|[||A vampire is a creature whose soul is entirely separate from his body, but is able to control his empty shell. In other words, a vampire is a creature who can do what he pleases with his own soul.||]|
In the Naritaverse, the term 'vampire' does not refer to a singular race or species. Instead, there are countless varieties of vampires around the world, as reflected in their diverse depictions in varying human mythologies. The one thing that unites all vampires is that they can freely exercise control over their souls.
There are approximately fifty thousand vampires currently living on Earth.
As Gerhardt von Waldstein explains it, one might say that a vampire's soul "uses telekinesis to animate his own corpse." He clarifies that "this is the ability to control the matter that composes one's body, on a molecular or even atomic level." This principle explains (for example) why some vampires can turn their bodies into a flock of bats, or turn into a patch of fog. With the former, there is one consciousness that controls several individual beings – which is possible because of telekinesis. With the latter, a vampire is able to move in fog form because it is their soul controlling the matter's movements.
A vampire's blood "is the catalyst that circulates the soul's energy through his body." This might explain why the heart is a weakness for many vampires; as Melhilm Herzog theorized, if one considers the soul a remote control, the heart might be a receiver for the signals sent from the soul. If a vampire's heart is not one of their weaknesses, then they must use different parts of their bodies as receivers instead.
If a vampire perceives the world through their soul, they automatically see past illusions. In Gerhardt's case, his physical form (liquid blood) does not have eyes, so he perceives the world through his soul. This is why he can only perceive Valdred Ivanhoe in his true form (a watermelon), and cannot see Val's illusions.
The act of drinking someone's blood is more than simple consumption; by drinking someone's blood, a vampire is sharing their very soul with them. The soul is also why vampires are unable to transfer power when bloodsharing as the souls of two vampires are on 'different wavelengths', their souls reject each other rather than cleave together. This is why vampires must drink the blood of Eaters if they wish to gain the power of other vampires: a human's blood acts like an adhesive to which a vampire's soul and powers stick.
Evolution and Turned Vampires
Vampires can 'evolve' or metamorphose from humans, animals, insects and plants - though one may also say that their souls evolved, rather than their bodies. Some animal and plant-based vampires can assume humanoid form, though some do not. There are cases of highly unique vampires who do not fall under any of the aforementioned species – for instance, Hawking is a black hole vampire, and RX777 is a robot vampire.
Plant-based vampires occur when a plant absorbs the blood and soul of one or many vampires. In the case of the alraune Selim Vergès, she was originally a flower who gained sentience after she was showered with the blood of an executed vampire.
Vampires have an incredibly high mutation rate – in some cases, there have been reports of mutations happening over a single generation due to individual will or effects of religion.
Through selective breeding, certain vampiric traits can be preserved and enhanced through bloodlines – such as vampires of the Sunford Clan line, who are all immune to sunlight. On a more artificial level: in Melhilm's pursuit of thoroughbreds and for the coelacanth, he supervised generations of breeding between powerful vampires in the hopes of eventually creating an all-powerful vampire with no weaknesses.
Contrary to some human myths, vampires typically do have heartbeats since the heart supplies nutrients to one's body. This does not apply to vampires who require other means of sustenance to live, such as plant-based vampires who depend on photosynthesis. However, most vampires do not need to breathe.
It has been theorized that vampires turn to ash upon death because their bodies were "originally formed of mutated substances of similar composition."
Vampires who have few weaknesses tend to have fewer abilities and lower reproductive capability. The same lowered reproductive capability is also found in vampires with many strengths and few weaknesses - after all, if a vampire cannot die it has no reason to leave behind progeny.
A vampire has three options when they bite a human: they can drink the human's blood, subjugate them, or turn them. To turn a human, a vampire bites them and infuses the human with the vampire's own soul. It has been rumored that the Kumanobe Clan knows of a way to revert a turned vampire back into a human. A turned vampire stops aging once they have been turned, whereas a born vampire stops aging in their youth.
Humans have feared vampires since time immemorial, as seen in the common portrayal of vampires as predators and monsters in their mythologies. In modern times most humans do not believe in vampires and other supernatural beings, save for those who worship the occult or have had encounters with vampires in the past.
Though most vampires do tend to be more powerful than humans, the average vampire avoids them and fears detection. After all, the entirety of Earth's vampire population (fifty thousand or so) make up less than .001 percent of the human population. For every vampire, there are a hundred thousand humans who will likely be hostile to them. Many vampires thus choose to live on the outskirts of settlements, alone and away from prying eyes.
The most unusual and prominent example of humans coexisting with vampires is the island Growerth, which is home to an unusually large concentration of vampires and other supernatural beings.
The act of eating another vampire's flesh is on the same level as human cannibalism and considered a taboo by some, though it is unclear how widespread this opinion is. Drinking another vampire's blood is considered a sacred ritual of bloodmixing by the Clans, and Clan members will only share blood with other Clan members. Whether non-Clan vampires hold different beliefs, and what those beliefs might be, are yet to be made clear.
There are three main groupings of vampires:
The first are vampires who either act alone, or in small groups. 'Small groups' can broadly range from bands to entire villages.
The second are 'families' who form Clans. These are usually pureblooded vampires, old-fashioned aristocrat types who tend to view humans as inferior creatures – prey, slaves, and worthy of disdain.
The third is The Organization, a large-scale 'social gathering' of twenty-thousand or so vampires of all types. It was formed centuries prior to the 2000s, and serves as an information exchange network and aims to protect vampires from human persecution.
Abilities and Weaknesses
The amount of abilities and weaknesses one has, as well as how effectual or debilitating they are, ranges wildly from vampire to vampire (or bloodline to bloodline). This is why the depictions of vampires vary in different human mythologies - each depiction is true.
This means that even the most basic assumptions one might have about a vampire do not necessarily apply to all. The idea that vampires need blood to live is one of the most pervasive ones in human mythologies - however, in Vamp! - while some vampires do need blood to live, others do not at all. Some might require human blood, while others can survive on animal blood. Hunger cycles vary as well: some vampires need blood often and regularly while others might only need it once per month.
(Note: These lists only include the powers and abilities that have been mentioned in Vamp!. However, given the series' premise that all human mythological depictions are true, one should assume that any ability or weakness that vampires display in actual mythologies are valid traits a Vamp! vampire might have. For example, in some mythologies a vampire must be formally invited in before they can step over a threshold. This has not been mentioned specifically in the series, but it is almost certain it exists)
Many vampires in Vamp! have abilities traditionally associated with vampires in human myths, and more untraditional abilities. These include:
- As stated earlier, all vampires have this on a basic level since their souls use telekinesis to control their bodies. Romy Mars is a vampire who is especially formidable with telekinesis, which she uses to control hundreds if not thousands of individual objects at once. Dorothy Nifas exhibits a more unusual example of telekinesis: she can use telekinesis to slow down the movements of molecules, which she uses to sap heat from her target.
- Superhuman Strength, Regenerative Abilities, Longevity
- These have been grouped together because they are some of the most basic and common abilities known to vampirekind - traits that even dhampyrs can possess. How strong a vampire is or how fast they can regenerate varies from vampire to vampire.
- When a vampire exerts control over a creature without turning them. Typically, a vampire subjugates a creature by biting them. Known outliers include Loa, who can subjugate someone with a mere scratch, and Zygmunt Kiparis, who can subjugate others by airborne infection. Garde Ritzberg has some of the most formidable subjugation abilities in the series - Garde is capable of even subjugating their own cells and the deceased.
- Some vampires can exert influence on other objects by perceiving them as 'part' of the vampire's own body. This is why many vampires can change their clothes and accessories when they transform into bats.
- The more powerful a vampire is, the more they can synchronize with. Some vampires are capable of transforming their vehicles and other surrounding objects into bats. Relic is capable of synchronizing with the entire island of Growerth.
- Turning into a bat or a flock of bats
- Some vampires can separate specific parts of their body via bats - for example, the dhampyr Watt Stalf has separated his heart form his body in the form of a bat in the past.
- Sometimes vampires' bat forms have idiosyncratic physical characteristics. For example, Melhilm's bats all have human eyes, and Dorothy Nifas' bats are completely white.
- There are other cases of unique bat-related powers. Yellow Bridgestone can transform parts of his body into bats and use them as literal projectiles. He can also turn into a single abnormally large bat. In bat-form, Pamela D. Rosskleim can eat away at other vampires - even when the vampire is in fog form - and nullify their powers. (Pamela also chooses to fly her bats in a perfect cubical formation)
- Turning into Fog or Shadow
- The nature of both abilities varies from vampire to vampire. Pirie Mistwalker is especially capable in fog form, and she can dissipate and rematerialize in an instant. In fog form, she can enter the lungs of a human and subjugate them by leaving tiny droplets of her own blood in their lungs; if she so chooses, she can rematerialize while inside the other person's body, killing them. In contrast, Theodosius M. Waldstein can only turn parts of his body temporarily into fog at any given time rather than his whole body, and with difficulty.
- Vamp!'s most exemplary example of shadow-manipulation comes from Aiji Ishibashi. He can create shadow-bats and shadow-swords and so on from shadows; his shadows posses mass and thus can affect three-dimensional objects and people. He can use shadows to move from place to place.
- Some vampires (like Relic) can hypnotize people with a single glance. For others, it might take more time.
- Some vampires can read and communicate with the minds of others. Mirald Mirror is one such vampire; not only can he read others' thoughts and speak with them, he can send information into their minds. He can compress hours worth of memories, knowledge, and feelings into the span of seconds when transferring information; this can seriously affect the recipient's mental well-being. When Mirald thirsts for blood he involuntarily acts as a 'loudspeaker'.
- Controlling Familiars; Communication with bats and mice
- Duplication (to make copies of oneself)
- Turning parts of one's body into acid
- Transforming into snakes or mosquito swarms
- Both Dimguil Sunford and Pamela can nullify the abilities of other vampires, which is why Dimguil is feared by so many people.
- While some vampires cannot live without drinking blood, others can go without it completely. Meanwhile, some require human blood while others can only consume animal blood. Hunger cycles vary between vampires: some might need blood on occasion while others need it regularly and often.
- One of the most common vampiric weaknesses: around eighty percent of vampires are weak to sunlight. Most vampires do possess some degree of weakness against sunlight, though how much depends on the vampires. Some vampires will turn into ash at the slightest touch of sunlight, while others might burn a little to a lot. Some even have trouble moving indoors during the daytime and thus choose to sleep during the day. Select vampires are completely immune to sunlight, such as the vampires from the Sunford line.
- Running Water
- Most vampires with this weakness are unable to wade through running water (e.g. streams, oceans), but some cannot even take showers or wash their hands under a faucet. This is because a vampire's energy leaks out into water: energy that can be absorbed back in still pools, but not a flowing stream. Some vampires can bypass this by traveling over water in a plane or boat, but the bypassers may still suffer from acute seasickness (such as Key Dorrikey and Captain BBS).
- Some vampires cannot stand even a whiff of garlic, while others can but cannot actually consume it.
- Religious authorities; Crucifixes
- Most vampires are actually not harmed by crucifixes – however, many are weak against those who wield them.
- Silver; Salt
- Both substances can prove harmful in their purified forms – though of course, not all vampires are weak to them. Liquid silver is not actually harmful since it is mercury, a completely different element.
- The Heart
- A vampire's heart is a common weak point, which is why many vampire hunters will aim for the heart with their stakes. Some vampires can separate their heart from their body in the form of a bat and hide it elsewhere if they feel that they are in danger.