Shadowed Galaxy Vampire Bloodlines – The Irtach Warlords and the Okar Archivists

And for the next couple of vampire “bloodlines” I have the Irtach Warlords and the Okar Archivists. For those looking for more background, here are some links – First Stage Vampire Template, Vampire Lifecycle, Second Stage Vampire Template and the Yytsuri Pilots Bloodline.

Irtach Warlords

The signs of an informational outpost in a civilization – a combination of primitive technologies, massive pyramids and ceremonies, large-scale irrigation and organization beyond what the local communications technology could readily support, a variety of social and architectural patterns, and hundreds more – are difficult to read from space. False positives are all too common.

The Irtach do not care. Any potential trace of the enemy must be investigated, and any actual enemy presence expunged. False positive or true detection, an Irtach Core will land, recruit agents, build up defenses (sometimes including one or more mighty fortification), and march to war.

As many as possible of those agents will be powerful warriors, with cunning skill in tactics, military engineering, and weapon smithing as desirable secondary qualities. Dark, unnaturally fast, powerful, and skilled warriors will strike at the hearts of empire, at the hidden rulers who gnaw within their hearts like a corrupting worm.

If and when such a presence is found… waves of barbarians, dominated by inhuman warlords, will match, while others will infiltrate the empires while much of their resources is drawn to their frontiers. The struggle will continue until either the warlords of the secret rulers stand victorious.

Of subtlety, or the nourishment of civilization, the Irtach know little – but competing kingdoms will sharpen the arts of war, and weapons, and of producing food and supplies for armies, and that is often enough. Few Irtach will survive long enough to advance in their life cycle, and any civilization dominated by the Irtach is unlikely to produce starships – but the galaxy is vast and slow. Drifting Irtach “subspace mines” will occasionally encounter a starship – and the cycle will turn anew. It is a slow cycle, even when compared to other vampire strains – but the Irtach criteria for a host species or civilization are very broad and unselective.

The Irtach bloodline has – like almost every known bloodline – lost quite a few functions over the generations. Many scholars suspect, however, that they are behaviorally very close to the original design – with a poor understanding of the species and cultures they use as hosts, a rather unsubtle approach to dealing with their targets, and unrefined selection criteria. It is suspected that the Irtach rarely actually win, but they can certainly both harass their targets endlessly and provide cover for more subtle bloodlines.

Disciplines: Entropic Will, Informational Perception, Predatory Gaze, Sense Life, and The Dark Hand.

Traits: Bones of Iron and Night Terrors – usually taking the form of a “demonic” mount or battle companion.

The Irtach are fairly efficient super-soldiers, but aren’t really very good commanders. They often take command in primitive settings on the basis of their raw personal combat ability – but they usually try to get some good advisors to handle strategy for them.

Okar Archivists

Mental imbalances are all too common in vampires – some due to mental stress, some due to damaged programming, and some due to old directives that are being misapplied. It seems virtually certain that the original vampire programming included some directive(s) along the lines of “collect and organize information on the enemy and their devices and relay it back”. After all… the Cores automatically serve as local communications hubs, collecting intelligence on your opponents is an incredibly basic bit of military strategy, and relaying it to some central collection point is only sensible.

Of course, it also seems pretty likely that that central collection nexus failed millions of years ago. Many Cores (with the Irtach being a likely exception), however, are still quite capable of collecting information, revising their tactics, examining the enemies weapons, and devising new strategies and counters to use.

Some, strains, however, seem to have retained a part of that hypothetical “gather and organize information on the enemy and their devices” directive but have lost the bit about “on the enemy” – leaving them with a great desire to collect and catalog knowledge and artifacts, either in general or within a more specific field. The lesser spawn generally focus on a particular field whether or not the Core does however; even a first or second stage Vampire does not have the time required to study EVERYTHING.

And thus you wind up with obsessive antiquarian vampires in robes and bedroom slippers shuffling through their collection of 15’th century armor, or sharply-dressed art dealers who have been in the “family business” for centuries with huge private collections, or librarians who dabble in things that man was not meant to know (but which they feel that vampires probably WERE meant to know).

This doesn’t mean that they aren’t dangerous. An archivist is all too likely to know a targets exact vulnerabilities and to have some elegantly lethal solution handy that everyone else forgot about three centuries ago, will almost certainly have some equally obsessive servants (or grad students) about, and invariably has plenty of equipment handy. Still, an Archivist can usually be bargained with; all you need is to have something that isn’t already in the collection to trade with them.

Disciplines: Element Master (Chemical Catalysis), Element Master (Earth and Stone), Plague Carrier, Stalking Death, and Transfusion.

Traits: Ghula and Venomed Touch.

Archivists are remarkably dangerous when they want to be. They can easily turn all kinds of raw materials into explosives or deadly substances, turn a handful of pebbles into bullets, kill with a touch, and corrupt or addict people.

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2 Responses

  1. […] And for the next couple of vampire “bloodlines” I have the Olfun Guardians and the Harvesters. For those looking for more background, here are some links – First Stage Vampire Template, Vampire Lifecycle, Second Stage Vampire Template, the Yytsuri Pilots Bloodline and the  Irtach Warlords and Okar Archivists. […]

  2. […] and further there’s the Background, the Second Stage Template Upgrade, Yytsuri Pilots Guild, Irtach Warlords and Okar Archivists, Olfun Guardians and […]

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