When you hunt a vampire, make a list. Write down everything it’ll hurt you to lose. And when all those things are gone, eat your gun before you find out what they’re taking next.

Van Helsing. Beowulf. These hunters help define the literature of the Vigil. And who did they hunt? Men who feasted on other men, who overcame death just to spread it around. When the sun sets and the night comes, the living dead appear and claim the city for their own. They’re human, all right, but with humanity stripped down to the sharp edges and killer instincts. They’re faster, they’re crueler, and damn it, they’re prettier.

Vampires want to be safe and well fed, the same basic needs their prey have. But they have to go pretty far to fill those needs. Most of them need human blood, and they’ve only got a few hours a night to get it. They tend to look for stability: regular Lucys to tap and Harkers to handle their business. They often make these people into half-vampires, blood-junkies who can still walk around in the daylight. Those are the targets you compromise. Addiction and affection are powerful forces, but a manipulative hunter can turn a mortal servant into a double agent.

The worst thing about vampires is how well they understand people. Death’s only brought into relief their few attachments to life, and they know too well how to manipulate those attachments in others.


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