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Species: Homo Upirus (Nosferatu)
Nocturnal Hominid, Carnivore
At some stage in the evolution of our species, a group of early hominids encountered a virus. Due to the nature of this particular strain it is rather likely to have come from a species of mammal which fed on blood, thus allowing the transference of the blood born pathogen. The result of which was Homo Vampyrus - a nocturnal hominid species capable of great longevity, yet entirely dependent on the consumption of large volumes of iron and protein to aid metabolism of viral cells. Over 150,000 years, the virus and host would form a perfect symbiotic relationship. We know a great deal about Vampyr, thanks to the tireless research of Francis Gerber and The Cleric Abramo, yet the source of the virus has eluded us, until now.
There are many mythologies tied to the birth of the Vampyr. What we have gleaned from the vestiges of the Vampyr nation are that after the establishment of a viable group of hosts, those infected resorted to a subterranean existence, sunlight becoming hazardous to the survival of the virus itself. The movement of clans of Vampyr culminated in Mongolia, and after 20,000 years of warring factions and blood feuds, the creation of Thenis - the stronghold of Vampyric culture was constructed. Various tribes of Vampyr who shirked the concept of community vanished into the darkness, some became feral, hunting humans, and were eventually slaughtered for their crimes. Yet the first born, the "Upir" - (pronounced oo - pier) isolated themselves entirely from their children. They sought refuge away from the masses. They became the stuff of legend and were believed long dead.
There were three early Vampyr who stayed within the city, the most notable was Gholu. He was born perhaps 100 generations after the creation of the Vampyr species, and he wrote a great deal about the first born. The Upir were very different from that which came after them. They buried themselves in dirt, painted themselves black, and fed solely on humans. They were violent and cunning yet held with them a mysterious purpose. Gholu believed them to be alive, despite the ages that had passed, and even sent out search parties in hope of finding some evidence.
In the late 1900's, after the rise of the Wraith Virus, The cleric Abramo sought out all possible leads for the creation of a viable antidote to Vampyric viral strains. These strains were rather different to that which had given rise to the vampyr, aggressive, lethal and detrimental to the host, pathogens much like the Wraith had to be eradicated. He turned to his own research for possible leads, and one was indeed to find the source of the original strain. He found reference to possible locations of the early Vampyr, the pilgrimage of various Hemophage seeking communion with the oldest of their race,. Most never returned. The last recorded encounter was deep within Siberia, in the Noril'sk region.
It took him far north, to the Siberian plateau, 100 days of searching tirelessly, until eventually he found animal carcasses, dragged into `a huge blackened trench in the earth. It was cut by hand and hundreds of feet deep, the walls painted with oil rich mud and clay. No light penetrated the crevasse, and with great trepidation, and entirely alone, The cleric descended.
Within he found bizarre geometric structures, channels dug into the earth, no sign of life or civilization. Yet he was very aware that many eyes were watching him and it wasn't long before those eyes made themselves known. Within the deepest part of the structure, some 500 feet down, was a pool of crude oil. All of sudden a high pitch whistle penetrated his mind, scattering thoughts into a miasma of confusion before forming a pictogram of events. Whatever was invading his perception was using his own memories as a means to communicate. "Turn off your torch and allow your eyes to adjust to the dark" was the message he received. he did so.
After a few minutes it was apparent that moonlight was abundant through the reflection of light off the painted surfaces. He was soon able to make out that which lay before him, the terrifying sight of a hundred emaciated creatures climbing out of the oil. It took every effort to not run for his life, yet it was pointless. They had the ability to emit high pitched frequencies which effected perception and physiology. They rendered him paralysed with sound.
He quickly explained his reason for seeking them out, and watched with horrified amazement as they cleaned one another of the oil, covering their bodies with primitive black cloaks. They sat in concentric circles around him and made very little sound. They were hideous, bat like creatures, their skin the colour of maggot flesh, their mouths leech like. Yet despite this, they understood his desire to find them. They explained that most of those sitting before him were over 40,000 years old, carrying with them a bizarre capacity for comprehension of existence, a desire to deconstruct that darkness they enveloped themselves in, yet they all craved death. One offered itself to him for research, deeming the act worthy of its life. Before he could utter objection to the concept, it had done so.
He left with his own life intact and the body of one of the oldest creatures on earth, providing ample information about the nature of Upir - or as they would become known - Nosferatu, the first born.
We now know that the Vampyric strain carries with it DNA of the host infectee, along with mutagenic properties. In the case of the Nosferatu, remnants of Desmodus rotundus or Vampire Bat DNA were found in the viral cells, which would be prevalent throughout the host, thus explaining various anatomical traits. These genetic traits would be bred out within very few generations, hence why these traits were not noticeable in modern vampyr. The similarities within these two species are not without great importance, the bat would have transferred the virus to early humans when feeding. It is not without hidden depths that bats became synonymous with Vampire mythology.
The Cleric Abramo developed a number of treatments for the various strains of Vampyric Virus. He preserved portions of the Upir, along with examples of skull fragments of victims of Vampyrism in one of his many research vessels. This particular case, presents the front portion of the Nosferatu skull, perfectly preserved and presented.