The following is for information only, and not required reading for the game.
Vampires were once mortals born with excess soul, which allowed them to become supernatural creatures who feed on blood. Like most werewolves, vampires cannot survive in sunlight
Vampires are much stronger than humans and have vastly accelerated healing abilities, even more so that werewolves. Whilst physically faster moving than werewolves, vampires are not as strong, although there have been recorded instances from the continent of vampires being able to tear a werewolf’s head clean off, however the veracity of witness accounts is questionable.
Vampires are vulnerable to hardwood weapons, lethal when driven through the heart, and have an allergic reaction garlic and citrus oils. Both the French and Earl Grey tea are strongly disapproved of in high society.
Vampires are universally acknowledged to have exceptionally good taste. You will never see a vampire out in society anything less than impeccably dressed, and the myth that vampires cannot enter a home uninvited is based on their obsession with politeness and social etiquette.
Vampires organize themselves by groups called Hives, each led by a Hive Queen, whose bite is the only one capable of metamorphosing a new vampire.
Vampire queens are created only when a woman is successfully transformed, which is very rare, as females are much less likely to survive the change than males. Unlike other vampires, queens possess a second set of fangs, called the “makers.” These fangs are slightly smaller than the regular “feeder” fangs, and make the transformation possible. It is considered a great achievement for a queen to create another queen.
A queen vampire is comparable to a queen bee; she cannot venture from her hive, and is usually the creator of all the vampires within it. If a queen perishes, most likely her hive with die along with her. Hive vampires can not travel too far from their queen or their hive without dire risk. As such, Hives usually have very well defined territories that do not cross.
In dire circumstances, a queen may choose to “swarm” and leaves her hive with her brood of vampires. They must find and claim a new location within a matter of hours, or risk perishing. Swarming is particularly distressing to a queen, as the tether to her territory must be broken and reforged.
A Praetoriani of a hive is a quasi second in command charged with the Hive Queen’s defense. A praetoriani can move farther from the queen than other vampires, due to being in a constant state of swarm in order to ensure her protection.
Hives are also often staffed with drones, humans who donate blood and other services to the hive for artistic patronage or the chance to go through metamorphosis into an immortal themselves.
Very old and strong vampires can separate themselves from the hive and live alone, with their own territory. These are known as Roves. In an extremely rare number of cases, Roves can be very young vampires, as they are able to move long distances for a short period of time after metamorphosis, before the tether to the hive is established. The chances of such a young vampire surviving alone, however, are very slim.
Roves generally dislike the company of other vampires, and will rarely enter a hive, even if invited. Rove vampires have been known to swarm in extreme circumstances, but are not bound by the same strictures as a hive, and may return to their former residences once the danger is passed.
Roves of high social rank usually also keep a cadre of drones, although for any of these drones to undergo metamorphosis, the Rove is required to petition a Hive Queen for the privilege. Subsequently the drones of Rove vampires frequently have other motives for their service.
Within the British Empire, vampires are the administrators that determine how to keep territory won in military campaigns. This is a task mainly taken on by the Potentate advisor to the British Crown, who has first-hand knowledge of strategy and management going back to the Roman empire. The Potentate is elected either by vote from all the hives in the United Kingdom or, in an emergency situation, by Royal Decree. He is a well-known Rove with extensive political acumen.