Their origin unknown—for they are the only form of undead not created through Black Necromancy—vampyres are among the most powerful of undead. Referring to themselves collectively as ruža vlajna (pronounced, roo-zha vlazh-na), vampyres are of three primary varieties: moroi (pronounced, mo-roy), vampyres of animal stock; nosferatu, vampyres of a wild and savage nature; and strigoi (pronounced, stri-goy), vampyres that most closely resemble their mortal selves in intellect and temperament. However, other varieties of vampyre do exist, as does variation within each.
The sole manner in which to create a new vampyre is through the bite of an existing vampyre and the subsequent death—whether due to the bite or not—of the victim. Such a victim will rise as a vampyre within a day’s time. As the only known means to prevent this transformation is to destroy the body of the victim, many societies plagued by vampyrism have incorporated such an act into their funerary rites. Upon its transformation, a vampyre begins its existence as a thrall—an enslaved servitor—to its creator. Only its creator’s death or a willful act of manumission can free a thrall from its master’s control. Even a newly risen vampyre surpasses any human in speed and strength.
Like all undead, vampyres do not require respiration, rest, sleep, or sustenance to persist, and do not suffer any deteriorative effects of aging; barring violence, vampyres endure indefinitely. Nevertheless, unlike other undead, vampyres do require blood from living beings to maintain their powers and their faculties of cognizance and reason. If deprived of blood for sufficient time, a vampyre reverts irreversibly to a state of irrationality and limited awareness—that is, it becomes a nosferatu, which knows only an insatiable bloodthirst. Although not possessed of a biological physiology, vampyres nonetheless retain a minimal circulatory system, which allows for the dispersion of ingested blood throughout their bodies.
Ruža vlajna also differ from other forms of corporeal undead in further significant ways. They do not smell of death and decay, but rather emanate an aroma of sweet musk, especially after feeding. Vampyres heal of most wounds inflicted upon them. They possess the four standard senses—hearing, sight, smell, and taste—all to greater acuity than that of humans, as well as the extraordinary vivisense, allowing for the perception of life. And vampyres are not stagnant in capacity or constrained in potential, but necessarily advance in ability and acquire specific powers over time.