Vampires are a species of the Night World. Similar to other literary versions, vampires are supernatural, immortal creatures that require the consumption of blood to survive. Many protagonists and antagonists of the Night World books are vampires.
Main Article: Lamia
Main Article: Made Vampires
Vampires are divided into two distinct sub-species: lamia and made vampires. Although the two share the same basic characteristics physically, lamia and made vampires differ in several ways. Lamia are the "family" vampires; they are the species that can reproduce and are in fact born as vampires. In addition, they can eat human food and, notably, can choose to stop aging for several years at a time, although if they begin aging again, their body will quickly catch up to the appropriate amount of years.
Made vampires are former humans or witches that have been changed into a vampire by lamia or another made vampire. These vampires are technically undead, as they have to pass through a deathlike state before reviving as a vampire. This is done through three to four exchanges of blood; this process can be risky, and people over the age of 20 cannot survive. Additional characteristics include being stuck at the physical age of transformation, the inability to eat human food, and infertility.
Vampires are said to be "inhumanely beautiful", as are other Night People, as well as possessing supernatural speed, strength, agility and resilience. In anticipation of feeding, a vampire's eyes grow more silver in color, becoming reflective, and their lips redden as blood rushes to them. In the case of a vampire with yellow eyes, the combination of yellow with the silvery hue will render their eyes golden in appearance. Their canine teeth will additionally lengthen, usually to the level of their lower lip, though a vampire can retract these fangs at will, or when put off of feeding.
It has also been noted that the eyes of a vampire are like those of natural nocturnal predators, able to reflect back light when seeing at lower light levels. In darker areas, the pupils of a vampire's eyes can dilate to about 9mm, an impossible dilation for humans to achieve, in order to absorb as much light as possible.
In contrast to the usual assumption that blood is used as food, in truth blood is a source of respiration for a vampire (although food-related vocabulary is used often in regard to blood consumption, even among vampires). Vampire blood is notably different from that of a human in that it lacks hemoglobin, the enzyme necessary to carry oxygen in red blood cells (this also explains why vampire blood has a markedly different, exotic taste when compared to human blood). As such, although vampire blood is highly resilient, making the vampire immune to disease, aging, and most weaponry, it cannot provide the cells of a vampire with the oxygen necessary to survive. Vampires usually need to feed at least once a day to maintain their health. If not, their body begins to slowly suffocate, heralded first by a sense of breathlessness, and soon followed by severe muscle cramps at several points of the body. These symptoms are typically called "thirst" and "bloodlust". Vampires can live on both human and animal blood and do not need to kill their prey to feed (though some willingly choose to do so, or may do so by accident).
The regenerative factor of vampires might also be present in their saliva, as, after biting a victim, the wounds will close up almost immediately after feeding, with only faint marks left behind. They can heal quickly from most injuries, unless they are inflicted with wood, which is deadly to vampires. Fire is also dangerous to vampires. When killed, which can only occur by being fatally stabbed with wood, the vampire's body will collapse and "mummify"; their skin will turn yellowish and take on the texture of old leather, shrinking tightly over the bones in the process.
Unlike those appearing in folklore, vampires are not affected by things such as running water, crosses or holy water. James Rasmussen mentions that they can "even roll in garlic if we don't mind losing friends". Sunlight also does not appear to harm vampires; however, they prefer not to go out in it unless necessary, as they are naturally nocturnal creatures - the bright light hurts their sensitive eyes and their abilities are weakened during the daylight hours.
Vampire Society and CultureEdit
Whether lamia or made, vampires appear to be the highest members of the Night World hierarchy; since the last Night War in the 17th century, vampires are tolerant, even good-natured, toward witches, although they hold werewolves and shapeshifters in outright contempt, in truth fearful of their latent power. Their society is rather similar to human society, even though they believe humans to be the inferior of the two species. However, in certain Night World enclaves, vampire society is run exactly the way it was in 1600s Colonial America. Female vampires there have limited freedoms, as the patriarchy of vampire society is more strongly enforced, the father of a family having complete control over the members of his household. Wood is not present, even as a building material, and the only humans present are mesmerized servants, used additionally as a food source.
Among the Night World Council, representing the vampires are the lamia patriarch Hunter Redfern and several vampire Elders, who make up the governing laws of the Night World and act as its legislative, executive and judicial system. Legal actions and decisions must be presented to and judged by them. The Elders are well known for following Night World law to the letter, and can order the execution of those whom they feel have threatened the secrecy of their society, although it can be inferred that the Elders are only be able to execute those of their own species, unless the offense is severe enough to bring before the joint Night World council.
In regard to romance, vampires are again similar to humans, able to court and marry freely, although those living in enclaves are subjected to arranged marriages. A term used among vampires is "lovepair", describing two vampires in love with one another and who work together as hunting partners. It is unknown if the word also describes a married vampire couple, or is exclusive for vampire couples prior to being wed.
The progenitor of the vampire species was Maya, a former witch and the twin sister of Hellewise Hearth-Woman. Maya sought immortality and performed a spell that required drinking the blood of four babies to achieve this. She succeeded, but had to constantly drink blood to sustain herself; becoming the first vampire and ancestress of the entire species. She returned to her tribe, biting and turning Thierry Descouderes, then named Theorn, into the first made vampire. With an unknown man, Maya had a son called Red Fern, the first lamia vampire, who fathered the Redfern line. However, because of Maya's ruthless ambitions and killing of innocent people, she and her son were driven from the witch tribe by Hellewise in the very first Night War, beginning the blood-feud between the vampires and witches that would last for centuries.
More vampires would be generated throughout the centuries, even down into modern times. Ultimately, after taking control of the world from the witch clans after the Ice Age, the reign of the vampires themselves was ended by the legendary Great Flood, after which humans gained supremacy, ushering in the Fourth Age, which has lasted until modern times.
The Night Wars continued for years, with the witch clans and the vampires feuding with and killing one another. After coming to power as head of the Redferns and leader of the Night World council, Hunter Redfern, Maya's descendant, had a son named Chervil. However, he and Chervil quarrelled, and the younger Redfern disappeared, leaving Hunter without a legitimate heir. Ultimately, to end the Night Wars and (in Hunter's case) provide the Redfern line with a true male successor, the matriarch of the Harmans, Maeve, and the patriarch of the Redferns agreed to conduct a blood-tie ceremony, followed by marriage. This had the effect of making all future Redferns part-witch, and to consider Harman descendants as their relatives. Furthermore, it acted as a formal truce among the witch and vampire families, uniting the two major species of the Night World.
Hunter and Maeve had four daughters: Garnet Redfern, Dove Redfern, Lily Redfern and Roseclear Harman. Due to having no male children, Garnet's offspring were permitted to keep the Redfern surname by Hunter; all modern Redferns are descended from her. Hunter additionally made John Quinn his legal heir after converting him into a made vampire and adopting him into the Redfern family. Hunter is also credited for creating island enclaves, for vampires and other Nightpeople to find safety from humans. Garnet would eventually marry another vampire, Fletcher Marsh, and bear a son who would continue the Redfern line.
Vampires continue into the 20th century as the main citizens of the Night World. They all shared a hatred for humans, whom they refer to as vermin. Additionally, they appear to have strained ties with witches and shapeshifters, especially subjecting the latter creatures to humiliation and prejudice (out of fear).
When the witch clans secede from the Night World and join Circle Daybreak officially, the vampire clans overall choose to remain as part of the Night World, seeking the destruction of the world as they believe once humans are gone, they shall rule. Additionally, they search for the four Wild Powers, intending to find them before Circle Daybreak and either convert them to the Night World cause, or kill them to avert the prophecies of their saving the world. That being said, it should be noted that many vampires have rejected the Night World and fight for Circle Daybreak. Most notably, one of the founders and co-leaders of the Circle is the vampire Elder, Thierry Descouedres.
In the possible future, in which the Wild Powers lose during the final battle, the dragons, an ancient race of shapeshifters and the initial monarchs of the world in prehistoric times, gain unchallenged supremacy over the Earth, slaughtering millions of humans and witches. They allow a few vampires to live; the remaining vampires, usually lamia, serve as overlords of "Houses"; special plantations for raising humans for food for both dragons and vampires. They also keep humans as entertainment and as courtesans - beautiful girls ("Beauties") raised in a harem society for the sensual pleasure and breeding purposes of the House overseer. Humans deemed unfit for this purpose or for the assignment of a slave are given over to the dragons. Any remaining witches are also kept in these Houses. Werewolves and a few other shapeshifter clans also live as guards for the Houses.
Houses will often hold Hunts, during which human slaves are subjected to a dragon's Call, which lures them to be devoured by the creature. Certain race-type hunts are also held, allowing some humans, usually courtesans, to have a chance at fleeing while a dragon hunts them down.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
- Immortality: Vampires are immune to natural death and can only be killed with wood through the heart, fire or psychic attack.
- Super Strength: Vampires are much stronger than humans, easily bending metal objects out of shape.
- Super Speed: Vampires are much faster than humans, capable of catching up to humans running at full speed without tiring themselves.
- Supernatural Agility: Vampires have faster reflexes than humans and react much more quickly to stimuli.
- Enhanced Senses: Vampire senses are more acute than a human's and they are able to detect things indistinguishable to human senses.
- Enhanced Resilience: Vampires are far more resistant to damage and pain than humans. Wood is the only thing capable of keeping a vampire from healing instantly.
- Enhanced Healing: Vampires heal much faster than humans, to the point that an otherwise fatal injury is healed in a short space of time, unless the injury is inflicted by wood.
- Transformation: Whenever vampires are angered or in anticipation of feeding, their canines sharpen, their eyes become more silver in color and their lips redden.
- Telepathy: Vampires can broadcast and receive the thoughts of other beings naturally, although the strength of this ability varies from vampire to vampire.
- Mind Control: Vampires can control and manipulate the minds of humans to their will. This power does not work on all humans and Night People are immune to it. They can also erase memories completely, even being able to eliminate days worth of mental impressions, provided the memories are not entangled with the memories of other events. However, this works best on a one-on-one basis, as controlling the minds of more than one person places visible strain on a vampire.
- Power: The rise of the Old Powers granted vampires an ability known as Power, the means to conduct psychic attack, which can be strong enough to kill, even being harmful to fellow vampires.
- Shapeshifting: Theoretically, it is revealed to be possible for a vampire to shapeshift, however this would require a great amount of experience and power to achieve. The only vampire shown to be capable of such a feat is Maya.
- Wood: The lignin chemical in wood is the only thing capable of stopping vampire cells from regenerating - thus wood through the heart is fatal to vampires and will kill them. A wound in another vital organ using wood is also lethal.
- Fire: Similar to werewolves, fire is harmful to vampires and can kill them.
- Sunlight: Sunlight inhibits all vampire powers but does not overtly harm them.
- Blood Deprivation: Vampires need blood to sustain themselves, as vampire cells cannot carry oxygen. Thus, if vampires are deprived of blood then they will asphyxiate.
- Spells: Like most other Night People, vampires are susceptible to the powers of witches. It is not known if spells can kill vampires, but they have been shown to inhibit the powers and abilities of one.
- Telepathic Attack/Power: The vampiric ability known as Power has the strength to seriously injure and even kill other vampires. Even regular telepathy utilized to harm or attack another will have an effect.
Renaissance - Colonial AmericaEdit
- Tormentil Redfern
- Opal Burdock
- Hodge Burdock
- Madder Rasmussen
- Jasper Rasmussen
- Bracken Redfern
- James Rasmussen
- Poppy North
- Rowan Redfern
- Ash Redfern
- Kestrel Redfern
- Jade Redfern
- Jez Redfern
- Morgead Blackthorn
- Pierce Holt
- Delos Redfern
- Nissa Johnson
- The "royal" family of vampires are the Redferns - the direct descendants of the first vampire Maya Dragonslayer.
- According to the ultimate fan guide, vampires ruled the world for ten thousand years after the witches lost power, until the Great Flood which caused them to lose their hold over the earth, and for humanity to rise.
- Most vampires seem to be actively trying to bring about the Apocalypse. This is to bring down the human race and take over the world.
- Vampires - particularly lamia vampires like the Redfern Family - seem to be patriarchal, despite the fact that the first made vampire is a woman and was a witch (who are matriarchal).
- Red Fern is stated as the first lamia vampire, with his descendants becoming the Redferns, but it is not shown where other lamia families had originated from, as the Redfern family is not the only lamia family. Even if Red Fern had multiple children, explaining the other lamia families that exist, they would have had to mate with humans in order to continue the species, as the vampires were at war with the witches, and made vampires cannot reproduce.
- James tells Poppy that it's theoretically possible for vampires to shapeshift. This could be true as Maya demonstrated this ability in Soulmate. However, it should be noted that Maya was the first vampire and retained all of her witch powers.
- Vampires apparently cannot reincarnate. The reason for this, according to Maya, is that vampires may not have souls. While she simply could have been taunting Hannah when she said this, there seems to be some truth in the statement, as she was going through with her plan to turn Hannah. It could be, however, that because vampires are already immortal they can't reincarnate like mortal beings.
- Also, many vampires in the Night World series have soulmates, adding further contradiction to Maya's statement.
- Maya was the oldest vampire alive up until her death in Soulmate. Thierry currently holds the title.