Alucardian Psionovariates are not a race of their own, contrary to popular belief. Instead, they are a biodiverse sub-species found within the ranks of most sentient races, particularly those races who are potentially susceptible to the particular genetic mutations which allows for Psionic manipulations, such as reHumans or the Tiur.
They have been referenced in Old Terran history time and time again. Alucardian Psionovariates in Old Terran history go my names like Vampires, Draugr, Kappa, Lamia and many others, but constantly refer to those who use the life force of others to feed into their seemingly supernatural powers. Normally, this siphoning of life force is through the blood, though this is however, not an exclusive (or efficient, as we will soon see) to obtain vital energies - though for most Alucardians, it is often times easiest.
What is a Psionovariate?
Simply, a Psionovariate is a Psionic individual who does not, and indeed cannot, draw Psionic power from his/her own mental reserves. This represents a particularly abnormal deviation from the already small number of Psionics in most societies, being less than 5% of the between 1% of Psionics in the total population. This alone, however, is not enough of a biological variation to be considered a sub-species of a given species.
Upon closer inspection however, we find several strange biological abnormalities that is cause enough to warrant Psionovariates a sub-species. There are four categories of Psionovariates that occur within reHuman society, the most common of which being Alucardian (life energy), the other three being Teumian (divine energy), Entropian (chaotic energy) and Xenorian (outside energy.)
Alucardian Psionovariates biologically differ in the fact that they have a brittle, often times near colorless epidermis, being sensitive to sunlight and often times burning in the slightest bit of ultraviolet exposure. Their canines are elongated and pointed by about an inch, and their incisors also boast a similar cutting edge. Their eyes are almost always a deep, velvet red, a trait which often goes overlooked and unnoticed in certain reHuman societies, for which that genetic trait is considered normal. They have a stomach about half the size of a normal human's and can subsist on little to no food for much longer. Alcohol and drugs seem to run their course quickly through Alucardian metabolisms, with little to no effect save for in cases of obscene overdose.
However, the most striking variances in Alucardian Psionovariates are two sets of glands that the vast, vast majority of reHumans lack. One set of glands looks like little more than a slit on either side of the neck, almost like a gill, nearly unnoticeable unless within a very personal range. Beneath these slits are two sack-like organs that secrete and atomize very potent hormones, at the complete and utter volition of the individual Alucardian. The second unique Alucardian gland is located in the brain, where the brain stem meets the cerebellum. Atop the medulla oblongata, this organ sits, connected to the cerebellum. The gland, known simply as the "Alucard Gland" offers the Alucardian superior motor control, balance and agility. In some cases, the mastery, grace and proficiency with which the Alucardian simply moves seems to defy physics and reality. While these two organs seem to be good evidence that these particular variations are at least one paradigm shift away from normal reHumanity, it is their latent psionic powers that separates them perhaps even more.
What do they do?
As mentioned before, all Psionovariates can indeed use Psionics, but cannot draw Psionic volitions from their own selves. While the other Psionovariates draw their energy from things like chaos, gods or even forces outside our own perceptions, Alucardians draw their energies from living essence.
Long ago, Alucardians would use their intense powers of persuasion (hormonally) to seduce and break a victim into becoming a living feed-bag of sorts. This usually involved draining the victim, actively, of life until nothing was left but a dry husk. Because blood is the most obvious force that keeps us living, the slow transition a body makes from living to dying can literally be measured in cups, liters or pints of blood. That translated very easy into how much psionic energy an Alucardian Psionovariate attains at every feeding.
However, this became a very primitive, stone age method for gaining life energy. Blood was easily measurable, and with the allure and charm that Alucardians naturally had, it was readily available provided that one had enough time and privacy to seduce a victim. But as with all physical mediums, some of the more abstract and metaphysical power is lost by simply imbibing of the blood. Without getting to complex, processing life force and converting it into psionic power is much like eating a piece of celery: you have to eat ALOT of celery to make up for the calories lost in simply consuming that celery.
It was discovered that a more ready source of psionic energy could be tapped into by causing pain. This discovery is attributed to an Old Terran named Vlad Dracula, who had a nasty habit of impaling his victims after they had been bled to near death. He found that the radiating waves of pain fed his urges better than an entire body's worth of blood. Pain inevitably leads to death, provided that the pain is severe enough. Therefore, pain and suffering, is a driving, attainable source of food for the enterprising Alucardian, and it's notable, that this pain may be self inflicted if one is in need of a quick boost. Pain, more abstract in many ways than pints of blood, and certainly not as easily quantifiable to normal people, has become the chosen medium for most functional, societal and civilized Alucardians.
It may almost seem like a joke to say that these functional Alucardians often take jobs as Prosecuting Lawyers or Bankers, but jobs like this offer a steady trickle of life force by inducing small, copeable amounts of pain to a vast number of people. This is supplemented by drinks of either human Bloodwyne, normally donated, or by predatory off-the-books hunting.
Alucardian Psionovariates and Psionics
For Alucardians, Psionics is not just a matter of volitional manipulation and simply tricking someone's brain into thinking that their body is on fire. Potent Psions can do that with ease, and that same tendency comes naturally to Psionovariates. They have all the powers of a normal Psion, and like Psions their potency comes with time, practice and natural aptitude.
However, Psionovariates do not have an infinite supply of it. Psions are only limited by how much mental reserve they have, and how fast those reserves fill back up after exhausting them. Psionovariates, on the other hand, have to be much more careful about how they expend their energy, and where they will get more once it is expended.
Alucardian Psionovariates tend to emit passive auras of Psionic manipulation. These auras, cast in a sphere or half-sphere around them for a couple meters, only requires a passive, infinitesimal trickle of energy, and are usually tricks of the eye. Old tricks include fooling the mind into thinking one is undead by suggesting that they have no reflection, or constantly emiting an uncomfortable shadowless form when in natural light.
Turning into bat, snake or other creature-of-the-night is also fabrication, another mind-trick that expends little to no psionic energy, but can result in a frightful scare or at least a momentary distraction. Their seemingly haunting ability to move across walls or close great distances in a single bound, is a careful manipulation of the physical brain's perception of time and space, augmented by their already superb agility, a trick that can be overcome with careful concentration and a staunchly defended mind.
When called upon, Psionovariates can conjure up amazing volitional psionics just as adeptly as any normal Psionic. These volitions, usually with intent to harm, are intensely exhaustive and tiring, and are of course, used at a large hit to their willpower and life-force reserves. While utilizing these "Active Psionic Abilities" can certainly manifest a very powerful burst of psionic energy, it is done at the expensive of quite a bit of the precious life-force energy that not only fuels an Alucardians Psionic abilities, but very essence and vital energies necessary for bodily functions.
Cruxluaca, or "Bloodlack", was coined when New Terran Alucardians suffered from low life-force intake. Normally, this could be cured temporarily by causing a bit of suffering to one's self, much like dehydration can be cured temporarily by drinking one's own urine; it's not a permanent solution, but it will keep one sane and alive until a more ready source of life-force income came by.
However, severe Cruxluaca can decline to the point of near feral levels. Cruxluacends, or Feral Alucardians, look much like one would envision a vampire-Neanderthal, emaciated, unkempt, pale and ragged, frothing at the mouth and jumping to attack the first living thing they see. Cruxluacends should be avoided at all costs, and are willing to forsake themselves and all around them for the flow of life through their veins.
Should it continue Cruxluaca will result in the death of the Alucardian Psionovariate. All Psions and Psionovariates circulate psionic energy within their ley-lines, similar to the way blood that flows through our veins, or more appropriately like the way we ingest nutrients. Much like an overdose or starvation, too much or too little will kill or at least incapacitate.
Alucardians exist as hushed realities in Greatland, Sahar and Orientalis, today. They still retain many of their old names, and their mention still ripples people with waves of fear. They exist as mercenaries or harsh lords, Inquisitors, Auditors, bankers or lawyers and a number of other occupations that rewards them with a steady stream of nutrients. When times get hard, animals sometimes go missing (though to an Alucardian, that's much like subsisting on leaves of iceberg lettuce) and when times get really hard, it's probably unsafe to walk a lonely road without an escort (which, you should have regardless of the times.) And of course, there is always the rogue Alucardian who goes mad with bloodlust or bloodlack.
The Ark has always employed Psions as high ranking Inquistors, used as special agents to trick enemies, spies or potential threats into spilling information about critical situations. Inquisitor Felix von Kaesnecht is a decorated and shining example of a normal, successful Psionic Inquisitor. But there are those individuals, trained by years and years of anti-psionic conditioning, to resist hours normal Psionic Intrusion and have the willpower to simply shrug off physical torture. These individuals are particularly threatening because typical psionics simply cannot get into their head -effectively nullifying their powers.
So, it becomes necessary to outlast the mental defenses of these types of individuals. As stated before, normal Psionics simply exhaust themselves - with no constant flow of Psionic Energy they need to take a break. They neither gain anything from their target, nor do they replenish any willpower of their own. This is where the dynamic of life-force siphoning and the Alucardian Psionovariates come into play.
Perhaps the most feared individual of the Ark's Inquisitorial Arm is High Inquisitor Matthias Hellenbrecht. His capacity to cause fear, pain and discomfort are legend in the circles privileged enough to know of his existence. Hellenbrecht is an Alucardian Psionovariate from the southern cliffs of Teutonia, a veritable secret weapon used to break high priority targets, which normal reHuman Inquisitors simply cannot crack. Those around him, friend or foe, cannot help but feel a intensely uncomfortable and fearful for their lives, even if he is not a direct threat to them. Those proximal to him claim to have split-second flashes of malicious visions, or that he sometimes moves in a way contrary to how a normal person should walk. His normal disguise of a hooded robe and shadowed face helps to further his mysterious status.
He uses Passive Psionic Auras to manipulate the area around him to his liking, to instil a dire fear in the heart of his targets, while using low-power Active Psionics to make his targets torture themselves, releasing an excess of fear and pain, both of which the Inquisitor absorbs and uses as fuel. So long as the target of the psionic assault continues to radiate even a small amount of pain and fear, an Alucardian has more than enough ammunition and power to stand for hours of mental intrusion. Eventually, even the strongest walls break down. His tactics are brutal and ethically reprehensible, but his efficiency is laudable, and most of his victims come out battered, fingerless or insane, but alive - a praise which most reHuman Inquisitors do not recieve.