IFW # 05 Write the opening of a new article. Sadly, part 2 of this one didn't happen.
| “We’re all around you.” A voice whispers thus ending the intro-credits to Kindred: the Embraced the television series about vampires existing secretly among us. The show is based on a collection of role-playing game titled: Vampire: the Masquerade, produced by White Wolf Publishing. This is a game for adults; filled with intrigue, suspense, and mystery. In this game, players create characters based on guidelines from the collection of books Mind’s Eye Theatre. Their costumes are home spun, the fangs are acrylic and the characters are words on paper.
It’s easy to think of the characters as demonic be recalling the history, legends, mythology, and superstitions surrounding vampires and other supernatural beings. According to legend, vampires are malevolent creatures symbolizing death and darkness. Most notably is Bram Stoker’s Dracula. His image has become the bellwether for the modern definition of vampires; including the symbolism of blood as a source of life.
The vampire, a thief of blood and therefore a thief of life are found in many cultures. These legends provide us with familiar themes such as feeding upon the innocent, warfare between light and darkness and good and evil and man’s unquenchable lust for immortality.
Though common threads bind the myths together, many places have specific details unique to their own culture. In one region of Germany, vampires are believed to be fascinated with puzzles and knots. They are believed to be obsessed with these devices and finding the solutions. Therefore, townspeople would leave these devices inside the creature’s coffin. Because of the obsession, when the vampire awakens, he or she is captivated by the device and does not rise from the grave until the puzzle is solved.
Indeed, truth is stranger than fiction. While legends have withstood the centuries, the genre has transformed many different stories into a standard concept. We no longer see the horrific monster as portrayed inNosferatu (1922) starring Max Schreck as Count Orlok or Bela Lugosi as Dracula (1931). Gone are the superstitions like fascinations with knots and puzzles and being defrayed by religious symbols. Today’s vampire is popularly viewed as a dark romantic creature, capable of bending both man and beast to his immortal will. They are seen as tragic figures, agonizing over the beast within.
Writers like Anne Rice have created new mythologies surrounding the tortured beings that walk the night. Her hero, Lestat in Interview with a Vampire is a prime example of how their existence has evolved in modern culture. Even television shows such as Forever Night, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Angel have evolved the legends in their own ways. In all, however, they portray these creatures as souls in damnation.