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Saturday, 12 April 2014

AtoZ Day 11: K is for Killing, Krasue, Kindred: The Embraced

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Killing

It has to be said that while researching these posts I have noticed that most vampires seem to kill. Some cause their victims to waste away slowly, others drain them of blood or life essence, killing them on the spot, a few spread plague in their wake and some simply tear their victims apart.

Often throughout history the legend of the vampire has been used to explain a swathe of deaths.

However, not all vampires have to kill. Some simply need a little blood from time to time and other, while making your life a little shorter will only take what life essence they need. I think some of the most interesting fictional vampires are these kind, especially if they kill simply because they like it.

Do you prefer your fictional vampires to be killer or to be merciful?

Creature Feature:

Krasue

This is the name of a terrible vampiric creature from Thai legend. According to Ghost and Ghouls it is the ghastly head of a woman that floats around with her viscera hanging down from her neck, tailing behind her.

Wikipedia goes on to say that she is forever hungry and haunts the night seeking blood to drink and flesh to consume.

She is also known as an Ap in Cambodia and Kasu in Laos. To dispose of her, her headless body must be found and crushed.

Movie TV Recommendation:

Title: Kindred: The Embraced
Summary: Loosely based on the White Wolf role playing game Vampire: the Masquerade. Clans of vampires, forever at odds with each other inhabit the world, hiding from humans behind what they call the Masquerade. To endanger the Masquerade is the most dangerous thing any of them can do. In each city Primogens of each clan keep their members in line and vie for power and to become the Prince of the City. In LA Julian Luna is this Prince and he finds himself at odds with Frank Kohanek, an LA cop.
Why you should watch this: The clan dynamics are complex, the characters are interesting (although a couple are a little whiny) and I just love all the vampire lore. It's not exactly like the RP game, but it has some nice touches from it.

Kill Instinct 
(#11 in The Diverse Life of Ianthe Jawara, Vampire)
by Natasha Duncan-Drake

Raising a hellhound puppy was a lot of work, as Ianthe was finding out. She hadn't had a chance to worry about anything over the last week as she integrated Lilith into the household and began training her. Hellhounds did not need to be trained the same way as normal dogs because they had a rudimentary intelligence and were empathic with their mistresses. However, that didn't mean they could be left to run riot.

Lilith had been introduced to Philips and the housekeeper and all the cleaning staff, so she wasn't about to try and eat anyone. Of course she had also met Alex. That had been fun. Ianthe disliked her maker so Lilith disliked Alex as well; that was just how it went. It was lucky she held a certain respect for the man even if she wished she could leave him well behind, because that translated as well.

"Come on, Little One," Ianthe encouraged as she held a chocolate drop in her hand; "I know you can do it.

Chocolate would poison a normal dog, but hellhounds really only had shape in common with such species and nothing except beheading or fire could kill Lilith. Ianthe had discovered quickly that Lilith would do anything for chocolate. It was an advantage she intended to use forever.

"Change for mummy," she said and held up the chocolate.

When she had started referring to herself as mummy she had cringed, but she kind of couldn't help it. Lilith was now her baby.

As she watched, Lilith went from big black puppy beast of hell into what looked like a normal husky puppy with bright blue eyes.

"Good girl," Ianthe praised and gave her the chocolate drop along with a big love.

It was one of the major advantages of hellhounds that they could change their appearance to look like a simple household pet. Explaining a big black dog with long fangs and glowing red eyes would have been tricky around town.

"You know, you're supposed to train it to kill, not look adorable," Alex's cool tones sounded behind her.

She looked up to find her maker standing in the doorway of the living room. She was using the common areas of the house because she wanted Lilith used to the normal routine of the household.

"A guardian that just kills things would be pretty useless," she replied and turned back to her puppy.

Lilith faded back into her natural form and Ianthe gave her another big love. She never wanted the puppy to be worried about changing back.

"That looks about as vicious as a basket of kittens," Alex pointed out.

Clearly he was in the mood for an argument.

"Lilith, guard," she said simply.

The puppy shot past her in a second, planting those too big feet wide as she took up a defensive stance. Then she growled, showing her teeth dripping with saliva as she simply grew. In a second there was no longer a puppy between Ianthe and Alex, but a full grown hound, hair bristling and mouth full of very, very sharp teeth. Another useful ability of hellhounds was that they had a demonic form and it was big no matter what size they happened to be at the time.

"There's my girl," Ianthe said, smiling.

"Well I suppose that's something," Alex said, sounding completely unbothered and just lifting an eyebrow at her.

"Killing won't be a problem," Ianthe said, "if it's ever necessary."

She didn't mean her words to be a threat, but there was an underlying current to them she couldn't quite hide. Perversely she saw something akin to pride on Alex's face for a second. Then he was gone with a dramatic turn that any actor would have been proud of.


"I will never understand that man," Ianthe said as she scratched Lilith behind the ear.

~~*~~
A few of us discovered that we all had supernatural themes for the AtoZ so we got together and did a mini list. If you also have a supernatural theme (ghosts, monsters, witches, spells etc), please feel free to add yourself to the list.

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49 comments:

  1. I would hate for vampires to be one or the other. Kind of lumps them in as just one characteristic. With Multiple choice, keeps the audience guessing. Can make for dynamic vampire characters.

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    1. This is true in some cases :) I suppose it depends what kind of atmosphere you're going for - in 30 days of Night I think all the vampires needed to be ruthless killers or it wouldn't have worked.

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    2. I thought 30 Days of Night was where the vampires gave up sex for 30 days?

      No wait, that's 40 Days and 40 nights.

      Delete
  2. For a while, a lot of the vampire stories I read had the vampires being whiny about killing. It really made me crave a murderous vampire. So I wrote a story with the main character a vampire that was the good guy, but didn't mind getting flesh stuck in his fangs. ;)

    ~Patricia Lynne~
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, YA Author

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    1. I like the sound of him. I think there was a fashion for a while that all vampires should be tortured soul. Now, don't get me wrong, I like a good bit of soul torturing, but some variation is always nice :).

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  3. Interesting post and story. I'm not into vampire story, but from your post I see that there are all types, just as in the real world.

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    1. So many types - I had no idea how many until I started looking :) Thanks for dropping by.

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  4. I like a mixture of killer and mercy among my vampires - sometimes I want a murderous bastard who you can root against, or, more tricky, but possible, get to like - and then there are the ones who are torn about it but lose control....I could go on all day, but it's your post, sis ;)

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  5. I thought all vampires killed, the post was quite informative.

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    1. Oh no, there are all sorts. I think a lot of the legends have them killing, but the fiction is diverse :)

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  6. I like my vampires to be killers. I like both the unrepentent killer, who enjoys being a predator, and I also enjoy the vampires that are cursed by having to kill nightly and feel the weight of it.

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    1. I don't mind if they don't have to kill, but the killing does give some drama, I have to agree :)

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  7. That Krasue creature sounds pretty freaky. As for vampires, I like them just how I like other characters, i.e. a variety of personalities. As long as it's interesting and keeps me engaged, I'm all for whatever. :)

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    1. Very good point there :) I think variety is the spice of life.

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  8. Vampires have to have a killer instinct, in my opinion, but I find the ones who attempt to avoid it more interesting because they end up in an internal struggled at times.

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    Replies
    1. The conflict driving the story onward...

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  9. I think my favourite is the vampire who does both. Kill with such ferocity, but can also take a little drink.

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  10. Whoa, that Thai creature is creepy as hell. I have noticed that South-East Asia has some choice specimens when it comes to horror...

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
    Multicolored Diary - Tales of colors
    MopDog - The crazy thing about Hungarians...

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  11. I think there's a place for both types of vampires. The world would be such a boring place if everyone was the same.

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  12. For a while I got into the whole merciful vampire thing (BUffy's Angel), but then Twilight killed it for me so now I'm all about the evil undead kind. Love a terrifying killer vampire.

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    Replies
    1. Fangs at dawn and none of this sparkling stuff? ;)

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  13. Well, if he was having me for breakfast, I would definitely not want him to be a killer, but I don't like whiny vamps. Either bite or don't bite. Very yoda but still.

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    1. There is no try! :) I do suppose it would depend on one's own circumstances wouldn't it :).

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  14. Oh yes, you can't have vampires without having killings too. ;) In the second book of my unpublished supernatural-thriller, I tackled that very question, because my character was trying to find humanity in what vampires do. It's an interesting train of thought. :)

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    1. I suppose it's simply a matter of survival like the lion taking down the antelope, but because it is a sentient predator and a sentient prey the questions come up.

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  15. I want my vampires to kill. I don't want them to be selective, and I don't want morality about killing.

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    1. So definitely on the top predator line then. :)

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  16. That dripping female disembodied head vampire is pretty damn creepy. Another great installment of Ianthe!

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    1. Thank you :). You have to wonder who came up with the floating head and why, don't you ::g::

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  17. Vampires must kill to maintain their status, or others will think them weak and take control instead.

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    1. Hmmm ... but would the ones who don't want to kill want control anyway?

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  18. Now I'm probably going to get shot down here, but I like the vampires in The Originals. There's lots of blood and gore, but I mainly like it because their characteristics are so different to each other. Klaus, is definitely a kill or be killed kind of vampire. I noticed the recommendation for Kindred: The Embraced was for TV. Is it on at the moment?

    Oh, and I would love a hell hound, if of course I wasn't allergic to dogs. Ianthe is growing in character in every new post, and I like that. ;)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Individual vampires are great, I agree. I haven't actually seen the Originals.

      I don't think Kindred is showing at the moment, but the DVD is available.

      Hellhounds don't shed, I'm sure of it, unless it's someone you don't like and then one of their demonic powers is to shed all over them ;).

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  19. I like both types of vampire. Vampires who kill for the fun of it are more traditional, that's what a vampire is; however, I do love a vampire with a bit of humanity.

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  20. That Krasue sounds terrifying! Shudder!

    Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption
    Minion, Capt. Alex's Ninja Minion Army
    The 2014 Blogging from A-Z Challenge

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    1. Yep, imagine turning into a dark alley and seeing that in front of you! :)

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  21. I have a copy of Kindred on DVD but never watched it. I was not ever heavy into the White Wolf game, but I did enjoy it.

    --
    Timothy S. Brannan
    The Other Side, April Blog Challenge: The A to Z of Witches

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    1. I really enjoyed the Kindred TV show, I think it was a shame they only had so few eps. I've never played the game except at some Free Form Christmas parties, but I had several friends who were really into it. One could never understand how my sister and I could write vampires that didn't fit the rules :)

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  22. I prefer characters who are aware and honest about themselves so even if a vampire character ultimately behaves mercifully I prefer them to first admit to themselves that they have the instinct to kill. That it would be easier for them to kill. That a part of them WANTS to kill. Then they can decide to embrace or override that desire depending on who they are and what other desires might be stronger.

    Thanks for the list by the way. I don't have a theme for A-Z this year (unless my theme is anarchy because I don't have a theme. In which case I do have a theme so it can't be anarchy. In which case . . .) but I am a fantasy writer so I love to read about the supernatural.

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    1. Anarchy could count as a theme :) Glad to help with the list. It happened purely buy accident when some of us bumped into each other on theme reveal day :).

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  23. Absolutely adore Lanthe and Alex. Enjoying the posts and the stories.

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  24. Nail brings to my mind Neferet from the House of Night series. She has perfectly manicured long nails.

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    1. I've never managed that ever, I wonder how a vampire does it :)

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