Creatures Of The Night: Anamiae
A New Threat for In Nomine
by Christopher Anthony
(The term "round" is used throughout as a unit of time. This refers to an In Nomine combat round, which lasts five seconds.)
In the Litany of the Hunter, passed down through generations of vampire killers and slayers of undead, there is a mention of an ancient spider goddess, and the curse she laid on a man who dared to take up the mantle of the spider without taking up her worship. It is no more than a few lines in the text, naming a group of vampires that draw their power and weakness from this goddess rather than from unholy ritual, but it is there.
Most modern vampire hunters regard this as a myth, a possibility drawn from the superstitious, believing minds of medieval men.
They couldn't be more wrong.
Anamiae (sing. Anamia)
To a casual viewer, Anamiae resemble mortals, to the extent that they can walk about in the day and have no immediately-visible characteristics -- aside from a slight acceleration of the growth of hair and faintly-bulging lips -- that would mark them as anything other than normal people.
However, there are several characteristics that mark Anamiae as being nonhuman. The most spectacular of these is the set of folding mandibles that are normally hidden in the mouth and are extruded when the Anamia intends to feed. These mandibles make a very characteristic mark upon the victim: a pair of punctures, two to three inches apart and connected by a straight line of reddened skin.
Upon close inspection, an observer will find that the pupils of an Anamia have changed as well. Instead of having a single pupil, each eye has four: one large pupil in the normal area, and three small pupils, their diameter spreading from the edge of the central pupil to the outer edge of the iris, spaced equidistantly around the central pupil. (This grants +1 to Perception rolls, but only for sight-based rolls. It does not negate penalties for low light or total darkness.)
The third large change to the Anamiae is their internal anatomy: most of the organs have atrophied, leaving an enlarged major digestive tract -- esophagus, stomach, and intestines -- a large, strong heart, and a pair of lungs. An Anamia's skin does not atrophy, change color, or alter in any way, shape or form once he has transformed from human to Anamia, but the bite of the Spider Vampire that turned him will never heal, always appearing as a scar: two punctures with a thin line of scar tissue running between them. (In GURPS, the organ atrophy is a side effect of the Anamiae's Vampiric Dependency. However, Anamiae are not eligible for Injury Tolerance: No Vitals, because the non-atrophied organs expand to fill the cavity. The scar is simply a special effect.)
Rumors aside, Anamiae have neither the power to climb walls nor to spin webs.
Those looking for the telltale signs of undead, however, may be somewhat thwarted by the fact that Anamiae are not like traditional undead in one key fashion: having not undergone one of Saminga's rituals, their souls are not bound to their bodies. In fact, the curse of the goddess draws the soul of a dead Anamia into the Marches, where -- at least when the goddess still existed -- the Anamia would live in thrall to the goddess forever. (In GURPS, this is the equivalent of an Extra Life, with the Limitation Only As A Dream Shade. In a GURPS game that does not incorporate In Nomine elements, substitute "ghost" for "Dream Shade." Being under the thrall of the spider goddess is an Involuntary Duty, always active.)
An Anamia subsists entirely on the blood of his human victims. Each pint that he drains will sustain him for a week of active life, or a month of inactivity (hibernation, which is achieved by making a successful Strength roll; another Strength roll is required to return to activity). However, any blood drained outside of his lair (defined as the place in which he resides) is entirely ineffectual for the purposes of nourishing the Anamia (although he is free to entice or drag a potential victim back to his lair), as is any blood which is not fresh (such as blood from a blood bank, or that has been in storage for any length of time). Even freshly-spilt blood will not help a Spider Vampire, as they have no good way to collect it before it is no longer useful to them.
To unfold the mandibles requires one round, during which the Anamia may do nothing else. In order to begin the draining process, an Anamia must first successfully grapple with his victim; if the attack succeeds, then the Anamia may attack with his mandibles (using basic Corporeal Forces + Strength). Once the Spider Vampire has bitten the victim, he may drain blood at the rate of one pint per round. Anamiae possess a mild venom that is injected in the first round of the bite; this paralyzes the victim. A victim may make a Strength roll during the first round to resist the paralysis; if he fails, he may continue to make Strength rolls every round, at a penalty equal to the number of pints of blood the Anamia has drained.
In GURPS terms, this venom takes the following form:
Anamia Venom, paralysis toxin, comes from Anamia mandibles. Blood agent. No cost (the venom is produced naturally, and cannot be extracted). Causes paralysis; no hit point loss, but -4 DX for the next hour. HT rolls performed each turn, with a successful HT roll negating all effects. Effects take five seconds to show.
Anamiae can store twice as many pints of blood as they could as humans (an average human male contains about 12 pints of blood, so an average male Anamia can store 24 pints), and cannot feed to excess; although their nature impels them to drain a victim entirely, drawing blood in excess of their capacity causes 1 Body Hit per pint drawn, and the Anamia must immediately regurgitate the excess, a process which requires one round. An Anamia may resist the compulsion to feed excessively with a Will roll.
When an Anamia goes for too long without feeding -- more than one week per pint of blood drained -- he grows weak, drawing upon his own body for sustenance. A Spider Vampire without any blood in his system has a week to find and drain a victim; after that, his Strength drops by 1 every week that he goes without feeding. This can be restored by drawing blood from a victim: the Anamia's body automatically absorbs blood instead of storing it for sustenance, each pint raising the Anamia's Strength until he reaches his normal level. If an Anamia's Strength ever drops to or below zero, the Anamia dies.
In GURPS terms, this is starvation (see p. B128), with the Racial Special Effect that starvation does not start until the Anamia reaches 0 pints of blood in his system and that lost ST may only be regained by consuming blood instead of rest, and the clarification that the Anamia may not store blood until he is back to full ST.
Unlike most vampires, Anamiae can walk in sunlight without any ill effects. In addition, they are tremendously strong and agile (as represented by the additional Corporeal Force they receive; see below), and -- if they go into hibernation -- can subsist for almost a year on the blood of a single victim. Anamiae also have the ability to detect vibrations on the ground on which they stand, or in walls they are touching (in In Nomine terms, they add their Corporeal Forces to Perception when trying to discern vibrations in any surface they're touching; in GURPS, they have Acute Touch +2, a new advantage which is based on Acute Hearing, etc. See p. B19). Finally, Anamiae are immune to the toxins that are carried in the blood of their victims; this includes anything from outright poisons to alcohol and drugs. They are also immune to all diseases.
Although this is not exactly a strength, Anamiae are again different from humans in that they do not physically age.
Unfortunately, Anamiae are weak in quite a number of circumstances. Although the traditional stake through the heart will not instantly kill Anamiae, a metal spike penetrating entirely through the midsection (such that both ends are exposed, one on either side of the body) will paralyze an Anamia entirely until it is removed (in GURPS, a Vulnerability that deals Fatigue damage), and live flame deals twice as much damage to these creatures as it normally would (another Vulnerability). In addition to its unbreathability, smoke also harms Anamiae directly: they take 1d6 Body Hits every minute (or fraction thereof) in which they are in contact with smoke of any kind. (This includes incense smoke.)
Part of the curse of the Anamiae is their death; before the destruction of the goddess who cursed them, any Spider Vampire who died became a Dream Shade under the goddess' thrall. Since the death of the goddess, Anamiae who die still become Dream Shades, but are not under the sway of any influence save their own. (Although the Tsayadim claim to have destroyed all of the ex-Anamiae from before the Purity Crusade, it is known that at least one still stalks the Marches, terrorizing dreamers with nightmares of spiders and death.)
An Anamia's final weakness -- though some might call it a strength -- is the constant call to evil that he experiences. An Anamia can lead a completely mundane life, as though he were a normal human, but if his internal reserves of blood drop below half, he must make a Will roll once per week -- at a penalty equal to the number of pints he is below half -- to avoid succumbing to his cruel, animal instincts. (In GURPS, this is reflected in the Predatory Instinct disadvantage (see below). The mechanics are exactly the same as written.)
Failing the Will roll means that the Anamia's personality is subsumed in predatory passion: the Anamia will do anything to get a meal except put himself in danger. Although these Will rolls are only made once per week (when the Anamia's body uses another full pint of blood), they increase to once per day if the Anamia becomes empty of blood, and once a Will roll is failed, the soul's personality does not return until the Anamia has drunk his fill. At that point, the Anamia sleeps for a number of days equal to his Corporeal Forces, and awakens with his original personality in place, which remembers with perfect clarity everything that has transpired since his descent into instinct. (In GURPS, the Anamia sleeps for a number of days equal to the average of his ST and DX, minus 10; minimum time is one day.) If the Anamia failed his Will roll with a check digit of 6, he will also suffer from a new level of Discord when he awakens -- usually Anger or Murderous, but occasionally (or when Anger and Murderous are at their maximum level) some other Discord that directly affects his mental state. (In GURPS, replace these Discords with the Bad Temper and Bloodthirsty disadvantages.)
Anamiae are rare creatures; they do not reproduce easily, and vampire hunters make special efforts to kill these evil and destructive creatures. An Anamia may only reproduce on the night of a new moon, and then only when the moon is in the sky after dark (which was, historically, difficult for the layman to determine -- thus adding to the difficulty of reproduction. The ease of determining the times when reproduction is possible has increased dramatically, however, with the advent of the Internet). However, should an Anamia feed on such a night, any victim who is drained completely of blood will rise as an Anamia when the moon next rises, although the victim may use his Will (as normal; see the Corporeal Player's Guide, p.80-81, or "Lost Souls") to abandon his body altogether and become a ghost instead, if he meets the requirements. (Failure means that the transformation takes hold, instead of the soul going on to its final destination.) A new Anamia begins his vampiric life devoid of blood, meaning that he immediately needs to begin exerting his will to avoid going into a predatory frenzy (see above).
Anamiae gain one Corporeal Force when they are transformed; the characteristic points must be evenly divided between Strength and Agility (represented in GURPS by a level of Corporeal Investiture and +3 each to ST and DX). They do receive 4 character points for the additional Force, which must be spent to increase a characteristic. They have a maximum of 16 total Forces (6 Corporeal, 5 Ethereal and Celestial). Although they have no true vessel (as they maintain their original body, albeit modified), and no true Role (as they maintain their original self), they can purchase any other Resource which a mortal character can purchase -- including Toughness -- as well as Corporeal and Ethereal (but not Celestial) Songs (as reflected in GURPS by their Ethereal Investiture, and in In Nomine with an Ethereal Connection). Unlike normal vampires, they are not beholden to a demon for their powers (and the original spider goddess was killed in the Purity Crusade), and still must make Fright checks as normal humans. Unlike mortals, they can suffer from Discord, and can spend Essence deliberately.
As Spider Vampires are no longer truly human, Shedim can no longer inhabit them; in addition, since they are not truly dead, they are not affected by any attunement that operates on corpses. They are still vulnerable to Kyriotate possession, however, and the resonances of the rest of the Choirs and Bands still affect Anamiae as they would a human.
Spider Vampires regain Essence at midnight.
In GURPS, Anamiae are a race, with the following costs:
+3 ST: 30 points
+3 DX: 30 points
+1 any attribute: 10 points
Acute Touch +2 (based on Acute Hearing etc.; see p. B19): 4 points
Acute Vision +1: 2 points
Anamia Venom: 15 points
Awareness: 15 points
Bite: 30 points
Decreased Life Support: 9 points (10 - 10%) (Limitation: Needs Air As Normal: -10%)
Essence Control +6: 21 points
Extra Life: 12.5 points (25 - 50%) (Limitation: Only As A Dream Shade/Ghost: -50%)
Immunity To Disease: 12.5 points (10 + 25%) (Enhancement: Negates 12 HT Requirement: +25%)
Immunity To Poison: 11.5 points (15 - 25%) (Limitation: Only From Victims' Blood: -25%)
Metabolism Control +2 ("Hibernation"): 5 points (10 - 25% - 25%) (Limitations: Must Make ST Roll To Activate And Deactivate: -25%; Character Is Sessile While Hibernating: -25%)
Power Investiture (Corporeal): 10 points
Power Investiture (Ethereal): 10 points
Unaging: 15 points
Unnatural Feature (Mandible): 5 points
Compulsive behavior: Always drain victim completely: -5 points
Predator Instinct (based on Compulsive Behavior, p. B32): -22.5 points (-15 + 50%) (Enhancement: Critical Failure Inflicts Additional Disadvantage: +50%)
Vampiric Dependency (p. CI106): -65 points (-50 + 10% + 10% + 10%) (Enhancements: Humans Only: +10%; Fresh Blood Only: +10%; Only Blood Drawn In Lair: +10%)
Vulnerability +6: Metal Stake Through Midsection, very rare, deals fatigue instead of extra damage: -20 points (-18 + 10%) (Enhancement: Cannot regain ST until stake is removed: +10%)
Vulnerability +2: Live Flame, occasional: -20 points
Weakness: Smoke: -40 points
Total: 95 points.
In historical campaigns, when the spider goddess is still alive, Anamiae also have the following disadvantage:
Duty (Involuntary): -10 points (-15 - 5 - 50%) (Limitation: Only After Death: -50%)
Historical Total: 85 points.
Dr. Howard York
London Chemist and Spider Vampire
In Nomine Statistics
Corporeal Forces: 3
Strength: 5 Agility: 7
Ethereal Forces: 2
Intelligence: 4 Precision: 4
Celestial Forces: 1
Will: 3 Perception: 2
Skills: Chemistry/4, Knowledge (Area (London/4), Business/2, Fictional Occult/1, Finance/2, Human Physiology/4, Occult/1)
Special: Charisma: +1
Dr. York is a balanced starting Anamia.
ST: 12 [-10]
DX: 14 
IQ: 11 
HT: 12 
Skills: Area Knowledge (London)-15, Chemistry-14, Economics-9, Human Physiology-14, Merchant-10, Occultism-9
Advantages: Attractive Appearance, Comfortable Wealth, Common Sense, Race: Anamia, Reputation (+3 modifier, small community, all the time)
Total cost: 195 points. Aside from the Anamia Race, Dr. York is a 100-point character.
Dr. Howard York is a newly created Anamia; he has only recently awoken from his first bloodlust. He was horrified to realize that he had become a killing machine, and has begun taking precautions against having to kill again. Being a fan of the occult, Dr. York has not yet realized that he is not a traditional vampire, and so has stayed completely out of the sunlight since he awoke, despite his chagrin that his store has remained closed in the interim. He has gone to lengths to capture rats and mice and drain them instead of having to go out and drain humans, and is not yet sure why he doesn't feel sated.
Dr. York is a very nice and charming man, personally. He knows all of the regular customers of his establishment, and is the type to hand-deliver prescriptions after hours when it becomes necessary. He is a teetotaler, has done his best to stay in shape, and while he is not a miser, he is frugal: his only vice is his home, which although only a townhouse is still his pride and joy.
He is also a vicious killer, when the hunger takes over, and apparently a selective one. His two victims, so far, were two of his best customers, and his most desperate fear is that he is going to start using his customer base as his flock of victims. (Unfortunately, this is most likely the case -- especially if he gives in to his instincts while the store is open. . .)
* * *
(Special thanks go to Elizabeth McCoy and Brian Hogue for their invaluable assistance in converting the Anamiae to GURPS and proofreading. Please note that the conversion of Dr. York to GURPS statistics was done without the aid of GURPS In Nomine.)
Article publication date: November 29, 2002
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