Bel holds Avernus, the first Crypt
plays with toys and has his fun
Second is Dispater in Dis
where he makes steel and guns
Minauros belongs to Mammon
until it was stolen by Doresain
Fourth was once held by Belial
his death led to much of the same
Levistus is Lord of the Fifth
Stygia remembers the angels and Twilight
Malbolge is Glasya’s domain
she has no need to fight
Seventh, Maladomini, was forged by Baal
a shadow, a fortress, a stronghold
Cania, the Eighth, belongs to Mephistopheles
burning with fires bold and old
Asmodeus once claimed the Ninth, Nessus
took too much without care
There is no Tenth, not for Dracul
the Dragon needs no lair
– The Black Crypts
Shortly after Isaac Clarke perfected the toy maker, he provided Lilith, the First Monster, with a functioning copy of the device in recognition of her aid. The woman who would become Striga tricked the device out of Lilith’s hands, claiming that as she was about to become the first vampire, Lilith was her mother.
On October 13th of that year, Striga used the device to give an elite group of angry Romanian immigrants the first nighteyes, and they announced the birth of the vampires in an event known as Bloody Thirteen; thirteen skyscrapers, each with thirteen floors, were turned into complete and utter bloodbaths.
For a time, all was chaos. The only vampires were the Romanians under Striga’s thrall, and even as the demons—especially the orcs—scrambled to keep some semblance of order, the vampires were interested only in carnage.
The coming of the angels changed all that.
Zaphkiel announced the formation of his culture with fire and light, executing a daring assault upon Poenari Castle without a single word of warning. Striga was slain, and the fortified skyscraper left to burn. A decade and a half later, no one has ever built anything on the spot.
After Striga’s death, the vampires scattered to the winds. There were no warlords at this point, no one to unite them against this new foe. The angels hunted them like dogs, and the people of the city cheered them on. Various unorganized subcultures like the Skulls and the Bloodletters rose during this time, but the Nosferatu were the only ones who ever gained any real strength and prominence. Zaphkiel’s angels wiped out many minor clans before the rest of the city even knew they existed.
Then the Dragon came.
The second person in the entire city to successfully combine dayeyes and nighteyes into godeyes, Dracul was a charismatic and intelligent man who recognized that despite the frothing rhetoric of the angels, many vampires were normal men and women who wanted to live normal lives. He declared that he would defend these people, but never attack directly.
The angels, of course, didn’t believe him, but after he fought off several angel assassins by himself, Zaphkiel began to sit up and take notice. He ordered a temporary ceasefire out of a desire to see what the Dragon had planned.
The Dragon, for his part, did very little. He nurtured the growth of several minor vampire cultures, and encouraged Bel and Dispater to expand. As other Nobles rose to power and influence, the Dragon declared neutrality: He would make no moves against any vampire cultures unless they moved against him first. This meant there was little standing in the way of Belial and his thralls, Levistus and his angel-hunters, or Asmodeus and his slavers.
Most political historians agree that, more than anything, Dracul should have struck down Levistus, or at least taken a more active hand in the development of his culture. Levistus declared angels the eternal enemies of vampires, and took an aggressive role in fighting them. Barely a year after Striga’s death, the Twilight War began in earnest.
The vampires, now far more numerous than they had ever been among Striga, were not strongly affected by the outbreak of war. There were assassinations, terrorist attacks on their holdings, and random acts of violence against them, but for the most part Dracul’s campaign had worked. The general people of Domina City saw them in a much friendlier light. Except for the Levisans, who remained locked in total war, most vampires were fine as long as they avoided angels.
The angels, on the other hand, were not so lucky. They had far fewer numbers than the vampires, being more like a large cult than a true society. Levistus and his men were able to do serious damage to the Pearly Gates—the skyscraper outside the ruins of Eden which Zaphkiel had chosen as his fortress. They were forced to expand, and Zaphkiel promoted a number of Saints to Archsaint, giving each their own skyscraper and domain. Thus were the Seven Mounting Heavens of Celestia born, with Chronias the Illuminated Heaven the greatest of them all.
But by this time, the city was tired of the war. It couldn’t go on, at least not at this scale. Entire buildings burning or running red with blood attracted attention that neither the Dragon nor the Watcher wanted. Levistus and the more violent angel Saints were forced to agree to keep their attacks to a minimum. Direct assaults on enemy domains were forbidden, as were civilian casualties. The first few who defied this new edict were dealt with swiftly and without mercy.
Now, vampires are a common sight in Domina City, and like the demons many do not claim a specific subculture. The public has accepted them as having outgrown their violent origins, and if angels still hold that opinion, they keep it quiet outside their Heavens.
Vampire honored are called nightstalkers, while their deviants are known as bloodsoaked. Their warlords are called Nobles, and their novices nightrunners. The microcultures (the sub-subcultures) are known as bloodlines, broods, or Houses, depending on the subculture in question.
Avernans (avers, bronzers, poison-spitters)
Known for inventing new and dangerous toys, such as poison sacs and flame glands, and also sell guns. Have a very good working relationship with the Nosferatu. Leader is Bel, who sits upon the Bronze Throne of Avernus in North-West Middle. His chief vassals are the Dark Eight: Baalzephon, Corin, Dagos, Furcas, Pearza, Zapan, Zaebos, and Zimmimar.
Belians (Abriymochians, chem-heads, drug-vamps, Phlegians)
Embrace the morally monstrous aspects of the package. The members are largely chem-heads, both making and using, and are split between those addicted to mentats (the masters), and those addicted to everything else (the slaves, called sclavi). Leader is Belial, presumed dead. His daughter, Fierna, is missing. Belial’s lieutenants, Balan, Bathym, Gaziel, and Gazra, have taken to keeping the Throne of Abriymoch safe for her eventual return. The Belians are centered in Phlegethos, in Northwest Middle.
Canians (goggles, mephs, pyro-vamps)
Canians like fire. A lot. This marks them as odd to many of the other vampires, since the light burns their eyes. They are most readily identified by their daygoggles, which they wear even at night. They are also known as firebugs, pyromaniacs, and pyrovamps. Their leader, Mephistopheles, doesn’t actually lead much, not least because he is extremely paranoid, and convinced the Dagonites are trying to kill him. They are centered in Cania, in North Central.
Daevas (Damans, fetish-vamps, sex-vamps, succubi-vamps)
It is easy to say that the daevas are the vampire version of the succubi, but the truth is more complex. The culture began as a vampire brothel, owned by a husband and wife team. As more and more such brothels began cropping up, they had the idea of making themselves stand out with a theme. They began categorizing their workers by fetish. After they died, one of their employees, man called Aka Manah, took over. He slowly brought in more friends and family, until many of the other vampire brothels allied with them. Today, Aka Manah is not the only warlord of the culture, but he remains the most powerful. The daevas focus on sexual freedom and personal enlightenment, and try to stay out of politics. They are centered in Damavand, in East Middle.
Akoman (bookworms, scholars, librarians)
The scholars of the daevas, still led by Aka Manah. Originally they were merely prostitutes with a “bookish” appearance, they began to grow into the role in truth with time. They are known for large libraries and archives, where they hoard knowledge like gold.
Indar (Indarians, Indians, Indies, wordsmiths)
The silver-tongued diplomats, the Indar follow a warlord of the same name—which has sometimes caused them to be called Indarians. Despite their small numbers, they hold some of the most power among the daevas, due to strong alliances and clever minds.
Nanghait (papercutters, bell-ringers, subs, Nangs)
The bureaucrats, the workers. The Nanghait are simple, content, and masters of paperwork. They run most of the daeva culture either directly or indirectly, and have an important hand in absolutely everything. Aka Manah repeatedly credits their Noble, Naonhaithya, with the survival and growth of the culture.
Sawarl (doms, whips, torturers)
The Sawarl are often called bondage domination fetishists, and it is true that they originated doing exactly that. But they have evolved as a culture, becoming more interested in the idea of pain itself, both inflicting it and receiving it. There is much debate among the rest of the daevas as to whether this is an improvement or not. Their Noble, Saurva, is a quiet man who rarely raises his voice.
Led by Taurvi, the Naked Warrior, the Tauriz are based around a fetish for blood—especially fresh blood, spilled in combat. As one might expect, they became the feared war-arm of the daevas very quickly. Due to the fact that the daevas have few direct enemies, the Tauriz rarely fight defensively, instead preferring to go on bloody but mostly non-lethal raids against random nearby cultures.
Zariz (z-spies, z-shadows)
Zauri, the Shadow With Nothing to Cast Her, leads the Zariz. While their role as spies is hardly surprising, what often shocks outsiders is finding out that they still offer sexual services, based around classical spy and seduction stereotypes. They run one of the more successful brothels among the daevas.
Draculas (drakes, dragonspawn)
The nominal “leaders” of the vampires, they are a very small but very powerful subculture. Their leader is Dracul, most often simply called the Dragon. He is the only person in the city other than the Mother Monster to successfully use godeyes. They are centered in Little Romania, in East Outer, but have no specific domain.
Ghouls (cannibals, corpse-eaters, Doresainians)
One of the more horrific subcultures, ghouls are people with the cannibalism toy—which, as the name suggests, allows them to digest raw human flesh. The toy was originally intended for simply any raw meat (which it works fine for), but ghouls have a dark reputation for eating people alive. On the other hand, it is very cheap, so some of the poorer residents use it simply to expand their diet. Those who identify as “ghouls” nearly always have the enhanced jaw and night vision toys, which is why the subculture is considered part of the vampires. Their leader is Doresain, King of Ghouls. He holds court in Minauros in South Central, a fortress stolen from the Mammonites.
Glasyans (Bolgians, fey-vamps, glassers, Malbolgians)
Founded on the idea that the toy maker is the future of mankind, Glasyans are one of the few subcultures—vampire or non—to deal directly with the fey on a regular basis. Their leader, Glasya, is the one who negotiated the toy box deal between Necessarius and the Neverborn fey. They are centered in Malbolge, in West Middle.
Levisans (angel-haters, angel-hunters, Stygians, twilighters)
Also known as angel-hunters, the Levisans were founded by Levistus in direct response to angelic aggression. They (and the angels) are largely blamed for the continuation of the Twilight War, and other vampires try to avoid them. Levistus is currently missing, but his men still hold court in Stygia, in North-West Middle.
Mals (Assassins’ Guild, Baalspawn, shadow-vamps)
These vampires favor raw strength paired with guile and cunning, and have a reputation as powerful assassins. While a small subculture, they are greatly valued by the other vampires. Their leader, Baal, was killed by an angel of the Night caste shortly before the first screamer arose. His generals, Abigor, Bileth, and Zepar are struggling to hold the subculture together. They are centered in Maladomini, in West Middle.
Mammonites (maggots, Minaurosians, Thieves’ Guild)
Also called the Thieves’ Guild, the Mammonites are a small and mostly harmless subculture, concerned more about the challenge of stealing things than actually bothering to hold on to them. Raiding abandoned Mammonite lairs is a good source of wealth, if you get there first. Their founder is Mammon, but no one has seen him for quite some time, which has people such as Butler quite worried. Their former fortress in South Central, Minauros, has ironically been stolen by Doresain and his ghouls.
Nessians (Asmodeans, decayed, nessies, slavers)
The Nessians are slavers, nothing more. They sell escaped changelings back to the fey, children to unscrupulous microcultures, and other less savory things. They were never large in the first place, but their leader, Asmodeus, made the mistake of trying to usurp the Dragon. They were reduced to a tenth of their number, and Asmodeus himself was poisoned by a Nosferatu, which the toy maker cannot heal. They are currently biding their time, waiting for the perfect time to strike back. Their fortress in Nessus has been burned to the ground; no one knows where they call home now.
Nosferatu (ferrets, shells)
Vampires who embrace the physically monstrous aspects of the package. They have no overriding leader, but mostly confine themselves to South-East Central.
One of the largest Nosferatu bloodlines, they follow Cinder, the White Ash. While they are a relatively new bloodline, Cinder’s sheer force of personality has made them a force to be reckoned with—at least within the Nosferatu. Other cultures and Necessarius largely ignore them, as they are far too concerned with dominance among their peers than any grander ambitions. They have a blood feud with the Nictuku, and have been fighting for as long as they have existed.
Another large Nosferatu bloodline, and certainly the most organized, the Nictuku follow Halifax, the Black Pine. While they are interested in diplomacy, espionage, and other far-reaching goals at least within the vampires, the Guruhi keep them constantly bottled up. What little territory they have is viciously fought over, and most maps simply label the whole mess ‘contested.’
Warbloods (Disians, soldier-vamps, war-vamps)
Warbloods are the war-arm of the vampires. They attract any nighteyes worried about persecution, and work to defend their culture from outsiders. Some of their “defenses” are unnecessarily aggressive, however. Their leader is Dispater, a secretive old vamp who never leaves his base, the Iron Tower, in West Middle.
Noble of Nessus, the Lord of Tyrants was once one of the most dangerous men in the city. During the Battle of Shendilavri, he was horrifically injured by a Nosferatu, and has not been able to heal ever since. Like his culture, he is reduced to a mere shadow of his former glory, but he is still a major threat in the poorer sections of the city. He is careful to avoid Necessarius, but finds himself with fewer places to turn to with every passing month.
Noble of the Avernans, Bel has a good working relationship with Dispater, who he supplies with powerful new toys. The man himself is known as more of a businessman and diplomat than soldier or scientist, but his access to powerful experimental toys means he is excessively dangerous when riled.
Belial’s greatest supporter, known for insatiable appetites even by the depraved standards of the culture. He is not very well known outside the Belians, but he commands many slaves in Phlegethos, keeping them sharp for the inevitable war, no matter who they might fight.
A staunch supporter of Fierna, he is also one of the more public faces of the Belians (though not by much), constantly insisting that they are close to finding their lost princess. Rumors claim he and Balan are brothers, but these are unsubstantiated.
Noble of the Belians, Lord of Phlegethos, and father of Fierna. He joined with Malcanthet during the Battle of Shendilavri, and was killed in the fighting. The culture struggles without him, as his powerful—if cruel and violent—personality was one of the few things that could force his chem-addicted culture into some semblance of order.
Lost daughter of Belial and heir to the culture. She has been missing since the Battle of Shendilavri, and is largely presumed to be dead. It is assumed that sooner or later a vampire will be granted the mantle in a last attempt to motivate the culture.
A more neutral Belian Noble, Gaziel wishes for the prosperity of the culture, no matter who sits on the Throne of Abriymoch. He is known to be looking for vampire women, and it is assumed that he is searching for a replacement for Fierna.
Fierna’s consort before she disappeared during the Battle of Shendilavri. While one would assume that he would be desperate to have his love returned to the culture (if only to increase his own standing), the fact that he lets Bathym make the public announcements has led to many rumors circulating about his loyalty.
The agoraphobic Noble of the warbloods, Dispater has not been the same since the Battle of Shendilavri. The assassination attempt that killed Orcus nearly took his life as well, leading him into a spiral of depression and paranoia. Now, he never leaves the Iron Tower, the fortress at the heart of Dis, and refuses to see anyone outside of his council.
Noble of the ghouls, the Ghoul King represents many of the worst parts of his culture. He is voracious, uncompromising, and has difficulty seeing people as anything other than food. Rumor has it that he was a cannibal since before the toy maker, but that is impossible to prove.
The Dark King of the Vampires. Also known as the Dragon, Dracul is the leader of the Draculas, and one of the first vampires to get his fangs. There is some debate on who got them first, him or Striga, but he doesn’t seem to care enough to argue. He is also one of the only people in the city with functioning godeyes, the fusion of dayeyes and nighteyes. As an individual, Dracul is strong and uncompromising, as he is used to dealing with the arrogant and implacable vampire Nobles. While he is not officially the lord of the culture, his political connections and personality allow him to take control when the need arises.
Founder of the daeva culture and Noble of the Akoman subculture, Aka Manah is a serious and conservative man, which is odd considering that he founded multiple brothels. He keeps a close eye on his own house, but is careful not to police the other daevas.
The Silver Diplomat, Noble of the Indar. Friendly smiles and honeyed words cover a dangerously clever mind, and a lust for power that would be disturbing if he wasn’t such a delight to be around. More suspicious people wonder what he plans to do with the allies he has amassed, but Indar himself remains inscrutable.
Bureaucracy seems like the last thing that anyone would find arousing in a brothel, but Naonhaithya had an idea, and she saw it through to the end. While their brothels make far less money than those of the other daevas, the Nanghait run the paperwork for most of the culture, and thus control much of it. This mirrors Naonhaithya and her desires quite well; she runs things not out of greed, but out of a simple (if obsessive) desire for order.
Saurva, Noble of the Sawarl, is a quiet and friendly man who is fully capable of flaying a man’s skin off the bone at range with an ordinary whip. Rumor has it that Saurva himself has no sex drive, but he leads his culture well regardless, keeping their worst excesses under control.
The Naked Warrior earned his title in exactly the way one would expect. His fetish for blood and gore was well-known long before Aka Manah approached him and offered him a more constructive outlet for his appetites. Today, while Taurvi still leads most Tauriz raids himself, he has found himself drawn more and more into the tedious running of the house.
It is said that no one has seen Zauri, the Shadow With Nothing to Cast Her, for years. She slinks through the halls of Damavand, spying on every daeva in the domain, collecting and collating information that might some day be useful. She was always a quiet woman, to the point that there are rumors she was mute before the toy maker healed her. Regardless of her absence, her house does quite well financially, as the brothel techniques she pioneered have proven profitable to the Zariz.
Nearly every warlord in the city receives a hand-written invitation on a weekly basis, inviting them to either breakfast or dinner with the fey. Glasya is one of the very few who ever took them up on that deal. Few people remember that she used to be a demon under the command of Asmodeus, before Shendilavri. She acted as his secretary, and went in his place to meet with the Princess of Killing Sparrow, the Maiden of Night’s Southern Autumn. It is unknown what deal they struck. But whatever it was, within a month Glasya had re-emerged as a vampire, leading a small but loyal culture of scientists and their diplomatic agents.
Legend says that Levistus was the first vampire to fight an angel and win, months after Zaphkiel founded them as a weapon against Striga’s brood. Whether that is true or not, the Noble’s hatred of angels is well-documented, and his culture shares his views. While he has been missing for some time, his men continue the Twilight War unabated in his name.
Abigor the Bellows, leader of the Mal war arm, is known as a clever tactician with a cruel streak. Some of his most embarrassing defeats came about simply due to playing with his opponent more than was wise. However, he trains his men well, and makes sure all Mals are well-armed and known how to use their weapons. He was the first vampire recruited by Baal, and thus the nominal leader after his death. However, he knew he couldn’t handle the culture on his own, so allowed Bileth and Zepar to shoulder equal shares of the responsibility.
Baal the Executioner was the founder of the Mals. He made his name by killing a single criminal in order to prevent a massive culture war from breaking out. He led his culture well for years, taking jobs he knew wouldn’t step on the toes of Necessarius or anyone else too powerful. Unfortunately, that didn’t prove enough, and he was killed by a Night-caste angel shortly before the screamers began appearing in Domina City.
Bileth nar-Baatezu, Poison Master of Maladomini, doesn’t talk much. He has always been a quiet man, and he earned his spot as one of Baal’s hands despite his oratory skills, not because of them. Still, his skill with poison is unmatched. While he doesn’t make it himself, he is a frequent customer of Bel and the Avernans. Likewise, his classes on proper poison handling are mandatory for all new Mals.
The newest Noble of Maladomini, Nyashk was a low-level teacher who somehow stumbled into a powerful mantle. Rumors say that she was Baal’s lover, but cooler heads have noted that the timeline doesn’t match up. For now, all anyone can do is watch and wait to see what she does.
A somewhat awkward and fumbling man, Zepar’s earnest demeanor and mastery of stealth more than make up for any missteps he makes along the way. He is also the unofficial trapmaster of Maladomini; while Baal always held that role before, Zepar studied best under him. He is in charge of most assassinations, which an outsider would assume makes him the most powerful man in the culture. This is incorrect, and of the three Nobles, he is by far the one hit hardest by Baal’s death. Analysts agree that without Abigor and Bileth, he wouldn’t be able to hold the culture together.
Mammon’s right hand man, and the chief diplomat of the culture. As most Mammonites consider such things to be of little value, Mammon holds Focalur and his skills in very high esteem. Unfortunately, he has still not been able to organize a march against the ghouls holding Minauros.
Noble of Minauros, despite the loss of that fortress to Doresain. Mammon himself is actually not a thief but a disgraced police officer, who thought that taking control of criminals and taking kickbacks was a more effective way of fighting crime than arrests. He continued this attitude in Domina. Whether it worked or not is arguable, but it certainly made him quite rich and relatively powerful. Thieves under his control are non-violent to a fault when on a mission, and anyone being raided by a Mammonite knows that it is better to buy back the lost property later than to make a fight of it right then and there. He has been missing for almost a year, and some say he attempted to take back Minauros himself—only to become food for the ghouls.
Noble of the Canians, the pyro-vamps. Mephistopheles is often described as having a personality nothing like what anyone would expect from the leader of a bunch of firefangs. He is friendly, polite, and rarely ever references fire. But that’s just his personality. He carries the smell of smoke around like a cloud, and is usually seen with some variant of fireman’s jacket. He is also convinced that the Dagonites are trying to kill him, and rarely leaves Cania without a heavy escort.
Cinder, the White Ash, is known for both his mindless cruelty and his distinctive twin swords. He leads the Guruhi by little more than sheer force of personality, leading them into battle against everyone and everything, but most especially the Nictuku. If he has some grand design in mind, he has never shared it. He seems interested in little more than ruining Halifax and everything he has ever built.
Halifax, the Black Pine, is known for being a large, black-shelled monstrosity fond of poison and diplomacy—anyone who ignores the latter quickly finds themselves facing the former. Despite the fact that his own modifications have made him virtually unintelligible, he has designs on conquering the Nosferatu into a single culture under his command. Unfortunately for him, Cinder has made it his mission to prevent that from happening. No one knows the reason for this, but most analysts agree that Cinder is most likely simply bored, and finds the Black Pine’s attempts to organize amusing.
The Vampire-Queen, the Lady of Darkness, Fiica de Întuneric. Striga was the first and most terrible vampire, a woman who is sometimes spoken of in hushed whispers even a decade and a half after her death. Little is known about her past other than the fact that she was a Romanian refugee, sent to Domina on some meaningless charge. Her people were persecuted inside the city, and she resolved to do something about it. Of course, everyone was persecuted, and the woman who would become Striga was not the first to attempt to gain power and vengeance violently. But she is the only one who managed to trick the Mother Monster. While Striga’s reign was brief, brought to a swift and fiery end by the advent of Zaphkiel and his angels, she killed several thousand people in the short time she remained active. No one was spared her wrath, no one was granted mercy; even the Romanian refugees who refused to join with her felt her fangs in the night. Her reign was dreaded, and her death celebrated. People prefer to not say much else about her.