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Thread: Vampire and Werewolf mythology Origins and their use in Blood Omen 1

  1. #1
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    Nov 2011

    Vampire and Werewolf mythology Origins and their use in Blood Omen 1

    Let me share some true insight.

    The vrykolakas (Greek βρυκόλακας, pronounced [vriˈkolakas]), variant vorvolakas or vourdoulakas, is a harmful undead creature in Greek folklore. It has similarities to many different legendary creatures, but is generally equated with the vampire of the folklore of the neighbouring Slavic countries. While the two are very similar, blood-drinking is only marginally associated with the vrykolakas.
    In Serbian language it's called "Vukodlak" which translates into "Vuk" and "Dlaka" meaning "Wolfhair".
    In the rich Serbian folklore tales the Vampire can transform into a big wolf. Not a werewolf, a wolf. He may also talk while in such a form.

    This is the wiki about the first documented case of a vampire and it's the origin of the popularization of the word Vampir/Upir.

    Later on the vampires became somewhat of a sex symbol, the color red with the zodiac cross and a symbol of youth given the media popularization. It's seen in games such as VtmB. Even so, the Blood Omen game had nailed the concept of Wolf/Vampire thing according to the canon from RL. Though, I'm aware, it might be a mere coincidence.

    The movies such as Twilight, Blade, Underworld, Van Helsing are all popularizing the westernized form of Vampires/Werewolfes. Not a fan of such things.

  2. #2
    While I do find the origins and myths fascinating, and I appreciate that the developers included traditional vampiric abilities in the game, BO1 never went into that much detail about the rules about who can shapeshift and what they can do in various forms.

    If SE want to establish that vampires are the only ones who can turn into wolves within LOK's canon, they can do.

    BTW, I thought underworld was pretty good. (Puscifer, Rev 22:20)
    "If events are matched closely enough to course, they have a way of restructuring themselves to familiar outcomes." ~ Scorpius, Farscape

  3. #3
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    Nov 2011
    It's really funny how the Vampire and Werewolf became the separate things while are de facto one the same being.

    Before the end of the 19th century, the Greeks believed that the corpses of werewolves, if not destroyed, would return to life in the form of wolves or hyenas which prowled battlefields, drinking the blood of dying soldiers. In the same vein, in some rural areas of Germany, Poland and Northern France, it was once believed that people who died in mortal sin came back to life as blood-drinking wolves. These "undead" werewolves would return to their human corpse form at daylight. They were dealt with by decapitation with a spade and exorcism by the parish priest. The head would then be thrown into a stream, where the weight of its sins was thought to weigh it down. Sometimes, the same methods used to dispose of ordinary vampires would be used. The vampire was also linked to the werewolf in East European countries, particularly Bulgaria, Serbia and Slovenia. In Serbia, the werewolf and vampire are known collectively vulkodlak.
    It's the same thing, just had a different effects on different cultures.

    Anyway, doesn't matter. I gave up from teaching others how poisonous the movie/media might be without throughout knowledge/searching.

    There's a book where they don't fight


    Dracula's more of a fictional then a mythological creature. Though there're connection to the Order of the Dragon. Ironical though as the order was secretly impaling the ones who were thought to be vampires.
    Gotta love how everyone easily accept superficial history and dare not to open a single book in life.

  4. #4
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    Nov 2011
    Wasn't talking about the game. I'm sorry if that was the impression, though.
    Sorry for the offtopic, point is - I'd dislike werewolf vs vampire thingy. I hope that Nosgoth's not something similar to VtmB in terms of "maturity". . .

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Milky View Post
    Wasn't talking about the game. I'm sorry if that was the impression, though.
    Sorry for the offtopic, point is - I'd dislike werewolf vs vampire thingy. I hope that Nosgoth's not something similar to VtmB in terms of "maturity". . .
    Hey, what's your problem with VTMB?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Maryland, USA
    Yes, we're still talking about the game

    On Dracula, if you're referring to Vlad Dracula, Milky, who Stoker based some of his creation on, obviously there's the myth and then there's the actual man that existed. The man, of course, was not a vampire, nor supernatural (that anyone can ever know, without being there to witness him, of course) So, when creating fiction, and in this case, merging cultural stories and myths in the area that Skoker did, he obviously could shape it however he wanted -- which is what he did.

    You're also a bit selective in what you take to believe that they are the same beings, werewolves and vampires. That same Wikipedia article expresses the first texts in Greek and Roman mythology spoke of something far less vampire-like:

    A few references to men changing into wolves are found in Ancient Greek literature and mythology. Herodotus, in his Histories,[11] wrote that the Neuri, a tribe he places to the north-east of Scythia, were all transformed into wolves once every year for several days, and then changed back to their human shape. A few references to men changing into wolves are found in Ancient Greek literature and mythology. Herodotus, in his Histories,[11] wrote that the Neuri, a tribe he places to the north-east of Scythia, were all transformed into wolves once every year for several days, and then changed back to their human shape. In the second century BC, the Greek geographer Pausanias relates the story of Lycaon, who was transformed into a wolf because he had ritually murdered a child. In accounts by the Bibliotheca (3.8.1) and Ovid (Metamorphoses I.219-239), Lycaon serves human flesh to Zeus, wanting to know if he is really a god. Lycaon's transformation, therefore, is punishment for a crime, considered variously as murder, cannibalism, and impiety. Ovid also relates stories of men who roamed the woods of Arcadia in the form of wolves.[12][13]

    In addition to Ovid, other Roman writers also mentioned lycanthropy. Virgil wrote of human beings transforming into wolves.[14] Pliny the Elder relates two tales of lycanthropy. Quoting Euanthes,[15][16] he mentions a man who hung his clothes on an ash tree and swam across an Arcadian lake, transforming him into a wolf. On the condition that he attack no human being for nine years, he would be free to swim back across the lake to resume human form. Pliny also quotes Agriopas regarding a tale of a man who was turned into a wolf after tasting the entrails of a human child, but was restored to human form 10 years later.

    In the Latin work of prose, the Satyricon, written about 60 C.E. by Gaius Petronius Arbiter, one of the characters, Niceros, tells a story at a banquet about a friend who turned into a wolf (chs. 61-62). He describes the incident as follows, "When I look for my buddy I see he'd stripped and piled his clothes by the roadside... He pees in a circle round his clothes and then, just like that, turns into a wolf!... after he turned into a wolf he started howling and then ran off into the woods."[17]
    Doesn't exactly speak drinking blood and undead, now does it? Just pointing this out, that truly myths of shape-shifting in general have spanned every culture throughout time, and we cannot know, at all, what each origin really was -- as in the first, and certainly not which is the most right. It is all fiction, after all, and with the infusion of Christianity and those in medieval times suffering plagues, death, persecutions, it all changed, and beyond then, it changes. Each generation changes the fictions around to suit its own tale of humanity through them.

    I'm personally a fan of the late 70's and through the 80's hulking werewolves --Rick Baker's work -- their monotonousness, and their equal tragedies. American Werewolf in London, some of the Howling movies (others were a bit odd). When done right, it's great. When not, then just like Twilight's everything, it's terrible I loved that both Kain's vampire wolf form and the werewolves in BO1 were not just large wolves, but were hulking beasts.

    Underworld was decent, more so in Evolution than the first, and the other two films are pretty dull after that. The werewolves in it were merely fodder, mostly, though. I am not a fan purely of both at each others' throats. I do believe that the vampire lord over the werewolf and using them as slaves/pawns has been done enough. But they would be weaker than the vampires in BO1, and certainly they have their weakness when the moon isn't full.

    I agree fully, Aevum, formally known as Corlagon (I'm tempted to always address you like that, lol). Playable as a race worthy of what they should be, it would be great.

  7. #7
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    Nov 2011
    We need a new subject I have a lot of knowledge regarding this matter and I'm willing to share.

    Herodot was referring to the Neuri folk found in the areas of the modern Poland.
    They had strong sense of shamanism which was taking the skin of a wolf or a bear and wear it. The totemic symbol of the most Slavic people is exactly that - the wolf. It's also similar to the Nordic Berserk who didn't know for the fear (similar like in the movie "13th warrior")

    The king Lycaon in the book of Metamorphosis was portrayed and the lycanthropy myth started from him, but that was the fictional work as well. Zeus was the one making him a Wolf as a punishment. That's hardly the original story. Still it's the one mostly portrayed in the Germanic countries.

    Bare in mind that all of them don't become "wild beasts", they turn into a wolf.

    The original thing comes from the Slavic origin and more precisely Vucari (Woo-ch-ae-ree) that's still praised as a festival in modern times for the sake of traditionalism.

    When taking into consideration the phonetic and ethological factors Volk/Vuk/Vylk/Velk as well as Upir/Vampir/Upyr/Vulpire share the same roots as a demonic being who can turn you into the same thing with a bite.

    In both Serbian and Kashubian mythology a werewolf is born that way and possesses the shape-shifting capabilities. Around the age of eight the boy would already go to hunt in the forest.

    So there're several mythologies regarding what's commonly known as a werewolf.

    - Vukodlak (Slavic)
    A totemic symbol, wearing a coat of a wolf. Created the myth of man-wolf/ wolf-man. In the myth they're the same beings as Vampires. Purely demonic entities filled with gel (Thus the impaling as an effective method of killing). Vampires/Vukodlaks are strictly undead.

    - Lycantrophe (Germanic countries)
    Often named Werewolf. Dating from the myths of Ancient Greece, yet possesses all the qualities of the Nordic Berserk properties as well as Slavic origins. Created its own genre in the modern culture after the success of the 20th century fiction. With the similar qualities to those of the vampires (o rly) they're selected as their arch-enemies.

    While the popular culture fiction is distinctive to those of the "wolf-people" the geography, time as well as translations do appear to share the Slavic/totemic methods. In fact it's quite possible that the Vikings did transfer the shamanistic concepts to the native Americans and thus the metamorphosis concepts arose among the tribes.

    - Psiglav/Psoglav/Cynocephali (Slavic, literally meaning - dog head )
    They even had their way into the Christianity


    Basically a "dog race", humans with the head of either Wolf or a dog.

    Which may date from the mid-late Egypt and connected to the Anubis.


    So the mere choice is who's going to believe what's the original one, but I'll stick with the Slavic since it makes the most sense to me given the shamanism in entire Europe.
    There's also the work based on the origin of Vukodlak called "Werewolf shaman". It's prominent throughout the world.

    Some of the references which might put more insight for the curious minds

    First link
    Second link


    ***Special note***

    In all my investigation as well as learning process regarding the symbolism, astrology, anthropology including the myths of different cultures, folk and music it is extremely imperative to use the logical deduction as well as find phonetically similarities between the terms to properly find the correct path to the history and, with it, the truth behind the commonly accepted terms in modern life. While all of this is purely fictional, the actual history events is what should be of utmost importance during the searching process. Bare in mind that media doesn't portray the mythology properly, so you may as well forget all that you know from books and fictional characters from movies and such forms of art.
    This is NOT something done overnight, this is something that has to be either a job or a hobby since it's time consuming. I do not advise anyone to superficially accept the info, even from me, on this matter. The key is to search on your own while considering all possible info.
    Thank you for reading. : }

  8. #8
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    May 2003
    Maryland, USA
    Moved these posts to their own thread. I hope the title covers everything

  9. #9
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    Feb 2003
    Quote Originally Posted by The Hylden
    It would be interesting if their curse and the full moon areas that opened up were all linked in some way. It would be great to see that aspect explored more, and not as simply that all those beings who were hulking wolf forms you saw were vampires. It was as if their race was banished to this city, or cursed by it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Aevum
    They could even be "promoted" to the fourth sapient race if the vampire-human-Hylden dynamic ever needs it. You would be free to invent a lot of backstory for them if you wanted to, as long as you respect the few scraps of info established by BO1. I wish they would.
    Done. Check. Ditto. The city seems like a nice way to explain lycanthropes in reverse. (Lost City was already on the run from something, which is why they hid themselves so well underground and locked the gates magically. Full moon = the brightest it ever gets at night, which implies that this was the only relatively safe time to venture outside the city??? So they were light sensitive themselves from living underground, but their adversaries were truer Nightwalkers, so the Lost City folks wanted the full moon on their side to give them the best chances of seeing and fending off the foe. So they made the lunar cycle the key to their gates, assuming those moonlit nights would be the least likely time for running into super-light-sensitive gate crashers. This assumes they were closer to being good guys than bad guys. But the opposite could have been true:

    A strong possibility is that werewolves were like a tribe who were (understandably) being hunted by other human nations who were tired of being raided by the wolves each month, so the Lychans needed a safe place to hide out during the rest of the month when they were vulnerable. Hence the city and it's highly secured location, and the gates that would only have opened when the wolves could transform and go on the offensive.

    I hadn't previously factored Anarcrothe into this. Maybe his involvement had two stages: sane and insane. When he was still sane Anarcrothe could have "gifted" the unfairly persecuted Lost City folks with their tooth and claw werewolf transformation ability to boost their survival chances, turning the hunted into the hunters. This gave them a way of defending themselves when they ventured out into the night to visit their other important strongholds (the other moon door locations would have marked their network/domain). So Anarcrothe's gift may have been to make their civilization competitive enough with the dark forces in its territory that it was able to hold its own against them. Then the lychan thing became more of a curse over time, especially after the Circle went insane and Anarcrothe came back to play his games with the Lost City's populace. (?)

    Before Anarcrothe knocked on my door and asked to be included in this scenario, I'd been picturing dark forces of some kind trying to pick the lunar lock to claim the city's hidden spoils. Initially these efforts failed until they decided to defeat the gate system by slapping the city with a lunar curse (uncontrollable werewolf-ism) so the city's defenders would lose all military discipline just when the gate opened. The City's particular lunar-based defenses are what doomed them to suffer the lychanthrope fate they did, in other words. This would explain the animalistic nature of the lychans found by Kain there. Whoever busted their way into the lost city long ago got what they wanted and left, not caring that the city they left behind was forever cursed to ruin by rampaging werewolf chaos. That'd mean there's some entity out there today with the powers or knowledge Elder so desperately wanted to destroy that he smashed the place! Someone beat EG to the prize! Potential New Character Alert!!!! Imagine if Kain learns to swim in order to investigate the sunken city only to find it already looted by some LOK Lara Croft equivalent whom he then has to track down. (because EG has since smashed the city's temple which means the prize now only exists in the hands of the tomb raider).

    Or, because Elder has STAYED in residence there guarding the place like a watch dog, the possiblity also exists that he's unable to snuff the prize, that it's still sitting there waiting to be claimed by a swimming vampire, similar to how the Spirit Forge was messed with but ultimately still intact enough to cough up its prize. (Rahab's swimming brood were among the vampires EG was very intent on killing, perhaps partly motivated by how their vampire evolution was making them a threat to find and loot the hidden city???)

    (Back to werewolves. Alternately, you could take the view that the werewolves Kain killed in the City were only defending the city against an intruder--him--and they were otherwise still in perfect control of themselves. In that case the lychans wouldn't consider themselves as ever having been cursed. It'd just be a tool they used to hulk up when needed. Since we never see the werewolves except during the full moon thanks to the gate, it's unclear whether they were cursed to be full time wolves or if they lived the rest of each month as normal people.)

    Back to Elder's Lair! Let's also remember that the coolest thing about the lost city in recent centuries is that the Elder God himself came to roost there and flood the place to end it as a viable home for anyone, so He is among the enemies of this place who were trying to get at the City or its inhabitants for some reason. Why? To snuff out some source of hope that resided there, or to smash some invention of theirs that was capable of spelling doom for Him? Moon magic may be more of a concern for EG than solar magic. Moon magic is a thing of the night, and EG craves the shadows. So he already avoids the places where solar powers could be used against him, rendering them moot, but moon-based magics may potentially be able to follow him at full strength into the shadowy places where he resides to do him harm. Also interesting since Kain qualifies as the exact kind of shadowy creature best suited to wielding such a prized tool of shadow assassination.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Lost in eternal limbo.
    Oh, so that's where Glenn Cook got the Forvalaka, the blood drinking were-leopards for his Black Company books.
    And about the whole vampire/werewolf thing, I have to say that I'm really not into that stuff much at all. LoK is really just an exception since it was done so well. I hate this new age popular culture idea that vampires are these beautiful creatures or whatever. I love it that LoK never shied away from the fact that vampires are horrible murderers. Kain and Razeil themselves have killed hundreds or thousands of innocent people just to keep living, and never show any remorse for it.

  11. #11
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    Nov 2011
    Before you read this pay heed that vampires are westernized and presented as a sex symbol in nearly all media intended for fun purposes. This originates from the Gothic novels of the 19th and 20th century. The vampires that you're maybe used to are something completely different in mythology.
    Also pay heed that Dracula as a vampire is a fictional character. In fact, the Order of Dragon was fighting by impaling or stabbing others (similar to vampire hunters). Also pay heed to the etymology and what's known for sure apart from things which are commonly known in general knowledge. The language of mythology is portrayed with symbolism and occultism (hidden meanings) which are often works of wise men who sought to pass their knowledge only to those who had the marbles to figure it out apart from common folk who were taking the things literally.

    Now for the Vampires.

    While it's already been said what was the first well documented case was about a Serbian Petar Blagojevic (Петар Благојевић), the case regarding the vampirism was far more influential in the Balkan area.
    It was mentioned in the Serbian Emperor Stefan Dusan code of law.

    The important aspect of it was that a priest would read the old texts named "Gromovnik" (trans: Thunderbook) where there're astrological readings according to the storms and earthquakes. The main astrological aspect of those texts was the Lunar cycle, which is one of the major motives in the mythological (astrological) concept of Fertility, while Mars represents war and masculine power while Venus represents females and feminine power since the Kalidei (Sumeria, taken from the Assyrian dialect meaning "the children of the stars" ~Now you may notice where do the Night elves from Warcraft universe come from ).
    The Moon itself plays the great role among the old Slavic and especially Serbian people who had a Wolf as a bad spirit and a Dog as a protector of the house.

    The common belief in the vampires is as follows

    It happens when an evil spirit or a demon enters the body of a person or when a person is a major jinx and black cat crosses over the grave.
    Vampir isn't pale and bloodless, they're very red in the face (blood or the term "Red as a vampire") and often quite fat in the stomach area (especially if they drank). Vampir doesn't feed often, but usually visits their spouse. If it happens in the village they usually try to eat the food of the animals such as chicken or a horse (the horse one is really a metaphor because of the mythological chthonic properties to a horse, which is another story).
    The origin of the cult of vampires belongs to the cult of ancestry and correlation to demons. Vampires, in tradition, are demons since they do posses the origin of a curse from a demon.

    - Only a very bad person may become a vukodlak (werewolf) after the initial death (there's a distinct verb in the serbian language called "povampiriti se" meaning "To vamp itself" or, rather just a simple "to vamp", used most in the 3rd person singular).
    - Vampir is filled with gel. Doesn't have flesh'n'bones. That's why impaling or sticking a vampir is the best method of killing.
    - Vampir will become someone who died prematurely, either by a suicide or some illness, someone who dies without a lit candle in the room (a custom), someone who dies in the dark, someone with a very bad temper, when a cat walks over the grave, when the chicken walks over the grave, if a thunderbolt kills the person (myth: God Perun)
    - A horse won't walk over the grave of a vampir (vukodlak).
    - Vampir can shapeshift into a wolf and will only show himself in such a form to the people he/she knew while being alive.
    - Beli Luk (White onion/Garlic) and Glogov kolac (Hawthorn) are used as a repel because of their healthy properties, according to the folk tales.

    - During the forty days a specific Serbian belief mentions that the soul of a deceased will travel invisible or as a shadow and visit the ones who were close to him/her during the life. If the soul isn't properly buried during those forty days and if the undead drinks the blood - automatically becomes a vampir(e) gaining tremendous strength and a long unlife being able to walk among the living without the need to go back into the grave/coffin.
    - Vampir may shapeshift into the animal which crossed his/hers grave, such as a cat, dog, chicken, frog, white horse, a lamb. If the case of vampirism is started like this the vampir(e) will show to others only as an animal, but to the family in his/hers human silhouette.
    - Vampir may become the one who's been buried with long nails.
    - Vampir may become one who's been buried in the wool clothes. The wool had to be made during the "Wolf week" (customs and mythology of the Slavic people)

    There are many, many more ways for a vampir to come to the unlife but I may not spare that much time to write it all. Of course, there're great books covering this. Unfortunately I've yet to find the one that's been translated on English.

    Some etymology names for vampir and vukodlak are as follow

    - Vukodlak (Wolffur, Wolfhair, Werewolf) or Vetrogonja (Windchaser mainly in the areas of Bosnia and Croatia as well as in the parts of Montenegro).
    - Lampijer (Lampyr) or Lampir (Lampeer) in the Bosnia ~Special note at the end
    - Wampir and Opi in Poland
    - Упыр (Upir / Oo-peer) in Russia
    - Upir or Vupor at Belarus
    - Dalmatia and Istra - Vishchun (deriv from Vestac or Witcher, also derives from Wolk or Wolf)
    - Leptir in Bulgaria as well as Grobnik (Grob - Grave)

    ~ Leptir or Butterfly (literally) is often considered to be a creature used to describe a soul. In Bosnia a word "Lampir" is similar to "Leptir".
    In Serbia during the slaying of a vampir(r) there's a special warning that a butterfly will fly away from a vampir just before he/she dies and such a butterfly must be burnt, otherwise the vampir will come back to unlife!
    There's a famous horror made back in 1973. year called "Leptirica".

    ~~ Only in the slavic customs it's noted that a vampir is the same creature as a werewolf, however it the germanic countries it's noted that a vampire may shapeshift in the creatures previously stated but also in the snake where it leads to dragon.

    One of the greatest orders in the medieval times was the Order of the Dragon who had but a one cause - to kill the ottoman sultan. Founder was a Serbian by the name Milos Obilic and one of the famous peoples of the order was Count Vladislav.

    Milos Obilic killed the sultan Murad I at the battle of Kosovo 1389.

    To prevent the vampirism
    - In the Serbian customs regarding the vampire there's a practice of placing sand or millet alongside with the dead body with loud saying "Када све то пребројиш, тада да се повампириш" - (You may become a vampire only after you count them all). Or thorns are placed alongside with the mound on top of the coffin with similar properties, obviously to hurt a potential vampire.
    The interesting part, as well, is that bellow the tongue of a dead person there can be placed a bit of silver (a silver coin or such), or bellow the head of a dead person to put a strong iron nail (note - Iron's usually used as a means against the ghosts, silver too).

    - If a vampire have a sex with his/hers spouse and a child is born, the child will become a vampire and during the life it will see vampires. The child, usually, becomes a vampire hunter.

    There're a lot of false interpretations online which try to perceive the truth behind vampirism leaning onto some of the religious aspects but without the proper using of the metaphors, which can be devastating for the final result/conclusion. A mere letter or oversight may lead into a completely false route so it's imperative to gain the necessary knowledge / info, even if it might be untrue.

    I didn't find many English links regarding this, however I did found one which more or less talks about what I stated here having several books at my disposal.

    Origins of vampiric folkore

    If and when I find a neat book I'll be sure to post it here. Hopefully people here like to read

  12. #12
    - A vampire usually comes back home and makes love to his wife, which is a great excuse for widows to explain the noise around her house when she's supposed to be alone

    - A vampire can be chased away by burning his "opanak" which is a traditional shoe:

    - It is extremely easy to kill a vampire - you just have to pierce its skin with a sharp object, letting the gelatinous mass out, but a vampire can only be seen by people born on certain days of the week, or their own sons.

    - If vampires manage to survive for over 40 days, they may go away into some foreign land and work in meat shops as butchers But only if they can manage not to cut themselves, since that would kill them.

    Folklore culture of the Balkans is very rich and colorful
    But I always wondered why wasn't there a mass hysteria about much more sinister creatures, such as water demons or road apparitions, but they chose vampires which are not that dangerous anyways

    Speaking of those - Equivalents to Wraiths are called "Witches" in Serbian mythology, Veštice, and their younger version - Mora, or Mare. They are basically consirdered female equivalent to vampires, so there are NO female vampires in original mythology.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    ^ Haha, yes.

    So there it is. The fictional vampires differ by a lot from the actual myths and their origins. So for those people who think that LoK's not following the mythological canon of the vampires being able to shapeshift into a wolf - think again.
    The bat thing, on the other hand - completely fictional.

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