Whatever form they held in life, when a Vampire is Born to Darkness (as they themselves refer to their transformation) their bodies are completely transformed. Wiped away are any vestiges of their old selves - the old colored or tattooed skin crumbles into dust, revealing a pale, cold flesh that is as hard as granite. Vampires still retain the semblance of gender (though useless, since their soulless dead flesh can neither sire nor bear children), appearing as hauntingly beautiful, nearly perfect physical forms. Their pale skin, red glowing eyes, and bestial, bat-like ears offer visible testimony to their dark allegiance. Vampires most closely resemble Shades, though next to a Vampire's imposing form any Shade looks clumsy and half-finished, like an ill-wrought sculpture.
For thousands of years legends have sprung up around Vampires, wild tales that have attributed all manner of powers and weaknesses to them. Some say that any who drink the cold blood of a Vampire will become a Vampire themselves, while others claim that vampire blood degenerates any who drink it into hideous, feral beasts. Vampires, some say, can be held at bay by mirrors, burned by silver, or driven mad by spilling a handful of salt upon the ground! The Vampires of legend were burned by sunlight, though since the Turning none of them seem to mind the light of day. Now that so many Vampires walk the lands of Aerynth, many of these legendary powers and vulnerabilities have finally been proven false, or seem only to apply to a few Vampires. Though still mysterious, Sages and Wizards have been able to establish some vampiric powers with certainty.
The uncanny power of the Void infuses the dead flesh of all Vampires, making them uncannily quick, brutally strong, and unnaturally resilient. It is as if death and rebirth have swept away all the limitations of their old bodies, and even their minds are quick and keen, unconstrained by a lifetime of experience or emotion. Their soul, however, is lost to them, and Vampires lack great spiritual aptitude, though their wills remain strong and cold as adamant. Though their wills still animate their bodies in a mocking semblance of life, Vampires are wholly dead beings: they do not breathe, or eat, or sleep. Vampires are also incredibly difficult to kill, their marble-hard flesh deflecting blows that would eviscerate lesser beings. It is as if Death itself, already owning their souls, refuses to claim them again. This unholy Fortitude is not without limits: indeed, Vampires are still vulnerable to lesser hurts, and are especially vulnerable to fire and holy energies.
For all their mighty powers, the Vampires also bear a dreadful curse: their undead dead flesh also has no power to heal or sustain itself, and indeed without the infusion of new essence, a Vampire's powerful body would putrefy into a heap of foulness, or wither away into dust. Their unholy natures render Vampires almost immune to the healing magics of the Gods of Law and Light, leaving the Nightborn with only one means of sustaining themselves: leeching the life essence from others by drinking fresh blood. Vampires live in a constant awareness of the Thirst, craving the blood that is all that stands between them and true death.