The Jade Court
Jade Court vampires, also called Chi vampires, are near immortals without a body of their own. In stead, they need to inhabit the body of a dead person to interact with the world around. In many ways they are very much like spirits from the Nevernever that need to possess a living body to cross over.
To stop the dead body from decomposing a Jade Court vampire needs to replenish its Chi, or live force, but draining it from still living people. They way they do this varies per vampire. Some prefer to do this by cutting the hair of their victims, others feed on a person’s shadow, while a third might steal a person’s reflection. In the end it all results in the same thing: the victim’s life span has been reduced, and is actually feeling a little older, as if he had aged several years.
Still, a possessed body can only hold out for so long. Although some of the strongest Jade Court vampires can keep a body fresh for millennia, most cannot keep a body for longer than a few centuries. Eventually all bodies will whither away and fall apart. When this happens, the vampire can freely exit the body and search for a new one, although its power will be greatly reduced until it has grown fully accustomed to its new residence, a process that can take several decades.
Because of this, the power structure within the Jade Court is fluid. When an older vampire is forced to take a new body, its position is usually quickly taken over by a younger one, while the older vampire is slowly rebuilding its power to grasp back control.
Saving face is very important in Jade Court culture. A younger vampire is always expected to respect its elders, and obey their wishes. Failing to do so will result in great shame upon him and his entire House. However, when an older vampire changes bodies, he is regarded as a younger vampire, and expected to show the same respect to those vampires that formerly had to bow to him. This can be a great source of conflict within the Courts, and another reason why a Jade Court vampire does not give up on its body lightly.
When possessing a body, a Jade Court vampire is not affected by sunlight. Its corporeal body shields its spirit from the dangerous rays. However, if the body is ever destroyed while not in complete protection from the sun, a Jade Court vampire is instantly slain. If the body is destroyed at night, the vampire has time until next sunrise to find a new vessel.