Creature types in Magic - Vampire lore

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Creature types in Magic - Vampire lore

The first article in a series about creature types, starting with vampires!

By Arinaldo, 01/10/20

Hey, guys! o/ This is Ari and today's article is the first in a series where I will cover different creature types featured in Magic. And for starters I'll talk about

vampires

. Vampires have long been a part of human culture and folklore. There are several versions about the origin of this legend around the world. Most people are familiar with the long-fanged night monsters that feed on the blood of their victims. But there are other much older versions of vampires who were not imagined as humanoids, but as supernatural creatures - demons that were not similar to us.

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In addition to their bloodlust, vampires may possess other traits such as supernatural physical strength, healing powers, and the ability to fly. Many vampires are highly light sensitive and can range from stupid predators to sophisticated and intelligent nobles. In Magic, vampires are a type associated with the

black

color, although over the years they have also appeared as red and, more recently, white.

Sengir Vampire

was the first creature of this type introduced to players still in the early days of the game, in the Alpha edition.
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The plane of

Innistrad

is considered one of the most relevant to this type, as it is inspired by the horror genre, and therefore is packed with vampires, werewolves and zombies.
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Innistrad vampires emerged thousands of years ago, when

Edgar Markov

was just an alchemist looking for an answer to the famine that spread throughout the land. The solution was to undergo a ritual that would cause some people to feed on blood. Blood fed those few and reduced demand for poor harvests, but it also slaughtered the rest of the population, reducing the number of hungry mouths to feed. Vampires currently live in the province of

Stensia

, which is controlled by four large vampire families:

Markov, Voldaren, Falkenrath and Stromkirk

. Although their abilities are different, they all have superhuman strength, eternal youth, the ability to drown out sounds and prominent canine teeth (which are often their victims' last terrifying sight :p). The vampires of this plane consider themselves noble benefactors, they believe they are the saviors and guardians of humanity. The "sacrifices" they made - surrendering their mortality and their relationships - are to them proof of their beneficence, and their behavior toward humans is similar to that of a wealthy philanthropist toward a beggar (except that they occasionally drain the blood of these indigents). There are 3 weaknesses of Innistrad vampires and they are linked to the ritual that gave rise to them: • The first is related to wood. Although they can be injured or killed by any weapon, wooden weaponry have a special effectiveness. • The second weakness is that a vampire cannot cross running water in which the moon is reflected, this is due to the link between water as the food source of humans and the moon as the source of angelic powers. • Finally, there is Avacyn's power to enchant water and leave it as acid that burns vampires upon touching them. Although silver is not deadly to these vampires, it disturbs them because it make them see what they would be like if they weren't vampires, they see in the reflection of silver a version of their mortal lives far from the glamor of vampires. This fact is also linked to its origin ritual and Innistrad Moon.
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Another plane where we find vampires is

Zendikar

. The origin of the race on this plane is linked to the Eldrazi, who were their former masters and responsible for a past of servitude. Zendikar vampires have a lifespan of approximately 200 years and are known for their decaying and perverted lifestyle. Their existence is based on draining lives of others, feeding on the energy found in the blood of living creatures.
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Bloodchiefs

are powerful and immortal creatures that control the city of

Malakir

. There are 5 large families that dominate the Guul Draz continent, each family controls a small territory and some routes, but the main source of income for any family is their connections and relationships. Whenever a vampire completely drains the blood of a living creature without destroying the husk, the victim becomes a

null

. Nulls are easily commanded by other vampires, but if left unattended, they hunt down and kill all the living things they encounter.
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Dozens of other smaller families are scattered around

Guul Draz

, each with a contingent of null vampires appropriate to their place in vampiric society. These families control tightly clustered villages and the few routes through the swamp that connect them, comprising a region known as the

Dark Barony

. The vampires of Zendikar have a kind of supernatural disease that makes their flesh cold and makes their skin look dead. They are tall and slender, with long elegant necks and broad shoulders. Horns protrude from their shoulders and elbows and their canine teeth are slightly elongated, but not long enough to protrude between closed lips.
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They decorate their skin with blood-red paint and mineral pigments, wear clothes made of leather and carcasses of the giant insects that inhabit swamps and jungles. It is also common to leave much of their body exposed, as their skin is not affected by the temperature around them. Finally, I will talk about

Ixalan

, an expansion that has the theme of "unexplored world". A world of discovery, full of treasures, pirates, warriors, dinosaurs and... vampires, why not? In this collection there was an exceptional fact, Wizards introduced vampires with white color.
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In Ixalan, some vampires are part of the

Legion of Dusk

, an expeditionary force that crossed the

Torrezon

sea to Ixalan to retrieve an artifact stolen from them in the past, the

Immortal Sun

. With this artifact they hope to obtain immortality without the disadvantage of feeding on blood. In the past,

Elenda of Garrano

was the guardian of the Immortal Sun. When the artifact was taken, she took a solemn oath to retrieve it at any price. Years passed and Elenda, desperate, sacrificed her own soul to continue her search. This decision made her Ixalan's first vampire.
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Supposedly, Elenda managed to obtain immortality and then spread her teachings among her home kingdom before leaving them behind again. Vampires in Ixalan live ritual-filled lives and are viewed as sacred by the people of their homeland. They believe that everything exists in a state of balance; it is impossible to have gain without loss, triumph without sacrifice, and life without death.

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Unlike Innistrad vampires, Ixalan vampires apparently aren't affected by the sun. They have pale skin, pointy bat-like ears and are able to fly when they turn the lower half of their body into black smoke. This transformation is called Exaltation. In addition to the three mentioned planes, vampires are also present in other worlds of the multiverse, I won't talk about them all to prevent this article from being lengthy and tiresome, but maybe we will talk about them at another time. I hope you enjoyed this article!! Let's talk more about vampires in the comments? Thank you very much for reading and until the next time!

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Arinaldo

Analista de Sistemas em São Paulo. Jogador e produtor de conteúdo sobre MTG. Criador e apresentador do Canal e Podcast Mana Delver. Apesar de ser apaixonado pelo Pauper, também joga e aprecia todos os outros formatos.

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