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The term vampire is used for several kinds of creatures. They each are separate and different, but have a common trait in feeding on other beings in various ways.
The different vampire kinds do not seem to have distinct proper names, instead being called after the organisations heading their kind, the Vampire Courts. There are, according to Jim Butcher, seven vampire courts. Though, besides the Black, Red, White and Jade Courts, the others are "little better than mosquitos". Sometimes, the term "anthrophage" (or "human-eater"), is used for them.
The Courts are several organizations of vampires. Each Court represents one type of creatures that, although different, are commonly all called "vampires".(reference needed)
While there are vast differences among the courts, all vampires share some similar traits that can be observed in the three courts presented in the books so far:
- Superhuman strength, speed and reflexes.(reference needed)
- They feed on human life force, whether in the form of blood (Red and Black Court) or raw emotions (White Court).(reference needed)
- They have the ability of creating human thralls to serve them. The Black Court seems to do this via direct mind control, the Red Court addicts humans to their narcotic saliva and the White Court addicts their thralls to being fed upon and manipulate their emotions.(reference needed)
- Vampirehood seems to need a human host to carry it: Black and Red Court can turn humans to vampires, while the White Court reproduce sexually and live as normal humans until their Hunger starts taking over. If the Hunger is killed before maturity they will live to be normal humans, as it was probably the case with Inari Raith.(reference needed)