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Rite of the Scion

Author: 
Anonymous

What is the Rite of the Scion?

A ceremony wherein a mortal inflicted with vampiris is accepted by the Blood Matron. This mortal obtains her blood and her favor, becoming a Scion.

What is involved in the ceremony?

A mortal is presented to the Blood Matron by a Scion. The mortal shall take the name Initiate, the Scion that of Bloodspeaker.

The Bloodspeaker must first prepare the accursed symbols of Arkay and Molag Bal. Thereafter, the Initiate drinks from the basin of suffering and the basin of loss and learns the history of Lamae Bal. Then, the Initiate profanes the symbols. Once this is done, the Initiate submits to the Blood Matron and is exsanguinated completely. Should the Blood Matron deem the Initiate worthy, she will revive them with her own blood.

What separates a Scion from a mere vampire?

A vampire is a victim. They are poor creatures suffering from a disease. Scions are blessed by the Blood Matron directly. More potent is their blood. More terrible is their wrath. More beautiful is their visage.

Vampires are their flock, mortals their fare.

Whom does the Scion serve?

The Scion, child of the Blood Matron, bows to no one. The Mother has broken their bonds. To serve is their choice, but the Mother would see Her children unite and turn their opponents into subjects.

What is the Covenant of the Scion?

Arkay the Forsaker, we curse you. You left us to suffer in darkness.

But we survived. And in darkness, we grew.

Now, we feed upon your followers. We will use their stolen strength to conquer and consume you.

Molag Bal, Father of Torment, we curse you. You sought to poison us with your blood.

But we survived. And from your poison, we grew.

King of Corruption, your children are coming. We will defile and destroy you.

We step away from the light. We sacrifice the frailty of breath.

From the dead blood of our Mother, we live unburdened. Her curse is our blessing. Her fury, our grace.

 

Noxiphilic Sanguivoria

Author: 
Cinna Scholasticus

The disease vampirism is not one disease, but many. Throughout the centuries, and for unknown reasons, the afflictions collectively known as vampirism have been transmitted in different ways and taken on different qualities. Herein, I shall try to delineate, to the best of my ability, the qualities of the form of vampirism common to our era, known as Noxiphilic Sanguivoria, so as to better equip the reader to identify this type of vampire.

First, however, I believe a word of warning is in order. This work is in no way intended as a guide to hunting or otherwise confronting a vampire. In all cases, it is advised that you avoid anyone you suspect of vampirism and certainly that you do not try to fight them. Vampires of all varieties possess supernatural strength and will quickly overpower all but the most experienced hunter.

The most important thing to remember about sufferers of Noxiphilic Sanguivoria is that, as the name implies, they are not weakened by daylight as in other strains of vampirism, but are, instead, strengthened during the nighttime hours.

Why this is the case is poorly understood. One of the more wild theories is that it is the result of some sort of Daedric backroom deal between Hircine and Molag Bal that has given sufferers of Noxiphilic Sanguivoria a werewolf-like love of moonlight.

By night, these hunters are possessed of extreme fortitude and a powerful ability to recover from wounds.

Sufferers of Noxiphilic Sanguivoria, interviewed under heavy sedation, of course, have described a dreamlike passage from when they were first bitten and afflicted with the disease. Some of them have described entering a ritual chamber where they were bathed in a pool of black blood. Whether the transformation actually involves such a terrifying ritual, or whether it was merely a hallucination is impossible to discern without firsthand experience.

If you are bitten, or believe to have been bitten, by a carrier of Noxiphilic Sanguivoria, do not panic. If you are able to get away from your attacker, see a priest of Arkay immediately. You will not contract full Noxiphilic Sanguivoria without first being exsanguinated by a vampire and then receiving the gift of his or her blood in return

Opusculus Lamae Bal

Author: 
Mabei Aywenil

Opusculus Lamae Bal ta Mezzamortie 

A brief account of Lamae Bal and the Restless Death

Mabei Aywenil, Scribe

Translation by
University of Gwylim Press; 3E 105
 

As brighter grows light, darker becomes shadow. So it passed that the Daedra Molag Bal looked on Arkay and thought the Aedra prideful of his dominion o'er the death of man and mer, and it was sooth.

Bal, whose sphere is the wanton oppression and entrapment of mortal souls, sought to thwart Arkay, who knew that not man, nor mer, nor beastfolk of all Nirn could escape eventual death. The Aedra was doubtless of his sphere, and so Molag Bal set upon Nirn to best death.

Tamriel was still young, and filled with danger and wondrous magick when Bal walked in the aspect of a man and took a virgin, Lamae Beolfag, from the Nedic Peoples. Savage and loveless, Bal profaned her body, and her screams became the Shrieking Winds, which still haunt certain winding fjords of Skyrim. Shedding a lone droplet of blood on her brow, Bal left Nirn, having sown his wrath.

Violated and comatose, Lamae was found by nomads, and cared for. A fortnight hence, the nomad wyrd-woman enshrouded Lamae in pall for she had passed into death. In their way, the nomads built a bonfire to immolate the husk. That night, Lamae rose from her funeral pyre, and set upon the coven, still aflame. She ripped the throats of the women, ate the eyes of the children, and raped their men as cruelly as Bal had ravished her.

And so; Lamae, (who is known to us as blood-matron) imprecated her foul aspect upon the folk of Tamriel, and begat a brood of countless abominations, from which came the vampires, most cunning of the night-horrors. And so was the scourge of undeath wrought upon Tamriel, cruelly mocking Arkay's rhythm of life and death through all the coming eras of the et'Ada, and for all his sadness, Arkay knew this could not be undone.

Immortal Blood

Author: 
Anonymous

The moons and stars were hidden from sight, making that particular quiet night especially dark. The town guard had to carry torches to make their rounds; but the man who came to call at my chapel carried no light with him. I came to learn that Movarth Piquine could see in the dark almost as well as the light - an excellent talent, considering his interests were exclusively nocturnal.

One of my acolytes brought him to me, and from the look of him, I at first thought he was in need of healing. He was pale to the point of opalescence with a face that looked like it had once been very handsome before some unspeakable suffering. The dark circles under his eyes bespoke exhaustion, but the eyes themselves were alert, intense, almost insane.

He quickly dismissed my notion that he himself was ill, though he did want to discuss a specific disease.

"Vampirism," he said, and then paused at my quizzical look. "I was told that you were someone I should seek out for help understanding it."

"Who told you that?" I asked with a smile.

"Tissina Gray."

I immediately remembered her. A brave, beautiful knight who had needed my assistance separating fact from fiction on the subject of the vampire. It had been two years, and I had never heard whether my advice had proved effective.

"You've spoken to her? How is her ladyship?" I asked.

"Dead," Movarth replied coldly, and then, responding to my shock, he added to perhaps soften the blow. "She said your advice was invaluable, at least for the one vampire. When last I talked to her, she was tracking another. It killed her."

"Then the advice I gave her was not enough," I sighed. "Why do you think it would be enough for you?"

"I was a teacher once myself, years ago," he said. "Not in a university. A trainer in the Fighters Guild. But I know that if a student doesn't ask the right questions, the teacher cannot be responsible for his failure. I intend to ask you the right questions."

And that he did. For hours, he asked questions and I answered what I could, but he never volunteered any information about himself. He never smiled. He only studied me with those intense eyes of his, commiting every word I said to memory.

Finally, I turned the questioning around. "You said you were a trainer at the Fighters Guild. Are you on an assignment for them?"

"No," he said curtly, and finally I could detect some weariness in those feverish eyes of his. "I would like to continue this tomorrow night, if I could. I need to get some sleep and absorb this."

"You sleep during the day," I smiled.

To my surprise, he returned the smile, though it was more of a grimace. "When tracking your prey, you adapt their habits."

The next day, he did return with more questions, these ones very specific. He wanted to know about the vampires of eastern Skyrim. I told him about the most powerful tribe, the Volkihar, paranoid and cruel, whose very breath could freeze their victims' blood in the veins. I explained to him how they lived beneath the ice of remote and haunted lakes, never venturing into the world of men except to feed.

Movarth Piquine listened carefully, and asked more questions into the night, until at last he was ready to leave.

"I will not see you for a few days," he said. "But I will return, and tell you how helpful your information has been."

True to his word, the man returned to my chapel shortly after midnight four days later. There was a fresh scar on his cheek, but he was smiling that grim but satisfied smile of his.

"Your advice helped me very much," he said. "But you should know that the Volkihar have an additional ability you didn't mention. They can reach through the ice of their lakes without breaking it. It was quite a nasty surprise, being grabbed from below without any warning."

"How remarkable," I said with a laugh. "And terrifying. You're lucky you survived."

"I don't believe in luck. I believe in knowledge and training. Your information helped me, and my skill at melee combat sealed the bloodsucker's fate. I've never believed in weaponry of any kind. Too many unknowns. Even the best swordsmith has created a flawed blade, but you know what your body is capable of. I know I can land a thousand blows without losing my balance, provided I get the first strike."

"The first strike?" I murmured. "So you must never be surprised."

"That is why I came to you," said Movarth. "You know more than anyone alive about these monsters, in all their cursed varieties across the land. Now you must tell me about the vampires of northern Valenwood."

I did as he asked, and once again, his questions taxed my knowledge. There were many tribes to cover. The Bonsamu who were indistinguishable from Bosmer except when seen by candlelight. The Keerilth who could disintegrate into mist. The Yekef who swallowed men whole. The dread Telboth who preyed on children, eventually taking their place in the family, waiting patiently for years before murdering them all in their unnatural hunger.

Once again, he bade me farewell, promising to return in a few weeks, and once again, he returned as he said, just after midnight. This time, Movarth had no fresh scars, but he again had new information.

"You were wrong about the Keerilth being unable to vaporize when pushed underwater," he said, patting my shoulder fondly. "Fortunately, they cannot travel far in their mist form, and I was able to track it down."

"It must have surprised it fearfully. Your field knowledge is becoming impressive," I said. "I should have had an acolyte like you decades ago."

"Now, tell me," he said. "Of the vampires of Cyrodiil."

I told him what I could. There was but one tribe in Cyrodiil, a powerful clan who had ousted all other competitors, much like the Imperials themselves had done. Their true name was unknown, lost in history, but they were experts at concealment. If they kept themselves well-fed, they were indistinguishable from living persons. They were cultured, more civilized than the vampires of the provinces, preferring to feed on victims while they were asleep, unaware.

"They will be difficult to surprise," Movarth frowned. "But I will seek one out, and tell you what I learn. And then you will tell me of the vampires of High Rock, and Hammerfell, and Elsweyr, and Black Marsh, and Morrowind, and the Sumurset Isles, yes?"

I nodded, knowing then that this was a man on an eternal quest. He wouldn't be satisfied with but the barest hint of how things were. He needed to know it all.

He did not return for a month, and on the night that he did, I could see his frustration and despair, though there were no lights burning in my chapel.

"I failed," he said, as I lit a candle. "You were right. I could not find a single one."

I brought the light up to my face and smiled. He was surprised, even stunned by the pallor of my flesh, the dark hunger in my ageless eyes, and the teeth. Oh, yes, I think the teeth definitely surprised the man who could not afford to be surprised.

"I haven't fed in seventy-two hours," I explained, as I fell on him. He did not land the first blow or the last.

Journal of the Lord Lovidicus

Author: 
Lord Lovidicus

Entry 1. Beauty! Pure and sublime. That is the only way to accurately describe my love, the maiden gro-Malog. True, the Orcs of Tamriel are often vilified by the other citizens of the Empire, and rarely would they be considered a pleasure to look upon. So, is my maiden Luktuv a rare breed of Orc, unlike the rest of her kin in physical appearance? Nay. In fact, she is the perfect representative of her race, green skin, muscular frame and all. But beautiful she is, all the same. For who am I to judge? Who am I to criticize when so many would condemn my very existence? I can only hope my love is as understanding when she learns of my unique condition, for I have yet to reveal that most precious of secrets.

Entry 2: Damn the politics of my station! Taxation and trade negotiations and meetings with disingenuous aristocrats -- it's sometimes enough to make me regret my birthright altogether. I've spent the latter half of my life hiding my identity, guarding my secret. But now I am faced with an even greater challenge, for if word were to get out that I have fallen in love with a servant -- and an Orc, no less -- I would be all but ruined! Such is the life of the Cyrodilic nobleman.

Entry 3: Curse me for a coward, but I have not yet found the strength to tell my beloved Luktuv the truth. Perhaps it's for the best, for what benefit is there in her knowing? She would share all of my fears but none of my abilities. Her life would become one of doubt and uncertainty. Still, if she is to spend her remaining mortal days with me, she has the right to know the truth.

Entry 4: Joy and exaltation! She is with child! My beloved Luktuv is carrying my child! The midwives predict a boy, and we have already settled on the name Agronak. In truth, I never realized such miracles were even possible, but the Divines have granted us their blessing, and so shall it be. I must wonder, of course, if my dear child will share in my Dark Gift. Only time will tell.

Entry 5: Tonight the truth will be revealed. I will tell my beloved Luktuv everything. She will know who and what I am, and we will decide how best to raise the precious child that grows in her womb.

Entry 6: Betrayal! Foul and loathsome harlot! How dare Luktuv question my motives, question the love I have for my own unborn child! When she learned the truth, that I, the Lord Lovidicus, am no longer human, that I have walked Tamriel as a vampire for the past two hundred years, how quickly she judged me! So, I am a monster, am I? Perhaps I should have proven her right. Perhaps I should have drained her dry when I had the chance! But I loved her, as deeply as a man has ever loved a woman, and I wanted nothing more than to bring our baby into this world and embrace my new role as father. Perhaps when Luktuv has come to her senses -- for she refuses to come out of her room -- we can have rational discourse about our future. I do not, however, retain much hope.

Entry 7: Imprisoned! Imprisoned in my own home! While I slept, Luktuv locked me in my own private chambers. She called to me through the doors, told me of her plan to escape with our unborn child. She means to keep my baby from me! When I get free, I will find the traitorous whore and rip the child from her very womb!

Entry 8: Two weeks. Two weeks have passed since Luktuv locked me in my quarters. Try as I might, I cannot free myself. I cannot breach the doors! If I don't feed soon, I feel I will go mad.

Entry 9: Food blood blood blood blood I need it I need blood need blood

Entry 10: ...

Manifesto Cyrodiil Vampyrum

Author: 
Anonymous

To you whom We have seen
Stalking at night by eyes keen
Transcendant of savages
Sating thirst sans avarice
Your coffers stay stuffed
By social graces robust
None know your nature;
     save Us
None share your fate;
     save Us
None welcome you as kin;
     save Us

On Our Order:

Know first that we are no simple tribe of savages, tearing throats with the orgiastic abandon of our scattered, tribal brethren. Ours is a civil fraternity, to which we are bound - every one - by our dual hunger for flesh and influence. By the virtue of Imperial structure and bureaucracy, Cyrodiil has become our stronghold in the third era, and we suffer no savage rivals within our boundaries, reveal ourselves to none, and manipulate the hand of society to mete out our agendas.

On Our Dual Patrons:

To Kin-father Molag Bal, who brought forth the Bloodmatron Lamae to spite Arkay, we owe our existence, as do all vampires, though not all honor Him. For him we revel in the feast, and acknowledge the gift adrift in our veins.

To patron Clavicus Vile, beacon o’er our affairs, we owe our successes and social stature. Our bond with Vile makes us unique among our kind, for his guidance steels our savage craving with reason and savvy. For him we live amidst mankind, and twist them to our will from offices of power.

On Our Rivals:

Most barbaric tribes think themselves powerful by the gift of Bal’s blood alone, and squander the gift. There are those, however, who show signs of enlightenments, and earn our attention - those such as the Glenmoril Wyrd, who live within the walls of Breton cities, or the Whet-Fang sodality of Black Marsh, who use magicka to keep captives catatonic and harvest from them the red nectar. These foes may one day threaten to impugn our sovereignty within the boundaries of Cyrodiil, thus compelling our vigilance. Should any encroach upon our dominion, our wrath must be swift and total.

On Our Conduct:

To preserve our ideals and way of life, two primary edicts shall be observed. Above all, reveal thyself and our Order to no other, for discretion is the greatest of our virtues. Do not feed where you may be found out, or on those who may suspect your passing. Avoid daylight by lifestyle; dispel common belief in our kind, and maintain supple appearance through satisfaction of the thirst. Second, devote your pursuits to the procurement of influence, political and otherwise. Our strength is not in physical numbers, but in skillful manipulation of society. Always be mindful of our Patrons, and preserve the Order. Devote yourself to these ideals always, and the Order shall count you amongst our own.

 

 

 

Private Papers of Galur Rithari, Buoyant Armiger

Author: 
Galur Rithari

[hand-written manuscripts bound as folios; excerpts]

"Outnumbered and isolated, I yielded to my foe. The creature dressed like a gentleman, and I hoped for honorable treatment. Instead, I found myself a feast for a blood-drinking monster.

"Shamed by my corruption, and despairing of my own welfare, I passively acquiesced in my gradual integration into the affairs of Clan Aundae. I made no human my prey, only beasts, and kept myself apart from the other clankin; nonetheless, I abandoned hope and lived like a beast.

"Drawn by intimations of my former life, I visited my former post at Bal Ur, hoping perhaps to atone in some for my crimes by preying upon its monsters, or perishing under their attacks. It is there that, by chance, I made petition to the Lord of Troubles, Molag Bal, at an altar deep in the caverns beneath the pilgrim's shrine. I was surprised, and thrilled, and terrified, when Molag Bal, or some aspect or agent of that Daedra Lord, offered me a chance to cure myself of vampirism, in return for a favor. However, with no hope for my soul or spirit unless I might be cured, I undertook his quest.

[Rithari sought and obtained a cursed soul gem of mysterious nature from a deep cavern on the northern slopes of Dagoth Ur, delivering it to Molag Bal's shrine in Bal Ur.]

"I placed the gem within the basin before the altar, and instantly experienced a blinding of pain and terror that I cannot express in words, except that it seemed afterward that I had been asleep and dreaming that I was being sliced by thousands of tiny knives from my bowels inside out. I awoke before the altar, and gazed in the reflection of my own sword blade at my own face - no longer a blood-seeking beast of teeth and empty eyes."

Trap

Author: 
Anonymous

I saw the gold, and I took it. A different man might not have, I know that, and from time to time, I think back on the hour when I saw the gold and took it. You see, I was hungry. Isn't it ironic.

I don't remember much else about that night but the gold and the hunger. I don't remember the name of the tavern, or even the village, but I believe it was somewhere in southern Vvardenfell. I can't really be certain. For some time, I sat dumbly in my chair, my mind occupied with nothing but the pain in my stomach. If you've never been truly hungry from days of no food, you can't know what it's like. You can't concentrate on anything. It wasn't until a figure to my left got up from the table to get a drink and left a stack of gold marks behind that I snapped to awareness.

From this moment on, my memory is crystalline.

My eyes to the gold. My eyes to the stranger's back, walking calmly toward the barmaid. My hand to the gold. The gold in my pocket. I'm up from the table, and out the door. For just a moment, I look back. The stranger has turned to look my way. He wears a hood, but I can feel his eyes meet mine. I swear, I can scent a smile.

Out into the street, and behind some barrels I crouched down, waiting for my pursuer. One benefit of a lifetime running from guards, I know how to disappear. For nearly an hour, I waited there, suffering even more from hunger. You see, I was awake now and I had the means to buy myself a feast. This knowledge tortured me. When I finally got to my feet, I very nearly fainted. I had only enough energy to walk to the other edge of the village to a run-down tavern before collapsing at a table. I think I must have fallen unconscious for a moment before I heard the barmaid's voice.

"Can I get you something to eat, sera?"

I gorged myself on roasts and pies and huge frothing mugs of greef. As the fog of near fatal starvation began to lift, I looked up from my plate to see a gold-masked stranger looking at me, his vizard glowing by the blinding light of the moon through the window. He wore black leather armor and was a different physique and size from the man I had burgled, but I could tell he knew. I paid for my meal quickly and left.

I skirted the edge of the village, through a tiled central courtyard surrounded by the squalid peasant's cottages. There was not a light shining from any window or door. No one was on the streets. I could find no place to hide, so I took the road out of town, heading for the wilderness. Hunger had pushed me on in the days before, but now I felt what I imagined to be the whip of guilt. Or perhaps, even then, it was fear.

I fell twice, rushing down the dark path, unused to the slopes and pebbled texture. The sounds of animal life, which I had numbed to, were suddenly very loud in my ears. And there was something else out there in the night, something chasing me.

On the side of the road, there was a low wall, and I scrambled over it and hid. I knew enough about concealment to pick a spot where the bulwark sunk slightly so even if someone saw the outline of my figure, he would assume it to be part of the wall. It wasn't long before I heard the sound of running footsteps from more than one person pass me by and then stop. There was a moment of whispered conversation, and one of the people ran back on the path toward the village. Then, silence.

After a few more minutes, I peered out from behind the wall. A female figure in a dun gown, wimple, and veil stood in the road. On the other end of the road, blocking the way back to town, was a knight, coated in dark mail. I could see neither of their faces. For a moment, I froze, unsure whether either or both had seen me.

"Run," said the woman in a dead voice.

The hill behind me was too steep, so I leapt over the wall and across the road in two bounds. Into the night forest I ran, the maddening jingle of the accursed gold in my pocket. I knew I was making so much noise my pursuers could not help but hear me, but now I cared more for putting distance between us than in stealth. Clouds of ash filtered through the moonlight, but I still knew it was too bright to hide. I ran and ran until I felt all my blood pumping in my head and heart, begging me to stop.

I was at the edge of the wood, on the other side of a shallow stream from a vast, crumbling house encircled by a rail fence. Behind me, running footfall in the broken, dusty earth. To the south, downstream, a distinct sodden splashing of someone moving nearer.

There was no choice. I half jumped and half fell into the mud and dragged myself up the bank on the other side. I rolled under the fence and ran through the open field toward the house. Jerking my head around, I saw seven shadowy figures by the fence posts. The cloaked man I had robbed. The man in the gold mask. The veiled woman. The dark knight. Three others too who had pursued me, but I had never seen. And I thought I was the stealthy one.

The moon was entirely hidden in a swarm of ash. Only the stars offered their meager illumination as I reached the open door of the ruin. I slammed and bolted the door behind me, but I knew there could be no protection for very long. As I looked about the ravaged interior of broken furniture, I searched for someone to hide. A corner, a niche where if I stayed very still, no one would see me.

A splintered table lying against the wall looked perfect for my purposes. I crawled under it, and jumped when something moved and I heard a frightened old man's voice.

"Who's there?”

"It's all right," I whispered. "I'm not one of them."

His puckered, gnarled hand reached out from the shadow and gripped my arm. Instantly, I felt sleep fall upon me, resist it as I might. The old man's horrible face, the face of the hungry dead, emerged as the moon came out and shone through the broken window. His talon still gripping me, I fell back, smelling his death surround me.

The table was thrown back. There stood the seven hunters and a dozen more. No, hunters they weren't. They were harriers who had chased me out of every hiding place, expertly pushing me to the lair of the real predator. He was weak with age, the old man was, not as good at the chase as once he was. A blunt, killing machine.

"Please," I said. It was all I could muster.

Having enjoyed the sport I offered, he granted me mercy, of sorts. I was not bled dry. I was not cursed by being made one of them, the Berne. I was kept with others, most of us mad with fear, to be aged and tasted at the vampires' whim. We are called cattle.

I lost all hope months ago of ever leaving the dank cellar where they keep us. Even if this note finds its way to the outside world, I cannot give enough information about my whereabouts to be rescued, even if some champion were able to defeat the bloodsuckers. I only write this to keep my own sanity, and to warn others.

There is something worse than being hungry.

Being food.

Vampires of Vvardenfell

Author: 
Anonymous

[excerpts]

...The violent antipathy of Morrowind culture toward necromancy ensures that vampires are virtually unknown in Morrowind...

...The Temple does not acknowledge the existence of Western vampire hunting orders. Nonetheless, interviews with Temple officials persuade me that the Dunmer of Morrowind are experienced and knowledgeable in the handling of these menaces. On the other hand, they freely admit that even a large community of vampires might easily escape detection in the remote wastelands, or in the subterranean labyrinths of abandoned strongholds and wizard towers....

...The "ash vampire" of Ashlander legend is not undead. Sorceries and blessings affecting the undead reportedly have no effect on these creatures. No specimen has ever been examined, and no references have ever linked these legends with the known clans of Tamrielic vampires....

...Vvardenfell's three known bloodlines differ greatly in their approach to prey. The Quarra bloodline features exceptional strength and endurance, and attacks in a state of ecstatic frenzy. Aundae vampires are potent spellcasters, seeking to hypnotize victims before feeding, while the swift and agile Berne clan vampires prefer stealth and ambush, first poisoning the victim with a bite, then withdrawing to a safe distance, returning to feed only when the prey has weakened...

...It is supposed that vampirism is contracted from wounds received from a vampire. Since few victims survive vampiric attacks or feedings, the process of contracting the disease is little understood. Some have suggested that victims may willingly submit themselves to the will of a vampire, but no real evidence of this exists....

...During the incubation phase, lasting up to 72 hours, the vampirism disease exhibits no symptoms, and may be cured by general spellcraft or cult blessings. However, during incubation, some victims have reported sleep disturbances and troubling dreams. After symptoms are exhibited, however, the disease is incurable and irreversible....

[excerpts]

... In the West, a shadowy fraternity of vampire hunters is believed to be primarily composed of formerly afflicted vampires who have been cured of the disease. According to legend, the Vampire Hunters refuse to reveal the cure to the disease for fear that it may encourage depraved thrill seekers from deliberately infecting themselves.

In the East, the Western tradition of Vampire Hunters is unknown. Vampirism is known to be incurable, and even if it were curable, a cured vampire would be an abomination to be destroyed. Since the disease is infallibly cured if treated within three days, failure to treat oneself after an encounter with a vampire would be considered a deliberate attempt to contract the disease, and a mark of monstrous depravity....

... In Temple doctrine, one ancient tradition holds that, among his many other crimes, Molag Bal, the Father of Monsters, spawned the first vampire upon the corpse of a defeated foe. Several different versions of this story exist, with the foe variously identified as a Daedra Lord, a Temple Saint, or a powerful beast creature. This account of the origin of vampirism is peculiar to Morrowind, appearing nowhere else in Imperial lore. Unfortunately, scholarly inquiry upon this topic is discouraged by the Temple, which controls access to the only substantial collection of historical and cultural records in Morrowind....

... Though the Dunmer believe the disease is incurable, a Buoyant Armiger of former years named Galur Rithari insisted that he was cured of vampirism. Initially imprisoned by the Temple for heresy, he later recanted, was released, and served his final years as a librarian in the Hall of Wisdom in Vivec. It is interesting that previous to his imprisonment for heresy, Rithari had been posted to the Buoyant Armiger garrison at Bal Ur, a pilgrimage site known as the “birthplace of Molag Bal.”

Vampires of the Iliac Bay, Part II

Author: 
Anonymous

I told in the first chapter of my story how I became a vampire and of my first kill. While it might (and, indeed, should) horrify the reader that my first victim was a friend of the mortal I used to be, it is my understanding that they are not uncommon first kills.

I left the snow white corpse in the alley and ran to the only place I felt perversely safe, the masoleum. For the first couple days of my undeath, I starved myself while I considered my fate. I relearned what I was capable of doing, and found that I was stronger, faster, tougher, and more agile than before. I had powers that as a knight I had only seen powerful mages wield. Later, I discovered additional abilities, such as a total immunity to disease. Helpful when descending on a plague-stricken city like a jackal.

I also found my weaknesses. I could no longer stand the light of the sun -- exposure to it for longer than a few seconds burned me terribly. It also pained me to enter temples and other places of worship. The worst effect, of course, had to be my blood lust. If I did not kill a warm blooded creature once a night and drink its blood, my hunger would gnaw at me, and any wounds I suffered would not heal no matter how much I rested.

Is this the moment for me to admit that there was a time I loved being a bloodsucking creature of the night? It is not impossible to live only at night, merely occasionally inconvenient. And I wouldn't have to kill humans every night, merely warm-blooded creatures. Orcs have a delicious, rich brothy blood; rats are a little sweet for the only meal of the night; werewolves are a real treat, almost decadent the tincture between human and beast. A real gourmet's delight.

About a month after I died, I was having the best time of my life. One night, I received a letter from someone who said he was "family." Curious, I went to visit him at his tavern, and was told about the tribe of vampires to which I belonged -- the Montalion. In return for me performing certain duties for the "family," the man at the inn would train my in my vampiric abilities and skills.

Though I never got very much detail, I surmised that the two main differences between the different vampire clans is geography and powers. Montalion alone have the gift for teleportation, but the other eight have powers of their own.

My mentor (that is the title he used) would congratulate me after each mission I performed, and came to trust me more and more. If asked, he would tell me about the Montalion's newest alliances, who they were manipulating, who they were stalking. It was then I started to become frightened at last. They, and all of their rival clans, were draining the blood of Tamriel itself.

I panicked. I had to find a cure. But nowhere could I find any book or rumor suggesting that vampirism is anything but permanent. So I resolved to kill myself, but I wanted to bring the Montalion down with me. I joined guilds they opposed, and failed any mission given to me spectacularly. I thought my mentor would turn against me, but he only became quieter, less forthcoming with information, never violent. He was not concerned. He had probably seen vampires like me before.

Here's why he never attacked me: immortals can afford to be eternally patient.

At last, he refused to give me any further missions. He wouldn't even talk with me, but he never left his tavern. I could come and go, and he'd watch but never talk. That's when I got another letter.

There are several of us, you see, former vampires who know what to look for. We're patient too: we learned it in our unlife. We watch and listen, and anonymously contact the vampires we know wish to end the curse.

Ending the curse is possible, but only just. It is very dangerous, but when you are cursed, the only real danger is no escape.