Vampirism is a biological condition caused by a Parvovirus, not a supernatural affliction, although the ritual to awaken the vampire blood god La Magra using pureblood vampires indicates that the vampire virus does possess some supernatural elements. Vampires are a biological species, being a branch of Homo sapiens called Homines nocturnae and as such they are not affected by religious symbols such as crucifixes and holy water. Other attributes traditionally associated with vampires such as turning into mist or a bat are false. Vampires are intricately involved in most aspects of modern human society and most have become adapt at manipulating the capitalisticnature of society to cover up and finance their illegal and unethical activities. Vampires also possess their own language, which many vampires speak. The vampire language contains consonants which are physically impossible for a human to produce. This language also has its own writing system, referred to as "vampire glyphs", which are often used in graffiti to mark vampire hideouts.
Vampirism is a virus often transferred via the saliva of a vampire into the victim's bloodstream through a bite. The incubation period is 72 hours after infection for the virus to mutate the victim to become a vampire by creating new parasitic organs; even a person who is killed shortly after becoming infected can be turned and revive as a vampire if the infected individual is not properly drained of blood. Infected humans become vampires within a few hours after infection when they are killed after becoming infected. Marcus Van Sciver reveals that transformation from bites is not a highly reliable means of transmitting the vampire virus and is considered uncivilized and savage. He turns Krista Starr simply by injecting her with his blood via hypodermic syringe and dropping her from a two story building onto a car, killing her. She rises as a vampire over one hour later. When an infected person is dead while turning into a vampire, they experience an After Death Experience (or ADE); in which they have visions both of their own dreams and memories as their cognitive functions reconstruct, and of when the vampire that infected them was turned (the latter is obtained via the infector's genetic memories transferred to the infected person). The ADE also gives a permanent neuro-genetic connection between the new vampire and the vampire that turned them, although it is usually difficult to access and can only be triggered via a specified blood ritual.
A vampire cannot produce sufficient or any amounts of hemoglobin as the vampire virus burns away what is produced, which is why vampires must feed on blood (preferably human). Ordinary food is edible to vampires, but provides little to no nutritional value and is usually done only for pleasure. This need for human blood (or blood in general) is known as "the Thirst" and is considered to be a vampiric weakness as well as the primal urge that drives all vampires and permeates every aspect of their existence.
Vampire society on the local or regional level is broken up into over a dozen major clans or 'Houses', e.g. the House of Erebus or the House of Chthon. The Houses form a united front in the Vampire Nation; the international governing hierarchy of the entire vampire race.
Over the generations, the vampires have developed an international power cabal; they control about half of the global financial institutions and own the police, bribing off human officials throughout the world to ignore and/or aid their activities. The Vampire Nation's leadership has decided that a full-scale war with humans is undesirable, so they maintain a secret truce with human governments; human politicians will ignore the vampires, and in return, the vampires will keep their numbers relatively low (not turning too many humans into new vampires).
Most of the Vampire Nation believes maintaining the truce is in their best interests. Occasionally renegade vampires pop up who disregard the Vampire Nation's rule. One such renegade Deacon Frost who felt that vampires should rule humans directly. Frost's actions were considered dangerous by the House of Erebus, with one leader warning him that the human governments would make things very difficult for them if their numbers increased too much.
Pure-Blood and Turn-Blood Vampires Edit
Vampires are divided into two socio-biological categories; Pure-Blood and Turn-Blood. Pure-Bloods are born as vampires, the offspring of two people who are already vampires; this happens very rarely. Turn-Bloods vampires have had a human existence before becoming a vampire and are looked at with disdain by most of the Pure-Bloods due to their lack of vampiric purity, seeing them as a lesser breed or false vampires.
Pure-Bloods age very slowly, more so than Turn-Bloods. For example, Charlotte, a Pure-Blood vampire of the House of Chthon, was about 300 years old at the time Blade killed her, and still maintained the youthful appearance of a little girl. A Pure-Blood vampire that looks like an elderly adult is truly ancient. While vampires do have a massively extended lifespan, it is still limited and that they are still subject to the laws of natural selection.
Very few pure-blooded vampires have scars. This is because Pure-Bloods have the vampire ability to biologically regenerate from birth, meaning that unless injured with silver, they will heal all injuries flawlessly and age at and incredibly slow pace; whereas any scars a turned vampire gained as a human will not fully regenerate as injuries the Turn-Blood sustains as a vampire will. While all vampires are capable of having offspring both through reproduction and turning, the birth-rate between mating vampires is so low that it is practically non-existence (even after many centuries, they may only have one or two children).
A Pure-Blood vampire is unable to become human, due to the vampire virus being part of their DNA. The viral DNA coding means the virus is constantly being replicated by their body. This is not the case with Turn-Bloods. A retrovirus was found that can return non-pure-blood vampires to their human state, although there are some cases in which turned vampires cannot be cured.
The differences between Pure-Blood and Turn-Blood vampires results in a class system, according to Pure-Blood or Turn-Blood status. Pure-Bloods tend to take positions of dominance, regarding themselves as superior and looking upon Turn-Bloods with contempt. Turn-Bloods are often lackeys, minions, or lieutenants. Turn-Blood reaction to this of affairs is diverse and varies between individuals, some accept the hierarchy as natural, while others look upon Pure-Bloods with disdain.
Familiars are humans who willingly serve vampires. Familiars serve vampires in exchange for wealth, protection, and the possibility of one day being rewarded for their service by being turned into a vampire themselves. Familiars usually have tattoos of vampire glyphs located somewhere on their body (e.g. the back, neck, or base of the wrist), which is much like a cattle-brand. This glyph warns other vampires that if they attempt to feed or harm this human, they will have to answer to the vampire he/she serves. Familiars can function in daylight and may occupy crucial positions in human society which aid the vampires' infiltration, i.e. police officers, prison psychologists, powerful lawyers, teachers, etc.
Daywalkers are a type of vampire or half-vampire who can walk in the daylight without harm. Blade is a Daywalker due to his mother being bitten and turned while she was pregnant with him. As a result, he has all of their strengths, but none of their weaknesses. Drake is another Daywalker. As the first vampire, he is strongger than most of his descendants. Daywalkers still have the vampiric need for blood; Blade staves this off using injections of a special serum, but over time, his body builds up a tolerance to it and he has to develop a new one. Vampires have a much lower body heat temperature than humans, particularly apparent when viewed through a heat vision scanner, while a Daywalker can give off the normal heat signature of a human.
Daywalkers are exceedingly rare; Blade and Drake were the only two of their kind before Drake's death, leaving Blade to be the only Daywalker on Earth. Vampires are very jealous of Daywalkers and would have tried to create more Daywalkers if it were easy to achieve.
On extremely rare occasions, something goes horribly wrong in the normal transition process from infected human to vampire. The result is a Revenant, a badly malformed zombie-like creature. The reason for this is not understood and it is unpredictable, though such “mistakes” occur so infrequently that vampires do not usually consider it when they try to turn a human. Pallid and cadaverous, a Revenant is covered in patches of dying flesh that are shedding and sloughing off. Revanants have an insatiable desire to eat anything, from animals, rodents, and corpses, to humans and even vampires. Revenants are still conscious and capable of complex speech, but their minds are clearly deranged. Vampires usually destroy Revenants when they occur.
Karen’s ex-boyfriend Curtis was infected by Quinn, but to the surprise of Quinn and Frost he turned into a Revenant. They attempted to feed Karen to him, but she bashed him in the head with a bone and was able to escape.
Reapers are a deadlier breed of vampires. Eli Damaskinos, an ancient vampire elder, created this breed in a quest to eliminate the weaknesses of the vampire race via genetic sequencing of his own pureblood DNA. Carriers of the Reaper strain are known as "Reapers". Their heightened metabolism prompts them to feed every couple of hours or else they'll start feeding on themselves; thus, the strain spreads rapidly. With the exception of the first Reaper, Jared Nomak, they are incapable of human speech, communicating through snarls and growls, though they retain enough intelligence to follow Nomak's orders, attack in an organized way, feign private and civilized behavior in public when not attacking, and set traps for their enemies and prey.
Strengths & Weaknesses Edit
- A thick case of bone, covering their heart in the front and back, making it near-impossible to be staked directly.
- A 'three-way' jaw, in which the two sides of the lower jaw split apart at the chin. The left and right sides of the lower jaw have fangs that inject a neurotoxin to paralyze their victims while feeding. This jaw is easily concealed, allowing the Reaper to surprise the victim. Their mouth also contains a toothed, inner proboscis: this does the actual bloodsucking when the Reaper's three-way jaw splits apart, and is what transmits the Reaper strain into the victim. In addition, a Reaper's mouth has overdeveloped masseter muscles which allow for a much stronger bite.
- The ability to transfer the Reaper strain to victims through a bite. The virus is carried by barbs through the Reaper's tongue.
- The ability to turn even a dead victim into a Reaper.
- A highly evolved thirst, which allows them to feed on both humans and normal vampires alike.
- Even greater strength and durability than normal vampires. Standard vampires will at least be stunned if shot by standard, non-silver bullets, but Reapers practically shrug off automatic weapons fire.
- Total resistance to silver and garlic.
- Improved resistance to EDTA. While normal vampires literally explode into a cloud of blood after several seconds if injected with EDTA, Nomak was only briefly stunned and in moderate pain, before shrugging it off with no long-term damage.
The only Reaper weaknesses are to sunlight/ultraviolet light (which causes them to combust almost instantly), and the constant pain caused by the virus which is only satiated by feeding daily. Impaling a Reaper through the heart is possible, but difficult due to the extra layer of hardened bone. Because the heart is protected in the front and back by bone plate armor, it is necessary to impale a Reaper from the side, which is very difficult. Additionally, with the exception of Nomak, all other Reapers are so dependent on fresh blood that their bodies will start to consume themselves if they are unable to feed for a couple of hours; their bodies will still try and 'feed' even after their brains die.
Powers & Abilities Edit
- Immortality: Vampires are biologically immortal and age significantly slower than humans, granting them a greatly extended lifespan. Vampires can live for centuries, if not millennium.
- Superhuman Strength: Vampires possess inhuman strength equivalent to that of ten strong men; roughly strong enough to press 5 tons. They can leap large distances and deliver powerful blows; sufficient to throw an adult male human across a room with enough force to crack solid surfaces such as concrete. All vampires have the advantage of overwhelming raw physical strength against any human opponent, although vampires who do not have the discipline or experience to hone their super strength, typically young vampires, with a patient fighting style very often fall to well-trained human vampire hunters. This may also apply to older vampires who are simply too arrogant and too confident in their abilities to consider humans a threat. Thus, only the eldest, wisest and most patient of vampires who combine the full force of their inhuman physical power with centuries of experience and discipline are able to prove virtually unstoppable; even a turned-blood may defeat a pureblood under such circumstances.
- Superhuman Agility: Vampires move with great agility, celerity, and flexibility. They are also able to scale sheer surfaces including walls and ceilings. Krista Starr, a newborn vampire, was able to jump from her window onto the roof of another building in a single bound. Deacon Frost was able to easily dodge bullets fired by Blade.
- Superhuman Senses: A vampire's senses are sharper than those of a human. They can see into the ultraviolet spectrum and see clearly in total darkness. Their sense of smell allows them to smell blood.
- Accelerated Healing Factor: A vampire's wounds tend only to slow the vampire down temporarily, healing quickly (in some cases regenerating entire body parts). This process is accelerated by the amount of hemoglobin absorbed from blood. Vampires are immune to terrestrial illnesses and diseases.
- Blood-Thirst: Because vampires have an inability to sustain enough hemoglobin (virus causes hemolysis) they develop a form of anemia. This causes them to have a craving for blood, similar to food craving and substance dependence. If a vampire does not feed on blood for a long period of time, it will develop withdrawal symptoms and become gradually weaker and eventually die. The need for blood is referred to as 'the Thirst' and is considered the defining and driving factor of all vampires.
- Ultraviolet Light: Being exposed to sunlight will severely burn and ultimately kill a vampire. This is not a supernatural relationship with the sun, as any UV light source will harm a vampire due to their inability to produce defenses in the skin. Blade uses a portable UV flashlight unit in the first film, and by the second film is using smaller gun-mounted UV lights. Some vampires have discovered that by applying heavy amounts of sunblock, mascara, or other materials to their exposed skin, they can functionally move around in daylight for a limited length of time without significant harm. Others have worn full-body covering suits i.e. motorcycle helmets to move around during the day. Those that produce a natural defense in the body from UV-light, allowing them to move around in daylight are called 'Daywalkers'.
- Silver & Garlic: Vampires are fatally allergic to silver and garlic which causes them to go into anaphylactic shock and possibly death. For this reason vampire-hunters like Blade rely on weapons made of silver, such as hollowpoint silver bullets filled with garlic. Non-lethal wounds from silver weapons are more difficult for vampires to heal. Whistler also developed an aerosol mace composed of silver nitrate mixed with garlic, which was quite effective.
- Ethylenediaminetetraacetic Acid: The EDTA blood-thinner used in hospitals for clearing out blood clots in arteries reacts incredibly violently with vampire blood. Injecting a vampire with a syringe filled with EDTA will cause them to literally explode into a cloud of blood in a matter of seconds.