Vampires or Homo sapiens sanguisugae, were a magical artificial Human subspecies created with the magical abilities of Areum, which reconfigured the biology of otherwise normal humans by transforming them into humans that had an unceasing biological need and mental craving for blood. Their existence is a violation of the Flesh Taboo.
Vampires were sterile and unable to reproduce after the death of their creator, and died out when the last members of their kind succumbed to old age.
Vampires were created by Vlad the Impaler during his reign as a personal army, using Areum in a form of biomancy. The vampires were given a severe lust for blood that left them impressionable and loyal to the wizard who could promise and provide it, Vlad the Impaler himself. Vampires were utilized throughout his military campaigns along with his signature impalement of his enemies and own subjects on stakes, creating a reign of terror that struck fear into 15th century Europe.
Vampires later died out after Vlad the Impaler died. Vlad had not shared the secrets of his biomancy technique with any other wizard, and the process which he used to create the species went with him to the grave. Eventually, the vampires he created died out, being unable to reproduce sexually or any other means. By the 16th century, they were extinct.
The reputation and stories of vampires only heightened the fear non-magical people had against wizards, indirectly contributing to the Spanish Inquisition decades later in which wizards were persecuted and murdered by the Church. This is despite the fact that Vlad the Impaler had broken one of the most sacred wizarding codes, which was that it was forbidden to tamper with human flesh.
Physically, vampires were identical to typical humans, and there was little to visually distinguish a vampire from a human, though their behavior was significantly more erratic. The difference was a fanatical lust for blood, to extremes where the subject was almost feral, which was satisfied through killing other humans or animals, and if there is no other source around and desperation is high, other vampires. Vampires were highly intelligent due to retaining most of their sentience after being converted, but some vampires were more feral than others; over time, older vampires grew more and more feral, and became less coherent and conscious of their actions.
One telltale sign that a person was a vampire was the presence of black irises, though this was not guaranteed to be present in all vampires.
Older vampires tended to be more skeletal due to blood not being an entirely effective means of nutrition. Vampires did not live very long. Complete hair loss was another symptom of vampires that were further degraded.
Vampires were not capable of sexual reproduction and were sterile. This was likely intentional to prevent his creations from breeding uncontrollably, and also perhaps Vlad was not capable of making their reproduction organs retain function.
- Contrary to popular belief, vampires did not turn other Humans into vampires by biting them, as the process of feeding tended to drain blood from the prey's entire body over time and there was no intent or practical reason to leave them alive.
- Vampires could look in mirrors, though the more feral and mentally unstable examples tended to attack their own reflection out of frustration.
- Garlic had no effect on vampires.
- Vampires hunted both in the day and at night. There was nothing preventing daytime activity at all, and historically they killed most of their victims during the day. When the legends of vampires faded into 'fiction' the sunlight allergy was fabricated to offset the terror instilled into children to keep them from wandering at night.
- A wooden stake through the heart would have indeed killed them. However this being said, a wooden stake through the heart of anything tends to kill that thing, and vampires were susceptible to anything that would normally kill a typical human. Wooden stakes are likely from Vlad's own habit of using them to impale people including vampires that he was dissatisfied or bored with.