began to prepare the evening meal. I walked further into the village and looked for the traveler. I found him outside the small temple and approached him. I greeted him and asked if he needed a place to stay for the night. The strange man said he was looking for a place to stay for that night and the next as he would be here for a day of worship at our small temple. I was excited and told him he was welcome to stay with myself and my family and invited him to dine with us in the next half hour. He told me it was refreshing to meet someone that was enthusiastic about having a visitor in such cautious times and accepted my invitation.

We walked back to my home and on the way I asked him if he had traveled far to get here and if this was his destination or if he was just stopping on his way elsewhere. He told me that he was on his way west and decided to rest here for a day or two as he had been journeying for ten days so far and had not seen another village with a temple in six days. When we reached my home, I introduced him to my wife and my three year old daughter. He greeted them with a smile and kind words of their beauty and the wonderful smells coming from inside.

??????????? Though our home was simple, Lissa and I kept it very clean and decorated it with things that we made. We were fortunate that my father had land and he had given a piece to us to raise sheep and plant crops on. Lissa's parents had given us eight sheep when we had married and with careful management we had grown our flock to twenty nine in just the four years we had been together. That morning I had butchered a ewe for meat. Lissa and Mara had helped me prepare it and we had started it cooking before the noon hour so it would be ready by evening. While the sheep was cooking we had gone to our field to pull weeds and pick some greens and peas to go with our meat for dinner. Little Mara had carried the basket while Lissa and I filled it with food for the meal. Our guest now smelled the bread Lissa was baking and the pea pods Mara had washed and were cooking in the small pot on the fire. We invited him in and Lissa took his bag to our bedroom where she stripped our blankets away and put fresh clean blankets on the bed for our guest. Since we had but one small bedroom, Lissa, Mara and I would be sleeping in the main room on the floor. None of us were in the least upset about it. Our guest deserved the best of our hospitality.

While Lissa finished preparing the meal, Mara sat on my lap and we visited with our guest. We talked of politics and travel and family. He told us his home was many months to the east and that he remembered when his son was as young and beautiful as Mara. As he spoke his eyes had a far away look of time long past, though he looked to be only a year or two older than me. Mara asked if she could sit in his lap and he accepted. She gave him a hug and said she was sorry he had to miss his son and hoped they would be together soon. I excused myself to help Lissa set the table and the two of them continued to talk. In just a few minutes Lissa announced that the dinner was ready. We asked our guest if he would do the honor of giving thanks for the meal and he accepted. He gave thanks for the food and the hospitality and for the wonderful children God had blessed both fathers with. When the blessing was finished he went to the bedroom and retrieved a small keg of wine. Our cups were simple fired clay cups and he filled them with the sweet grape liquid. I broke the bread into four pieces and gave him the largest and Mara the smallest. Lissa was eager now to join in the conversation and ask questions of her own.? We had a simple meal of bread and sheep with some fresh greens and pea pods that we had picked just that day, and enjoyed the company of our guest.

??????????? After dinner all four of us cleaned up and put the dishes away. I asked the traveler if he would like us to heat some water that he might bathe, and he assured us that he would enjoy a good bath. We made the preparations for him and gave him the privacy of our home to bathe in. The three of us walked around the village while he bathed.

When we came back he was finished and had emptied the bath and was bringing more water for us to bathe. We thanked him for his courtesy and consideration and helped him haul the water. We told him that if he was tired, he might just stay in the bedroom with the curtain drawn while we bathed, but he decided to go out around the town while we bathed instead. The three of us cleaned up and I made a pallet on the floor for us to sleep on. Mara was asleep as soon as we laid her down by the fire. Lissa and I waited for our guest to come back and when he did, we bid him good rest and laid ourselves down on each side of our sleeping daughter.

In the early morning Lissa and I rose and made a simple morning meal together. Before we were finished cooking our guest came out of the room and joined us. He invited us to go to the temple with him and we accepted.

??????????? After breakfast was finished and everything was cleaned and put away, we all four walked to the temple. The sun was just breaking the horizon and its rays lit the small temples walls and roof in an amazing beauty. I told our guest that God must be pleased with him to present such a lovely sight to greet us. He smiled and told us that God shone his own pleasure at the way we cared for a stranger. None of the others in the village came to see who the traveler was that morning so the four of us entered the temple alone. The priest greeted us and blessed us as we entered. The traveler led us to the front of the alter and knelt. He offered prayers for a time and then asked that god bless our family and rose. He presented the priest with a bag of gold and silver the likes of which our village had never seen! He then placed an offering of gem stones and spices on the alter and asked that god accept his finest possessions as an offering of thanks. Lissa and I presented the alter with the finest cut of meat from the sheep we had prepared and offered our own prayer of thanks to God for our prosperity and health and asked him to protect and guide the traveler to his destination and home to his son. When we were finished I noticed a tear in the eye of the traveler, yet he was smiling.

The four of us left the temple and walked to our house where we told the traveler he was welcome to rest while we went to care for our flock and tend our fields for a short time. Instead the traveler came with us to tend to our chores and we made the day light and fun. That evening we dined together again and talked more of the world outside of the village. I was surprised that none had come to visit and see the traveler. As bedtime approached the traveler reminded us that he would be leaving in the morning and again thanked us for our hospitality. I told him that I wished we could have made his stay even better that he might wish to return and stay with us again in the future. He replied that this was the best hospitality he had ever enjoyed in his many years and that nothing could have made it any better because it was perfect. Lissa and I went to sleep that night feeling that we had done well in making our guest comfortable.

??????????? I awoke in the middle of the night to our guest shaking me gently. He bid me get up and come with him. I did so without question. We left the house and walked in the darkness of night to a stream just past the last fields of the village. There we sat down and he told me that he had a gift for me. I asked what it was and he took my arm and bit it! His teeth were sharp and easily punctured the flesh of my arm! Though I tried to draw away, his strength was so great I could not even move his hand one iota! Then I felt the burn as he forced blood from his mouth into my flesh! After a short eternity, I lost consciousness from the pain of his blood burning through my body.

??????????? The next two weeks are but a blur in my memory, but Lissa and Mara watched over me in our home and the traveler was not there. When my mind came back to me, Lissa told me of the events that had passed and that she had woke to the traveler telling her to come to the stream where I was. She said the traveler had helped her carry me back and put me in the bed, then he had kissed her cheek and hugged Mara and told them that all would be well in two weeks and left.

??????????? For the following days I spent much of my time getting used to the changes that my body had undergone. I was much stronger than I had been, even though I felt weak from being sick for so long. My eyes and skin could not stand the light of the sun and my nose could not handle the strength of the smells outside, so I stayed indoors during the day and walked around the village at night. I noticed immediately that the village was full of activity, but that my neighbors avoided me and looked at me with suspicion. I also found that even though Lissa and Mara had kept me fed, there was a strange thirst in my body whenever I smelled the scent of a person near me.

??????????? On the second night out, I discovered the truth of what had happened to me. The bronze smith had cut his forearm on a blade he was making and I could smell the blood from the other side of the village. I followed the tantalizing scent on the cool breeze to its source. I entered the smiths shop as he was trying to wash his wound in the cooling barrel. At the sight of his blood, I lunged and pinned the much larger man to the wall. I held him up off the floor by his shoulders and sucked at the blood flowing from his forearm! It was everything I needed! I drank until he passed out and then let him gently to the floor. He was not dead, but if he lost more blood he would be. I took a cloth and tied it tightly around his arm, covering the wound, and then walked back to my home. I woke Lissa and told her what had happened. She told me she would ask her grandmother tomorrow about the events and find out what was going to happen to me. Lissa was very concerned.

In the early morning, Lissa and Mara took a basket of food and went to Lissa's grandmothers? house. It was a half days walk to her family?s village, and I knew she would not be back until the following day around noon. After she left I took a sheep into the stable and used my knife to shave a place on its leg. I then cut the front leg and began to drink its blood! The taste was not pleasant, but the sensation was incredible! I felt rejuvenated! I took only six mouthfuls of blood and then released her back to the flock. With the smith's blood and the sheep's blood in me, I felt satisfied.

When Lissa had not returned the following night I walked the path from my village to her families village and to her grandmothers house. Her grandmother told me that they had never arrived at all! I went searching for them, or any sign of them on that path. There was evidence of a great number of travelers at a crossing road that went to a much larger city. I followed that road looking for my lost love and my precious daughter. When I got to the city, I began to search there and asked every person I could if they had seen my family. I never saw Lissa or Mara again. I searched the villages and cities in ever widening concentric circles from my village, but never found any trace of them. My search lasted for several decades until Lissa would have died of old age and Mara would have been a very old woman.



??????????? To those of you whom may have questions about yourselves and others of your kind, please be aware that while I may be one of the eldest surviving of our ilk, I do not claim to know everything about us nor do I believe that any one vampire does.

??????????? Over the years, many young vampires have come to me with questions regarding our kind. I have answered the same questions countless times through the centuries. Questions regarding our origins, social structure, abilities, lifespan, needs, myths, vulnerabilities, conduct, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. Never ending questions. In the following pages I will attempt to answer these questions and as many as I can think of so that this publication might be distributed and save me the headache of being sought out by countless sordid vampires. If you have read this tome then please assume that these are all the answers and insights that I have and forgo the thought of finding me to ask more. That being said, read on as I did not write this for naught.






??????????? While there are many stories and myths about the origins of vampires, there is nothing to prove our origins indisputably. What I do know is that we have been around since before recorded history. Forget any tales of Count Dracula being the first ? or even being a vampire at all, as he was not.

??????????? When I was a young vampire, just barely a century old, I too was curious about us. I sought out the one who made me and begged his patience so that I could ask him two questions. First I asked if he had done something to my wife and daughter, to which he answered that he truly had not! Then when I was satisfied that he was telling the truth I asked him, ?From whence do we come?? Fortunately for me he did have a great deal of patience. He told me that he did not know our true origins, but that he had been a vampire for nearly five centuries. The one that had made him had been born a vampire and at the time she made him she was twelve centuries old. I asked him that in the year we now number as six hundred forty three B. C. That would take her birth to two thousand three hundred B. C., give or take a handful of decades. I then begged of him to give me her name, that I might find her and ask more. He laughed at my foolishness and told me that if I wanted to part with this world so young then that was my choice to make. He gave me the name Ah-Ril-Phir and bid me stay with him and accept his hospitality as he had mine so long ago. I stayed with him for ten days and we talked of what had passed since we had last parted ways. I was not angry at him for the gift he had given me, nor for his abrupt departure. We easily cleared the air of any mistrust or misgivings in the first few hours. Then he told me of his family, his wife and son that he had watched grow old and die when he was still a very young man. It had been sixty two years since our first meeting and neither of us looked a day older than we had then. When it was time for us to part again, we did so as friends and both looked forward to our next meeting.

??????????? For nearly three decades I wandered the Middle East, looking for Ah-Ril-Phir. I spent many nights listening to stories of vampires told by my victims before I had them as a dawn meal. Finally I heard her name whispered with fear from a meat vendor in a small village. After he closed his booth for the night I followed him home. He and his family prepared a meal in the small adobe hut that they lived in. I invited myself to their table and questioned him about Ah-Ril-Phir. He told me that she was keeping company with a local warlord and that since she had taken up with him, bodies had been left on the battlefields that were drained of blood and had their throats ripped out as if by some beast. He gave me directions to the camp and wrapped some favorable chunks of meat in sack cloth for me, so I spared him and his family that night and set out for the warlord?s camp. I had no idea what I was walking into.

I found the camp just before dawn on a cloudy morning. As if I were immortal I strode up to the guards and would have continued past them, had they not stopped me abruptly. They crossed spears and threw me backward as if I were a small child. I instantly realized the error of my ways and asked their forgiveness. I told them I had not realized it was a military camp, and had thought it was traveling merchants that stayed here. They were not impressed and turned me back down the road I had come from. It took me two more weeks of following the military group before I could catch Ah-Ril-Phir in a town when she went to hunt. After she had fed I approached her. She sneered at me and? demanded to know why I had been following her for two weeks. I humbled before her terrible age and power, begging her forgiveness and patience. She indulged me in just one question. From whence had we come. She laughed loudly and replied that she knew nothing of our origins. She said her mother had given birth to her at the age of three hundred twelve and she knew nothing of her father. Her mother had been made by someone whose name was not known. So my questions met an end of lost threads, but then she responded to my look of despair and said she had met another that was much older than herself in the eastern lands of China, near the great sea. I thanked her for sparing my life and for indulging my curiosity. She said simply that I was welcome and she would appreciate it if I would inform her if I actually turned up any interesting facts on our roots. I assured her I would, and set out for eastern China.

??????????? My journey took several years. I walked day and night, having acclimated myself to the sunlight, stopping only to feed and to replace worn clothing. On the way I met another vampire. She had staked a territory on the west edge of the steppes of Mongolia. She was shocked to see me and it was rather easy to engage her in conversation. I asked of her how long she had been a vampire. Her response was a surprise to me at just thirty years. She told me in the course of the night that she had fled from the cities of the east because there were groups of humans there that hunted our kind and destroyed them. She said that they would capture them and burn them alive at noon, our weakest hour. I was horrified as I had never heard of such a thing before! Them, killing us? She said that in China man and vampire had struggled for untold ages. That in their history there had been ages of vampires and ages of man. That when a vampire came to be the most powerful warlord, men trembled and were treated as livestock until a man would rise to power and destroy the vampire society, a cycle that repeated every few centuries for as long as their history was remembered. She warned me that now was a time of man, and that vampires were actively sought out and destroyed. She and I spent some months together. She taught me to ride the horses of the Mongolians and I taught her of the Middle East. During those months we developed quite a relationship. Ni Tan was her name. We hunted together, dining on the nomadic Mongolians and wandering the beautiful steppes. She could account for five thousand years of verbal history from the eastern lands of China. That took my question of origins to five thousand six hundred years B. C. I felt that I must continue to the east in pursuit of my question. She would not return to China and tried to persuade me to stay with her or take her west. Our parting was somewhat sad, but I assured her that if I survived I would come back to her and take her west. We parted on a cool evening with the smell of snow in the air. We kissed long and fiercely lest we should not see each other again.

??????????? When I made it to China, I walked very carefully so as not to arouse the suspicions of vampire hunters. My subtlety got me safely seven whole days into the populated areas of China. The sudden appearance of vampire hunters one bleak morning took me completely by surprise! I was certain I had been very careful not to expose my true nature to these strange people! None the less, those first silver tipped arrows whistled in the air around me and I had no choice but to flee. I fled as fast as my Mongolian horse would carry me to the east, and the horse did quickly leave the hunters behind. I had numerous encounters with vampire hunters over the next few decades while I searched for others of my kind. If there were any left, they were better at hiding than I was at seeking. I finally made it to the great sea, and there I found a small city on a bluff looking over that enormous water where there were no vampire hunters.

??????????? For six years I lived in that city and took quick excursions up and down the coast looking for other vampires. When I had finally given up and decided to head back west, he found me. A vampire of great age. He met me in a small serving house. I was sipping a cup of tea and nibbling at some fresh meat when he sat down in the seat across from me. To look at him I would not have know he was a vampire. I assumed he was just a man sitting for a morning meal. At first he offered me the customary pleasantries and asked if I minded that he chose this table. I told him that he was more than welcome here and to enjoy himself. He then asked me where I had come from, as I was obviously not Chinese with my pale skin and round blue eyes. I replied to his question and told him I was from places farther to the west than his people knew existed. He asked me if I was sure, because if one traveled west from here far enough, one would end up back here. I asked him how that was possible, and he easily answered that the world was round like a fruit or a nut. I was astonished that this could come from a man who barely looked twenty years old. I had been of the impression that the world was flat and if one were to journey too far, one would fall off the edge! In doubt I asked how he knew such things, and he replied that in his three thousand years on this world, he had seen and done many things that dispelled many beliefs of man. He told me that if I followed the coast north and east, I would find a place in the frozen lands where I could cross the water during the longest night and reach the far west. He also said that there was another land from there and that all one had to do was follow it's coast south to find it. I asked if he had found any of our kind there and he answered that he had. I asked of him the same question that I had asked the others, from whence do we come? His answer was at the same time disappointing and enlightening. He said that as far as he could tell our kind had been around almost as long as man. He said that the oldest stories of us that he found were in Africa telling of how the night men came and hunted man when man was just a nomadic hunter-gatherer without a real structure or society. That they looked like man, but were far stronger and faster and drank the blood of man and beast as food. From there our conversations went on to other things not important here, but we spoke for days.

??????????? When I returned to the village area where I had left Ni Tan, neither she nor the village were to be found. All that there was to tell of their existence was remains of the two stone buildings that were there and scattered bones and poles from huts. I assumed that the Mongolians had been there and that Ni Tan had been forced to move on.




??????????? I have had many people ask me in my time if there is a secret society that vampires belong to. Yes and no are both the correct answer. There are countless societies of vampires. Much like humans, there are different societies all over the world. Some secret - even to other vampires ? some open, though secret for the most part to humans. One thing that must be kept in mind is that though we are different, we are very similar to humans. Each of us is an individual and each has their own mindset, personality and drives. Some vampires are social by nature and will form societies. Some are not social and live on their own. Still others are somewhere in between and like loose social structure with personal freedoms and space. Also like humans, vampires can be vulnerable to influences and psychological manipulations and emotional drives and fears. Vampires have religions and philosophies and codes of conduct that vary from region to region just as humans do.

??????????? The largest society of vampires that I have come across is actually in Italy. The mountains harbor many secrets in their caves, and some of those caves are deeper than many realize. When I was in central Italy, I was traveling village to village sampling the local cultures and cuisine. After six months in the mountain lands I was approached by a most distinguished vampire. He wore extravagant clothing and carried himself most regally, even in broad daylight. He displayed no care that the humans might discover the truth of his being. He invited me to a wonderful little mountain cafe where they served fine Italian coffee and the regions best cheeses. I, of course, took him up on his invitation and we took a carriage driven by a human to this village. He was treated like royalty by the humans! They had little consideration for their safety around him and I saw actual adoration in their faces as they prepared a table for us! It was truly amazing. He asked that coffee be poured and cheese be served, and it was done with a flourish and flare reserved for the likes of kings! It was most enjoyable to be treated so well, but I knew it was only because I was with him. Finally after the first cup of coffee was drunk he introduced himself. He said his name was Martine and asked mine. I told him and he asked how long I planned to stay in this region. I answered honestly that I was not sure and that I was just touring the region, but found it very wonderful. He assured me that my plans were most acceptable and that he was actually visiting with me on official business. I asked him how official and he informed me that as the primary law enforcer for this region it was very official. He told me that I had broken one of their primary laws and that since I was a visitor and unaware of the laws, I was to be informed of the law and that if I broke it again after that I would face the standard legal consequences. I asked him what was this law that was broken and whose law it was? He told me that from the sea to the sea east and west and from the northern canyon to the edge of the city of Rome was under the protection of his people. That the one primary law I had violated is that we do not kill the humans. He informed me that in any town or village I went to, I would find plenty of people that would let me drink to fill my appetite. I replied that that was fine and if I had known, I would have followed the law without any reservation. I then asked him to tell me more of the vampires here in this region. He told me that as he was a law enforcement officer and had a lot of responsibilities to attend to, he could not spare the time to visit with me further though he could arrange for me to meet someone that could. He motioned with his left hand and a man approached our table. Martine asked him to guide me to Raphael in the neighboring town and the man enthusiastically agreed. After finishing his coffee and a last slice of cheese, Martine excused himself and left. Then the man asked if I was ready.

??????????? My guide took me just a few miles around the mountain and we entered a larger town. Just off the main street was a large home with flower gardens in front and a carriage much like the law man's. We walked to the front door and the man pulled a cord with an ornate handle that hung from the ceiling over the front stoop. Large dogs inside barked and the door opened rather quickly, as though the man had been waiting beside the door. My guide told him that I was there to see Raphael by way of Martine. No last names were mentioned and no questions were asked. The man led us into a very nicely decorated foyer and instructed us to wait comfortably on the couches provided. As he went up the stairway, I had a chance to look at the large white dogs. They had curly hair that coated their two hundred pound bodies. The dogs sat silently staring not at me, but at my guide. Shortly a woman came to us with tea and biscuits. We thanked her and she left us. The biscuits were sweet and the tea very smooth. As we finished the tea Raphael came sweeping down the stairway. If I had thought Martine was dressed well, Raphael put him to shame! The vampire before me was six feet and then a little with long dark hair and a trim goatee. He wore a suit of clothes made of fine silk and died vibrantly reds and yellows. He bowed deeply as we stood and thanked us for gracing his home. My guide thanked him for his generous hospitality and asked to be excused to return to his place of employment. Raphael granted his request and personally escorted him to the door. When he returned to me, he dismissed the dogs and invited me to a more comfortable sitting room. The rich wood and plush chairs sitting beside a large fireplace were much more personal, yet very beautiful! He offered me a seat, which I took, and then sat across from me. He asked me to tell him why Martine sent me to him, so I explained the situation. As I spoke with Raphael I took note that he looked to be in his early thirties. When I finished explaining the situation he smiled and rose from the chair. He told me that he would do better than explain, he would take me to the closest vampire city. I stood, shocked at the thought of a vampire city! Raphael read the shock on my countenance and reassured me that it was not as I was imagining. It was a city of three hundred vampires, not thousands, but nearly a thousand humans lived with them. He invited me to join him in his carriage. As his servants readied the carriage, we walked through the house and he pointed out each of the rooms, explaining during the tour that this was his office, not his actual home. His home was in the vampire city that we were about to visit. One of the servants came to notify us that the carriage was ready just as we finished the tour in the foyer. We walked into the afternoon sunshine and climbed into the covered vehicle. The driver already sat on the front bench ready to depart.

??????????? As we drove through the streets of the town Raphael pointed out the buildings and people through the window. From the time we left the edge of town until sunset we drove through the mountains, coming to end at a set of great wooden doors embedded into the side of a mountain. The doors were plain with wrought iron strap hinges. The driver dismounted the carriage and opened the doors just as the last rays of sunlight abandoned the sky. Inside the door were two men with heavy crossbows and wearing ornate armor. They nodded as the carriage driver led the horses into the cave. Once inside, the driver stopped the horses and went back to close the doors. There was no latch or lock of any kind, just heavy handles on each side of the doors. Raphael pointed out what my eyes had already determined, that the doors were wide enough for two large wagons to pass through side by side and as high as two of our carriages stacked upon each other. Inside the passage was lit with torches in sconces on the walls. The floor was smoother than the mostly dirt road we had traveled to get here, and the walls and ceiling curved to be one arched tunnel. We drove on for ten minutes before reaching a slope that ran down into the edge of an underground city! Buildings were carved from the living stone and people moved about tending their business just as if this were an above ground city! My mind reeled as my eyes surveyed the expanse! It was truly beautiful. There was plenty of light even for human eyes given off by thousands of torches attached to the walls of buildings. The ceiling of the cavern was nearly five stories overhead, and some buildings came within a mans height of touching it! No one seemed to pay much attention to us as we drove through the wide streets and pulled up to a building. The smooth stone arced gently to make the convex front wall of the structure and rose three stories into the air. It held many windows aligned and spaced flawlessly telling of three floors inside. The driver dismounted and opened the carriage door for us. As Raphael stepped down to the stone, the front door of the house opened and a young woman smiled towards us. Raphael extended his hand up to me as I stepped out and I accepted his assistance in getting to the ground. The woman was also a vampire, not a human. Raphael escorted me to the young woman standing in front of the light golden wood door. He introduced her to me as Reanne and me to her. She curtsied and asked me to join the two of them for dinner, which I readily accepted. The two of them escorted me into their home and gave me a tour as three human women prepared our evening meal. I asked if the humans were slaves or servants. The reply came with mirth from both my host and hostess. They answered that the humans were hired and took these positions voluntarily. Apparently, the humans that worked in the vampire city were regarded with great respect by the other humans in the region. The vampires paid well, but also the ones that worked here were the most protected humans could be. Dinner was served in the dining room where six men and three women sat in special chairs upon the table top. Their legs were clean and shaved, and exposed from ankle to knee. My host reminded me not to drink them to death, take only some blood from each, and try to leave the smallest marks possible. He also explained that it was custom here that males drank from men, and females from women. While I had encountered the custom of not killing your food before, I had never encountered the custom of same sex feeding before. Dinner was much like three humans eating roast chicken at a table. We talked and shared experiences and the two of them answered my questions about their society. The peaceful coexistence between human and vampire had been in effect for nearly six hundred years and stemmed from a covenant between the vampires and the Roman Catholic Church. That covenant was no longer in effect, but the peace had worked so well for both vampire and human, that they had simply continued to live together and abide by its' tenets. The vampires protected the humans from outside dangers and did not kill the citizens. In return the humans willingly gave themselves to the vampires as food. However simple that may seem, it had developed into a much more complex and powerful way of life. An almost ideal example of a truly open vampire society.

??????????? On the other end of the spectrum, there was once a society of vampires in Stockholm that lived in a set of Hostels. They lived in secrecy from humans and other vampires. They hunted individually and never left a victim alive, nor a trace of evidence that anything had ever happened. They disposed of the bodies in creative ways to ensure that the authorities never suspected that these proprietors had anything to do with the disappearances. Each vampire couple ran a hostel. From the patrons they would pick people that had come to Stockholm in secret or who had no one that would look for them. These vampires never bit the victim, but would instead slash the throat and drink the blood from pans that were placed to catch the falling liquid. Afterward they would clean up the scene and dispose of the bodies in rivers or bury them outside the city. This society was very loose and extremely secretive. It took months of me following one couple to finally discover the truth.

??????????? Another example of loose secret societies was in early New York. Vampires there would meet annually to stake out hunting grounds and discuss any problems that might need tending to. The only way a vampire new to the city would find out that there were any rules was by feeding in someone?s territory, and that always led to a confrontation. Now there are no staked territories in New York for the most part, and running across another vampire is usually coincidence.

??????????? One of the more common societies which is prevalent in much of Europe and America is the hierarchy society. Each vampire in these societies answers to the one who made them. These societies tend to be self destructive and very devious. The only way a vampire can be free of constraints is to eliminate everyone in the chain above themselves. Outsiders caught in the territories of these societies are almost always met with distrust and hostility. Many a vampire that wandered into these places has lost their eternity.

??????????? When I visited America for the third time, before I moved here, I encountered a large hierarchal society. It was in Boston in the late eighteen hundreds. I had arrived in Boston Harbor in the early evening on May seventeenth. It was a pretty evening around six, with a beautiful blue sky dotted with orange capped puffy clouds. The harbor itself was dotted with ships heading in and out. The docks were fairly full with only a few openings for ships to squeeze into. As I disembarked from the passenger ship I had rode on, I was greeted by the smells of seafood cooking and the sounds of thousands of people working and talking, laughing and calling greetings to one and other. I was happy to be back in the new world. As I walked into the city looking for a proper Inn, I noticed that as darkness approached, many people began to clear from the streets. It seemed rather odd for such a large port city to have so many people that took shelter at dusk. I ran across a large and proper Inn that had a taproom on the first floor. There were many people gathered there enjoying shrimp, crab and spirits. I purchased a room for one month and took my belongings up to it. After setting my two bags on the bed, I exited the room and locked the door. I was sure to hear some good stories in the taproom below, so there I went. I sat at the bar proper and ordered a platter of shrimp and a dark beer. There were many men and women at the bar and it didn?t take long for the stories to find me. I heard one from two women and two men sitting at a table nearby to me that grabbed my interest. They were speaking of the Grenel family and how yet another of their private dock master?s had gone missing. One woman was saying that this last dock master, Donovan Hollister, had confronted Mr. Ambrose Grenel about some bulky crates that were being shipped to Ireland. He was complaining of the stink that arose from these crates and that the crew would have to deal with the foul smell for such a long period of time. He was also concerned that the crates may carry disease or attract large scavengers at sea. When the conversation had escalated into an argument about which of them was the owner and master of fleet and docks and who was employed and rather handsomely compensated, Mr. Hollister had verbally tendered his resignation. The following day his apartment over the warehouse was found spotless and barren with no sign of the former dock master at all. When Mr. Hollister?s friend and consort Abigail Finn went to the docks, there was a new dock master in the dock house. He said that Mr. Grenel had afforded Mr. Hollister passage on one of the freighters to Manchester where there was an opening for a fleet master and the ship had left just after midnight.

??????????? I listened for a bit longer for more details, but there were few coming forth. I finished my shrimp and flagged the bar tender for a second beer. From across the bar room I picked up the word vampire, and instantly focused my attention to that table. A crewman from a freighter out of Glasgow had found a crate two trips back going from Boston to Liverpool. He said the stink from the crate was near unbearable, it smelled of rotted pork or similar. He went to the captain about it and the captain told him that the shipper had paid triple to make sure the crate reached its destination unmolested. The crewman and his mates tried not to worry about the crate until midway through the voyage they had to move the crate to get to some provisions that were stored behind it. When they lifted the foul cargo, the bottom fell out of it and dumped four dead men on the floor! The bodies were ash gray and had grievous wounds on necks and faces, yet there was little blood at all! Career sailors see many bodies in their times and these men were no exception. They spoke of the lack of blood and whispered that it must be the work of a vampire or some other dark creature that drinks the blood of men. One of the sailors at the table said he had tendered his resignation that very evening and was looking for a different ship to work on. He said he would never again step foot on the Briny Morgan! Now I had a name, I just needed to find where it was docked.

??????????? After a very short time at the main docks, I heard that the Briny Morgan was anchored in the harbor for the evening and was scheduled to unload in the early morning hours. I went to the harbor master?s building and asked one of the secretaries for the name of the Briny Morgan?s captain. They told me and said I could find him at the Bridge Inn about a block from the dock house. They were right. I found Captain Sabrin at a small table near the door. I took note that the dour man was drinking rum and that his beard contained quite a bit of the spirit. I went to the bar and ordered two rums and a towel. With the three items I went to his table. I replaced the empty tumbler in front of him with a full one and laid the towel down in front of him. He asked what the towel was for and I told him that his beard was drinking as much as he was. Not amused he toweled out his beard and dropped the cloth in his lap. I spoke to him at length under the guise of a captain from France. We spoke of business and crew. Finally the conversation came around to which shippers should be avoided. He firmly warned against doing business with the Grenel family.

??????????? The following morning I began to look into the Grenel family. I found quickly that they were involved in much more than shipping and freight. They were involved in politics, real estate, slavery and banking. What I also found was that many people feared the consequences of crossing them in any way. I could see the fear in their eyes. All indicators pointed to Mr. Ambrose Grenel as the patriarch of the family, but there were hints that he answered to someone in the old world. After a little more searching and questioning, I discovered that there were sixteen members of the Grenel family living and active in Boston and that they were very prone to competition among themselves. The least feared member of the family was a woman named Alison and she owned a bed and breakfast on the south edge of the city. That was to be my next stop.

??????????? I found Alison's bed and breakfast rather easily. It had a simple wooden sign with ?Alison's Bed and Breakfast? painted in a simple but elegant script. There were six chairs and two tables on the porch that were unoccupied. Not surprising as the sky was overcast with heavy gray clouds and the temperature rather cold. As I climbed the steps I took note of the stained glass in the windows and how clean the wood and brick exterior was. Knocking at the door brought an instant result of the door opening to reveal a beautiful woman in her mid thirties. A little old looking for a vampire, but she was probably made later than most. She greeted me and introduced herself as Alison. I returned the simple American greeting and introduced myself to her following it with a request to enter. She of course granted the request and invited me to join her at her table. I accepted and we sat to coffee and shortbread. She asked if I needed a room and I informed her that I did not and that my business was with her. I could smell that there had been two humans here but that they were not in the house now. I started the conversation with the announcement that I am a vampire and that I was there to talk. She raised her eyebrows a bit and exclaimed that she was surprised that I was so open about my status as a vampire. I told her that I wanted to know about the Grenel family. Her face soured and she began. She said she had started like me, a wandering vampire come to Boston just to visit. When she had decided to take a temporary residence here she had been approached late one evening by a group of six people that had barged into her home. The spokeswoman of the six announced that Boston belonged to the Grenel family and that if she were to stay she would have to join the family. Alison told me her whole story of confronting Ambrose Grenel and her difficult trials in dealing with the family. I interrupted her at one point and asked why she hadn't left Boston. She sad she had fallen in love with the city and the people here and was afraid that she would run into similar families in any city she went to, so why not just deal with this one and stay here. By the time she had finished her story I had put together that the family was comprised of Ambrose and that the rest of them were his blood descendants. He had made two vampires and told them that they must answer to him in all ways as if he were their father. They in turn each made new vampires and continued the hierarchal structure. They had built a small empire here in Boston and become feared by any humans trying to compete in the businesses that the family decided to enter. I left Boston three days later. I had no desire to interfere with this family, a shining example of the hierarchal vampire society.

??????????? While there is no global society of vampires, there is no lack for a large number of societies to choose from, if that is what one desires. I myself prefer to sample them, but would not be content being in one for any length of time. As with a large number of our kind, I prefer to live on my own and follow only the rules that my conscience provides. Bear in mind now, that there are those vampires that actively seek out other vampire societies with the intent of destroying them. Usually these are individuals or couples, but I have heard of groups as large as thirty that roved the lands hunting societies. These are in themselves societies.




??????????? What are a vampires abilities you ask? How do we gain abilities? The answers to these questions are lengthy and convoluted. There are things that are considered abilities by some that are actually nature. So lets start with these. All vampires are stronger than any human of the same proportions. The weakest vampire whom has newly been made is as strong as five healthy human men of the same size and build, five times as strong as they were when they were human. There is nothing magical about this strength. It is the nature of our muscles themselves. When a human becomes a vampire, they are infected with a symbiont. This symbiont changes the structure of bones, muscle, nerve, skin, organs ? every bit of flesh that makes up a human is transformed by the symbiont. The longer the symbiont is in you, the more integrated the two beings become. Muscle and bone at full maturity are ten times as strong as human or more. Many vampires never survive that long, full maturity is reached at around one century.

??????????? The next trait is speed. For the same reasons as our strength we are much faster than humans. As a new vampire, you will find that you can run at nearly forty miles an hour. Double the speed of the fastest human. As you mature your speed will increase. I have seen a vampire run at eighty five miles an hour and sustain her speed for three hours. That was how long it took for the car she was chasing to run out of gas. Speed and strength are the two most visible attributes of a vampire to humans, but we see much more.

When the symbiont begins to transform you, it does so at an amazing rate. Some of you may remember how long you were in the transformation. It generally take one to two weeks from infection to functionality. Probably the first change you noticed was your vision. We see much further into the infrared and ultraviolet than humans do. You may have noticed that humans have a reddish aura to you and that fire is now white rather than orange and where there used to be blue flames is now too bright to look directly at. That is because your eyes now see into the light spectrum of heat. Other vampires may appear to have a slightly grayish blue aura around them. That is because our bodies are about ten degrees cooler than humans. Our metabolisms are much more variable. We can slow them down so far that we seem dead, and when we sleep we do appear dead to anyone or anything that runs across us. In nature this is a valuable defense. It also allows us to go for very long periods of time without feeding. Flowers may now appear to you to have garishly bright streaks and patterns. That is what attracts the insects that pollinate them. These new colors are in the ultraviolet spectrum. The change in vision does require some adjustment, and is one of the reasons that young vampires avoid the sunlight, other than it burning their skin. The other part of our vision that changes is our ability to magnify. This trait comes from the development of a set of muscles that can change the shape of our lenses. Much like a bird of prey, we can telescope our vision to see details much further away.

??????????? The next thing you may have noticed is your hearing. Our ears are enhanced by the symbiont to a sensitivity akin to our closest pets. Though our ranges are not changed much, our acuity is enhanced incredibly. At first the world may seem a deafening place, but again it takes some adjustment. You will be able to hear a human?s heartbeat from as far as thirty to forty feet away.

??????????? Then there is our sense of smell. Our noses are attuned to certain things, like the smell of blood. With a slight breeze we can smell blood in the air from as far as ten miles. This is similar to how a shark smells blood in the water. While we are extremely attuned to that smell, our noses do smell everything that a human can smell as well, just at a much enhanced capability. You will be able to identify people and animal individuals by their smell. Also you will be able to smell diseases even before they begin to affect their host.

??????????? The one sense that does not seem to be enhanced is touch. We seem to be no more sensitive to textures than before, though heat is more easily detected due to our lower body temperatures.


??????????? As far as other abilities are concerned, each comes from the individual training themselves and developing what is there. There are some that can start materials on fire from a distance, some that can move objects using their minds, some can apparently become invisible while others can read the surface thoughts of any creature and even a few can seemingly alter gravity ? walking up walls and across ceilings. These are just a few of the more common abilities that are developed, however there are many others that can be developed.

??????????? One of our other abilities is language. Within a few minutes of hearing a language spoken, a vampire can learn it in it's entirety ? excluding local slang. The linguistic capabilities are also due to the symbiont. It enhances the language center of the brain and also makes memory much more accessible. Our wonderful symbiont. Thank God there is no cure!




??????????? From all accounts that I have heard and to the best of my knowledge, we are immortal. That is to say that we live until we are killed. Every vampire I have met looks the same in age as they did when they were made. Those that were born age until their mid twenties, then cease to age. Now most vampires never live to be even a century old before another vampire or humans kill them. A few vampires are known to have died in accidents involving fire, acid or large predators such as sharks or crocodiles. The oldest of us are over three thousand years old and still as young as the day we were made. The only thing we need to make this possible is blood. Human blood. While we can go a month or even two on animal blood, we get weaker the longer we go without human blood, yet never have I heard of a vampire starving to death. Those with moral objection to drinking the blood of humans eventually crumble to the power of their thirst and the indomitable drive of instinct. Those that are trapped in some way or another go to sleep. The symbiont shuts down our metabolisms in this type of situation until the scent of food arouses us. There are some vampires still trapped in stone crypts and iron coffins, but if the prisons are opened the sleepers will awaken, none the worse for their rest.

??????????? I suppose the question of lifespan also includes health. For us health is seldom a problem. We are immune to almost all diseases and poisons, with a few notable exceptions.

??????????? The first exception to note is poisoning by silver. If you ingest silver in small amounts it will make you sick for awhile, until it is purged from your system. It has similar symptoms to hemophilia. It causes our blood to thin to the point that it begins to leak out of soft tissues at first. You may experience bloody noses, bleeding from the gums and eyes and internal bleeding. If the poisoning is continued blood will begin to ooze from your pores. While this sounds awful and would be fatal in humans, it is not fatal to us. It does increase our need for blood and weakens us. You will need to feed more frequently and in order to clear it up you will need a silver free food supply. How long it will take depends on the severity of the poisoning. You can get silver poisoning from drinking the blood of people whom ingest colloidal silver as an alternative cure for different diseases or by eating or drinking from silver utensils.

??????????? I once spent some time with a female vampire that kept getting hot flashes. She had been experiencing them for several months when she asked me if I had ever heard of a vampire beginning menopause. The question took me completely by surprise, but I answered her honestly that I had not. I decided that we should spend a couple of days going through her normal routine to see if we could find what the problem was. We started each evening with a light meal at a local restaurant. We ate fish served with fries and a side salad and a single glass of red wine. After finishing our meal we walked to central park and watched all the humans do their normal things. We fed on a stray homeless person, not killing him, then left the park to wander through the entertainment district. While there we stopped for some blood of passed out drunks in the alleys. After that post midnight snack, we walked down to the river docks and waited for sunrise. We watched the river mist dancing over the surface of the water until the sun banished it, then prowled about the cargo ships looking for sleeping sailors or dock hands to sip from. Then back to the business district on the way to her apartment. Just before we turned onto her block there was a food vendor opening his stand on the corner. She waited till his window opened. He greeted her by name and wrapped a paper napkin around a large pickle for her. She thanked him and gave him her dime for the pickle. She had eaten it by the time we got to her stairway. Once inside she experienced a hot flash. When she looked at me in question after telling me of the hot flash I found it difficult not to laugh. I told her pickles are made with dill and garlic. She didn't get it. I explained to what garlic does to a vampire. One must be aware that ingesting large amounts of garlic can be dangerous. Allicin is a natural compound found in garlic. Eating garlic in a normal fashion such as Italian food or meat seasoned with garlic may give you a slight heat flash all over your body. Some find this erotic, others slightly uncomfortable, however this is not at all dangerous to us. Eating several garlic bulbs at one time can cause muscle contractures, seizures and an intense burning sensation all over your body. This will pass within a few days to a week. Drinking one ounce of pure garlic extract can cause the above symptoms followed by paralysis and any more than an ounce can cause your body to liquefy. Not a good day. Once thirty percent of your body is liquefied, you will most likely perish.

??????????? One last type of poisoning to note is commonly known as sun poisoning. If you were made by another then you have probably noticed that your skin is much more pale than it was before. When a vampire is first made, the sun is a painful and powerful enemy. If you spend time acclimating yourself to it, you will stop being tormented by it. You can start by exposing yourself to the light of the sun for a few minutes at a time through the daylight hours. At first you will blister and bubble, but after a single day that stops. In all it takes usually seven to ten days to acclimate enough that you can carry on daily activities as normal. We are in fact more sensitive to sunlight than humans are. Sunlight will not immediately kill you, nor turn you to ash. Prolonged exposure to sunlight all over ones bare skin is dangerous and can in fact be fatal, but to reach fatal exposure one would have to be doing something like sunbathing on a bright beach. Being in the water does not reduce and may enhance this damaging effect. Early symptoms of sun poisoning include dizziness, vomiting, blisters on the skin and sudden hair loss. If you are experiencing these symptoms and have not been in the sun look for a source of ultraviolet light such as the tuberculosis lamps used in medical establishments, grow lights for plants and aquarium bulbs. Most vampires avoid the sun, but few realize the danger of other ultraviolet light sources.





??????????? Our needs actually boil down to a few simple but universal vampire needs. We need blood to live. Human blood is required, but not as frequently as most believe. We can be healthy with just two pints every two weeks as long as we supplement it with meat and animal blood. Most of us eat something every day. We can eat any food but we only get value from meat, dairy and blood. We can eat basic meats and cheeses and blood from animals, but we must have the small amount of human blood to stay healthy. If you go less than the two pints or stretch beyond the two weeks you will begin to loose weight, loose strength and loose control. Instinct will begin to overpower your mind. If you continue to abstain from human blood you will become savage until the thirst is quenched. If you get to the point of savagery you no longer have choices, you will attack and feed from the first human you can get to. This can put you into very dangerous situations. Most young vampires that get killed by humans put themselves into the situation to be killed by allowing the savage feeding instinct to take over.

??????????? Our next primal need is for a secure shelter. We need a place to protect us from the sun and keep us safe during our weakest hours. While the sunlight will not kill us immediately, it does weaken our systems and extreme exposure can be fatal. If you wear clothing, you will not suffer extreme exposure. Simple accoutrements of a brimmed hat, light weight, long sleeved shirt, and long slacks of some type and shoes that completely cover your feet allow you to walk in the sunlight without becoming ill. These arraignments do not stop us from being weak during the mid day. For two hours at the suns highest point our strength severely wanes. It does not matter what you do, nothing will prevent this. If you are less than a century old and are not a born vampire then you will find yourself just slightly stronger than a human of your build. If you are over a century old, you will find your strength diminished by approximately half during this period of the day. This is when you are most vulnerable. Though you are still capable of much more than a human during this time, you are not by any means invincible. You do not want to find yourself cornered by vampire hunters at the weak time.

It was not long ago that I found myself in that very situation! It was in the late seventeen hundreds and I was on a ship from Ireland to America. As I was a stowaway, I had no cabin of my own, and the crates I had been using as a makeshift mid day shelter had been emptied of the food they had contained. I was resting behind them, hoping I would not be found when some crewmen came into the forward hold. They were loud and I knew where they were, but I did not realize that they had come to take the empty crates to the deck where they would be dismantled and stored for other purposes. I was at my weakest point when they began to unstack the crates and move them out by handing them off to the next men in line. The chain of men quickly uncovered my whereabouts and the alarm was sounded when they spotted me. For the next hour I ran and ducked and dodged all about the ship trying to find another hiding spot. As my strength began to return I decided to confront the captain and explain my situation, minus the fact that I am a vampire of course. I told him, not untruthfully mind you, that I had taken refuge in the ship to avoid a mob of vigilante's that had come to believe that I had murdered a little girl in Dublin. I explained to him that it was not true at all and that I had simply been in the wrong place at the wrong time. I offered to pay him for legitimate passage and after a few moments of thinking about it, he reluctantly agreed. He told me that had his men caught me first and then I offered to pay, he would have had me thrown overboard, but since I had come to him of my own will he would make the exception. I was most relieved. That journey ended up being a very good one. I made a few friends among the crew and also made a new vampire.

??????????? The last thing that is a universal need for us is our reasoning. If we loose our ability to think, we become a simple beast. If we become a simple beast, then our prey will out think us and most assuredly find a way to kill us.




??????????? Now let us dispel some myths. While I explain to you that these myths hold only a little truth, remember that to allow humans to believe them is to your benefit. Humans feel safer from us if they believe they have a certain means to defend against us. While allowing these beliefs to continue may mean that you must hunt elsewhere or at a different time, it also means that in a life or death situation you have a trump card that they do not know you hold. Let's begin with the belief that sunlight destroys us. If you are walking down the street at nine in the morning, how many humans do you think might suspect you of being a vampire? None? Most will think you have a job that keeps you out of the sun, or perhaps you have a skin condition or even that you are just naturally fair skinned! This allows you to walk freely during the day without worry of being attacked by inexperienced vampire hunters. Also it can be used to dispel a persons suspicion that you have a use for. In my own experience, I have had people meet me for coffee in the mid morning hours and they sighed in relief saying that they had been suspecting me of being a vampire! In these modern times it can also be useful to disperse these new vampire fad humans that think it is cool to be around a vampire. Damn the media anyways.

??????????? Holy water and crosses are also the stuff of myth. These humans really have very little in this world other than faith. Let them have it. Why take it away? It is not very suiting for a vampire to not be graceful. There are plenty that have fallen away from God. If you are a believer as I am, do not take those that have managed to keep their faith. Their lives are already short enough. I have never witnessed any vampire being hurt or even shying away from holy objects of any type. I suppose there may be those that have fallen to Devil worship that may sustain psychological damage from being faced with holy objects, however those are few and rare, usually they are dispatched rather quickly by other vampires for being invasive or offensive.

??????????? Let them also believe that we cannot stand the scent of garlic. If they have this comfort then they are less likely to try other resources to get rid of us or drive us away. Remember that garlic can be toxic at the right concentrations and it is not a stretch for humans to figure out a way to concentrate garlic extracts and inject them into us through darts or such. We are not in a war with humans, and we need them as a food source. Let them have their myths.

??????????? Perhaps the best myth to let them keep is the wooden stake through the heart. If they stumble upon you in your weakest hour, or when you are in a deep sleep, this myth may save your life. It takes but a few hours to recover from such a minor injury. If you get staked while at your weakest hour, you can easily fake death and throw them off. If they stake you when you are sleeping, most likely they will believe they made a mistake and just desecrated a dead body. The stake myth may save your eternity. One thing I should warn you about is a certain type of stake. If it is bound with silver the wound will not heal until all the silver has been expelled. Also stakes made of true Ebon wood are toxic to us if they are fresh. It is not the wood itself but the sap that will make you ill for an extended period of time. The worst stake for us is a fresh Ebon wood stake rolled in silver flakes and powder.

??????????? We need not sleep in a coffin. This myth stems from an ancient Egyptian vampire whom made himself a casket of stone that had a lid so heavy it would take seven men to move it. He did this to protect himself while he rested. At his stage of development he slept only when he chose to. All in all he used his sarcophagus only three times before he abandon it to travel. There are a few vampires that do sleep in coffins, but they are young and believe that they must sleep during the day ? every day. Truth be told, even new vampires only sleep once a week and the closer to one hundred years old one gets, the less frequently one sleeps. After one hundred, roughly, the need to sleep is gone and one only sleeps if one runs out of suitable food or becomes injured badly and needs to regenerate.

??????????? Some myths would have it that we have to carry a bit of the ground we were buried in. While this is obviously untrue, you might be surprised how many people believe it. They look for us to have a small jar or pouch of earth that we hold sacred or that keeps us alive. Of course this and many myths are based on the assumption that vampires are undead humans.

??????????? The next myth is that we can turn into bats or mist or wolves. I have yet to find a vampire that can shape shift in any way. I have met those whom have learned to bend light in order to become invisible, but none have actually changed form to my knowledge.

??????????? There are many other ridiculous myths that can be dismissed such as that we cannot cross water, dogs attack us on sight or smell, we are afraid of cats, earthworms attack us, the bible will blind us, we must be invited to enter someone?s home? now there is one worth discussing. This is a deep seeded myth among humans. That we cannot enter a home we have not been invited into, but that once we are invited we have free access. This myth comes from a human serial killer in early London whom would only enter a home when invited, then would come back after the occupant was asleep to kill them. He was not a vampire, but made great effort to promote the belief that he was. He would pierce the carotid twice and catch the blood in a bucket then dump it in the river. Once again, this myth can be beneficial if used correctly.

??????????? Of course there is the myth that to drink the blood of the dead will kill us. No, it will not. If the blood is rotted then it may make us vomit, but it is in no way toxic to us. This myth seems to come from the Dracula era. Many other myths stem from this time as well.

??????????? We cannot be seen in mirrors. This myth has set more minds at ease than can be counted. If someone suspects you are a vampire, get to a mirror. That will dispel their concerns in seconds. This myth is so far fetched that I have not been able to take it seriously enough to seek it?s origins.

??????????? Our next myth has recently been dying out on it?s own. The belief that anyone we feed off of and kill will rise as a vampire the following night. The process of making a vampire while simple, is not quite so easy. A human must be injected with living blood from a vampire. Only one human in every one hundred will be suitable. Forty nine will die, fifty will get ill then recover and be fine. Of course just surviving the transition is risky. The time spent unconscious or so weak one cannot stand is usually one to two weeks! During this time one is very vulnerable and can be easily killed by either human or vampire!

??????????? For quite some time humans have believed that if a priest blesses a vampire, the vampire will die instantly and violently. Most untrue. Ever since my conversion from agnostic to Christian, I have sought out the blessings of priests at least once a year around the true day of the birth of our savior, Jesus Christ. Never has a blessing in any way harmed me, nor has a priest ever been harmed by giving me a blessing. The sprinkling of holy water is not in the least bit uncomfortable. If this myth were true, I would have died more than one thousand years ago!

??????????? A newer myth is that of the half vampire and the cure. The myth tells that once you have become a vampire but have not yet drank the blood of a human, you are a half vampire. As long as you are a half vampire you have the possibility of returning to human. The way to do this is to destroy the one that made you. Rubbish. Completely untrue. Once you are infected with the symbiont, there is no returning to human, and who would want to? Killing the one who made you will not change anything!




??????????? Enough of myths. Now is the time to discuss our true vulnerabilities. While human life is relatively delicate and frail, our lives are much less so. We are a tenacious race with a strong grip on life. A grip we do not easily relinquish. Unlike humans who become more delicate with age, we are less vulnerable as we get older. As we age, our bodies are less susceptible to damages and death. That is to say that the longer we live, the harder we are to kill. Just like humans, vampires are susceptible to bouts of depression as well as every other emotion. There have been vampires through the ages that have attempted to take their own lives. Whereas some have indeed succeeded, most fail and some fail miserably.

??????????? I knew one female vampire that became so guilt ridden over those that had lost their lives to her over her centuries that she decided that the world would be better off without her. She began by attempting to kill herself using a silver dagger and running it through her heart. She spent one week making all the necessary preparations. She wrote letters of sorrow and condolence to the families of her past victims and mailed with them personal items that she had kept from her victims. She spent many hours in a Catholic confessional, confessing her sins against god and man. She cleaned out her home and donated all of her considerable possessions to homeless shelters. When everything was set straight and all perceived wrongs were righted, she dug herself a grave and waited in it until the sun was at it's peak in the sky. As the noon sun shone on her beautiful body and bathed her soul in forgiveness, she plunged the dagger into her heart! She writhed and wriggled in agony as the dagger shredded her still beating heart for many minutes! When she could no longer bear the pain, she jerked the dagger from her chest and lay there bleeding. Slowly the hole in her breast sealed shut and her shredded heart mended itself. She crawled from her grave and decided that the weapon she had chosen must not be pure or simply was too small to make the significant damage necessary to end her life. She went home and looked for something more suitable. As she searched through her near empty home, she realized that all of her possessions that may have been suitable, she had given away! Unaware of the falsehood of the myths surrounding our vulnerabilities, she decided to use a wooden stake. She broke the legs off of her one remaining wooden chair that sat alone in the spacious sitting room and chose the best one. Using the bloodied silver dagger she sharpened one end of it to a long tapering point. Taking the new stake out to her grave in the back yard, she pressed the point against her breast and fell face first into the grave! Of course the sharp stake drove through her chest with all the power of her falling body as she hit the floor of the grave! She again writhed in agony as the beating of her heart came to an immediate stop due to the three inch diameter object lodged through the center of it! She finally lost consciousness and lay still in the yellow sunlight bathing her in her grave. As the sun dipped to the west and the grave cast shadow over her still body, she awakened. She was still very much alive and her body had pushed the stake back out of her heart! While the stake was still partially in her chest, the most grievous portion of her wound had healed. Her heart beat gently in her chest and she was no worse for the wear. Frustrated with her own ineptitude at taking her own life, she ran back to the house and grabbed up the silver dagger that she had discarded in the pile of wood shavings next to the now defunct chair. She jabbed it over and over into her heart with a speed and ferocity that only a vampire possesses! As seconds passed to minutes and the number of punctures ran into the thousands, she began to realize that she no longer felt the pain as acutely as she had in the beginning! After nearly thirty minutes she stopped ramming the now blunt and edgeless silver dagger into her chest. Blood was pooled around her knees as she looked around her kneeling self on the floor. There was enough blood that two humans could have died from blood loss in her sitting room! Blood still trickled from the myriad puncture wounds in her shredded chest. She began to laugh and she laughed hysterically until she cried. She lay in the pool of her own blood mixed with the wood shavings and cried through the night and into the early morning. Finally she stopped weeping and stood. She went to her bathroom and regarded the mess of herself in the mirror. What was left of her blouse was covered in dried blood and wood shavings, her long hair was a mass of tangles and blood, her face was swollen and streaked with dried blood and her breast was unmarred by the recent ferocious abuse it had suffered. She cleaned herself in a bath and then stood naked in front of the very same mirror. There was no sign that anything had transpired in the last twenty four hours. She looked as clean and lovely as she had before she had attempted to end her own eternity. She stared for hours at her unmarred breast and let the silence reign supreme in her home. As the sun sank low on the western horizon, she forced herself to leave the bathroom and climb the stairs to her once beautifully adorned bedroom. She went to her closet and looked at the empty poles that once sagged with countless outfits. She closed the doors and lay naked on the floor where once a king size bed had rested.

??????????? For a week she did not leave her home. Her failure at taking her own life had left her mind near broken and her will lay dormant. Finally she left late one night to feed and her feeding left a trail of bodies the likes of which her city had never seen! All of the rage she had built against herself for her failure she released on the humans she preyed upon! When she returned home at dawn, she carried an arm full of outfits that she used to begin the process of replenishing her wardrobe.

??????????? More than a year passed and still she was haunted by depression. She roamed the streets at night openly and invited death to pay her a visit. Fourteen months after she attempted to end her own life, death came calling. A hunter had heard of the vampire that walked the streets of the city and he set his sights on her. He found her as she walked a deserted street on a rainy night. He knelt on a rooftop and took careful aim with a heavy crossbow. The silver headed bolt flew through the wet air and pierced through her heart! The hunter dropped immediately from the roof, racing to the spot where she should have fallen. There she stood, unaffected and holding the wooden shafted weapon, admiring the now twisted silver broad head. The hunter was so shocked that he missed his one opportunity to alter his direction and ran directly into the bolt that now pointed at his own heart. He died in the arms of a vampire as she licked the blood around the fatal wound.

??????????? While we are susceptible to silver it is not fatal to us. Much like humans building resistance to certain toxins that they are exposed to, we can build resistance to most of the toxins that affect us. Our subject in the previous story stabbed herself with a silver blade literally tens of thousands of times! Her body build such an immunity to it that a wound which should have immobilized her in excruciating pain didn't even make her hesitate for an instant!

??????????? Our true vulnerabilities are few and for the most part difficult to come by. Ebon wood, commonly known a Ebony, which is still green and contains wet sap is toxic to us. The sap contains a compound which can render us ill for an extended period of time. This sap is not fatal, but drains our strength and can cause convulsions, vomiting, fever, delirium and unconsciousness. The symptoms persist until the compound has been purged from our system. This could take seven to ten days!

??????????? In the middle ages there was a priest/knight that had discovered the properties of Ebon sap and the effects it has on vampires. His name was Antone. After discovering a diary left by a long past vampire hunter, he commissioned a small excursion into Africa to harvest some Ebon sap. He and his small envoy brought back ten large flasks of the stuff. Antone and three others began to hunt a notorious vampire that preyed on feudal royalty. For three years they hunted the elusive predator before they finally caught him in a small fishing village on the west coast of France. The shot him with arrows that they first dipped in the Ebon sap. While they could not kill him, the sap weakened him and made him easy for them to capture. Antone kept this vampire prisoner for a full decade, injecting him with sap every day to keep him weak. During this time Antone used his captive for various experiments trying to discover all the weaknesses and abilities of vampires. Finally a feudal king stormed Antone's small castle and burned it to the ground. In the process the vampire was killed by the raging inferno of all the heavy beams and stored Ebon wood in the castles lowest chambers. Antone was killed in the first few minutes of battle and his diary was taken by the unknown king.

??????????? Really there are only three ways to kill a vampire. One is by fire, not just any fire. The fire must consume the vampire at least until only charred bones remain. We can survive and recover from burns that are unbelievable as we get older. Younger vampires can be killed by being burnt in a bonfire as their flesh has not built up its insulative and reflective properties against heat and fire. Older vampires require much hotter more intense fires to destroy them. A simple bonfire or burning at the stake is not effective in destroying a vampire that has been around for more than a millennium. To kill these types of vampires the fire must be along the lines of an incinerator or a steel forge. Something so hot that it will melt iron. Even with such intense fires, older vampires must be contained in them until they are incapacitated which can take many minutes. When a vampire is struggling for their very existence, even just a few minutes can be more than large groups of humans can handle. Our flesh itself is not combustible. If we can remove ourselves from the fire, then we immediately begin healing, the fire does not continue to consume us. Many humans have made the mistake of trying to burn a vampire in fires to cool and without adequate restraints in place. Burning can work, though it is not easy in any way.

??????????? Many people, vampires included, believe that decapitation is an effective way to kill us. While decapitation can kill us, it is not as simple as many think. If the severed head touches the neck stump, the two begin to reattach immediately. Depending on the vampire and their health at the time of decapitation, there is a window of fifteen minutes to forty eight hours that the severed head can reattach. Just as with any other appendage, vampires can regenerate tissue at an amazing rate! The healthiest of us can regenerate around one pound of flesh and bone per minute! The only organ that we cannot regenerate completely is the brain itself, and even the brain, as long as there is some left intact, can regenerate. So while decapitation can be effective, it must be done correctly. The head must be prevented from touching the body.

??????????? There are still two other means of destroying a vampire completely. Acid is one of them. Getting a vampire into a vat of strong acid may prove to be a dangerous and difficult task, but it has been done. The strongest acids take many minutes to kill a vampire, and many hunters have lost their lives attempting to kill a vampire with acid. Large predators that can overpower and consume a vampire present a rare but real threat. Sharks and crocodiles are the only two surviving predators with all the necessary tools to destroy us. Their jaws are strong enough and large enough to rend us and their stomachs contain an acid that is powerful enough to prevent regeneration and digest us. In both cases the predators must be strong and fast enough to overpower us. Not as simple a task as either predator would willingly undertake. If a shark is too large and tries to swallow us whole, then chances are that the vampire will kill the shark from the inside and live to hunt again. With crocodiles the situation is a little more tenuous. The crocodile must first render us incapable of fighting back or escaping. We can regenerate a lost appendage in just a few hours to days. Better to sacrifice an arm than to be completely consumed. Both scenarios have happened and been fatal to vampires.

??????????? Then there is allicin. This natural compound found in garlic can truly be deadly to us. Fortunately for us, we can build considerable immunity to allicin, but that does not eliminate the threat, it just means that more allicin is necessary to kill one that has built their immunity. A vampire that eats garlic frequently does build considerable immunity to allicin. They may not be able to be killed by ingested allicin at all! That does not mean they are completely immune to injected allicin! For a vampire that has not built any immunity to allicin, it takes about two ounces of concentrated allicin injected to destroy the vampire. In contrast, the vampire whom has built immunity may require five to seven times that amount of allicin to have the same effect! Let us be very clear on this matter though, no matter the vampires immunity status, injected allicin is going to cause serious pain and damage. Even a tiny amount of allicin injected into the flesh is excruciatingly painful and immediately begins to dissolve flesh! A tiny droplet on a needle can cause a lesion in the flesh that will take weeks to heal if not properly neutralized. Flushing wit alcohol seems to work well, though it intensifies the pain momentarily. A simple tourniquet can stop the spread of the deadly chemical if applied quickly and tightly enough. Without immediate treatment though, allicin is usually fatal.

??????????? While ultraviolet exposure can be fatal, the concentration required and the duration necessary make death by exposure a rather rare and difficult situation to employ. Even for a young vampire, the ultraviolet exposure must be full body for at least twelve hours to actually cause death. That is if the source is the sun. With man made ultraviolet producing bulbs of high intensity, the exposure surface area and duration are considerably shorter, however I have yet to see anyone employ high intensity ultraviolet lights effectively against a vampire. There has not yet been a bulb created whose intensity allows a fatal dose of exposure in a short enough time to stop the vampire from breaking or shutting off the bulb. There was once a group of hunters that would capture vampires and tie them up naked in the desert. This was enough exposure to kill even older vampires within the span of one full day.




??????????? If the subject of conduct were strictly about my opinion, vampires would be viewed quite differently by humans. My own sensibilities on this subject have taken many centuries to develop. In my youth I had very little of an actual code of conduct, just like most youth of many cultures.

??????????? There is no universal code of conduct among vampires. Just as vampiric cultures are different from region to region and differences even exist within the same city, so vampires also have varying codes of conduct. Some will only feed off of certain types of humans, some believe that a vampire has an obligation to appear a certain way, some believe that vampires should never hunt in daylight hours. Each vampire has their very own code of conduct just as each human does. Some vampiric cultures have a code of conduct for their members just as human cultures may have laws. To break these codes or regulations makes one a criminal, just as a human breaking a local law makes them a criminal and subject to penalties or punishments that are outlined by that culture.

??????????? Now if one is more concerned with the biological rules of conduct then there are only a few things to really speak of. The first and foremost is that vampires must feed on blood. That is a biological conduct. The only rules that biology sets on us is that we must ingest a small amount of living human blood within a certain amount of time since the last time or our bodies begin to shut down.

??????????? The next biological code of conduct is survival. This rule of conduct is the same for almost all living creatures. When it comes right down to it, if a vampire's life is in threat their instincts take over. The whole being of the vampire is driven into the survival mode. When a vampire fights for their survival it is a terrible and powerful spectacle to behold. All of their abilities come into play.

??????????? The last biological rule of conduct that we need to cover is survival of the species. That is correct, we are talking about reproduction. For humans there is only one means of reproduction, which is to say that humans produce offspring the same as most creatures. For vampires there are two methods to create more vampires. The traditional method for us is not so sure of a thing. Vampire reproduction through sex is rare. The other method is through infecting a human with the symbiont. Even though the success rate is low, there are plenty of subjects to attempt the process with. Combining the two methods has ensured our species survival for many millennium. There have always been rumors and myths of hybrid vampire-human offspring. Yet in all my travels and years I have never come across such a creature. I have never directly heard of a human and vampire union producing anything other than heartbreak and jealousy. In my personal opinion humans and vampires should never become intimate to begin with. We are two different species with very different needs and lives. I understand that many of my kindred do use seduction as a lure for their prey, but it should never go beyond a tool to draw a victim into the feeding position. If a vampire and a human develop a bond, then perhaps the human needs to be transformed into a vampire. If it is not possible, then the relationship was not meant to be. A human's time on earth is very short and a vampire's is very long. Unfortunately it does happen and many vampires have taken their own lives or given their lives over because of a human lover?s demise. The best advice is to keep food and love separate.


Blood Descent


??????????? I received a question recently from an anonymous being in a rather unusual way for us. Usually if a vampire wishes to ask a question of another vampire, they seek out the one they wish to question and ask the question face to face. This question came in the form of a letter delivered to a cabin I was staying in for a short time. I had been out looking for a meal and had been away from the cabin for two days. I speculate that either the questioner did not have time to wait or had no patience. Either way it is not of any consequence to me. The letter was brief and written on very ancient parchment. It read very simply,

??????????? ?Hectar. Do you know if there is any truth to the myth that a vampire can sense the whereabouts of their direct descendants? I have been wondering this for a time now, but since I have not successfully made any descendants I have no first hand experience with the phenomenon. As far as the one who made me, I never knew her name or even saw her face, so I have no way of asking her about this matter. I had heard that you were writing a book about questions and wondered if you might address this one. Thank you for taking the time for all of us.?

??????????? That was it. No signature or any form of whereabouts mentioned. Since I have no way of knowing where this person may be found, I will answer the question here.

??????????? There is a phenomenon that is found universally in higher mammals, though it does not affect each individual. It seems that some members of the species can sense the whereabouts and condition of their direct offspring. While this seems to be primarily attributed to the female, in humans and vampires it is occasionally associated with the males. There is no way of proving or disproving the existence of this psychic ability. I know from experience with a mother vampire that she knew that her child was in danger and we went from her home directly to her child. Even though they had not spoken for two years, she somehow knew exactly how to get to him. Fortunately for both mother and son, we found him in time to keep him from being killed by the hunters he had been eluding. This individual case is very compelling, but there are many that have no idea when their descendants are in danger or killed and also have no psychic connection as to their whereabouts. I have had several occasions to assist other vampires in finding their offspring. Some were looking for their descendants for noble reasons others, well... not so much. In those situations it was a lot of asking and logical deduction, but there was no hint of psychic connections. This same phenomenon occurs in humans from time to time in siblings as well and even more frequently in twins. As to the myth that every vampire can sense the whereabouts of their direct offspring, weather they were made or born, no. It is in no way true. I have no psychic sense of where my offspring are, but I do know where one of them is in general. To be even more general, I do not know of any psychic ability that is universal to all vampires, just as I do not know of any that is universal to all humans. I do not know the origins of this myth, but I do know that it has been around since at least the mid eighth century A.D. I first heard of it in seven forty nine in Norway. Other than that I have no details as to where or why it came about. Probably a hierarchal scare tactic or something similar.


The Cure


??????????? Is there a cure? Can a vampire be cured of vampirism? No. The only cure for vampirism is death. There is no going back to being human. Once you evolve, you cannot devolve. Vampirism is caused by a symbiont. This is a relatively new discovery by vampires that are also scientists. The process is multi-part. First a vampire must inject living blood into the veins of a human. Traditionally this is accomplished by the vampire biting their own tongue or cheek and allowing the mouth to fill with blood. Next a wound must be inflicted on the human that opens a vein. This can be accomplished with a fingernail or teeth, though if it is to be a bite, it should be before the mouth is filled with blood. The next step is to force the vampire blood into the wound. From this point the symbiont takes over. The symbiont is a tiny bacterium that invades the cells of the human and replaces the mitochondria. Once the place of the mitochondria have been taken, the symbiont releases a virus into the cell that replaces a string of DNA. This starts the process of our transformation. So far there is no way to undo these changes without causing the death of the vampire. The changed DNA string seems to control all the new processes such as increasing muscle strength and speed, enhancing nerve conductivity, changing the sensory organs, changing the bone structure, etcetera. For the symbiont to reproduce enough to infect every cell in the body takes one to two weeks, the transition time. After that it takes one century for the changes to be complete, though all the changes begin to take affect immediately. Once the two week transition is completed, the new vampire is now fully capable of making a new vampire. The symbiont is in the blood stream. The reason we need to feed on human blood is that some of the enzymes in the human bloodstream are no longer produced by our bodies. Enlightening, is it not? No magic, no deals with the devil, no punishment for evils committed. This is just nature. Like the flu or common cold. The compound allicin found in garlic is toxic to the symbiont. Once it has taken over, killing it kills our cells. The symbiont produces ATP as well as many other chemicals used in the cell, without which the cell will die within seconds. When the symbiont dies of allicin, it's membrane is liquefied and it releases an acid that also liquefies the membrane of it's host cell. Enough allicin and we basically melt! I suppose having enough of the compound allicin in ones blood stream can prevent initial infection by the symbiont. However it is not at all a cure for vampirism, for a vampire it is death!




??????????? As much as it is an important part of human existence, it is also to a vampire. Faith is what kept humans going in the darkest of days and the loneliest of nights. It is what kept humans going through slavery and plague. Faith in humanity, faith in the future and faith in God. What once was human still adheres to certain principles. Without faith a vampire could hold no hope for the future. Every vampire faces a dark time in their existence. If they have faith, they can pull back to the light and break free. Without it, they will stay in darkness and dwell there, losing themselves to hopelessness and depression. Most tales and myths tell of vampires belonging to the devil and doomed to spend eternity in hell. I and many others have faith that this is not the case. Is the lion doomed to the pits of hell because it is a predator? No. In life it is what it is made to be. A hunter, a predator. The lion does what it must to survive and does so as efficiently as it can. So must we. Having minds to think with we can discern what things can be foregone without endangering our survival. Those that use their condition of existence as an excuse for abusing or tormenting those that they hunt, they have no faith. But just as there is hope for the hopeless sinner to open their hearts and be saved, so is there hope for vampires that flounder in the darkness of lost faith! Faith is an important part of our lives. It keeps us grounded and gives us something to look forward to. For those of us that may be experiencing depression and loss of hope, I implore you! Open your heart and invite God into your life! I exclaim to you, there is an alternative to hell! You may be surprised at the directions God leads you if you just let him!

??????????? When? I was in my fourth century I met a much older vampire from the north of Egypt. He had lived along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. He wandered the coast, hunting men without discretion. He was a true killer without conscience or care. He killed indiscriminately young and old, firm and infirm, man and woman, adult and child. He cared not weather his prey was ignorant or aware. I ran into him when I had gone to the coast to find passage to the north, across the sea. While I waited in a village, I heard a man telling his son that to wander out of the walls after dark was to offer ones self to the demon that hunted the night. The son was convinced that his father was buying into the tales of the old priests that were designed to control the populace. He scoffed at the warning and told his father that he would not be the captive of the temple and if he wished to go out of the walls after dark then he would do so! I decided to follow him as I had been informed that the next ship out was not to leave for three days. I followed the young man to the gates as his father wept for the loss of his eldest son. When the young man exited the gate, it was less than an hour before sunset. The guards warned him that outside the walls they could not protect him! He declared that he was armed and needed no protection nor did he need their concern! Boldly he walked into the sunset. I of course followed him, knowing what terrors stalk the darkness and fearing them not, as I was one of them. We walked to the west, following the road into the sunset through lush fields and orchards. The ocean roared at us from the north as if to warn of the impending danger. Once the sun was gone and several miles were behind us, the heavy veil of night settled over the land. Even from the distance I followed at, I could feel the fear he presented to the blackness around him. He stopped for a moment to light a torch and the light it shone calmed him. After a few more miles in the darkness, led by his torch light, I felt the presence of another. Hyenas picked up the trail between myself and the boy. Their laughter punctuated the night and struck the boys fear up again! From his perspective, who could blame him? All he could see of the hyenas was their eyes shining back his torchlight! He could not see their hump backed forms dancing back and forth on the road behind him, waiting for something that they were sure was going to happen! Soon it did happen. As the moon began to rise in the east, I sensed the presence of the one that was feared here. He was suddenly walking behind the boy, but in front of the hyenas. The hyena's laughter grew to a crescendo and their bodies frothed in frenzy as the moment drew near! It was easy to see why the locals thought of this one as the demon that hunted the coast! As his steps closed the gap between himself and the boy, I decided to get closer. I had no intention of interfering with the hunter's dance, I just wanted to see and smell who he was. I walked quickly through the pack of writhing hyenas and drew upon the hunter. As I got closer I noticed that he was unkempt and wore only a loincloth to cover his nakedness. His skin was streaked with dirt and the dried blood of former victims, his long hair was not brushed and had probably not been washed in several years! Then it happened. The ferocity surprised me! The vampire easily overpowered the boy, but he did not stop with just the feeding! As he drained the last bit of blood from the boy's body, he shrieked an unearthly cry against the dark heavens! He tore the boy?s body to pieces and then left it for the hyenas to fight over the scraps! I was so amazed that I almost forgot that I was a vampire! Remembering myself, I ran to catch up to him! As I approached I yelled to him to wait! He stopped and turned to me. He was just a boy himself! He could not have been more than thirteen years old when he was made! I walked up to him calmly. I bid him hello and asked if I might have a word with him. He told me to be quick about it as he preferred not to waste his time on the likes of me. Taken aback I asked him how old he was and to my surprise he responded that he was as old as the sun and just as fierce! I told him to just wait a moment and answer me with truth. He looked into my eyes and told me that he knew not his age, but that he had been twelve when he was changed. He had wandered the deserts alone for a number of years, mourning the loss of his family and village. The one who had made him had exterminated his whole village of close to three hundred people. I asked him why he hunted so fiercely and why he had such anger in his heart. He told me of a meeting he had had many years ago, before the time that the white cold had fallen from the night sky. That was snow, and it had happened before I had become a vampire. It was when I was seven years old. The meeting had been with a priest that ran a temple near to a village along the Nile. The priest had told him that he and all his kind were despised by God and were the direct offspring of the devil himself and were fated to share the devils eternity burning in the eternal abyss of hell! The boy had then killed the offensive priest and cursed god for allowing him to be damned before he had even had a chance to know life! Since then he had wandered in rage taking no care of whom he killed. He said he took life as nature and God did, with no care to status or age and damned be anyone who walked the night that he owned! The poor boy had no faith and had been given the darkest lie in his darkest hours by a priest who spoke his mind, not Gods. I sat on a rock by the side of the road and looked into the eyes of the boy. Slowly the ferocity and hate faded from his face to be replaced with sadness and loss. I held my arms out to him and slowly he stepped forward and into my embrace. I hugged him to my shoulder and stroked his matted hair. He cried softly into my shirt. I whispered to him that all was not lost and that God had led us together for a reason. He pulled his tear streaked face from my shoulder and looked at me sincerely. He asked what he had done that so offended God and all that was good to deserve such a curse? I told him that this belief was untrue, and that God did not curse him but had blessed him in a way that humans could not understand. I told him that the one whom had made him had his own reasons for doing what he did, but that God had led him there for a higher purpose. I continued and explained to him that all that we do is somehow in Gods plan, weather we can see it or not. He told me that the priest was supposed to be the spokesman of God and why should he believe me over a priest? In reply I gave him several example of how men of God can still be corrupted if they do not adhere to the words of God and how it happens in many places. I offered to take him to a priest that would converse with him calmly. He agreed to accompany me and I told him that first we should get him cleaned up and clothed first. He asked why would God care how he appeared? I told him that God would not, but that it would make him feel better being clean and groomed. He didn't know if that was true but agreed t give it a try. I took him to a nearby village and we got him cleaned up. I cut his hair and washed it and bought him some nice clothes to wear. Once he was finished, he looked at me and smiled. He asked why I had bothered with one such as him when I could have just gone my own way and continued on my own business. I told him that it broke my heart to see one so young and innocent stripped of hope and lost to himself. He took my hand and I led him to a priest that I knew well. The old man greeted us with open arms and inside his house I introduced the boy and explained the basic situation to him. After a few hours of the three of us talking I left the boy with the old priest. Last I knew the two were still together after five years and the boy's faith had been restored. The demon that stalked the shores of the Mediterranean was no more. The villagers were safe to travel at night once again.

??????????? Faith is a powerful thing and can turn lives around with a power like nothing else. There are and always have been priests that will welcome vampires that are struggling with the darkness of their own existences. I would suggest that if and when you find yourself in this dark place, that you should seek out one of these men of God and speak with them. Being a vampire does not exclude you from Gods heart, he has made us as surely as he made all other life. I personally take great comfort in the knowledge that we are also children of God. God made the lion, the hyena, the leopard, the alligator, the crocodile, and the shark. He has a purpose for all of us.


Age of Transition


??????????? This next question is admittedly ever evolving and always subjective. What is the appropriate age range to transform a human to vampire? In days long forgotten by man, the age was much younger. A human was fully physically developed by the age of fifteen! In this day and age, humans are not fully developed until they are in their twenties, around twenty two. You must be careful when selecting a human for transformation because if that one is not fully developed, they will never be so. While a vampire born can grow to an appropriate age and maturity, one that has been made ceases to grow. If the brain is not fully developed, then they will be stuck with their faculties as they are. One of the last parts of the brain to develop is the frontal cortex that considers action and consequence. In one that is undeveloped they can see consequences for the immediate, but not several weeks, months or years down the road! That could be a bad trait for a vampire, sometimes we must weigh consequences centuries in the future! One should be sure of the physical and mental maturity before attempting a transition. The other end of the spectrum is one that is too old. Again this is very subjective, as many elders keep their minds sharp and wits honed as they age. Most physical ailments are cured by the symbiont in the transition. Arthritis is alleviated, weakened bones are strengthened, infirm muscles are strengthened and slowing nerves are rejuvenated. As long as the person has not gone senile and is not so close to the end of their life that they look forward to death then their upper age does not much matter. One thing that must always be kept in mind is that there is never a guarantee that a human will be susceptible to the symbiont! Even direct bloodlines or blood types mean nothing. No one knows what it is that makes one suitable for vampirism. Even now with all of the science available there are no firm answers. The only way to know for sure if someone can be a vampire is to try and turn them.




Turning Another


??????????? I have had people ask me if all vampires can turn humans into new vampires. The simple answer is yes. The more complicated answer is that while all have the symbiont in our blood, some have bad luck and never successfully turn anyone, while others have better luck and never fail at turning another. All vampires have the capability to turn, many never use it or use it only sparingly.

??????????? Over the ages the most common way for a new vampire to enter the world is by being turned from a human into a vampire. While this is the more prolific means of keeping the species alive, having a child is still the least dangerous way. No vampire child is ever in danger of dying because of a failed turning. I personally would like to see more born vampires and less turned.

??????????? How one turns another is mentioned earlier, but is not given its own recognition in my book. In order to turn another person into a vampire, some of the vampire?s blood must enter the veins of the intended recipient. It is not good enough to simply get blood in an open wound as the intendeds blood will wash it out. The traditional methods of accomplishing this are through a bite or through a cut.

??????????? For the bite method, the vampire must first open a vein in the intended. Usually this is done by biting into the wrist, inner elbow or neck. Once the vein is open the vampire intentionally bites either their tongue or their inner cheek and allows their mouth to fill with blood. Placing the lips over the open wound on the intended the vampire then forces the blood into the veins of the intended. This method tends to be more risky to the intended than the cut method, as the vampire?s instinct is to drink the blood as soon as they bite the intended.

??????????? The cut method is more difficult, but poses slightly less risk to the intended. In this method the intended uses a tool, such as a knife, to open a vein. Usually the incision is made in the palm of the hand. Once the intended has opened a vein, the vampire cuts or bites their own palm to release some blood. The wounds are quickly pressed together to force the vampires blood into the intended. The drawbacks of this method are that human blood pressure is generally higher than a vampires and the amount of blood that generally transfers is relatively miniscule.

??????????? Once there is a transfer of blood from vampire to intended, the only thing left to do is wait. Most humans cannot be turned, about half will die during the transformation, and the other half will get ill with flu like symptoms and then recover, remaining human. The one percent that will actually turn is going to go through a transformation period of one to two weeks where they will be unconscious and vulnerable. During the transformation, sunlight is an enemy. While the sunlight will not likely kill the turning vampire, it may seriously extend the time the transformation takes. I have seen a vampire take thirty two days to complete the transformation.




Do We Age?


??????????? Yes and no. We do continue to learn and grow and mature mentally and emotionally, but physically we do not show signs of aging. That is not to say that our bodies do not change over the years! As time goes on, we continue to grow stronger and faster and our bodies become less susceptible to damage. We do not get fat and we do not get grey hair unless we already had it when we were turned. Our joints do not wear out, our skins do not loose elasticity, our bones do not become brittle, our hearts do not weaken, our muscles do not sag, our teeth do not decay or fall out, we do not loose our hair, our ears do not get bigger nor do our noses, our vision does not diminish, our minds do not slow and our memories do not fail. Everything that humans attribute to old age we do not suffer. What we do usually suffer is insight and understanding. Sometimes knowledge and experience will wear on the mind and cause us to feel old, however it usually passes within a few centuries. The best advice ever given to me on that subject was simply put. Just don?t think about it.






Copyright © 2014 J.A. Laughlin

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