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Original Vampire Mythos: The Curse

While the exact effects of vampirism vary somewhat between bloodlines and even from vampire to vampire, there are certain issues that arise from the curse that are inherent to every vampire...

  • Sensitivity to Sunlight
    This manifests primarily in two ways, depending on the bloodline. In the Revenant, Nightingale and Lamia lines, the vampire is severely burned by direct exposure to sunlight and will be burned even by indirect exposure, though it will be far less severe.

    In the Felis, Stryzga and Ancient line, this sensitivity manifests as a weakening of their powers by the light of day and an inability to use certain abilities at all. A vampire of these bloodlines is just as strong, fast and resilient as a human in peak condition.

    In the Siren bloodline the sensitivity manifests as a mixture of the two.

  • Amplification of personality and traits.
    All vampires experience a sort of amplification of their negative traits and maladaptive coping mechanisms -- partly due to the curse itself and partly due to the trauma caused by
    The Change.

    For example: A vampire who is self-absorbed and somewhat insensitive may become self-obsessed and cruel after their Change; A vampire with Bipolar Disorder may find that the frequency of their psychotic symptoms has increased after their Change; a vampire who has a type-A personality and is overly-focused on their work may find that they've become obsessive and lose days/hours to their work and a vampire with Borderline Personality Disorder may find that their fear of abandonment has intensified.

    This amplification can also apply to personality traits that aren't negative such as empathy but this is often limited in its sope.

  • An increase in self-interest
    All vampires -- regardless of how altruistic they were as mortals -- experience a massive increase in selfish tendencies. This is often accompanied by an increase in difficulty with exercising compassion or sympathy. Oddly, this aspect of the curse tends to have a worse effect on more altruistic and compassionate mortals, leaving them distraught at the change in their emotional landscape and unable to cope with it.

  • An increase pleasure-seeking behaviors, a decrease in self-control and need for immediate gratification.
    Due to the trauma of their Change and the constant gnawing
    Hunger that vampires experience, vampires will experience an increased drive for pleasure and need for immediate gratification. They will find it difficult not to act on impulse when faced with a chance to obtain something that may be enjoyable. Combined with the tendency for vampires to develop addictive personalities, this causes the species as a whole to have a propensity for hedonism and excess.

  • A general increase in impulsivity and emotional reactivity/intensity.
    All vampires have an increased emotional intensity -- as if their emotional dial has been turned from a 5 to an 11. Due to this, vampires have a tendency to act on impulse/due to emotion far more than they did before their Change.

  • Being cut off from the "Natural Order"
    As an effect of the Death of Night, vampires are severed from the "Strings of Fate" -- which removes their ability to use inborn magical abilities and can even inhibit the use of magic in their immediate vicinity. Vampires who possessed inborn magic as mortals (often called Witches) can relearn magic, but it is incredibly difficult and incredibly rare.

  • A growing drive to kill their prey and spread the curse.
    In addition to their hunger driving them to kill, vampires also experience a growing urge to "spread" the curse as they grow older -- whether they rationalize this as a need to have a companion who can "understand" their existence or something else varies from vampire to vampire.

    However, the source of this drive is not anything so natural as the common human urge to reproduce or even loneliness. Because vampirism as it is in the modern day is heavily influenced by the influence of the Myriad Eyes, their urge to spread vampirism is caused by its desire to spread its influence.

  • Removal from the cycle of reincarnation.
    Part of being removed from the "natural" order means that vampires are no longer fully tethered to the cycle of life/death/rebirth -- this is partly because of their seemingly endless lifespan.

    However, when a vampire has fully drained a victim (at any point in their life) and successfully spread the curse, they become tethered to the Myriad Eyes and if they're killed, their soul generally is absorbed by the Myriad. There are exceptions to this, but they are incredibly rare.

    If a vampire hasn't done both of these things, their soul still returns to the cycle but it's forever marked by the effects of the curse.

  • Chronic feelings of emptiness.
    Due to being cut off from the natural order, the trauma of the Change and often losing their connection to many of their loved ones, vampires are prone to feelings of chronic emptiness and frequently experience lengthy periods of ennui and intense depression. In addition to this, many vampires experience a decrease in their ability to experience positive emotions.

  • Forgetfulness as the vampire ages
    Human minds are not meant to live for centuries on end and while, before the influence of the Myriad, Night intervened to give her Chosen the ability to maintain their memory indefinitely, that intervention has ceased in modern times. As such, vampires begin to experience memory loss around the age of 250 -- this applies to memories of both their mortal and immortal life. The memory loss can be staved off by obsessively keeping journals and mementos. As such, many vampires end up becoming hoarders.

    Notably, this memory loss may appear much sooner in vampires who had a sufficiently traumatic mortal life or experienced a large amount of trauma in their immortal life, especially during their first nights.

  • The intertwining of sexual attraction/lust/romantic attraction and hunger.
    Since vampires can no longer reproduce sexually, their experience of sexual attraction and lust becomes innately tied to their desire for blood -- which can be incredibly confusing for newer vampires.

    In addition, this becomes tied to their romantic attraction as well (though more in a drive to Change their partner than drain them).

    This means that vampire/non-vampire relationships tend to be incredibly complicated and often end tragically due to their impulsivity and lack of self-control.

    Note: Vampires who do not experience sexual attraction (asexuals) do not experience Hunger as sexual attraction (though if they're not sex-repulsed/hyposexual they may experience it as arousal/sex drive). The same goes for vampires who did not have a sex drive as mortals and experiencing hunger as arousal/sex drive... And vampires who are on the aromantic spectrum will generally experience a desire to change their closest friends with the same urgency as an alloromantic vampire feels towads their romantic partners.

    Generally speaking, however, any sexual interaction a vampire has will usually include feediing on their partner.

  • Inability to break cycles of behavior
    Vampires are, largely, creatures of habit and it can be incredibly difficult, if not nearly impossible, for vampires to change from who they were when they died in any meaningful way. This means that vampires tend to fall into repetitive cycles of (often harmful) behavior that they cannot break out of.

    External interference may make it possible for a vampire to break out of these cycles and a vampire with sufficient willpower is capable of changing who they are as a person...But generally speaking, a vampire will always be, at their core, the person they were when they died.

There are some effects of the curse that are dependent upon the age of the vampire and whether or not they're willing to embrace their changed existence and they are as follows:

  • A distinct feeling of unbearable coldness and intense sensitivity to cold temperatures.
    Newborn vampires are often painfully aware of the change in their core body temperature and will often be subject to chills and feeling unable to get warm during their first nights. Generally speaking, the older a vampire gets, the less they notice this particular issue and vampires who have intentionally distanced themselves from their humanity generally don't notice the cold whatsoever.

  • A distinct awareness of needing to "force" their body to function.
    A newborn vampire will often feel as though they have to "force" their heart to beat or force themselves to draw breath... All vampires, regardless of age do have to "force" their body to start functioning at the beginning of the night and newborn vampires simply haven't adjusted to the change.

  • Constant and unbearable hunger.
    Newborn vampires generally don't know how to push their hunger to the back of their mind and thus the constant experience of it becomes unbearable very quickly. This is especially true of vampires who refuse to feed from living vessels and rely solely on "dead blood" (aka blood from corpses or bagged blood)

The intensity of the curse is largely determined by the age of the vampire and how tightly they cling onto their humanity -- an older vampire who has worked hard to stay as human as possible might experience less severe effects of the curse but will be more disturbed by them and a younger vampire who has pushed their humanity away as much as possible will have more intense effects but be less disturbed by most of them.

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