It comes as a surprise to no one that I adore vampires, I’m sure! Pictured here is Goliath Elapid, a vampire who features in Red Viper. I like bringing variety to the vampire genre, and I feel that we should talk about powers that normally would not be seen associated with vampires! This could inspire muse for those who really enjoy creating vampire characters.
This is also mindful that all vampire lore is different! My living vampires, for example, definitely don’t walk the same road as much of the traditional vampire lore. This is because they are a sister species to humans, a nocturnal species sensitive to the sun but who do not burn. They are a perfectly natural occurrence on Earth, though do posses potent magics. None of that undead stuff for most vampires in mine. Things get sort of weird in Cobratongue University: Professors & Kings with that lore, but eh, I won’t talk about that here.
All in all, you would have to modify these ideas to your lore, as story writing always goes. I do hope that this inspires some writing for creators!
(1) Stun by Singing
I utilize this concept, normally attributed to siren, in some of my roleplay stories. This fellow right here known as Apollo started off as a villain but switched sides to become an antihero. He utilizes his singing voice to stun a group of people and rip them to shreds. Since he is a powerful Blood Prince, this can apply to many people in a wide radius, meaning he could lure whole towns to him and proceed to eat them.
He has a lot of blood on his claws, but ended up atoning via rather complex heroic deeds. I might introduce him as a royal vampire in my novels someday. Anyway, this power is useful for those who want to lean toward bardic vampires. It’s a good way to charm. While mind control and such are more common for vampires, I figured this twist on it, that being using their voice as a land-siren, would be unusual enough to include on this list.
Plus, this plays into the ‘vampire rockstar’ trope. It turns it considerably deadly. You’ll definitely need to find a theme song for your vampire bard, though. I thought this character up via Country Song by Seether. What would yours be?
(2) Healing Magic
I somewhat cheated with the art that I chose because my character featured here is technically not a vampire. She’s just an elven paladin. HOWEVER, this image does get the point across, but I want to talk about healing magic, and people in the west usually think of ‘holy magic’. Regardless of how I feel on the idea, it’s prevalent, but I want to talk about two ways healing could apply to vampires.
First, I’ll cover the idea of ‘holy’ or ‘light’. To be honest, no one said your vampire needs to be unholy or undead. After all, mine are living, and have nothing to do with the gods. Whatever holy magic applies to your deities or other aspects of your lore could be utilized by vampires. A great many number of very dangerous predatory animals are honored as ‘among the gods’ or holy. What’s to say that a predatory humanoid, vampires, can’t do the same? Therefore, a vampire, should they be blessed by the gods or however your holy magic works, could utilize it to heal.
They could even be the most thoughtful species on the planet given they might not have to kill to feed, and could use this holy magic to heal up any wounds they deal. Or, you could utilize ‘vampiric angels’, where your gods would be vampiric in nature as well. It’s your lore & universe, so there really is no limit. I love seeing twists like this, so would actually be quite eager to see it in practice here. Daywalking vampires with holy magic! This doesn’t have to be holy in the sense of monotheistic religions, either.
The other side of healing is biological. If you want to keep with the more classic theme of vampires, utilizing flesh or blood magic to heal someone isn’t unusual. You could have magic that promotes cell division at the cost of energy, for example, something I use in my books for recovery of vampire bites (though it’s not an exclusive vampire power in my case). Your vampire could control blood so strongly that they enhance the immune system of their beneficiaries. They could enhance the power of white blood cells & antibodies. This biological concept is intriguing, admittedly, and I might explore it a bit in my stories.
(3) Serpent-like venoms
This is a concept I utilize in my series! I’m not sure how ‘unusual’ it is, but many people comment how they really haven’t heard of it much before to the extent I use it, so I figured I’d talk about it. Snakes have many types of venom, many of which target the nerves. This is great for paralyzing prey, which could be important to your vampires. There’s venom that causes many nerves on your body to feel like they have been lit on fire, which could be a good torture method.
Hollow fangs are useful for dispensing it, though it could also be present in some fashion via their saliva. Special vampires in my series also have venom that causes an addiction, which can make the prey seek to return. This is only present in certain bloodlines, particularly the Arachnida Kingdom… like spiders weaving webs. You could get creative with your venom ideas as well, and either modify real-life venom effects, or come up with entirely new ones!
Vampires are often seen as old fashioned, so you wouldn’t typically see technomancy suggested for them. Imagine, for a second, a vampire with the power to influence modern technology, however? You would think this would apply to a newer-generation vampire, but this would also be amazing if applied to an older vampire. We see people who are older a bit stagnant to change and not adapting well to technology all the time.
…Think about it. A vampire that’s been alive for centuries would be pretty adaptable at this point, so what if they were able to utilize technology of the modern era? With the substantial amount of power they would have, technomancy could be rather potent.
(5) Sun magic
People definitely do not think of vampires when regarding the sun. That’s why any sort of sun magic would be fairly unusual for them, which opens opportunities for some amazing twists. You might wonder if this is the same as holy magic, but I would argue otherwise. Sun magic isn’t inherently holy; I would say it is a mixture of warmth and light. This might apply to fire, which makes sense, but still feels a bit different.
Imagine, for example, a vampire with sun magic going up against a vampire that is weak against the sun. Obviously, the daywalker would win. This is a distinct contrast to typical vampire mythos, so would need to be twisted to work. In my personal opinion, the core to vampires is the blood-drinking, which can possibly find variation from soul or emotion-drinking (though I do not prefer a deviation from blood-drinking). Making them daywalkers does not take away from their essence, especially if they still had some form of bladed teeth & carnivory.
This would need a lot of work in your lore, but I do feel this could work and be extremely interesting. Making vampires diurnal & having the ability to utilize sunbeams or sun magic/weather manipulation in that fashion has a lot of potential to make vampires different.
So, what did you think of the article? Did it give you ideas on how to make your vampires distinct? I am eager to see what you think!
As a reminder, my magical college book came out this month! You should check it out if you like the idea of that them in a dystopic setting. More info below.
Please comment on my post as to what you think, or @ me on Twitter!