Vampires are among the upper crust of supernatural society. Because of their immortality they have had plenty of time to amass land, wealth, and power. Matched with their superior senses–advanced hearing, sight, and smelling capabilities–and their supernatural speed, healing abilities, and increased strength, they are frighteningly lethal.
Vampires do, however, possess weaknesses as well. They are especially weak to magic–both wizard and fae magic–and although they can out-pace most shifters, werewolves and the like are physically stronger. Although sunlight will not kill them it does significantly weaken them and makes them easier to kill. Finally, besides their innate abilities–healing, speed, etc–they are incapable of sensing or using magic.
Vampires live in units called Families. The Family gets its name from the founding vampire–in example, the feared Drake Family of the Midwest region was founded by Killian Drake. The founding vampire–or if the founding vampire has died, the strongest vampire in the family–is called the Family Elder, and he/she rules the Family.
Each Family has at least two vampires who serve under the Elder, although the title of those vampires frequently changes depending on the country of origin of the Elder vampire. The Drake Family uses the term First Knight and Second Knight to denote the two next strongest vampires because Killian Drake was originally from Britain. Families with Slavic origins most frequently use the term “bogatyr” while Families with French origins call their top vampires “chevalier.”
The most powerful vampire in a Region is called the Eminence. The Eminence serves on the Regional Committee of Magic, and–to a certain extent–reports to the Ancient—the top vampire in the country.
A tiny minority of vampires don’t belong to a Family, they are called Unclaimed. Few Unclaimed are exiles, but the majority of them are vampires who find vampire society distasteful. Unclaimed who wish to survive long have to be crafty and powerful as they are otherwise easy prey for other supernaturals.
Vampires survive by drinking human blood. They are able to consume human food as well, but it lacks the necessary nutrients they need to survive, and too much of it can make a vampire ill, so it is not uncommon for vampires to partake in human food only once per week, or less.
Instead, vampires receive shipments of blood in prepacked, plastic packs they they can drink like a juice box. Entire companies are built around fulfilling this need–some recruit and pay humans for donating their blood, others specialize in packaging the blood, and every region has a local delivery company that delivers weekly shipments of blood packages to a Family’s house.
Some powerful Families keep individual Blood Donors on retainer. Blood Donors are humans who are paid by the vampires–and often given room and board–in exchange for letting vampires from the Family drink their blood. Vampires receive more nutrients from fresh blood, but given all the laws and requirements for keeping Blood Donors, they are considered a luxury.
While magic is considered the biggest threat to a vampire, in reality if a vampire manages to live through its first century, his/her nature has enough time to settle and they get a distinct increase of power and abilities that make it easier to survive. Unfortunately, once a vampire passes several centuries, their powerful abilities make it harder to survive.
Vampires used to be the biggest powers in the supernatural community, but as time has passed their powers have waned–not from a lack of respect or wealth, but by the choice of the Elder vampires. Weighted down by memories, general weariness of the world, and the sadness they’ve carried by living through centuries of watching their loved ones die again and again, the majority of old, powerful vampires slowly slump into apathy. They lose all interest in politics, sometimes they even lose interest in caring for their own Families. This has repercussions on their Families, who are forced to get by with poor leadership or–in extreme cases–pick a new leader if their Elder falls asleep and won’t wake up/becomes wholly unresponsive.
If the apathy of the Elders wasn’t enough, vampires have been facing a crisis of numbers as they’ve been unable to turn many vampires in the past 50 or so years. As a result, they are unable to replace their dwindling numbers.
Vampires are currently in a precarious position. They still have an abundance of power and wealth, but lack the numbers to use it. Additionally, as they are generally feared it makes other supernaturals less likely to align with him. All of this changes when the Eminence of the Midwest Region, Killian Drake, extends his Family’s protection to Adept Hazel Medeis of House Medeis…