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Dhampyrs, also known as "daywalkers," are living creatures who have inherited some of the tainted blood of vampires. Some are the descendants of male vampires and mortal females, but many others have dhampyrs for parents and some result from a vampire of either sex biting a pregnant female. A dhampyr's powers may lie dormant for years before being quickened; dhampyrs may also have children who are normal in every respect. Possessing some of the strengths of vampires and none of their traditional weaknesses, dhampyrs are simultaneously valued and discriminated against by both sides of their heritage.
Dhampyrs are thin and willowy, with pale skin and slightly pointed ears. They have slightly pronounced canines and blood-red eyes. Dhampyrs are unharmed by sunlight or positive energy the way true vampires are. Many dhampyrs feel the characteristic bloodlust of a vampire as well as the ability to feed off of blood for sustenance or healing, though their thirst is much milder than that of true vampires and not all or even most dhampyrs carry out the practice.
In addition to the characteristic blood drain ability shared by nearly all of their kind, some dhampyrs develop other unnatural abilities. Some fairly common abilities are the ability to move more quickly, enhanced nightvision, or even the ability to transform into a mist for under a minute once per day. More advanced abilities might allow them to charm enemies into a daze, give them enhanced vitality from blood drinking, or grant dhampyrs other abilities that make them more like their vampiric kin.
The time it takes for vampiric abilities to awaken in dhampyrs varies from one person to another. In some cases, the marks of a dhampyr's heritage skip a generation, awakening in later descendants. In other cases, dhampyrs awaken their vampiric heritage early in their life.
In addition to abilities gained from their vampiric heritage, most dhampyrs possess the standard abilities and physical characteristics of their mortal heritage, whatever that may be.
Because of their unusual circumstance of being not only half-breeds, but the spawn of the living dead, dhampyrs often feel out of place no matter where they are. Grim and somber, dhampyrs often are guarded and obsessive, though they also exhibit a great deal of patience and a penchant for black humor as well.
The degree of outcast feeling, however, varies from individual to individual, however, and depends to a certain degree on the environment in which a dhampyr is raised. Dhampyr raised unaware of their vampiric blood may more or less pass as normal, while those who are aware of their heritage have a greater tendency to develop a fascination with death and macabre practices such as blood drinking or black humor. Some of the latter even develop a vampire-like thirst for blood, though this derives from a psychological, rather than a physical need.
Dhampyrs may be born into mortal society or they may be raised by vampires and treated as special but lesser members of a vampire clan. In the former case, how dhampyrs are treated depends largely on whether or not the dhampyr's neighbors knows of their true nature. In cases where a dhampyr's heritage is a secret known to only a few, many can safely pass as normal without incident. When a dhampyr's true nature is known, however, they are frequently mistreated, though in some cases their vampiric ancestry is treated as a boon rather than a curse.
Dhampyrs raised among vampire are another matter. Most vampires see their progeny as special creatures, above the average mortal though of less value than a true vampire. As a result, dhampyrs are the favored thralls of true vampires, who utilize them as soldiers and assassins, giving them tasks that are beneath a true vampire but allow opportunity for prestige nonetheless. In some cases, dhampyrs are even allowed to use the names of vampire clans as their surname, a high honor on vampiric society.
Some dhampyrs view their heritage as a curse, others as a blessing. The former often turn to hunting their undead brethren, becoming deadstalkers who hunt down vampires and other undead, turning vampires' own abilities against them. Those who feel their heritage makes them special, however, are more likely to become bloodknights, using their supernatural abilities as a tool to make them deadlier warriors.
- ↑ Brian R. James (2009-01-12). “Playing Dhampyr”. In Chris Youngs ed. Dragon #371 (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 32–33.
- ↑ Brian R. James (2009-01-12). “Playing Dhampyr”. In Chris Youngs ed. Dragon #371 (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 33–35.
- ↑ Brian R. James (2009-01-12). “Playing Dhampyr”. In Chris Youngs ed. Dragon #371 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 35.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Brian R. James (2009-01-12). “Playing Dhampyr”. In Chris Youngs ed. Dragon #371 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 33.
- ↑ Brian R. James (2009-01-12). “Playing Dhampyr”. In Chris Youngs ed. Dragon #371 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 38.
- ↑ Brian R. James (2009-01-12). “Playing Dhampyr”. In Chris Youngs ed. Dragon #371 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 34.
- ↑ Brian R. James (2009-01-12). “Playing Dhampyr”. In Chris Youngs ed. Dragon #371 (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 36–37.