Dhampir: Child of the Blood
Dhampir: Child of the Blood
- by Raven OrthaeVelve
I have to start this off by saying that this is one of the books I recommend to apprentices and fledgelings just starting out in the community or those curious about vampires in general. The author, Viola Johnson is a much revered figure in both leather and vampire communities and one of the first Elders I know to be totally "Out of the Coffin".
The book is a record of communications between her and her apprentice Cub in the days before e-mail and online vampiric resources. Also included are letters to others and journal entries from the author talking bout her struggles with the Hunger and her experiences with other vampires.
There is some controversy surrounding this book and it's possible association with or plagarism of a White Wolf book titled "Revelations of the Dark Mother". This stems from the fact that Johnson mentions many times that ther bloodline is the Clan of Lilith. There are many similarities between the stories in Johnson's book that she lists as traditional to her bloodline and those in the gaming supplement by White Wolf. However, Johnson's book was published in 1996 and the White Wolf book in 1998. They do bear striking similarities, and I truly wonder if quite a bit in the White Wolf book was, to be polite, "inspired" by Johnson's book.
The legends themselves are fascinating reading, especially since we vampires have few legends of out creation to fall back on or discuss. Johnson speaks in these legends of a link between vampires of her Clan and shapeshifters, angels and the children of her student, Cain. Here are those wonder if perhaps the ideas for this cycle of myths came from the publication of the White Wolf "book of Nod" since they were published the same year. I do not know the answer to this and plan to write to the author to find out about this. I will mention that many of the letters and journal entries are dated prior to 1996 and still deal with the Cain and Lilith mythos.
Other sections of "Dhampir" cover the Laws of her clan and the rules of etiquitte taught to fledgelings. The latter are somewhat humorous but still quite appropriate. The former read a bit like the Black Veil but are still quite different, and could easily be used as a code of ethics for those with objections of whatever kind to the Black Veil.
I will admit that I do not agree with the stated opinion that vampires can procreate through the sharing and exchange of blood. Feeding too much on a donor can create a sort of sympathetic hunger in the donor and a strong bloodlink through which emotions and physical sensations (like the Hunger) can be shared. I do not see how we could procreate by sharing blood except perhaps to Awaken the dormant possibility in those with latent vampirism.
I also do not agree with the fact that the author mentions feeding through biting and never speaks of screening her donors. Both are dangerous, though since she is a long standing member of the SM/fetish community I personally will give her the benefit of the doubt. She does mention Cub's reactin to feeding on someone with cancer...instant vomiting. I have had similar reactions, so I winced in sympathy as I read that part.
All in all, this book remains one of my favorite and most recommended to vampires looking for published material on others like them.