The Creation of a Dhampir...

Part One

From the journal of Ana Cautatorul, Alchemist of the Night Court of Bucharest... Translated from Romanian and written into a more modern tongue...

March 11th 1520
Nikolai and I have at least begun work on our greatest endeavor -- at the behest of the Queen, of course. We have been tasked with searching for an answer which has plagued our kind since time immemorial: why have we been denied the ability to create a new life?

Nikolai and I both have questioned this ourselves, for how could we not -- a married couple, as we are? The children of night have always had the ability to alter a life, to pluck a man from the indignity of mortal life and raise him up into immortal life with our Ritual of Transformation... And we may, with the judicious application of our blood, grant to a man strength and long life along with undying loyalty.

But the creation of a new life, which even the basest beast of the field may do with ease, our Father has seen fit to deny to us. There are, of course, legends which speak of Nightkind who have been granted the ability to bear or to sire children with the interference of those Fallen who were cast from the firmament not into perdition but to earth -- those who dwell, as it is called, "beyond the mists", who may pluck the strings of fate like harpstrings, weaving songs which drown out the heavenly choirs and create destinies that spit in the face of God Himself.

Our Queen, however, is loathe to ask any outsider for help -- much less a creature whose existence and laws are so foreign to us. Which is just as well, by my accounting, as I have encountered these creatures as a girl, when the light of the sun still warmed my skin and food still filled my belly and I found them frightening, to say the least of it. They were strange and confusing things which spoke in a tongue I did not know yet could still understand and whose voices created a song which at once confused and delighted me. It was their sharp teeth and claws which terrified the child I had been and sent me running from them, once the facade of their beauty had been stripped from them by some superstition my grandmother had taught me which I no longer recall...

They are not creatures I wish to encounter ever again and would not seek them out of my own accord, not even at my Queen's behest. No, I think I must first begin by understanding what it is that makes the bodies of Nightkind different from those of mortal men...

March 15th, 1520

Her Majesty has granted me permission to perform the Ritual of Transformation upon two mortals -- one male and one female -- that I might use them in my attempts to understand our bodies. Of my thralls, I have two in mind who would be perfect for this, and another two who I shall leave unchanged.

The four of them have served me well but their sacrifice serves the greater good and shall aid in unlocking the great mysteries of our world.

April 20th, 1520

Damn! Damn this nature of ours! Damn what we have become, what I have become! Damn, damn, damn!

The two thralls which I have Changed served their purpose well indeed, but what I have found through the careful and thorough dissection of their bodies is a source of lamentations and regrets! I did not know what would become of the inner workings of my body when I chose to make this journey into immortality with my beloved husband some four centuries hence and though I have seen wonders I could not imagine in that time, what I have found now makes me wish I had never agreed to this -- that he had never agreed to this.

I let my emotions run away with me, I must gather myself and write my findings for if I do not record what I have found, then I cannot properly present it to our Queen and all of our research will have been for naught. No, this is merely a setback.

[what follows is a diagram -- on the left, a detailed drawing of the internal organs of a healthy human female and on the right, a diagram of the internal organs of a vampire female (though it is labled "nightkind" here. The next page shows a similar diagram of a healthy human male and a vampire male. The next few pages are detailed diagrams of the reproductive organs of all four.]

Ana's writing continues...

Though the primary interest is in the reproductive organs, I shall first detail the general changes I have found, should they prove important to this reasearch in the future:

The heart in Nightkind is enlarged and as I thought, beats far slower than that of mortals. The blood vessels also have grown larger, the walls of which have thickened as well, not in a way which suggests that they have been diseased but rather, to allow a greater volume of blood to be transported through them without the threat of the vessel bursting from the pressure. Lungs are slightly smaller, making space for the increased size of the heart.

The liquids present in the stomach and intestines of my human subjects were not at all present in the stomach and intestines of my other subjects -- seeming to have been expelled during the process of transformation. It would seem that, as we no longer consume any food but blood, these organs are no longer necessary for anything but storage -- as both my subjects were well feed, their stomach and small intestine seemed to be entirely filled with blood.

Indeed, as I furthered my exploration of the subjects' bodies, I found that all of the fluids normally present within the body had been replaced with the beautiful scarlet liquid which gives us our eternal life, though the vitreous humor, tears and saliva were all of a less vibrant carmine hue and more a pale rose color...

Most notably, the kidneys, liver and bladder were all quite shrunken in size when compared to my human subjects', I believe this to be because they are no longer necessary for our existence, we no longer digest what we consume, we merely absorb it, it would seem. The blood vessels leading to these unnecessary organs seem to have closed off and re-routed, as well...

In my female subject, I found that this had occured with the womb and ovaries as well -- leading to the organs shrinking. The womb was less than half the original size, the muscular walls within the exterior lining having thinned considerably. I had tried to time the changing of my thrall to when she would be most fertile and was forced to hold off on my disections until my still-mortal thrall was at the same point in her cycle. The thick, blood-rich lining present within my mortal subject was also gone, though my thrall could not recall that particular form of bleeding happening during her transformation.

As far as I am able to tell, the organ is completely inert and not at all suited for the purpose of carrying a child.

My examination of my male subject showed changes in line with that of my female subject and which were in line with things I have discovered through observation with my Nikolai. Much like the rest of the fluids within the body, the seminal fluid has been converted to nearly identical to blood, though the texture is slightly thicker. Subject is still capable of ejaculation, as expected. Additionally, the testicals of the subject had decreased somewhat in size and the blood vessels leading to them had experienced a similar decrease in size as the kidneys, liver and bladder -- as well as the womb in the female subject.

While it is obvious that the female vampire is incapable of carrying a child, it may be possible for a male vampire and mortal female to concieve. The Queen will not be pleased with this news.

May 11th 1520
Her Majesty has implored us to continue the research -- which I had not expected, given my findings thus far. I will do as she asks, of course, for I too long to find a way around these pitfalls... The bloodline to which my Nikolai and I belong has been gifted with the utilization of magic and the shifting of forms and I believe that with these gifts, we may yet find a solution.

June 20th 1520
Once again, I was granted permission to create another of our kind for the purpose of my research. My last Children sadly did not survive the examination of their bodies -- while they lived through the initial incision and even through my examination of the reproductive organs, once I removed the heart to examine the blood vessels attached more thoroughly, they both expired.

Which is just as well -- they would be useless in this next stage of my exploration of our bodies.

June 25th 1520
I have procured a subject for this experiment. She is not one of my thralls as none of them are in the proper condition for this examination. There is a part of me that feels some measure of guilt for what I am to do next -- I have never been cruel to my prey nor to my thralls, though my callous examination of them before may lead one to believe otherwise. What I am to do to this woman... is a cruelty. She has no knowledge of what will be done to her, what she will become -- nor what will become of her unborn child.

Nor do I -- I have not heard of a woman who is with child being subjected to the Ritual of Transformation, for doing so has been, to this point, forbidden. But the Queen has suspended these old restrictions in the service of this endeavor.

July 5th 1520
The child was lost during the Change -- the stress of it induced the woman to go into labor but the child was stillborn. Whatever happens in the blood during the Change resulted in the child being horrifically mangled, as well. I will not further describe it, the sight was enough to shock even one who has had four centuries of experience.