|Ceri B. (ceri) wrote,|
@ 2009-09-08 09:15 am UTC
|Entry tags:||art and craft, sf/f/h|
What if vampires are creatures of the day?
The first ones might have been heretical devotees of Aten who bought immortality by binding themselves to live only when their god rules the sky. At night they must sleep the sleep of death again, and those who dare to roam the night lose their minds, becoming mere mindless devourers, predators turned the prey of those who can think and coordinate. Or maybe something else. (Seems like it'd be fun to tie this in with the origins of agriculture and the emergence of patriarchy as a social default.) The key thing is that vampires can only be active during daylight hours.
There are a few classic ways for vampires to lose self-control, and most of them still seem to apply:
Hunger. Yup. No reason for a vampire du soleil to feel any less hungry or frenzy-prone because of it than any other.
Sunlight, fire, etc. Now this has to go. I thought about daytime vampires having a problem with darkness instead of light, but I think that gets too constricting. No hiding in dark places during the day? That gets cramping of narrative possibilities in a bad way, more like stomach cramps than cool-plotting cramps. I next thought of moonlight, but that turns out not to go places I want to go with this either. The idea of a ban that sometimes applies during the day is good, but not the idea that some times of the month it'd be safe to roam during the night. So I'm currently thinking that being active without sunlight simply rots vampires' minds. After not many nights of trying that, there's nothing left but blood-craving husks. So there's, er, teeth in the night-time ban.
Holy symbols? Not sure what I want to do with that. Do crosses work as powerful invocations of death, or maybe not work at all as partial evocations of the creating power's own nature? I'd like it not to be just a matter of the wielder's faith; that can be interesting but not quite the set of motifs I'm interested in poking at right now. Maybe it's symbols of the night that work, including moons and stars. Though there needs to be a ludicrousness check somewhere to prevent fearless vampire hunters wielding boxes of Lucky Charms. This is obviously an area of more work required.
What really interests me is the social possibilities. The vampire is traditionally a force on the margins of society. In modern stories, it preys on people who've drifted from a crowd, or who are gathering with other marginalized people, or doing something else that pushes them toward the pale and beyond. The vampire du soleil, on the other hand, exists in the thick of it. It could be a consultant, or an auditor, or a government agent with arrest powers, capable of taking prey off boldly and without challenge thanks to prevailing expectations. It could also work on the marginalized of other sorts, like day labor (either hiring them out or employing them and feeding on them once a few are apart from the rest).
Likewise, there are lots of private spaces in the midst of the daytime crowd: places for people to meet for affairs, for confidential business, to earn and show status by being someplace exclusive, to cater to specialty tastes licit and otherwise, and so on. All of these could become vampiric domains without much effort.
And, finally, if vampires du soleil don't look too massively inhuman, then they can be out in the midst of humanity. Vampire surfers! Vampires haranguing people on street corners, choosing their prey from those who respond favorably. Vampire poll-takers?
This could be fun.