Vampire behavior resembles our own sociology in more ways than we might imagine. By conducting extensive interviews with Vampires, along with observing their behavior in the wild, scientists have been able to arrive to a reasonable understanding of their world.
The first few days after coming out of a Vampiric coma are especially difficult for a Vampire. A newly transformed Vampire awakens disoriented, its judgment clouded by competing impulses and memories of its previous life. But all those are drowned out by a fierce, intense desire for blood. This urge for blood eventually snaps a Vampire into focus, and it sets about finding a way to fill that urge.
Though lone Vampires are not uncommon, most Vampires find it advantageous to either join an existing hunting pack or create one of their own. Each path has its own advantages. Joining an existing pack offers security, access to blood and protection from other packs. However, new members are low in the pecking order and are often forced to put themselves in dangerous positions, such as on advance scouting missions. In addition, new members of a pack are the last to feed, if they get to feed at all. Vampires possessing natural leadership skills may find it better to hunt on their own and eventually bring some of their victims into the fold.
With Vampires unable to reproduce, the hunting pack is the family unit of their life. In a successful pack, each vampire has its role, and there is little dissension. A typical pack is made up of four Vampires, with one Alpha Vampire and three underlings. Four seems to be the ideal number for a hunting pack: any more than that, not everyone always gets a chance to feed; any less and the hunting becomes appreciably riskier. Of course, in the distant past, when Vampire control was in a more primitive state, large Vampire armies rose up and spread by overwhelming entire towns.
Vampires are capable of developing loyalties and behaving selflessly in the name of the pack. However, the pack is the only area of their lives in which they are not mercenary.
In Vampires the most capable hunter and leader runs the show, and the others follow. The Alpha Vampire coordinates hunting strategy, gives assignments and makes all final decisions.During hunting, the Alpha drinks first. But the job has its perils too. For one, the Alpha has the difficult task of choosing replacements for fallen pack mates.But stronger pack mates can rise up and threaten the Aplha males position.
Like virtually all mammals, Vampires assert their dominance through display behavior and fighting. Vampires hiss, bare their teeth and showcase their prodigious leaping ability to try and intimidate rivals. Physical size and power are important.
But intellectual capacity is more important than physical prowess in determining success and longevity as a Vampire.
While Alpha Vampires would seem to be in an enviable position, they actually have a higher mortality rate than non-Alphas. Each new challenge to a Alpha Vampire from within the pack takes its toll. Injuries pile up, including many of the permanently disabling variety. Vampires can lose an eye, have flesh torn off and break bones. Older Vampires are far from the dashing, handsome types so often seen in movies. An older Vampire is likely to be heavily scarred, with parts of its face missing. The ultimate fate of the Alpha Vampire is a grim one: cast out of the safety of the pack, no longer able to fight, the once powerful Vampire is reduced to a solitary existence. Eventually, the Alpha succumbs to malnourishment or the weapons of Vampire hunters.
When a recently transformed Vampire joins a pack, it is usually taken under the wing of an elder, who helps the fledgling learn how to hunt. While some packs have no patience with slow learners, most fledglings are given a little bit of time to get up to speed. However, an unusually quick-learner is perceived as a threat and may be destroyed by the Alpha. Fledglings with ambition learn to keep a low profile and hide their agenda until the time is right.
Vampires will utilize all at their disposal to hunt while avoiding detection. They will have female pack members pose as prostitutes to lure male victims. They will haunt the shadows around nightclubs, sporting and concert venues and all-night diners. Prostitutes and homeless always make up a disproportionate number of victims.
A given swath of real estate can only support so many Vampires. While an urban area may offer more hunting opportunities for Vampires, it also increases their chances of running afoul of another pack. The country is safer, but hunting opportunities may be few and far between. Therefore, Vampire packs must be ruthless in defending their territory. Battles between Vampire packs are almost unimaginably vicious. It is not enough to merely win the confrontation. To have a future, a Vampire pack must show their rivals how ruthless they are.
Vampire treatment of victims can range from indifferent to barbaric. If a pack finds a suitable new member, it will keep that person in their midst until transformation is complete. Once a pack size is set, Vampires will usually tear their victims apart after feeding. Some consider this behavior as proof that Vampires are cruel, but in fact it is more a question of pragmatism than cruelty. Left intact, today's bite victim could become tomorrow's rival. More sophisticated packs hide the corpses of their victims so as to avoid alerting authorities to their presence.
Vampire dwellings of the modern era are the very definition of crude and utilitarian. Since Vampires spend most of their waking hours out hunting, there is little need for creature comforts at home. A Vampire's priorities are avoiding detection and getting out of the sun, and their abodes reflect the transient nature of their lives. If a Vampire pack has found a particularly safe, secluded hiding spot, the Vampires may make perfunctory efforts to dress it up with furniture and knick knacks. Music is one of their preferred indulgences, one they had to curtail in the face of nosy Vampire hunters. Knowing that their lair may be discovered at any time, Vampires travel light. In the country, they live in caves, abandoned mines and barns. In the city, they inhabit abandoned buildings and subway stations, or they tunnel under piers along the waterfront.
It wasn't always this way. In the Middle Ages, when Vampire packs roamed the countryside without fear of extermination, they enjoyed occupying lavish digs. Once set up in these palaces, Alpha Vampires would conspicuously display symbols of their success with all the windy self-importance of today's ruling classes.
A Vampire is generally uninterested in personal hygiene. They dislike washing and will wear the same clothes as long as possible. However, because their hunting missions may require them to hide in plain sight, Vampires have no choice but to wash themselves and put on new clothes from time to time.
Historical Incidences Longinus: Vampire Emperor during the early days of the Roman Empire, vampires were hunted and destroyed by an elite squad of the Legion. The Roman ability to control Vampires was widely respected and made it easier for them to colonize farflung nations. Captured Vampires were brought to the the Coliseum in Rome, where they fought lions, tigers and Christians in nighttime battles.
A frequent spectator at these contests was the young Emperor Longinus, who began his reign in AD 68 at the age of 17. Longinus' favorite was Brittanicus, who was captured in England in AD 65 and had developed a formidable record as a Vampire-gladiator. Against the advice of his Praetorian bodyguards, Longinus had Brittanicus installed in a lavish suite inside the palace. One night, Longinus paid his guest a visit and the inevitable happened: Longinus was bitten and became Rome's first Vampire emperor.
The Vampire emperor's short reign over Rome was disastrous. The Praetorian Guards who had defended Longinus were expelled from the Palace, and Vampires became protected throughout the Empire. Longinus and Brittanicus led other vampires on nightly hunting parties through the streets of Rome. Vampirism, which had previously been contained within Rome, exploded.
Facing a dire future, the expelled Praetorian Guards took it upon themselves to save the Empire. On a warm summer morning in AD 69, about a dozen Praetorians burst into the palace. The Vampires, drowsy and bloated from the previous night's feast, were easy pickings and the Praetorians methodically dispatched them, saving Longinus for last. He was decapitated, and his head was stuck on a pole outside the city gates as a warning to any Vampires who might want to venture into Rome.