Carpathians are a fictional race of people from the Carpathian Mountain region, in the fictional universe of the Dark Series, a group of books by Christine Feehan. Carpathians survive by drinking the blood of humans, but unlike vampires, they do not kill their human prey. Carpathians use their telepathic abilities to “call” humans to them in order to feed, and then use those same abilities to erase the humans’ memory of the incident. All vampires were once Carpathians. A Carpathian male "turns" into a vampire when he kills while feeding, loses his lifemate, or fails to find his lifemate.(1)
Carpathians mate for life. This is because males and females are different in nature; while the females are filled with compassion and light, the males are filled with an inner darkness, capable of great violence. After 200 years, all male Carpathian lose the ability to feel emotions, sexual desire, and the ability to see in color. As a result, the darkness slowly spreads and consumes their souls. At this time, the only thing they feel is the thrill when they are about to make a kill. The only way their emotions are returned to them is when a male finds his lifemate, the "light" to his darkness, the other half of his soul. Once lifemates find one another, the male recites the bonding words. Once this is done, it cannot be undone. They must touch minds and share their bodies often.
At the beginning of Dark Prince, Carpathians are on the edge of extinction. There have been few children born to them in the past few centuries; those that have been born are all male and often die in the first year. Typically, Carpathian women conceive every 100-200 years (2)however, it has been more than 500 years since a female has been born. Without females, the males are left with a stark choice, "greet the dawn" (i.e. commit suicide) or become vampires, the undead, the monsters of human legend. In Dark Slayer, it is discovered that the infertility issues have been caused by the evil mage, Xavier, who hates all Carpathians, because they are essentially immortal, and he is not. (20)
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