First, happy birthday to me. I was going to write about vampire birthdays, but I needed space this month for this topic. Figured it’s more important in terms of hyping War of Nytefall: Loyalty.
One of the reasons the Dawn Fangs are incredibly dangerous is that each one possesses three powers. I’ll go into them a little later in the post after I go into the origin and mechanics since this is at the core of the Dawn Fangs. In fact, one of the reasons the old school vampires, and later the rest of the world, fear these vampires is because of these three powers. While other species have unique abilities, the Dawn Fangs take it to another level. Every member has their own combination of powers, which means you never know what you’re going to get. One might have flight, perfect voice throwing, and double creation while their friend has super strength, psychic blasts, and the ability to draw their fangs into rapiers. So, it’s really hard to prepare for these monsters beyond hitting them hard, fast, and immediately. Guess it’s a good thing they’re so well-behaved in the modern Windemere era.
When I first created Clyde and his team for the books, I didn’t give them any unique powers. Since they were all the same vampire type, there was no variety and it was more that they each had their own specialties. Clyde was a vicious fighter, Mab was stealth, Xavier was the magical one, etc. It wasn’t until they were brought over to Windemere that I decided to give their powers more thought. Working off their specialties, I went with the popular number of three. It’s found in so many systems throughout history. This includes Vampire: The Masquerade, which I forgot about until this was already locked in. I tried to give them less, but the characters lost something and more was just frustrating when it came to making stuff up. To give it some uniqueness, I categorized the three with a Body, Mind, and Aura system. Each Dawn Fang has a power in each of these categories to forge a personalized ability set. For example, Mab has Claws (Body), a speaking power that counts as a book spoiler (Mind), and her shadow travel (Aura). This actually helped me focus and clarify each character.
In regards to the mechanics of how Dawn Fangs get their specific powers, it’s a magic thing . . . . What . . . I need to say more than that? Okay, their powers stem from the aura system of Windemere. For those that don’t know, everything in Windemere has an aura that possesses at least a scrap of magic. This is why things can be manipulated or do the manipulating with magic. It’s more complicated than that, but we’re going to stay with the Dawn Fangs. Their transformation from mortal or traditional vampire is shocking to the system and effects all aspects of their existence. One could say that the powers appear out of the trauma they go through without even realizing it. Seriously, the transformation is so quick that these vampires don’t know they’ve basically been rewritten. The determination of these powers is the personality and habits of the Dawn Fang. Going back to Mab for an example, she used a claw spell and depended a lot on stealth prior to turning, which is why she got her power set. So, this is the biggest reason each member has a different combination because they are designed around the individual along with the common foundation of more low key powers.
So, how do the categories work?
This is fairly obvious. While Dawn Fangs have incredible physical abilities in general, each one has a power that goes beyond this. Body weapons, extreme physical abilities, unique senses, and the whatever else is a physical power. Sometimes this goes too far and creates disfigurement, but vampires don’t really care about this. Now, the original species can determine this too. Dwarven Dawn Fangs can have beard powers, calicos have their cat-like tails that can be changed, etc. For a direct example, you have Mab with her claws. By the way, I can only use her because she already showed up in Legends of Windemere: The Mercenary Prince.
Much like Body, these powers are easy to understand. These are powers of the mind, which can cover a lot. Many times, magical abilities will fall into this such as illusions, telepathy, telekinesis, and pain elimination. Another category is speaking abilities such as talking to animals, plants, rocks, spirits, clothing, etc. Mind powers tend to be low key if the Body power is closer to the Dawn Fang’s personality, but the opposite goes as well. There’s also a higher chance of these abilities being more active than passive, which requires more practice than Body.
This was originally soul and spirit, but I realized that didn’t make sense since Windemere has aura. The category was born from me having powers that didn’t really fit for Body or Mind as well as times where the character worked best with two that could fall under one category. Once I put this in its own section, the fun really came out with designing the characters. Mab’s shadow travel was the first and easiest one, but then the others fell into place. In fact, I consider the Aura powers to be spoilers for the characters, so I don’t even want to hint at them. An important piece of this category is that it cements the Dawn Fangs into Windemere and its magic system. They were no longer outsiders who were brought over from Earth, but an integrated part of the world.
I was thinking of ending this by suggesting people think up what powers they would have if they were Dawn Fangs, but I’m going to save that for a Thursday post. That way I can field questions in the comments and anyone who wants to participate can have time to think.