VAMPIRES by Tom Parkerson (Chaoswithchains)
This is my Christmas Present to everyone. Merry Christmas!
This work is heavily influenced by Vampire the Masquerade and Buffy the Vampire Slayer (yes, yes I know...). And the last bit is inspired by the prologue of Dan Abnett's Xenos. I am far from responsible for all the original ideas in this work although some of it is (notably the idea of blood acting as a Warp-Matterium interface and it acting as the source of power, the daemon blood infused flesh being volatile to ultraviolet light and fire et al, and sap being the reason why a stake through the heart works. The rules themselves are my own creation, although influenced by Vampire the Masquerade. Hope you enjoy it!
CLASSIFICATION: Dark Alpha
AUTHOR: Inquisitor Luthferious
SUBJECT: A study into the nature of Vampires.
RECIPIENT: *Invalid security classification*
+++THOUGHT FOR THE DAY+++
The Light of the Emperor burns the Darkness
My Lord, as requested I have compiled this report, this study of the entities and creatures known by many names throughout the Imperium but most commonly by the ancient name. Vampire.
I have been fighting these foul creatures for five decades now but this is the first complete report of my discoveries, the information in this file replaces my previous reports, as some of the information, notably the creature's inability to move actively during the day as inaccurate.
I first encountered these creatures by chance on Kalsha III, when investigating a case of a cult suspected of engaging in daemon-worshipping activity. The truth was far more startling, the planet was ridden with a large number of human-appearing creatures. At first I suspected a foul shape-shifting Xenos race, however encounters revealed that they displayed deamonic characteristics (namely the fear and pain they displayed when I chanted my battle-hymns to the God-Emperor).
Kalsha III has a relatively large population (6.7 Billion) and appears to have been colonised in a relatively early time of the epoch known as the Dark Age of Technology. However it was almost completely reduced to a Medieval state (or even further in some regions) in the subsequent millennia. Despite being a member of the Imperium (although not of significant value) and the presence of four small hive-cities, many of the more remote areas remain in a medieval or even feral state. Indeed it is quite noted by it's neighbours in the sector for it's lawlessness, although not excessively so and this environment has allowed the Vampires to thrive. I have in my long time here uncovered and slain hundreds of groups of the beasts although their still appears to be many remaining, the exact number is almost impossible to estimate.
SECTION I: VAMPIRE PHYSIOLOGY
A Vampire is in essence a type of (un)naturally occurring deamonhost, one that has developed a method of reproduction without the need of rituals or unholy artefacts. It requires only it's own blood.
The process is relatively simple, first the host is all but drained of blood by the Vampiric "sire", then the sire extracts some of his own blood and feeds it to the dying host. When the host finally dies it appears that the daemon-blood continues to work internally, corrupting the now-corpse, and after a period (which is found to be inversely influenced by the intensity of ultraviolet radiation illuminating the corpse, the greater the slower the process) the corpse raises again, as Vampire. The Vampire has the visage, the memories and even some resemblance of personality possessed by the host but is in reality a soulless and unholy daemon.
Blood appears to be the quintessence of a Vampire, adding weight to the suggestion that they originate from the foul and unholy Power of Chaos known as Khorne. It acts as a food, semen and a sacrament. Vampires seem to rely on blood for nourishment, it is in fact all that is needed to sustain themselves, and if starved of blood they become more bestial and feral, losing the superficial appearance of humanity, revealing their true and vile nature, for they are unholy and demoniac beasts.
When a Vampire feeds it makes a cut or incision in a blood vessel, normally the jugular vein (jugularis externa). For this task it appears that the Vampires develop enlarged canine teeth during the transformation process, much like the mutations exhibited by extended duration deamonhosts, it then places its mouth on the cut and makes a sucking action, ingesting the blood.
The metabolism of the Vampire is most peculiar, it has been all but totally verified (through my numerous experiments) that the mixture of mortal and daemonic blood acts as a near-direct conduit for energy from the Warp, it functions almost like a daemonic aura for purposes of sustaining the Vampire. The aura mimics and sustains some of the corpse's bodily functions, while leaving others dead. The neurological and muscular systems for example continue to function, as does the creatures senses. While the cardiovascular system is dead, this is especially odd as the heart is not used to pump the blood around the body, but rather the blood itself seems to be animated, and it is this that provides motion for everything else. The Vampire therefore needs no air to breathe although it may choose to so that it can talk. Drugs and toxins do appear to effect them, although they are no-where near as effective as they would be when they were mortal and Vampires can recover from drug addiction by extracting almost all their blood that has been tainted and replacing it with fresh untainted version.
One product of their unnatural metabolism is that they do not suffer from fatigue in the same way as the living do. Since they do not undergo respiration of any types is that they do not get out of breath and as lactic acid is not produced they do not develop muscle cramp. Importantly due to the lack of respiration, and the complete efficiency of their Warp-auras, their bodies do not generate much heat. Thus Vampires do not show up on heat detecting auspexs and similar devises, as their body temperature is almost the same as their surroundings, a vital discovery in the identification and elimination of these most vile creatures.
The Physical alteration of corpse, when infused with Vampire blood is for the most part quite subtle, there is little outwards mutation, except the aforementioned enlargement of the Canine teeth. The corpse does not decay, nor does it grow, remaining for eternally at the state at which it died. Due to this Vampires are almost never effected by cyto-toxins, diseases or fungicidal growth, however it is apparent that haematological diseases and toxins can have some effect on them, impairing the energy they can gain from the corrupted blood, although it cannot damage the unnatural daemon-blood that powers them. I have observed that Vampires sometimes purge themselves of drugs, toxins and diseases in a ritual in which the stave themselves of blood for several days, slash small incisions in their veins and arteries and when almost dry, they vomit up the impurities before hunting again.
For the most part the Vampire resembles a paler version of his living self. However the permeation of the daemonic blood throughout the dead body and the conduit to the Warp allows the Vampire to have strength and agility beyond mortal limitations. Without being constrained by living and material boundaries the Vampire gains immense strength and reaction time is greatly reduced, they appear to have their bodies enhanced by a similar method to the Biomancy psychic discipline. The Vampire's strength is still dependent on their muscle mass and even with the enhancement they very rarely reach that phenomenal abilities of the Adeptus Astartes Space Marines. Despite this they are still exceedingly dangerous, fully able to compete with soldiers on extreme combat drugs. I have seen a once feeble clerk turn Vampire and snap a man's neck with one blow to the head. The increase in reactions is similarly impressive, as I have witnessed a previously clumsy kitchen worker evade the pursuit of an armed mob and then vault onto the rooftops of the village and escape into the night.
The Vampires senses' are sharpened to some degree, although perhaps more importantly, like the rest of their corpse-body, the scenes do not suffer from fatigue from strenuous use. Their sense of smell in particular becomes more acute, and they appear to be able to rely on it to some degree for tracking prey. Their sense of taste is also enhanced, although only in respect to blood. The more experienced Vampirs can even distinguish between racial groups and blood types and detect contamination or unusually high levels of hormones. Indeed they seem to enjoy the increased adrenaline excreted into their prey's bloodstream by fear and fighting, and often terrorise their victim before feeding. However their sense of taste is greatly blunted with respect to anything else, finding even delicious food is bland and unstimulating.
Their sense of sight is improved somewhat during the change although not by a phenomenal amount, however vampires can cope extremely well with any level of darkness except total. Even the smallest among of light gives them the ability to see almost as well as we can in daylight. However this has a drawback as their eyes are extremely sensitive to large amounts of light, esp. if it contains some ultraviolet radiation in the spectrum. In bright daylight they are almost blinded and photon flash grenades appear to be particularly effective against them, in addition to the ultraviolet burns produced as a side effect.
As Vampires are technically "dead" they are exceedingly resistant to injury and harm, although they appear to feel pain they are not as impaired by it to the degree that us mortals are. I have seen Vampires raise from the ground with crushed limbs and then launch themselves with startling ferocity at their opponent, I have seen Vampires recover from multiple gunshot lacerations to the chest in a matter of seconds and even seen some carry on fighting after sustaining wounds from Power Swords. They appear to be able to literally regenerate wounds in a very short period of time, even a severed limb can be reapplied if held to the stump. However to perform these acts of regeneration the Vampire requires fresh blood, perhaps using it to act as a more powerful but temporarily conduit to the warp.
Thankfully Vampires do seem to be vulnerable to a number of phenomena. Most importantly fire and ultraviolet radiation. The dead corpse of the Vampire appears to be very dry, the only real moisture being in the blood itself and I have also found that the daemon blood itself is combustible. Vampires seem incapable of regenerating any burns at their usual rapid rate, though it does appear to heal over time, server burns can require weeks to heal completely caused them great pain. Infra-red and microwave based Melta-Weapons, which heat the moisture inside the Vampire also appear to be particularly effective, perhaps as these weapons mainly effects the water in the blood itself, literally boiling it in their dead veins.
Vampire flesh seems extremely reactive to radiation from the ultraviolet band or higher, it sears on contact, leaving burns similar to those that fair-skinned humans experience, but to a far greater degree. When exposed to a sizeable source, i.e. the direct light from a sun then the reaction is so intense that the vampire immolates. The ultraviolet burn similarly takes a lengthy time to heal. It has been speculated that this has an effect on the daemon-blood that permeates the flesh, and that the blood is quite volatile due to the amount of energy contained with in it. Note; through my accompanying Adeptus-Mechanicus research team's experiments on extracted Vampire blood I have discovered that the ultraviolet ray's wavelength needs to be below 257nm to be effective.
Vampiric flesh is also vulnerable to corrosive chemicals, and chemical burns. Notably allyl disulphide, which is notably found in the common, terran-originated plant garlic seems to have a particularly volatile effect when exposed to flesh saturated with daemon blood, causing burns far in excess of what would be expected. In fact even the presence of garlic can repulse a Vampire. This is often discovered among native populations and can be used to great effect. Although over reliance on its effectiveness can be dangerous as a strong willed or particularly determined vampire can ignore the presence.
The only two organs that appear vital to the vampire are the heart and brain. Although the heart is not used in a traditional cardiovascular sense, the majority of the Vampire's blood appears to be stored there and it is perhaps the area of the greatest Warp-matterium energy permutation. The brain appears to have the same importance as it did in life and vampires can be incapacitated or even killed by extensive brain-trauma. Vampires also appear to use the nervous system and can be rendered unconscious by electrical shocks, neurotoxins and wounds, however they do appear to be able to shake it of relatively easily and cannot be killed by neurotoxins unless they are injected directly into the brain.
The heart is less vulnerable, although a Vampire will still suffer great injury if it is damaged, they cannot be destroyed merely by damaging the heart, indeed a vampire appears to be able to survive its destruction, I speculate that it is the blood itself that is the important factor. Although if a Vampire is decapitated, and the brain is separated from the store of blood in the then the Vampire will be destroyed.
However during my observation of a conflict between two rival vampires I observed an unusual factor, a Vampire can be killed if the heart is penetrated and destroyed by a wooden object (or similar plant based material). Note that the important factor is that wood penetrates into the heart. This will result in the near instantaneous death of the foul beast. Why this occurs is a mystery, I have speculated that it is either the residue of sap in the wood (or some other factor), which severs the Warp-Matterium conduit, removing the Vampire's source of power. Maybe the residue of sap (or other unknown factor) contains a psychic aura that disrupts the Vampire's, I cannot say for sure. It is an important discovery none the less. All forms of plant material, which contains residue of sap, appear to be effective. This theory has been reinforced by the discovery that shards of amber have a similar effect. I have had accompanied Adeptus-Mechanicus adept teams working on a method to add a bonded, compressed amber layer to conventional metal weapons.
A Vampire can also be destroyed if all its blood is drained from it's body. This is sometimes used as a torture method on a captured and restrained Vampire by vengeful natives, a dangerous practice as the Vampires will enter a violent frenzy when starved of blood but an appropriate distribution of Justice and satisfying to watch.
If a Vampire sustains a significant amount of damage that does not destroy or is starved of blood for a significant period of time, it then it may be forced into a coma like state which I have named a Blood Stupor. While in this state they are totally oblivious to external influences and can take a long period to recover. From my observations it appears as if the Vampire is slowly drawing psychic energy from the aura of its surroundings, since the usual, more intense link with the immaterium has been severed. Indeed Psychic examination will reveal very little except a slight disruption in the aura of the immediate area. Eventually the Vampire awakens, and from experiences, records obtained and native legends, this can take from days to years depending on how grave the injuries the Vampire has sustains. The Vampire can be prematurely revived by feeding it blood, although large amounts are normally required. A Vampire who awakes from a Blood-Stupor will immediately enter into a frenzied state.
When a Vampire is destroyed the Psychic Aura that has sustained it collapses and dissipates into the Immaterium, in the process the corpse starts to decay quite rapidly. It appears to dehydrate and shrivel up, within a minute it is clearly not a corpse of the recently killed, it crumbles under even the smallest pressure and burns especially rapidly. This is useful for telling if the creatures have truly been destroyed.
Due to the danger of intense ultraviolet radiation and their hatred of bright-light, Vampires normally hide during and rest during day-light hours. I at first assumed that they required sleep and rest but this was discovered to be inaccurate, although Vampires appear to avoid strenuous activity when it is not needed. This appears to be more out of habit than any metabolically need, although it is apparent that they recover from burns and the like easier when they rest and possibly require less blood to maintain themselves.
SECTION II: VAMPIRE PSYCOLOGY
Oddly the Daemon possession undertaken is quite different from the usual observed when a daemon attempts to possess a live host, where as then there are two wills and minds competing for control and domination (the host's and the invading daemon's) with Vampires there is but one.
The Vampire's personality is of most peculiar and unholy nature, for it is as a warped and darkened mirror of the host's original. Indeed even a close relative often does not notice any difference, except maybe a colder disposition, until the daemon acts in an inhumane manner. Indeed the foul beasts appear to gain great pleasure in maintaining an illusion of their former-self before slaying their former kindred and loved ones in a most brutal and vile act of violence. It is as a shadow personality of the original personality, similar characteristics but grossly perverted. The daemon that inhabits the body greatly amplifies the person’s negative traits but also corrupts the positive traits. An extremely virtuous person would become a paragon of sadistic evil, while a child like curiosity would also remain but it would take a darker streak and the vampire would take great delight investigating and creating new forms of pain and suffering. If however the host was a persona of immense evil during his mortal life then the person is does not subsume to the demon but rather is complemented by it. This normally results in a vampire that is so vile and powerful that even other vampires fear it and this to the vile and unholy beasts is viewed with the same respect as noble charisma is among our kind. The most successful vampires are the ones that in life had some sort of drive or purpose (however the goal is often twisted during its new unlife).
This leads me to suggest that the process does not allow a daemon to enter the host as such but rather transmutes the host's soul into that of a daemon's, presumably elevating the more feral aspects, especially anger during the process.
The concentration on blood and the violence and primal fury displayed by the vampires all seem to indicate a Khornite origin, however other aspects of their behaviour, most notably their cunning, psychological sadism and political manipulation seem distinctly out of place for that Power.
The Vampire has an instinctive fear of that which can destroy it, they are repulsed by fire and sources of allyl disulphide and being Daemonic in origin they are similarly repelled by holy symbols. They madly flee from strong sources of ultraviolet radiation, possessing even greater strength and the ability to ignore all but the most crippling injuries. I have seen a Vampire fall through a window into a courtyard in direct sunlight, and flee to shelter under concentrated automatic fire, then collapsing unconscious from wounds when in shade. The aforementioned resistance of the creatures meant that it soon recovered and rose again, before being dispatched by a Plasma Gun blast.
A Vampire who has been starved of blood or who is badly wounded will often enter a state known as Blood-Frenzy, in this state their craving for blood overcomes their sentience and intelligence, removing any veil of apparent humanity, revealing the primal and unholy daemon within. The Vampire will track down and attack the nearest source of blood, sometimes retaining the ability to distinguish allies from enemies, at other times not. They will attack with startling ferocity, as aggressive as any berzerk animal or warrior. They will attack until the enemy is subdued and will then start to feed, often draining the victim completely of blood in the process. They will be oblivious to anything beyond feeding unless they are attacked, in which case they will retaliate with the same brutal ferocity. If the attacker is hidden and not detected then the Vampire will madly dash around the immediate area searching for the attacker, and if not found he will return to feeding.
Being Daemonic creatures, Vampires are susceptible to Psychic attacks, and in turn they are quite adept at manipulating the Warp and retain any Psychic ability they possessed before being turned Vampire. Indeed it appears their very metabolism is based on an advanced version of the Biomancy discipline, possibly indicating their origin as a psychic experiment conducted by evil Chaos-Worshipping heretics. This aspect also means that Vampires can be kept at bay by holy symbols, this appears to be semi-psychosomatic, that is either the Vampire needs to have belief in the nature of the symbol or that someone wielding it has faith in it's power and what it represents. Why this happens is uncertain but it is clear that the symbol of the Emperor's Might repulses the Chaos-Spawned beasts. It is possible that the psychic aura of the person repulses the Vampire or the person acts as a conduit for the represented entity's power.
A Vampire cannot change the physical state of their body through training or exercise, indeed they appear to be frozen at the moment of their transmutation (though see below about warp energy suffusion). Their appearance can be changed by superficial cosmetics but more permanent changes such as bionic replacement or electoo implants are rejected by the Deamon's unholy flesh. However despite this Vampires can learn new skills and increase their mental fortitude, although they do have a fixed disposition and are sometimes reluctant to learn, this appears to be a more temperamental rather than psychological restriction. Vampires can also learn how to affect their sustaining aura's and over time learn to create a more effective conduit, Channelling more energy into their body. This will allow them to increase their strength, physical fortitude and their swiftness.
Vampires appear to be able to utilise the latent psychic potential of every human and they are able to learn previously untouched psychic disciplines. Vampires have a natural affinity with the Biomancy Psychic discipline, and in particular the ability to effect the blood and heart. They are in no way constrained solely to this discipline though and I have personally witnessed several Vampires displaying ability in the Telepathy and Telekinesis disciplines and destroyed several groups who specialised in Daemonology. Perhaps due to their intense fear of fire; Pyromancy is almost never developed among Vampires, maybe as they are fearful of losing control of their creations. However I have uncovered legends in one area about a group of vampires who mastered the "secret of fire" and for a time became "Kings among their kind" until they were destroyed when "their kin united and destroyed them in a mighty war which soaked the soil red".
It is important to note that the more adept a Vampire becomes at channelling Warp energy and the more that pervades their copse-body, the less human the Vampire appears. The exact change varies but overall the Vampire appears more and more feral and animalistic, their canines may enlarge further until they are clearly visible as fangs, the Vampire's hands may become clenched and talon-like and the Vampires eyes may become shrunken and blood red. Particularly old Vampires have a totally daemonic appearance. It has been noted that Vampires who concentrate solely on their martial skills and the purely mental psychic disciplines do not tend to be affected as much as those who concentrate on channelling energy directly into their corpse-bodies.
There has been unconfirmed details in a scroll recovered from the lair of one Pack of Vampires that some have progressed to a stage that they can shred their corporal bodies totally, becoming animated pools of blood, able to possess and animate any corpse. The Pack appeared to be investigating and experimenting on these finding before I destroyed them. A frightening prospect indeed, if this is the truth.
SECTION III: VAMPIRE SOCIOLOGY
Vampires appear to be secretive creatures, hiding in the shadows and making efforts to avoid discovery, they can go to great lengths to conceal their very existence. This is possibly why the Inquisition has failed to recognise the extent of their presence before, perhaps previous encounters were misviewed as standard deamonhosts.
Vampires do sometimes however form themselves into distinct social groups, these are called "Packs", fitting for their bestial nature. A Pack normally consists of no more than ten or so, although larger Packs have been encountered. Due to their brutal and egoistic nature, Vampire Packs are not formed out of companionship or respect but out of the mutual desire to empower themselves and the perverse relationship between Sire and Protégé (the Vampiric "child" of the transforming process). For a single Vampire although dangerous, can be overcome with relative ease, while even as few as three working together presents a formidable adversary for all but the best trained and equipped.
A core aspect of Vampire sociology is the relationship between Sire and Protégé, this is the first of two only examples of anything beyond egoistic manipulation between the creatures. The Protégé will view their Sire with respect, almost as a parent, for they are the ones that gifted them with their new-found immortality, the Sire however will display something resembling parental instinct towards their "child", seeking to teach and to some level protect them. This appears to be a by-product of the human nature still retained during the transition from Mortal to Daemon, however it is in reality a twisted parody. For this reason Sire and Protégé often remain together as a pair. This is relationship is not universal however and sometimes the two develop a great loathing for each other, Protégé has been known to turn on Sire and visa versa.
The Sire-Protégé relationship is the formation of almost all Packs, they often become like a extended family, with a Patriarch leading the pack accompanied by his various Protégé and their own Protégé. However it is important to note that the Sire-Protégé relationship does not extend to Grand-sire or Grand-Protégé and there is often constant mistrust and sometimes even apparent jealousy among them. The interior politics are machiavellian to the to the extreme for although Vampires will rarely act maliciously to the Sire or Protégé they will not hesitate to do so to any other member of the Pack. There are often internal power struggles being fought, although these are often well masked and almost never break out into open violence. It can often be the case that if the Pack loses a few older members then it will fracture and split apart, as the fragile adhesive of the Sire-Protégé bond is removed.
Even the internal tension is nothing compared to the brutal and territorial relationships between different Packs. As with all of humanities feral traits, the Vampire's sense of tribal instinct burns strongly in the daemons. Vampires appear to be extremely territorial, just about appreciating the presence of others in their Pack any will drive off outsiders. This can result in brutal shadow wars between packs, that often result in the destruction of one or in extreme cases, both contenders. The exact style of this conflict depends on the mentality of the participating Packs, the more martial will often attempt to storm their opponents stronghold while more political types will try to use the local law enforcement organisation or militia to drive their opponents out or if they are masquerading as a group of merchants, bankrupt them. These battles can be especially brutal as both know their opponent's weaknesses, indeed I have uncovered some important facts by observing wars between packs. Pack wars can cause great problems for the local population, as some Packs may resort to mass-turning, recruiting many innocents into their ranks to provide as fodder. This is normally a last resort however as Vampires are ultra-cautious about large-scale turning, as the more there are of them, the more likely they are to be discovered. Indeed Vampire Packs seem to prefer living in large and violent enough populations, where a few disappearances won't arouse much suspicion. Slums and similar make great feeding grounds for Vampires.
Vampires do however have a strong sense of self-preservation and if confronted with an obviously superior Pack they will retreat or in extreme cases, join them. This only occurs with a Pack led by a particularly powerful, fearsome and most likely ancient Vampire. In this case it is the unholy attraction caused by the Power of the lead Vampire that unites them. These "Super-Packs" appear to display a startling absence of the usual infighting, as none desires to invoke the wrath of the leader and it appears as though the leader's awesome presence and aura silence the Vampire's usual desire for personal power. Super-Packs are also especially dangerous as they often have some grand aim in mind, beyond the usual survival and comfort. The members appear to have a fervent, almost religious devotion to their cause, even sacrificing their unlives when required. I would expect that Vampires would flock to the banner of Chaos if a fleet ever landed on the planet, God-Emperor preserve us from this eventuality.
Packs tend to adopt a life style similar in some respects to the ones the previously lead, indeed Sire's often choose their Protégé due to some mutual similarity between themselves and Packs can often be distinguished by their individual style.
Vampires descended from aristocracies, administrative and political personas tend to be subtle and manipulate the society around them via a combination of threats and bribes, indeed I have found cases of advisors of official ministers being a Vampire. Other groups from a more martial background often are less subtle and far reaching in their influence but incredibly hard to destroy due to their exceptional skill, ferocity and cunning.
Perhaps the worst types of pack are those based on secret heretical cults that are formed, I have come across cases of a Vampire masquerading as a demi-god or a divine messenger, they encourage mortals to worship and serve them, feeding upon the hapless fools. I have come across more than one Haemovoric Death Cult that has a sinister, inhuman leader. In these it is often a great honour and privilege to ascend to the ranks of Vampire, indeed a members whole life is dedicated to proving themselves worthy. As perhaps is to be expected due to their daemonic nature, the most depraved Vampires appear to practise a combination of Chaos Worship and Daemonic Sorcery. My encounters with these groups have shown that they put great importance in discarding the remnants of humanity, reviling in their true nature (which many Vampires appear to be unaware of). As is to be expected; worship of foul Khorne, the Blood God is the most common, producing cults of powerful and inhuman Vampire warriors who have been known to raid and destroy entire villages in their collective blood frenzy. However Tzeentch, the master of magic and manipulation is also relatively popular, perhaps indicating that Vampires are not intrinsically related to Khorne. He is favoured among the more manipulative Vampire cults and they are perhaps the most dangerous of them all, although some other more intellectual and scholarly cults concentrate on his magical side, collecting and storing vast amounts of unholy and forbidden knowledge.
I have come across one Vampiric Pleasure cult of Slaanesh but this seemed an anomaly in vampire behaviour as Vampires experience relatively little pleasure from conventional debased luxuries such as drugs and unrestrained sex, preferring instead to gain their pleasure solely from terrorising and draining victims of blood. The creatures natural immortality and resistance to almost all forms of disease means that Nurgle holds no appeal to Vampires. Indeed there are legends among the feral-tribes of the Jahijia region of Kalsha III of a tribe of "foul disease and filth worshipers, whom held the people in their thrall" but who's "power was mocked for many seasons" by a Pack of invading Vampires. The Nurgle worshipers were later destroyed by a combined effort of the local tribes and Vampire mercenaries whom were paid with the "blood-sacrifice of the fairest maiden of the tribe".
I have encountered Vampire cults who worship far less well known Powers, one in particular Umbraicar, whom is meant to represent the "Dark Shadow of Night", and the fear inspired by it. Followers of this unholy power seem to take great delight in psychological torture and terrorising victims, while always remaining in the shadows, until the last moment before they slay and feed upon their prey.
SECTION IV: TACTICS FOR COMBATING THE VAMPIRE THREAT
Vampires are a dual threat to the Imperium, they are deadly in combat, even the least of their kind are able to take on and kill a trained Imperial Guardsmen with relative ease. They can be killed by a particularly skilled opponent with the right knowledge and equipment but they will provide a challenge for anyone bar perhaps a Battle-Brother of the Adeptus Astartes.
Vampires are perhaps made more dangerous by their apparent humanity and their habit of hiding and manipulating, undermining Imperial Authority. Fortunately the egocentric nature of Vampires means that they care only for self preservation and making their unlife unhindered by trouble, they rarely seem to actively plot against the Imperium. The damage inflicted by their infiltration may however allow another enemy (for example a Chaos cult or a Xenos infiltrator) to gain a foothold. This lack of interest against the Imperium may not apply to all however, esp. with regards to Vampiric Chaos cults, in particular the disciples of Tzeentch. I dread the arrival of a Tzeentchian Super-Pack, such a thing could shaken the whole Imperium to it's foundations.
I am unaware as to whether Vampires exclusively exist to Kalsha III, indeed the relatively high number of Chaos Cults could easily have spawned them, however it is not inconceivable that a few may have left for other planets. However there is little private traffic from Kalsha III beyond the occasional merchant ship and so this would be difficult for them. It is entirely conceivable that there are large populations of these creatures on other worlds in and out of the Imperium. Be vigilante when investigating because it is possible that the local or even planetary authorities are under Vampiric control and you may find yourself on the retreat from traitorous authorities.
The only way to truly defeat these creatures is to destroy them utterly. This can be a difficult task due to their resistance to most forms of weaponry and the martial prowess of the creatures themselves. They may be more easily defeated than some of their foul daemon-kind but the worst mistake you can make is to underestimate them, which can be common due to their often innocuous appearance. Do not be fooled, for even the puniest looking Vampire can snap a man's neck like a twig.
The easiest method of destroying Vampires is to utilise fire and heat based weaponry, Flamers, plasma spewers and Melta guns are all favoured and effective means of slaying the fouls beasts. Flamers in particular can be doubly effective if used to seal of escape routes, though caution must be maintained when using these most furious weapons. I have also investigated the use of converting normal lasguns so they emit ultraviolet radiation rather than standard light but so far this has not been met with much success. The components of standard lasguns appear to be easily damaged by the more energetic rays and there is an increase in power consumption, this means that the weapons jam easily. However the few times I have used them has shown them to be effective if only for the psychological effect inflicted on the unholy creatures by the pain inflicted by a weapon they thought they were all but impervious too!
Vampires can be killed by normal weaponry and shots to the cranium will drop them as easily as when they were mortal. However as any with combat experience will know, this is far easier in theory than in practise, and in the haste of combat there is little time for the luxury of aiming exactly at the beasts skull. This is especially the case as Vampires are almost always encountered in enclosed and dark environments and Infra-red sights which are normally used in these situations are useless for detecting the daemon's cold corpse-bodies. Although bullets and the like will effect the Vampires if they hit the limbs or torso, their effect is muted to the degree that vast amounts of conventional weapons fire would be needed to down Vampires unto a Blood-Stupor, something that is not often available.
Primitive weapons which impale the creatures heart with wood also seems a fine method, however this is also difficult, firstly there is the same problem when targeting such a small location, especially with specialist weapons such as bows. The secondly problems is that wooden projectiles have relatively low penetrative abilities and often fail to piece the heart.
Close Combat is where the creature's vulnerabilities become more apparent, it is likewise unfortunately where their strengths show their true nature. Decapitating, crushing the creatures skull and staking the heart are the favoured and most reliable methods of Vampire killing but a failed attack can spell death for the would be Vampire-slayer. Unless the slayer is exceptionally skilled I would advise against lone and unsupported attacks. Staking especially is hard in practise, often as the wielder lacks the strength to plunge stake through the tough flesh of a vampire and even surprise attacks can fail, often due to the Vampires exceptional senses.
A superior tactic is to utilise specially equipped teams. Maybe two armed with sacred symbols, allyl disulphide or blazing torches keep the beast at bay, while another two close in (with caution) armed with shock weapons and stun the creature, finally a member of the team stakes it through the heart (a far easier achievement when the creature is incapacitated) or decapitates it. Specially designed equipment is often useful in this task, such as metal shields (esp. Shock Shields) with holy symbols, ultraviolet lamps or garlic attached. Photon Flash grenades are also a favoured weapon when engaging Vampires, although usual caution must be exercised.
Any fighter prepared to engage in battle against a Vampire Pack should carry on him at least two well sharpened wooden stakes, a spray of allyl disulphide (which if possible should be applied to self immediately before combat) and a (if possible) holy symbol of the Ecclesiarchy. These factors could be the factor between life and death, although they are still far from certain of success.
It is important to note that the regenerative abilities of a vampire depend on the intake of fresh blood and it is imperative that they are denied this, both tactically on the battlefield, and strategically, possibly by imposing a quarantine zone outside their lair. I have found that it is possible to use the creature's thirst for blood against them, because they will fly into a Blood-Frenzy when gravely wounded and may even attack fellow vampires. When confronting a group, concentrate fire on selected individuals but do not down them. With luck they will Frenzy and turn on their comrades.
Vampires themselves are especially formidable opponents due to a combination of cunning and ferocity. They tend to prefer close-quarters combat, mainly dark, enclosed spaces, where their normally low numbers are effective against larger forces.
Vampires are versatile and utilise any weapons they can but they seem reluctant to use ranged weapons (although more political groups tend to favour them more than most) and their natural instinct seems to favour close quarters fighting. Even here they sometimes seem uncomfortable with any weapons beyond their bare hands and teeth, for they are more predators than warriors.
I have provided a brief Pict-Recording of a combat for reference.
Location: Kalsha III
Date: 998 M41
Verbal Transcript of accompanied Vid-Recording File:
[White-noise clears] Darkness, [Vid-source compensates with contrast filter], Stone walls, Sounds of movement and indistinct whispering.
[Vid source swings upwards] Behind view of human shapes [4-6; Details indistinguishable] marching down narrow stone alley.
[Vid-source moves, vibrating image], Figures continue to advance. Figures stop.
[Vid source zooms in]. A man, gaunt weathered face, thin lips, scar down left cheek [old], [Identified as Inquisitor Luthferious].
LUTHERFERIOUS: Advance and purge!
[Vid source zooms out, revealing wooden door] Lutherferious draws Force Sword from scabbard, swings and destroys door. Crashing sound.
[Vid source shakes] Lutherferious and accompanying shapes serge through destroyed doorway, [Pic source moves forwards], shows behind of man [subject (i)] Ecclesiarch Symbol and robes.
LUTHERFERIOUS: [shouting] In the name of the holy God-Emperor of Terra, your taint shall be purged daemon-kin!
[Vid source moves through doorway behind lines of figures], Small room, stone walls, wooden roof, little illumination [vid-source moves from behind accompanying figures, pans around], at far end of the room 4 indistinct human shapes, disorganised, appear surprised.
LUTHERFERIOUS: Holy Sun, burn the fiends!
[Vid-source flares white, blinded, contrast compensates] Ball of light [believed plasma weapon discharge] hits foremost figure, figure screams, immolates and falls to the ground.
[Contrast re-corrects] Opposing shapes surge forwards, surprising speed [faster than expected], muzzle flares, sound of lasgun and autoweapon fire [originating from accompanying forces], two foremost opposition figures appear to be hit several times, continue undulated.
[Vid-Source pans to the right] Opposition shapes collide with accompanying figures, close combat fighting. Screams of pain, figure [accompanying force] falls to ground.
[Vid-source pans back to the left, moves backwards] Opposition shape [subject (ii)] moves close, man, medium build, age approx. 30 years, dark unstyled hair, tattered clothes, snarl, prominent canine teeth.
(i) Moves forward [from beside vid-source], arm extended, holding shape [believed to be Imperial Eagle symbol].
VOICE [deep, male, believed to be (I)]: Get back foul deamon-kin! In the name of…
(ii) pauses and snarls (pain?) then lurches forward hitting (i) with fist. (i) falls backwards.
Vid-Source arm extends, holding canister with liquid-spray nozzle [common, general-purpose design], emits line (believed to be liquid) hits (ii) in face. (ii) screams, stumbles backwards, clutching face.
Heavily built man, shaven head, wearing flack jacket [Subject (iii)] moves towards (ii) [from right side of the frame] stabbing motion towards (ii)'s chest, (ii) blocks stroke with left arm, hits (iii) on the side of the head with right fist. (iii) falls to his knees.
[Vid source zooms in] (ii) snarls, reveals large prominent canine teeth. (ii) bites (iii) on the neck, blood flows from wound, (ii) appears to make sucking action, (believed to be drinking the blood).
Red-dot appears on (ii) forehead [believed to be laser sight] [Sound distorts as a very loud blast is emitted close to sonic-phone] [believed to be revolver-gunshot from (i)]. (ii) forehead explodes as bullet impacts, blood sprays from exit wound. (ii) falls backwards, (iii) falls on top of (ii).
[Vid-source pauses, zooms out] (ii) and (iii) corpses, neither moves.
[Vid-source pans to the right] shows Inquisitor Lutherferious engaged in hand-to-hand combat with adversary [Subject (iv)], two onlookers stand near [details indistinguishable although one appears of feminine shape], corpses [3-5?] surround them, (i) moves across view from right side.
LUTHERFERIOUS: Do you tremble before the light, daemon?
[Vid-source zooms in] Lutherferious slashes (iv) right arm with Force sword, (iv) staggers back, holds wounded arm, Lutherferious return stroke decapitates (iv). (iv) collapses to ground.
[Image out, Recording ends]
This report should be distributed to all active members of the Ordo-Malleus, and an edited version made available to the rest of the holy orders of the Emperor's Inquisitor. It is of the utmost imperative that this thread be eliminated with fidelity.
+++INQUISITOR GAME RULES+++
PHYSICAL (Section I)
When a character changes into a vampire their profile remains the same except:
Gains: +40 (or +8D10) to Strength
Gains: +20 (or +4D10) to Initiative (and so Speed changes as normal) and gains Lightning Reflexes talent.
Gains Talents: True Grit (however see notes on damage below, a Vampire can also recover from unconsciousness in the same way as System Shock.)
Count as a daemonic creature for purposes of special attacks, psychic effects and the like.
Senses of the Children of the Night:
Double Initiative when testing with sense of smell.
Double Initiative when testing with sense of taste for anything related to blood (including contamination), halves for any other test relating to taste.
Ignores vision modifiers for Darkness (unless the darkness is total).
Treats Bright light as humans treat night-time, the blinding effect of a Photon Flash grenade last twice as long as usual.
Body of the corpse:
Half damage sustained on all locations except head (attacks that cause Lasting Damage (see below) ignores this.)
Thirst for Blood:
A Vampire will sustain D6 damage at the start of every cycle of 86400 seconds (1 standard day). This damage can only be recovered by drinking blood (see Vampirism attack or 10 per litre consumed). This is only important in an extended campaign, as the Vampire must find a source of blood. See note on Blood-Stupor below.
A Vampire does not show up on heat/infra red detectors (I.e. Bio-scanner and Infrascope gun sights) as it's body temperature is at best slightly above that of the environment.
A Vampire counts as having double Toughness for the purposes of Resistance Tests for resisting the effects of toxins and drugs. Note also that they cannot be killed by then, as drug damage and addiction does not cause Lasting damage, however it will continue to last until the Vampire purges his blood.
The effect of any stimm or combat drug is halved, this applies to both advantages and disadvantages.
Treat as having double toughness when of testing Strength or Toughness for stamina related tests.
Does Not Need Oxygen:
A Vampire has no need for oxygen, and can hold it's breath indefinitely. They can inhale and exhale if required, and sometime will breathe out of habit more then need. They therefore cannot be harmed by asphyxiation or drowning. Poison gas may still cause some damage, see above.
Drains blood of stunned, unconscious or grappled (some rules I'll come up with somewhen) victims, as per Rulebook. Note that because the Vampire has to physically bite the victim the armour rating of the head is applied, providing the helmet covers the neck and throat. Vampires only recover half the damage inflicted when feeding of blood of other species. Note they can also drain stored blood, removing 10 damage per litre consumed. Blood stored for long periods of time will gradually lose effectiveness.
As per the rulebook, can only do this at the end of a turn in which he has made a successful Vampirism attack. However a Vampire also counts as having the ability "True Grit" and so can recover quickly from unconsciousness.
The Doctor cannot help those of still heart:
A Vampire can only recover Injury total by consuming blood. Medical attention, Recovery and Regeneration are all ineffective. Location injury can be healed as normal however. Note that their innate True Grit ability means they can overcome unconsciousness and system shock.
When recording damage effects and location injury keep "Lasting" damage separate from the rest. While this damage is cumulative with other types its total is noted separately, as it cannot be recovered in the same way that other damage types can. This damage cannot be healed by Vampirism or Regeneration, it only recovers at the normal rate and is subject to the normal limitations (I.e. no more than two levels recovered during combat).
The following types of attack cause Lasting damage to vampires:
-Fire and heat based weapons (including flamers, melta and plasma weaponry)
-Ultraviolet or higher energy radiation attacks, i.e. sunlight and damage from Photon flash grenades.
-Reactive Chemicals, e.g., acids and bases. Allyl disulphide, acts like a strong acid on vampires.
-Psychic and holy attacks
-Having their blood drained out from them, enemy Vampirism attacks effect the normally and they gain 10 damage per litre drained in other circumstances.
-Necrontyr Gauss Flayers likewise cause lasting damage.
Vulnerable to ultraviolet:
A vampire suffers 2D6 damage per turn exposed to direct sunlight and Photon flash grenades count as fragmentation grenades. Other Sources of ultraviolet (or more energetic) radiation causes damage depending on the intensity that illuminates the Vampire. Note on lasting damage above.
Stake through the heart:
If a Vampire sustains a Critical Hit or Placed Shot to the chest which causes two or more levels of damage (note half damage modifier still applies) with a weapon with a wooden "blade" or tip, then the Vampire's heart has been staked. This results in instant incapacitation and very soon; death. Normally accompanied by lots of screaming. In the unusual case of an amber tipped weapon then the same applies.
It won't die... :
A vampire cannot be killed by damage from anything bar attacks that cause Lasting damage, a wooden (or amber) stake to the heart or crippling injuries to the head.
If the Vampire's Toughness is exceeded by it's Injury Total by any other type of attack, the Vampire enters a coma like state known as a Blood-Stupor.
A Character in a Blood-Stupor counts as being unconscious and will not react to anything, the Vampire will sustain damage as normal.
A Character who enters a blood stupor will remain in this state for a period in days (86400 seconds) equal to (100 divided by the Vampire's Willpower) multiplied the amount the Injury Total is greater than the Vampire's Toughness. However if the Vampire is fed with blood then he we heal at a rate of 10 per litre consumed.
When a Character leaves a Blood Stupor, his Injury Total will be one less than his Toughness and he will immediately be susceptible to Blood Frenzy (see below) until his Injury Total is reduced to half his Toughness. Note that if he does not feed within 86400 seconds or so after revival, he will sustain the damage for his need for blood (see above) and possibly re-enter Blood-Stupor.
MENTAL (Section II)
That which the Dead fear... :
Vampires count moderate fires, sources of allyl disulphide (e.g. garlic) and holy relics or symbols (and those wielding them) as Fearsome.
Vampires count (large bonfires, blazing houses etc) and small sources of ultraviolet radiation as Terrifying.
When exposed to large intensities of ultraviolet radiation(such as direct sunlight), they flee towards the nearest shade at the fastest rate possible, doubling their strength for purposes of overcoming obstacles and restraints. The only thing that could halt their course is strong, physical restrain or a psychic/holy power of enormous magnitude. They ignore unconsciousness, stunning, pinning or system shock, until they are beyond the Sun's touch, where they will collapse in an action or two after leaving, if required by their Injury Level.
Vampires who's injury total is greater than half their Toughness (bar it all being Lasting Damage) will suffer from a Blood Frenzy, if they choose to resist then they must pass a Willpower test with a negative modifier equal to the amount the Injury Total has exceeded half his Toughness. If this is failed (voluntarily or otherwise) then the Vampire automatically suffers from Frenzy and while Frenzied gains the Furious Assault talent. However once an enemy has been Stunned or taken Out of Action the Vampire will feed using his Vampirism ability, he will continue to do so until his Injury Total drops below half his Toughness. If attacked during feeding, he will attack the attacker instead (providing he is aware of their location.
Vampires over 3/4 Injury Total will not distinguish between friends and foe, merely attacking the closest source of blood.
Effected by Psionics as normal and counts as Daemonic for purposes of special rules.
Retains any Psychic Power possessed before conversion to a Vampire.
A Vampire gains experience as normal.
May develop Psychic powers.
The Vampire's appearance will mutate with experience. In a way appropriate with the advancement.
ANTI VAMPIRE WEAPONRY (Section IV)
This should mainly be left to the GM but here are some pointers.
Garlic Bunches: Common, weight 5, User counts as Fearsome towards Vampires.
Allyl disulphide spray:
Availability: Unavailable (although can be home-made using common products):
Range: (Arm's length)
Damage: D3 Lasting Damage Vs Vampires
Special: A Vampire hit by the spray must pass a Nv test or Break Off and subsequently treats the wielder as Fearsome.
Wooden Stake: Reach: 1, Damage: D4, Parry: -30%
Wooden Spear: Reach 4: Damage: D8, Parry: -15%
Neck Guard: Counts as +4 Armour on the neck against Vampirism attacks aimed at the throat.
All these rules may seem excessive and cumbersome but in practice the only real differences will be the separate tallying of the Normal and Lasting injury total (and the fact it cannot be recovered in the normal manner), the halving of most injury inflicted and the rules for Blood-Frenzy and Fearing certain objects.
All the other rules really apply to unusual situations like characters specially armed with stakes or the Vampire's resistance to drugs and poisons. I have made an effort to avoid over compiling these and where appropriate I have used existing game mechanics. A character in Blood Stupor for example can be classed as Out of Action, unless of course some fool starts to feed it blood during a battle. No helping some "amusing" players!
Note Vampire Characters are entirely possible although they can be difficult with their desire for blood and they are relatively powerful (although far behind Space Marines).
Hope you enjoyed the Background and utilise the rules. Please give me feed back and opinions, especially on any tests. Any concerns about my mental state are understandable but futile.
May the Blood pulse inside you.
+++ END NOTES+++