Back in 2005 when Vampires of the Scarlet Order was first released, one of the questions I frequently received was “whose vampires did you base yours on?” My answer was “nobody’s!” The vampires I created follow their own set of rules. I didn’t write Bram Stoker’s vampires, Anne Rice’s vampires, Stephen King’s vampires or anyone else’s Sure, I borrowed a trope here or tweaked an idea there, but the vampires that resulted are uniquely mine. That said, this does raise an important point. Whenever you create a fantasy world or a magical creature, you should follow a set of rules that’s consistent within all the stories you write in that world.
So, what characterizes the vampires of a Scarlet Order story? My vampires have a set of powers and weaknesses that I have tried to apply consistently in the stories and novels where they appear. This post will address some of the powers. Next week, I’ll look at some of the weaknesses.
The Scarlet Order vampires can shapeshift. This was one of the first abilities I gave my vampires. Part of the reason I did this was reactionary. When I was reading vampire fiction in the late 1990’s, it seemed like many stories had to go out of their way to tell you that vampires could not shapeshift or fly. In fact, I’d say the statement of how vampires were not like the Hollywood vampires of the 1930s and 40s became almost a trope in its own right. So, I wanted my vampires to be able to change into wolves or bats. The limitation I placed on them was that each vampire could only change into one creature. What’s more, it’s not really a literal shapeshifting. I won’t reveal exactly how it does work, because that would be something of a spoiler.
The Scarlet Order vampires have super strength. This really comes from many vampire stories and legends. Vampires are typically stronger than your average human. They are, after all, predators of humans and need to have the speed and strength to capture their prey. They also have extraordinary sight and hearing to go with their enhanced strength.
The Scarlet Order vampires can read minds and influence thoughts. This is really something that comes out of Victorian vampires like Dracula more than with any classic vampire folklore or modern sources. The Victorians were fascinated by things like hypnotism and mesmerism. In my case, this is a limited ability. The vampires can only read strong thoughts and influence minds that have some willingness to be influenced. In a way, their ability is more like the “Jedi mind trick” than anything else.
The Scarlet Order vampires heal rapidly and do not age. In many ways, these two powers go together. The cells of the vampires regenerate rapidly whenever there is damage. So, the “damage” that comes from aging, is rapidly reversed. In fact, the process of becoming a vampire can make one a person more beautiful, thus allowing the vampire to more easily attract prey. The process of this is explained in Vampires of the Scarlet Order, so I won’t spoil it here.
So, with all these wonderful powers, why wouldn’t everyone want to become a vampire? We’ll look at that next week when we look at some of the weaknesses of the Scarlet Order vampires.
Remember, you can grab copies of the Scarlet Order vampire novels at most on-line retailers. Direct links are in the pages bookmarked to the right. Clicking the book covers below will take you to the books at Amazon.