All liberally stolen from http://www.timber-wolf.net/blake/page-groups.html
Zombies are not "natural" creatures, but must be raised by an animator. Methods of raising a zombie seem to differ, but it seems a sacrifice is always needed. It is also helpful if the animator knows the name of the zombie they are trying to raise.
The older the zombie, the bigger the "death" needed to raise it. After a few centuries, the only death "big enough" is a human sacrifice. This person is known as the "white goat" or "hornless goat". Anita generally uses chickens or real goats in her sacrifices. Anita has raised zombies over 200 years old without a human sacrifice.
If a corpse is going to rise as a vampire, it cannot be raised as a zombie. An animator must wait 3 days after death before attempting to raise a zombie. This gives the soul time to leave the body. If an animator can somehow raise a zombie with the soul intact, the zombie will not rot and will retain its intelligence. Only one person has ever figured out how to do this, but Anita killed her.
Speaking of rotting, zombies may come from the grave looking very alive-looking but it doesn't last. They always rot. Personality and intelligence goes first, then the body. Thankfully, always in that order.
Zombies are generally harmless and obey the orders of the animator that raised it. However, there are rare cases where zombies go a little crazy and start attacking people. They seem to crave flesh. If they don't get it, they'll start of decay. Flesh-eating zombies last a lot longer than normal. Zombies are solitary and don't run in packs unless they're ordered to.
Ghouls crawl out of their graves on their own - they are not raised like zombies. They also don't rot like zombies but retain their form more like vampires. They are more than animal intelligent, but not by much. They are cowards and won't attack a person unless they are hurt or unconscious. Ghouls don't work with humans, or any other undead. They're like pack animals, but alot more dangerous. If you're not a ghoul, you're either meat or something to hide from.
Cemeteries that have ghoul infestations are usually very old or have satanic or certain voodoo rites performed in them. The evil sort of uses up the blessings, until the ground becomes unholy. Once that happens, ghouls either move in or rise from the graves. No one's sure exactly which.
Join the Church of Eternal Life
If you decide to become a vampire, be sure to check out the Church of Eternal Life. They have councillors there for an easy transition. But they may not tell you everything. For instance, the master vampire who brings you over will have almost absolute power over you. Choose your master carefully.
You won't rise as a vampire if you're killed by more than one vampire in a mass feeding. You must have just one vampire feeding over a space of several days. There are some rare exceptions in which one bite can make a corpse rise as a vampire. A very powerful master vamp can sometimes contaminate every corpse it touches. But normally you must have three bites ending with death. Your corpse will glow in the dark which is kinda cool. After three days as a corpse, you will rise as a vampire. Hungry.
Vampires do not age, so whatever age you died at is the age you will remain. Oh, and don't worry about being raised as a zombie during your three days of death. If you're going to rise as a vampire you cannot be raised as a zombie. Whatever it is that makes a vampire interferes with a raising. Charisma maybe?
Be a Master
If you're going to be a vampire, be a master vampire. Just be prepared to spend two or three centuries kissing vamp butt 'til you come into your full powers. Then go out and find yourself a nice city. You'll probably need to challenge and ultimately kill the master vampire in residence, but hey, house hunting is always a bitch.
Next you need a stalking horse¹. This is another vamp who pretends to be the Master Vampire so all the challenges come their way. When your stalking horse is killed, you just find another to be your puppet. No sweat!
A Bite to Eat
Vampires live on a diet of blood alone. That means no food, so you can give up those chocolate chip cookies you're hiding in the back of the pantry. No drinking either. If you feel the need, you can kick back once and a while and get drunk by feeding off beings with power. And no hangover!
Warning! You don't need to kill your victims to enjoy their blood. If you choose to kill, remember that it will be difficult to stop. People are like potato chips to vampires. Once you've tasted them, its hard to stop at just one! And don't flaunt your victims. It attracts attention, usually with a stake in one hand and a cross in the other. Vampires are practical. You won't stay alive for centuries unless you're discreet and ruthless. Most vampires stay near cities where its easy to hide their victims.
You will probably end up as a solitary hunter but you may end up hunting in a pack. You certainly will at the beginning when you are newly dead and an older vampire is teaching you the ropes. You may also be forced to hunt in a pack if the master vampire controlling you goes rogue. Some masters use a group kill to solidify the pack.
One last thing to consider is that no vampire can bite a victim three times within a month without running the risk of killing them and raising them as a vamp. So choose your victims carefully. You wouldn't want a passel of whiny vamps underfoot, would you?
If the hunting is bad, you can always check out the local Freak parties for hassle free dining. Vampire freaks are people that like vampires for sexual turn-ons. They usually hide their marks unless at one of their hangouts. If you see a human with visible bites, they are probably members of the Church of Eternal Life. They are proud of their bites and see them as signs of salvation. You should probably check with Malcolm (Master Vampire of the Church of Eternal Life) before indulging with them.
A Reinfield is a human with just a couple of bites. There is nothing particularly special about them. The term came from the character in the novel Dracula. Before the book, they were called slaves.
A Pomme de Sang is considered very special. The name means "apple of blood" and is a sobriquet among the Council for willing food. If you feed from a Pomme de Sang you are duty bound to protect them, like a shepherd keeping the wolf from his sheep.
Missing the taste of those chocolate chip cookies? Get yourself a Human Servant. A human servant is a human who is bound to a vampire by something called marks. Only a master vampire can have a human servant and not even all of them. Anything your servant eats, you'll be able to taste. You'll also be able to siphon their energy and enter their dreams. Be careful, though, your servant will be immune to your eyes. Also, if your servant dies, you die too. Plusses for your servant include strength, stamina, healing, resistance to injury, and immunity to disease and poison. These, thankfully, make them harder to kill. You'll need to mark them 4 times to complete the process. Caution! After the 4th mark, they'll be as immortal as you are so pick a good one!
A few points about human servant etiquette: Having to share blood with your human servant is a real faux-pas. Only a lesser vampire needs to take blood from his servant to renew his warmth. A strong vampire can do it with touch alone. But if the servant touches the master too long or forcefully, the servant's skin will deaden for the night. On the flip side, you can get a real buzz from drinking from your servant!
Look into my Eyes...
Unlike humans, your Vampiric powers will increase with age. After a certain point, however, your powers will level out and no amount of aging will make you any stronger.
There are a variety of powers that a master vampire can possess. Each master has a different arsenal of gifts such as calling an animal, levitation, or resistance to silver. You may be able to call wolves, rats, ghosts, or even (say it isn't so!) butterflies! Some other possible powers are:
- Aura - Some vampires can hurt others that have an aura of power. As a general rule only other vampires have this aura but there have been exceptions such as Anita and Larry. They use this aura to cause physical damage without actually having to touch that person.
- Rot - A rare type of vampire is one that can rot and reform at will. It makes them much harder to kill. The only true surety is fire.
- Fear - Some vampires can feed off fear as if it were blood. They are called night hags, or moras.
- Corruption - One of the rarest of vampire talents is the ability to spread corruption from their bite. The bite will cause the victim to rot while still alive. The victim can be healed if another vampire takes the corruption into himself and conquers it. There is danger, for if the vampire is not strong enough, he will rot and die.
- Sex - Some vampires descended from Belle Morte, Beautiful death have the power of sex. They live on it, breath it. They can gain power through sex and use it as a second lure for mortals. In another time they would be considered an incubus. It is a rare power.
- Feel - A master vampire can feel his people like a background noise. In extreme duress, he can feel their pain, their fear. However, this awareness can be blocked by a more powerful vampire, such as a council member.
- Hide - Really old vampires can hide almost in plain site. They have chameleons beat all to hell when it comes to blending in with their surroundings. They can wrap themselves in shadows, then fling them aside like a cloak.
- Smell - Vampires don't rely on scent the way shapeshifters do, but they have a much better sense of smell than humans.
- Cold - Vampires cannot freeze to death and they do not get cold. Most vampires try to play human be wearing coats in the winter but they are not needed.
- Water - Vampires cannot drown. Nor is running water a deterrent to vampires.
- Day Walkers - Some vampires can walk around during the day as long as they are sufficiently sheltered.
- Eyes - All vampires seem to have to ability to enspell or "roll" humans with their eyes.
All vampires are descended from the Vampire Council. The council decides which of them will send their vampires out to make more. For thousands of years, it was the Queen of Nightmares, Morte de Amore or The Dragon. But they grew tired of the games and retreated inside the council chambers. You rarely see them. Belle Morte, Beautiful Death, sent forth her people to populate the world with vampires. Even her blood cannot make the ugly beautiful, though all is improved by her touch.
The Council consists of seven master vampires and acts not so much as a governing body but as a court or police. It is (thankfully) located in far-off France. The council members are masters at finding that which terrifies you most and using it against you. They will use your desires against you and twist everything you are into a shape of their choosing. They are the nightmare on which all vampires are based. The thing that even other vampires fear.
Queen of Nightmares - Head of the Vampire Council
Traveler - Can borrow vamps bodies
Morte d'Amore - Lover of Death
Belle Morte - Beautiful Death
Mr. Oliver - The Earthmover
Padma - Master of Beasts
The Dragon - Unknown
The presence of the council gives unprotected vampires extra power: early rising and perhaps other gifts. I personally don't think its worth it!
Important Safety Tips
Cross - The light hurts your eyes and its touch can leave a nasty scar that will not heal. Remember that the cross must be blessed and backed up by faith. Feel free to munch on any atheist waving a cross at you. Other religious symbols probably work the same but the theory hasn't been sufficiently tested.
On a curious note, be aware that crosses don't always glow around vampires. They seem to wait for ones that mean harm, though there are exceptions both ways.
Holy Wafers - I'm not sure what would happen if you actually touched one - probably a burn. But a holy wafer placed on windows and doors will prevent vampires from entering a building.
Silver - Potentially fatal, depending on your age and where you get hit. The younger you are, the more likely it is to kill you. Wounds caused by silver will heal almost human slow.
Holy Water - Burns like acid. You cannot heal Holy Water burns.
Fire - Vampires are very combustible. Once you get burning, you keep burning 'til someone puts you out.
Burning Metal - Permanent scars can be created if you shove burning metal into a wound. Fire purifies and stops the healing process, unless you reopen the wound.
Daylight - Stay out of it. 'Nuff said.
Reproduction - Vampires cannot make babies without a human partner. Most vamps over 100 are sterile, though using a hot tub to keep the body temperature up seems to help. Newly dead vampire males often have leftover sperm from before death. Doctors recommend you wait six weeks before sex after you've become a vampire. Remember, a baby fathered by a vampire runs the risk of Vlad syndrome, a rare birth defect. This can be tested with an amnio.
Female vamps can get pregnant, usually with the newly dead. But the body spontaneously aborts or reabsorbs the baby. A dead body can't give life.
Tears - Vampire tears are tinged red with blood.
Smell - Vampires in a closed, hot space tend to smell. They don't smell like dead bodies. It's the smell of snakes and yet that isn't it either. It's a neck-ruffling smell. Thick, musky, more reptile than mammal. The smell of vampires.
Glow - Strong emotions, like fear, lust, or anger tend to make lesser vampires lose their humanity. Their skin takes on a translucent, almost glowing quality.
Saliva - Vampires have an anticoagulent in their saliva that keeps the blood flowing.
Bleed - Vampires bleed almost like a person.
- It's a mark of the new dead that they flash their fangs around. The like the shock effect.
- Coffin-bait is a whore that does vampires.
- To stay in a city, all lesser vampires must ask the permission of the Master of the City.
- A vampire who has been invited into a home can be forced to leave if the invitation is revoked. You will hear a sound like a low sonic pop. A great roaring will fill the room. The door will smash open and a wind will rush in like an invisible river. The vampire will be forcibly removed as if by an invisible hand. The door will slam shut behind him. A vampire invitation can be revoked only by the person who issued it.
- Anita has never met an older vampire that drives. The older vamps tend to be a bit technophobic.
- Vampires offer their throat, or wrist, or the bend of their elbow to each other as a formal greeting. The lesser offer up their flesh to the greater as an acknowledgment of power.
- When a vampire's companion places their hand on the pulse of the vampire's wrist, it declares their status. It shows that they are his human servant or lover and that the vampire considers them his equal.
A Bit of History
Two hundred years ago the Church joined forces with the military in Germany, England, and almost every European country except France. They burned out every vampire or suspected vampire sympathizer in a single day. The history books call is the Day of Cleansing. Vampires call it the Inferno.
It is believed that France did not join because the King of France had a vampire mistress. The French Revolutionaries put out propaganda that the nobility were all vampires at one point, which wasn't true of course. Some say that's why the guillotine was so popular. It kills both the living and the undead.
When you go to "sleep" for the day it is like dying. It is not gradual like going to sleep. There is pain the your eyes will close all at once. Either your soul or the force that animates you will leave your body. You will not breath and you will have no pulse. You are dead.The Lesser Smokey Mountain Troll is one of the smallest of the North American trolls They average between three and a half feet to five feet. They are mostly vegetarians but will supplement their diet with carrion and insects. The North American Cave Troll is the only species on this continent smaller than the Lesser Smokey. Trolls were the first protected species in America. The Greater Smokey Mountain Trolls were eight to twelve feet tall and carnivorous. They were not protected. It was hunted to extinction; but then, it pulled up large trees and beat the tourists to death and sucked the marrow from their bones. Hard to get good press that way.An animator zombie is a killer zombie who was an animator or necromancer when they were alive. They need to feed on flesh before they can remember their lives. They must be burned to be killed.Animalistic vampires are like PCP addicts. They don't feel pain. Crosses will not work against them. The only person who can control an animalistic vampire, would be the vampire who made it.
Normally a person who is killed by more than one vampire, in a mass feeding, cannot rise as a vampire. You must have one vampire feeding over a space of several days. Three bites ending with death, and you get a vampire. But sometimes a very powerful vampire can contaminate every corpse it touches. And if in addition, the person dies of multiple wounds, the corpse will rise as an animalistic vampire.
Ghosts can't actually hurt you as long as you keep moving and ignore them. Every time you notice them, you give them power to manifest themselves. When they pass through you, it feels like a shock of electricity.Lamias have retractable fangs and a forked tongue in human form. The fangs are poisonous. In lamia form, the upper body is human while the lower body is that of a snake. Lamias are immortal, but have been listed as extinct for 200 years. Jean-Claude has one (Melanie) working for him at the Circus of the Damned.Nagas are creatures from Hindu legend. They're mostly pictured as snakes, particularly cobras. They can take human form. Or appear as snakes with human heads. They're the guardians of raindrops and pearls. Nagas are immortal.A human psychic or witch that acts as a wise woman for a werewolf pack. A vargamor is not lukoi and is always neutral. She never fights or takes sides in challenges. This allows her to remain human, yet still run with the pack. Most packs consider having a vargamor old-fashioned and no longer have one.Wererats refer to themselves as the rodere. The St. Louis rodere is known as the Dark Crown Clan and their rat king is Rafael. The Dark Crown Clan is allied with the werewolves, though technically, they are allied with Richard, not the pack.
Since rats are small you would think that they would be a prey animal. But rats are omniverous. They eat anything that crosses their path, including humans, if they can't get away. A wererat is not a small thing. They are large enough to be the predators that their namesakes cannot be.Unlike "real" leopards¹, wereleopards are not solitary and have a pack structure. Wereleopards refer to themselves as the "pard". The female leader of the pard is called the Nimir-Ra, or leopard queen. A male king is called a Nimir-Raj. Leopard Kings and Queens are rare. If a leader is not a king or queen, they are known as a leoparde lionne or lion passant.
Leopard lionne is a term from French heraldry. It's a leopard, or even a lion, rampant in action on a crest. It symbolizes brave and generous warriors having done some brave deed. In the case of the wereleopards, it means protector, even an avenger.
A lion passant is a sleeping lion. This would be a leader that led but did not protect.
How to Become a Werewolf
The least painful way to become a werewolf¹ is to get a bad batch of lycanthropy¹ serum. However, if you're afraid of needles, you can become infected by a werewolf ² in wolf form. Lycanthropes are not contagious in human form and not every kind of lycanthropy is equally contagious. You can get cut to pieces by a weretiger and not get it. A werewolf can barely cut you and you get furry. Almost none of the cat-based lycanthropy are as contagious as wolf and rat. No one knows why. It just the way it works.
When you become infected with lycanthropy it usually takes weeks, or at least until the first full moon for the first shape change. The first change is very violent and you will experience some memory loss. The first few full moons will be almost complete blackouts. This is a temporary condition.
You should have control over the shift unless it is the full moon. The more powerful you are, the more you will be able to control the shift. The closer to the full moon it is, the harder it will be to control your "beast." Usually you will stay in animal form for eight to ten hours, then collapse and change back to human form. It takes a lot of energy to shapeshift early. Werewolves usually spike a temperature right before they change, like a human before a seizure.
Perks, Powers and Drawbacks
Your strength and speed will be greatly enhanced. You will be very hard to kill and heal quickly. Sometimes without medical attention you can scar though. Many injuries can be healed quickly by shapechanging.
Be prepared to hurt when seriously injured, because anesthesia doesn't work well on you. Your body metabolizes it too quickly. Wounds made by silver heal slower and silver can kill you. A vampire wound is alot like silver, it can kill and most heal from those wounds as if they were human. Wounds made by the teeth or claws of another lycanthrope also heal slower, but not as slow as silver or vampire.
Lukoi - Once you've become infected, you need to join a pack. Usually someone in the pack will sponsor you through the first few months till you get the hang of things. Your new werewolf family calls themselves the Lukoi.
Dominance - Your standing in the pack will depend upon how "dominant" you are. You establish your dominance by challenging other pack members. Dominance fights are rarely to the death and sometimes are not physical fights at all. If the werewolf being challenged does not wish to fight, they simply acknowledge your dominance, and thats that. The highest ranking pack member is the Ulfric, or wolf king.
Ulfric - If you want to be the Ulfric of your pack, you need to be a dominate alpha male (or in rare cases a dominate alpha female). You become Ulfric by killing the existing Ulfric. Fights for the leadership are always to the death.
Fenrir - Once you state your challenge, you will be known as Fenrir¹, challenger. Assuming everything goes well and you kill the old leader, you then get to choose your lupa.
Lupa - The lupa¹ is an alpha female who will be your mate. Alpha couples usually bind for life, so pick a good one. You will probably choose to marry each other in real life, not just in the pack.
Freki/Geri - You will also need to choose your second-in-command, or Freki. There can be two seconds, Freki¹ and Geri¹.
Skoll/Hati - There are also two enforcers. The head enforcer is called Skoll¹ and the second is called Hati¹
Bolverk - Be good or the Bolverk¹ might get you! Bolverk is the title for what amounts to someone who does the Ulfric's evil deeds. It can be anything from trickery, to lies, to murder.
The Munin¹ are spirits of the dead werewolves. They exist in sort of a racial memory bank. These memories can be accessed by lukoi who have the ability to speak with them. It a very rare ability.
You become part of the munin by being eaten by the pack when you die. When a pack member is killed, the rest of the pack feeds on the dead body. The dead are not really gone as long as the pack remains. Yummy.
Sex With Humans
You must remember that you're much stronger than a human. If you get carried away you can seriously hurt or even kill a human partner. In fact, the lukoi refer to sex as the "killing dance." And doing the "wild thing" can release your beast early. Not shifting is considered holding back. Rather shocking for the poor human who doesn't know what you are! And often fatal.
Normally your sponsor will teach you about the dangers of sex with humans. If this is not possible, you may be assigned to a Eros or Eranthe who will act as sexual surrogates.
Say Hello - A formal greeting between lukoi is like one friendly wolf greeting another. You rub your cheek along the other person's cheek, then bury your nose in the hair behind their ear.
A submissive greeting in public is a soft kiss, fingers lightly holding their face. In private you run your tongue across their lower lip.
Get Help - To petition another pack member for protection, you move in close without actually touching them. If your petition is accepted, the pack member will touch you. If they don't touch you - run!
Truth in Death
If one werewolf kills another in a hand-to-hand fight, all the loser's possessions will belong to the victor.
Shapeshifters always change back to their original form in death. Always.