The Vampire Codex:

V. Potential

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by Michelle Belanger

We often associate with the Awakened or with those who hover upon the threshold of Awakening. We prefer the company of those who can interact at least to some degree with the level of reality that is our constant daily experience.

By our very natures we Awaken those around us. Even those not of our kind can be affected by the transformative effects of our presence. We draw out latent powers and provide a burden of proof for individuals who have otherwise rejected their own natures due to self-doubt. We can use this intentionally if we choose, though it will always occur to some degree, whether intentional or not.

Sometimes we mistake a Potential of our own kind merely for one of the Awakened. If such an unrecognized Potential is fed from, the effect, though unintentional, is equivalent to the Lesser Initiation. The Potential feels himself undergo a change and is driven to feed from others. Such accidents cannot be abandoned. Confused as to their true nature, ignorant of their power, they wield that power nonetheless and can cause much damage to themselves and others if left to struggle on their own.

Still others have Potential, but it is too weak to ever fully be realized in this lifetime. Others are too unstable to survive the initiation. They are best left to sleep so they will come to maturity in their own time. If forced to awaken, they are merely shadows of us -- weak in power, unstable in mind, whose powers are likely to fade unless constantly put to use or manipulated by their mentor.

Sometimes a feeding vessel may manifest the symptoms of vampirism, but this is merely a sympathetic state brought about through prolonged or obsessive contact with one of our own. Such a one's natural reserves are depleted to a point where they cannot recover their vitality on their own. Given time, however, and separated physically and / or emotionally from the dominating personality, such a person will gradually recover and return to a normal, non-vampiric state. In some cases, the afflicted person does not wish to give up the state of sympathetic vampirism. If the person understands even a little of what has happened to him and wants the condition to continue, he can maintain this quasi-vampiric state indefinitely and may even eventually come to be mistaken for one of our number as he will accept that he is nothing else.

Next: VI. Other Awakened

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