World Of Dawn

RIse of Dawn Book Cover

Shadow of Dawn Book Cover

The World Of "Dawn"

The World of Dawn is a world of darkness and power hidden within the world we all know. Owl Night, now known as "Dawn" is the oldest vampire in existence. After hundreds of years of isolation, Dawn was accidently released from her hellish prison by the vampire hunter Jason Wilder. Her return has changed many of the rules that have guided the supernatural world for the past centuries.

All worlds have rules. Just like life in the world we know, there are rules and laws that the residents of the World of Dawn must follow. Just like our own world, there are things that are possible and other things that are not. This page is designed to explain to you some of the rules and possibilities of the World Of Dawn 


Laws and Society in The World Of Dawn

"The Order Of Darkness"
For as long as anyone can remember "The Order Of Darkness" has ruled the shadowy world of the supernatural. The Order is a group of the oldest and most powerful of vampires known. Many of them are old enough to predate the written word. The Order is located in one of the older temples on an island in the Mediterranean near Crete . From their fortified location, they set the laws and rules that both undead and living vampires must follow.

"Vampire Kings"
Each Vampire under the rule of The Order may ask to create his or her own territory. If granted, the vampire becomes a virtual king of the territory. A magickal boundary is created that gives him extra power within his lands. Once created, the territory can not be made either larger or smaller. Due to an odd quark in the nature of a vampire, they can not maintain a territory unless they create a bond with a dhampir. A dhampir is a child born of a vampire and a human. Something about the bond of a vampire and dhampir creates the balance needed to maintain a territory. Within their territory the vampire enjoys full royal authority so long as their laws do not create the danger of discovery or conflict with the laws and rules of The Order. Within each territory, the vampire who controls it is "the king of the vampires." Outside the territory, they are usually treated with respect, but they have no authority. If the Order Of Darkness disagrees with the leader of a territory, they do not send a negotiator, they send and enforcer. By the time the enforcer is done, the territory no longer has a king.

"The Council Of Governors"
Since the founding of the new world, The Order has had a difficult time. They chose a group of the vampires that immigrated to the new world and they assigned them the task of governing the Americas. After fierce battles with the indiginous culture, they allowed a few of the surviving western tribal vampires to join them in their "The Council Of Governors." Like the human colonists, the governors were each assigned a specific area of the new world to rule over. Unlike the human colonists, the vampiric council knew better than to try to secede from their mother organization. It is the duty of The Council to enforce the laws set forth by The Order and to maintain the laws in the Americas.

Powers And Limitations in The World of Dawn

Aside from the laws set forth by the Council of Governors and The Order of Darkness, there are limitations to the abilities that all vampires must learn to deal with. Below is a partial list of some of the problems and everyday limitations vampires in The World of Dawn must deal with each and every night.

Animal Communication

All supernatural beings have an affinity to one specific animal. That animal will always respond to them with respect and honor. In most cases, the being, whether it is a vampire, a wizard, or just a magickal creature, can communicate directly with their totem animal. Their affinity for a specific animal also makes them the enemies of animals that despise their totem. For example, Dawn has an affinity for owls. She can speak with any owl she meets. They do her favors and watch the night for her. Crows despise her. If there is a large murder of crows outside (a group of crows is called a murder), and they see Dawn, they will mob her. The crows will attack her and do anything else they can to try to drive her away. Unfortunately for any crow that actually gets too close, vampires can move very fast, and the blood of a crow while different from human, is still food for a vampire.

 From the first book, Dawn explains:"Bats, wolves, mice, owls, everything has a kind. It is an affinity that comes from understanding the mindset. I am a night hunter and I am mostly alone. Owls are similar. Bats are group animals like wolves. Some vampires are also group animals. They work with wolves. I am able to work with owls."
"How do you know your type?"
"I knew it the first time an owl spoke to me."
"Sounds pretty amazing." 
"It is."

Appearance

Not all vampires are beautiful. Vampires have multiple forms. Their human form how they usually appear to outsiders. This form is a lie for some types of vampires, and a reality to others. Their human form is the appearance they started out with, and still, even after their transformation, this is teh form in which they see themself. Most vampires have a beautiful, idealized self-image, hence they have a beautiful appearance. Often their self-image reflects the way they feel about their victory over Death (see below). Other vampires think of themselves as undead creatures, or creatures different from mankind. Once their self-image decides they are shambling undead, their human appearance is lost and they become the shambling undead. If you look at a vampire directly, you will see them as they want you to see them. They all have enough mental strength to urge you to see the picture of themselves that they want to project. If you look at them through a mirror, you will see them as they see themselves. Sometimes it is the same, other times it is different. Since vampires know this, they often block your mind from seeing them in mirrors. So, if you are with a vampire and you look into a mirror, you will either see exactly what you expect to see, some undead creature, or nothing.

The second form vampires have is known as their power form. Most power forms average about seven feet tall. Some forms are merely a muscular person with the head of their totem animals. Other forms are more bestial. A type of vampire known as the loogarou has a form of a wolf that stands on two legs. Anyone seeing this creature would be sure they had seen a werewolf. In their power form, vampires can survive more damage in a fight, and they often have abilities they do not have in human form. For example, Dawn can fly in her power form, but not in her human form. The price of the power form is loss of intellect that often comes with partially becoming an animal. Some power forms bring out a more bestial nature than others. In her power form, Dawn loses total control of her sanity.

The third form of the vampire is its true form. The true form of a vampire varies by the type of vampire you meet. Undead vampires always have a true form that looks different from humans. When a person dies, their soul separates from their body. As their mind forgets about their life on its journey into the next existence, the body rots. If they return to the body as a vampire, they are still not the same, so their body still slowly rots and disintegrates. However, since they are resident in the body, their new life and new spirit constantly work to remake the body they inhabit. A newly formed undead vampire will have the true appearance of a body that has some rotted areas and some fresh healthy areas. Eventually their old life and old body will have totally fallen away and their true appearance will be almost the same as their human appearance, or their self- image. Their true appearance always has a crackling flame of their personal energy glowing from their eyes and their fangs are visible. The color of their eyes is always the color of their energy. When a vampire brings a new vampire into being, the new vampire's eyes change to reflect the energy of the vampire that transformed it.

As they age, vampires gain absolute control over their true form and can vary their human form. They can change parts of their body as they see fit. They can vary eye and hair color, and even their size. One of Dawn's most often used transformations is to make her fingernails grow and harden them to steel-hard talons; able to tear into whatever she fights.

 From the first book:"She looked at herself in the mirror and saw the red stains on her cheeks. She willed her skin to absorb the blood and watched as the red stains vanished from her face. She saw that her hair was also in need of combing, so she concentrated on the image and watched as her hair flowed and shifted into new positions until it looked as if she had just brushed it." 

Blood

In spite of what everyone thinks they understand, blood is not what vampires need to survive. Vampires survive upon the essence of life that flows through the body within the blood. Blood to a vampire is is like flour or salt to a human. While the substance is important to the final product, the blood itself is only a part of the meal. Vampires of many types can eat food other than blood. Some types cannot. Most of the older vampires (500 years or more) can eat something.

Bagged blood is digestible by a vampire, just like any other type of physical food. However, there is no fresh essence of life in bagged blood. As far as the vampire is concerned, the blood is fermented. It is like an alcoholic drink, and has the same effect as whiskey. A pint or two of bagged blood can make even the toughest of vampires quite drunk.

Aside from the essence of life, there are emotions that each person projects at all times. These emotions feed vampires a sort of 'junk food.' While they cannot survive on the emotions from people, they add a flavor to their existence. When a person fears, they radiate power that is like a fine wine to any vampire nearby. The vampire will enjoy the taste and it will stimulate their pleasure centers. Pain from a victim is a rich chocolaty dessert. While it in no way feeds their need for life energy, it gives them pleasure and a quick energy boost. Lust and sexual gratification from a victim are felt directly as they are. If a vampire brings a person to orgasm, they feel each and every bit of the pleasure their victim or lover feels as well as their own. Vampires love to seduce mortals for this reason. 

Crosses and Holy Items

Do crosses work? Yes and no. The cross itself has absolutely no effect on most vampires. Vampires walk through cemeteries with no problem, so obviously crosses alone have little effect on them. The actual reason that most vampires feel pain from a cross is because of the person wielding it.

 As Dawn explains in the first book:"Each person has a well. That well taps into the magickal forces of the universe. When someone believes they will be safe from a vampire by holding up a small tin cross, they are basically pumping the well and trying to get their ideal of the almighty to give them the power to stop the vampire. Most people have the ability to burn a vampire if they believe they can do it. People actually have more potential for power than vampires. I think it has something to do with the shorter life span."

So any holy item will work, but only if the person holding it has a belief that it will. If someone hangs crosses around their house, they are actually connecting their "well" to those crosses, empowering them to work. 

Death

Not all vampires have died. By old definition, a vampire is a ghost or a spirit that returns after death to feed upon the blood or flesh of the living. This always has been an incomplete definition.

Many legends tell of a race of living vampires that coexisted with mankind long ago. These living beings never died and returned, and yet they were considered vampires.

More modern definitions have changed to include any creature that drinks the blood or life force of others. However, animals such as the leach, the flea, the tick, and others that appear in nature all follow this definition of a vampire.

Modern times have added many different types of vampire beliefs. In modern times some people that are measurably the same as you or I have claimed to be vampires, needing either blood or essence to survive. Others say that while they do not need it to survive, blood exchange is a very real hunger for them. Should they be included in the definition of a vampire? By the modern definition above they are. In the world of Dawn they are as well.

But what of the vampires who have returned from the dead? Are they different than the living vampires? Did they truly die? In the world of Dawn, there are very specific things needed for a vampire to die and return. Since each person has a "well" that taps into the creative energy of the universe, any person can come back from the dead if they believe in it strongly enough. The problem is, no one can possibly believe in it strongly enough.

By definition, we are mortals. We live, we die, end of story. We are taught this from the first days of our lives. While we are also taught our soul is immortal, we know that we die and our body turns to dust. It is the single most common and strongly held belief we have. Only by meeting proof positive that we can come back is anyone able to break through the ingrained conditioning and truly believe that they are going to come back.

Just meeting a vampire is not enough. Somehow the vampire has to boost the belief you will come back, and often add to your personal well with some power of his or her own. This is often done with a ritual of some sort. The most common ritual is to have the victim drink of the vampire's blood, assuring them they will return and have power like theirs. 

Dhampir

A dhampir is the child of a vampire. Unlike most of us, these people are often never taught they are mortal. Quite the contrary, they are taught that they are special from their very first day of life. Whether it is this teaching or their actual connection to the power of a vampire, the result is, dhampirs are powerful beings who are often immune to many of the powers a vampire has over others. Each dhampir has some sort of special ability.

In the case of Jason Wilder, he has the ability to drain away magickal energy with just a touch. Jason also has the ability to link up with Dawn and use her strength to make himself stronger or faster. Of course borrowing from Dawn drains the energy from her when he does it.

Many dhampirs are insane. Others are physically malformed, often with bone problems. Mostly the dhampirs are vampire hunters. They can see into the world of darkness and they have made it their mission to destroy it. Jason has an irrational denial of his entire childhood and heritage. His denial is likely the only reason he can exist with any appearance of sanity at all. 

Healing

Healing takes blood. Even though blood is not the main part of the food needed by a vampire, it is part of the food. The actual physical material known as blood has many aspects to it that are helpful to a vampire. Repairing a body requires some physical material to act as the new body parts. Blood has all the materials that a vampire needs to be able to create new flesh. The vampire's body is held together by their will alone. Only by strengthening the body by giving them blood and essence can a vampire repair the damage done. It is an almost instant process.

A vampire can bite a person, and when they withdraw from the bite, their fangs will automatically transform the puncture wounds into new and undamaged flesh. The repaired wound combined with a mental push to forget makes vampires in society virtually undetectable. Unlike most vampires, Dawn has learned to heal other wounds with her fangs. She understands what the fangs do to heal the small wound of the bite and can use the technique to repair damage to others. It takes a lot of blood, and it is incredibly painful to the person she is healing. So far, no other vampire has shown the knowledge and ability to heal others in this way.

From the first book: "She held up his bloody hand. She kissed his hand gently and bit down. He did not scream. She tore at his hand, ripping flesh from bone and reforming both of them with her teeth and tongue. He shook a bit, but he made no noise at all. She looked up into his tear soaked eyes. His lip was bloody from biting it, but his hand was repaired."

Sunlight

The sun is a direct link to the power of the universe. Plants absorb it into themselves to make food. People and animals absorb sunlight to make vitamins. The well of gravity it produces keeps our planet where it is and us alive. It is the light of life.

Vampires have learned to connect directly to the light of the universe. They have learned that the power exists even though we as mortals are not aware of it. Because they are already tapped into the universal light, they have trouble with the direct shine of the light of the sun. It interferes with their direct line. Consider yourself in a room with a telephone. You are talking to someone far away. The voice is clear and you can communicate easily. Now consider yourself on a telephone in the middle of New York's Times Square at 11:59 on New Years Eve. The voice at the other end is still as clear, but there is no way you would be able to hear it. The same effect happens with the sun. There is so much power that it simply overwhelms the vampire's direct line to existence.

Does that make the vampire burst into flame? Not usually. While it is possible that if the vampire is stupid enough to try to absorb the power, he will be absorbed into the sun (flames that quickly shoot into space towards the sun.) Usually it simply wipes out the vampire's connection to the powers beyond mortality. Once the vampire is free of the sunlight, it will be able to tap into its strength again and be the powerful hungry creature that it is expected to be.

In the books, Dawn describes her experience with the sun as follows: "I would have to describe it as if sunlight were water. At night, the sunlight is thin, like a misty rain. It is there, but it does not impede our power or movement. In broad daylight, the sunlight is like being submerged in a deep pool of water. It is harder to move, breathe, or do practically anything,"

So while it does not kill, it will slow a vampire down and make them truly vulnerable to humans. 

Teleportation

Since vampires are creatures that exist by the very belief they can exist, where they are can vary with a thought. If a vampire closes his or her eyes and believes he or she is somewhere, they will appear there. The belief is again the paramount part of this ability.

Very few vampires try teleportation, and even fewer use it on a regular basis. There are two main problems with teleportation. First, is that is truly hard to focus your belief and make yourself appear exactly where you want. You have to believe it with all your heart, mind and spirit. If you waver in your belief, you never know what might happen. The second problem is even more dangerous. If your existence depends on your belief in it, what happens if you confuse yourself and stop believing? It is possible that you will cease to exist. In the books, Dawn never teleports, but Michael Young, her vampire enforcer, uses teleportation regularly.

Territories

- When a male vampire find a place he wants to live, he will claim it as his territory. No female is allowed to create her own territory. If a female did create one, The Order or The Council would send an enforcer and destroy her. To claim a territory, he will sit in the exact center of the area and spread out his senses, making a web of energy. The size of the web will vary by the age and power of the vampire. In most cases, The Order forbids older vampires from forming territories. One legendary vampire named Ta'an had a territory covering nearly the entire African continent before he agreed to dissipate his territory for a position as leader of The Order.

Unfortunately no vampire has much control over his territorial energy. The size of it cannot be controlled. As vampires gain in power and influence, their territory grows. Once it gets a certain size, they are told to dissipate it. If they do not agree to do so, The Order sends out its enforcers. No vampire has ever survived disobeying the council in this matter. Once the vampire dies, the energy dissipates.

In addition to worries with The Council, there are other problems with territorial energy. Once it is set up, the vampire that owns it must stay within the energy and maintain it for fifty years. If the owner tries to leave the territory, he will be cut off from his life sustaining energy. The act of creating a territory somehow makes the vampire's flow of power and life unavailable anywhere outside of that area for at least 50 years. Many vampires have been destroyed simply by taking them outside their territory. They died a painful death.

So why set up a territory if it is so much hassle? Simple, the benefits are incredible. Once a territory is made, any other vampire entering into the territory has his strength and abilities cut in half. Where does the other part of his power go? It goes to the owner of the territory. If someone comes into your territory to attack you, they are at an extreme disadvantage. In addition to the strength benefits, there is the knowledge the energy gives you. All forms of life and any magick have energy around them. Territorial energy can sense the energy and pass on information to the owner. If a vampire enters your territory, you know it instantly. You know where he is, how fast and what direction he is moving, and how powerful he is. You can also detect other spiritual and magickal energy beings and occurrences.

 From the first book:"She closed her eyes and prepared. She felt her body rise up as her power centered. From the trees the owls watched her fly without wings. Her body glowed a deep burgundy and the color seemed to flow out from her like a mist. The mist expanded outward, bathing the woods in an eerie reddish glow. The glow spread from the woods into the neighborhood and beyond. Slowly the mist filled the north part of town. Still it flowed. From her seat of air she felt the ever-expanding circle touch places of power. She felt her mark being left at local cemeteries, churches, and worship areas. It expanded out to cover a large lake to the north, several small towns to the east, a huge cluster of large buildings and two large towns to the west, and Raleigh and its surrounding towns to the south. It was huge! Her circle had close to a forty-mile radius. She felt the weight of responsibility begin to hit her. Now that she had marked this area, it was hers to protect. That meant more than just fighting off invaders. She had to keep the magickal and the natural worlds in balance." 

Wizards

Mix insanity, danger and power and you get a wizard. Wizards are magickal beings who have access to incredible power. They don't care about blood or people, or anything except power. Wizards have only one desire. They want to be gods. They want power of life, death and beyond. Wizards often deal with vampires simply because they want the powers the vampires have. It is rare that any vampire - wizard partnership ever ends without bloodshed.

Who wins? Usually no one, but more often than not, it is the wizard. Wizards are the most dangerous and unpredictible creatures in The World of Dawn.


© Steve Stone 2012