Reborn To Darkness

The Embrace is horrifying in its simplicity. The act that dooms the childe to immortality and damnation is not immediately painful. In fact, the act itself is extremely pleasurable. First, the sire must bring her childe to within a whisper of death. Once the victim is hovering above the abyss, the Cainite must feed the childe some of her blood. Some sires slash their wrists, letting the blood flow into their childe's mouth in a torrent, others bite their own tongues and physically kiss their childer, letting their blood mix together in unholy union. The quantity is not important. A single drop of cursed blood is all that is needed, and the change begins to take hold immediately once that blood slips into the childe's mouth.

All sound bleeds away as the childe's body dies, leaving a silence so suffocating that it eventually drowns out the sound of his own dying heart. Then, when his heart beats for the final, terrible time, darkness washes over the childe and the world literally sinks beneath the darkness. Yet, the childe is not alone. Shapes emerge surrounding him. For some, these shapes are their fading memories. Others see loved ones saying good-bye, and a few even see angels casting them from the light of Heaven, or Hell. Whatever the image is, it will haunt the childe for the rest of his unlife - a constant reminder of all he has lost.

As the sire's blood insinuates itself into the childe's every fiber, a burning takes hold in the pit of his stomach. This fiery pain that shatters the childe's bloodless haze and rips him back from the Elysian Fields. The burning sensation becomes stronger and stronger until whatever peace the childe had resigned hiself to shatters. The childe becomes aware of her stiffening body, which has grown cold, heavy as marble and utterly alien. Most terrifying of all is the sensation of her soul becoming trapped in her dying body. The process corrupts the soul, tainting it and allowing the Beast to take hold. Then, as the course of the Embrace nears its frightful conclusion, the childe screams a silent scream, unable to draw air into his dead lungs and his eyes thrust open in desperation. The faint light of the night assails him, and he becomes aware of a ceaseless hunger, a desperate thirst for blood that will be with him forever.

With a mindless ferocity, the newly sired vampire sets upon whatever he can feed on. Usually it is the wrist of his sire, greedily drinking back his stolen blood, but it could be a hapless victim his sire prepared or even some unfortunate rodents. Lost to his hunger, the childe feeds like a starved animal, his Beast in total control. The childe's hunger recedes once he is gorged on blood, but the pain lingers for hours as his body goes through the process of dying and purges itself of needless waste. Large organs shrivel into reddish black lumps, while the smaller ones are transubstantiated into blood. The childe then vomits up the other useless humors in painful heaves of phlegm and black and yellow bile, leaving a metallic taste in his mouth.

When the red haze of the hunger falls away and the childe's body goes through its last death throes, the childe emerges as a vampire - no longer human but a descendant of Caine, sentenced forever to the night. Old wounds and scars seem to vanish as the childe's skin whitens to an unnatural pallor that gives the childe a decidedly stark beauty. Even those who were homely in life seem to acquire a newfound allure in death. However, this beauty is not purely physical. The childe's eyes shine with raw passion, both predatory and alluring, standing in marked contrast to his marble-like skin. The childe's hair, fragile and delicate, falls like whips of fine gossamer thread, framing his immortality. His nails harden, becoming crystalline and sharp, while his hums recede, revealing sharpened fangs, both fine and terrifying.

The childe is also changed in other, less perceptible ways. Gazing out into the night, he becomes aware of how shadows shimmer and seem to bubble, each a bottomless abyss where other horrors lurk. The wind whispers and taunts the childe like the wail of banshees lamenting her change. The childe can see death everywhere. Mortals appear, not solid and substantial, but shimmering, their fragile lives short and bitter. Plants and flowers appear near muted in the night, their lavish colors reduced to shades of greys and browns. And yet, the childe remembers. He remembers the joy of the sun and the cheer of family and friends. As these memories come, the weight of his curse bears down on him. In a cruel dichotomy, the childe is constantly reminded of what he's lost although he is now dead - a corpse reanimated. The Curse of Caine opens his eyes to the real beauty of the world but also banishes him from it.