Vampires (Anita Blake mythology)

Vampires (Anita Blake mythology)

Vampires in the series by Laurell K. Hamilton closely resemble the popular depiction in other fiction and mythology. They are blood drinking former humans, risen from the dead to prey on the living, with a variety of diverse powers.

Physical Characteristics

* Vampires are extremely strong - even the new dead are capable of lifting cars.

* Vampires are faster than most humans, but it is difficult to tell how much faster. In later books Anita says that vampires move like blurs or they could fly away. Although in most cases a vampire appears to teleport or move with blinding speed, the vampire has actually used its "mind tricks" to conceal its movement.

* Vampires' senses of hearing and smell are also very strong.

* Vampires are able to appear human only after years of practice. Newly made vampires have difficulty smiling without showing their fangs, and feel as if they are made from carved wood.

* Vampires have the ability to remain completely still, expressionless, and silent. New vampires learn this as they age, while older vampires use this often for effect.

* When a human is bitten at whatever age they stay that same age for their afterlife.

Vampire Feeding And Conversion

* Vampires can drink human, lycanthrope, or even animal blood for sustenance and to maintain their spiritual power. They cannot eat physical food, though they can experience the taste of food through human servants. Animal blood is not a sufficient diet. A vampire can survive for extended periods without human or lycanthrope blood, but may be driven insane by the experience. One such vampire, , began to rot from the inside out after trying to go off blood "cold turkey" at the request of his lycanthrope lover .

* Vampires are capable of turning humans into vampires by draining their blood; as a result, many vampires do not drain a human more than three times a month. A sufficiently powerful vampire, however, is capable of turning a human with a single bite. In Laurell K. Hamilton's short story, "The Girl Who Was Infatuated With Death", Anita explains to a client, "It has to be three bites within a very short space of time or the body fights off the infection, or whatever the hell it is."

* In modern times, it is impossible for a lycanthrope to contract vampirism (or a vampire to contract lycanthropy). This, and the fact that lycanthrope blood seems to more sustaining than regular human blood, is the reason why vampires prefer lycanthropes as blood donors. In pre-historic times the vampiric blood was weaker than it is now so human beings could be infected with vampirism and lycanthropy simultaneously, resulting in incredibly powerful hybrids. The Mother of Darkness seems to be the oldest and most powerful example of such a hybrid. Others include her "children" and certain members of "The Harlequin".

* When a vampire first rises, it may be confused or dangerous. As a result, persons who might rise as a vampire are stored in a locked morgue, and attended by a vampire counselor who supplies the newly risen dead with an animal to feed on and helps them adjust to their new status.

* If a human is killed during a group feeding and then rises (a very rare occurrence), he or she will rise as an "animalistic vampire," with little or no cognitive ability and with extreme strength and resistance to pain, and can only be controlled by the master that made it, and even then only if he or she is powerful enough.

Repelling or Killing Vampires

* Vampires cannot enter a person's home without invitation. When Anita revoked her invitation to Jean-Claude, he was pushed out of her home by an unseen force.

* Vampires burn in sunlight, and are generally unable to rise during the day, remaining dead in their coffins or resting places. Age and power allow some vampires to rise earlier than nightfall, and vampires raised by necromancers (such as , , and ) can move about during the day as well. Lesser vampires who rise during the day may be animalistic, as are several members of Church of Eternal Life when inadvertently awakened by the power of the visiting . A few vampires (such as and ) are able to walk about in indirect sunlight, although the Vampire Moroven can walk (at least temporary) in full sunlight and can with a very few of her own created Vampire's (Damain & Perrin) grant this ability to them as long as she is touching them, although it appears that Damain may have gained the power to temporary day-walk from Anita when he became a member of her triumvirate.

* Vampires can typically be killed by fire, decapitation, or a stake through the heart, or any other form of extreme physical trauma to the head or heart (such as a shotgun blast). Silver generally causes wounds that heal with approximately the same speed as humans, and thus head or heart shots may be fatal.

Mental Abilities

Vampires have a variety of mental powers, most of which depend on eye contact.

* "Rolling": Vampires can "roll" victims by making eye contact. "Rolling" typically refers to a temporary hypnotic state that vampires can use to conceal their movements (giving them the illusion of instantaneous movement), to give commands to the victim, or to reduce the pain of a vampire's bite. Victims with supernatural power, such as other vampires, animators, human servants, and lycanthropes, display varying amounts of resistance to this technique, but most people avoid the technique by not looking vampires directly in the eyes.

* "Deep Rolling": Given time, a sufficiently powerful vampire can put a victim into an effectively permanent hypnotic state. In "Guilty Pleasures", uses this technique on Anita's friend in order to blackmail Anita -- Anita knows that once deeply rolled, Catherine is Aubrey's to command unless Anita meets his demands. Vampires sometimes pretend to release a rolled human to appease the police, but if they have been "deep rolled" they can still recall them.

* Mass Hypnosis: Some vampires are able to exert a hypnotic effect over an entire crowd. For example, one of the vampire comedians at the Laughing Corpse used mass hypnosis to convince his audiences that he was funny. Mass hypnosis does not have the same permanent effects as "deep rolling". Mass hypnosis is not a widely known vampire power, and has its limits. For example in "Bloody Bones", Anita doubts that any vampire could hold three murder victims simultaneously hypnotized while killing them. This form of "mind control" is the only one currently considered legal.

* Vampire's Bite: A vampire's bite can (but apparently does not always) provide the vampire with mental control over the victim. In Guilty Pleasures, bites Anita and states that after a few bites, her control over Anita will be absolute. Anita is able to remove the effect of the bite by disinfecting the wound with holy water. In Circus of the Damned, Anita states that a vampire must enter a victim's mind during a bite to gain control over the victim. A vampire's bite can be sexual.

* Empathy: Vampires refer to being able to "smell" emotions such as fear and lust, and some vampires are able to detect lies. It is not clear precisely how much of this ability involves literal scent and how much involves mental powers. However, mental powers are clearly a significant component; once Jean-Claude makes Anita his human servant, he is unable to read her emotions, which suggests that the technique is not purely physical.

Master Vampires

After a few centuries, some vampires reach "master vampire" status. Other vampires will never become master vampires, although their abilities continue to increase with age to a certain limit. For example, although is more than twice Jean-Claude's age and more powerful than most non-masters in the series, he is still weaker than most masters and was unlikely to grow any stronger without magical assistance. A sourdre de sang appears able to mask and retard the development of master vampire status in his or her followers; Warrick, for example, had his powers grow and master status develop during an extended absence from Morte D'Amour's presence.

Master vampires are more powerful than typical vampires with regard to the general abilities discussed above, have the ability to control lesser vampires, and may also develop additional powers. Some of the abilities that master vampires may display include the following:

Call Animals

Some master vampires have one or more animals to call. Mr. Oliver had the ability to call snakes, Belle Morte can call felines, and the Master of Beasts can call nearly every animal. This ability also allows them to summon and command animals and lycanthropes of that type. A sufficiently powerful lycanthrope can interfere with this call, however. For example, had the ability to call rats and wererats but temporarily blocked her call, preventing her from calling the wererats of his Rodere against their will. Some masters can call non-animals: , for example, can call mermaids and mermen.

Rise Early

Some master vampires, such as , , and , are able to wake, move, and use their powers during daylight (but must remain in shadow). It is unknown, however, how far Warrick's power extended. , although not a master vampire, was capable of at least reflexive motion during daylight if threatened. , Anita Blake's vampire servant, was able to move and survive in the sun in "Incubus Dreams" after receiving another mark from Anita.

Empathic Voice Manipulation

Jean-Claude and Mr. Oliver have the ability to form an emotional or hypnotic connection with their voices. Anita characterizes Jean-Claude's voice as having an almost physical sensation, and typically describes his voice as "silk against skin" or "fur against skin." also has this power, but while Jean-Claude is able to portray joy and pleasure better, Asher is able to portray sadness and bitterness better. It is somewhat unclear whether this difference is inherent in the power, or simply due to the individual vampire's personality.

Human Servant Creation

Most or all master vampires appear to be able to create a "human servant." By marking a human with four successive "marks," the vampire makes the human into a human servant. A vampire can only have one human servant at one time, and cannot remove a mark once given. A vampire's human servant functions similarly to a witch's familiar in that when the servant is nearby, the vampire's abilities are stronger. Most vampires seem to be able to exercise some control over their servants, but a necromancer servant, such as Anita, has complete free will. The death of either the servant or the vampire may injure or kill the other member of the relationship.

*"First Mark:" the vampire shares energy with the servant. The first mark grants the human servant greater resistance to injury and to vampire mental powers, and an almost complete immunity to their own vampire's mental powers.

* "Second Mark:" Anita experiences this mark as a pair of floating points of flame in the color of the vampire's eyes that merged with her own. The second mark allows the vampire to draw power from the human servant, to experience food and drink consumed by the servant, and to enter the servant's dreams.

* "Third Mark:" The third mark is made by the vampire drinking the servant's blood. It conveys increased healing, immunity to poison, and allows the vampire and servant to communicate mentally even when awake.

* "Fourth Mark:" The fourth mark is made when the servant drinks the vampire's blood. It conveys immortality (from age) to the servant, almost complete mental communication, and allows the servant to draw on the vampire's strength. Anita believes that this causes said human servant to lose his or her soul.

Animal Servant Creation

A vampire with the ability to call animals may also form a vampire-servant relationship with one animal or lycanthrope subject to the vampire's call. The series does not provide many details about animal servants, but the process and relationship appears similar to that of a human servant. The nature of a triumvirate, however, implies that the two are different enough that a vampire can have both at the same time.


When a vampire binds a human servant and a lycanthrope who is also their animal to call, within a sufficiently short period of time, the three may form a triangular relationship called a triumvirate. This relationship forms a virtuous circle that magnifies and shares the abilities of all participants.It also seems possible for Anita to create a second triumvirate with her animal servant, Nathaniel, and her vampire servant, Damian. In the case of a triumvirate, the one who binds the animal servant and the other servant, whether vampire or human, uses their energy to keep the others alive and be able to have mind-to-mind communications. For Anita's case, if she does not eat, or feed one of her many other hungers, she will begin to feed off of Damian and then Nathaniel until she feeds those hungers.

Resist Silver

Some vampire are not hurt as badly by silver and some are not affected at all. It depends on how much power the vampire has and how old the vampire is, though age rarely has that effect.

Draw Blood From A Distance

This ability allows a vampire to cut or skin an opponent, but only if that opponent has a magical aura.

In "Bloody Bones", Serefina says she usually accomplishes this by using a vampire's own 'aura of power' against itself, and that humans normally lack the aura and therefore cannot be harmed this way. As necromancers, Anita and Larry each have an aura of power, which enables Serefina, for the first time, to cut humans from a distance just as she does vampires.

Jean-Claude admits to being unable to do this, though he does hold the knowledge of how it is done. It was demonstrated in "The Killing Dance" by Sabin, aimed at Anita, though Sabin claimed it was an accident.

Anita has inherited this vampiric ability to cut a vampire's aura. Anita first demonstrated the ability "Burnt Offerings", when she accidentally cut Yvette, out of anger. Later, in " Incubus Dreams", Jean-Claude helps her control the ability as they were trying to control Primo.

Drain Power

A master is capable of drawing all of the power from vampires that he has personally sired, reducing them to a weakened, near-skeletal state. (Examples: Jean Claude; Belle Morte; Obisidian Butterfly.)

Call Shadows

Some master vampires can call shadows, cloaking an area in darkness. Serefina conceals her orchard this way in "Bloody Bones".


Some vampires have a minor level of pyrokinesis, but major pyrokinesis is almost unheard of among vampires because flame is an element of purity, with the exception of who believed it to be a gift from God in "Burnt Offerings".

Read Minds

Some vampires have a mind reading power but they only can read peoples minds from a distance away.


Each sourde de sang is capable of supporting a "bloodline" - a group of vampires who draw power from that vampire either by direct descent or by blood oath. Some powers are only seen in master vampires of a given bloodline.

Morte D'Amour

Rotting Vampires

Rotting vampires, such as , have the ability to allow their body to rot into a decaying corpse or even fall apart without suffering damage. As a result, they are almost impossible to kill without fire (or, presumably, sunlight). This ability appears to be limited to selected members of bloodline.


and selected members of his bloodline are able to cause "corruption" with their bite -- unless the victim is sufficiently powerful to resist, even a single bite can cause a victim to decay and die. This ability appears to be significantly more rare in Morte d'Amour's bloodline than the ability to rot and reform.

Belle Morte


The greatest of the powers in Belle Morte's line is the "ardeur". Belle Morte, Jean-Claude, and Anita are the only people known to possess this power fully. Like all the powers of Belle Morte's line, the ardeur is a double-edged sword, affecting both the user and its target/s. The most basic aspect of the ardeur inspires intense sexual passion in all it touches. Those under its thrall are gripped with an intense desire to have sexual intercourse with the user of the ardeur, or else the nearest person. When used lightly it is possible for a person to choose the one they have sex with, but the more powerful the ardeur becomes, the less picky its victims become (to the point where they would have sex with those they are normally not attracted to i.e. straight people would choose same-sex partners). The ardeur can be extremely addictive, making those in its grips do anything to have another taste of it. At more powerful levels the arduer can also inspire intense love and devotion towards the wielder of the ardeur. At its most powerful, the ardeur can home in on its victims deepest desires and reshape their personalties to better accommodate those desires. It was through this that Micah and Anita found exactly what they wanted in each other as lovers, helpmates and companions.

The ardeur seems to have a primitive awareness in that it must regularly feed on the lust of its user and others. If it is not voluntarily fed, the ardeur unleashes itself without the volition of its user (often at full strength as well) and forces its user to feed it. This is a necessity as those who wield the ardeur gain power when they feed it and weaken and eventually die if they do not. If the ardeur is mastered it can only be unleashed by the will of its wielder, but the wielder will still decline in health and power if it does not feed. The ardeur can be used to feed on peoples lust from a distance without having to have intercourse with them. This process is described as being akin to "pulling velvet through an open wound" and is thus not as pleasant as the more usual method of feeding the ardeur. Furthermore it is not nearly as effective. In the latest novel of the series, "Harlequin", the ardeur is revealed to be able to feed on a master vampire or alpha lycanthrope and thus feed on anyone who has metaphysical ties to said master vampire (all its vampire underlings, human servant, animal to call etc) and alpha lycanthrope (all its pack/group etc), thus accumulating enormous amounts of power.

The ardeur drains the energies of those it feeds on and can potentially drain a person to the point of death. Thus those who possess the ardeur must have several lovers if they wish to properly feed the ardeur without killing anyone. Jean Claude and Anita can only spread the ardeur to other people (and anyone who touches said people) through physical contact. Belle Morte, who possesses the original ardeur (which all other are but pale imitations), can spread its influence over great distances (even through dreams and metaphysical connections), affecting people even if they are not touching her. She has been said to have once used this version of the ardeur on several hundred people with only a fraction of its full power.


All those in Belle Morte's line that possess the ardeur are called "incubi" (if male) or "succubi" (if female). It should be noted that other vampires automatically assume that all belonging to Belle Morte's line are incubi and succubi.

Other Related Abilities

Several master vampires in Belle's line have powers related to the "ardeur".

* powers seem to revolve around intimacy and seduction. He is unusually strong at "rolling" his victims mentally, and has a power to "fascinate" others. Asher's bite is literally orgasmic, and his victims often are addicted to the experience and/or experience "flashbacks" of the orgasms received from his bites. Although Asher does not appear to draw strength from lust itself, he can draw power directly from Anita, or, presumably, from anyone else he has seduced as deeply as he has her.

* Augustine has the ability to make others love him. As with the other powers in Belle's line, unless he is extremely careful, the power also works in reverse, forcing him to love his victim.

* power is that he is exceptionally good "food" for the "ardeur" itself. Using the ardeur on him generates additional power, and he is capable of satisfying the ardeur much more often than anyone else.

* can inflame physical lust in his victims. (And, of course, in himself).


Also called mora, Night Hags are vampires who have the ability to feed on and create fear in those around them. This ability works similarly to the ardeur in that the vampire who feeds using fear can go longer without blood, though not forever. former Master, , is a very powerful night hag and is possibly the sourde de sang for the bloodline. Night hags cannot completely turn this power "off"; everywhere they go there is a small feeling of dread, no matter what they do. It is a master-vampire power.

Vampire Society

In general, vampires are organized in a strictly hierarchical structure, both as a matter of social organization and as a matter of the magical power that animates them.

* With the exception of rogues and members of Church of Eternal Life, all vampires are bound to a "master". In most cases, that master will have his or her own master, resulting in a hierarchy of control. Although a sufficiently powerful master appears to have some ability to control subject vampires through purely magical power, there are numerous vampires in the novels who demonstrate an ability and willingness to disobey their master.

* Each area large enough to support a social group of vampires is controlled by a single "Master of the City." Assuming this position increases a vampire's magical as well as social power, as the master draws a share of power from all the vampires under its control. This position is typically transferred only by the death of the existing master. A vampire traveling to a new area must have the permission of that area's master, and when masters of different cities visit one another, they often engage in detailed negotiations of terms.

* All of the individual masters of the various cities in turn owe allegiance to the . The Vampire Council is based in Europe and is composed of several extremely powerful vampires. Normally, a vampire assumes a position on the council by killing an existing member.

* Other than obedience to their masters, the rules among vampires vary. For centuries, the Council required vampires to act with discretion, going so far as to kill for drawing unnecessary attention. After the United States began recognizing legal rights for vampires, the Council has supported limited cooperation with legal authorities. Vampires living in the U.S. are forbidden to commit crimes, and many city masters engage in vigilante activities to control vampire crime, often delivering criminal vampires to authorities, frequently in pieces.
* First, vampires gather power directly by feeding, primarily on blood, although some master vampires can also draw power through fear, lust, or directly from their human or animal servants. Vampires also appear to draw power from their subjects.
* In return, a vampire receives its animating force from its master, who in turn receives his or her own animating force from his or her own master. A vampire at the head of a bloodline is known as a "Sourde de Sang" and need not draw its animating force from any "upstream" master.
* Vampires interact with humans in a variety of ways.

** Vampires may mentally dominate humans, forcing them do their bidding. Vampires refer to these humans as "Renfields" or more simply "slaves".

** Vampires also take blood from willing humans. Some vampires are in romantic relationships with humans who willingly donate blood. Others take blood from humans who have a psychological need to supply blood. These latter humans are known as "vampire junkies" and attend "freak parties" where they meet vampires.

Vampire Terminology

Pomme de Sang

A "pomme de sang", or "apple of blood," refers to a person who has agreed to feed a vampire regularly. In vampire society, the "pomme de sang" is a submissive but valued position, similar to a "kept man or woman" among humans. Pommes de sang are protected from interference by other vampires, and are typically given gifts and otherwise treated as a human might treat a lover.

ourdre de Sang

A "sourdre de sang", or "fountain of blood", is a vampire capable of supporting his or her own bloodline. A sourde de sang generates his or her own animating power, and also provides animating power for all vampires that share a bloodline or have taken blood oaths to members of the sourde's bloodline. A sourde de sang is owed a duty of fealty by all vampires that draw power from its bloodline.

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