AC: 18 (2)
Attacks: Bite 1d6+disease, weapon
Special Abilities: become ethereal, dimension door, charm person, polymorph self, cause disease, chill touch, cause wounds
“Imbécile!—de son empire (Imbecile! If from his empire
Si nos efforts te délivraient, Our efforts would deliver you,
Tes baisers ressusciteraient Your kisses would resuscitate
Le cadavre de ton vampire!” The corpse of your vampire!)
—Charles Baudelaire, “Le Vampire”
Vampires are the corpses of human suicides who ended their own lives out of despair rather than out of honor. The honorable suicide is an act of self-sacrifice, but the despairing suicide is a blasphemous attempt to defeat death, a vain effort affirm one’s wholeness by ending the process of deaths-upon-deaths that constitutes a life, a defensive act that seeks to shore up the walls of the self rather than to dissolve them completely. As a result of this paradoxical desire, vampires are cursed with an unslakeable lust for annihilation.
Finding solace only in the grave, vampires often sleep for months, rising from their interment periodically to feed. The blood of any creature will sustain the vampire, but it is the blood of sentient creatures—especially the immortal blood of elves—that most thoroughly nourishes the vampire. After feeding, the sated vampire often becomes delirious, as though intoxicated, and it is during this period that the vampire is most likely to reveal itself to others through wanton acts of violence or an obsessive, often romantic, attachment to a single individual. To replenish its arcane power, the vampire will slumber in its own grave, passing ethereally through Earth’s fathoms disturbing neither soil nor sod. The only known means of destroying a vampire are striking the head from the body, plunging a stake through the heart, and burning the body to ash.
Those persons cognizant of the secret of the vampire’s creation have been known to make dark pilgrimages to the Fata Subterrane in order to carry out the desperate, fatal ritual, plunging blades into their hearts or dragging them across their throats, expecting to wake, after a three-day respite in their cavernous graves, imbued with new life. Hoping to midwife companions for themselves, some vampires even court humans of such a dolorous mien, creating around themselves foul cults that culminate in mass suicide. Few if any of these humans are ever reborn as vampires. It seems that only those who truly wish for death are granted the curse of eternal life in undeath.