Author Topic: The Re-Introduction of HMHVV  (Read 561 times)

firebug

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The Re-Introduction of HMHVV
« on: (22:54:35/08-19-17) »
So I was having a discussion with someone, and a point came up about when was the earliest in the SR timeline that someone could have been changed into a Vampire (not counting things like Red where they just mysteriously have existed blah blah).  HMHVV Strain 1 was isolated in 2034, but presumably it could have been around as early as the Awakening.  Which makes me wonder...

What was cause of the introduction/arrival of vampires, ghouls, and other Infected?  Basically, if HMHVV is a virus transmitted via the Infected, where did it come from?  Maybe some ancient vampires woke up and started feeding, transmitting it that way.  But what about other Infected that couldn't have just somehow gone into hibernation?  Ghouls especially, as they're the least magical and couldn't have just survived the 5th World without being able to repopulate.  How did the Sixth World get ghouls?  Did it start with only Strain 1, then it mutated into other strains, until it became the Kreiger strain?

I'm curious if there's any official answers or theories about this.  It's a bit of a "chicken or the egg" scenario.  "What infected the first Infected?"
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DeathStrobe

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Re: The Re-Introduction of HMHVV
« Reply #1 on: (00:12:59/08-20-17) »
Red got turned in his young adult life if I recall from a vampire attack. He talks about it in Crimson.

I also have thought about this too. It's possible it's a genetic disease and once the mana levels became high enough people started to express as werewolves or vampires or whatever. Some of the strains, very specifically ghouls can still reproduce the old fashion way.

But I'd really like to think it was an archeologist that accidentally infected themselves while exploring ancient ruins where the virus has laid dormant for millenniums.

For vampires, it's possible they may have laid low like the immortal elves as well.

The Wyrm Ouroboros

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Re: The Re-Introduction of HMHVV
« Reply #2 on: (00:28:53/08-20-17) »
IIRC, HMHVV -- at least one strain, maybe more -- can be carried by a few very specific non-human vectors within which it is not active.  I can't point to a book just offhand in which it says this, but my SR-fu does have this as a memory of something being stated, probably in SR3.  (Drop bears, probably.  It's always drop bears, just like it's never lupus.)
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firebug

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Re: The Re-Introduction of HMHVV
« Reply #3 on: (00:54:06/08-20-17) »
Vampires yeah, easy to say there were some vampires that were in hiding one way or another.  I'm mostly curious about ghouls.  Did they show up later, or at the same time as vampires were re-introduced during the Awakening?

Wyrm's point could make sense, if the Kreiger strain came from another paracritter, but of course that's still an egg/chicken thing.
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Re: The Re-Introduction of HMHVV
« Reply #4 on: (01:19:03/08-20-17) »
Well, recently it's been suggested that there were vampires in their own little down-time nests - I think it's Red who says something about this in one of the recent books, or implies it at the very least.  The more powerful the vampire, the more s/he had to 'sleep', to cocoon up and try to survive 5K years off 'stored mana', as it were.

But I'm not sure why you're saying that even if there weren't pre-6W vampires that nonhuman carriers existing would be a chicken/egg thing.  I mean, clearly the virus came first; an Awakened virus that mutated so that when it infected a humanoid host, it made some vastly radical changes to the host in order to prolong the virus's existence -- some form of genetic immortality being the goal of every living thing that has genetics -- and suddenly you have the first vampire.  I mean, think of it instead as an inversion of ebola; ebola comes from somewhere, a viral infection that can be found in nonhuman hosts in deep dark Africa.  Once it hits a human, well, it burns through them ... but that virus which we call HMHVV changes them instead of slaying them.

Simply put, the first Infected would not necessarily need to have been 'transformed' by another of their kind; only susceptible to whatever origin-state elements were required.  And the various strains can then evolve from the first one.
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Carmody

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Re: The Re-Introduction of HMHVV
« Reply #5 on: (05:46:21/08-20-17) »
The Metahuman genes were present during the whole downtime, they were just unable to express at full potential because of the low magic level, so people with those genes where basically just humans (and they did not change when the mana level raise because their development was over).
We could imagine the same for HMHVV, the virus was there the whole time during 5th world, but unable to do anything, or so little, that is went unnoticed.

Jack_Spade

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Re: The Re-Introduction of HMHVV
« Reply #6 on: (07:32:22/08-20-17) »
In my mead canon the dormant virus was able to express itself whenever people managed to generate enough positive background count to counter the extreme negative bc - for example when there were a lot of gruesome blood sacrifices...
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Longshot23

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Re: The Re-Introduction of HMHVV
« Reply #7 on: (14:11:06/08-20-17) »
It'd be weird if the pre-Awakened analogue of HMHVV had been airborne, and needed the Awakened to make the jump to being able to Infect . . .

lokii

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Re: The Re-Introduction of HMHVV
« Reply #8 on: (14:50:33/08-20-17) »
from the description of vampires in Second Edition, p.231:
Quote
The infection only seems to reach its full virulence in a magic-rich environment, but there are indications that both virus and vampires were present before the Awakening.

Running Wild, p.61:
Quote
Popular literature is rife with tales of most of the Infected. Vampires and banshees, for instance, have been with us since the Awakening in 2011, with stories about similar creatures going back centuries.

on ghouls:

scientific speculation in Target: Smuggler Havens p.28:
Quote
Some scientists think that the original ghouls might have been humans with a dormant HMHVV retrovirus in their DNA. When magic came back, the virus reactivated, and people with a strong enough concentration of it became ghouls with the ability to infect other people.

which by the time of Running Wild is presented as fact:
Quote
Ghouls began appearing in 2011, just like elves and dwarfs but in far smaller numbers. [...] That all changed, of course, in 2021 when the first wave of goblinization hit ... and ghouls began appearing by the hundreds in city after city across the entire globe. We know now that the same ebb in mana that triggered goblinization activated the latent RNA of the Ghilani wichtiviridae retrovirus in the genes of all those poor unfortunates fifty years ago.

firebug

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Re: The Re-Introduction of HMHVV
« Reply #9 on: (00:19:51/08-21-17) »
Thanks, Loki!  That's exactly what I wanted to see!
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Senko

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Re: The Re-Introduction of HMHVV
« Reply #10 on: (09:53:00/08-21-17) »
So it was present in X% of the population but without a sufficient background count it didn't actually manifest just laid dormant. As the background levels rose those carriers turned into Ghouls, Vampires, ETC rather than elves, dwarves. Interesting and a little worrying. We know we're getting new species variants popping up here and there as the count rises which could imply (especially since Red mentions the vampiric hunger getting worse in one book) there might be a nastier variant of HMHVV still lurking in some people's genes.

The Dyslexic Won

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Re: The Re-Introduction of HMHVV
« Reply #11 on: (03:29:53/08-22-17) »
I think you could turn in to a orc and also a ghoul.  So it is not one or the other. 

Tassyr

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Re: The Re-Introduction of HMHVV
« Reply #12 on: (03:30:57/09-02-17) »
Honestly I thought it was like Anthrax or something, where it can lie dormant waiting for the right circumstances for it to flourish. In Anthrax's case, that's moisture and a host. In HMHVV it's background magic, general magic levels, whatever term you wanna use. And a host. It needs that magic to survive for some reason and the world just hit the tipping point. (Though I don't know WHERE it'd be lying dormant. That part's beyond me.)
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Sengir

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Re: The Re-Introduction of HMHVV
« Reply #13 on: (17:46:24/09-10-17) »
there might be a nastier variant of HMHVV still lurking in some people's genes.
As a bit of background, retroviruses which integrate into the germ line are a real thing, and several percent of our genome are assumed to be such viruses which became inactive through mutations. Could be that some of those are not actually dead, just waiting for the right mana level...

HMHVV I is a bit more complicated, it normally requires an infected being using the Infection power and (depending on the book) causes infertility or kills the embryo. One possibility would be that pregnancies become viable when the mana level drops.