While many would say that the Vampires of the Ramanga clan tend to be feral, that isn't truly the case. Ramanga Vampires usually chose to lead a more naturalistic lifestyle; one that keeps them in tune with mother nature. While many Ramanga still practice the ancient healing arts of the land, mixing roots and herbs into powerful unguents and potions, they are more well-known for their sensory affecting abilities and trickster attitudes.
The Ramamga originated in East Africa, but soon spread throughout the continent and even managed to go overseas as well. Ramanga oral tradition has many different stories that tell of everything from the creation of the earth to the tales of the spider kings, but the one story that has always stayed the same throughout this tradition is the story of Mama and how she became the first Ramanga.
Before she became a vampire, Mama was her village's shaman and rootworker. She lived a humble and simple life, working to keep her kinsmen healthy and working with the spirits to bless her people's land. She was a very wise woman, and her words and visions were well heeded by all that came to her for council, even by the great chiefs in her area. One day, as Mama walked through the farmland, talking to the spirits of the soil in order to yield a bountiful harvest, she happened upon a small box with strange and beautiful carvings near the corpse of a white lion that had been killed by the warriors of her village. It was a strange and grave omen indeed. Very worried about what the omen and the box meant, Mama returned to her tent to consult the spirits about the matter and was surprised to find them very silent.
As night fell and Mama continued to try to contact the spirits, a great cry arose throughout the village. The men of the village had all suddenly become infected with a strange new disease that ravaged their bodies and left them in constant pain. Mama tried her best to help stop the disease, but with all of her herblore and healing abilities, she was unable to stop the disease and was running out of options. Thinking the strange box might have had something to do with the new disease, she hurried back to her hut in the hopes of unraveling the mystery. However, when she returned, she found a strange man standing at her doorway holding the now opened box in his hand.
“Do you know why your people are suffering?” The man asked Mama with a grin. “It is because they have killed one of their sacred beasts. The spirits are not happy with your people, Mama. They will have their revenge for what your thoughtless men have done to their precious beast. However, I could possibly help you in this situation, Mama. I know that you are well in tune with nature and have much knowledge of various lores and spells. I need your help, Mama, to make sure that our knowledge is passed down from generation to generation, and to make sure such a travesty as this never happens again. If you agree to do this for me, I will stop this plague that the spirits have brought upon your village.” Concerned for her people's well being, Mama agreed to the man's request. “There's just one problem; the spirits still demand blood for the loss of the beasts, and since they can no longer take it from the men of your village, I will just have to give them yours.” With that, the man took a deep breath and sucked the blood right out of Mama's body as if it were incense. However, Mama had not died from this loss. Instead, she felt stronger than she had ever felt in her entire life and heard nature's voice clearer than she ever had before.
“You should know, Mama, that I have made you my servant until the end of days. You and your kin will protect nature and keep the old ways alive, and in return, I give to you and your children the gift of undeath. Let it be known that Baron Samedi keeps his promises; your village is safe. However, the gifts you now possess also come at a great cost. Your children will never see the sun again, and as punishment for the loss of the sacred beast, if you or your children ever kill another animal again, you will be punished with the very disease that has afflicted your village this night. Now go and find those who would be suitable for this job, train them, and embrace them so that they too can share your gift. Go and make your family, Mama. The spirits await your servitude.”
While the majority of Ramanga Vampires are indeed of African decent, it is not unheard of to find Ramanga of Caucasian or even Hispanic decent as well, though mostly only in the Americas. An unaltered Ramanga vampire looks almost as it did while it was alive, though it looks stretched and worn thin in comparison, as if its body was trying to accept death in place of the unlife it has been gifted with. However, most Ramanga care very little for their physical appearance; they tend to place more emphasis on what they are wearing rather than how they themselves look, leaving them to appear oddly juxtaposed between their disheveled features and their lavish sense of taste. Most Ramanga prefer to walk around barefoot, which gives them a feeling of greater connectivity with nature.
Generally, a vampire of the Ramanga clan has only two interests; the protection of mother earth, and itself. While covens are not unheard of (when there is something to be gained for all involved), most Ramanga tend to live a hermetic lifestyle. They are shrewd wheelers and dealers of “black” magic in both the wizarding and muggle world, and will often use their powers to make the deals much sweeter for themselves than for the person they are dealing with, often without their marks realizing it. If a Ramanga deal ever sounds too go to be true, that's because it is.
While the Ramanga tend to lead very individualistic lifestyles, Ramanga tradition has been passed down from generation to generation by sires to their fledglings. A potential sire doesn’t choose its new fledgling, the fledgling chooses its sire. Prospective fledglings come to Ramanga vampires looking for a variety of things; to learn their ancient shamanistic abilities, to learn about the healing abilities of nature itself, or to learn about their powerful curses and black magic. Sires test their new potential wards to see what their true desires are and if the will have the talent to carry on Ramanga traditions. After a year of testing, if a fledgling passes, its sire will award it with the gift of undeath and take it under its wings to further the fledgling’s knowledge of the magical world. Over time, when the sire grows tired of its fledgling or the fledgling has nothing left to offer its sire, it is set free to roam the world and find its own territory.
The Ramanga clan knows much about ancient magic and herblore. They have spent their lives and unlives communing with nature and finding various cures and curses that nature affords her children. They also have many shamanistic traditions that they claim allows their user to access supernatural forces to improve those who would purchase their services daily lives by granting them boons in many areas of life, including luck, money, love, divination, revenge, health, employment, and even necromancy. Extensive use is made of herbs, minerals, parts of animals' bodies, an individual's possessions, and bodily fluids, though dead animal parts must either be used by human hands if it is fresh or must be well preserved so as to allow the vampire to touch them without triggering its allergic reaction. Real names also have great power in the eyes of the Ramanga, thus most Ramanga take up new monikers upon their siring.
While it is rare, Ramanga have been know to reconvene at the request of Mama; the oldest and most ancient vampire of the Ramanga clan. While she is not the original Mama, she is considered to be the avatar of the original and is treated as if she were the incarnation of Mama. Mama calls her children back only when need be and only for matters of the utmost importance.
Vampires of the Ramanga clan care very little for their brothers and sisters, since having more than one Ramanga in the area means more competition for their services. Territory is usually set through an intricate system of markings and signs that show where one vampire's area of service is. Because of this, most members of the Ramanga clan are spread out so that as many inhabited areas as possible have at least one vampire that they can turn to to provide their traditional services to. Many vampires of the Ramanga clan make pacts with one another regarding an exchange of service that either vampire can ask of their neighbor, such as agreeing to help expel another vampire that takes up residency in their territory.
However, as a rule, if any member of the Ramanga clan requests a temporary stay in someone's territory, that request is to be honored. However, if the guest has overstayed its welcome, it may be asked to leave or even repelled with force if necessary.
Allies and Rivals
- Allies: Peushen
Rivals: Jiang Shi
As with any type of character, the abilities of the vampire are made greater over time. For this reason, we have included some abilities that can only be acquired by the eldest of Ramanga vampires. If a vampire is created from a magic user such as a witch or wizard, they are stripped of all but the most basic of magical skills. Any remaining magical abilities are likely to fade over time, most certainly by the time the vampire has reached Elder age.
Application Note: We are not currently accepting magical-based vampires.
Abilities by Age
As abilities increase with age, more complex abilities will simply be added to the repertoire of the vampire rather than replacing pre-existing abilities.
- Enhanced Senses - Touch, taste, smell, hearing, and sight are all increased in sensitivity. The vampire can feel more textures in a single touch, taste all of the flavors of what they consume, smell things stronger and from further away, hear things louder and from further away, and see things clearer and from further away.
- Enhanced Physical Strength - The vampire is stronger on average than a typical mortal. This strength can be increased much like with human strength by working out - a weak human will still be weak on vampire terms once sired.
- Hypnosis - After making eye contact with a weak-willed individual, the vampire is able to make the victim follow subtle suggestions or even basic commands like “sleep” for a short period of time.
- Quick Healing - The vampire is able to regenerate more rapidly than humans when injured in any way. The vampire's body also returns to the state it was in upon death if physically altered, such as cutting or dying the hair.
- Increased Speed - The vampire is able to move at a faster than usual speed when walking or running. Hand/eye coordination is also increased. Hand/eye coordination is also increased.
- Illusionary Cunning - The vampire is able to use illusionary techniques to obfuscate the senses of a target (such as making the target see the vampire to be a loved one or causing someone to smell the scent of the ocean) and disguise their own presence when need be.
- Astral Projection - The vampire detaches itself from its body and projects it's spirit wherever it desires to appear. The spiritual form has no limit to how far it can travel other than its own speed. The spirit can interact with things in the physical realm to a degree, but it's main strength is the ability to probe the mind of humans and subconsciously implant ideas or even direct messages depending on the target's receptiveness. When its task is finished, the spirit snaps back into the vampires body. While the body is left behind, it is completely helpless if found and can easily be destroyed.[/i]
- Mist Form - The vampire can turn its body into a mist, allowing it to flow freely though the air, if only for a brief amount of time, before recollecting.
Vampires of the Ramanga clan do not usually ask for the blood of their victims. Most Ramanga rely on their illusionary techniques to either lull their victims into a false sense of security or trick them into trusting them by taking on the illusion of someone they love and trust. When blood is given willingly, it is usually as part of a trade agreement for services rendered by the Ramanga. However, they do regard life as a precious commodity and only take enough to satiate their hunger without damaging their prey. Killing prey is considered Taboo, and any Ramanga found guilty of taking a life is executed.
Flaws and Wards
Unlike the vampire's abilities, all of these flaws apply to all ages of clansmen of the Ramanga. Flaws cannot be remedied with magic and are a permanent part of the vampire's heritage.
Application Note: Vampire applicants may choose to add additional flaws from other clans, however they cannot pick and choose their abilities and merits.
- Feeding is a necessity, at least every other day or so. The vampire becomes very weak and vegetable-like if he or she does not drink their fill as often as necessary.
- While Ramanga vampires have the ability to disguise themselves with their illusions, they are seen for what they truly are in the reflection of a mirror or other reflective surface; as if the reflection was their own personal “Portrait of Dorian Grey.”
- The vampires carry an allergy to sunlight, rendering them unable to venture into the light of day. Vampires of at least medial age may do so, however, as long as they are heavily cloaked and protected from the light. If even one small portion of the vampire's delicate skin is exposed to the light, they will begin to burn as if exposed to flame.
- Ramanga vampires cannot kill a living animal, for if they do, their body will suddenly burst out with hives due to their allergic reaction, a clear indication to any other Ramanga of their crime.
- Crossing a body of water is impossible for the vampire unless they are packed in a coffin or similar structure that is filled with soil from their home country or originating destination. Small streams and rivers can be crossed in a similar fashion as long as the vampire can bridge the water with a path of soil.
- The vampire may not be exposed to extreme heat or open flame, and their flesh is much more sensitive to fire than mortal human flesh.
- The vampire is never allowed to sleep in the same place twice, thus it is very rare to hear of a Ramanga claiming a building or area as its home.
Each clan of vampires is warded off in varying ways, despite some similarities. These wards are sure-fire ways of preventing the vampire from coming near.
- Flame - As stated in the flaws listing, an open flame can be used to ward away vampires of the Ramanga clan.
- Dead Animals - The vampire cannot stand to be in the presence of a fresh kill. Having a recently killed animal carcass in the area or smearing fresh blood over the entrances to a home can keep members of the Ramanga clan at bay.
- Religious Symbols - Any religious symbol from Christianity-based religions can be used as a ward against these vampires, with Holy Water and Crosses being the most effective.
Slaying the Ramanga
As vampires are more or less immortal creatures, they can only be killed in very specific ways. All other ways will put the vampire into a sleep-like state that they will eventually come out of.
- Fire - Overexposure to a flame that causes the entire body to burn into ashes can completely decimate a vampire. Once the body is destroyed entirely by a fire, it cannot be revived.
- Wooden Stake - A sharpened wooden object may be driven through the heart of the vampire to kill them, however only objects made of cedar, ash, or oak will kill them upon immediate contact; all other woods will simply paralyze the vampire until the stake is removed. Removal of the object will finally kill the vampire, but it is difficult to do as the chest cavity seems to mold itself around the wood upon insertion.
Modern Day Sightings
Most members of the Ramanga clan live in rural communities that still have need for someone in commune with nature, acting as a natural and spiritual advisor for those that would seek their council. Their usual territories are the continent of Africa, the Caribbean islands, parts of Mexico, and the southern United States. In urban areas, they often looked like well dressed homeless people; since they can never call one place home, they pitch their tents in new places every day. However, it is not uncommon for a Ramanga vampire to have a shop or standard meeting place where those who would request its services could easily find it.
The Wizarding World
Vampires of the Ramanga clan are not well known in the wizarding world since they do not really fill any necessary roles within the community, giving the Ramanga no real reason to deal with them. There are plenty of herbalists and naturalists who can do their work, and without any of the downsides. The only possible use a Wizard would be to a Ramanga would be as a food source, which is often impossible due to the wizarding community tending to have far greater protective measures against vampires then muggles.