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Of the War betwixt Sh'kura and Vampires

By Gareth

  "In the time before the Gods grew apart, the Vampires came... the Immortal, Undying, Eternal, and above all, Deadly!"
  -- from "History of the First Age", by Chronos the Historian

When killed, the Vampires would simply return again and again. Almost all mortals were wiped out - until the God of Life intervened with a Gift. This was the Gift of Rebirth, and is the only remaining legacy of the Codex of the Gods. By their power, any who died in combat would have some of their essence rebuilt in their spiritual home, and their bodies recreated around it. However, as the Vampires were not granted this Gift, the only regenerative powers they had were their own.
Then, one day, a Sh'kur miner struck upon a kind of stone never seen before. Rare and unique as the stone was, it was made into an item of jewellery, and little more was thought of it. Until, that is, a Vampire attacked its wearer. The Sh'kur man (true identity long forgotten) flailed and struck out at the Vampire, catching his face with the stone. The Vampire's body went a pink, fleshy tone, as it sunk to the ground - dead, never to return.
  "Why is it that only the Sh'kur, of all races, have kept up the ancient War? It is difficult to say for sure - perhaps their memories are longer, perhaps it is from their more warlike ways... some say it is because their minds are less susceptible to Vampiric mind control. I suspect it may be all these things, and more."
  -- from the Notes of Chronos the Historian

No more of this precious stone was found until the Second Age, when an unknown group of people fashioned a sword of it - a sword that was able to slay Vampires for all time, in a single stroke. The current whereabouts of this sword is unknown - indeed, it is possible that it has already been destroyed by those acting on behalf of the Sword of Night.
For the time being, then, Vampires and Men exist in an uneasy balance. Some mortals other than the Sh'kur have been strong enough to resist the charm of the Vampire, but in most cases a swift bite to the neck has been enough to readjust their views.

Editor's Note: It is known that the assassin organisation known as Di Eamen (leader unknown) is actively seeking further examples of the stone known as Utonium.
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