Throughout vampire lore, holy symbols and energy have been one of their greatest weaknesses. Whether it’s because Dracula got booted from the church or vampires are undead, there’s a reason given to this issue. Most people don’t even think about it too much because it’s a given. This can pose problems for newer versions.
In War of Nytefall: Anarchy, the Dawn Fangs are facing the greatest of holy warriors known as the paladins. These guys smite things that piss them off, which usually involves leaving a burning pile where the target once stood. Due to this utter destruction method, you can believe that anything hit by them will meet the same fate. So, vampires don’t seem very unique in this threat, but their nature means there should be a little extra. It’s the reason why the paladins are feared more than any other mortal warriors, including casters who have a penchant for hurling fireballs. After all, these are undead creatures with no . . . heartbeat. Uh-oh.
This has been an aspect of the Dawn Fangs that I’ve had a lot of trouble wrapping my head around. On one hand, they feed off blood and are corpses brought back to life. This means they’re undead and should take on the full effect of holy magic. On the other hand, the Dawn Fangs entire story is that they have heartbeats, can eat food, and possess many other traits of mortals. Unlike their predecessors, it could be argued that they are alive just like a person brought back by a resurrection spell. So, holy magic shouldn’t have any affect on them beyond what would be done to a regular mortal. Yet, this removes one of the biggest counters to such powerful creatures.
At most points, I think I’ve gone with a partial effect on the Dawn Fangs. Holy magic hurts a lot more than it would a mortal, but it doesn’t destroy on contact like an old-world vampire. Wounds caused by this type of attack are harder to heal even with focusing your energy on regeneration. There can be residual magic, which can dampen or block certain Dawn Fang abilities. None of this stops them from fighting entirely, but it makes it a hindrance one would hope to avoid. It also means running into a group of holy warriors is a nightmare, but you can’t easily run away and every blow reduces your strength. Retreat to a better position or just get away are their best options.
Of course, there are other questions that I’ve pondered. For one thing, can a Dawn Fang go into a temple, which is holy ground? I was thinking ‘no’ for a while until I realized this would cause a problem for Clyde’s dream. Eventually, a Dawn Fang would be invited to a wedding of a mortal friend and that would reveal the truth. So, I changed it to them being able to enter a temple, but they’d be uncomfortable. Not enough to reveal themselves, but their powers are certainly going to be reduced a bit thanks to the residual energy. That’s if they don’t have abilities or relics to protect them, but that’s still a risk.
Can a Dawn Fang become a priest? That’s the question that I thought of first before writing this post. It’s why I put this off for a week because I can’t give a thorough answer to it. Those born of the fang or by blood probably wouldn’t work out as a priest since they’d be closer to old-world vampires. Womb-born are something else since they’re natural vampires, but there should still be some kind of sacrifice. They’re using the type of energy designed to eliminate their kind, which can’t have a positive effect on the body after long-term use. If anything, I’d say they would have a limited lifespan instead of immortality or never be able to use their Dawn Fang power unless they go through a lengthy detox. I don’t know if I’ll ever tackle this question in a book because War of Nytefall never gave me the chance for it specifically.
So, Dawn Fangs and holy magic may still be a work in progress. That or a mystery until I can figure it out myself. Really don’t want to pigeonhole myself and then get a great idea later. Maybe it depends on the vampire. That might be the better route.