Requested by: livejournal user ysabetwordsmith.
I'm not yet certain if this is the true origin of the vampires in the Donor House collection, but even if it isn't I think this is an interesting possibility.
Written by Issac, in September 2007
During the time I have been a vampire, which is longer than I ever expected, I have heard many stories of the origin of my species. It was something no vampire knew, or at least we thought it was, and there were a lot who didn't really care where we came from. I was never like that, even as a young vampire. My creator didn't like it, but that didn't stop me because I wanted to understand why I had become a vampire. Back then we didn't even know that our saliva could be addictive to humans.
Many years after I was changed I met a vampire called Nafretiri. I have no way of knowing if the story she told me is true or not, but I believed her. There was something about her that made it very obvious that she had gone through something very difficult, even more difficult than the beginning of most vampire's lives, and I think this is a very elaborate story to make up. Of course it may just be because I wanted to believe her that I feel this way.
Narfretiri was a slave girl in Egypt. Her mother was one of the Pharoah's slaves and had been born a slave in the same way that Narfretiri had. As the third daughter of her mother, born three years before the third son of the Pharoah, she became one of the third son's slaves. The Pharoah at the time was Khafra, which means, if the story is true, that Nafretiri was born around 2553 BC but she didn't know for sure what year it was.
Her story starts in around 2539, when the third son became ill and a doctor was called. In those days healing was a mix of basic techniques, such as bonesetting, and mysticism. The doctor didn't seem to know exactly what was wrong with the boy, but he prescribed a new form of medicine for him – blood medicine. Narfretiri told me then that it was possible that the doctor was experimenting on the Pharoah's son, in the same way that, she later found out, he had done on other ill children, to see what would happen.
Every day began with a prayer, in which they asked the Gods to help the Pharoah's son to get better. The son drank animal blood once a day at the beginning of the treatment, which was increased to twice and then three times. Once he was drinking blood three times a day he no longer felt hungry for food because he was getting all his sustenance from the blood.
Now, it's not unusual for people to occasionally eat blood, black pudding being one example, so I think it's important for me to point out the Pharaoh's son's reaction was not normal. No human will become a vampire simply because they eat black pudding. There may be a genetic reason why the son was so affected by the blood, it's even possible he got ill because he needed to drink blood, but there was no way for anyone to have known back then what was going to happen.
The slaves began to notice the son changing. Narfretiri said that he began to taste the difference between the bloods he was drinking, he could see better in the dark than he ever had before and the sun could be painful because his sight was better. He said he could smell the slaves in the room, that some smelt better than others, and finally he asked one of the slaves if he could try their blood. Maybe if they'd known what was going to happen then things would be different now, vampires might not exist, but they didn't know.
When the first slave gave the Pharoah's son blood it was put into a goblet and the son drank from that rather than from the person. Every slave in the room gave him blood at least one that way. Then the doctor found out what was happening. Narfretiri thinks it must have been just over a year since the treatment first started. The doctor sounded unhappy about what was happening, but she believes that she saw a glint of pride in his eyes, and told the Pharoah to stop the treatment right away because it seemed like his son was becoming addicted to drinking blood.
The Pharoah did as the doctor said. It didn't stop the son. He owned twelve slaves, all of whom did his bidding, so each of the twelve gave him blood, including Narfretiri. Instead of using a goblet he would cut their wrists with a small knife and drink from there instead. That was when they noticed the biggest change in him. His saliva made them all feel different. Some become langorous and didn't want to do anything for a short time after they'd been fed from. Others found themselves feeling more energised. The cuts healed within a few hours of them being made.
Eventually the Pharoah's son started picking certain slaves more often than others. Narfretiri was one of them. At least once a week, more often twice, she would be called upon to give him blood. She told me that they didn't know the effect that taking blood too often could have, so they didn't notice that it wasn't having an effect at all. It wasn't for a very long time that she began to understand exactly how much the son had changed during the time he was drinking blood.
One day the Pharoah walked in on the son feeding from a slave. Immediately the doctor was called because the Pharoah wanted an explanation. The doctor checked the son over, said he was healthy, and couldn't explain what had happened. It wasn't the normal reaction that people had to blood medicine. Narfretiri could see that glint of pride in his eyes again and she was sure he knew why the son was changing. She couldn't say anything because she had no proof.
The Pharoah and the doctor talked about what they could do. The doctor said that the son should be weaned off blood, which would mean taking the slaves away from him until the day came when he didn't feel the need to drink any more. It was then that the son spoke up. He told them that the blood had changed him, he had become a new type of human, and he believed that if they stopped him from drinking blood then he'd become ill again. He thought that it was possible he'd become ill because he had been born with different needs to everyone. It was an eloquent speech.
Narfretiri was one of the slaves, because she was a favourite of the son, who was asked whether she thought that the son was correct in his assessment. She told me that she could remember the exact words she said because she spent years wondering whether it was those words that had made the Pharoah make the decision he had. It had been difficult to find the right words to use, to explain exactly how the son had changed and what it made her feel. Four other slaves were also asked about it, so it could have been their words.
After those conversations the Pharaoh decided it would be best if his son continued drinking blood. Five slaves would also begin drinking blood, to see if the effect was a one-off or whether it could happen to others. Narfertiri was one of those slaves, because she had been one of the son's favourites, and it was strange going from one to the other. She didn't really want to drink blood, in case the son's reaction hadn't been a one-off. The Pharaoh had a selection of his personal slaves give them blood because he thought that drinking human blood would make the change faster if it happened at all. He also got three of his personal slaves, thankfully not her mother, to drink blood in order to see if being fed from made a difference.
All of the slaves who had been drunk from by the Pharaoh's son soon, much sooner than the son had, started to feel those same changes that he had. Narfretiri could taste the difference between the bloods she was drinking first. That was followed by an increased ability to see in the dark and she found it hard to go out in sunlight because it hurt her eyes. If those changes hadn't been because she was drinking blood she might have enjoyed them.
One of the Pharoah's personal slaves saw a change too, which was unexpected. It was minor compared to the changes that the son's slaves were seeing, but it made Narfretiri wonder if the son had been correct when he said that he'd become ill because he should have been drinking blood rather than eating food.
The day came when the Pharoah ordered them all, including his son, to stop drinking blood. He planned for them to go back to normal, but it didn't. Instead his son and all the slaves, apart from the Pharoah's personal slave, started to feel... ill wasn't the right description to use because it felt like everything was stopping inside. Narfretiri tried to eat normal food in order to make herself feel better, but that didn't work. It made her feel worse instead. Out of all of them the son was the most ill, which was understandable because he'd been drinking blood for the longest and he was the one who had seen the most changes.
When the doctor arrived Narfretiri was sure she could still see a glint of pride in his eyes. He told the pharoah that there was nothing that could be done for his son or for the slaves. It seemed as though the blood had changed them in a way that it was impossible to predict. The only thing the doctor could suggest was allowing them all to drink blood once more. By then it was too late for the pharoah's son. Three days and nights later he died.
Three days and nights later all the slaves who had become like the pharoah's son were thrown out. None of them knew what to do. All five had survived the time when they couldn't eat blood. To begin with they stayed together, but none of them had actually known the others and they soon realised that they were never going to get on. They all had different ideas of how they should cope with what had happened to them. One thing they did agree on was that feeding at night would be a lot easier than feeding during the day.
At that time they all thought they needed to drink blood every day and it was that belief that caused the major split. Narfretiri was the only one who thought that drinking animal blood was fine. The other four thought that they would die if they drank animal blood, even though it was animal blood that had started the Pharoah's son's change. In the end she went her own way and left them to do whatever they felt was best, but she kept an eye on them. Slowly each of them also did the same thing she did because they wanted to do their own thing.
One of them found the doctor who had caused the change in the first place and drained him. A couple decided to see if they could also change others in the same way that they had been changed. Narfretiri didn't understand why they would choose to afflict the need to drink blood on others. It worked on most people but some seemed immune. They seemed lucky to her because she wished she could have been immune.
At that time none of them realised then that becoming blood drinkers had lengthened their lives. It wasn't until Narfretiri realised that she had lived through the lives of two pharoahs that she thought something else might have changed about her. That was when she went to find her fellow slaves, because she thought they needed to talk about what had happened and what they were going to do about it.
Rasui was the first Narfretiri found. By that point he'd created three others, and each of those three had created another two each. It felt wrong that he was doing that but Narfretiri said nothing about it. Instead they talked about the changes they had noticed happening through the years. Both had sharper canines, which made feeding easier, and Rasui had realised that he had lived much longer than he should have done. Together they went on to find Sheriti. She had also created others, her canines had become sharper and she'd realised that her life was longer. They talked for a short time about how long they thought they might live for and what that would mean for the world. With Sheriti they found Akhom and Nomti. Again they talked about what had happened to them and what it meant.
That conversation had been a long one, but they once again ended up going their own ways because they couldn't agree with each other. Narfretiri thought that changing people to become like them was wrong and the other four hadn't; she also thought that feeding from humans was wrong while the other four felt that the change had made them into something better than a human; and it had been her beliefs, her inability to embrace what had happened to them, that had ended the conversation.
When we talked about it Narfretiri was glad that she had gone her own way and hadn't turned her back on her morals. In all the years she had been a blood drinker, vampire wasn't a name she much liked, she had never changed someone and she hadn't drunk from a human since she had been thrown out of the Pharoah's palace. She was tired though. Her life had been long and lonely. All she'd wanted to do was pass her story on to someone before she went to see if there was an afterlife for vampires.
There is some proof that Narfretiri's story might be true. The Pharoah's son, whose name she never mentioned, has never been mentioned in any history book, but that isn't unexpected. His name was probably wiped from everything after he died so that no one knew of the existence of blood drinkers or because the Pharoah felt guilty for causing his own son's death. It's possible he never existed. The slaves that Narfretiri mentioned were vampires though. We've been trying to create a vampire family tree, which isn't easy, and it seems as though all vampires came from one of four main lines. One of my vampire friends actually met Rasui a long time ago, although his name wasn't Rasui at the time, so maybe the story I have written here is the true origin of the vampire.
Originally posted at dreamwidth.org as kajones_writing.