With the request given Wilfrid, Presbyter of the Shrine of Lathander in Tilverton, scurries off to find his prized possession; an old tome. He flicks through the pages, his eyes glittering with excitement as he gazes upon ancient knowledge of the undead.
He tells you all that the tome was handed down through the male line in his family and that he is a direct descendent of the author Barnabas Hyrst a wise and powerful cleric in the service of Lathander who hailed from a small barony far to the south.
Finally securing the correct passages he passes the book to the Alabaster:
The Ecology of the Vampire
Barnabas Hyrst of Barovia
Glory be to Lathander, the eternal sun, the dawn, bringer of hope and new beginnings
In all my travels and all my expeditions no creature that I have encountered has been more terryfing than the Vampire. Although old age has crept up on me and my mind is not as strong as it once was, I have tried my best to recall the memories of my youth in the hope that those brave enough to stay vigilant in the face of death will have a slim chance of survival.
Unlike other forms of undead, some of whom are not entirely of this world, the vampire retains much of their original appearance. The physical changes that do occur tend to be chalkiness in complexion and a penetrating unnerving stare. Vampires, that take the form of humankind avoid armour, and in most cases will be attired in the shrouds of clothing in which they were buried.
Of course, vampires are not always met in human form. One must only recall the tales of Kanchelsis to know that they can be Elven as well. Folk-law suggests that these monsters may not only assume the form a bat, but also the wolf too.
One consistent factor in all vampiric lairs is that they are set within a locale that is difficult and time-consuming to search out. The creature is all too aware that its need to rest during the hours of daylight is its greatest weakness; they fear the day as if it was Lathander himself come down to smite them.
About the general vicinity of the lair the vampire will have a number of lesser guardians to protect it. This can range from something as simple as a pack of wolves or rats, to one or more charmed helpers to mislead the unwary into going the wrong direction in their quest for the Vampire’s coffin.
The most deadly attack form of the vampire is its touch. One touch from their hands can drain the life force from the healthiest man. They are also known to be highly charismatic individuals and can display almost supernatural skill at convincing creatures to do their bidding.
I heard tale from a elderly traveller that the vampire can reduces their physical body to that of smoke which can travel through cracks in masonry and under doors.
It is untrue that a vampire must always rest within its coffin during daylight hours. If deep underground and well away from the sun, a vampire may operate as normal, but at a reduced rate. But the vampire may not under any circumstances go for more than three days without rest. And, should it be fought and reduced to near destruction while daylight remains it will not be able to invoke any of its evil powers.
I say to thee heed my advice, if a party of adventurers is forced into a confrontation with the beast then their ultimate goal must be to find its resting place and drive a wooden stake through the vampire’s heart.
Certain tools can be effective against the vampire these include: garlic, mirrors, and holy symbols.