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Friday, 25 April 2014

AtoZ Day 22: V is for Vendetta, Vyrkolakas, Vamp

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Vendetta

noun a blood feud in which the family of a murdered person seeks vengeance on the murderer or the murderer's family.

Blood feuds are something vampires really should know a lot about considering how important blood is to them. In fiction the blood feuds tend to be between hunters and vampires, both sides having lost members to the other.

In reality it is likely vampires have been used more than once in vendettas between rival families, either as an excuse for the deaths or as a reason to attack. In the past politics often used the supernatural in its machinations, just look at the Salem witch trials; no vampires there, but there is likelihood many of the accusations were to do with land rights.

The film Van Helsing is a turn your brain off movie, but there is a definite blood feud running all the way through it.

What is your favourite vampire movie/book/TV show with a vendetta in it?

Creature Feature:

Vrykolakas


As the spelling might suggest, this vampire is from Greece. I didn't realise Greece had such a varied folklore about vampires, but it seems it does and this is one of them.

According to Lyn Gibson these are not pretty vampires. Before they feed they looked completely drained of blood and after they feed they look bloated and nasty.

These creatures come about when someone dies who is excomunicated or scariligeous or someone who eats the meat from a sheep injured by a wolf or a werewolf. Some legends also say a werewolf would become one of these vampires when they died. (Wikipedia)

According to Enchanting Gardens this vampire is not always a killer and sometimes just causes trouble. However, the way to kill it is to chop off its head or impale it on a spike.

Movie Recommendation:

Title: Vamp
Rating: 18
Summary: Keith and AJ are on a mission to find a stripper so they can get into a fraternity on campus. After a run in with a biker gang, they end up at The After Dark Club. Only problem is the strippers are vampires and they eat the clientèle and they've taken over the whole neighbourhood.
Why you should watch it: Grace Jones is the head vampire and she is the weirdest stripper I have ever seen. She also barely says a word and still captures the screen. It's a fun 80s vampire movie with humour and a little bit of excitement and it's a romp. Keith and AJ are played beautifully as slightly arrogant 80s boys and nothing takes itself too seriously.

Truth 
(#22 in The Diverse Life of Ianthe Jawara, Vampire)
by Natasha Duncan-Drake


Every lock in the house had been changed and yet Ianthe knew she would not feel safe until the priest was dead or locked up. Even Alex did not look relaxed and she'd never seen him agitated for more than a few seconds before. They had returned home to talk tactics, but they hadn't got far.

"What aren't you telling me?" she asked as she petted Lilith's head and tried to distract herself from her darker thoughts.

"Nothing you need to know," Alex replied.

"Bollocks."

Alex looked at her then; he disapproved of foul language. However, he didn't just leave, which also said a lot about their current situation. They were in the library and this was probably the longest they had spent in each other's company alone since Alex had given up trying to turn Ianthe into a proper vampire.

"Alex," she said, because frankness was about all they had left; "I need to know anything you do. It's me he's coming for."

"No, it's me," Alex replied, "he just thinks he can make me suffer by destroying you first."

Ianthe almost laughed, because the opposite was probably true. If someone else disposed of her Alex's life would be far easier, so she said so.

The look that Alex levelled on her was as devoid of emotion as ever.

"You really believe that?" he asked eventually.

"Well it's true, isn't it?" she replied. "I embarrass you just by existing."

"I understand most children embarrass their parents," Alex said; "it is part of the job description."

"Not the same thing."

Alex raised an eyebrow at that.

"It is exactly the same thing," he told her. "Yes your creation was a mistake, but I believe nothing ever happens by pure chance. Our personalities appear to be fundamentally incompatible, but that does not stop you being my child. I will care for you whether you like it or not and it would pain me should anything happen to you."

The way her stomach twisted gave her an indication of how much of a shock that was to her system. Nothing had prepared her for Alex to say that. She despised him for what he had done to her, but it seemed the feeling was not mutual.

"Then why is he coming after you?" she asked, because she needed time to process anything she might be feeling.

"He was my lover."

That news propelled Ianthe to her feet and she walked over to where her maker was standing.

"He was what?"

"My lover," Alex repeated.

"But he's a priest," Ianthe protested.

That made Alex smile a little and she realised she was thinking down very conventional lines.

"He is currently eighty four years old."

Ianthe blinked.

"You did something to him," she said; "there was no way the man I met and whose eyes I saw through was over fifty."

"He was twenty eight years old when I met him," Alex said, turning to look at one of the bookcases, his eyes just dancing from one book to the next. "I fell in love almost immediately and he with me. He just seemed to forget about his church. When I told him what I was he came away with me."

There was a wistful note to her maker's voice that made Ianthe actually feel for him for once.

"We were together a year when I suggested he become one of us."

That sounded about right from what Ianthe knew about vampire initiation. A prospective vampire was introduced to certain parts of vampire society for between one and three years, but without the real secrets being revealed, before being offered the change.

"He said no?" she asked because Alex seemed to have become lost in his memories.

"He said yes," was the surprising reply.

"So why ..?"

"I initiated the first stage," he replied before she could finish asking; "the blood bond. I took blood from his neck, above his heart and his inside leg and allowed my power to flow into him. I placed a drop of my blood in each of his wounds."

Ianthe knew about this. It wasn't necessary to create a vampire, but it was supposed to make the transition easier. A victim had to be brought to the very edge of death and actually drink their maker's blood for the conversion to take place. That was what had happened accidentally to Ianthe when Alex had been shot by hunters after he drank from her.

"But something went wrong," Ianthe guessed.

Alex nodded.

"The connection broke his mind. He became convinced I was a demon sent to test him and only his faith could save him. I tried to help him, but he would not allow me close. Then he escaped. He returned to his church and they placed him in a mental facility because of his ravings. He was there for five years before he escaped their control as well. He came for me, but even with the longevity the first part of the ritual gave him, he was no match for one of us. I had him taken back to his hospital. He found a way out yet again more than half a century ago, but I thought him long gone."

"And you've known it was him all this time?"

"Since the ritual."

"A priest has a vendetta against you and you didn't think I needed to know?"

"It doesn't change anything."

"He isn't completely human anymore," she pointed out. "No wonder he knows how to hide."

"He is insane."

"And you still love him."

The revelation just fell from her lips as it popped into her head.

"Bloody hell, now, of all times, you actually have human emotions," she said as Alex refused to look at her.

It was an insight behind the mask that Alex showed the entire world and it made her reconsider so many things. She also suspected Mila was aware of these facts and the significant looks Mila had been sending Alex the previous night made perfect sense.

"When I find him I won't kill him," she said after a very long pause.

"You have the right," Alex said, trying to come over all authoritative, but there was still a frown between his perfect eyebrows.

"He's after me," she replied, "no matter if it's to get to you and I know what my rights are. I'm going after him and I'm going to stop him, but then I will bring him to you."

"He is dangerous."

"So am I," she replied and bared her fangs, letting her vampire nature out full force. "For once I am going to be the vampire you want me to be."

With that she turned and walked out, Lilith trotting along behind her.

~~*~~
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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31 comments:

  1. The Vrykolakas sounds quite unpleasant. Definitely no romanticizing vampirism there. And the poor werewolves sound like they get the short end of the stick having to go through life as a werewolf, only to die and become *that*.

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  2. Blade II, I suppose, could be considered to have a blood feud in it, since it is vampires against vampires and there's certainly a vendetta going on there - unleashed by internal machinations.
    Sophie
    Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles - A to Z Ghosts
    Fantasy Boys XXX - A to Z Drabblerotic

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think all the Blades have a blood feud of some description :), but that one in particular.

      Delete
  3. My favorite book with a vendetta is a series by Feehan, called the Dark Series.

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  4. Hmm, I'm guessing the Vrykolakas doesn't sparkle. :)

    I find the politics and the personal issues layered throughout the Salem Witch Trials to be fascinating…and terrifying.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm thinking, probably not ;)
      Yes, the fact that people were called out as witches when they clearly weren't and no one did anything about it.

      Delete
  5. V for Vendetta is a graphic novel and a cool one!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's also a very good film, which I assume is based on the graphic novel.

      Delete
  6. Vampires carry out the best vendettas. ;) Just like Sophie I was going to mention Blade II.

    Vrykolakas do sound disgusting. I'm glad I haven't come across them in books or movies.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Blade was definitely a good franchise for vendettas :)
      They don't sound very pleasant do they.

      Delete
  7. The Vrykolakas really don't sound very pleasant.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nope, not at all ... rather nasty creatures by all accounts.

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  8. Vendettas ... no, can't think of anything at the moment. But I'm enjoying the lessons on Vampire Lore though, highly interesting, especially for those that are writing in that genre.
    See, I knew Alex had one or two redeeming features. A struggling parent and a broken heart. Life sucks. ;)

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    Replies
    1. Alex isn't quite the hard nosed bastard he pretends to be, but he does have little respect for human life. :)

      Delete
  9. Goodness, you've taken a couple twists I TOTALLY didn't expect. Very cool. Looking forward to the conclusion.

    True Heroes from A to Z

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  10. Another twist and turns in the story that surprised me, but not disappointed at all. It appears that beheading is one of the effective methods to use when killing vampires.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you.
      It does seem to be a technique many legends use ... although in some cases I believe you have to make sure the head doesn't reattach itself.

      Delete
  11. Underworld is the only movie that pops to mind. I think that would fit the definition of vendetta.

    ~Patricia Lynne~
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, YA Author

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    Replies
    1. Yep, you're right there, definitely a blood feud. :)

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  12. Very cool choices! It has been forever since I have seen Vamp.

    I first heard about Vrykolakas in college. I was in heaven with the unlimited access to our university library and I spent a lot of time researching all sorts of non-school related topics. ;)

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

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vamp is just such fun :).
      Sounds like just the use for a library.

      Delete
  13. Van Helsing is definitely a guilty pleasure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's such fun, but doesn't actually make a whole lot of sense :)

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  14. How many strippers have you seen? I ask because a friend of mine is interested in seeing one...yeah, a friend.

    I tend to think of Nightwatch/Daywatch, while not vampires (though there are vampires in the movies), it is a good indication of a blood feud.

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    Replies
    1. I have seen lots of strippers on TV :)
      I can't remember much about Nightwatch except it wasn't really my type of film. I shall take your word for the vendetta :).

      Delete
  15. Hrm you know I can't think of any where that was the main plot (reading-wise) that I've read recently though I do enjoy the underlying ones that play a smaller role. I love the history of it and how things can build up and go on for so many centuries with them. Can be so fascinating.

    Happy A to Z-ing!
    ~Anna
    herding cats & burning soup.

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    Replies
    1. They do make good background, don't they.

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  16. Oh I want to see lanthe kick some ass!

    ReplyDelete

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