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Figuring out Vampires

Discussion in 'World Building' started by OberonLordofSylva, Jun 26, 2020.

  1. OberonLordofSylva

    OberonLordofSylva Troubadour

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    So I've been thinking about Vampires lately. In my world they're gory monsters born from failed alchemy that practice an exclusive form of magic called Blood Magic. Blood Magic is powered by Vampiric Energy, a power source separate from the Symbolic Energy used by mortal magicians. Problem is, I'm having trouble figuring out the exact nuances of Vampiric Energy such as how it's generated or how it interacts with specific races. I'm thinking along the lines of "Vampiric Energy is generated by the symbolic transference of life" but that would make Vampiric Energy a type of Symbolic Energy which I can do but I also kind of don't want to do. I'm just on the fence about it and I would really appreciate feedback. Thanks in advance!
     
  2. MythicLearner

    MythicLearner Dreamer

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    It is ok for the common idea of vampires. The vampire gets power from the blood and it is a friend with a demon race. The vampire cast magic like a magician after all it can read the book lol.
     
  3. OberonLordofSylva

    OberonLordofSylva Troubadour

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    I suppose I'm overthinking this. Although I don't know what "book" your talking about. I assume it's some sort of spellbook.
     
  4. MythicLearner

    MythicLearner Dreamer

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    Sorry for being unclear. Yes, the spellbook like Lord of the Ring magic book. Cult of Cthulhu H.P Lovecraft, and J. R. R. Tolkien magic. The sky is limited. It is your fantasy world. I do not think the readers are that mean.

    I understand where you are coming from. I am knowledgeable in the field of psychology. Many writers here are shy and just cautious which is really good. But do not work too hard, you are your worst critics.;)
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2020
  5. Might be a stretch, and not visceral enough for your work, but what about the idea of Vampiric energy being somewhat emotional? Certainly even in the oldest of vampire tales there's something to the irresistible draw of the victims to vampires. While this is often played out as a hypnotic trance I think here of things like the more recent idea of, "emotional vampires" and how they might feed and build their strength on the strong emotions of others. Perhaps a balance is required between blood and emotion? The idea of tying in with people who are, what we used to call, "unaffected", be they emotionally repressed, unable to feel anything deeply, or even sociopathic, might be something to think about as a result of being drained by your predators. Best of luck!
     
  6. Patrick-Leigh

    Patrick-Leigh Sage

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    Bit of a random thought, but what if the alchemy experiment was centered around "Life Energy," which is present in all living cells, but which is at its most concentrated in the blood. Your body creates Life Energy and your blood carries it through your body, in essence, but as entropy causes your body to age and break down, it gradually produces less and less Life Energy until you die. Blood Magic could have been a form of alchemical research that was intended to find a way to make people immortal by converting the Life Energy in blood into something else. (Perhaps this is how Vampiric Energy came into being.) So, a group of people were doing an alchemical experiment involving Blood Magic and something went horribly, horribly wrong, resulting in the creating of Vampires. Vampires are technically immortal, but only because their bodies don't break down over time. The downside is that their bodies cannot generate their own Life Energy any long, so they have to get it from the blood of other creatures.

    That's just what occurred to me, anyway. I was watching the HBO series Chernobyl before I got online, so my brain is kind of buzzing with ideas on incompetence and mismanagement resulting in a horrible disaster, and this idea of yours, that Vampires are produced from a failed form of magic, kind of meshed with that notion, I guess. Not sure if this helps or not, but I thought I'd throw my suggestion out there.
     
  7. OberonLordofSylva

    OberonLordofSylva Troubadour

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    I like this idea but it doesn't work in my setting. Life Magic exists as one of the many elements of magic in my world and there's a difference between Elemental Magic and Blood Magic. Then again Alchemy is tied to the Elements so maybe it could work. Blood containing Life Energy makes no sense within context though. Life Energy is a type of Symbolic Energy which is generated in the Soul.
     
  8. Patrick-Leigh

    Patrick-Leigh Sage

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    If Life Energy comes from the soul, maybe the issue for Vampires is that the connection between their souls and their bodies have been cut off. Thus, their bodies cannot be sustained by the Life Energy their souls are generating. They have to get a "transfusion" of Life Energy from another source. Perhaps Blood Magic works by transferring Life Energy from the body into the blood so when the Vampire drinks the blood, the Life Energy is moved from the victim's body into the Vampire's. Actually, maybe Blood Magic is a way of transferring different kinds of energy into and out of blood, sort of like using a sponge to absorb water or other fluids then drain those fluids out of the sponge by squeezing it. What if there were something about blood that made it very effective and absorbing and releasing different kinds of energy? Just a thought!
     
  9. OberonLordofSylva

    OberonLordofSylva Troubadour

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    I like where your going with this. The problem is that Vampiric Energy is a Vampire's power source, not Life Energy. It would work with Soulstuff, which is more along the lines of "life force" that you're thinking of. Life Energy isn't "life force" it's magical power born from the interpretation of symbols associated with the Life Element such as an anatomy diagram or a floral pattern. Life Energy, or rather Life-Type Symbolic Energy is an imitation of nature's power. It's convoluted I know and I hate bringing my magic system into every discussion but I felt context was necessary. Soulstuff on the other hand is what Souls are made of, at least mortal ones anyway. Soulstuff can absorb information in a process called Soulcoding, which is kind of like writing on a blank page. The page "absorbs" the information and retains it by being written on. Soulcoding is how things like memory and personality are developed in living things. Soulstuff can also absorb large quantities of Metaphysical Energy(an umbrella term for the Phebotinum of my setting) in a transformation process called Soul Alter. Vampires are one of many species of magical beings created through Soul Alter so they already have a predisposition for messing with Soulstuff. To relay this back to your ideas, perhaps the Soul Alter warps the Soul so that Vampires can't access the powers they had in life. Another option would be that Vampiric Energy breaks down Soulstuff, so they have to drain it from others along with blood to appease the dark power within. Perhaps if they don't they go feral and turn into monsters? Or at least, more monstrous than they already are. Following our established logic, the process of turning someone else into a Vampire would be to introduce the Vampiric Energy into another person rather than the common "drink my blood and I'll drink yours" method found in vampire fiction. I like option 2.
     
    Patrick-Leigh likes this.
  10. Patrick-Leigh

    Patrick-Leigh Sage

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    I like the idea that failing to drink blood and get Soulstuff would result in the Vampire going feral. Perhaps the only way to stave that off when they don't have access to a steady blood source is to go into a state of hibernation until the blood supply in their vicinity increases. (Or they have servants move them to a location with a larger blood supply.) If Soulstuff retains information through Soulcoding, then Vampires might be able to gain new knowledge when the drink someone's blood. If that's the case, then drinking blood is about more than sustenance. It's about increasing knowledge.

    But, if that is the case, there might be a drawback. There is a limit to how much information our brains can actually store. Nobody has ever hit that limit because 1) we don't live long enough and 2) our brains break down as we age. In your setting, it could be that each soul has a limit to how much code it can retain. Thus, if a Vampire hits that limit, they might end up having to "delete" code to make room for the new data. Perhaps they have no control over this. Perhaps the oldest memories are replaced first, which means the longer a Vampire exists, the less they remember about who they were before they became a Vampire. And, because our memories can shape our personalities (and because a personality is, in fact, part of the Soulcoding process,) the Vampire's personality will be altered as the original personality is erased.

    This could be what causes them to become more and more monstrous the older they get. All the parts of themselves that relate to any morality they had while they were normal people have been erased and replaced by the data of their existence as Vampires. Eventually, the only memories they have are of being Vampires. They have absolutely no recollection of what it was like to be a living person and thus are incapable of relating to the living, only viewing them as prety.

    But that might not be the only issue. If they're absorbing some of the Soulcoding of their victims, perhaps that includes personality traits. But because a Vampire is parasitic by nature, the traits that are absorbed might be mostly negative. A sort of psychological adhesion, if you will. The more pessimistic and cynical the Vampire becomes, the more those traits are absorbed from their victims. So, while they're drinking blood partly to stave off going feral, the more victims they have, the more their worst attributes are compounded, resulting in them becoming more dangerous monsters. It'd be a positive feedback loop, exponentially increasing how unstable and chaotic the Vampire's personality becomes until they're the feral creatures they feared they would be, only now, they don't really mind that they're feral.

    There may be a way for a Vampire to create a negative feedback loop that counters the growing instability, but it might be something that doesn't come naturally. They have to train themselves to control which memories are replaced, which personality traits are retained, and so forth. Perhaps a Vampire can actually use this process to become more noble, if he or she chooses. But, if so, they'd have to have a reason to do so, and I don't think a parasite would want to feel remorse over his or her actions. Having a conscience can really suck, sometimes, and most Vampires might prefer to get rid of it rather than continue their (presumably indefinite) existences burdened with guilt.

    No, no, it's better to lose all memories of being a normal person with a sense of morality, better to lose those last worthless shreds of humanity, and better to forget about the joys that being a living being included. There so much less pain without a conscience, isn't there? And it's not like these "people" (if you can really call livestock that) can truly make the most of the knowledge they have. They're just corpses waiting to happen, so let them accumulate their knowledge so it can be transferred to a superior entity that can put it all to better use. Their existence should be solely for the benefit more worthy beings.

    There. See? No more conscience getting in the way. Just cold, calculated ruthlessness that gets results. It's for the best. In fact, why did we take so long to be rid of those nagging feelings of guilt and worthless memories of a mortal existence? Ah, yes, of course. We were still weak. But we're not anymore, are we? Now we see clearly. Now we truly appreciate all the benefits of feeding on these, for lack of a better term, "people." The hunt is all that matters, so let's get to it.
     
    OberonLordofSylva likes this.
  11. OberonLordofSylva

    OberonLordofSylva Troubadour

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    I like your thinking! It's amazing how you got into the head of the Vampires so well. Thank you for your help.
     
    Patrick-Leigh likes this.
  12. Azaraiha

    Azaraiha Dreamer

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    What if Vampiric Energy is powered from chaos itself?
     
  13. OberonLordofSylva

    OberonLordofSylva Troubadour

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    Unfortunately, in my verse, Chaos is its own distinct type of Metaphysical Energy, separate from other types and represents different things.
     
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