A Van-Tal Host about to feed on a human.
|Affiliation||Various different organizations.|
|Base of Operations||Varying|
|Notable Members||The Master, The Prince of Lies, Kakistos, Spike, Angel (Angelus)|
|Primary Languages||Languages the held in life|
|Secondary Languages||Languages they learn|
|Eyes||Varying, Turns yellow|
|Number of Limbs||Four|
|See Also||Vampires, Van-Tal, Turok-Han|
- Note: Van-Tal Host and Vampire are used synonymously in this article.
Van-Tal Hosts are the most common breed of Vampire (also known as Vampyr and as Van-Tal in the dimension Pylea) was a demon species which could only exist in the physical plane by possessing and animating a human corpse, making them hybrids. They were well-known for feeding on the blood of mammals, particularly humans.
- Main article: Van-Tal
The Van-Tal are a species of Demon that can only exist on Earth by possessing and animating a human corpse. They first came to Earth by embodying a human. Originally, the Van-Tal came to Earth and had the form of the Turok-Han.
- Main article: Turok-Han
- "As Neanderthals are to human beings, the Turok-Han are to vampires. They're a primordial, ferociously powerful killing machine, as single-minded as animals. They are the vampires that vampires fear. An ancient and entirely different race, and until this morning, I thought they were a myth."
The original form of the Van-Tal Host, as Humans evolved, the Turok-Han became less and less common.
Modern Day Edit
Unlike many other species of demon, the demon component of a vampire, the Van-Tal, appeared to have no more intelligence than that of solitary predatory animals and were incapable of language.
For this reason, an ordinary vampire shares many qualities with its human predecessor, including his or her memories; though it lacks a human soul and thus a conscience. A vampire's personality can be the corrupt, opposite version of its human predecessor, or an expression of the human's hidden potential, as well as his/her fantasies and desires, held unchecked by the human soul. According to Watchers Duncan Fillworthe, vampires are regret personified, "hunger for life that's been damned to never be satisfied".
Despite being soulless, vampires are capable of human emotions like love and affection, though in the case of vampires, their love and desire can lead to obsession. However, in some cases, their love was second to their own survival instinct.
Though aware of the existence of deities, Van-Tal Hosts do not have a central faith or god of worship.
Like humans, vampires are social beings, often living in groups organized like packs or prides. These groups are commonly organized with the purpose of protection and feeding.
The leading vampire is known as "Master", usually the sire of the group, the eldest one or the most powerful; in any event, the dominant vampire was the one capable of achieving the top position and enforce his authority through strength and violence. There are also some cases in which the leading position is occupied by a dominant couple.
The followers are commonly known as "minions" or "lackeys", though sometimes they can also be referred as "acolytes". These are commonly the progeny of the master vampire, or vampires that fall under the authority of the master due to their own weakness or youth. While minions are expected to follow the commands of their master and are punished when failing, there are examples of vampires rebelling against their masters, or even choosing to serve a new one.
The Art of War Edit
Mental Health Edit
Humans suffering from some sort of mental illness will keep it as vampires. This illness will also be central for the formation of the vampire's persona:
- Drusilla's visions and her subsequent ordeal at Angelus' hands traumatized her into some sort of schizophrenia. As a vampire, Dru remains schizophrenic, yet she's not paranoid or depressive like her human predecessor. Combined with her psychic powers, Drusilla's madness gives her a unique perspective in which she revels.
Appearance and Physiology Edit
Vampires are commonly described as "dead". Death can be defined as a status in which the body lacks living physiological functions, such as having a pulse or breathing. However, vampires are able to move, feed, talk and feel despite inhabiting dead bodies. The term "undead" seems much more fitting as the vampire, while not living, isn't dead either.
When a human is sired, a demon spirit (the Van-Tal) takes possession of the corpse, reanimating it and altering its physiology. The demon within the vampire causes these alterations:
- Requires mammalian blood to maintain strength. Usually, this is human blood, but rats, pigs and otters (among others) are known to have been consumed. The blood of supernatural, human-appearing mammalian beings, such as the Children of the Senior Partners feeds a vampire as well and often has added benefits. Vampires do not feed on the blood of other demons.
- Facial alterations (brow ridges, golden eyes, elongated upper canines, and pointed upper incisors) when feeding or under stressful situations such as fighting, in which a vampire might assume its real face in preparation for feeding or to intimidate the opponent. In addition to this, a vampire may show their "vampire face" at will, when generally pissed off, when sexually aroused, when suddenly and/or unexpectedly injured. This is the vampire's true face, and their ability to disguise themselves with the face of their human predecessor is one of the vampire's most useful powers.
- While their hearts don't beat, vampires have some kind of blood flow which allows the blood in their bodies to be transported. This also means that vampires can be rendered unconscious if blood flow to the brain is interrupted and that vampires can become intoxicated. Male vampires are capable of having sex, so they do have some blood flow enabling an erection.
- They generate no body heat while at rest, though muscle action produces transient heat. However, humans seem rarely to perceive vampires' skin as cold. However, vampires are shown on a few occasions with visible breath when in the cold, such as in the scene where Liam (not yet called Angelus) first emerges from the grave and is talking with his sire, which seems to indicate some sort of body heat, even immediately after reanimation.
- Their bodies perform motor functions like human bodies, often better than humans.
- Their lungs do not absorb oxygen or any other gases; vampires thus cannot be drowned or asphyxiated, although their bodies may retain the breathing reflex. A vampire is capable of speaking and smoking, however, vampires cannot give artificial respiration to a drowned human.
- Vampires heal rapidly, albeit in a similar way to human bodies. However, they can suffer trauma (such as being put into a coma) that renders them unconscious.
- Immunity to diseases, if one suffers from a disease upon being changed into a vampire they immediately recover from it.
- They do not generate life force, and their brains do not have the same mystical qualities of a human brain, which means beings that feed on mental energy are unable to feed on vampire brains. And beings that feed on life force cannot feed on vampires.
- Their bodies cast no reflection on mirrors or water. This also causes them to be immune to mind reading powers as. However, they can still be photographed or video taped, as these systems function in the same way as human eyes.
- Even though their bodies are clinically dead, a vampire's hair is apparently still able to grow.
- A vampire's nerve endings and pain receptors seem to work just as well as a human's.
- Vampires seem to have fully functional tear ducts and be physically capable of crying.
- Vampires are unable to regenerate lost limbs, though they can be surgically reattached.
- Vampires are unable to procreate in the human manner.
Magical Abilities Edit
To create a new vampire, blood exchange is needed. Victims of vampire attacks do not turn into new vampires unless they consume the sire's blood when near death. If the vampire drains all of the victim's blood, the victim will simply die. A human who imbibes vampire blood when not at the point of death will not change. Vampires obtain pleasure from the act of siring, and sometimes they might sire new vampires by instinct, which would explain why many new vampires are abandoned by their sires.
Following the blood exchange, the victim dies of blood loss and will reawaken on the night after the siring, sometime between sunset and sunrise. However certain other vampires have raised a few hours after the blood exchange. No special preparations, such as burial, are required for the vampire's rebirth. Vampires mostly rise from graves because they spent a time between death and rebirth as corpses and were buried.
In any event, new vampires often awake with a sensation of disorientation, in which most vampires are highly violent and feral, before recovering and realizing their new status. This clarity usually "kicks in" after the vampire rises from the grave or at least after the first feeding. In any event, when the vampire overcomes the confusion, they experience a sensation of clarity that is new and unique. the new vampire is commonly astonished by the new sensation of power and the connection to an "all-consuming evil".
Sire Psychic Link Edit
Vampires and their sire share a psychic link. The experience of the link is different for the sire and the sired, the sire may often experience dreams about the sired's actions when tey are near.
Vampires possess superhuman strength. The exact limits of this strength are debatable and often vary from individual to individual. Some vampires have been shown capable of deforming metal with their hands, while others have been held back by wooden doors. Chains have had varying success at restraining vampires. They have also been shown to throw human bodies anywhere from 5 to 25 ft away.
This strength appears to be largely metaphysical, as it does not appear to add to their body mass, as they do not immediately sink in water.
The blood of enhanced human and human-like beings augments their strength to a great degree. Vampires also derive pleasure from the act of feeding off such humans. Examples of vampires feeding on superhumans and gaining a charge include:
- The Slayer's blood is the only cure for a poison called the Killer of the Dead. Feeding off Slayers has been shown to provide a temporary "high" as well; likened to an aphrodisiac. Slayer (Buffy's) blood also provided enough temporary strength to enable The Master to escape his mystical prison, although the strength may have only been primarily mystical rather than physical.
- Angel's strength is greatly augmented after drinking from Marcus Hamilton, a supernatural humanoid-being infused with the power of the Senior Partners and dramatically stronger than Angel.
Because they are technically "dead" vampires cannot die by aging. Though aging does have a subjectively positive effect on them. As the centuries pass a vampire's stamina, strength, speed, agility, and other physical abilities become more powerful.
After many centuries the ability to take on a human appearance fades, they also become much more demonic in appearance. Though the demonic traits are not universal for a vampire that has aged pass the point of human resemblance. Three examples of this did not resemble each other, yet they all have obtained more demonic features. Kakistos had cloven hooves instead of hands and feet, while The Master and The Prince of Lies had elongated talon-like fingers and pointed ears.
Once a vampire becomes old enough, even when killed, their skeleton will remain. This is a symbol of their great level of might and power. The Revivification Ritual that is used to return vampires to life (as a vampire) needs the use of the skeleton and it symbolizes that only an incredibly aged vampire can be returned by the use of this spell.
Few vampires have been brought back to life. Spike is the only known successful vampire resurrection, brought back from the dead as a "ghost" and then re-corporealized as a vampire. After Spike died in the final battle in the Hellmouth, Wolfram and Hart's mystical Amulet would also ensure the survival of his spirit in Los Angeles, and his physical form was returned to him in a packaged spell by Lindsey McDonald, entailing a full resurrection.
After the Master's death, The Anointed One attempted to resurrect him using his skeletal remains but was unsuccessful, this ritual is known as the Revivification Ritual. The spell required the usage of the blood of those who were with the Master upon his death, but Buffy, Xander, and Angel stopped the ritual and destroyed the Master's skeleton to ensure that it would never happen again.
There exists a few ways to return a vampire to a state of humanhood. The blood of a Mohra Demon, when mixed inside the body of a vampire with their own blood, can return them to human. Powerful beings are also capable of reverting a vampire into a human, through the use of powerful magics.
Being primarily nocturnal, vampires have enhanced hearing, smell and night vision. They are especially sensitive to the scent of blood, and can distinguish individual humans and vampires by scent.
Vampires do not require oxygen to survive, allowing them to survive in poisonous atmospheres, underwater and resist strangling. This allows them to survive in toxic atmospheres and underwater. However, vampires do maintain some sort of breathing reflex, which allows them to smoke, and gag reflex, which can affect them when choked, though they can learn to ignore it.
A vampire's normal diet consists solely of blood, and it has been stated other food has little flavor. If the blood is tainted in some way, such as through steroid use, it tastes bad to vampires.
Vampires do not die of starvation like humans, yet they can suffer certain effects if they do not feed for prolonged periods:
- First, their strength dwindles considerably and they become paler and can experience cold.
- Second, after months of not feeding, they suffer damage to higher brain functions, which can result in extremely vivid hallucinations (Deep Down). Blood from a healthy human is required for the vampire to recuperate.
- Third, they become "living skeletons"
Drugs and Poison Edit
Vampire Weaknesses Edit
If the heart of the vampire is pierced with a wooden object, the vampire will immediately die.
A wooden stake in an area other than the heart will not work, nor will puncture of the heart by other materials such as metal, plastic wood grain, or synthetic wood. Bullets and blades can cause great pain, but will not kill the vampire, unless of course they result in decapitation. The vampire's flesh seems to be especially vulnerable to wood, which is why beings without enhanced strength can pierce the chest of one with wood easily.
The amount of wood also seems to be another factor to consider when analyzing vampires' weaknesses. A vampire as ancient as Kakistos barely even feels pain when stabbed with a common stake, but dies when impaled with a large beam of wood. The Master, was also impaled on an unusually large piece of wood after being thrown from the roof by Buffy. No previous staking attempt had been done to The Master, but it is presumable that he is also invulnerable to common stakes. Common vampires, however, can be staked with a wooden pencil.
Fire and Sunlight Edit
When set on fire, the body of the vampire will be consumed in a relatively short time. The more powerful the vampire is, the longer it will take for their bodies to be properly destroyed. Should a vampire survive the fire, the healing process will regenerate the charred flesh, skin and hair. The time required also depends on the age of the vampire.
The light emitted by the earth's sun (Sol) is extremely hazardous to vampires, should they be exposed directly to it. When exposed to direct natural sunlight, the body of the vampire combusts and will quickly be consumed by the resulting flames. However, older and more powerful vampires can resist sunlight better than younger, weaker vampires are consumed almost instantly.
Filtered and/or indirect sunlight may not cause any kind of injury to vampires. If protected from direct exposure to sunlight, vampires can be active in the middle of the day. To protect its vampire employees, the Los Angeles offices of Wolfram & Hart employ "necro-tempered" tinted glass to filter the components of light that are dangerous to vampires, while leaving brightness intact.
Also, the light of suns in other dimensions has been shown to not injure vampires in any way. The twin suns in Pylea and the sun in Wolfram & Hart's suburban prison dimension are safe for vampires.
It was also possible to kill a vampire through decapitation. Like in the case of staking, the vampire would turn to ashes. Decapitation could be achieved through blows with sharp objects such as metal axes and swords, by ripping off the vampire's head, or by breaking its neck.
Holy Items Edit
Absolute Invulnerability Edit
Vampires can't be seen on reflective surfaces like mirrors, glass or water. The source for the lack of reflection is unknown; even though tradition states it was due to a vampire's lack of a soul (as mirrors were believed to reflect a person's soul), Angel (an en-souled vampire) doesn't cast a reflection either. However, vampires can be seen in photographs, daguerreotypes and video tapes. Vampires also have reflections in certain dimensions, such as Pylea, as its physics differ to those of our reality.
The lack of reflection also works on telepathy: a vampire's thoughts and memories can't be read, except in the case of extremely powerful Telepaths like Splenden Beasts. However, a vampire's mind is still susceptible to other sorts of mystical links.
However, Empaths are capable of reading vampires, as their powers are not telepathic in nature.
Psychic Powers Edit
For most of history, the majority of humans remained unaware or in denial of the existence of vampires, with notable exceptions including the Watchers' Council, the Vampire Slayers, and vampire hunters like Daniel Holtz or Charles Gunn. However, being the primary food source of vampires (not just the Van0Tal Host), they hunt Humans indistinguishably.
Vampire Slayers Edit
- Main article: Vampire Slayers
Within vampire society, the Slayer could be described as a source of great fear. Even vampires as powerful as Angelus and Darla preferred to avoid confronting Slayers, keeping a low profile to prevent attracting her attention.
The killing of a Slayer was considered a great feat in vampire society. For example:
- Following the death of The Master in 1997, the vampires of the Order of Aurelius claimed that whoever managed to kill Buffy Summers would be the Master's successor.
- Killing two Slayers in less than 200 years of existence made Spike an infamous figure among vampires and Watchers as well.