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Bestiary entry Edit
- Men, the polite ones, at least, would call me a monster. A blood-drinking freak.
- — Emiel Regis, high vampire
- Only a mutual thirst for blood links higher vampires to their distant and much more primitive cousins: ekimmaras, alps, katakans and the like. Higher vampires are, in fact, much more similar to humans than to those bat-like blood slurpers. They not only resemble us in appearance, but also share our intelligence and behavioural patterns. This means they do not squat in distant forest or hide in the shadows. On the contrary, they are particularly fond of cities, where they live out deceivingly normal lives. Even witchers are not capable of recognizing them at once, for their medallions remain perfectly motionless in the presence of higher vampires. Yet all these similarities should not blind us to an essential difference: unlike men, higher vampires are immortal. Those who have faced them in combat and survived can be counted on one hand.
- It is a witcher's good fortune that higher vampires are extremely rare — and not all are dangerous to humans. Though they do have a taste for blood, they do not need to drink it to survive. Some higher vampires have renounced feeding on humans altogether and do no harm to anyone, but others give in to their desires. A witcher who braves fighting a higher vampire must bear in mind that he faces a monster endowed with incredible strength, one able to manipulate men and animals, turn invisible and transform into a giant bat – and furthermore one which it is nearly impossible to kill. In other words, even an experienced monster slayer should think twice before accepting a contract on one of these creatures, even if half a kingdom and a princess' hand is in the offing.
Combat Tactics Edit
An exceedingly rare opponent for a witcher, higher vampires possess nearly unmatched strength and intelligence among all foes one could face. When they are transformed into their beastial state, evasion is key to surviving the encounter, but this is made difficult due to their speed.
Higher vampires also favor striking while invisible, appearing only when they are an eyeblink away from sinking their claws into a victim. This makes yrden absolutely vital both for revealing the vampire, and also keeping it in place long enough to cut it down with a silver sword, ideally coated in vampire oil. Igni is one of the few real weaknesses a higher vampire possesses. Use it if you can; if it catches on fire, it will be stunned for a brief moment.
Black blood is useful, but comes with the obvious risk of allowing the vampire to draw blood in the first place. Do not rely on it to save you. It is best to have quen prepared to absorb a blow, then cast yrden to keep the monster in place for your silver sword. Drink a tawny owl potion to make it possible for faster sign usage.
Even defeating a higher vampire in combat does not guarantee it will stay dead. Higher vampires cannot be truly killed by just anyone. The vampire Regis suffered several deaths, each time regenerating over a period of decades. Only a higher vampire can truly kill another of its kind, without the risk of regeneration. This is pointed out in conversations between Geralt and Regis in the main story of the Blood and Wine expansion.
Notes & references Edit
- ↑ In the novels only