|This fan-fiction article, Henryck von He'eran, was written by SchoolOfTheLycan. Please do not edit this fiction without the writer's permission.|
- “You could say I am immune from death, disease, and all the other trivialities of mortal life...”
- ―Henryck von He'eran
Jarret-Andrej Henryck von He'eran, often going simply by Ryck, is a young Higher Vampire of the Gharasham Tribe who has spent the last century and a half traveling The Continent as a foreign courtier. Unlike others of his kind he enjoys spending time among humans, frequenting soirées, balls, and gallas often reserved only for the elite. He masquerades as a traveling lordling from other kingdoms, maintaining a ruse which allows him to peruse the aristocracy for (sometimes very willing) victims with relative ease. Despite his often very public and very frequent mingling with humans, few ever remember him once he leaves.
He is among the eldest of the second generation of Higher Vampires born into the world, the grandchildren of the original and unwilling migrants who were forced into the Continent by the Conjunction of Spheres.
Henryck is equal parts charming and deceptive. He presents himself as a worldly, extroverted, and shamelessly roguish individual who is often described by others as being the life of any party. He adheres to courtly etiquette effortlessly and is seemingly well-versed in contemporary socio-political affairs, much to the delight of his noble company. He seems to have a genuine love of playing social games with those who perceive him as nothing more than a haughty upstart, and has been known to assist those with whom he has favor in making decisive political moves. His is a cleverness sharpened to a razor's edge, a point of deep pride for him
Despite this personable and outwardly charming persona amidst the unwitting gentry, Henryck’s primary motivation for any and all actions he takes for or against others are in service to himself. While at times his goal may be as simple as having a drink and enjoying hedonistic splendor, other times he becomes infatuated with the idea of ruining someone’s life simply for the pleasure and fascination for the lengths one is willing to go to preserve it. Unlike most Higher Vampires he considers all humanoids to be chattel, which he prefers free range, and considers inferior in every way. This includes those individuals who have elevated themselves with magic or mutation, and in fact he shows a rather poignant disdain for mages. Because of this, Henryck has little regard or empathy for those whom he victimizes, and in fact delights in the suffering of prey that has 'overstepped' their station.
Henryck's humanoid form resembles that of a pale but healthy looking young man, often adorned in the latest fashion. He has a rectangular face, sporting a defined jaw and cleft chin above which sits and ever smirking pair of plush lips. Eyes the color of churning seafoam are set above well defined and high set cheekbones, framed by fiery red curls often bound back by a velvet ribbon. He is surprisingly well-built for someone who spends much of his time enjoying nothing but the finest in life. Among his kind he isn't impressively tall, and in fact could be considered slightly below average, while amidst men he on the taller end of the spectrum. Despite this his frame, often hidden by slimming fashion, is quite broad. As with other Higher Vampires, his fangs are not hidden, but unlike others of his kind he does not go to great lengths to hide them when he is among humans. His nails naturally grow into pointed claws and sometimes he simply can't be arsed to manicure them, but when he does they become indiscernible from human fingernails except in their natural thickness.
He bares no other discernable or distinctive markings which out him as a vampire, save how his eyes will naturally reflect moonlight in the same way a cat's would.
When provoked, Henryck can assume a more monstrous form, in which lengthy claws will grow from all ten digits of each hand. These claws can grow to a sword's length each and can easily cut through human bones. Those few unlucky enough to have ever faced a Higher Vampire in battle have often compared them in sharpness to witcher blades. His upper and lower jaws lengthen into a semi-prominent, but still mostly human-like muzzle that sports bat-like features such as elongated ears, fangs, and a nostrils. The green of his eyes also brighten into an unnatural and almost sickly looking hue.
Henryck can push this transformation further into a giant humanoid bat, considered by scholars to be a Higher Vampire's true form. The coarse fur of this giant bat form retains his fiery red hair color of the previous two forms and his eyes the vibrant green of the monstrous form.
Early Life (1043 - 1093)
Jarret-Andrej Henryck von He'eran was born in the summer of 1043 in the city of Metinna, of the Nilfgaardian province of the same name. He became among the first of a second generation of Higher Vampires born in the Continent to his young mother, Maria-Hendrycka von He'eran and proud father Brahms "The Stoke" von He'eran. Unlike many of their kind, Henryck's parents quite enjoyed living amidst humans and in fact, Henryck's father has received many knighthoods over the course of his life. Brahms possessed an inherent talent for martial endeavors, able to master weapon techniques after only watching them being used once. His mother had served as a courtier for several minor lords and ladies, and as a result was widely sought after for her advice and services. Because of this, Henryck spent much of his young life traveling from human court to human court, across what would eventually become the northern-most borders of the modern-day Nilfgaardian Empire, especially Toussaint, as both his parents felt a rather strong connection to the land. He was doted on by his mother and spent more of his time with her while his father employed his martial talents as a fencing tutor and consultant to gain Maria-Hendrycka favor among the nobility. Brahms even briefly served various military factions, but ultimately concluded he didn't much care for full scale warfare, presumably because it bored him.
Maria-Hendryck's approach to child-rearing was quite loose, as is common among vampires. She let Henryck accompany her to court, which would have otherwise been considered inappropriate if the youngling didn't already show a talent for charming his way through most obstacles. His mother also had few reservations when it came to enjoying blood, and did so quite liberally, though she was very careful never to be caught. The secret to her success as a courtier lay in her natural affinity for understanding the thoughts and intentions of those around her. Where her husband and mate Brahms excelled in all things physical, she became a master of uncovering the secrets of the mind. When Henryck's own power began to manifest, she used what she learned over decades of life in court to teach him how to use it more effectively.
Eventually, Henryck entered adolescence and, against Maria-Hendrycka's wishes, was given to the Metinnese Crypt so that he could receive guidance and education amidst his own kind.
Life in the Metinnese Crypt (1093 - 1133)
Now surrounded by vampiric youth, Henryck was left mostly to his own devices and subject to the whims of this new community with whom he felt little connection to. He did not enjoy the stricter rules his crypt leader chose to employ, and found the almost phobic attitudes toward human society hypocritical. They still participated in the Full Moon Festivities, which he looked forward to greatly, but he and others like him weren't permitted to mingle with humans during any other time. It was during these outings where he could put to practice his mother's teachings and so he relished every chance he got. Despite this, his time with the communal crypt was not all bad. His experience with the outside world made him quite popular among his peers and attracted the attention of several young vampire maidens. Among them was Carmilla Le Fanu, often called Sherry though it is unclear why, who then became his closest companion. Carmilla possessed the ability to read the memories of another through the physical consumption of their blood, including memories they'd forgotten, buried, or had been repressed. Carmilla found this to be an exhilarating experience which manifested in her regularly abusing blood despite the crypt leader's warnings, and Henryck soon followed suit. Together they formed quite a devious pair.
Throughout their youth, Henryck and Carmilla would experiment with their victims, Henryck modifying their memories and Carmilla testing their blood to see just how powerful his influence became. Many of the crypt who had repressed their desires looked to them as examples of what it meant to unabashedly live in a world that they did not belong to, while others saw them as degenerate extremists whose antics put the species as a whole at risk. Their closeness also lead many to believe the pair had become bonded, especially when they began to participate in blood sharing, considered taboo between vampires except in very rare and often extreme circumstances. However, while their relationship was intimate and neither had reservations about sharing prey, sexual partners, and trysts, Carmilla largely prefered other females to males. Meanwhile, Henryck had no intention of remaining exclusive to anyone, favoring men, women, and everything in between, often at the same time.
Striking Out (1133 - 1274)
Eventually, the growing rift within the Metinnese Crypt sparked by Carmilla and Henryck lead to their voluntary, but sudden departure. At only 90 years old, Henryck was not yet considered a full adult by Higher Vampire standards and Carmilla, being twenty years his junior, even less so. In spite of this, they struck out together, slowly traveling north as they flitted from court to court, as his parents before him. The pair did eventually go their separate ways when Carmilla became exceptionally infatuated with a human woman during their stay at Lan Exeter, in the winter of 1156. The circumstances of their relationship's ending are unclear, Henryck does not speak of his feelings on the matter, nor has he made any special effort to keep in touch with Carmilla since.
For the next 133 years Henryck traveled the Northern Kingdoms, occasionally making his way south into Toussaint to satisfy fleeting pangs of youthful nostalgia. Like his mother before him, Henryck was not opposed to enjoying blood and in fact came to develop quite the broad palate. However, his time with Carmilla had colored his relationship with blood in rather indulgent tones. He partook nearly nightly, except only when traveling to his next hunting ground. With his natural affinity for manipulating the minds and memories of his victims, he had free reign to do as he pleased and take as much as he wanted without consequence. In addition to testing the limits of this ability and honing it to a razor's edge, he delighted in causing strife. Henryck would hypnotize a normally savvy and compassionate businessman into making selfish decisions that could jeopardize his trade, marriage, or both. What began as pushing well off humans to dire straits, or rendering a social rival invalid, slowly progressed into increasingly sadistic experiments spawned from whimsy. He began to completely relish in his power, one of his favorite methods of exploiting it being compelling a parent into killing their children, or vice versa, and then releasing his control just long enough for the realization to drive his victim mad. He often reserved the worst of his depraved games for bitter rivals at court, or to eliminate a potential obstacle to a more favorable target, usually a highborn noble who had suffered a tragic loss. His primary methods of inserting himself into a local court often relied on this and other methods. Despite his brazen disregard for secrecy, Ryck never made exposing himself a habit, he simply cared less about keeping hidden than most other vampires would and in some cases used his identity as a vampire to lure those of darker proclivities to him. Because of his power, any mortal made aware of his true identity often forgot it, or would be forgotten themselves, soon thereafter.
Romance in Ard Skellige (1274 - 1275)
By the summer of 1273, Henryck's taste for blood had taken a turn for the gluttonous and with it his wanderlust. Having never been to the Isles of Skellige, he decided it was time to see that rough and rugged land for himself. He bought passage from Cidaris to the port at Kaer Trolde. Upon his arrival he was accosted by a group of men, whom he dealt with in his typical way; he convinced the largest of them to go pearl diving off the edge of the docks, where he summarily drowned. Later on, while on his way to the keep he was followed and attacked by the rest of the men. They had watched their friend die and were convinced that Henryck was a mage who had bewitched him. Before they could be dealt with as he had their bumbling leader, another group appeared, this one was lead by a man Henryck would later know as Gunnar of Allenkar. Gunnar and the men who accompanied him were serving on a merchant vessel which had docked at the Kaer Trolde port and were returning from a supply run when they happened on the scene. The two hit it off rather spectacularly and much to Henryck's surprise the human invited him to travel with he and his men, offering him their service as guides as they made their rounds across the Isles to deliver their goods. Ryck suspected Gunnar had other motives beyond a kindness of heart for extending such an offer and he was proven correct a month or so in their travels together, when Gunnar drunkenly propositioned Ryck away from his men. Ryck, having never been one to deny himself an experience, humored Gunnar and so began their whirlwind romance. Their dalliances occured in secret and often, enough that some of the others began to speculate. Ryck would then convince these individuals that they were simply imagining things. He would also take liberties with the locals whenever it pleased him, resulting in one night being caught out by his human lover. To his surprise, Gunnar did not seem at all taken aback that Henryck was a vampire, in fact Gunnar seemed keen on pointing out individuals who could have used a bit of humbling, and this turn only seemed to enamour Ryck to him.
So enamoured he was that he vanished one night in the winter of 1275, leaving only a single note in the bed they shared. For reasons unknown to even himself, Ryck allowed Gunnar to keep his memories of their time together, but did not make any effort to explain why he left.
End of the Third Nilfgaardian Conquest (1275 - 1286)
Henryck returned to the Northern Kingdoms later that winter and returned to wandering from kingdom to kingdom choosing to remain in the North for most of that time. Henryck found it difficult to return to courtly life at first, having picked up on a few Islander idiocracies despite how little time he spent among the Skelligans. Something about their culture seemed to resonate with him, but he also refused to return to the Isles so long as Gunnar lived. He spent some time in Cintra, before moving on to the inner continental kingdoms. He eventually returned to his usual pattern, though he avoided coastal kingdoms as much as possible. Still, it seemed that in spite of finding himself once again in his element, he felt utterly listless and uninterested in the same games he used to play once upon a time. Henryck began to believe something was missing in his long life, something he could not quite put his fang on. A growing disgust in humans began to blossom in him, where before there was only the sort of indifference a sommelier might hold for a glass of wine; piqued only by the occasional quality specimen, but otherwise uninterested. Yet, he could not quite find it in himself to completely let go of his indulgent habits. His taste for blood, it seemed, had finally become an addiction. In 1277 he heard word of a massive attack having happened on the capital city of Toussaint some years ago, enacted not by armies of the North, or renegade elves, but by a vampire. Henryck knew no breed of vampire capable of such a thing save his own, and so he became enthralled by the idea of meeting the one who had laid siege to
While enjoying himself at the Belles of Beauclair one night, Ryck encountered a young girl he came to know as Bernadette Donadieu. She had been among the many displaced during the Night of Long Fangs,
Wine Wars (1286-Present Day)
- Maria-Hendrycka von He'eran: Henryck's mother, and a direct descendent of the first vampires to cross over during the Conjunction of Spheres. Her name is sometimes shortened to 'Marycka', by those closest to her. She is described by Henryck as having been a beautifully pale woman with long red curls that fell to her waist when they weren't bound in intricate high styles, matching the fashion of the era. She favored the colors green and blue, often adorning fine silk gowns with cloaks made from exquisite furs. She spent her youth in the Toussaint during the early days of the newly budding vampire society, and it was during a moonlight festival that she met Brahms. The two thus began an intense romance and ultimately become a bonded pair. Their love begot Henryck while they were still considered adolescents, which garnered them enough scrutiny that they eventually left for greener pastures. However, Maria-Hendrycka never lost her love for what she and many other vampires considered the closest thing to a homeland they had. She, Henryck, and Brahms would often spend their springs and summers in Toussaint, when it was permissible. She was said to dote on him endlessly, sparing no expense when it came to his happiness, in part because he was her first child and in part because it was clear he was much more like her than he was like his father. Maria-Hendrycka was said to possess the innate ability to sense the intentions of those around her, giving her an advantage in her chosen profession as courtly advisor.
- Brahms "The Stoke" von He'eran: Henryck's father and bonded mate of Maria-Hendrycka von He'eran, from whom he received his surname. Brahms no longer uses his bachelor name and refuses to say what it is. He is tall, broad shouldered, green of eye and blond of hair. Brahms discovered his affinity for martial combat quite young and enjoyed spending his youth practicing in tournaments, both vampire and human. During his youth in Toussaint he would often appear in tourneys as a mysterious, unknown knight. Unlike many other young vampires, Brahms stayed with his parents for most of his youth, and would often face punishments for sneaking out during the day to train and compete. The final straw came when he bonded himself to Maria-Hendrycka and she became pregnant with their son. There was an altercation and it is unclear if Brahms' parents disowned him, or if Brahms himself simply abdicated from the family. Regardless, the result was the same, Brahms took Maria-Hendrycka from Toussaint to Metinna, where they spent the next few decades raising Henryck, and occasionally returning to Toussaint whenever he deigned to risk it, or whenever Marycka could convince him. Second only to his mate, Brahms' passion for all things martial is unmatched among his kind. He strives to learn and master combat styles purely for the thrill that comes with the resulting reinvention of the weapons that serve as his fixations. So refined is this skill, that mere moments after watching a new weapon in action in the hands of a skilled warrior, Brahms can decipher an entire combat system. He has served as a personal fencing tutor, battle consultant, sworn-sword, and earned knighthoods across the south over his long career.
- Carmilla "Sherry" Le Fanu: Henryck's first lover and longest standing partner. Carmilla possessed a flawless complexion with blonde hair so pale it was almost silver and eyes the color of burnished gold. She was highly sought after in their youth, courted by males─and some females─from their communal crypt even after her relationship with Henryck manifested.
- Bernadette Donabieu:
- Gunnar Bearsbane of Allenkar:
- Baroness Antoinette Valjean:
- Count D'Sardet:
- Schrodïnger Pdolsky: A witcher of the Cat School who happened to be in Toussaint when Ryck made public a summons. At first their relationship was entirely professional, Ryck offered the Cat room, board, and food at the Chateau in exchange for his services in eradicating what Baroness Valjean believed was the disgruntled ghost of her late husband. In reality, Henryck was using his abilities as a Higher Vampire to make the Baroness believe she was being haunted, including using his hypnosis to cause vivid hallucinations. Schrodïnger was quick to piece it together, but Ryck wasn't entirely keen on hiding it or himself. The two began an intense sexual relationship that culminated in Schrodïnger acting as Henryck's personal spy, informant, and if needed, assassin. Ryck provides him with an allowance of 600 florens every month which effectively allows the young Cat to do as he pleases, even give up witchering. He is strangely cheerful for a witcher—especially a Cat—almost to the point of naivety, but beneath that almost careless demeanor is still a mutated monster killer prone to bouts of intense bloodlust.
- Melysandrea Ravenna Corvinus: A lycaness from Skellige who emigrated to Toussaint in an effort to
Abilities and Skills
Like many of his kind, Ryck possess a unique and highly potent talent which he has honed over the centuries. His is a more powerful form of the vampire's natural hypnotism which allows him to modify the memories of his prey and, in some cases, allowing him a measure of control over those under its influence. In essence, this allows him to enact his every whim without consequence, as he can simply manipulate the memories of those who uncover his true identity and undo all knowledge of his crimes. In some cases he even compels his victims into committing atrocious crimes which often result in their being sentenced to death. His flippant disregard for the very personhood of those he most often interacts with, paired the beginnings of a blood addiction, ultimately results in ruinous ends for those unfortunate enough to captivate his interest.
- Henryck's father's name and moniker is a reference to Bram Stoker, author of Dracula.
- Carmilla, his first lover, was named after both the novel Carmilla's titular vampire lead and gained her surname from the author, Sheridan Le Fanu.
- His eccentric persona, penchant for rule breaking, and moral ambiguity were all directly inspired by Lestat de Lioncourt, from Anne Rice's The Vampire Chronicles.
- His sisters' first names Verona, Marishka, and Aleera were all taken from the brides of Dracula as seen in the 2004 film Van Helsing, written and directed by Stephen Sommers.
- Henryck is named after both his grandfathers and his mother.
- Henryck was originally designed as a parody of everything The Witcher vampires are a subversion of but later became his own fully fleshed out character.