There are different kinds of vampires in the story, most notably what is dubbed the ‘Old Breed’ and the ‘New Breed’, while technically very similar there are also some significant differences.
The ‘Old Breed’ Vampires
As the name implies vampires are not a modern occurrence, but rather have been around for thousands of years – or even longer.
Unlike many books and movies suggest, the Old Breed Vamps feel emotions much like humans, despite the fact that they are technically no longer living. Their pain threshold is extremely elevated but they are still able to feel pain and be injured, or even perish if the injuries are severe enough.
This fact has been made use of by humans to discourage vampires to enter hospitals, since in the early days of the coexistence hospitals were often raided for their blood reserves, so all hospitals have been built with many security features in place, making it impossible for vampires to enter without severe injuries.
Despite many attempts by the Elders to reach a consensus with the human government to change that regulation, it still remains in effect to this day, complicating the countless vampire-human relationships in times when the human partner requires medical assistance, i.e. after an accident or during childbirth.
While it is hard to distinguish between fact and fiction in the old writs, even for vampires themselves sometimes, the true scope of all things vampires remains largely unknown, secrets only true vampires and in part, only those above a certain skill level, are privy to.
While there are always black sheep and exceptions, most vampires wish to lead a fairly low-profile life, much like most humans, only that their lives go on forever, barring tragic circumstances.
The vampire population is divided up into local vampire chapters, regionally, comparable to counties, each spanning a large area, governed not only by human laws, but also by a strict vampire code, a form of law book, enforced by the Elders. Each chapter has one Elder and one Vice-Elder, his right hand.
In our story the Elder is the very old and wise, yet kind and just Caleb Vatore, functioning as his Vice-Elder is Blaine Cameron, both pictured above.
The Elders are also those who work closely with the human government to assure that the human and vampire population can coexist peacefully.
The Old Breed vampires rarely feed on humans, but rather on plasma fruit, which many harvest their own crop. If they ever do feed on humans, they are careful to not kill or injure their victims by draining them of too much blood. That is one of the learned skills taught by the Master after a newly turned vampire rises, and instilled in naturally born vampire children as part of their upbringing. Feeding on the pregnant or weak is strictly prohibited and severely penalized, and feeding with the intention to turn the victim into a vampire is discouraged unless the victim specifically requested that and is of sound character fit to join the vampire society. Once turned, the vampire becomes the Master and responsible to teach the newly turned victim the ways of the vampires and assure they do so soundly and safely.
It is a tedious process and hence few engage in it.
Old Breed Vampires can train and learn to abide the sunlight after reaching a certain skill level, allowing them to live normal lives alongside humans.
Old Breed vampires have soulmates, only one ever. That is the ultimate companionship and once soulmates found one another, it is for all eternity. Soulmates usually go both ways, but not always. In case it does not, and the other does not return the love, or dies, the other will never find another. Some manage to love, in a very reduced manner, but it will never be the type of ultimate fulfillment a soulmate would grant. Some vampires seek their soulmate for decades or even centuries, some never find them. Often vampires who lost or gave up on their soulmate turn bitter, cold and cruel.
Old Breeds can undergo a fairly complicated and dangerous procedure, un-turning, to become mortals.
The ‘New Breed’ Vampires
A misnomer, as their roots are every bit as ancient as that of the Old Breed Vampires, but they have not surfaced until more recent years. It is believed that they originated from a very ancient Elder, who laid dormant for thousands of years, then was awakened by an unknowns occurrence, and in an attempt to overtake the world begun to populate the world with his offspring.
Unlike the Old Breed, newly turned New Breed vampires do not automatically turn into full vampires, neither by birth nor after being bitten, but something dubbed ‘half-vamps’, who are very weak and posses no significant powers aside from being immortal. Those half-vamps are often unable to feed enough making them weak, and hence an easy target for exploitation by humans, where they are often abused as cheap laborer, much like slaves, mistreated, made to work insane hours and hard, dirty jobs for rations of blood, barely large enough to sustain them. There have been instances where deranged humans would hunt half-vamps for sport or torture them. This naturally only fuels the disdain between the species.
In order for a half-vamp to be turned into a full New Breed vampire it requires a secret ritual, after which they will lose their ability to feel emotions, but will gain powers.
Unlike the Old Breed Vamps, the New Breed lack emotions, making it easy to call them evil, when in reality they just follow instincts over emotional attachments, with little regard of the repercussions of their actions.
Aside from that, a few of the most notable differences to the Old Breed is that New Breeders are unable to use anything other than blood for sustenance and are fierce in their attempt to get it, with little regard of their victims’ well-being.
They are unable to ever abide the daylight, no matter their skill level.
Further can they not procreate among each other without a human partner. Technically it would be possible with a vampire of the Old Breed, however, examples for such a union have not been recorded, as the Old Breed vampires would never engage with a cold, emotionless other, and unlike humans they cannot be overwhelmed into submission as they are every bit as strong as the New Breed.
New Breed vampires do not have soulmates. Due to their lack of emotion, they may match up on a more functional level.
New Breeds cannot be “un-turned”. The procedure does not work on them, but it can kill them.
Old Breed/New Breed Hybrids
Little is known about them, as the two breeds usually do not engage in any more than a civil manner.
Currently only two hybrids are known, Heath Grainger, whose mortal mother was turned by a renegade Old Breed vampire while pregnant with Heath, after his New Breed father raped her to create an heir. The other is his daughter, fathered unintentionally with a mortal, whom he loved, the pregnancy was dangerous sending the mother into a coma, so he turned her while pregnant.
Both mother and child, a girl named Abigail, survived.
We are still finding out more about what hybrids are like, but it is already obvious that they have emotions and even soulmates.
He still cannot abide daylight or digest anything but blood.