A note: Outset boxes are direct quotes, and use the Shadowrun Reference Standard.

The Infected

Vampires are detectable biochemically by the Harz-Greenbaum blood series, or virologically by testing for presence of Human-Metahuman Vampiric Virus (HMHVV).
(sr1, 188)(sr2, 231)

In the Sixth World, vampires are real. Those who become infected with HMHVV transform into a different creature, depending on their metatype and the source of infection. The impact of the change varies...some go mad, some retain their intellect and sanity. All of them become something more, or less, than metahuman. There is no prevention. There is no cure. Forget Bela Lugosi, this is the Twenty-First century omae, and you need to deal with it. People will hate and hunt you for what you are, groupies and vampire wannabes will flock to feel your forbidden touch. You may have lost the sun, but you can gain so much more. Even magic. Yeah, magic. Magic is part of you, you can't deny that once you cross over. Once you become one of them. The Infected.

One of the greatest terrors of the Infected is the desire or need for most of them to consume metahuman blood or flesh. While far from a universal trait, it is the most common and abhorred of their practices. Vampires, nosferatu and their variations display a need for blood as sustenance, while ghouls and wendigo require metahuman flesh to survive. The wendigo is surely the most fearsome of the cannibalistic Infected, for many of them encourage others amongst the uninfected to participate in the same ghoulish feasts. The anthrophagus properties of HMHVV do not appear to extend to HMHVV II, reports of cannibalism from such Infected are not unknown, but may be a result of the mental trauma from the change rather than any biological necessity or desire.

Essence is transferred only in the presence of strong emotion. This can be a lover's passion, the terror of an unqilling victim, or the rage of a defeated enemy, but it must be strong and it must be personally directed at the being. This usually requires some transfer of physical material, such as blood for a vampire or flesh for a wendigo, though often only a token amount...A being cannot Drain Essence from a fiercely resisting victim. Either the victim participates willingly or he must be physically or magically subdued. The psychic stimulus of the being's touch (such as a vampire's bite) opens an empathic link between the being and his victim, who will feel the same ecstasy at being drained. The release of endorphins and other changes in body chemistry triggered by this experience can addictive...and the subject will actively cooperate in hopes of receiving another session. This will, of course, lead to a rapid loss of Essence and the death of the addict.
(sr1, 176)(sr2, 217-8)(crt, 10)

The second terror of the Infected lies not in their desire for metahuman flesh or blood, but for metahuman essence. Essence is a somewhat tenuous term, equated both with the health of the central nervous system and the spiritual wholeness of the body. Many of the Infected possess the need to drain psychic energy (read: Essence) from a victim in order to continue to function. To many, this is a greater abomination even than the consumption of flesh; it is reasoned, and not without cause, that the Infected consume no less than the soul or life-force of the victim when they drain them, permanently marring or destroying their spirit. The two acts, animaphagus and anthrophagus, are often combined, as when a vampire drains Essence and blood at the same moment from a victim.

When a being that Drains Essence (such as a vampire) has reduced a victim's Essence to 0, the victim will sicken and apparently die. Shortly after this "death," the individual will return to life as a being of the type that drained his Essence (Essence still equals 0). Such "newborn" creatures are dangerous, Though they are barely conscious of their new state, instinct will drive them to satisfy their hunger any way they can.
(sr1, 177)(pna, 11)(sr2, 218)(crt, 11)

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.
(sr1, 188)(sr2, 231)

HMHVV doesn't have a dispersal vector: it must be spread directly from individual to individual.
(pae, 53)

HMHVV is one of the few viruses for which no one's yet found a corresponding zeta-interferon, which means there's no good defense against it.
(thrt, 34)

Magical Diseases
The Awakening has led to the development of several different magical pathogens, diseases that only develop and thrive in the presence of certain levels of magical energy. Many magical viruses are retroviruses, viruses that incorporate into the DNA of their host organism and cause changes in the genetic code. These changes can lead to the gradual transformation of the host organism over time. Perhaps the most famous of these viruses is the Human-Metahuman Vampiric Virus (HMHVV) and its many variants.
(twl, 110)

The Infected
Beyond the stigma of the cannibal lies the stain of the plaguebearer. The Infected are not abhorred only for the dietary habits that some of them possess, but for the simple fact that they are diseased. The Human-Metahuman Vampiric Virus and its variants are retroviruses that change the DNA of their metahuman hosts, transforming them into something different. The Infected are feared for their ability to turn you into one of them...or in the case of those who cannot spread the virus, hated as a reminder of what you might become. A few actually seek out the Infected, lusting either for the power of the virus, eternal life, or some romantic idealized state. Some of the Infected are only too happy to oblige such fools, while others are more selective of those they choose to infect. Some even destroy their victims before they can change, to prevent spreading their curse. Some may pity the Infected as metahumans inflicted with a dreadful disease, for such they are. Certainly, some ghouls are born infected, and know no other life.

The Human-Metahuman Vampiric Virus (HMHVV)
The primary strain of HMHVV is the most worthy of the name. The pattern of infection for this disease results in many paranormal beings familiar from myth and legend, all of whom suffer a gradual loss of Essence, which must be replaced by periodic feeding on the psychic energy of others, usually accompanied by vampiric or cannibal activities. No current means exists to fight against HMHVV infection, although infection only truly occurs after a victim has been fully drained, and then the change is said to take three days. No reliable vaccine, tailored zeta-interferon or gene therapy has successfully immunized a subject against HMHVV. All such infected show a marked sensitivity to sunlight as well.

...infected with a virus similar in effect to Human-Metahuman Vampiric Virus (HMHVV), but without the manifestation of the vampiric aspects of HMHVV infection.
(pna, 22)

Interestingly, the HMHVV-II strain does not induce vampiric tendancies or abilities, as does the Type I strain. The two strains are otherwise directly related.
(pae, 46)

The Jarka-Criscione strain of the virus-that's HMHVV-II, for you scientific illiterates out there-causes severe neurological and physiological deterioration in all races, including humans.
(thrt, 35)

The Jarka-Criscione Strain (HMHVV II)
Unlike the primary strain of HMHVV, the Jarka-Criscione strain retrovirus does not induce vampiric tendancies, Essence Loss, or the ability to feed off the psychic energy of others. Typically, this retrovirus is passed on to offspring or by contact with infected tissues or body fluids. There is no concrete information on the effects of this retrovirus on dwarfs, elves or orks, and it is possible that these metahuman subspecies are immune to the virus...or it is lethal to their systems. Interestingly, HMHVV-II is also the only retrovirus shared between metahumans and a non-metahuman humanoid species, the sasquatch.

The Krieger Strain
Ghouls are the result of the Krieger strain retrovirus. Initially mistaken for a further form of Goblinization, ghouls were later properly categorized among the Infected. Unlike the other HMHVV strains, the Krieger strain takes much longer to process, and can be stopped or resisted prior to the full transformation, resulting in individuals with partial effects of the virus.Children of ghouls are usually, though not always, born ghouls. They may also be infected soon after birth. It can be spread by contact with bodily fluids as well. The Krieger strain retrovirus does create a cannibalistic dietary need, but the ghoul does not lose or drain Essence and often feeds off of corpses rather than the living. Several corporations are competing for a grant from Dunkelzahn's Will to create a synthetic flesh suitable for consumption by ghouls. The long-limbed Sasbonsam of West Africa are the result of the Krieger-Laluah Strain, a variant of the normal Krieger strain.

...the Bruckner-Langer strain of the virus, which transforms humans into nosferatu but kills other metatypes.
(thrt, 35)

The Bruckner-Langer Strain
This strain, isolated in 2046 but much older than that, kills any metahuman subspecies except Humans, who express as Nosferatu. The very rare Elf with the right genes may also succumb, but will require very specific dietary needs in order to survive: a very rare blood type which may be connected to magical potential and is only present in Elven and Human metatypes (there is a fatality factor in vitro if a dwarf, ork or troll fetus carries this blood type.)

Odd Relations
With all of the variants of HMHVV about, there's bound to be a few oddities. If that wasn't enough, metahumans have a tendancy to meddle with things and create abominations of their own. Where HMHVV is concerned, Man and Supernature have conspired to bear some very weird fruit:

The bandersnatch results from a sasquatch infected with HMHVV-II. The presence of the virus in both bandersnatch and loup-garou implies a relationship between the two, who are the only species known to be able to pass on the HMHVV-II virus by contact. Which species was the original carrier of the strain is unknown.

Originally discovered in the Caribbean, and later in Madagascar, the chupacabras is equal parts lizard, monkey, and vampire. As far as anyone can ascertain, the chupacabras was genetically engineered. Why, no one knows. It's tissues show the pattern of HMHVV when subjected to the Harz-Greenbaum blood series, but it does not carry the virus. This, and the chupacabras' need to drain blood and Essence, suggests that someone attempted to combine the RNA of the HMHVV retrovirus with the DNA of a genetic chimera (possibly a combination of rhesus monkey and iguana.) Why, however, is a mystery.

Drop Bears
This Awakened variant of the harmless indigenious Australian Koala Bear appears to have been changed by a virus similiar to HMHVV. Although no vampiric qualities result, the drop bear is a meat-eater that lands on it's prey from a height.

Somewhere between urban legend and laboratory nightmare, the mutaqua, genetically altered and animalistic trolls living in the sewers of London, appear to be the result of the genetic manipulation of the HMHVV virus by the Ordo Maximus. The Ordo has been working on seperating the RNA for specific powers and weaknesses from the various HMHVV variants in an attempt to create a super-strain. So far, their research has produced abominations such as the mutaqua, which shows heightened allergy or vulnerability to common household cleaners.

Creating a true pawn, rather than simply dominating a thrall by fear, is an art known to few. A victim must be drawn close to the point of death and then fed from the nosferatu's own breast...The pawn remains weak for days after its creation, during which time its master cares for it, often using drugs and magic to deepen the pawn's dependancy. ... There appear to be two distinct patterns of active agents, both operating at peripheral and central neural sites. What little evidence we have points to a viral agent conjugating with seroproteins to form a cellular-penetrating complex capable of altering a whole range of cellular functions. The virus closely resembles HMHVV, but the seroprotein conjugation appears to be unique in each affect individual, making it difficult to develop an antibody or imunizing agent.
(pae, 105)

Even more dangerous are the vampires' studies of the creatures known as vampiric pawns. Currently, such creatures can only be created by a lengthy process involving significant quantities of the vampire's own infected blood, often combined with drugs and magical coercion.
(thrt, 35)

Vampiric Pawns
Derogatively known as "Igors," the Vampiric Pawn is an addict slaved to its master by biochemical and psychological means. They are dependant on their master for regular infusions of Essence and virus-laden blood to sustain their systems. While powerful and hardy, a vampiric pawn does not carry a known strain of HMHVV, but a close relative. There is no evidence that should the Vampiric Pawn die from Essence Loss or wounds, it will not rise as one of the Infected. It seems unlikely that a vampiric pawn whose master is slain can long survive, but it is possible that another vampire or nosferatu may be able to sustain them.

Name of Infected
Description of the Infected Notes on the Infected
Species the Infected expressed from

Abat Boroka, Mangalock

The abat are externally identical to humans, though there is an enlargement of the upper canines in most individuals.

The abat is a variant of the vampire native to the Phillipines, notable for consuming the internal organs of its victim rather than their blood.
The abat is vulnerable to salt and wood.

The expression of a human (Homo sapiens sapiens) infected with a variant of the Human-Metahuman Vampiric Virus.



The amalanhig are externally identical to humans, though there is an enlargement of the upper canines in most individuals.

The amalanhig is a variant of the vampire native to the Phillipines.
The sukuyan is vulnerable to wood.

The expression of a human (Homo sapiens sapiens) infected with a variant of the Human-Metahuman Vampiric Virus.


Pesvastus dissimulatus

The virus alters the thick sasquatch pelt, making it more tatty-looking. The bandersnatch's strong arms are also somewhat longer than it's progenitors, and its teeth are those of a carnivore.
(pna, 22)

Some sasquatch family units have been totally infected, turning the entire unit into bandersnatch. Observation of these family groups shows that the bandersnatch is extraordinarily fecund, giving birth to infant bandersnatch rather than sasquatch.
(pna, 22)

The expression of a sasquatch (Pesvastus pilosis) infected with Jarka-Criscione strain (HMHVV II).

Paranormal Animals of North America

Noxplorator letalis

The Banshee appears more guant, but is otherwise indistinguishable from a normal elf.

...opinion splits between those who see banshees as false spirits akin to toxics and those who consider a banshee a true spirit cursed with a dreadful karmic debt from misspent past lives.
(tnn, 69)

The Banshee cannot infect others with the HMHVV.
The Banshee is vulnerable to wood and silver.

The expression of an elf (Homo sapiens nobilis) infected with the Human-Metahuman Vampiric Virus.

Shadowrun 1st Edition, Shadowrun 2nd Edition


The busaw lacks body hair, and possesses a rough scabbrous hide that is anywhere from dead white to ashen grey in color. The busaw's nails have hardened into claws, and it possesses jagged teeth.

The busaw is a variant of the ghoul native to the Phillipines.

The expression of any metahuman human infected with a variant of the Krieger strain of the Human-Metahuman Vampiric Virus.


Chupacabras Goatsucker

The chupacabras is a 1.2 meter-tall, bipedal reptile resembling a cross between an iguana and a monkey. Its scales are green and covered with coarse hair. It possesses an iguana's spiky head crest, large red eyes, a short tail and opposable thumbs.
(cp, 147)(crt, 24)

This secretive creature feeds on blood, preferring goats and cattle (its name means "goatsucker" in Spanish)...Females bear one live infant. ... Named for a creature associated with UFO sightings in the twentieth century, the chupacabras is believed to be engineered because of the creature's genetic similarity to primates. Chupacabras tissues show a pattern similar to HMHVV, but the creatures do not carry the disease.
(cp, 147)(crt, 24)

Chupacabras are vulnerable to fire.

The chupacabras is believed to have been genetically engineered.


Drop Bear

Drop bears are nocturnal predators with long claws, fangs and reddened eyes. Their coloration is naturally black, and they have the ability to blend into their surroudnings, similar to the North American bandersnatch
(tal, 69)

Current research indicates that these nasty little critters have some form of virus with similarities to HMHVV.
(tal, 69)

The Drop Bear is thought to have expressed from the common koala infected with a virus similar to the HMHVV.

Target: Awakened Lands

Homo saevitias

The virus has increased the incidence of dermal bone deposition, making the dzoo-noo-qua look more deformed and asymmetrical than ingentis Horns, spines and plates of "dermal armor" are common, with such modifications differing widely from individual to individual...Skin color varies from pinkish-white to mahogany brown. Fingers and toes are equipped with spade-like nails. The eyes are slightly larger than in ingentis, and are heavily vascularized, giving a blood-shot appearence.
(pna, 56)

The dzoo-noo-qua is omnivorous, but prefers meat. There are also recurring tales of ritual cannibalism among groups.
(pna, 56)

The Dzoo-noo-qua cannot infect others with the HMHVV.

The expression of a troll (Homo sapiens ingentis) infected with the Human-Metahuman Vampiric Virus.

Paranormal Animals of North America

Homo foeditas

The virally induced changes created far-reaching effects, including enlarged limbs, calcification of upper skin levels, massive keratinization of hands and feet, and the formation of subcutaneous deposits of bony "chestnuts." Complexes of sebacious glands around these "chestnuts" secret a corrosive, acidic fluid which constantly bathes the skin of the creature. Keratinized plates cover rudimentary gill structures on each side of the slighlty elongated and very muscular neck. The fomorian has 48 teeth, including six erectile incisors used for gouging prey...Skin color reanges from brown to brown-gray to slate-gray, with heavy melanin deposits on the surface of the bone "chestnuts." The final distinguishing characterisitc of the fomorian is a shaggy and irregular mane of dark brown or black chest hair.
(pae, 46)

The fomorian is an omnivore. ... Observers report cannibalism among fomorians.
(pae, 46)

The Infected known as the Fomorian, native to Tír na nÓg, should not be confused with the troll metavariant also known as the Fomorian that is also native to Tír na nÓg.

The expression of a troll (Homo sapiens ingentis) infected with the Jarka-Criscione strain (HMHVV II).

Paranormal Animals of Europe

Manesphagus horridus

The change results in a rough, scabrous hide and loss of all body hair. Skin coloration varies from dead-white to ashen grey, depending on the ghoul's original ethnic group. The fingers of the ghoul's hand elongate and its nails harden into claws. Its skull has slightly enlarged jaws that contain 28 teeth. These are modified to a consistent jagged shape.
(sr1, 183)(sr2, 225)

A ghoul feeds on dead animals, usually Humans.
(sr1, 183)(sr2, 225)

The source of most people's hatred for ghouls comes from their preference for eating human corpses. They must consume approximately 1 percent of their body weight in metahuman flesh per week in order to maintain their health and get needed nutrition, but the bulk of a ghoul's diet may be any other kind of raw flesh. Ghouls find cooked meat indigestible; it can make them ill, just as raw meat does so many metahumans...Scientists have not yet managed to isolate the exact chemicals present in metahuman flesh that ghouls need to survive; a popular theory maintains that the ghouls' need for metahuman flesh has something to fo with its metaphysical aura.
(ucas, 99)(src3, 32)

Initially considered a goblinized form of metahuman.

The expression of any metahuman infected with the Krieger strain of the Human-Metahuman Vampiric Virus.

Shadowrun 1st Edition, Shadowrun 2nd Edition, Bug City, Target: UCAS

Homo bestius

The virus strips the unfortunate victim of all body hair and fat, and increases the output of the salivary glands. ... The creature's skeleton is clearly visible due to its low body mass, and its skin often takes on a sickly, almost glossy sheen. The ears are large, long, and slightly pointed.
(pae, 52)

The goblin is omnivorous, but prefers a diet of raw meat. It cannot digest heavily processed food.
(pae, 52)

Documented in late 2046, the first goblin appeared in the south of France. Their relatively late appearece leads some scientists to suggest that dwarfs initally succeeded in resiting the HMHVV virus, and only succumbed to a specific strain in 2046
(pae, 52)

The Infected known as the goblin should not be confused with the ork metavariant known as the Hobgoblin, despite some similarities of name and appearence.The Goblin cannot infect others with HMHVV.
The Goblin is vulnerable to iron.

The expression of a dwarf (Homo sapiens pumilionis) infected with the Human-Metahuman Vampiric Virus.

Paranormal Animals of Europe


The loup-garou looks human, but like one whose form is twisted and contorted in horrible pain. Short, gray-black fur covers the creature's body. Because its lips are drawn back from the teeth and the gums have receded, the loup-garous teeth resemble fangs, while its bloodshot eyes seem to express either severe pain or malice
(pna, 102)

The activity of the loup-agrou is keyed to a 28-day cycle. (This cycle is not, as sometimes proposed, linked to the lunar cycle, and the cycles of different individuals are rarely aligned.) ... During the four-to-six day peak of the cycle, however, the loup-garou becomes a ravening monster...During this peak, the loup-garou is considerably stronger (mainly because the normal subconscious instincts against self-inflicted damage are overcome), and almost totally immune to pain.
(pna, 102)

The expression of a human (Homo sapiens sapiens) infected with the Jarka-Criscione strain (HMHVV II).

Paranormal Animals of North America, Target: Smuggler Havens

Sanguisuga europa caecus

Nosferatu appear to be human, with enlarged canine teeth, thin or no head and body hair, and extremely pale skin.
(pae, 74)

Like vampires, nosferatu consume blood to live, but they need significantly less than vampires. ... Observed nosferatu appear to prefer transmitting their HMHVV version only to their siblings' offspring (nosferatu themselves appear to have strikingly low fertility, a suspected side effect of their antisocial, schizoid personalities.)
(pae, 74)

The expression of a human (Homo sapiens sapiens) infected with the Bruckner-Langer strain of the HMHVV.

Paranormal Animals of Europe


The sasabonsam lacks body hair, and possesses a rough scabbrous hide that is anywhere from dead white to ashen grey in color. The busaw's nails have hardened into claws, and it possesses jagged teeth. Their legs, arms and hands are extremely elongated, allowing them to run on all fours easily.

The sasabonsam is a variant of the ghoul native to West Africa, noted for it's peculiarly long limbs.

The expression of any metahuman human infected with the Krieger-Laluah strain of the Human-Metahuman Vampiric Virus.



The sukuyan are externally identical to humans, though there is an enlargement of the upper canines in most individuals.

The sukuyan is a variant of the vampire native to the Caribbean, principally noted for its dietary dependance on salt.
The sukuyan is vulnerable to wood.

The expression of a human (Homo sapiens sapiens) infected with a variant of the Human-Metahuman Vampiric Virus.


Sanguisuga europa

Vampires are externally identical to humans...though there is an enlargement of the upper canines in most individuals.
(sr1, 188)(sr2, 231)

They do not need food or drink other than blood, but neither can they comfortably ingest anything else. Within a few minutes after eating or drinking, a vampire will evidence obvious distress and will vomit within an hour. Alcohol is particularly distasteful to them, as it causes nausea and vomiting within minutes.
(sr1, 189)(sr2, 231-2)

The vampire feeds by draining essence and blood from a victim.
The vampire is vulnerable to wood.

The expression of a human (Homo sapiens sapiens) infected with the Human-Metahuman Vampiric Virus.

Shadowrun 1st Edition, Shadowrun 2nd Edition

Vampiric Pawn Igor

Most vampiric pawns are human, they are nearly undistinguishable from normal metahumans without biochemical analysis.

...vampiric pawns depend on the blood enzymes and other serum proteins of a vampire or nosferatu for their continued existence. If they fail to receive a regular dose of such proteins, pawns become lethargic, comatose, and finally die. This biochemical addiction appears to be far more serious than human or metahuman addiction to any known pharmaceutical. Further, stuudy of the few vampiric pawns available for research shows that no common addictive factor exists. A different variety of blood proteins may develop into an addictive substance in different pawns. ...Though evidence shows that some of the addictive blood proteins may alter the membranes of neurons and thus the pawn's mental functioning, vampiric pawns show no loss of the skills or talents they possessed before becoming slaves to their vampirc masters. ... Relatively few vampires, but a percentage more nosferatu, naturally secrete the enzymes necessary to turn their victims into vampiric pawns. Anecdotal evidence indicates that alkaloids, viral preparations, and other agents may be sued to enhance the power of the addictive agent, but inadequate samples for study make it impossible to substantiate this theory. However, research has established that in order to create a pawn, a vampire or nosferatu must feed a drained victim its own vampiric blood just before the victim would pass into death.
(pae, 104)

Any metahuman could potentially become a vampiric pawn, although the majority are human (Homo sapiens sapiens.)

Paranormal Animals of Europe, Threats

Anthrophagus pilosis

Taller and heavier than a typical ork, the Wendigo is covered with white fur.

The nails of its hands are elongated and hardened into claw-like weapons.
(sr1, 189)(sr2, 232)

It feeds on flesh, and is believed to derive psychic sustenance from its victim. Typically, it induces a victim to partake of a cannibalistic feast. This seems to create a psychological dependence on such meat in the victim, who begins to aid the wendigo in spreading its habits, thus creating a coven or secret society of cannibals. The members of the coven are unaware that they will ultimately be meals for the wendigo itself, which seems to prefer the Essence of such corrupted spirits.
(sr1, 189)(sr2, 232)

The Wendigo is vulnerable to ferrous metals.

The expression of an ork (Homo sapiens robustus) infected with the Human-Metahuman Vampiric Virus.

Shadowrun 1st Edition, Shadowrun 2nd Edition

Active magic is much commoner in humans infected with the virus than among the uninfected. It is unknown whether this is due to side-effects of the virus or preferential selection of magic-capable individuals by its carriers...With their long life span, they have the potential to become powerful magicians. it seems likely that legends of vampiric powers are based on the magical prowess of individual vampires.
(sr1, 188)(sr2, 231)

All known wendigo have been active shamanic magicians. Though most carried fetishes of predatory totems such as the wolf, some had items of unidentified affiliations.
(sr1, 189)

Always magically active...Rarely, nosferatu may join a hermetic group in order to develop further resources. ... Nosferatu always follow hermetic traditions...
(pae, 74)

At least three known European groups of nosferatu hermetic exist, not including the remnant of the Aachen-Koblenz-Wiesbaden circle, of which hald were destroyed, and the rest went underground. The Order of the Reborn is the bloodiest of the bunch: a group of anti-Semitic, anti-metahuman nosferatu upper-crusts...You don't want to know the warped magical rituals they get up to, believe me.
(pae, 75)

Magic and the Infected
The Infected are creatures of magic. The retrovirus itself existed before the Awakening, and yet only manifested in those infected with it during mana spikes until the Awakening. For this reason, many of the Infected possess innate or parabiological abilities, such as the dual-nature of the Ghoul or the ability to transform into mist of the banshee. Many also display an active ability to wield magic, learning spells and summoning spirits. In this respect, the Infected are little more limited than normal metahumans: Nosferatu are always hermetics, and wendigos are always shamans (often toxic shamans, given their natures, but not always), while any of the other infected may be of any Way at all. Some of the Infected are more disposed toward learning magic than others; those with extended lifespans, for example. Others, while they may possess the ability, lack the intellect: the HMHVV virus and its variants is well known to degrade and snap the intellect of the mortal mind, often rendering the Infected mad or little more than an animal. Some engineered strains even destroy the Infected's ability to wield magic.

But why is the Talent more likely in the Infected? Some say it comes because the Infected are more likely to choose magicians as victims (after all, who else can fight one of the Infected?). Some say the virus activates or creates the so-called Magus Factor (a genetic complex that allows a metahuman to use magic) while mucking with DNA. No one really knows. Or is telling.

Most people believe the harmless facade that the Ordo Maximus has delibrately constructed; they see this hermetic order as a social club for well-heeled Britons with an interest in-though not necessairily a talent for-matters arcane. Many wealthy and powerful individuals join the Ordo out of intellectual curiousity or as a mark of status, and these unknowing pawns pour their fortunes into the organization's coffers without ever progressing beyond the lowest ranks of initiation. ... At it's highest levels, the Ordo is the tool of a secret cabal of at least half a dozen vampires-perhaps more-all skilled initiates who use the Ordo's funds and political connections to conduct biomagical research...they seek to create variant strains of HMHVV, new viruses that will confer the strengths and weaknesses of vampirism at the Ordo's sole discretion.
(thrt, 32)

The Ordo Maximus

Surely not?

I have a good contact, an ex-member who went through the preliminary and mid-grade initiations and knows most of the big noises. It's one of the reasons he got out.

They have a reputation for being a bunch of well-juiced old farts.

That's a useful reputation to have if you mess with cybermantic magic. Keeps other people's attention off you. A lot of the wannabees are juiced old farts, as you put it, or younger versions of them. The OM makes a point of recruiting the sons of rich nobility, letting them into the lowest ranks, and pocketing huge wads of cash for their lifetime membership subscriptions.

Thus perpetuating the image.



(Laughs) All right. There are vampires in the Ordo Maximus. I think they have access to magical rituals which allow them to use the Essence drain from victims to offset the drain of cybermantic magic. Needless to say, I haven't gotten far trying to find out much more. It's not something I'd want to risk, frankly.

You think that geek de Vries was right, then?

He got initiated into the middling grades. I think he knew. He may even have met one or two of them. There are a hundred and one tales about how he got infected. if he does know anything about the rituals, he certainly hasn't been spilling the beans.

(ct, 72, 76)

The Ordo Maximus
The Ordo Maximus is a powerful British hermetic initiatory group-cum-social club for the upper classes. Wealthy and noble members rarely extend beyond the outer circle of members, using the Ordo as a source of contacts and influence. The inner circle appears to be no more than a standard, secretive and powerful hermetic initiatory group...and one with access to cybermantic techniques. The Ordo has established lucrative deals with megacorporations, namely Fuchi and its successor Novatech, to instruct its mages in cybermantic magic for use at their hidden Delta clinics. But the highest levels of the Ordo is made of a cabal of vampire magicians, learned not only in cybermancy but said to possess a technique where their Essence Drain can lessen the enormous drain of cybermantic rituals.
Supposedley the heart of a global Vampire Conspiracy, the Ordo Maximus also engages in genetic research regarding the HMHVV virus...either hoping to create a super-strain or perhaps simply to eliminate their own inherent weaknesses. It wsa the Ordo Maximus that sponsored Dr. Oslo Wake and the Terminus Project from 2058 until the 2060 when it was destroyed. Likewise has the Ordo been accused of attempting to contact some metaplanar monstrosity...the accuracy of this is unknown, as nothing has been heard of it for years. Whatever else is is, the Ordo Maximus is rich, and powerful, and wise. And run by a bunch of vampires with no morals at all. The Ordo are alleged to hang out at the Body Bank in Switzerland.

...he became known as an exceptional mage and an initiate of the Ordo Maximus until he dropped out. ... While others were hunting toxics or insect shamans, de Vries became convinced that a secret society of vampires was working to awaken some metaplanar monstrosity that would make those menaces look like old women.
(pr, 14)

...De Vries was a member f the Ordo maximus himself, though he dropped out in 2053.
(thrt, 32)

DeVries didn't quit the Ordo, he was blackballed after breaking into the Grand Chancellor's private chambers looking for proof of who-knows-what...
(thrt, 32)

Martin de Vries
AKA Stalker. The foremost vampire in the Sixth World, an accomplished hermetic mage, and a former initiate of the Ordo Maximus has long and publicly accused the Ordo of any number of heinous acts. He is, also, the main source of information about the Ordo Maximus. Surprising to many, de Vries is a vampire himself, who subsists off the Essence of those he slays! The story of how de Vries became one of the Infected is long, but suffice to say it occured after a particularly deadly and phyrric victory, where he lost his weapon focus and his life. De Vries often engages vampires in Essence-Draining duels, where his unique Essence Focus gives him an edge. Fanatical about his goal, de Vries has had some spectacular successes, such as shutting down the Ordo Maxmius-funded Terminus Project in Seattle in 2060.

So, what exactly is a shella? It's a spectral wendigo. A creature that likes to practice cannibalism with its host body (the urge of the wendigo) and feed from the life energies of dying people.) ... The possession is not continuous. The shella's influence is strongest at full moon (when ... cannot resist it) and weakest at new moon (when it cannot ... enter body for ... days). ... The shella is only able to enter when a prospective host is very stressed, injured, or otherwise emoting tremendous fear, panic and pain.
(pr, 87-8)

First, he likes to snack on their livers and spleens. Then, he likes to run a knife around the throat and back of the victim's neck in a full circle, a ritual semi-decapitation inflicted on the body.
(pr, 86)

The shella
Unique among spirits is the shella, which possesses a victim (which may or may not need be an ork, it seems somewhat unclear) and incites them to perform murder and ritual cannibalism, not unlike the manner of one of the Infected. The origin of this spirit is unknown.

I know some people out there choose to call my kind monsters, flesh-eaters, abominations. But I've seen the humanity of my people. I've learned their sorrow, their pain, first-hand...from working among them, and then by becoming one of them.
(ucas, 81)

Ghoul Power
Unlike most of the Infected, ghouls are truly pitiable. They didn't ask to be what they are, they're victims of a disease that leaves them blind, odiferous and often mentally retarded, and they need to feed on metahuman flesh. Relatively weak by the standards of the Infected, ghouls are often the subject of bounties and relentless persecution. Many, sentient ghouls and non-Infected metahumans alike, have politicked for equal rights and treatment for ghouls. Sometimes this comes about when ghouls form their own communities, such as the Cabrini Refuge in Chicago or the sasabonsam nation of Asamando in West Africa. Asamando is an example of a pro-active ghoul community, eager to stand on equal feet commercially and politically with other nations. Thelma Luala, the Queen of Asamando, has brokered deals with DeBeers-Omnitech for mining rights within her country. Her large pool of ghoul labor works ceasely mining the stores of diamonds, gold and other minerals in the nation. After Dunkelzahn's bequests, she has attempted to gain United Nations recognition, so far without avail, although the Atlantean Foundation has offered its assistance in exchange for exclusive excavation rights. The discovery and mining of orichalcum in Asamando during the Year of the Comet, however, has weighted the stakes considerably in her favor. A more tragic case is the Cabrini Refuge, created in Chicago as a reservation for North American ghouls who requested asylum. The Cabrini Refuge is a much more unfortunate case. A legal reservation created in the worst neighborhood of the city of Chicago, subject to assaults and harassment almost from the first, and then government betrayal when the Special Order was suddenly repealled, the ghouls of the Cabrini Refuge stubbornly defended their new-found home. The outspoken and charismatic ghoul leader Tamir Grey, a former relief worker who became infected while tending to the ghouls in the refuge. For a time during after the Cermak Blast, Ghoultown was the safest havens in the Chicago Containment Zone, and many metahuman survivors allowed themselves to be infected in order to join. That ended in 2058 with Operation Extermination, as Ares' FAB-III Delta bacteria latched onto dual-natured ghoul and insect spirit alike. The Cabrini Refuge was almost entirely depopulated. However, the Cabrini Refuge had an important impact throught he diares of Tamir Grey, one of their most charismatic and prominent leaders, released during the UCAS elections of 2057. Such was the impact that Dunkelzahn, in his Will, left two bequests regarding ghouls, neither of which has been claimed as of yet. Asamando has repeatedly attempted to claim the status of first ghoul community recognized by the United Nations, but has so far not accomplished this goal, even after the discovery of orichalcum in Asamando during the Year of the Comet. Recently, the Ghoul Liberation League has become the most outspoken group for ghoul rights through legal channels, while the ghoul gang known as the 162s are out for whatever they can get.

Cures and Vaccinations
HMHVV is a retrovirus that changes the DNA of the host. What's more, many would argue that a spiritual change results...either from the DNA alterations or the gruesome behaviors that the Infected must undergo, or both. Reversing the process would require, at minimum, changing the subject's DNA back to it's original configuration, a hideously complicated process requiring nanotechnology and fraught with difficulty because of the paranature of the Infected. Playing with genes involving magical powers is dangerous and unpredicatable.

Strictly speaking, a cure for HMHVV does not exist. While the genetic research and manipulation of the Human Metahuman Vampiric Virus itself has advanced with great strides, modern gene therapy still cannot reverse the transformations wrought by HMHVV. Magic has so far proven ineffective in treating the disease either: Sam Verner, a shaman powerful enough to enact the Great Ghost Dance, with the most powerful focus and power site he could find, was unable to reverse the change that made his sister a wendigo. Theoretically, some combination of advanced genetech and magic might be able to reverse HMHVV...but not in 2064. A vaccine is another bag of bones entirely, as they say: Shiawese has successfully tested a vaccination against HMHVV, but even they aren't sure if it's 100% effective.

The Infected Timeline


2011 2021 2030 2046 2053 2055 2057 2058 Circa 2060 2060 2061 2064


FASA (Shadowrun)

7101 Shadowrun First Edition

7105 Paranormal Animals of North America 7112 Paranormal Animals of Europe 7116 Prime Runners 7117 Bug City 7119 Cybertechnology 7120 Awakenings 7121 Threats 7122 Portfolio of a Dragon: Dunkelzahn's Will 7124 Cyberpirates! 7211 Tír na nÓg 7214 Target: UCAS 7215 Target: Smuggler Havens 7901 Shadowrun 2nd Edition 7002 Critters

Fanpro (Shadowrun)

10650 Year of the Comet

10651 Target: Awakened Lands 10653 Target: Wastelands 10656 Shadowrun Companion (3rd Edition) 25002 Shadows of Europe 25006 Loose Alliances 25007 Shadows of Aisa 26000 Shadowrun Fourth Edition 26002 SR$ GM Screen/Contacts and Adventures

The Novels
Find Your Own Truth (Secrets of Power Trilogy Volume III)

Nosferatu Psychotrope The Terminus Project

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