World of the Beacon Hill Sorcerer
Characters and Definitions:
Vampire–The Sentient Undead
Vampires, ghouls, lich, zombies, wraiths, revenants, and ghosts are all classified as “undead.”
Only vampires are called the Sentient Undead. In this world, only vampires have bodily autonomy separate from their creator–unlike those resurrected through magical means by mortal practitioners, vampires are considered a different species once the human in question has died and been reborn as a vampire. Vampires have their own culture, history, and traditions, though they tend to follow along cultural lines of the country and regions in which they reside or the ethnicity of the vampire pre-turning.
Vampires, next to certain types of fae and a small handful other supernatural creatures, are the longest-lived species on the planet. Though not immortal, as they can be slain, vampires will continue to exist in a suspended state, their aging stopped forever at the moment they were turned. Scars and major injuries that were healed prior to turning tend to remain in place after a vampire Turns, though any physical impediments are lessened or improved upon. A mortal blind since birth due to a genetic anomaly will still be blind after turning, though the vampiric magics will adapt to make the remaining senses exceedingly strong. Limbs lost prior to turning will not regrow, though a vampire’s ability to adapt and compensate is much better than a human, so these handicaps are more easily lived with by a vampire than a mortal. Tattoos will survive the transition, though vampires can not be tattooed after turning, as the tattoo will heal itself, expelling the ink.
Vampires are vulnerable to certain types of spelled silver weapons, sunlight, and can be killed by beheading and/or the removal/destruction of their hearts. Vampires are animated by a primordial and mysterious type of death magic, and the exact mechanics of a vampire’s existence are unknown. The death magic inside all vampires is susceptible to manipulation by necromancers, making them natural antagonists.
Vampires rely on their ability to charm, a form of physical, emotional and mental manipulation to beguile prey and defend themselves, and they are extremely fast, strong, and the older vampires develop unique abilities that are rarely discussed.
Vampires, once turned, can love in non-romantic ways and form relationships as they could while mortal. The one restriction is that they can only ever fall in love once. Romantic, true love, once and forever, creating a spiritual and magical bond with another person, even more rarely two people in a rare triad. This is how vampires mate–once and forever. Many different vampire cultures have different names for the bond and their mates, though the bond example shown in The Necromancer’s Dance is called Leannán. In Irish Gaelic, this translates loosely to soul mate or lover.
If a Leannán bond is left incomplete or destroyed by death or choice, then the vampire (or vampires if two of them bond) become Croíbhriste—the brokenhearted. They are broken, and turn feral and dangerous, often descending into madness. It happens as often as a bond is successful, and is stressful on a vampire’s bloodclan until the final cords are in place binding the pair.
All the above is original concepts created by SJ Himes for the Beacon Hill Sorcerer series. Artwork property of their respective creators.
Copyright © 2016 by SJ Himes