Biology of Homines NocturnaeEdit
Vampires are all infected with a virus that is carried in their saliva and is transmitted when a vampire feeds on a human victim. The virus amplifies within a victim within a span of 72 hours, however humans injected with pure virus will turn in a significantly shorter amount of time. When the mutation occurs, new organs are produced and several of the original organs become redundant; the new vampire's strength and reflexes are increased tenfold, making them extremely deadly.
Vampires possess a number of advantages over humans: enhanced strength, agility and stamina, heightened senses, accelerated healing and a greatly slowed aging process that makes them virtually immortal. However, vampires also possess several weaknesses, most notably the Thirst, their need to consume human blood since their own blood cannot sustain hemoglobin. Like the vampires of legend, Homines Nocturnae are also extremely allergic to silver which burns their flesh to the touch. They also cannot stand ultraviolet rays and so they are unable to survive in sunlight; ultraviolet light will quickly burn through vampiric tissue. Surprisingly, vampires are also allergic to garlic, which can send them into anaphylactic shock. Finally, while vampires can regenerate most wounds and even lost limbs, injuries to the heart or brain are always fatal. Upon death, a vampire will disintegrate into hot ash.
Another rather unconventional weapon to use against vampires is a blood-thinning agent called EDTA. This anticoagulant reacts violently with vampire blood and a vampire injected with it will expand and explode like an overfilled water balloon within seconds.
As for other more mystical aspects of combatting vampires, Homines Nocturnae are not affected by any religious talismans or rituals. All their strengths and weaknesses are based solely on their genetic makeup.
Vampire society on the local or regional level is broken up into over a dozen major clans or "Houses". The Houses form a united front in the "Vampire Nation": the international governing hierarchy of the entire vampire race.
Vampires in the Blade universe exist within modern human society, though hiding their true nature. The Vampire Nation entered into a secret pact with the world's human governments: the human governments promised not to interfere with the vampires and their feeding, and in return, the vampires promised to keep their own numbers relatively low. Thus the creation of new vampires by turning humans is strictly regulated by the Vampire Nation. Over the generations, the vampires have developed an international power cabal, controlling about half of the global financial institutions and most major police agencies, bribing off human officials to ignore and sometimes aid their activities.
Most of the Vampire Nation believes maintaining the truce is in their best interests. Occasionally renegade vampires appear who disregard the Vampire Nation's rule. One such renegade was Deacon Frost who felt that vampires should rule humans directly. Frost's actions were considered dangerous by the House of Erebus, with one leader warning him that the human governments would make things very difficult for them if their numbers increased too much.
Purebloods and non-purebloodsEdit
Vampires are divided into two categories, pureblood and non-pureblood. Purebloods are born as vampires, the offspring of two people who are already vampires; this happens very rarely. Non-purebloods, or 'turned' vampires, have had a human existence before becoming a vampire.
Very few pureblooded vampires have scars. This is because purebloods ability to biologically regenerate from birth, meaning that unless injured with silver, they will heal all injuries flawlessly and age at an incredibly slow pace. While all vampires are capable of having offspring both through reproduction and 'turning', the birth-rate between mating purebloods is so low that it is practically non-existent (i.e. purebloods who are centuries old may have only had one or two pureblood children in that entire time).
A pureblood vampire is unable to become human, due to the vampire virus being naturally fixed in their DNA. This is not the case with non-purebloods. In the first Blade film, a retrovirus is found that can return non-purebloods to their human state.
These differences result in a class system, according to pureblood or non-pureblood status. Purebloods tend to take positions of dominance, regarding themselves as superior and looking upon non-purebloods with contempt. Non-purebloods are often in lower positions such as lackeys, minions or lieutenants. Non-pureblood reaction to this state of affairs is diverse and varies between individuals; some accept the hierarchy as natural, while others look upon purebloods with disdain.
"Familiars" are humans who willingly serve vampires. Familiars serve vampires in exchange for wealth and protection, and the possibility of one day being rewarded for their service by being turned into a vampire. Familiars usually have tattoos of vampire glyphs located somewhere on their body (e.g. the back of the neck or base of the wrist), which is much like a cattle-brand. This glyph warns other vampires that if they attempt to feed on or harm this human, they will have to answer to the vampire he serves. Familiars can function in daylight and may occupy crucial positions in human society which aid the vampires' infiltration, i.e. police officers, prison psychologists, powerful lawyers, etc.