Forums » Elder Scrolls

Do vampires deserve rights?

    • 697 posts
    October 17, 2015 11:58 PM EDT

    Vampire.  Even the word is enough to send people fleeing.  That fear is appropriately placed, and not just because vampires are the ugliest creatures to walk Nirn.  Despite what Skyrim or any other game might say, vampirism is not inherently evil.  It's a rather gruesome disease that basically kills and reanimates a person.

    Some people no doubt are infected against their will.  What they do with their new disease is up to them. Even some who willingly become a vampire aren't overtly rude.

    Take Serana for example: not only is she willing (eventually) to discuss the nature of her vampirism, but cure it.  The ethics of necromancy have been covered extensively already, so there's no need to consider it here.

    But, the majority of vampires seem to be self-important elitists who just want to ruin everyone else's good time with murder and hurtful insults.  

    Assuming vampires can behave themselves, they still need to feed.  Vampires prey on beings that are on the top of the food chain.  It's completely reasonable to hate them for that reason.  But Skyrim suggests that synthetic blood can be made (Potion of Blood).  

    Assuming that vampires can behave and stick to a strict diet of blood potions (also assuming there can be a steady supply), is there any reason why vampires shouldn't be given the same rights as non-vampires?  

    Obviously, these are two very big assumptions to make.  So in addition, how likely is it for each to come true?  

    Can vampires behave by the pacific norms that govern the rest of society?

    Can vampires drink synthetic blood consistently? 

    • 39 posts
    October 18, 2015 12:24 AM EDT

    Aren't the blood potions taken from the human thralls? That is what I always assumed...

    Also Vampires are Undead, the idea of giving them rights would be like giving rights to the Draugr so long as they don't chop people's heads off with their Ancient Nord Battleaxes.

    Great graphic by the way.

    • 404 posts
    October 18, 2015 12:24 AM EDT

    I am going to comment on this as 2 characters, one is Jake the Orc and the other is myself.

    Jake: Vampires, they are the true evil of Nirn, besides Serana and her mother. the Vampires are the Spawn of Molag Bal the Lord of Rape. Molag isn't a Nice guy. Malacath is the bad rap for fighting against the Tribunal, and the Tribunal has the B!tch that made Mal who he is, by eating him and tricking my ancestors.

    ShyGuy: ok, Jake that is enough buddy. most Vampires are Evil but not all are. Serana and her Mother where Raped by Molag Bal, same could be said with the Queen of the Vampires.

    Jake: yeah, I am glad I sided with Malacath and Hircine. I would also protect those I see fit. ShyGuy is my bro, and if he is helping Serana and her Mom, then I would as well.

    ShyGuy: when I was younger I remembered how Dracula was described in Bram Stoker's Dracula. you know a Gentleman and a Scholar that is also a powerful Vampire Lord. I like the Marvel Character Blade and Morbius, both have Vampire blood in there vanes, Blade the Day-walker, he is a B-A that fights with the Blade, Morbius was first a Scientist that was suffering with a  debilitating blood disease and tried to find the cure for it. He developed an experimental treatment involving vampire bats and electroshocks, but its side effects turned him into a sort of pseudo-vampire who needed to consume blood in order to survive. He also gained an aversion to sunlight as well as abilities similar to a vampire such flight, enhanced strength, speed, and a healing factor.

    Jake: Blade is a B-A I give you that, and he fights against the Vampires. that is cool

    so, what I am saying is. sure they can live like the rest of us. I  also remembered that some Vampires only feed on animals like Cows.

    Dang, that is a lot of writing on my part, some is copy & pasted from the Marvel Wiki.

    • 485 posts
    October 18, 2015 12:26 AM EDT

    Most vampires would find the notion of conforming to the laws of their prey to be laughable. 

    • 697 posts
    October 18, 2015 12:33 AM EDT

    I imagine cow feeding might even be too much of an inconvenience for non-vampires.  New livestock would have to be provided specifically for the vampires, at a ratio relative to their population.  How many vampires can feed off of a cow, and how often, before that cow dies of blood loss?  One cow per vampire would be very expensive.  

    • 404 posts
    October 18, 2015 12:37 AM EDT

    I mean, some did.

    • 1439 posts
    October 18, 2015 12:38 AM EDT
    As someone with a vampire for a friend, ys. Also, maybe have blood banks?
    • 485 posts
    October 18, 2015 12:39 AM EDT

    I cant imagine this working. We can hardly get the living to coexist peacefully. 

    • 1439 posts
    October 18, 2015 12:39 AM EDT
    Also, don't forget Janus Hassildor, vampire count of Skingrad
    • 697 posts
    October 18, 2015 12:39 AM EDT

    According to the wiki, potions of blood are equivalent to and supplement the consumption of human blood.  So it at least implies that's it's not human blood.  

    I think that's too much of a generalization considering the nature of Draugr.  They are (from my understanding) people who served the dragon priests and were given immortality to indefinitely sustain dragon priests in eternal life.  They're single minded creatures who no longer possess the higher cognitive functioning of humans and vampires, so they really aren't applicable.  

    Vampires can be civil; that much is shown in Skyrim.  Serana and Sybille Stenor are good examples.  

    • 697 posts
    October 18, 2015 12:41 AM EDT

    Hmm, yeah, I imagine that the vampires who would be most willing to conform to those laws would be the ones who were infected against their will.  The vampires with the power complexes though...they would be harder to placate.  

    • 404 posts
    October 18, 2015 12:46 AM EDT

    American Red Cross are basically Vampires if you think about it. they do call you a lot for your Blood.

    • 404 posts
    October 18, 2015 12:46 AM EDT

    I like that guy, he had a great background story

    • 697 posts
    October 18, 2015 12:47 AM EDT

    I would not want to be the Jarl who has to explain why every citizen has to give blood to keep some weird undead people around :P 

    • 404 posts
    October 18, 2015 12:48 AM EDT

    that is true, so many wars and not a lot of man/woman power.

    • 404 posts
    October 18, 2015 12:49 AM EDT

    Blood tax, that is what it is.

    • 697 posts
    October 18, 2015 12:53 AM EDT

    There's always a catch, huh?  This one is that peace between races needs to exist first.  Then we can deal with the pale sick people that bite everyone!  Of course, the living members of the races could unite and smite the undead.  Maybe that's why people hate undead so much.  They are the one thing that all races can agree suck and turn their hate towards in unison.  

    • 693 posts
    October 18, 2015 1:10 AM EDT

    I really like this discussion topic.  Good post, Legion. There are some interesting issues to be teased out here. From where I sit there are three core issues here which relate to the question of rights just at a face-value level (without getting into the Molag Bal and lore). So I'm just going to try and approach this in an almost clinical way. 

    Firstly, as you suggest, vampirism is a (health) condition, and when playing through its easily possible to contract Sanguinare Vampiris from just coming into contact with another vampire, just like Rock Joint or Droops. I've definitely contracted it before without noticing until I've fast traveled once or twice and the sun starts to go down and everything flashes red. It's tricky because, just as you suggest, the majority of vampires willingly opt into it, but there's also feasibly a contingency of those that don't. If you think of it as a health condition, then perhaps for some people it makes it a little harder to be judgmental of those affected by if you looked at it on a case by case basis.

    The second issue at the core here (in my mind at least) is that the end game is ultimately predator/prey. Vampires sit at an elevated position in the food chain, and so of course regular mortals would loathe to find themselves below them. But I think most of us would be hard pressed to find much trouble with lions eating antelopes, or crocodiles devouring gazelles. At face value, it's sort of a basic struggle of life thing, in some ways.

    This is all made even murkier by the third issue: once someone becomes a full vampire, the options for obeying any sort of normal laws become impossible. Why? Murder is always going to be against the law. A vampire would quickly find themselves in a double bind: they would have to kill to survive or kill to be cured and returned to mortal form. It's a no-win situation which puts them at odds with any sort of governance system regardless of which option they choose.

    Now, to address your question regarding rights of the undead:

    I think all beings and creatures have free will, and as such deserve rights at a basic level provided they can follow the rules established by a governing majority; two of the core issues (health condition and normal predator/prey relationships) would not in and of themselves be enough dissuade me from thinking otherwise... Especially if the second issue is controlled by consuming a blood potion.

    Where it gets sticky is intent: if contracted intentionally, what do these vampires intend to do with their new-found power and position in the food chain? Did they set out to wreak havoc, achieve power, and dominate all other living creatures? I would say for the vast majority of them the answer is likely yes (because what other reason could you possibly have for intentionally choosing such a path?), and that is what makes them not only loathsome, but also a threat. But I would say exactly the same thing of any mortal creature that set out to achieve power by equally sinister means. It's not the condition as much as it is the intent behind it. So, yes they have rights. If they step outside the bounds of the majority-established governance, then they should be handled accordingly (e.g. loss of rights, etc.).

    Potion of blood and those sorts of logistics... I need to do more research before being able to form an opinion on whether or not it's feasible as a complete solution.

    • 24 posts
    October 18, 2015 1:29 AM EDT

    If someone intentionally becomes a vampire, they are doing so because they are terrified of death or they are power hungry; they are risking other people's lives by becoming something that has the very will to dominate and suck blood from other people.  Those vampires waive their rights by becoming a vampire.  However, the ones who do not choose vampirism, and suppress their desires, deserve rights.   

    Consider the dragons.  Dragons are creatures whose will is to dominate others, but we see examples of Dragons like Paarthurnax who have suppressed said desires.  Even the Dragonborn contains this potential to become a force for evil according to Paarthurnax.  Does the Dragonborn deserve rights?  Does Paarthurnax deserve rights?  According to the Blades, Parthurnaax does not; yet it baffles me that they don't treat the Dragonborn the same, as they are both threats according to them simply by being dragons.  Of course Paarthurnax does have a history of evil in his past, whereas the Dragonborn may or may not.

    • 1439 posts
    October 18, 2015 1:30 AM EDT
    Who says vampires need to drink a person dry?
    • 693 posts
    October 18, 2015 1:35 AM EDT

    I doubt there's anything at all to back this up (in ES lore or pop culture), but I've always envisioned it as a frenzy almost. Like once they start draining blood some sort of biological response kicks in and it would be incredibly difficult to willfully stop. And if their intentions are rooted in evil and domination then why would they care enough or want to anyway?

    • 693 posts
    October 18, 2015 1:39 AM EDT

     Does the Dragonborn deserve rights?  Does Paarthurnax deserve rights?  According to the Blades, Parthurnaax does not; yet it baffles me that they don't treat the Dragonborn the same, as they are both threats 

    Such a good point. I also completely agree with your point about choice and suppression.

    • 697 posts
    October 18, 2015 2:01 PM EDT

    1). To relate your first and final points - do people know when they're infected and choose to do nothing?  I find it hard to believe that anyone would be ignorant of the miracle cure that shrines provide.  Is Sanguinare Vampiris much more common than we think, but people just hop on over to the nearest temple when they become infected?  

    Given the disease takes four days to take hold and that up until that point, it's easily curable, why would anyone not cure themselves?  That suggests to me that maybe there are fewer well-intentioned vampires than we think.  Sure, some may want it strictly  for immortality to allow them to take more time to do things.  Good things!  

    I just have my doubts that given the wide spread knowledge of Sanguinare Vampiris, the healing powers of shrines (or the number of healers that could direct one to a shrine), the number of days that the disease takes to blossom, and the obvious symptoms that appear with each passing day, that most people would not immediately seek a cure.  

    Which, then what are we left with?  Still a generalization, but a very slightly more accurate one. Not a great place to be, but closer.

    2). Regarding your third point - you're right.  Super murky.  This is one of the issues with discussing these sorts of things, which is that gameplay mechanics are often incongruous with how things would actually work.  What's a player to do if not kill expendable Bandits all day?  As far as Skyrim is concerned, Bandits deserve to die.  Whether they deserve to have their soul trapped is another discussion (thankfully already discussed), but if left with the choice between staying a vampire and killing innocent people for sustenance, or killing a Bandit for its soul, the game gives an obvious correct choice.  

    Of course, that's not to say a vampire couldn't do everyone a favor by acting in line with those same norms and feeding on Bandits, so long as the bandits die and aren't themselves turned into vampires.  Which, I have to wonder - can a vampire kill someone and then immediately after drink their blood?  It's still warm...

    But perhaps vampires could contribute to society in that way.  Guards obviously don't have the numbers to go hunt down bandits, so let the new vampire neighbors makes themselves useful in that way.  

    Approaching this situation from outside of the game mechanics, you're right - it's a no win situation.  Either they're abominations that are hunted on principle, or an outlaw wanted for a murder.  Both involve running, but one can move at any of the 24 hours in a day.  Vampires lose that advantage.  I guess if you're going to kill, at least try to take the Dexter route and kill a serial killer.  

    3). For points two and four, a potion of blood is the easiest solution, assuming vampires are willing to share how to make it.  Which, you would think they would be.  Vampires still supposedly possess the higher cognitive functioning that they did when before they were vampires, but one could argue that their need for blood is extremely primal.  Where a non-vampire can be faced with a choice between, say, a sweet roll and a leek, that person can override their cravings and choose the leek.  But, given the choice between a fresh human and a potion of blood, I have trouble believing that a vampire would be able to control the urges to feed on the human.  

    If the analogy wasn't clear enough (very real possibility), then my point was that maybe vampires are actually a regression in mental abilities.  Perhaps a strong few could resist the temptation (the first vegetarian vampires), but I doubt majority would be able to.  Could non-vampires train vampires?  Should they?  The vampires would have to be willing participants, but that just brings us back to the small number of vampires would be willing to do so because of the ease of curing Sanguinare Vampiris.

    ...I may have talked myself in an actual circle here.  

  • October 18, 2015 5:54 PM EDT

    Nope! No! Noooo! NEIN! This was already tried on True Blood and failed miserably! Vampires are the REAL top of the food chain and humans need deal with it, the same way the Elk and Deer have to deal with getting sniped from 40 feet away because some guy felt the need to kill them for their meat. BUT this guy had no salt so in the end he NEVER cooked the Venison. Humans don't need to be salted to be tasty... muahahahahaha! 

    • 697 posts
    October 18, 2015 7:29 PM EDT

    I find it hard to believe that beings who are lethally weak to the very thing that gives a planet its life, can be the top of any food chain.