Saturday, October 10, 2009

Let's kill some vampires

Okay, so Bell-Men has two types of vampires. One type of vampire is more or less traditional. You have to cut their heads off to kill them. I need to figure out how to kill the other type. Even the traditional vampires don't know.

Stakes are out--they just slow vampires down in this world. My imagination has dried up completely (or rather, it's shut down in the face of illogic--I mean, how could cutting someone's head off not kill them?). Any suggestions?


Richard said...

Starfish regenerate severed limbs. Maybe decapitating a vampire eventually yields two vampires?

Maybe their skin or spine or something is just really, really tough--so that no one's found a way to actually do the head-severing part?

Maybe metal doesn't have any impact: the wound heals right behind the moving blade, leaving nothing but a scar. A different material (obsidian knife?) might be more effective.

Or maybe the vampires have some way to prevent you from dealing the killing blow: some kind of inherent compulsion that saps your will if you choose to attack.

It's all good.

BT said...

I think it comes down to the magic at play here. If you were to cut off the second type of cvampires head, does it instantly burst into dust particles to allow the weapon to pass through, and once the weapon has gone the particles reform the head - or something similar? The central question is why doesn't beheading kill them?

Answer that and extrapolate it out. Is it the same with arms and legs? What about impaling? Do they instantly teleport to a new spot and regenerate at immense rates making them almost impossible to kill?

All antagonists need at least a small flaw, maybe you need to go back over the little objects your MC has come into contact with and figure out which one it is that will actually be your cryptonite.

If not, there's always acid or burning... :c)

Fox Lee said...

Garlic enema.

If that is too gross, may I suggest forcing them to inhale silver dust? Imagine it shredding their lungs, then setting their organs on fire. I know I am!

Cate Gardner said...

Give them an Achilles heel of some sort, barbecue them, have birds peck out their eyes.

My excuse for that lame attempt, I'm still half asleep.

K.C. Shaw said...

Lertulo--Excellent ideas, and I especially love the special material needed to decapitate. Thanks!

BT--more excellent suggestions, thanks! I think my vampires can lose limbs/body parts and regenerate them eventually, and they heal really fast after being cut, but if they lose their heads then they can't breathe so essentially they suffocate to death. My vampire hunters slow them down first by cutting the throat so they lose a lot of blood. (My goodness, this is icky, isn't it?)

Maybe my other vampires have some sort of imperviousness to iron and iron-based metals like steel, which--OMG, this WORKS--goes along with the fact that this kind of vampire was an elf originally and not a human. Sort of a reversal of the "elves hate iron" myth.

Woot, thanks! I'll have to work the details out, but you and Lertulo got me headed in the right direction, thanks!

Natalie--damn, that's a great idea (the silver dust, not the garlic enema, ew. I mean, some people like that sort of thing. Can you imagine a vampire who--never mind, I don't really want to go there). Maybe that's the old way to slow vampires down, that and staking, but it's expensive and slow. I like that, thanks! It may find its way into the book.

Cate--Barbecued vampire, yum! :) Actually, the "birds pecking out their eyes" thing isn't lame at all, because you got me thinking along new lines for my traditional vampires. If stakes slow them down, why not a unicorn horn to the heart? I was wondering how I would work Thomas's battle unicorn into the big fight at the end. Cool, now I have a good excuse to use him.

Man oh man, you all have way better imaginations than I do. Anyone want to write the last 20,000 words of Bell-Men for me? :)

Aaron Polson said...

Man...I better bone up on my vampire killing. Just. In. Case.

Lertulo and BT have it, um coffin nailed. I'm floundering. Usually, I try to obey the basic laws of the universe (as you said, with the head removed, they suffocate).

Wow. I need to do my homework.

BT said...

I could be completely wrong here, but aren't vampires the undead - and therefore they don't breath?

Like I said, I could be wrong...

Ah. now the elf reversal things sounds like you're on thr right path. I remember you mentioning it in Jack with the iron and silver. Sounds like a good path to follow.

Good luck.

K.C. Shaw said...

Aaron--I'm the same way regarding laws of the universe, which can sometimes make my head asplode since I write fantasy. One of the reasons I stopped writing about dragons with wings is because that means they would have six limbs and that's just wrong. Science!

BT--My vampires aren't really undead. The original vampires were created by a sort of magical accident, and the original ones can make new ones with a similar spell.

Jamie Eyberg said...

If a stake slows them down, maybe a stake from a certain tree will do them in (maybe it grows in a special spot or has been blessed by a magician at one point). otherwise, i got nothing. Good luck.

K.C. Shaw said...

That would go along with the iron/steel can't harm them thing--maybe a wooden weapon could do the trick. Actually, that would work perfectly, since some vampire hunters would carry sharpened stakes that could work as a (messy) decapitating agent in a pinch.

Cool, thanks!

Danielle Birch said...


Danielle Birch said...

The garden variety, that is.

K.C. Shaw said...

I think that would be pretty effective against anything. :)

Carrie Harris said...

Gosh, these are faboo ideas.

One thing about the not-breathing: even though most traditional vampires don't need to breathe, they do suck in air to talk. So any kind of powder would theoretically be taken in when they inhale to talk.

Wow. I am such a GEEK.

K.C. Shaw said...

Air-optional vampires who breathe to talk and/or to make their non-vampire friends feel more comfortable around them always drive me crazy. If you're undead enough not to need to breathe, it shouldn't even be an option, and if you do suck in a little air in order to talk then your voice should sound kind of forced and unnatural. But here's me trying to inject logic where it most assuredly doesn't belong. I mean, you know, vampires.