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White Court Vampire (Dresden Files)
An artist's conception of Thomas Raith
|Character in Series||Thomas Raith|
For an overall list of Succubus related articles, see Succubus (disambiguation).
For an overall list of Incubus related articles, see Incubus (disambiguation).
White Court Vampires are one kind of the various unrelated creatures called vampires which appear in the Dresdenverse series of novels by Jim Butcher. White Court vampires appear human and they prey on human emotion and energies. Their corresponding organization is the White Court, after which they are named. They feed off the emotions and life force of their prey and the Raith family, who almost uniformly feed on lust and/or passion, are commonly referred to as Succubae or Incubae.
White Court vampires appear human and prey on human emotions and energies. They are long lived, possibly immortal, Lord Raith and Lara Raith have both lived for centuries. The ones seen can be identified by a shared inhuman beauty, and blood that is described as being "a few shades too pale to be human".
Their vampiric state is genetic and highly hereditary, rather than created like the other two Courts in the series. They are, for all intents and purposes, human until their vampirism manifests sometime around the age of their maturity. As with the Red Court, their first feeding, with its subsequent and almost inevitable kill, usually marks their full transformation, and awakens the demon that lives inside of them which forces them to feed. If they refrain from feeding for too long, this "Hunger" drives them into a frenzy where they must feed, usually enough to permanently harm or kill their victim, and can drive the vampire permanently insane. However, under specific circumstances, individuals descended from White Court vampires may curtail their transformation into vampires completely.
Their demon feeds upon specific emotions, which largely depends upon which family they are associated with: House Raith normally feeds on lust, House Malvora feeds on fear, House Skavis feeds on despair, and so on. They can change the emotion that they feed on, such as with Madrigal Raith, but it is considered very taboo. The feeding is addictive, and victims usually return to be fed on again.
White Court vampires are not endowed with the same physical strength as their vampire counterparts under normal circumstances. Their physical performance (standing jump heights, speed, endurance, reflexes, rate of healing, and so on) are dependent on how much their demon is fed. If they use too much of their supernatural powers, they must feed again to replenish them. While tapping into the demon, they radiate waves of cold (possibly an illusory reaction of normal humans to their energy sink), their skin whitens, their eyes turn an unnatural silver, and their body begins to glow faintly.
They have far fewer vulnerabilities than other kinds of vampires. Sunlight and symbols of faith do not harm them. Their main weakness is the opposite to the emotion that the vampire primarily feeds upon: Raiths are harmed by true love, Malvora by acts of courage, Skavis by hope. People or objects who are, or who have recently been, contaminated by the opposite emotion of the specific vampire are highly resistant to that vampire's control, and can even physically burn and blister the vampire's skin upon contact. The Whites can cross a threshold without an invitation but doing so cripples their abilities.
The White Court
The White Court is one of the Vampire Courts. White Court vampires are the most human-like of the Vampire Courts. They feed off the emotions and life force of their prey.
Unlike the other Courts, the White Court prefers to avoid direct confrontation with their enemies. They are for the most part, a court of schemers who prefer to stab each other in the back and use "Cat's paws" in exquisitely detailed plots to impress the others in the Court, to the extent that direct confrontation is looked down upon and socially damaging.
As of Changes, the White Court is possibly the largest of the three remaining vampire courts, with the Red Court destroyed, the Black Court having been nearly wiped out and the Jade Court's power and influence unknown.
- The White Court is able to cross a threshold but it cripples their ability to draw on their Hunger for strength and speed.
- The Hunger fuels their power, strength and near immortality—they are born with it.
- Using their power makes them Hungry and they need to feed or it causes: moodiness, anger, violent behavior, and paranoia.
- Long term lack of feeding causes them use up their reserves of life force, then the Hunger takes over, and they go insane if they can't hunt.
The people they feed on get little pieces of their life nibbled away causing some degree of spiritual damage. It leaves them vulnerable to the allure so that the Whites can easily make return visits. If they keep getting fed upon, they go into a mindless daze and eventually die, possibly from a heart attack during sex.
White Court Houses
There are different Houses within the White Court, each comprised of a close-knit family. There is much in-fighting between the Houses, but House Raith is considered to be the most powerful, with Lord Raith acting as King of the White Court. The Houses are mainly distinguished by their choice of emotion to feed upon, but this has been represented as a strong preference rather than a restriction.
Those of House Raith are sexual predators, using their supernatural good looks and psychic aura to attract both men and women. During intercourse, or any direct physical contact where emotions like lust are heightened, they feed off their prey - specifically, off the intimacy. Victims of the feedings of House Raith grow to enjoy the experience and become bonded to their predator, not unlike a drug addiction.
Like the vampires of the other houses, the vampires of House Raith have a weakness to the opposite emotion of the emotion they feed on. Members of this house cannot touch someone who truly loves another, and is truly loved in return, or objects that represent a true love in some way (such as a wedding ring).
It is possible for the members of House Raith to kill their Hunger if its done at a certain point. To do so, they must feed off someone they love who loves them back, as long as it is their first feeding. This happens to Inari Raith, younger sister of Thomas and Lara in the novel Blood Rites.
The tradition of the White Court is to not tell a young potential succubus that what they will become, or even anything about the supernatural world. In their childhood and early teens they are raised as a vanilla human. Their first feeding, which is always fatal, comes as a surprise to them, and introduces them into the world of the White Court.
House Malvora is a House of White Court vampires. Most of them are phobophages, meaning they feed on fear.
The Head of the House is Lady Cesarina Malvora, the mother of Vittorio Malvora.
Most prefer very strong fear, such as that of being in a potentially deadly situation, but some (such as Thomas's cousin Madrigal) satisfy themselves with smaller scares like those created by horror and slasher movies, of which Madrigal was a writer and director.
Like the vampires of the other houses, the vampires of House Malvora have a weakness to the opposite of the emotion they feed on. Members of this house will, as stated by Jim Butcher, "get bad effects from real courage."
The vampires of House Skavis feed on despair, preferring to drive a victim into the depths of depression and in many cases driving them to suicide.
Like the vampires of the other houses, the vampires of House Skavis have a weakness to the opposite of the emotion they feed on. Members of this house will, as stated by Jim Butcher, "choke on hope."
The Fourth House
The role playing game strongly implies that there is a fourth house that prefers to feed on anger, which has not yet been referenced in the novels. If this house exists, it will likely be weak to feelings of serenity.
They presumably originate in the Etruscan civilization of ancient Italy, as they use the Etruscan language for all of their formal court functions.
At the moment, Thomas's father is the King of the White Court in name only. In reality, Thomas's older sister Lara is in charge, pulling the strings from the background to keep up appearances.