This past week's awesome Adventure Time
nonsense got me musing again on how I would handle vampires, were I to address them in a fictional context. Which I would not, because I don't like vampires. But if I did, I imagine I'd employ a premise similar to that posited underthomastapir.deviantart.com/art…
The key difference being that in this case, the preternatural parasite fundamentally alters the underlying Sheldrake-ian morphogenetic template of the host/victim's DNA, resulting in expressed and potentially hereditary biological changes. There may even be an organic vector to the condition, probably not a virus but something more like a prion, so that the physiological metamorphosis is entangled with bioenergetic corruption of the host's chakra system. The phenomenon then becomes a kind of "communicable curse."
Most aspects of traditional vampire lore could be rationalized under this model, I think.
The condition induces extreme anemia, giving the host a thirst for blood. (Much like the "hydrophobia" component of rabies, this could easily be seen as an evolutionary self-selection factor leading to propagation of the parasite via bite contamination.)
Vulnerability to sunlight would be an extreme sensitivity to UV radiation. Perhaps the disease agent has origins in a deep geothermal "shadow biosphere" and only occasionally reaches the surface during volcanic upheavals--the origins of the mythical Hades and the monsters of the shadowy underworld...?
Aversion to holy water and blessed objects would be another morphic resonance characteristic--the Kirlian field and even the molecular configuration of such material artifacts has been subtly polarized via the bioenergetic influence of someone synchronized with a "positive" energy domain antithetical to the dark astral parasites. Such objects may even become a channel or "antenna" for positive vacuum energy, linked to the inexhaustible wellspring of the divine ZPE Source field.Consider Masaru Emoto's Messages in Water:www.masaru-emoto.net/english/w…This is why "blessing" is ineffective without "faith."
Lack of reflections in mirrored surfaces is harder to explain, but I'd hazard that the host's bioenergetic field warps visible light in some fashion. Maybe their material form is actually invisible, and humans unwittingly "see" only the predator's manifest psychic imprint. Or maybe they can "tune" their bioenergetic field to visibility at will. This could explain some of the other odd and credulity-straining metamorphic and "chameleonic" faculties of vampires, like the supposed ability to project illusions or turn into mist or animal forms.
The inability to cross running water is another odd one; I guess I would put that down to some sort of disruption of the altered Kirlian field or the etheric parasite's interface with the physical host due to the dense negative ion concentration in the potential electrical reservoir generated by large volumes of kinetic, fast-moving water. (The New Age association of negative electrical ions with healing and "positive energy" would tend to reinforce this interpretation.)
I'd say that silver (or salt, or iron, or whatever) is lethal for similar reasons--disruption of the host's altered bioenergetic field or the preternatural superconducting properties of the vampiric nervous system. (I stole this latter idea from Chaosium's take on werewolf biology...I should note here that in researching the mythological origins of vampires and werewolves, I've found that indigenous folklore rarely recognizes any difference between the two arbitrary categories and that the contemporary concept of the "wolfman" is almost entirely a modern cinematic invention.)
If we take the bestial transformation motif at face value, I would say it's more of a "Thing"- or Anyanwu-like absorption and expression of acquired genetic templates--perhaps an infected host enjoys access to an entire gene library or transphyletic "zoo" accumulated over millions of years of cross-pollinatory disease transmission and evolution. That would be difficult to explain in terms of a prion vector, but given the Sheldrake-ian aspects, it's also possible that these DNA templates are stored in the form of their bioenergetic counterparts in the morphogenetic field--a kind of vampiric "Akashic record" enabling the creature to draw upon and manifest traits of diverse organisms at will.
The wooden stake thing isn't always mentioned in the original mythology, and even when it is, the relative lethality and required type of wood (ash, oak, holly) varies widely. In many cases piercing the heart (with anything) only immobilizes the vampire--complete destruction requires decapitation and burning or interment of the body in hallowed ground (see again morphic resonance). Once again, maybe the type of wood/implement is less important than whether it's charged with the disruptive energetic influence of someone truly "good"(/polar "positive") wielding it in sincere faith...?
Vulnerability to garlic is another odd and sketchy one not wholly or consistently supported by the folklore. I'd say it's not exactly an allergic reaction, but more like an extreme sensitivity to pungent herbs due to acutely heightened, stereotypically "vampiric" senses.
Some of those weirder aspects like the OCD "bean counting" and inability to enter houses uninvited I would put down to prosaic spongiform-like brain damage. Evil psychic parasite notwithstanding, this might also be a partial explanation for vampiric sadism, psychopathy, and megalomaniacal religious delusions, all of which would aid in disease propagation. Again, consistent with cordyceps, rabies, and other such gruesome "brain-jacking" infections:www.amazon.com/Zombie-Makers-E…
Where and how did this condition begin? Which came first, the prion or the parasite? Did the contaminating organic component lead to a disease condition of the body's bioenergetic field and an emergent etheric organism (ah-HAH, now we're seeing true Cordyceps-style "spore" dissemination, taking place on the astral plane!)? Or does the mutation of the original host's DNA lead to the production of a pathological protein complex that can potentially corrupt additional victims and render them vulnerable to infection by conspecific astral parasites...?
For Adam, mainly...I thought this might be something you could exploit for your game universe, though from our exchanges I imagine that you already do or would employ a very similar narrative device.TAG YOU'RE ITThough I'm still at -1 on response to that last journal entry--to paraphrase from Ash, we're "still collating"[link]