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Vampire Biology
By J.C. Clark and Mortimer Promelion

Vampires: once considered beasts of legend (and still considered such by the general public), these enigmatic monsters seemed to capture the imagination of humans the world round.  On almost every continent you can find folklore about some creature that disguises itself as human to feast on human blood.  We now know that, despite these myths fantastic qualities, there is a basis in fact to the vampire, as well as a wide family tree of these dastardly bloodsuckers.  While almost all known types of vampire are actually human victims afflicted with a virus, there is one species – the “living vampire,” if you will – that is actually a subgroup of our own species, whose blood is the root of the plague.  The origins of this species go even higher, into planes of reality we have only started to comprehend.  This essay will briefly summarize the origin of vampires as well as the various types of them that have been recorded by the various agents here at Area 51.  As this is pertinent to the super soldier project, this essay shall remain classified until further notice.

“Ethereal Beings”
“Ethereal Beings” is a filler term used to describe a group of intangible and seemingly sentient forces that, from time to time, have appeared on our planet.  These creatures are mysterious to say the least, and what little is known about them is not fully understood.  They can apparently travel through more than four dimensions, being unlimited by time and space.  In their natural state they have no physical shape, instead being made of a strange sort of energy.  Then can take on a physical form, often taking shapes that seem to actively spit at the laws of physics.  They are important to this summary because they are necessary to create Langsuir or, more specifically, the host species from which the virus comes.

The various ethereal beings found throughout the cosmos can spawn with humans when they take physical form.  In addition to being incredibly rare, these couplings are made somewhat miraculous by the fact that the intercourse will result in a hybrid offspring – offspring capable of sexually reproducing at that.  These beings, a subspecies of human, have been termed Homo sapiens moroi, or moroi for short (Moroi means “living vampire”).  This is an appropriate moniker as Moroi are not truly undead, although they are the source of the original strains of the Langsuir virus.
While Moroi are little different from normal humans when exposed to sunlight, when out of the sun’s rays they exhibit many powers of a “supernatural” nature (note: I have qualms with calling these powers supernatural, as it lacks a scientific connotation.  However, since we have not been able to fully explain these powers yet, it is so far the best term to describe them).  A moroi will be roughly twenty times as strong as a human of the same size and shape.  They are also innately more intelligent, with long and refined memories.  Moroi exhibit an advanced healing factor: they can heal injuries almost instantly, including most complex structures (the notable exception being their hearts, which are vulnerable yet able to heal at an incredibly slow pace).  This healing factor also allows moroi to live incredibly long lives (at least several centuries, and there are even scattered reports of moroi living for millennia) by keeping them in a state of endless youth, with most moroi looking like 20-30 year old men and women.  A more gruesome feature involves the moroi’s “feeding face.”  Their teeth can switch from a normal human’s dental array to something more akin to a box full of upright nails; this is the result of both a biological and psychological trigger, generally having to do with the thought of blood or feelings or anger.  Their shape changing ability is not restricted to their faces, either.  Moroi can shift their form (and, with some work, other matter around them) at will, although they cannot exceed the original mass and number of atoms in their new forms.  Any unused mass or atoms will continue to exist as a thick green mist that follows the moroi.
All of these powers and enhanced abilities stem from a high amount of what we have termed as “ethereal energy:” the energy that the ethereal beings are made of (this energy is likewise the source of the “supernatural” powers of the undead vampires that descend from moroi).  While it has been found that all organisms produce small amounts of this energy, moroi produce vast amounts of it, which allows them to reshape matter much like the ethereal beings that helped spawn them.  It is the use of this energy that allows moroi to exhibit the shape-shifting and levitation powers of the vampires of legend.
This all comes with drawbacks, of course.  The production of ethereal energy consumes vast amounts of iron and carbon – far more than a normal human body can produce on its own.  To counter this, Moroi have developed a quick way to gain iron from prey: blood drinking.  As blood is high in hemoglobin (and thus high in iron), the consumption of vast amounts of blood allows Moroi to support their otherwise iron deficient body.  This is why Moroi have an instinctual and physical need to drink blood.  The blood must be mammalian; human blood is particularly nutritious, although it has an odd side effect on the vampire’s system that is similar to alcohol’s effect on a human’s thought process.  A moroi that drinks human blood will lose its inhibitions and often degenerate into a homicidal rage and bloodlust.
Moroi can only be killed a few ways: decapitation, the impalement of a silver stake (or any pointy object made of silver) through the heart, or cremation.  Decapitation works because it separates the Moroi’s head from its heart, where the ethereal energy is produced (without the energy the head cannot regenerate and will thus die).  Silver absorbs ethereal energy, thus cutting off the vampire’s supply and keeping it from healing.  Additionally, any wound made by a silver object to a vampire will take quite a while to heal, as the affected area will reflect any energy that tries to heal it.  Note: any blow to the heart will generally incapacitate a Moroi, sometimes knocking it into a coma for weeks or months.  They will not be fatal, however, unless the wounding object was made of silver OR the wound was followed by cremation.  This includes wooden stakes, even though they are perhaps the most famous implements of destroying a vampire.  
Moroi also seem to universally dislike the smell and taste of garlic, although it does them no harm.  Sunlight does not kill moroi; instead it simply removes most of the powers that set them apart from humans, although they still can only be killed by the aforementioned methods.  The reason for this is unclear.  Some believe that sunlight cancels out most of a vampire’s ethereal energy, though this remains to be proven.  
Objects of faith cannot damage Moroi physically, but can be a good psychological attack if the Moroi in question is religious, since the Moroi’s need to drink blood and urge to prey on its kin often leaves them with a pessimistic outlook on themselves.  Many Moroi tend to believe that all the things they view as morally just – be it a higher power or simply other people – unanimously hate them for what they are (many also revel in this belief – one specimen was so enamored of his low opinion of himself that he reacted violently whenever he was complimented).  It is unknown if this is an inherited mindset or one caused by their upbringing.  Since their ability to change shape is controlled by their conscious mind, this unconscious fear of righteousness can occasionally make them physically hurt themselves in the presence of religious objects if the vampires in question are religious, occasionally to the point of suicide.
It should be known that most, if not all moroi are mentally unstable individuals, many of whom exhibit psychotic and sociopathic tendencies.  While there are scattered reports of benevolent moroi, none are very reliable, and as such it seems that the moroi genes are linked to several psychological abnormalities.
Moroi do not show up in mirrors.  This is not because they “lack souls,” but rather because the ethereal energy they produce creates an aura that keeps their light waves from being reflected.  Why humans and animals can see them is up to debate, although it is possible that even the small amount of ethereal energy produced by normal animals is enough to see penetrate the aura generated by moroi.
There is a telepathic bond between a moroi and every vampire spawned by it, directly or otherwise.  For example, any strigoi made by a moroi is psychically connected to it.  If that strigoi creates a vampire of its own, that new vamp is both telepathically connected to the strigoi and to the moroi.  A moroi can always find its spawn and, what’s worse, control them if it deems it necessary, able to override its offspring’s own will.

Non-vampire Moroi Offspring: Dhampirs and Varcolacs
When two moroi mate they have a 50% chance of producing another moroi vampire.  They have a 25% chance of making a human, which is known as a dhampir.  Dhampirs produce higher amounts of ethereal energy than normal humans (though far less than a Moroi), giving them lesser forms of the enhanced strength and long lives their parents enjoy. Dhampirs are also noted for having a “vampire sense:” they can instinctually tell the difference between a normal human, a moroi, and the various species of undead vampires.  In the past many dhampirs became vampire hunters, partly because they were damn good at it and partly because they generally had rocky relationships with their psychologically unstable parents.  
The last quarter of probability would result in the creation of a new ethereal being, with the powerful creature being born in its physical form.  These creatures, called Varcolacs (a term which also refers to a particularly vicious breed of werewolf, as well as the name of several goblin kings) tend to be gigantic, vicious, and destructive monsters whose mere presence creates a black cloud that eclipses the sun for miles.  Thankfully, moroi are very rare creatures, and as such few varcolacs have come into existence.

The infectious nature of a moroi’s blood is made all the more nightmarish by its adaptability.  Langsuir, the virus that results from the mixing of vampire and human bodily fluids (generally blood), has several different strains.  The main strain follows a steady path: a moroi sires a strigoi, a strigoi sires a vrykolakas, which in turn sires a ghoul that will eventually produce a revenant (flesh eating zombie), who can only sire other revenants.  However, different strains of the virus can be produced if conditions are altered.

The most common strain of Langsuir made by a moroi creates a strigoi. This strain is the base upon which almost all other forms of Langsuir mutate.  As such, almost all vampires in the world owe their existence to a strigoi.
To create a strigoi, a vampire baptism must occur, in which a moroi feeds a human its blood before killing them (most strains of Langsuir remain dormant until the death of the victim). As the vampire’s blood is digested by its victim, a virus that lies dormant in the Moroi’s blood cells is released into the human’s bloodstream via the small intestine: the Langsuir Alpha Strain. It is important that the moroi only feeds the human once before killing them, as repeatedly giving a human its blood may result in a mutation of the strain, creating a new virus and different vampire as a result.  A strigoi can do several variations of this same ritual in turn, each one producing a different strain.  The most complicated version of this ritual, in which a strigoi feeds a human its blood every night for roughly an entire year, will actually result in it creating another strigoi, making it one of only a few vampires that can create new members of its own strain.
Strigoi tend to be roughly half as powerful as the moroi that made them.  They are only 10 times as strong as a human being their size and shape, produce half as much ethereal energy (which is still quite a lot), and are not quite as intelligent.  Their healing powers are just as strong as their moroi ancestors, but they also have the same limitations.  They can change shape with just as much malleability as a moroi, unlike most other undead vampires.  
Sunlight, as with moroi, saps the magic powers from strigoi, turning them into what they would be without Langsuir: corpses, albeit corpses that do not rot.  Like moroi, this does not change how one must destroy them in the slightest (the same methods used to kill moroi can be used to deal with strigoi).  Strigoi almost exclusively prey on human beings, as it stabilizes them far better than animal blood, drinking the later only when no human is available.
There is a bizarre subspecies of strigoi in west Africa called the Obayifo.  Almost identical to a normal strigoi, it is notably different because its armpits and anus have phosphorescent bioluminescent patches, making those areas glow in the dark.  While this may seem rather goofy for a dreaded blood sucker, obayifos have slightly stronger offspring than normal strigoi.

If a moroi feeds a human its blood on more than one occasion before killing them, a different strain of Langsuir will be the result.  This will create a strzyga, which is both superior and inferior to a strigoi, depending on how one looks at it.
Like strigoi, strzygas are roughly half as strong as their moroi sires.  They have 10 times the strength of a proportionally equal human, heightened intelligence, and the half the ethereal energy output of their moroi creators.  In addition, they had two rows of teeth in each jaw, much like a shark, which distinguishes them from all other vampires.  However, their greatest strength is the fact that their hearts share the near-instantaneous healing factor the rest of their body sports.  Although the myth that they have two hearts is a fallacy, they are nonetheless immune to the most famous of vampire disposal techniques: the impalement of the heart.  Thus they can only be killed by decapitation and immolation.
This comes with a drawback, of course.  Strzygas have a tendency to rot, requiring a lot more human blood to sustain them than their contemporaries.  They also cannot infect others with Langsuir, leading several to christen them “the sterile vampires.”

When a strigoi performs a normal vampire baptism (i.e. feeding its victim its blood once), the result is a vrykolakas.  Vrykolakas, like strigoi, turn into corpses when in daylight.  Unlike strigoi, they rot in this form, and cannot turn into living people.  They instead turn into demonic, troll-like monsters with gargantuan fangs, although it’s still an improvement from a lifeless cadaver.  They can alter this shape to some extent, although they will always come off as a brutish caricature of whatever they were trying to imitate.
Vrykolakas have five times the strength of a human their size and shape (although one with their ape-ish would be hard to find), advanced healing, half the ethereal energy output of the strigoi that made them, and slightly above average human intelligence.  The same methods used to dispatch a strigoi can be used to kill a vrykolakas.
A subspecies of vrykolakas is found in west Africa, produced when the strigoi sire was an obayifo.  Nearly identical to the normal species, this vrykolakas, called an Asanbasam, has bones, teeth, and claws made of iron, making it slightly stronger and sturdier than the normal breed.  They are generally found living in trees.

If a strigoi mixes cow blood with its own and feeds it to a woman three times before draining her of her blood, the resulting vampire will be a churel.  They are similar to vrykolakas in power, except they take the form of a human instead of a rotting corpse during the day.  Appearance-wise, they look like an attractive woman with one major difference: their feet are backwards, with the heels pointing forward.  There are no male churels.  Also, while a churel is not sterile like a stryzyga, it can only infect humans with the churel strain of Langsuir, unlike other vampires who generate a new strain.

If a strigoi feeds a female victim twice, drains it of its own blood, and skins the dead body before it reanimates, the resulting vampire will be a soucouyant.  This vampire takes the form of an elderly woman in the daytime.  At night she sheds her skin and transforms into a bat-like creature that is surrounded by fire, giving her the appearance of a flying fireball.  This is advantageous, as fire will do her no damage in this form, forcing a would-be vampire slayer to use the more hands-on attack methods.  It also makes decapitation tricky as the neck is well protected.  Luckily, this does come with a drawback, as a soucouyant must put its human skin back on before the sun rises, or else her own fire will consume her.  Soucouyants have no other powers.

Like churels and soucouyants, mananannggals are strictly female vampires.  A strigoi must feed and feed on a woman every night for two complete lunar cycles to create one, draining the victim on the last night immediately after tearing her in half horizontally (with one half having two arms and the other having two legs).
By day mananannggals look like normal, beautiful and mature women.  At night, however, they separate at the same area they were torn in half, leaving their legs and pelvis to suck blood.  Mananannggals are half as strong as the strigoi that sired them, intelligent, and possess an amazing healing factor.  They can survive decapitation, although a heart impalement or fire can still do them in.  
In addition, if a mananannggal is separated from its lower half come daybreak, it will die.  This is because its separated form is inherently unstable, being loosely held together by its ethereal energy.  Like most vampires (ghouls and their spawn being the sole exception), sunlight severely weakens the mananannggal’s ethereal energy generator, destroying it completely should the vampire not be in one piece when struck.  Like vrykolakas, mananannggals can create a new strain of Langsuir, although all its offspring strains share the same flaw.

If a vrykolakas performs a vampire baptism, regardless of how it is performed, the end result is always a creature called a ghoul.  Ghouls, regardless of gender, stand between eight and ten feet tall.  Unlike other vampires, the ghoul strain of Langsuir (and all strains derived from it) does not wait for its host to die.  It actually instigates the expiration of its host, first with flu-like symptoms and ending with a violent seizure.  When the victim reaches the final stage of the pre-mortem illness he or she will tear off his or her own face, as well as all external organs related to reproduction and the rearing of children. The victim’s skin rots off as he or she expires from these wounds.  Mid-expiration the victim’s ribs and pelvises grow in size and prominence, giving the monster a false emaciated appearance.  A strange, moss-like fungus-y substance will grow in the skin’s place, giving ghouls green, flakey “skin.”  In the final moments of the transformation, which can last several hours or even days, the ghoul’s lower jaw will grow tremendously, giving it a horrific overbite.  The ghoul’s jaws will bristle with fangs, with some in the lower jaw getting over a foot in length.
The intelligence of ghouls is up to debate.  They tend to be rather brutish, existing only to devour flesh, living or otherwise, and preferably human.  They are often easily outsmarted, yet can be fiendishly clever on occasion.  However, a ghoul’s hunger is its main driving force, and as such they can always be misled by the promise food.
Killing a ghoul is simple.  Ghouls are only powered by their brains, as their transformations reduce their hearts and other vital organs to a thick black acid used to digest their victims.  The destruction of a ghoul’s brain, then, is the only way to kill it, and can be achieved by any weapon.  Fire is also effective, as it paralyzes ghouls while it consumes their bodies, eventually working its way to their brains.  Decapitation will kill a ghoul’s body, although the head will still be alive so long as its brain is intact.
Ghouls cannot change their shape like other vampires, although they can go through a metamorphosis of sorts.  While ghouls can live alone easily, they must have a leader if they are to live in large groups.  Generally this leader is the vrykolakas that sired them, which they will follow until it dies.  Should that happen, the ghouls will fight bitterly with each other until only two remain in one piece.  These two will then wrestle, each taking care not to gravely injure the other.  The victor will devour two thirds of the slain ghouls, with the loser eating the other third.  These two survivors will then mutate.  The loser ghoul will gain two to four feet in height, and his body will grow to make him proportionally equal.  His talons will grow larger as well, and its jaw will further mutate into an even more gruesome overbite.  The mossy “skin” over its sternum will fall off, as will the sternum itself, and his ribs will grow to fill in the gap.  In short, this ghoul will become a Grendel.
The victorious ghoul will grow even larger, becoming elephantine in size.  Its overbite will dwarf even the grendel’s in size and grotesqueness as its head become disproportionately larger.  The ghoul’s arms and legs will not grow as much as the rest of it, turning into stunted appendages that are mere shells of their former selves.  Its ribcage will open and release a mass of thick, green tentacles from its chest, turning the ghoul into a Grendel Matriarch.  The matriarch will find a nest site while the grendel hunts for prey, bringing some of its kills back to its mother.  The two can both create new ghouls on their own, as well as produce two species of lesser vampires.

Sired by mananannggals, pennanggalans are nearly identical to their sires.  Both are strictly female, take human form during the day, heal quickly, and leave parts of their bodies behind at night.  However, while mananannggals stalk with complete upper torsos, a hunting pennanggalan hovers with only its head, lungs, heart, and digestive tract.  While this may seem a poor survival strategy, a pennanggalan is immune to decapitation and heart impalement.  Its organs can also move on their own, with its intestines catching and strangling victims before its head makes the kill.
Like mananannggals, pennanggalans need to reunite all pieces of their bodies before daylight.  This is hard, as their organs tend to bloat when they feed.  A smart vampire hunter can slay one simply by hiding its body.  Fire is also effective at slaying them.

Also known as draugrs, nachszehrers, the walking dead, and incorrectly as zombies, revenants are vampiric organisms that can be sired by ghouls, Grendels, Grendel Matriarchs, and even other revenants.  Unlike most other vampires, a vampire baptism isn’t necessary; it only takes one bite, as one drop of revenant (or ghoul, or grendel, or grendel matriarch) saliva contains enough of the revenant Langsuir strain to infect an entire human.
Revenants are essentially shambling corpses.  They have all the physical strength of the human they were, and it decreases over time as they rot.  Rigor mortis makes their joints rather stiff: revenants can only shamble and have poor motor skills.  They cannot change their shape in any way, or even mutate like the ghouls that came before them.  A revenant is a corpse from its conception and will be so until it rots to nothing.  They have little to no thinking power; to them, the world is made merely of food (living flesh, preferably human) and obstacles (anything else, even other revenants), with them trying to get the former and ignore or avoid the latter.  They cannot reason, and are incredibly stupid.
Like ghouls, the only way to kill a revenant is to destroy its brain.  Again, any weapon or method will work as long as the brain control of its body parts (including the head it resides in) is ended.  Fire should be reserved for disposing of dead revenants, as a living revenant will continue to move after being set on fire until its brain burns away, becoming a shambling torch in the process.
Considering the facts, revenants often seem like a small threat.  It is this attitude that gives them power, as underestimating a revenant can lead to careless behavior.  Revenants have a highly effective and infectious strain of Langsuir and should be treated with the same care and precision as any other plague bearing species.
Revenants are generally called zombies in modern society.  However, true zombies – those made by a voodoo “curse,” – are quite a different matter.  They are actually just brain damaged individuals (the damage coming from the various chemicals and powders used in the “curse”) and are much less destructive that revenants. In fact, they are often rather mild mannered individuals.  Nonetheless, the term zombie has become synonymous with revenant, as has ghoul, and the three creatures are thus often confused with one another.  This misconception has led to many deaths, and will probably lead to more in the future.

Hollow Chest Man
Sired by either a grendel or grendel matriarch, a hollow chest man looks roughly like a ten foot tall mummified corpse that has been slit from its neck to the end of its belly.  The creature has no lower jaw.  Instead, the creature’s razor sharp teeth grow from either side of its slit save for the section that crosses the rib cage.  The ribs break through the skin in the teeth’s place, making the creature’s entire torso its mouth.  It has no vital organs within its body, as they have all rotted away.  Newly formed internal glands secrete various digestive fluids as the fiendish beast searches for prey.  These creatures are made exclusively by Grendels and Grendel Matriarchs.  Whether a Grendel or G.M. makes a Hollow Chest Man, Ghoul, or Revenant depends on the mood of the creature when it infects a victim; H.C.M.s occur when the infecting creature feels depressed, while ghouls and revenants occur when it is angry or pleased (respectively). They are frail creatures and can be easily beaten into submission, though the only way to truly kill one is to burn it from the inside out.

Sired by a pennanggalan, a nukenubi takes the form of a normal human during the day (unlike its sire, it can be of any gender).  At night its head alone separates from its body to drink blood and generally wreak havoc.  Like its predecessors, a nukenubi can be killed by being separated from its body at sunrise or by being burned alive.

Crossbreeds: Jiang Shi and Wendigos
There are two hybrids of Langsuir and the werewolf virus, Lycanfenrir.  One uses the strigoi strain of Langsuir, resulting in a beast known as a jiang shi.  These undead creatures look like a cross of wolf, ape, bat, and human, possessing horrific talons and gruesome fangs.  They tend to have white fur, although if the strigoi strain was obtained from an obayifo strigoi vampire the jiang shi will have glowing green fur instead.
The second hybrid uses the vrykolakas strain.  The resulting monster, called a wendigo, looks very similar to a sasquatch (a large North American ape), although it possesses the talons of a vrykolakas and a fang filled mouth.  These creatures have blood red eyes and an insatiable blood lust.
Both hybrids periodically turn into humans like their werewolf relatives, although this change is not controlled by the lunar cycle.  Wendigos retain their urge to eat people even in human form, though jiang shi tend to exhibit more self-control.  Both species can be defeated by any of the methods used to kill a vrykolakas or strigoi.  However, like werewolves, both species can always return to life if their corpses are hit by the rays of a full moon, making them truly immortal.
EDIT: New Preview image is up, and I modified the Strigoi entry to allow them to drink animal blood, as it gives them more story potential.

A little bit shakey on releasing this essay right now, since I'm not 100% on its quality. However, it does explain the mechanics of the vampires of the Tyrantis/Fearsome Future/Phineas J. Gatsby universe, and it has almost as much psuedo science as the kaiju essay I posted a while back.

SPOILER: I'm a bit worried about the "ethereal being" concept seeming too... well, too lampshade-y. To be fair, the kaiju essay lampshaded things with Yamaneon, but there's a difference between have the source of you impossible monster be a new mineral and having it be sexual liasons between human beings and Lovecraftian pandimensional beings. Still, the "ethereal beings" are canon anyway (they play a big role in Phineas J. Gatsby's story, albeit in a very silly way), so I might as well put them to work, right? END SPOILER.
Add a Comment:
Saurianpride Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2015
These are lovely, it's a shame you never did anything similar for your werewolves.
Phoenix-Fightmaster Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2013  Hobbyist
It's been a few years, my rollercoasting interest in vampires has been high for a very long time now, and I can still safely say that this is my alltime favorite depiction of the creatures. It covers as many bases as it can, gives each type its own personality and style, and all travels back to that thing that makes them so interesting to me in the first place: Humans who touch the world of the supernatural and are changed by it.

I love the idea of heroes encountering a single type of these creatures and finding out, without ever seeing the others, that there are more types of vamp running around than they could imagine. Finding that even when the threat they're facing is defeated, they could run into an entirely new variation at any time.

I also love how dark, Halloweenish and downright monstrous they all are, without the need for them to be universally evil. There's no "negative energy", no dark god forcing them to conform to a mould, no demons deposing the human mind altogether. Just simple, biological, psychological vices that can be submitted to or overcome, depending on the individual. They're absolutely monsters, but they're very complex, nuanced and diverse monsters.
TyrantisTerror Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2013
Thanks!  This was an important deviation for me.  I've always liked speculating on monster biology, and this was one of the first times when I did so and got to see it be pretty well received.  I think more stories with monsters should treat them like they're part of a large world of supernatural whatsits.  It's so much more interesting than the modern conceit of "Well, ok, Monster A exists, but Monsters B through Z are fake and silly."

That said, I think this could use a bit of an update.  I want to add more vampires to it.
Mecha-GREGOLE Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2012
You know, rereading this, I've come to the conclusion that vampires just.... fuck around with the propagation rituals. Cow's blood? Tearing the victim in half first?
I've got one: "Before I turn you, I wanna see what happens if I mix in a wee bit of LSD..."
*Woman drinks and transforms into a loogaroo*

You totally should've done the loogaroo.
TyrantisTerror Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2012
I imagine when a vampire lives for hundreds of years he or she is bound to get bored and decide to fuck around a bit. It's what people do when they get a bit annoyed with routine.

The loogaroo I know of is basically the same as a soucoyant. Did you find a different definition? I'm always looking for more variations in my monster myths.
Mecha-GREGOLE Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2012
The soucoyant as I see here is an exceptionally fine creature, but the loogaroo as I know it is a mite more insane.

By day she's a woman, but on the 7th, 13th and 17th night of each month, she removes her skin, stores it in her closet, grows turkey wings and gains the ability to shoot fire from her armpits and anus, allowing her to fly completely inconspicuously, whereupon she finds a rooftop to land and sticks a straw through said roof down into a sleeping victim to drain their blood.



Admittedly, these are both written by the same guy, but the idea is too novel to ignore.
TyrantisTerror Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2012
Dear god, it's like the soucoyant and the oobayifo had a gloriously insane child.
monstermyth23 Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2011
An interesting biology lesson!
AT-AT Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2010
I can imagine one or several Dhampirs being hired to take down StraightJacket and company.
TyrantisTerror Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2010
Hmm... interesting idea. I'm not sure if the NWP would be able to find any, being so closed off from the rest of the world... but definitely interesting.
geekspace Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2009
Thanks for those prompt answers, and glad I could add to an already rich trove of details.

-On a purely one-to-one basis, Vrykols may be compact, cunning powerhouses, but the ludicrous height/reach/natural-weapon edge boasted by a Grendel guarantees a brutal scrap...even if the V. brought a torch to the fight, I could easily see some horiffic lumps being taken (often literally) on both sides.

-Regarding Jiang-Shi/Wendigos and their comparatively benign lookalike cryptids, why not have your cake & eat it too? Speaking of the former, two last questions: (a) would both hybrid permutations transform new "recruits" through baptism, bite, or a combination of the two? (b) does that moonlight-resurrection clause still apply if the beast's slayer is canny enough to separate & dispose of its head?

-I had a feeling most of those Asian "girl's club" strains retained that basis from myth...and what the hey, estrogen works as well as anything here.
TyrantisTerror Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2009
A. A vampire baptism is required for both of the hybrids to, err, reproduce, although it's just the simple "I bite you, you bite me" trick as opposed to some of the more complicated versions of the ritual.

B. Moonlight resurection still works no matter how the body is disposed of (unless it's completely vaporized or something). Granted, every single piece of the hybrid must be in tact for it to work, so if a slayer is savvy enough to burn it to ashes and then scatter the ashes to the four winds they can undo the hybrid forever. The same is true of werewolves in the Tyrantisverse.
geekspace Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2009
All righty, then...I'll attempt to critique these monstrosities on the basis of design & whatever random queries spring to mind.

Strzyga-those massive Buffy-esque brow ridges (by which I mean the show's vamp faces, of course), narrow eyes and notched bat-ears are fine touches, but the bristling dental array just defines that bust. Does that tongue sport some sort of barb, sucker or serpentine fork?

I do wonder whether this strain's propensity for decomposition is linked to the heart's additional regenerative power...perhaps said mojo drains whatever ethereal reserves keep "ordinary" Strigoi preserved whilst at rest, ensuring these guys always wake up half-starved? I suppose said drain might also account for the virus' sterility in this breed.

Obayifo-delightfully offbeat wonder the specimen sketched here looks rather abashed. I wonder whether (a) the luminescent bits are retained by whatever alternate forms this breed may assume, and (b) if not, how reliant "Obies" are upon said shapes during the hunt. Perhaps due to human scarcity and that propensity to glow in the dark, this breed might enjoy a bit more feeding range (e.g. animals) than baseline Strigoi? Or hell, maybe the patches serve as a pseudo-hypnotic LURE for prey.

Ghoul/Grendel/Matriarch-first off, way to apply an incredibly fresh spin to a name which is generally lumped into the zombie/corpse-munching madman category. And meshing the "Beowulf" legend's flagship monsters into this process? That takes some true stones, my friend.

The designs themselves are a nightmarish extrapolation of humanoid form, retaining only the vestiges of a human skull or basic body structure (which drops even further off the chart with the G.M.). That monstrous underbite (slight typo there) might make feeding somewhat awkward, but I suppose they serve primarily as killing weapons, after which the meat gets torn into gulpable chunks by hand/tendril.

Finally, some further notes:

*What a horrid, horrid process of transformation...especially the pre-mortem self-mutilation. Perhaps the regions in question develop a combination of partial necrosis & an unimaginable rash/itch (poison ivy to the nth degree), further facilitating their removal c/o the agony-mad subject?

*The towering height of even average ghouls lends the Vrykolakas leadership dynamic a degree of warped humor: a roughly human/gorilla-sized ogre lording over a pack of quasi-skeletal giants?

*Not sure why incineration would paralyze ghouls...perhaps their digestive fluids are flammable instead?

*Pointless question: would any given Vrykolakas have any influence over a Grendel/G.M. partnership, or would that meeting result in some territorial "friction?"

Vrykolakas/Asanbasam-again, a troll/orc-ish vamp derivative is well off the current beaten path. Those demonic little brow-spines look fairly neat, and the overall build/talons/teeth seem spot-on. Not much to add aside from still more random notes:

*aside from the lack of iron bits, do the Vrykols differ visibly when compared to their African counterparts?

*Five times the strength of a roughly human-scale ape? Damn.

*perhaps the Asanbasam's iron skeletal/dental elements cost this strain a great deal of potential ethereal mojo, thus depriving it of all but the most rudimentary shapeshifting ability (if that). On the upside, anyone trying to decapitate one of those bad boys is in for a surprise.

Jiang-Shi-this brutal mix-and-match of vamp, werewolf, Sasquatch and Son of Kong(C) is easily one of my favorite designs here (and substantially nastier-looking than the hybrid "Underworld" gave us). The sketch's left paw seems a bit oversized, but that's all the nit-picking I can apply in that direction. However, the profile itself could use a bit of expansion:

-How on earth does this hybridization come about? Force-feeding some poor sod Strigoi/Vrykolakas AND werewolf blood? Introducing juices from one species into the veins/digestive system of the other? Direct mating (shudder)? I'm belaboring the point, but...

-Speaking of which, can these hybrids create others of their kind?

-I presume the Obayifo-derived Jiang-Shi have some means of toning down their luminescence or turning it to their advantage...either way, I'd love to see a color portrayal.

-Given the resemblance to cryptid primates in their respective biomes, I'm surprised you didn't just tie the Sasquatch & Yeti "myths" into Jiang-Shi/Wendigo history. Then again, the potential for mistaken-identity hilarity at the expense of amateur monster hunters is delightful.

Churel-this one's fairly twisted in every sense. I take it the quasi-skeletal mask would be this strain's feeding face, and the reversed ankle/leg-structure is solid. Those feet present their share of logistical issues, although long skirts/robes/kimono would likely do the trick for moving in public. As for pursuit & the kill, this strain must especially rely on shape-shifting.

I do have one general question: is there any particular reason why Churels/Mananannggals/Pennanggalan/Soucouyants are exclusively female? Nothing about the rituals involved in any breed's creation (I take it Pennanggalans are sired in a manner broadly similar to that which created 'em, albeit with one obvious difference) seems to exclude male subjects/victims. Should we chalk that up to Unfathomable Ethereal Directives/Instincts/Gender Discrimination(TM) for the sake of your sanity?

Soucouyant- another favorite on sight. Flaming skeletal bats are just too damn METAL(TM)(R)(C) for words, and the loving detail applied to those bones (especially the wing fingers) is a true plus. The somewhat rotund appearance lent by that fiery aura is inexplicably endearing as well.

More random thoughts:

*Is the bat-form's flame a uniform shade, or does it change color/wax/wane depending on how well-fed the Soucouyant in question keeps itself?

*I'm guessing said flame either sterilizes the virus whilst the creature feeds, or simply incinerates the victim once it's finished, leaving 'em in no condition to transform.

*Speaking of which, can they turn the heat down a bit to facilitate easier drainage?

*FINALLY, does water affect said flame in any way/shape/degree? Even briefly "snuffing out" this firebrand would make a slayer's task far easier.

Mananannggal-again, love the batwings (especially those thumb-hooks), and I'm sure the Terms of Service(C) personnel hereabouts appreciate that your flying severed torso is decently clad. The gaping fangs & crazy eyes work as well.

Pennanggalan-sickeningly spot-on. The oversized piranha-maw and tooth-tipped intestinal portion are especially spiffy. One suggestion: perhaps the various previously non-digestive organs (kidney, heart, etc.) secrete a corrosive fluid which collects in the lungs & can be spewed from any/every orifice as a last-resort defensive measure?

Nukekubi-gotta love still another nod to Hellboy & Asian folklore alike....and ye gods, the prospect of a Pennanggalan forcing the siring process (throttle/bind, force-feed, chew through neck?) upon some wretch would be vomit-inducing had ill-advised web surfing not already hardened my innards.

This was one mind-bloatingly impressive buffet for thought, and you have my thanks for the opportunity to mull it over.
TyrantisTerror Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2009
-Stryzga do indeed have forked tongues. The idea of this strain's regeneration power also being the source of its daytime draw backs and sterility is inspired. I decree that to be canon.

- I imagine the bioluminescent bits in the Oobayifo translate into its animal forms when it shape shifts, which would be... interesting. If I couple that with the use of it as a hypnotic lure we could very well have a nice explanation for Will-O-Wisps in the Tyrantisverse.

- On Ghouls and Grendels: Your explanation for why immolation paralyzes ghouls is as good as any I can come up with. A power struggle would invariably occur if a Vrykolakas tried to take control of a Grendel controlled pack of ghouls. The victor of the situation would largely depend upon the "parentage" of the ghouls in question - if the Vrykolakas was their original sire who at some point abandoned the ghouls, the ghouls will side with it. If, however, it was a different Vrykolakas than the original sire, the ghouls would side with the Grendel and Grendel Martiarch.

- Vrykols and Asanbasoms are pretty much identical save for the latter's iron bones and teeth. Limiting the Asanbasom's shapeshifting also sounds pretty logical - restructuring iron is probably a lot tricker than calcium based bone.

- Jiang Shi and Wendigos: The creation of these hybrids is generally the work of a necromancer or, lacking such a mystic, an experienced geneticist. While these plagues are not naturally occuring, the hybrid of the two different viruses is able to reproduce and spread like the viruses it is fused from, which is why Jiang Shi and Wendigos have occured without the direct involvement of a necromancer. As I have plans of my own for Tyrantisverse explanations of cryptids like Yeti and Sasquatch, I chose not to include them in this genealogy. As for a color rendition of the Jiang Shi, I'm hoping to one day create a completed version of all those Vampire sketches that go along with this essay.

- Out of story reason for the female-only species of vamps: that's how the myths they're based on work. In story reason: I dunno... how about those strains of the virus needing a lot of estrogen to function?

- The idea of a Soucouyant's flame shifting in color and size is pretty slick, so I'm going to say yes, with the addition that it shifts not only with hunger, but with mood as well. I also imagine they can turn it down so as not to destroy their meal when eating, with the flames gushing outward at the end of the meal to incinerate the victim. Water might be able to momentarily put out the fire, but I doubt it would last long - it is magical flame, after all.

Glad as always to receive your analysis!
geekspace Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2009
It's well past time I reviewed these suckheads in some semblance of order...unfortunately, I'll have to tackle that after catching some Z's. A couple random notes in the meantime:

-So Moroi/Strigoi/Vrykolakas need not worry about their victims coming back should they simply bite & drain 'em?

-Given the time & effort necessary for Strigoi to create more of their own, that (and the above qualifier) certainly kibosh the sort of exponential multiplication that might otherwise turn around & bite vamps where it hurts (with the obvious exception of revenants). Just how many decades did Lugar spend simply building up his batty corps?

-I imagine the less humanoid Langsuir byproducts aren't too choosy regarding their sources of A/B/AB/O-negative/positive...will animals suffice for most of 'em (particularly the Vrykolakas & ghouls) in a pinch?
TyrantisTerror Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2009
- Yep. For the higher level vamps, creating another undead has to be a conscious choice. Of course, given the fact that human blood has an intoxicating effect on vampires, it's not as uncommon for one to accidentally sire a new vamp in a bloody frenzy.

- I'll answer this question with a sizable amount of backstory. The Langsuir virus, in all its permutations, had been the study of Area 51 for almost as long as the kaiju regen factor, which is to say since the late fifties. As such, several experiments were done with the various strains, including a great deal of tests with Strigoi vamps. While naturally recreating a Strigoi is tricky business for a Strigoi, the geneticists at the notorious "Air Base" managed to create several copies of the virus that did not mutate. One test subject of this artificially created Strigoi strain was a Soviet spy who called himself Tatzel Lugar. There were fifty other test subjects, along with twenty who had been mutated by the natural version of the Strigoi strain (among whose ranks was another Soviet spy named Boris Kalishnakov). These vamps seemed doomed to spend the rest of their days locked in one of Area 51's under ground bunkers until fate - or, rather, the revenant strain of the Langsuir virus - intervened. Area 51 was shut down in the early stages of the Shambling Plague, allowing several of its experiments - including the 80 some strigoi - to escape amidst the chaos. So that gives Tatzel about two hundred or so years to build up his army by the time of "A Malad's Advance."

- Animals do suffice for most vampires other than strigoi, although it is by no means healthy for them. Eating animals instead of people is sort of the vampire equivalent of eating nothing but potato chips your whole life instead of having a balanced diet. The exception to this rule is ghouls, revenants, and hollow chest men, who don't eat for nourishment as much as they do for pleasure.
trexmaster Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2008   Traditional Artist
Wow, you've put a lot of thought into this.
OperaGhost21 Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2008  Hobbyist
alright, so I finally got around to reading this...the level of detail is awesome!
SliverEmperor Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2008
Merciful Hell! You have WAY too much time on your hands, mate. I've lost count of the number of supernatural species you've linked to each other here. I can't even PRONOUNCE most of them!

Unbelievably well-thought out description here. Really makes you look forward to your 2nd Age of Monsters files (hint, hint). I actually started thinking up a similar classification for demons...
DeZia Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2008  Student
Absolutely gorgeous, seriously. I love unique vampires that rely on the mythological traditions and yet have their own thing going. Especially the pseudo-science, I'm a big fan of using that in my writing as well.

This was an interesting and informative read, and it flows like a proper report. Excellent job!

(now I'll be checking out the rest of your gallery~)
TyrantisTerror Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2008
Thanks! Glad you like it - and thanks for the watch!
BehemothMaker Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2008
Very nice essay. I do notice that you left about the Chinese vampires that mainly drain a person's lifeforce. You know, psychic/Chi vampires. Of course, I would think they be something different.
TyrantisTerror Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2008
Thanks! "Vampires" that feed on life force, such as the Chinese Chi drinkers, succubi, and inccubi, are another species altogether, since they don't actually drink blood. I'm not exactly sure what they'd be in the Tyrantis/FF/Gatsby universe, so that's an essay for another day.
BehemothMaker Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2008
BrontoRex Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2008
Win and fave and more win and teh awesme.
TyrantisTerror Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2008
BrontoRex Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2008
Always glad to see another author incorporating a wide variety of obscure vampire myths.
RenDragonClaw Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Tis be the most entertaining vampire essay I've ever beheld good sir. Indeed, I find the shear volume of research and forethought throughout your text most admirable.

Seriously though I love this. I don't find the ethereal being idea off base or abrupt fantasy at all. I think it fits very well. Life is present in just about every state of matter, why not plasma or raw energy? It would also explain the possibilities of ghosts as well.

TyrantisTerror Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2008
Heh, ghosts. That's another essay altogether.
TyrantisTerror Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2008
Heh, ghosts. That's another essay altogether.
Azes13 Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Lets see:

  • You seem to be missing something in the paragraph for Ethereal Beings. I think "...made of a strange sort of energy. Then can take on..." needs a "they can" in there.

  • If the Moroi are hybrids, wouldn't the taxonomy be something like Homo sapiens x Genus and species of Ethereals? Don't quote me on that, though, since I've never been great with the taxonomy.

  • When you say the Moroi can shift matter around them, what do you mean? Like, their clothing or can they be like "Bam, your pancreas is a potato now!"

  • Any particular reason why multiple blood infusions from a Moroi causes more mutations for the Langsuir?

  • Can't say I've heard of the Obayifo before. You learn something new everyday.

  • You seem to be missing something in Vrykolakas. "...although one with their ape-ish would..." Their ape-ish what? Build perhaps?

  • If vampires burn up iron at a faster rate, wouldn't it be pretty wasteful for the Asanbosam to have all those parts of iron?

  • Man, how would they figure out how to make a Churel? Those Strigoi must have had some weird tastes...

  • So, can a ghoul join a pack and then eventually become a Grendel of some sort? And if not, how would it be separated from the vrykolakas leader in the first place?

  • What makes the siring of a Hollow Chest Man different from that of revenant?

  • I don't suppose you have a flow chart for this or something?

Well, that's all the comments I can think of now. Hope its helpful. Can't nobody say Azes13 never did nothing for the TyrantisTerrors. Mainly because I don't have any idea what that means.
TyrantisTerror Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2008
- Firstly, thanks for catching the typos. As you must have noticed, I'm a piss poor editor. They'll be fixed soon-ish.

- To be honest, I'm not sure how taxonomy works with hybrids - then again, this is a hybrid of a human being and a creature outside any of the taxonomic classes: something that, in its natural state, has not cellular structure. Technically the moroi shouldn't even be a separate species from humans, or should the physical forms of the ethereal beings for that matter (since the ethereal beings can look far different from a human yet still create sex cells that have corresponding genes). TL,DR: I have no clue. Insert MST3K mantra.

- Mainly I mean their clothing, although a moroi could potentially do the pancreas-potato trick - it would require a lot of energy and put an great strain on the moroi to use their power to that extreme. There's a threshold of how much strain they can put on their shape changing powers. I just don't know exactly where it is yet.

- Why different strains result from repeated transfusions: when the first dose of the virus is transfused into a victim, it lies dormant until the victim expires. To protect itself in this dormancy, it mutates. When a second dose enters the blood stream, the originals, sensing an active member of their species, leave their dormancy only to quickly encounter resistance from a still alive immune system. This causes the original does to undergo another mutation into dormancy, resulting in a new strain. Yeah, kind of a BS answer, but then again, so is this whole essay.

- True, it is wasteful of the Asanbasom to have iron bits in it's body - but we burn protein, fat, and sugar every day, and we're made up of those. It's a trade off - the iron bits make it a stronger, more efficient hunter, allowing it to get more blood to support them.

- The cow blood involved in the creation of a churel isn't as strange as you might think. Churels hail from Asia, and since vampires tend to have anti-religious tendencies, the idea of one thinking to defile something sacred (like a cow) in the midst of an already horrific act isn't too far fetched. As an aside, the cow blood was not part of the original myth: I made it up.

- A ghoul might just wander off away from a Vrykolakas, or the Vrykolakas could abandon it. Ghouls are perfectly content to live alone, but if there are too many in one area they will need a leader to keep them from slaughtering each other. They just don't have that team spirit.

- A Hollow Chest Man depends larger on the mood of the Grendel or Grendel Matriarch that creates it. The emotions of the creature determine how the virus mutates in its salivia, which in turn determines what whatever the Grendel/GM bites turns into.

- I do have a flow chart, actually. It didn't translate well into DA's literature posting system, however.
Azes13 Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
  • No problem.

  • Hmm, can't help you there then.

  • Shame. They could conquer worlds with the whole turning organs into vegetables.

  • Parasite Rex suggests that some parasites will attack an organism, then change their protein coat and go into hibernation inside the cells. The immune system is capable of dealing with the first protein coat, but not the second. Perhaps it's a variation of that for the vampires. Perhaps the virus goes in, infects the place, switches the tactics and goes into hibernation. If a second infusion is made, then the immune system is ready for it, which means it also has to change its tactics. Then, there's two set of viruses in the body, each slightly different. Or not.

  • Touché.

  • Really, you'd think defiling corpses would be enough.

  • Then, if two wandering ghouls met each other, would they consider it a justification for Grendel-fighting? How about three? Or is it only when the commanding presence of the Vrykolakas leaves?

  • Better point that out in the text. Doesn't seem to be implied.

  • Curses!
TyrantisTerror Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2008
- The Parasite Rex concept sounds like it would work. Glad to know my asspullings can occasionally sorta reflect fact.

- Heh, I just noticed my comment explaining the Churel/cow blood relation used "Asia" instead of "India" - and I don't think all Asians practice Hindu.

- Small meetings of ghouls, such as two crossing each others' paths, would probably result in a sort of scare tactic fight; the one with the biggest roar would win. Should the other not back down, though, they'd start to fight for reals, and that wold continue until one runs off or expires. Other small meetings would be similar to this - you'd have to have at least six ghouls to get into a true Grendel competition, and that's only if all six refuse to back down, with the likelyhood of the competition increasing as the number of ghouls involved increase (very slim from between six to ten, then increasing at a moderate pace from there). Generally Grendel competitions only take place when a Vrykolakas (or the current Grendel & Grendel Martiarch pair) is slain, leaving a large army of ghouls occupying the same territory. Ghouls tend to be stationary creatures when on their own, so it's unlikely for a solo ghoul to meet another, much less enough to have a competition.

- Yeah... I'll ammend the HCM paragraph sometime today.

Thanks for the stern critique!

Azes13 Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist

  • Glad to help pull things out of your ass. Eww, wait...

  • Well, I'm sure there are Hindu outside of India.

  • Good to know. Might want to point that out in the paragraph.

NVraptor08 Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2008
Heck of a lot better than my version.I especially like the way you've included more obscure vampire legends into the mainstream ones.All in all, it seems rather successful(as in gloriously well compiled and thought out, with a pretty rational thought process through out.).And don't fret over the ethereal beings, they work in fine.
TyrantisTerror Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2008
The obscure vampires really made it a lot of fun - I love folklore just as much for weird little things like manananngals and soucayants as I do for mainstream critters like dragons and griffins.
GREGOLE Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2008
Well, that was a nifty read. The pseudo-science is very valid and makes as much sense as it needs to.

The real strength is the raw variety, and the bizarreness of all the breeds. Each one is very detailed and very distinct. I LOVE the way so many countless legends are addressed with it. The connection between "demons", "ghosts" vampires, ghouls, zombies and even Grendel all just... WORK! And it's nice to finally see Hollow Chest Man again. I've always thought he was delightfully creepy.
It builds a universe FULL of monsters, yet presents it in a way that it's not a horrible stretch of disbelief.

I LOVE the sheer variety of it all. The flaming bats, white wolf/ape/bats(and the glowing green variety) and wendigo are truly unique and visually appealing.
I love how the "torso-vampires" are incorporated(I'm gonna use them as the base for Esumi-Oni's design). They were always my favorites.

All in all, you've assembled a perfect way to not only make vampires fresh and fun again, but you've revived what made them cool in the first place. All their super-powers, predatory needs and sinister vibes are all there, but are so different, they seem a brand new creature entirely. But at the same time, the word "vampire" doesn't seem inappropriate.

All in all, this is just epic win.
TyrantisTerror Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2008
Thanks! It's good to hear that this whole thing not only works, but works in an epic fashion. I love the idea of having a big bestiary of monsters in a series of fiction, especially ones where there are entire families of related monsters. Most stories just go "dragon. griffin. unicorn. phoenix. werewolf." I like it to go "Dragon: wyverns, drakes, winged drakes, wyrms, lindorms, lung, sea serpents... Chimera: griffins, chimeras, hippogriffs, androsphinxes, heirachosphinxes..." etc. Makes it all so much more fun, you know?
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