There are some days when it just dosen’t pay to get out of bed. Any day I get asked yet again about the relationship between vampires and werewolves is definitely a good candidate. THis is another of those questions that I get asked constantly enough that I am liable to snap at the innocent questioner just like the queries I wrote about in the article titled “What is happening to me?”. So, once and for all, let’s get this out of the way.
First of all, as Robziel wrote in his article on werewolves and he and our other House affiliated wolf constantly explain, werewolves are not marauding, raping, rabid, vicious man-beasts hungering for human flesh. First, the whole wolf-man form seems to have been made up by Hollywood and fiction in general. Real accounts and legends speak of transforming into a wolf, (or cat or bear or rat, etc.)not a cross between human and animal that looks stuck halfway in between. In animal form, werewolves are animals for the most part if the transformation is physical. This is covered in detail elsewhere, but there are different kinds of shifting. Sense shifting gives you animal acuteness to the senses, and maybe a little more of an animalistic mindset. Astral shifting is shifting of the astral form while the physical body sleeps or is dormant. Mental shifting is a little hard to define, I will refer you elsewhere for that one. Physical shifting is obvious. Other abilities are recorded as well, such as bursts of supernatural strength and speed. Rosalyn Greene calls these Berserker traits in her highly recommended book,”The Magic of Shapeshifting”. In the vast majority of cases, shifters do not physically shift at all. They may leave some evidence, especially in cases of astral shifting, but they rarely change completely. When they do, the mindset is that of the animal they become. Wolves are very shy and wary of humans, so a werewolf would likely hide from humans and go drink from a stream rather than snarl and attack buxom cheerleading campers or whatever. The animal side, spirit, mentality or whatever would not see the point in showing off to some random human or attacking people. Even if the human side is still present, it is very much in the background, and is more likely to be almost in a dream or sleep state.
So. Obviously you do not need to plant a lawn of wolfsbane and carry a silver dagger everywhere in fear of lycanthropes. They aren’t interested in attacking you, and aren’t contagious either. For example if a shifter lover bites you during intimate activities for example, you will not become a shifter. The presence of a shifter may over time bring an unAwakened shifter closer to Awakening, but his is mostly a theory and not proven any more than the corresponding theory of vampires’ presence and feeding on people making latent vamps awaken. In any case, don’t be afraid of the nice fuzzy wolfman or woman.
Vampires too come in different kinds. None are undead, none are immortal, inhumanly lovely and graceful, none can make you a vampire and none kill people. Vampires have three basic types: Psivampires, Pranic vampires or energy vampires, who feed on and process energy from people, usually crowds who throw off excess energy (football games, concerts, dance clubs and the like). Some feed on individuals, and some have no idea they are doing so. Basic psychic training and shields will convince such a vampire that youa re not interested in donating. Sexual vampires are often referred to as Incubi or Succubi and feed exclusively on the energy raised during sex. Finally and most famously, sanguine vampires drink human blood. Sanguines need only a tiny amount to remain healthy, usually a shot glass worth once or twice a month, and ONLY feed from tested and clean donors. Most have basic knowldge of anatomy and first aid and are extremely careful in their feeding. They do not go around biting strangers or seducing nubile virgins, as lawsuits and disease make both inadvisable. That is besides the strong sense of ethics and fair play posessed by most vampires.
Now, according to several movies, numerous books and a famous roleplaying game, werewolves and vampires are fighting some ancient and bloody war. The reason for this in such sources varies from “control of the underworld/money/territory”, to “Theological differences/religious differences” to unspecified and other reasons. However, the fact remains ther is no war. There never has been a war. I cannot imagine that there ever will be a war. Why? Because both groups have been too persecuted through history and are too small. Such fighting would decimate our already small community. Besides that, police do take notice of such things and classify it as gang warfare. They have special units to deal with such things. It’s hard for a vampire to feed in jail or a werewolf to allow their wolf out behind bars. It is simply pointless. Specifically to the two most common reasons for this mythical war, first of all the idea that any group of people “owns the night” or that there is some sort of supernatural underworld is laughable and about as likely as me turning into a giant rabbit, levitating over the capitol building and farting a giant cloud of Chanel No 5. Vampires are about as organized as a bathtub full of cats. We are extremely hierarchal and political, but let’s face it. None of us are organized or even interested in taking over anything. There is no “Vampire Nation”, there are no “Great Tribal Werekin Councils”, and most of us would not want one. We are just people intent on living our lives, with lives that are a little different from what most people live. We have no reason to fight and no desire to either. Hell, we are lucky as groups, whether vamp or shifter to run local groups, much less national consortiums. Really large roups of vampires for example almost always break down or split and scatter into smaller ones due to infighting. Shifters tend to form small packs, that contrary to popular belief, are primarily interested in hanging out, watching movies, going to dinner or once in a while camping, for the most part.
In many historical documents, werewolves and vampires either overlap or actually work together. In many cases of legend, werewolves became vampires after “death” or accompanied them as allies. This is much closer to the facts. Vampires have egoes that make even movie stars look modest and unassuming,and we often hang around werewolves or other werekin so they can help us keep our feet on the ground. Werewolves are incredibly loyal and dedicated friends who are not afraid to tell us vampires when we are being overbearing or pretentious dipshits and force us to look at our own flaws and hypocrisies. In return, we seem to entertain them pretty well and provide them with friends and a family to at lest marginally belong to. Truth be told, I don’t always know what they really get out of thier friendship with us, but I am always glad to have them around. It is a rare friend or group of friends that will tell you straight out when you are doing something stupid and give you truly balanced advice. I don’t know what I’d do without my catkin friends to make me take care of myself and my wolfkin friends to keep me grounded and focused.
I once did a set of divinations trying to figure out exactly why vampires and Otherkin were here and what our roles were in the world. The answer I decided made sense to me is that shapeshifters are preservers of the balance between civilization and nature, and they walk the boundary between these areas. Vampires are the preservers of the balance between life and death, with abilities in both areas. These charges are not mutually exclusive, but indeed harmonious and connected. We would most likely do well to be and act likewise.
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