|“||They are immortal, blood-sucking demons of the night. They exist in every part of the city and in every part of the world. These creatures are said to be the spawns of the Devil for they have the power to manipulate your mind, seduce your spirit, and dominate your soul. But what makes them truly dangerous is their blood-lust, for they will stop at nothing to drain you dry until you're nothing but a lifeless husk. What's worse, is that they were once human, so by the time you realize...it will already be too late.||„|
|~ Integra Hellsing|
Vampires are supernatural undead, shapeshifting creatures, typically held to be the re-animated corpses of human beings, that often possess unnatural powers, heightened bodily functions, and a thirst for human blood in order sustain them.
The notion of vampirism has existed for millennia. Cultures such as the Mesopotamians, Hebrews, Ancient Greeks, Manipuri and Romans had tales of demons and spirits which are considered precursors to modern vampires. Despite the occurrence of vampiric creatures in these ancient civilizations, the folklore for the entity known today as the vampire originates almost exclusively from early 18th-century southeastern Europe, when verbal traditions of many ethnic groups of the region were recorded and published.
In most cases, vampires are revenants of evil beings, suicide victims, or witches, but they can also be created by a malevolent spirit possessing a corpse or by being bitten by a vampire. Belief in such legends became so pervasive that in some areas it caused mass hysteria and even public executions of people believed to be vampires.
Vampires are often described as having a variety of additional powers and character traits, extremely variable in different traditions. Vampires are typically known to be walking corpses, thus, they are similar to that of malevolent spirits which is why their reflections cannot be seen through mirrors nor do they cast any shadows. This increased level of vampire superstition in Europe led to what can only be called mass hysteria and in some cases resulted in corpses actually being staked and people being accused of vampirism.
Vampires are described as being impeccably beautiful in appearance. But their most striking feature are their bright crimson eyes, which are said to be so alluring that to gaze upon them would fall into a hypnotic state.
They do not age physically; instead becoming more "statuesque" as they age, developing very smooth, flawless, marble white skin. Their features are refined and perfected (including their voices), rendering them supernaturally beautiful to lure in prey. Being technically deceased, vampires can be noticed by their lack of body heat and heartbeat. They do not require oxygen, water, or human food. Human food is repulsive for most vampires for their biology was not designed to digest the contents, only blood.
However, their angelic appearance is a facade, for when vampires become overwhelmed with blood-lust and rage, their facial features assume that of a more humanoid bat-like face, and consequently increases their power. Another example of this facade is that they are often shown to be rather cold and sadistic individuals, taking pleasure in the suffering and torment of others. However, this is not always the case, as some vampires, such as the Dhampirs only wish to live in peace among mankind.
Vampires are the eternal natural enemies of Werewolves, and have been at varying degrees of conflict with one another since the two races came to be, with no known end in sight. It is unknown what triggered this conflict, but many believe that it has something to do with territory. One vampire states that food had grown scarce once the werewolves entered their lands, and thus robbed them of their nutrition. The "food" in question was humans, and since the werewolves did not hunt humans, they instead went after their livestock and drove the humans out.
Moreover, vampires can have antagonistic rivalries with other species of vampires with one example being the Turok-Han, who are more akin to the animals of the vampire world and would not hesitate to attack and kill normal vampires. Other vampiric species can drive out foreign vampires when they encroach upon their territory or feeding grounds which Blitz T. Abrams compares to the animal kingdom. Regardless of the cause behind this eternal conflict, Werewolves or Werebeasts in general are genuinely not fond of vampires and see them as pests.
Vampires also gather together in Broods. Broods are not very common as most vampires prefer to travel alone or in pairs, but a few exist stably over long periods of time, even rising to prominence. A brood of vampires is similar to a werewolf pack, and mostly act as gang of sorts. Broods can have a large number of vampires on a similar scale to a coven, but given that Broods are not tied to a specific vampire bloodline they are separate from the more well-known coven.
The more royal side of the vampiric society is known collectively as a coven. A vampire coven is capable of travelling together and help maintain one another's existence, and each coven is ruled by either a Count or a Countess. While covens from different countries or states do not cross paths very often, the leaders of the said covens meet with one another to discuss important situations that concerns the vampire world, with the meeting being authorized by the elders much like how a tribe of werewolves operate.
- Absalom (Vampire God)
- Vlad III Tepes Dracula (Vampire King and Founder of the Order of the Dragon)
- Carmilla (Founder of the Carmilla Faction)
- Camazotz (God of Bats) (Vampire-like Deity)
- Dhampir (Half-Vampires)
- Turok-Han (Ancient Mesopotamian Vampires)
- Nosferatu (True Vampires)
- Americana (American Vampires)
- Jiangshi (Chinese Vampires)
- Strigoi (Romanian Vampires)
- Baobhan Sith (Scottish Female Vampires)
- Vrykolakas (Greek Vampires)
- Adze (African Vampiric Shaman)
- Nachzehrer (Germanic Vampires)
- Soucouyant (Haitian Vampire Witches)
- Upir (Slavic Vampires)
- Bruxa (Portuguese Vampire Witches)
- Scarlet Brood (Absalom Worshippers)
- Sinclair Family (Scotland)
- Order of the Dragon (Romanian)
- Ascalon Club (British)