There are over one hundred distinct kinds
of vampire in Tamriel. The Iliac Bay region alone has nine
variations with unique powers and abilities. I have this information
not only because I have been researching this blight of the
world for the last ten years of my life, but because for the
seven years before that, I was one of the creatures.
Vampirism is a disease, like brain rot or
cholera, but far, far more insidious. One can become a vampire
through certain magical items or by the curse of a powerful
wizard, but the most common cause is the bite or scratch of
a vampire. There are no symptoms of vampirism except this
-- if the victim sleeps after the attack but before he becomes
a vampire, his sleep will be plagued with nightmares.
During this two to four day period, when the
disease has been spread but the victim is still mortal, most
any temple healer can remove the curse of vampirism. There
will be no further warning.
I do not remember dying. I had been a scout
for an order of knights which shall go nameless for this.
A daughter of a local nobleman had been kidnapped by a mysterious
character, and my captain had located his hideout. Deep in
the dank underground chambers, I searched until I found the
girl. Or what remained of her, a corpse the color of snow,
drained of every drop of blood. I knew what the mystery man
was right then, but he found me before I found the exit out.
He took a good sized hunk out of my fighting arm before I
managed to outrun him. I figured I was lucky to be alive.
My trip back to the knightly order was a five
day journey. I decided to get some rest early to get my arm
in better shape in case I found any more trouble. I can't
remember the dreams I had that night -- only that I was doing
something horrible and I couldn't stop myself. I woke up screaming.
The next night, at an inn a little closer to my destination,
my sleep was deep and dreamless. On the third night, I died.
Of course, I didn't know that I died. I had
gone to sleep in a nice warm feathered bed and I woke on a
cold wet stone mortuary slab. Dazed, I opened the door to
the masoleum I was in, which I think must have been locked.
I was in a cemetary not far from a town I knew, so I wandered
in. It was late at night, so there were precious few souls
in the streets. I paused to read a public notice and noticed
the date. The date was two weeks later than I thought it must
As I puzzled over that, I saw a girl, a wench
at my favorite tavern in that town, wandering toward me. I
hailed her. She ignored me. I called her by her name, and
she turned to me, smiling, but with an expression that told
me she did not know who I was. I had visited her tavern on
my way over to the mystery man's hideout, but she didn't know
I told her my name. She angrily told me that
it was a very poor joke, that I looked nothing like the brave
knight who used to visit the town, and that if I didn't know
he was dead.
My emotions were a tangled skein. I could
tell she was not joking, that I looked nothing like myself.
I was touched by her sorrow at my death, and horrified by
the idea dawning on me of what I had become. Suddenly, an
overriding instinct overcame all my thoughts -- hunger. Without
even thinking about what I was doing, I reached out and tore
her throat open. I drained her until she looked like the corpse
in the mystery man's dungeon.
The rest of my story is told in Vampires of
the Bay, Chapter II.
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