Seeing the great discussion brewing here, a few words to the origin could be of use. I certainly like the concept of vampires, but seeing a few too many movies, where the ability to spawn made them little more than fast-breeding animals (or zombies of a different kind), I wanted something different. Seems like it was a success. :)
On to the discussion:
- Scrasamax correctly notes, that they lose a part of the trademark vampiric horror factor; but not without replacement
- the Kung Fu master parallel is an interesting one, and partially valid for the actual teaching... though it doesn't do justice to the seduction involved ("See, how easy the life is lost. It will always trickle away from you, and there is only little you can do to delay the inevitable.")
- just for the record, individual vampires of this kind - or of the 'standard' one you talk about - can be horrific or tragic, sensual or bestial. None of these features seem to be determined by their natures.
- agree that they don't just 'choose evil'. They choose immortality, or power, or simply greater control over their life. Evil comes afterwards.
Let me insert a little more on the seduction aspect... studying is a very elegant way of becoming a vampire. There is no one, who would make the starting decision for you - you are not bitten by something in the dark, and oops, you're a monster. Instead, you turn yourself into the monster, and you don't even have to notice. There will be just a small price to pay for all the bonuses, but it will grow in time... what a pretty path to evil.
So the beginning is much easier for this kind of vampire - you'll get the powers, a prolonged normal life, and the check on endless existence. But to some (relatively) decent folk, the horror known to classical vampires will come as well - if you don't feed, you'll die. With the added bonus of you being no victim at all... you made it all on your own.
(Okay, I'm running out of breath here, and didn't touch half of what I wanted; may add more stuff later. Anyway, it is a good exchange, and special thanks belong to dark_dragon for valiantly defending my cause. TY.) Go to Comment
As said elsewhere, this piece was inspired by too many movies and stories, where their breeding ability degraded vampires into yet another case of zombies. And so came the idea of something completely opposite.
But you are right: this can be the 'official' philosophy of the vampires, or at least some of them, to rationalize their existence, or even to attract mortal followers. They can still be the bloodsucking fiends as we know them. Maybe this is the truth; maybe it is just a cover; maybe is the truth completely different. More mystery doesn't hurt here. Go to Comment
I have been hesitant to comment on this submission considering that I have long been a fan of the vampire, and particularly played Vampire for close to a decade now. I see that this submission has been very well recieved but I do not share the enthusiasm of the other members.
I particularly do not like the essence of vampire section since it makes becoming a vampire a willing choice as benefit of secret knowledge. This in many ways removes the horrific aspect of being a vampire, the innate sense of violation that comes with being slain by a member of the undead and brought back into a mockery of life by the gift of blood. Reading the philosophy and essence sections left me with the Kung-Fu master impression of Vampires, do as I say and I will show you the secret to immortal life, you will become one with the blood, yadda yadda yadda.
This take on vampires leaves me unmoved. They are neither horrific or tragic, nor sensual or bestial. Go to Comment
Again, I disagree. These vampires are philosophers, and I think the conscious choice to become evil is a bit trite and cliche. With the exception of Richard III, no one sets out to be a villain. As for dehumanization, we dont need any sort of supernatural agent for that, we can do that fairly well in terms of race, nationality, creed, gender, etc. It's just another extension of us good, them bad. Horror be definition is a cerebral responce rather than the viceral or gut response of terror. Horror is a person torn from their normal life and cast into darkness, forced to subsist on the blood and lives of others or face their own death. Terror is the person running from said vampire. These guys are as cold and clinical as the standard Liche and I remain unimpressed. Go to Comment
Hot. Dang. That's possibly the best remake of vampires I've ever seen or heard of. Excellent manfred! If only there was a small bit more, it would get a straight five from me. It just seemed slightly lacking in small areas. Go to Comment
This post makes it even more terrifying. If a man is compelled to murder through some baser instinct or powerful magics, it is a way for him to be de-humanised by the rest of us. We can polarise our perception and make a distinction between them and us.
If these being chose their fate, however, they become worst than the vilest beasts. They choose evil, knowing all the facts and implications. Instead of external corruption, they choose to corrupt themselves. It brings the vampires and their deeds far closer to humanity than previously. There is no them and us, but we, and their evil is ours too.
They are, I will agree, neither tragic, nor sensual, nor bestial.
In effect, you would find a Vampire, or the realisation of you own fate as a blood sucking fiend (the ones you describe) more horrific than, say, Hitler, or the realisation that a man can be willingly corrupted beyond measure (only use him as a very well know example, there are countless others).
Am I correct?
It might also be a perspective thing. Horror from the realisation of your own fate as an undead is different from the horror felt when you realise what manfred's dhampiri are from an unaffected POV (ie: their next meal). Since you have played Vampire, I suspect that you may be more familiar with the internal sensation and realisation rather than the other horror?
(On a sidenote, I have no idea what a 'standard' Liche is, having never played d&d. Liches (the idea) seem vile beyond measure, compared to your description of a vampire, which makes the bloodsucker feel more like an unwilling victim one might pity.) Go to Comment