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The Essence of the Vampire

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By Hawkmoor

In my previous dissertation; “Red, Red Wine: The Modern Vampire”, I deliberately set out to demonstrate that Vampires exist, as a group of people who feel attractions and needs that are dissimilar, yet in some ways frighteningly familiar, to normal people.

I demonstrated how everyday things can assume whatever significance, or relevance, one may wish to attach; in this essay I shall detail the manner in which the modern Vampyre thinks, reacts, feels and interacts with and of those things that surround them in the ‘everyday’.

The purpose of the information I furnished was to give a deeper understanding of the nature of the people with which one deals when speaking of “modern vampires”. In this world, the belief in darker ‘forces’, or places is integral to any consideration of modern vampirism. Make no mistake, at the heart of the matter is DARKNESS.

Knowing of the existence of such allows one to be prepared to deal, within it, on an equal footing. The Vampyre, by his/her very nature, is strong; decisive, commanding and oft times insensitive. One must necessarily think the same way when dealing with members of this fraternity.

Let us look to the Vampyre.

Much of what we ‘believe’ to be Vampyric in nature has been ‘coloured’ by the interpretations of authors and movie makers… the Vampyre, in literature and popular entertainment, has been given a certain demeanour and, whenever one thinks of the Vampyre a certain, often undeserved image springs to mind.

Characteristics of the Vampyre:

We may expect to find: coldness, aloofness, practicality, a sense of superiority over other creatures. Most usually Vampyres are portrayed as having impeccable manners (except when the ‘blood rage’ is upon them).

The Vampyre uses cold intellect and harsh reason when dealing with enemies and does not ‘stoop’ to common levels. A vampire will not hesitate to defend him/herself whenever necessary and is very often not consciously aware; or caring, of the consequences of his/her actions.

A Vampyre’s ‘loyalty’, if ever given, is not given lightly and it is expected that the one to who the loyalty be given respects that.

Commonly, in a Vampyric family (and this stems more from fiction and role-play than anything) there is a Lord or Lady who heads the family; much as the ‘Alpha’ beast in a ‘Were’ pack, and this ‘Sire’ usually has one or more ‘lieutenants’.

The members of the family, below these positions or ranks, follow without question, the lead or orders of these ‘officers’ and ‘sire(s)’.

In the case of the ‘Anarch’, or ‘Solitary’ – to use the label, this does not matter since such a Vampyre has none to who he/she owes allegiance, or is aligned with.

However; when a Vampyre is a guest in another’s “house” then they should be aware of the proper hierarchy in that “house” and conduct themselves politely; and accordingly, toward all members of the house, most especially in dealings with the Lord, Lady or their nominated Lieutenants.

By their very nature it is soon apparent that Vampyres are in possession of knowledge and facts that are lost upon other creatures/beings who are not Vampyre. By virtue of this ‘knowledge’ the Vampyre is placed in a position of superiority that goes without saying. Having such knowledge gives a certain assurance to the Vampyre’s manner.

Also by their nature a Vampyre is a secretive being. They do not give away personal information. They do not, normally, discuss their methods of hunting, feeding, etc., in open forums or general chat. This is as much part of the mystique and allure of the Vampyre as anything else.

It is my belief that there are certain ideals that a Vampyre, a modern vampire, should adhere to in order to gain respect and be treated equally and fairly within the general Vampyre community.

It is IMPORTANT for a Vampyre to maintain a civilised and polite air at all times.

Vampyres DO NOT lower themselves to base behaviour simply because an opponent does.

Vampyres are not bound to consider any other creature’s point of view as gospel or law – the Vampyre knows only the Vampyre law and ways.

Vampyres have every right to consider themselves superior to other ‘preternatural’ beings but SHOULD NOT make a great show of this.

Quite probably the most oft asked question I get upon the subject is, “Why is it that vampires think they are better than other supernatural beings?”

It is the natural state of mind for the Vampyre; with heightened senses; some claim heightened physiological effects and others heightened physical abilities, comes the self-assurance that lends the Vampyre their “cold” air of indifference.

I hesitate to use the word “supernatural” preferring instead the term ‘preternatural’.
Supernatural is defined as “being above or beyond what is natural” or “not able to be explained by natural laws”, whereas preternatural is defined as, “Out of the ordinary course of nature; abnormal”.

All vampires today come under the group banner “HLVs”, or Human Living Vampyres.

Vampyres today are NOT undead creatures that rise from the grave at night and turn into green mist or bats – we MUST leave such notions in the fiction, literature and Hollywood where it belongs. If you bring to me a person who claims to be dead, and changes into a bat after crawling forth from their grave at night, then I shall know I am looking at some poor deluded soul who is in desperate need of therapy and good drugs.

The HLV is in possession of a certain knowledge of the physical world that they inhabit; they perceive certain things about the energies and the forces at work within it that cannot, and are not, perceived by other creatures. They are not ruled by the baser “wild” instincts of Therians/Weres, and are not swayed by the metaphysical probabilities that bombard the magickal practitioners – thus they are able to be more clinical in their assessments of situations, more level headed and clear thinking in times of stress and trial. Vampyres, except in the most extreme circumstances, do not ‘lash out’ – it is their nature to plan, decide and execute in a methodical and impersonal way. It is this very ‘impersonality’ that makes the Vampyre seem so secretive and remote.

I know that you may, quite probably, be able to find a great many who claim to be Vampyres that would disagree with me upon this point; as I am sure nearly all magickians and therians would; however, consider if you will:

Therians employ their abilities to free their inner selves from what would otherwise be the constraining environments; they crave freedom.

Magickians use their abilities to manipulate circumstance and surroundings in order to advance their own desires, aims, understanding or needs.

Vampyres employ their abilities to stay healthy.

Which then seems the most free of complicated and overly intrusive outside concerns? In a nutshell, this focus of purpose allows the Vampyre to shed any unnecessary thoughts, feelings or emotions and simply “get on with the job”.

This is why the Vampyre ‘appears’ to be more remote and aloof than any other preternatural being.

Since the Vampyre sees the human, or mundane, as “food”, the question may as well be asked of the diner about to cut his steak, “Do you not care, or have feelings, for that meat?” The Vampyre consumes the energy/blood of the humans about him/her. It is as simple as that. It is not a particular “hatred” that has been fostered amongst the Vampyre community against the race of man. In fact, as far as the “swan”, or donor, to a Vampyre is concerned, the relationship can become very much akin to, if not completely, one of love.

My point is meant to illustrate the near disdain that Vampyres, in general, feel for those who are not Vampyres. It is more a deep feeling of indifference, than carelessness or outright hatred. To have a general lack of concern, for any who are not Vampyre, is perfectly natural in the way of the Vampyre; as perfectly natural as any other section of society today; and is, to my mind, an integral part of the mentality of the Vampyre. Without this remoteness we may even start feeling sorry for non-vampyres.

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© Copyright 2004 by Hawkmoor
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