Ever since the first Gardella was called to fight vampires in First-Century Rome, members of the Gardella family have been chosen to take up the duty of ridding the world of the evil undead.
Those selected for this responsibility are warned through a series of five horrible dreams within a short time–dreams that demonstrate and portend their future of hunting vampires and battling evil. Many who are called don't know the meaning of the dreams until after the fifth one, when they are educated about the world of vampires and Venators by a mentor that is sent to them.
Once the dreams have occurred, and if the dreamer agrees to accept the Legacy, the chosen person must pass a test: to hunt and kill a vampire. One who is called to this duty bears the innate sense and skill to carry out this duty, although he or she may decide not to accept the calling.
If the chosen Gardella is successful in slaying a vampire, then he (or she) is given the vis bulla and becomes a full-fledged Venator, or vampire hunter.
The vis bulla is a holy strength amulet, a tiny silver cross forged from a small vein beneath the mountain of Golgatha and steeped in holy water. It provides protection, strength, speed, and fast-healing capability for the Venator.
There are no more than two hundred Venators world wide at any given time; they fall in far-flung branches of the Gardella family throughout all corners of the earth–often unaware of the family legacy until the five dreams, and the subsequent visit by the mentor.
These randomly-appearing members of the Gardella family tree are known as born Venators, for they were born to their duty and chosen for the Legacy.
The first vampire was Judas Iscariot, who was seduced by Lucifer to join him after he sold Jesus Christ. Believing that he would never be forgiven, Judas hanged himself, and Lucifer used him to create a new race of creatures: half-man and half-demon, who would survive by drinking the blood of mortal man.
Lilith the Dark is the daughter of Judas, and has been alive for more than a millenium. She is the most powerful vampire on the earth today, and rules over the members of her race.
All vampires have red eyes and fangs, and will burn if subjected to direct sunlight. A stake to the heart will destroy any vampire, as will a beheading. Because of the ties between Judas and Jesus Christ, vampires are afraid of silver (due to the thirty pieces Judas received in payment for selling Jesus) and other holy objects.
Guardian vampires are those in Lilith's elite guard, and their eyes glow ruby pink instead of bloodred. These vampires are have a particularly strong capability to enthrall their victims, and their fangs release a special poison at will.
Imperials are the most fearsome of all vampires. They usually have long hair and they nearly always carry swords. They can fly and glide through the air and have the ability to pull the life-force from a human without touching or biting them.