Character Profile: Hilja

Art by Yahkus

Name: Hilja
Species: Human-turned vampire
Setting: Modern
Sexuality: Pansexual, gray-asexual
Microstories: Stuck, Blood Date
Shy, Small-Town Girl
Hilja is a girl of Estonian and Chinese descent, raised in northern Canada in a small town. Her parents did a lot of electrical work for the town, and they had internet early on. The town was small enough that everyone knew everyone else, but Hilja was more open online where she met people interested in the same science fiction stories she was that weren’t as well-known in the town. She wasn’t shy with her neighbors, as she was fairly familiar with them, but that changed when her parents moved to a big city to take jobs doing electrical work for a television studio.
Lost Light in the Big City
No longer knowing everyone, Hilja became more reserved. She made a few friends, especially as she met people also interested in science fiction, but she became more shy at her bigger school. Through the stories she read she became interested in conservation, and after school she got a job at a solar farm. While some friends were shy like her, others brought her to clubs where she always felt awkward, though she had some good times at them. One night after she left the club, someone swooped down from above and attacked her—a vampire, who hypnotized her and drank her blood, leaving her with a nasty puncture bite on her neck. She was subsequently turned into a vampire from the encounter.
Drink and Desert
Generally vampire rules state that when you turn someone into a vampire you stick around to guide them through their situation, but this vampire didn’t stay, leaving Hilja confused with no guidance to her new abilities and limitations. She discovered she couldn’t be near intense light and had trouble working at the solar farm and had to quit, and she became reserved from her friends. She panicked as the vampire cravings grew and she eventually went wild, flying into the night to find blood. When she regained her senses she was in an unfamiliar house.
Vampire Guardian
Hilja was found by Vil, a natural-born lamia vampire thousands of years old. They recognized her symptoms, her situation, and helped get her back on her feet. They adopted her as a sort of protégé, having previously lived alone in something of a listless state, and invited her to come live in their old mansion so they could teach her life as a vampire and protect her from the pitfalls of it. She was grateful for their help and saw them as something of a savior, relieved that there were also good vampires and she could be one. Vil gave her a bracelet, enchanted with magic to lengthen how long she can last before the vampire blood lust sets in. She likes to have it visible to always remind her a fellow vampire cares and is looking out for her.
Quiet, Dark Job
With her job at the solar farm no longer feasible, Hilja had to look into a new job. A frequent visitor and donor to the library, Vil was able to help Hilja get a job there—quiet with dim areas she could rest from light when needed. She was also able to use her old love of science fiction and other books to help patrons out. While she remains interested in conservation and solar energy, the library has been a good place for her to work now.
Powers of a Vampire, Powers of a Shy
After being turned into a vampire, Hilja gained many of the common vampire abilities. She can float brief distances, transform into a bat to fly longer distances, has heightened strength and speed, and she has hypnotic eyes. If she ever needed to subdue someone she would much prefer to use her hypnosis to resolve it peacefully, but even then she doesn’t like using it to take someone’s will away. She also excels at disappearing; while she won’t turn completely invisible, it takes intense focus to notice her, allowing her to slip away or remain privy to a conversation. She’s less good at being the focus of a room like her adopted guardian Vil; she normally has to resort to taking the attention of only one person with hypnosis.
Vampire Hypnosis
When Hilja uses her hypnotic eyes, they initially only glow brightly, drawing a viewer’s gaze to her like a moth to a flame. When she grows frustrated she may use this if she wants someone’s full attention; they remain fully conscious, aware, and generally in control, although they may easily lose their train of thought. Someone looking into her eyes at this point can look away, but the thought to do so is hard to come by. As she increases the hypnotic strength her eye’s glow becomes an intense brightness past her pupils, which drops the viewer’s mind into a fog and mutes their thoughts, increasingly only the light mattering. Finally the world around the viewer falls into shadow, only the glowing lights of her eyes visible to them. Whatever she may do to them at this point becomes a source of submissive pleasure.
Social Vampire Anxiety
Before Hilja became a vampire she was already rather shy, but losing her humanity, so to speak, turned her even shyer. She has difficulty expressing what she wants, and if she becomes frustrated she might take it without thinking. Depending on what it is she can become embarrassed or frightened after and disappear. Being a vampire terrifies her in many ways, and she’s grown distant from her human friends. She remains in contact with a few online but rarely meets up with them these days, saying she’s sick—which is easy enough to believe considering how pale she’s become. Vil isn’t really much help in the social sphere, considering they haven’t really had any close friends for centuries. Hilja has considered looking for other vampires to become friends with but is scared of the prospect.
Cracking Under Cravings
If Hilja goes a day without drinking any human blood she starts to crave it like an addiction. It’s difficult to fight, and eventually the craving can take over and she becomes wild, seeking out any source of blood to satisfy the urge. This is the last thing she wants to ever happen, so she tries to make sure she always has a source of extra blood. She hates taking blood from people forcefully, wild or not, even if they’re attacking someone else at the time, and she and Vil procure blood packs for use instead. Vil also gave her a bracelet enchanted with magic to help her stave off the craving longer. Just looking at it and knowing a fellow vampire is looking out for her helps her focus and remain under control.
Nobody Understands
One difficulty with Hilja retaining human friends is she doesn’t feel they understand what she has to go through as a vampire. She can sometimes become petty and impatient when this comes out, and she’s sometimes judgmental towards humans now. If she becomes frustrated and angry she may hypnotize someone and make them feel something of the type of pain she deals with as a vampire, but it always makes her feel worse for doing it after.
Vampire Cure
While Hilja is grateful for Vil’s help and admits many vampire powers are nice, she would take the chance to revert to being a human if a way were found. Though Vil has helped her research it, they haven’t come up with anything. Centuries of vampires and non-vampires have researched it, but a cure has never been found—only death. While Hilja still searches, she has become more acclimated to life as a vampire, and considers it less over time.
Red Away
As a vampire, Hilja has gained very striking red eyes like the color of blood. But other than that the color red now makes her nervous, even afraid. She feels a little like it’s supposed to be part of her theme now, but it makes her think of blood which scares her, so she avoids it. She typically ends up dressing in near colors—orange, yellow, and purple.
Water is Calmer than Blood
Hilja had a small pet fish as a child, and one of her favorite places to visit after moving to the city was the big city aquarium. The low lights and calm atmosphere gave her peace, and she enjoyed watching the fish. This remained as a vampire, the low lights even better for her now, although she’s a bit put off by fish like the shark and piranha now. Still, she finds it a calming zone whenever she gets antsy; if she could just lose herself in water, perhaps she wouldn’t need blood.
Media Theory
While Hilja was never good at painting herself, she always enjoyed art and studied art theory. Her interest in science fiction gave her an interest in the science of art as well. She has an odd perception given to her through becoming a vampire, and has started studying art theory through the lens of what attracts vampires to art that it doesn’t humans. When she focuses on this she’s able to ignore the blood craving longer, replacing it with something of an art craving. She’s also started examining correlation between art and hypnosis.

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