originally compiled by JEB. reformatted by DPH. Updated by Lynati in October of 2005
Vampires originated through one of Madoc's early and unsuccessful experiments to produce fresh followers, by magically altering humans to make them more like the fay. However, the difficulties involved in this experiment (it was the first of its kind, with no precedent) combined with the fact that magic is not an exact science, resulted in a bizarre mutation, different not only from humans and the Third Race alike, but even from the "Unseelie halflings" that Sevarius would later on create through genetic engineering, blended with Madoc's sorcery. Vampires showed their uniqueness complete in a somewhat different set of traits from the fay (thus, iron has no effect upon them, but silver does). They also have free will, and refused to serve Madoc, striking out on their own. They do a lot of cautious watching over their shoulders, to see if he might come after them and force them to serve him.
Although the best-known vampires (including Vlad "Dracula" Tepes, of course) come from eastern Europe, vampires have at some point cropped up all over the globe, under different names. In Scotland, they are called the Baobhan Sidhe. In ancient Babylon, they were called the ekimmu. Greek vampires are called "vrykolakes", South American vampires "azeman". And so on.
Vampires look much the same way that they did as humans, except for fangs, and very pale complexions. They donít age, either. Because of this latter feature, they are usually either reclusive, or else move around a lot, so that humans donít notice this and start to get suspicious. Vampires have the shape-shifting ability of becoming bats and drinking blood in this form. Some vampires can also turn into mist or even wolves, although this latter isnít likely to turn up in TGS the way that becoming bats is. They have superhuman strength, equal to that of a gargoyle. They can also exert some form of control over rats and bats, and like to have such creatures around to carry out minor tasks for them.
Vampires survive by drinking blood at regular intervals, as a means of consuming the life-energy that they need to live. Vlad and his retinue make use of artificial blood during their initial stay in New York until the machine that provides them with it gets broken, after which they start draining the living.
Sunlight can kill a vampire, if he or she is directly exposed to it. They are also vulnerable to silver the way that faerie-folk are to iron (the result of their "mutation", so that their vulnerabilities work differently), arenít reflected in mirrors, and can be killed with a wooden stake through the heart. (They donít like garlic, either, although they claim that this is not so much out of any "magical" ability that garlic has, but rather because - who doesnít garlic repel? :) (Vampires might be repelled by holy ground and the Cross as well.
When a vampire drinks the blood of a gargoyle, they temporarily become more "gargoyle-ish" in appearance, having brow-ridges, bat-like wings, clawed hands and feet, a tail, etc. Nobody knows as yet what would happen if a vampire tried drinking a half-fay's blood (though I suspect it would give them quite a power boost).
Notable vampires include Dracula, Elizabeth Bathory, Imre and Mikaella (see all below).
first appearance of all four: "Thicker than Blood".
Vlad Tepes was born in Wallachia (part of what is now Romania) around 1430, the son of Prince Vlad Dracul of Wallachia. This Vlad was so-called because he used a dragon for his symbol, and "Dracul" is the Romanian word for "dragon". Vlad Tepes adopted his famous nickname of "Dracula", meaning "son of the dragon", because of this. Wallachia was heavily involved in the wars with the Turks to the east (the Turks, in fact, captured Constantinople in 1453, when Vlad Tepes was in his early twenties), and between 1456 and 1462, when Vlad ruled over Wallachia, he was a leading general against the Turks and defeated them several times. However, he was finally forced to retreat to Hungary in 1462, where he fell afoul of the king there and was imprisoned until around 1476.
Shortly after his release, Vlad came to the attention of Madoc, then visiting eastern Europe under the alias of "Niccolo Madioci", a Florentine aristocrat and emissary to the Hungarian court. Madoc decided to "convert" Vlad Tepes to his cause, and turned him into a vampire. However, Vlad maintained his free will, and refused to serve Madoc. He wound up getting into a fresh war with the Turks at Bucharest in 1476, where he was believed slain. However, Vlad survived, to begin a life in hiding as a vampire. His vampire status prevented him from ruling Wallachia further; now he had to lurk about in secret. (Interestingly enough, in the real world, Vlad's tomb was opened near the beginning of the 20th century and found to be empty).
Vlad Tepes still retains his strong leadership qualities; he's a ruthless and tough-minded "general", and determined to keep his vampire followers disciplined. During his human period, he preserved peace and justice in Wallachia - thanks to the fact that he put lawbreakers to death in such horrible ways - such as impaling them - that nobody dared commit any crimes after a while. He took a particularly dim view of beggars, which he viewed as parasites, and disposed of them by giving them a big meal in a barn, then setting it on fire while they were eating and locking the doors so that they couldn't get out. (His views haven't changed in the last 500 years, which is one reason why he has his followers feed on the homeless in New York). Vlad is very critical of the modern-day American justice system as far too soft on violent offenders, and definitely in favor of the death penalty.
Vlad has mixed feelings about the gargoyles. He feels inclined to scorn them for protecting the weak, but at the same time, he does respect them, particularly Goliath - who, after all, is a fellow warrior and being of the night. That doesn't mean, however, that he's not prepared to deal with them if they get in his way. (One thing about gargoyles that annoys Vlad Tepes is that he can't carry out the customary "smash them in the daytime" strategy against them, thanks to the fact that he and his fellow vampires can't survive in direct sunlight).
Vlad Tepes has adopted a mildly old-fashioned (circa 1930's and 1940's) attire with an eastern European tinge to it, although he does his best to make it subtle while in New York, so as not to draw attention to himself. He also has done his best to make his accent neutral - he won't be talking in the stereotypical "vampire accent" of the "I vant to suck your blood" or "I never drink vine" variety. In terms of appearance - I've seen a woodcut of him, depicting him as a dignified-looking fellow with long hair, a moustache, and a piercing stare; I doubt that he wears his hair as long as he used to, though.
Vlad made his followers vampires for one simple reason: he wants to have followers still, even if he's no longer Prince of Wallachia, and if he can't have them among the living, then he'll just have to acquire them from among the Undead.
She was born around 1560, as a noteworthy Hungarian noblewoman, the daughter of George and Anna Bathory. She was a ruthless figure herself, and tortured her servants, particularly the female ones, whenever they displeased her, until in 1610, the King of Hungary decided to bring her to trial. (Not just because of the servants; it was also because he wanted her estates and didn't want to have to repay to her some money that he'd borrowed from her husband - one Count Ferenc Nadasky, who was by this time dead - he died in 1604). Elizabeth was accused of murdering a great many young girls in the hopes of preserving her youth and beauty by bathing in their blood, during this trial; she was found guilty and locked up for the rest of her life, sealed into a room of her own empty castle.
Officially, it's believed that she died in prison four years later. Actually (in the TGS Universe), Vlad Tepes heard of her while roaming the area nearby, decided that she would make a worthy consort, broke her out, and made her a vampire like himself - something that Elizabeth agreed to because of the advantages from her perspective of becoming a vampire - such as immortality and eternal youth. She now rules by his side, every bit as much the ruthless disciplinarian and tyrant, with scorn for "the living", as he is.
Elizabeth and Vlad have different attitudes about the gargoyles, though. Vlad feels his pride has taken a blow and he wants payback, and is willing to destory them if they continue to meddle in his plans for the city, while Elizabeth, although not at all merciful, thinks that getting into a clash with gargoyles could be hazardous to them, and is therefore more inclined to 'let it slide" for pragmatism's sake.
Elizabeth Bathory probably has a few portraits somewhere in actual books on vampire legends, although I don't have any on hand at the moment - they can be used as a model for her. She dresses in the same conservative style as Vlad.
Both characters are completely fictional.
In contrast to Vlad and Elizabeth's tightly-disciplined behavior, Imre and Mikaela have a more modern tone about them, actually adopting the general mannerisms of the more contemporary vampire of the Anne Rice variety, going for a broody, melancholy style. They were pampered as living children, and they have been pampered as immortal youths as well by Vlad and Elizabeth both. They adopted these mannerisms partly becuase they have been caught up in the "romantic" myths about vampires, and partly becuase, like any children, they know that it annoys their parents.
Vlad and Elizabeth can't stand this current trend in vampire lore, both being "old school" vampires. They consider the more recent developments in vampire depictions an insult to their kind. Imre and Mikaela are also somewhat less practical, and uncaring of the dangers besetting vampires nowadays - they just want to have some fun in New York.
Because they come from aristocratic families, Tepes and Elizabeth, who are very class-conscious, treat them as "family" rather than as servants. Still, they do spend much of their time very angrily berating them for their rebelliousness and overconfidence, with a tone of "Do you want to get us all killed?" Once or twice, Vlad's seriously considered disposing of the pair. But while he's rapidly coming to the conclusion that they are both in need of a serious dose of reality and some hard-handed discipline, neither he nor Elizabeth really think that the pair are a waste.
Imre and Mikaela appear to be in their late teens (Mikaela 19, Imre a mature 16) and are both good-looking in a dark-haired and pale sort of way, and adopt a somewhat languid tone, except in fights where they're eager combatants. The one thing that they dislike about being vampires is that they don't have reflections in mirrors - they're both rather vain. They tend to dress in "gothic" fashions, usually in outfits mimicking eras that passed well before either was born.