Vampires are immortal beings that have spread the loathsome curse of Undeath across the realms of Men for centuries. The true masters of Undeath, Vampires retain much of their original intelligence and capabilities despite their curse, and hence retain their ambition and desire. This makes them very dangerous indeed, for Vampires, due to their immortality, have an extensive period of time in which to hone their skills and refine their schemes to utter perfection. In order to survive, the Vampire must feast upon the very lifeblood of mortal creatures, and it is only through this imbibing of fresh blood that they are able to preserve their power and their very unlife.
There are five distinct families of vampires, each descending from one of the "first vampires", these families are called "Bloodlines", each with different characteristics that affect the way they bear themselves in combat and their capacity to wield Dark Magic for necromantic purposes.
The Von Carsteins are the descendants of Vlad von Carstein and are the ruling nobles of Sylvania. The cursed bloodline of the von Carsteins is by-far the most legendary of the bloodlines. Handsome, arrogant, charismatic, prideful, and ambitious, the von Carsteins seek to topple the civilizations of the living and supplant them with an Undead Empire that shall reign forever as the Midnight Aristocracy. The von Carsteins are powerful necromancers as well as warriors, given supernatural enhancements to their strength, cunning, beauty and ambition.
The Blood Dragons are known to for their extreme martial prowess in battle. They are consummate warriors, whose skill at arms is unmatched in the Old World, living only for martial combat and brutal battle. Usually fighting from horseback, the Blood Dragons were masters of all forms of weapons, though they eschewed cowardly ranged weapons and magic in favor of pure physical strength and martial skills, believing only in that which was physical; however, they were not above using magic, and would sometimes use their innate, though poorly developed, abilities in Necromancy to raise undead servants.
The Lahmians may not have the brute strength of some of the other bloodlines, but they more than make up for this lack in cunning, deviousness, and their mastery of others. The Lahmians are secret string-pullers of the world, invisibly exerting untellable control over history. Their immortal plots are difficult for short-lived humans to see, and some that were set in motion in antiquity have yet to come to fruition.
The Necrarchs are the most learned of Vampires, more skilled at sorcery than with the blade. These skills have come at a price, however. The appearance of the Necrarchs has grown so hideous and unnatural that an ordinary man cannot bear to look upon them, and many run screaming at the sight. When their great library was burned to the ground by fearful mortals, many Necrarchs remained to burn with it, so strong was their devotion to knowledge.
The Strigoi are even more monstrous than the Necrarchs and are huge and heavily built. The Vampires of the other bloodlines play at being mortal and wear the robes of lords, knights, and princes, but underneath, the Vampire is purely a beast. There are those who lose themselves so much in their pretense that they forget this. The Strigoi have not forgotten and do not pretend. They embrace the beast within them, taking all the strength and fury the animal can give them. That strength is terrible to behold, and that fury knows no end.