In nearly every large city one can find a few Vampires roaming at night. Shunned by society they ambush their prey under the cover of darkness to slake their thirst. Many work alone, while others form small societies. These groups tend to inhabit abandoned crypts or will sometimes reside in sewers.
Although not much is known about the nature of Vampirism, there have been several studies into the creatures that were transformed by the disease. Over the centuries, mages, necromancers, Templar, and even Rangers have worked out to discover and ascertain the nature of these mysterious creatures. Though these organizations all discovered a laundry list of differences, a fact was quickly discovered that there were different classes and 'strains' of Vampires with different abilities.
The only thing that was found in a commonality between all Vampire phenotype is a small list of facts. No matter their nature or the strain of Vampirism carried, these creatures all feasted upon the blood of living beings, all grew weaker if they did not, all had a longer lifespan than regular beings, and none could be infected with lycanthropy.
Other traits that are often seen but do not seem to be universal include:
- Increased lifespan.
- The ability to heal non-fatal wounds more rapidly.
- The victim of the disease is rendered sterile.
The differences between the strains of Vampirism seemed to be as far flung as one might find in regular diseases. Some strains of Vampirism offer the infected enhanced senses, others give greater physical strength, whilst others enhanced magic ability but rendered the cursed as far more fragile than before.
Researchers discovered that while there are different strains of Vampirism the strains cannot be combined. This suggests that no one Vampire will gain advantage of every single strain. Though it is not known why, the Templar theorize it is because when two strains of Vampirism are introduced to one another one will eliminate the other.
Beyond all this, little is known about the finer aspects of the disease. It is unknown just how strong the hunger for blood is or how often it afflicts them. Some vampires seem to grow weak within days of a feed, others seem to be able to control the hunger much more easily. Other factors remains an enigma to most residents of Arethil. Can they eat more than blood? Do they sleep? No true answer has ever been found. Perhaps the strain of the disease varies, like the common flu. One shouldn't linger long enough to find out.