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The World of Vampires has long kept my interest. As a boy I would dress as a vampire for Halloween. But it didn't end there, I would keep myself in this fantasy world of power, invincibility, and evil. Well, not evil, but definitely darkness. I loved it there, I felt safe and in charge. As I grew older, so did my love of Vampires and their world I watched it change. I learned and became more enthralled by their power, their beauty. The image of the undead has changed considerably in the last century. Most notably by Bram Stoker and his Infamous "Dracula" in 1897. The story of a Bulgarian Count and his deal with the Devil and his Banishment from God. He was therefore possessed and became a Vampire. Walking the world as a wealthy count by day and becoming a monster by night.

Vlad Dracul, is a historical figure, who lived in what is now Romania. In the Province of Transylvania, is where he called home. Count Dracul, was also known as Vlad the Impaler, for his practice of taking the armies of his enemies and having their bodies and severed heads impaled on long sharp poles that were stuck into the ground, letting the wait of their bodies push the pole through. Nice Guy. He was accused of drinking the blood of the living and he himself of never dying. The legend of Dracula spread throughout the modern world at the turn of the century and led to the myth of Vampirism being brought into a new light. The Spotlight. In 1922 the classic silent film "Nosferatu" was released and became the first Vampire film. A decade later Christopher Lee would star in the 1931 film "Dracula". Between then and 1960 only 2 Vampire films were made. Over 40 vampire films were made in the 1990's. Some of the most popular were "Blade", "Bram Stoker's: Dracula", "Buffy: The Vampire Slayer", "John Carpenter's: Vampires", and of course "Interview With The Vampire".

Now let's get on with some of the details. First of all, how does one become a Vampire? Well through history, Legend has produced and absurd amount of contradicting stories. We will discus only a few. One way is to be bitten. Once bitten you slowly change into a vampire like you were infected with a virus of some sort. Another way is that your blood is drained until you are near the pint of death then you drink the blood of a Vampire. Still more is that you are bitten 3 times and then you become a vampire. Some of the other ways are that you are bitten at climax during sexual intercourse. Or you can be born a Vampire. Of all of these I agree with drinking a Vampires blood the most. The other ways would seem to overpopulate the world.

Now lets talk about how to kill a Vampire. The problem with this is that vampires in so many myths have remarkable regeneration. But here are a few of the ways to kill a vampire. You can run a wooden stake thru their heart, decapitation, sunlight, burning, removal of the heart or severe mutilation. Crosses and Holy Water won't usually kill a Vampire but in most cases it will do a lot of damage. I follow the other myth and that is that a Vampires vulnerability depends immensely on their age and/or strength. That is that a Vampire can over come certain things such as mutilation, wooden stakes, and even sunlight in a rare case.

As far as activity during daylight hours. That varies also. Some can walk in the day with no effect while most are affected in some way from lack of power to completely comatose. Most Vampires need some sort of coffin to sleep in. The ground makes a good emergency coffin. And they need to protect themselves from sunlight.

For the remainder of this paper I will focus on the type of Vampire that I know the best, Ricean. Named for their creator Anne Rice, Ricean Vampires are be far the most variable and reasonable, if there is such a thing. The Star of this world is Lestat de Lioncourte. He was made a Vampire around 1790 in France he was the son of a Lord, and very wealthy. His "Dark Gift" was forced upon him be his creator. He was made by the draining of his blood until he reached the point of Death. And then the Master Vampire cut his wrist and force-fed Lestat the Eternal Life-force. Lestat's Father then committed suicide. He did this by throwing himself into a fire.

What a way to begin your Immortal Life. For company he turned to his mother who was dying of a disease without cure. In her final days, Lestat fled from his home with her. And made her into a Vampire. She to had no love for the Gift that was given to her and tried everyday to change herself. It is said that she filled the tower they lived in with her own hair for every night she cut it off and every morning it had grown back. This is a great example of their regeneration powers.

Ricean Vampires have a beginning. They begin about 6000 years ago, in Egypt. A Pharaoh and his Queen, were contaminated by a demon when this demon entered their bodies through bleeding wounds. From this point the infection was only passed through ingestion of the blood of an infected person, a Vampire. Now because of the immense time that is involved there are only a few Vampires that have seen that day. 3 to be exact. Maharet, Mekare, and Khyman. Of these on Maharet has been "awake" the whole time. The problem with Immortality is that a lot of vampires have a hard time dealing with 'forever'. To us mortals it means nothing to them it is the only absolute left. So in order to deal with this 2 "safety nets" take place. One is to "go into the ground" this is when the vampire buries himself or herself and basically hibernates. Blood is not required and the Vampire can will themselves out of this at their own choice. The other way they come with millennia is that they go into a trance, and they become living statues. And of course there is always suicide. But I wouldn't call that a safety net.

Now, Ricean Vampires have a certain "connection" with one another through a Queen Vampire, the current Queen is Mekare. If any think were to happen to Mekare it would effect the entire Vampire population. For instance, if She were to be burned then all Vampires would burn. If she were to die without her crown being passed through a ritual, all Vampires would die. In 6000 years the crown has only been passed once and that was just over a decade ago. So that Crown won't be passed for some time now.

Let's talk about Vampiric powers. We will start with some of the lesser powers. First of all, speed. Vampires have incredible speed. Even the least of them exhibit some increased speed. It has been written that vampires can stand in a crowded room and drink the blood of a human dry. And have it look like the person just collapsed in their arms. Can't even see the bite take place. The Blood, it is the life force of a vampire. It means everything to them. Through the blood is transferred all sorts of things, warmth, color, and memories. The drinking of blood from a human is an intimate thing. An older vampire experiences images, thoughts, and powerful influences. While a younger one will experience, pleasure, and feelings. Pleasure, vampires are not sexually active in the Ricean world, they experience greater forms of pleasure and pain than humans could ever imagine though. They have heightened senses that allow them to see, touch, taste, smell, and hear better than us plus they have a sixth sense that allows them other senses of presence, danger and other things. The Drinking of blood is the closest thing that Vampires can get to Sexual Pleasure. Now for Vampires to drink the blood of each other is as intimate as you get. Through this flows pleasure, pain, images, experience and most notably, Powers. Vampires can transmit their powers through their blood. And this also gives the two vampires a connection of knowing where the other one is and can sometimes even see through their eyes and hear with their ears. The sharing of blood is kept sacred and only to those you trust.

Movement. Speed can be an incredible tool, some Vampires have exhibited tremendous speed. Can you imagine teleportation? Well think about this. You see a person standing at the bottom of a great wall. You watch him and all of a sudden he is gone, disappeared right before your eyes. You look up immediately. And you see him standing on the wall looking over the landscape as if he had always been there. This is speed. He climbed the wall in a split second. This is about as fast as they get but this would allow them tremendous ability to travel, and not get caught in the sun. Now I mentioned teleportation. This is possible only with the oldest and/or most powerful vampires. But it is possible. Flying is also the same as transportation.

Some miscellaneous powers are mind reading, telekinesis, out of body movement (when your "spirit" is about and your body stays), strength. Imagine incredible strength. The skin of a Vampire is said to be like stone. Smooth and velvety but hard as stone. This is extremely powerful strength.

The appearance of a Vampire is ever changing. They tend to have pale, cool skin except after feeding. It takes on color and warmth. Eyes are the eyes of fire. They look different but not noticeably, except when enraged. Long fingernails. We're not talking daggers here but defiantly sharp and pointed. Most Vampires have dignity that demands respect. This is what being a Vampire is all about. Most keep a lot of money. And therefore live like kings. They have absolute control over themselves and their surroundings. They are the ones in charge.

An interesting thing about Vampires is their natural instincts of survival when they are asleep in the daylight hours. Lestat has talked of waking in the evening with his body uncovered, his hand holding a dead human by the neck, above his sleeping body. These are the consequences of waking a sleeping Vampire.

Well, let's talk about some weaknesses. Holy Water, is nothing, Crosses, are useless, forget hiding in your house, they can enter without permission. About the only weakness they have is they sleep in coffins or in the ground. They are completely unconscious during the daylight, and only true sunlight will harm them. Other than those they are like another person. You hurt them bad enough and they will die. Decapitation is a good one. Fire usually will do the trick but don't count on it with an older vampire.

Age. The age of current vampires is quite sporadic. You have a multitude of young ones under 400 years. Armand, Lestat, Louis, Gabrielle, David, Jesse, just to name a few of the more influential. The members of the "Vampire Council" as I like to call them, the most powerful coven. Then there are the older members of the council. Mekare, The Queen Of The Damned, Maharet, Marius, Khyman, Mael, and Pandora. These are known as The Children of Millennia, the youngest of which is Pandora, she is about 2000 years old. Don't let age fool you, Lestat is probably only comparable to Khyman, or Maharet. He had a fling with the previous Queen and had a lot of her blood he can do any of the powers I have mentioned, and he is just over 200 years old. That would be like a 12 day old to a 75-year-old human. When compared to Maharet, Mekare, and Khyman.

As far as "real" Vampires are concerned I Don't believe them to be Vampires. They are people who dress the part look the part and believe that they are the part but as for supernatural powers, no. Vampirism in the real world is a vast underground community of rules, loyalty and secret. This is where the true Evil of Vampires come in. Most Vampires follow a code of conduct that protect the other vampires in the area. While most of their activities aren't dangerous. They aren't exactly legal. Like the consumption of human blood. This is really deranged. But they do exist. The problem is actually tracking them. With the onset of the Internet, their world has become very accessible. And it is also very easy for them to hide their activities. For, instance who is to say whether a person is really a vampire or if they are just role playing.

As I wandered on the Internet looking for information I ran across a multitude of Web Sites and Newsgroups that are related to this subject the majority of them were personal useless sites that only mean anything to the person who is making the site. But in my search I found many great sites. Some of them focus on the role-playing version of Vampires and others specialized in the communication of true vampires.

As I wander though this life I can always find great amounts of security in my imagination. I feel powerful when I am in my Vampire mode and that is what draws me to them. I always will find myself there for the rest of my life. I hope that others may have fun in this world Darkness. But don't let it go to your head.

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