Darryl Speed's Collection of Characters
Vampires, Origins, Legends, and Leaders
Vampires are one of the classic boogeymen that seem to be a ubiquetous fear among mortals. From the frozen shores of Garridan to the shadowy woods of Ibrekt, there are legends and superstitious about powerful undead aristocrats who feed upon the blood of the peasants that reside near their castles. Their origins and even physiology is hotly debated as vampires seem to take different forms based upon their homeland. Vampires found along Eastspine often take the form of their villager neighbors, with minimal visual indication of their thirst for the lifeforce of others. In contrast the vampires found in Ibrekt are known for their ghoulish features and ravenous hunger driving away their sanity. There are still the common threads that connect the curse of vampirism, weakness to garlic, inability to go in the sun, and of course the thirst for blood. Peasants use vampires as a way to lash at the nobility without committing themselves to a full fledged rebellion. Anything that goes wrong within their lands is blamed on the curse, bad weather is blamed on black magics used to block out the sun, crops failing is viewed as divine punishment for accepting the sin of undeath, countless others legends float about through peasant villages across Ios.
It is hotly debated among scholars on the subject of undead about the origins and creation of the curse of vapirism, some cite blood cults of the ancient world combining blasphemous rites with demonic dark magic, others argue for a theory that states vampirism is a degenerate form of ghoul fever that led to a much less reliable food source(blood rather than flesh) which is also why vampires that do not find refuge with the aristocracy have trouble not being hunted down by fearful villagers, the most prevalent explanation among theologians and peasants is that far into the annals of history there was a lord or king who committed the ultimate blasphemy(varies from region to region) against an unnamed sun god and this god was so enraged that he cursed the noble/king and promised to obliterate him if the blasphemer ever basked in the sun’s light ever again.
Major vampire families across Ios.
Most vampires outside of the Norlands maintain a aura of secrecy about their true nature so most peasants and other nobles are unaware of the curses hold on the family
The Istria family of the Norlands: One of the many vampire families that has abandoned all semblence of secrecy about their curse, the Istria family has become truly dominant in the power pollitics of the Norlands, challenging the Skani crown in a war for independence backed by 4 other vampire families that inhabit the region. This war was a major success for the vampires and now the kingdom of Velostria holds much of the Western Norlands and the Skani crown continues to lick the wounds from this loss and prepare for a crusade of retaliation. Life as one of the living in Istrian lands is not easy, peasants are allowed to live and maintain their humanity but they’re only given just enough land to survive and must offer their most attractive sons and daughters to either be added to the harem or be devoured by one of the many hungry vampires within Elkanokov Castle.
House Sybil of Emiria: Hard times have fallen upon the once powerful noble family of Sybil in Emiria. After being one of the few “Petty Kings” to surrender to Traedorn without a fight during the conflict between them over 20 years ago, they expected special treatment from the occupiers but Commander Claudius and Servus il-Ternol both have refused to answer their cries for help and have left them to their own devices while levying harsh occupation taxes upon them. All while this downfall is occurring a genetic defect has continued to surface among Sybilite nobles and has left them often too weak to even walk or speak. Fearing for the safety and survival of his family, the bastard son William Rivers(the bastard name of Sybil) came to his dying father with an offer of immortality that could save his family. Seeing his true sons and daughters as too weak to run his lands Acheron Sybil gave in and had his whole family drink from the Black Goblet, cursing them to never see the sun again.