|HMHVV I||HMHVV II||HMHVV IA|
| HMHVV III always turns its victims into Ghouls.|
A Apocryphal C Uninfected carrier
HMHVV (or Human-Metahuman Vampiric Virus) is a retrovirus that achieves its full virulence and power only in a magic-rich environment—such as post-Awakening Earth. The virus itself has existed throughout history and even expressed in very rare instances during the relatively magic-poor Fifth World. When a metahuman’s immune system fails to stave off infection, the virus begins to systematically re-shape their auras and genetic code—transforming them into forms reminiscent of the night-stalking monsters of legend.
The presence of HMHVV in a subject’s body can be determined by the Harz-Greenbaum blood series or simply testing for the virus itself.
Ghilani vrykolakiviridae, the primary strain, was isolated in 2034 by Dr. Emil Harz and Dr. Carla Greenbaum.
The “basic” form of the virus. It affects all forms of metahumanity, transforming the infected into various new paraspecies depending on their base stock. Despite these differences, all vampiric variants created by the base strain suffer from chronic essence loss. Current theories surmise that this condition is similar to the essence loss caused by the implantation of cyberware—in short, the discrepancy between the subject’s “natural”? state and their current transformed state affects a being on some fundamental level that disrupts their body/spirit interaction. Though most admit this utterly fails to explain those infected by variant strains and who do not suffer from the condition.
- Humans (and very rarely other metatypes) become vampires.
- Dwarves (all variants) become goblins.
- Elves (all variants) become banshees.
- Orks (all variants) become wendigos.
- Trolls (all variants) become dzoo-noo-qua.
- Sasquatch become JabberwocksApocryphal
Ghilani vrykolakiviridae sanguisuga, aka the Bruckner-Langer strain, was isolated in 2046 by Dr. Wilhelm Bruckner and Dr. Günther Langer.
In one instances, an infected elf survived and expressed as a Nosferatu. This was proven dependent on one particular and extremely-rare blood type found only in particular human and elf subtypes. The bloodtype itself also proves fatal in vitro to any infected dwarf, ork, or troll fetus.
Ghilani moneriviridae, aka the Jarka-Criscione strain, was isolated in 2039 by Dr. John Russell Jarka and Dr. Michelle Criscione.
Another, and poorly-understood, variant of the retrovirus. Unlike the other strains, HMHVV II doesn’t confer any vampiric abilities upon its victims and the most common vector of infection is from parent to offspring. One of the variants—the Loup-garou—is rendered sterile upon infection, but it has the ability to infect others with its strain of the virus through physical contact.
- Humans become loup-garous.
- Dwarves (all variants) become gnawers.
- Elves (all variants) become harvesters.
- Orks (all variants) become grendels.
- Trolls (all variants) become fomóraig.
- Sasquatch become bandersnatches
Ghilani wichtiviridae, aka the Krieger strain, was isolated in 2051 by Dr. Jeffrey Krieger.
The strain that creates ghouls. It is the most virulent form of HMHVV, and infection can be passed on through a bite, scratch, or even just touch if the target has open wounds.
HMHVV III can result in partial infection and requires no essence exchange between the infected and the carrier for the disease to be passed on. At first, these unique traits of the disease led to the mistaken conclusion that the ghoul transformation was a form of Goblinization—though that has since been disproven.
HMHVV III has also been shown to possess geographically-localized variants that create distinct ghoul sub-species based not on metatype but on race:
- IIIA Sasabonsam, long-limbed ghouls from Western Africa (Asamando)
- IIIB Busaw, ghouls allergic to citric acid from the Philippines.
- IIIC Gaki, from the Japanese archipelago.
- Running Wild
- Goodman, Patrick. "Infected Heights and Weights" (originally compiled for Running Wild).