Thursday, April 8, 2010

From Formspring: Based on the previous question and answer, does that mean a vampire could theoretically outlive a dragon?

Theoretically, a goldfish could outlive a human...

Bear in mind that I'm speaking only with regard to the mythos in which my books exist. Other writers and mythos may be very different.

All things being equal: no, a vampire would have a very low chance of outliving a dragon in my mythos. First of all, at 1000 years, a vampire is considered ancient. While powerful, at this stage they are old and decrepit (relatively) and nearing the end of their existence. Very, very few vampires have ever gotten to this point, as their chaotic, fascist nature almost assures an early death. Any vampire who lives to this stage in his life must be in possession of great power and charisma to instill loyalty (or fear) in their subjects--otherwise the vampires would, due to their nature, try to kill him.

Dragons, on the other hand, live FAR longer. Consider that at 1000 years, a dragon is considered a young adult...the last 10 centuries were roughly the dragon equivalent to being a teenager. Unlike vampires, dragons are meant to be around for a very long time.

Dragons are territorial and can be violent, but they have a system of honor that most (if not all) dragons will respect to some degree. One such maxim is that there is no honor in winning a fight you can't possibly lose. A young dragon, while incredibly powerful compared to humans, vampires, and most other otherworldly beings, is still considerably weaker than most mature (1000 y.o.) dragons. Since young dragons rarely have anything in their horde or territory that an old dragon wants to take, they aren't likely to be challenged by one. Likewise, for a dragon there is no shame in retreating from a superior dragon's challenge...so if an older dragon did show up and offer a challenge, the younger dragon would have a free escape. Of course, the older dragon would be considered in violation of dragon honor by picking on an enemy who couldn't possibly defeat him. So, most older dragons don't go around challenging the young ones. Also, dragons are smart enough to know that they reproduce so infrequently (1-2 times in a male dragons life, if he's lucky) that their race will die off if they keep killing their young.

This is a direct contrast to vampires, who gleefully exterminate younger, weaker members of their kind, to eliminate competition, to take what little they have, or just for the fun of it. In order for a vampire to respect the life of another vampire (or any other creature) there must be something they want from them (sex, influence, money, companionship, servitude, or just someone to kick around) OR they must be kept in check by a bigger, stronger vampire.