Interview with a Vampire: Mir talks to Gweem Engel

by Alphaville Herald on 28/11/04 at 5:42 pm

Yesterday we republished Miravoir Psaltry?s article from Players on Second Life vampires. Today we give you her raw interview with vampire Gweem Engel.


Gweem stalks a blood doll while a friend hangs out.

Mir: First tell me how you came to be a vampire.

There are two stories here. The factual, and the fictional. One is just as interesting as the next. Both are fairly lengthy. Actually, I suppose I’ll answer all of the following questions with both in-character and out of character answers. In Character and Out of Character.

Out of Character:
For the real world…
I’ve always been a gamer of sorts. As a child I was fond of make-believe and running around with wooden swords. As I grew up I became a roleplayer. Being the bible belt kid that I was, I shunned the Satanic likes of Dungeon and Dragons, as well as all things Vampire. I had to do God’s work after all.
Eventually, as tend to happen, I grew older and my mind unnarrowed a bit. A group of friends brought me to a local convention in my college town, and I saw a thing called a LARP. (Live Action Roleplaying, for the uninitiated of us) I was a drama nerd, so the idea of gaming with such a large group of people (it was only around 40-50, gigantic for me at the time) was an opportunity I didn’t want to pass up. So, I threw a suit on, pretended to be undead and it’s gone a bit downhill since then.

Since that night 6 years ago, I’ve become a LARPer and supporter of most things Vampire. I’ve operated several Convention LARPs and ran a two year long Chronicle. I know way too much about this stuff.

Now, for the fun answer?
My embrace, eh? Well, I suppose there is some sort of story there. For those of you with your degree in Lick Societies, I’m a shovelhead. “Whats a shovelhead?” You say… Well, it’s fairly simple. Out there in society you have your goody goody licks that like to play it nice and pretend we don’t exist. These elders make use of a lot of doubletalk and deception to keep we pale types out of the light of day.

Hell, I’m betting that they’ll be awful pissed at me when they find out I decided to sit down for this little interview. Oh, first person to crack some joke involving both the words vampire and interview is going to get a spiky boot up their ass.
Heh, sorry about that. I’m getting over a bit of homophobia, and theres one particular set of books and one particular author that I can’t stand. She’s made us look like a bunch of poo-stabbing nancies. Not that I have anything against such types I mean, hell, I drink blood for a living. Hrm, great, now I get to sound like a big homophobe to the entire world. Wondeful. I’m not, I’m just a dick, is all.

I’m getting off topic. My embrace…
I was walking home from a friends birthday party. The year doesn’t really matter. Suffice it to say it was a long time ago for some, and a moment ago for others. Anyways, walking along, minding my own business then CLANG! I’m out like a light. I’d been drinking a bit, it was a birthday party after all, so I don’t think I even bothered to think “Shit” on the way down.

Waking up, that was the fun part. It felt like I was at the bottom of a dogpile. There was a lot of weight all over me, and I was cold. I started to think about the cold. That wasn’t a good idea at all. My limbs were freezing, I couldn’t move my chest. I panicked. I started thrashing around, I felt the world move around me. It felt lke I’d swallowed a mouth full of pennies. I tried to spit, but I couldn’t spit anything out. My mouth was super dry.

As I fought against the dirt. Dirt, yes, by that time I think I had figured out that I was buried alive. Well, buried dead at least. My arms and legs fought against my earthen tomb. A million years later, my hands broke the surface and I pulled my way out. I wasn’t the first to make it out, though. I found out later that I was embraced with 44 other people. Only 17 of us made it out of the ground. The rest just stayed there, and went insane under the dirt.

When I broke the surface, a clawed hand grabbed mine and lifted me to my feet. Later, I would call this man friend, later than that I would call him Ductus, later still I would kill him for betraying the sect, but at the time he was the biggest, scariest, most monstrous thing I’d ever seen. He was every bit your story book Nosferatu. Big goofy head, big ratty teeth. Scary looking bastard. He stared at me for a moment, sizing me up, then he said “Welcome to the Family, brother.”

That night I became a vampire. A ‘V’, A Lick, a Leech, a Bloodsucking monster. God, I was going to have a hell of a time, and for the most part, I did.

Mir: What do you think attracts people to the vampire legend?

Different things for different people. For the ugly, vampires are beauty. For the weak, we’re a gateway to power. For those that have power and beauty before the embrace… It’s a chance to shine as a beautiful monster. We’re sex, we’re the act of violation. We’re rockstar gods.

Well, for some of us. For others it’s the same as being the quiet kid, or fat kid in highschool. The Vampire life is a shot at immortality, it’s a shot at something bigger than yourself. Some people want to be vampires because its a somewhat exclusive club. While others want to be vampires because it gives them an excuse to indulge in their basest desires.

Mir: Why would someone want to be a vampire victim?

Yes, Blood dolls. It’s an interesting concept. The kiss (biting into someone, and feeding) packs a hell of an emotional/erotic punch. For a mortal it feels like a sustained orgasm, pumped up to a power of 10 or so. Most are deluded enough to think that their regnant actually cares about them, which I suppose can happen from time to time. For the most part, a blood doll is seen like a prized calf, or a shiny new car. While it’s pretty, or useful, it will be showered with affection, esteem, and gifts. When it starts to get old, or the blood doll just isn’t keeping the lick interested, then the ‘relationship’ can go south pretty quick. I mean, it really sucks when your favorite car decides to put a stick in your chest just because she thought you were looking at another juice box.

Being a blood doll has its perks. For some, they can secure some of the blood of the vampire. This can help them avoid the aging process temporarily, or make them a little more physically robust. That is, if the vampire decides to share it’s blood. One situation is as common as the next, whatever the vampire decides.

My suggestion for picking a regnant? Find someone you wouldn’t mind being your boyfriend/father/priest/judge and babysitter. Be ready to get super attached to them, and to have them either dote upon you or ignore you completely.

A tip for the vampire thats shopping for a thrall:
People that seek us out are prone to having emotional problems. Hell, most vampires I know have extreme emotional problems. Don’t be afraid to kill them if you have to. For those of you attached to your humanity I know that sounds really bad. I’m the practical sense, though, it’s the best idea. Close thralls usually have the keys to the house and know where your body is during the daytime. If the relationship is going south you do not want to be the last one to know.

Mir: Why would someone want to be a vampire

Phenomenal temporal power. The ability to make humans bow to your will. Immortality. Beauty. All of these things are desirable by themselves. Throw them all together in a bag labeled ‘vampire’ and your good to go. You’ve got a hell of a package with only a few drawbacks.

Mir: Do vampires crave that sense of control like those who are into D/s?

The lifestyle attracts a certain group of people. Especially those who are actively ‘vampiric.’ Truth be told, vampires come from all walks of life. Everyone from Navy SEALs to Accountans have and can be Vampires. All it takes is a vampire who is willing to turn them, or a messy eater.

Being a vampire does change you a bit though. You start to loose touch with humanity the very first time you feed. It’s unfortunate, but growing accustomed to your bloodlust is something that happens to us all, given time. The sooner a vampire accepts his beastial nature, the sooner he’ll start being a monster.
This can mean lots of things. First of all, if your prone to being authoritarian the beast could turn a normally pushy person into a full on Domitor. Someone that pushes and only wishes to control. This want for power, a thing that fuels many vampires, can cause them to behave in a more assertive manner, or even result in outright violence.

On the social side of this, it’s important to know that a great deal many Blood Dolls and playthings have been embraced over the years. The conditioning placed on to them by their regnants/sires can be enough to place them in a permanently submissive mindset.

Mir: How heavily involved are you as a vampire in SL? Is it more a fashion thing, or is this a continual role for you?

Gweem (out of character):
It’s something I turn on and off. When I’m in the mood to play, I’ll slip into character and enjoy a bit of angst. This place is perfect for a bit of vampiric melodrama. The people in the vampire scene are fun to hang out with, and I’ve met quite a few good people through it.

The ‘vampires’ in SL run a wide range of people. There are people who just like the style and the clothes. There are people who have real life vampiric tastes (i.e. blood fetishists and such). There are those that like the vampire culture and play vampires. Then there are the ones like me, Gamers. I’ve played Role Playing Games for a long time, and I’ve done a lot of stuff having to do with vampire. I’m glad that so many people like the vampire setup, although I would like meeting more people that know the same world setting that I do.

Mir: How many vampires do you suppose are in SL?

Lots, I’m certain. The good part about playing or Av’ing up as a vampire is that it’s only a little costume change. All you need is a set of teeth, and your good to go.

Mir: What do you look for in human prey

I’m not really one of those ‘chat up your meal’ kinda guys. I’m in, I’m out. It’s done. If I’m having a good night, they’ll wake up and feel a bit light headed for a couple days. Some nights, I may wind up draining a score or so. Although, since I’ve moved out of the heavily contested areas I haven’t drained anyone dry. Actually, It’s been pretty light since moving to SL. I’m a vampire, and fairly comfortable with that. Some nights, I have to live and someone else has to die. I try to keep this rare, makes it hard to keep friends, but accidents do happen.

Mir: Do you require your prey to turn?

No, if I feed off of you I’m not looking for a relationship. I’m just looking for something to sustain me. If theres a war on, I may decide and bring you over, for the good of the cause. Else, I’ll most likely leave you wondering what exactly happened.

Mir: What do you feel are the typical characteristics of a vampire

Physical characteristics? Pale, room temperature, terrible breath.
The modern vampires seem to be fairly gothic, but there are non-gothic vampires among their ranks. I’ve known a good deal of vampires that could easily be mistaken for kine.

Emotionally, vampires aren’t the best things to be friends with. We’re all hopelessly self absorbed. Most will deny it, but in order for us to exist we have to take care of ourselves first. Most licks will sap the emotional energy from those around them just as easily as they would drain the blood from a victim.

Mir: Would you say that the vampire roleplay is mostly a sexual thing?

Gweem (out of character):
For most people, most likely. The age that spawned the present day notion of the vampire was full of hidden debauchery.

For me, it’s roleplaying. I have a character that has a little bit of a backstory, and I sometimes interact on a roleplaying level. It’s great to interact with people from all these different walks of life. I can feel the sex in the air around these vampire places. The pose objects and balls will tell you the story of all the sex. Vampires were built from sex.

I mean, have you seen some of these Avatars? All exceptionally beautiful, except for the ones that want to be horrific, and then those are exceptionally horrific.

Mir: What are some of the challenges you face as a vampire in dealing with others in SL both other vampires and with the mortals?

Gweem (out of character):
Well, I tend to stay ‘out of character’ when roaming around the non-vampire parts of Second Life. If someone wanders into Tv or some other ‘vampire’ area, theres a good chance I’ll interact with them on an In-Character level.

Gweem (in character):
Vampires are creatures of conflict. Well, I suppose everything was made for conflict, but we’re especially ill tempered and prone to having long drawn out feuds. Ancient vampires squabble on a level that isn’t really comprehensible to most of us. That includes me, actually. Well, those are the rumors. Every baby vampire learns the story of the Ancient Vampires that hide in the shadows directing ancient wars that none of us are aware enough to see or understand.

Mir: What do you dislike about some vampires?

Gweem (in character):
Hoo boy. I could fill a couple books with that info. I suppose it all comes down to relationships that were screwed up thousands of years ago. Old fights that exist even in these modern nights. There are clans that have bad images, but I’ve decided that I won’t hate based on stereotypes.
Some licks are super proud of their place on the food chain. This bugs me some times. We’re all below someone. Somewhere theres a person or creature that doesn’t care about you or your politics or your clothes, and if you find yourself between them and a goal… Well, your ash.

Mir: Any final thoughts for the mortals to better understand vampires?

Boys, Girls, Children of all ages, understand that we were all mortal once. We were similar to you. Theres a chance that you could be just like us eventually. We’ve got super powers, cool clothes, and a really good dental plan.

Everyone one of us is an individual. That doesn’t mean we are all unique, far from it, but it does mean that some of us will be just like I’ve described, and others will be nothing like written.

The End.

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