A Vampire, Vampyre or Vampyr, also known as Wahmpuryi in ancient Cthonian folklore, is a member of an intelligent species of Warp entities that have the ability to appear to others in any form they choose within realspace.
The ancient legends of Old Earth concerning Vampires were for long ages discredited as invention, folk-lore and myth. The reality, however, was to prove far more disturbing. Vampires are polymorphic Warp entities able to radically alter their metabolism in order to resemble the creatures amongst whom they dwell.
By shape changing, they are able to assume the form of any familiar Human-sized creature, and thus gain physical abilities associated with it, such as being able to fly, swim, hover, etc. Their natural shape (if such it can be called) is bat-like, although still approximately humanoid and the size of a man.
Vampires exist within the societies of most of the established intelligent species of the galaxy, and often assume positions of authority. They naturally crave power amongst other peoples, regarding even fellow Vampires as threatening rivals. They have no known homeworld. Where they evolved and why they have come to occupy a parasitic position within alien societies is unknown.
Vampires live amongst their chosen species after the manner of that people, and cannot easily be singled out. They have psychic powers of a level comparable to that of Humans who posses the psyker mutation. Vampires maintain their lives by absorbing the life-force of other creatures, achieved by prolonged physical contact. Fortunately, Vampires can derive some sustenance by normal eating and drinking, and so only require a little stolen vitality to survive.
Nevertheless, they do need to drain at least a bit of life-force from a living host every day -- otherwise they will lapse into a catatonic state and can only be revived by the sacrifice of a member of the host species conducted over their sleeping form.
If a victim is drained of his or her life-force they can be revived as a Zombie, a will-less servant completely under the Vampire's thrall. Zombies are undead corpses animated by the power of the Warp, and will slowly rot and decay until their usefulness becomes somewhat limited. Creating a Zombie is not something casually undertaken.
At an unknown date, a Vampire under the alias of "Darran Marvil" took command of a fortress on the Feudal World of Horthn IV. In an attempt to topple the evil alien, Imperial Assassins encouraged a popular revolt. Whilst the local troops assaulted the fortress with ladders and grapples, the Assassins attempted to reach the Vampire and slay him and his Zombies.
At some point in the 41st Millennium, a Warp-spawned Vampire rose to power on the Imperial Hive World of Cephian IV. The Black Templars Chapter of Space Marines is known to have battled the creature, with the future High Marshal Helbrecht slaying the entity, and through this act earning induction into the ranks of the Sword Brethren.
Thorian Inquisitors of the Ordo Xenos are known to research Vampires, among other alien creatures that are neither mortal nor daemonic. Investigation of these aliens is not as alluring as the study of the daemonic, but the methods by which they can influence and breach the barriers between Warpspace and realspace are an obvious source of knowledge for the Thorians.
Enslavers, Psychneuein, Vampires and other Warp creatures are able to extend their will into the real universe, and many of them are capable of transgressing the boundaries that separate the two. If only to avoid intrusion by these creatures on a potential psychic Divine Vessel who could serve as a new body for the Emperor, some Thorians have dedicated their lives to a greater understanding of these hideous creatures.
Wards and technology that prevent psychic infection are under constant research by the Ordo Xenos, amongst their many other fields of study. If reliable and portable containment fields or other technology can be constructed that could protect a Divine Vessel from Vampiric corruption or enslavement, then the chances of the Emperor-Incarnate manifesting are greatly increased. Or so say the Thorians.
- Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader (1st Edition), pp. 205-206
- Warhammer: Siege (1st Edition), pg. 94
- Warhammer 40,000: Rulebook (4th Edition), pg. 125
- Codex: Black Templars (4th Edition), pg. 44
- Inquisitor - The Thorians (Specialty Game Sourcebook) by Gav Thorpe, "The Ordo Xenos", pp. 17-18
- Fabius Bile: Clonelord (Novel) by Josh Reynolds, pg. 53