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Kanaya Maryam is a Rainbow Drinker. This is basically some twisted Troll version of the human mythological Vampire, but they prefer to walk in the daylight. Canon facts for Rainbow Drinkers are rather sparse, so This is here to collect the headcanon I've been using to play out the condition.

Canon facts for Rainbow Drinkers:


- They can drink blood. It's suggested that this is mandatory, or at least somewhat of a burden.
- They can move and survive with a hole where their spine used to be.
- Their skin glows with sufficient light to illuminate a passageway.
- The luminescence can be turned on and off at will once the Rainbow Drinker understands the trick.
- Rainbow Drinkers are capable of supernatural speed.
- Kanaya fed on Terezi and Sollux in canon without any ill effects. The bite of a Rainbow Drinker is insufficient to spread the "curse". As theorized in the Walkaround, The effects of being a Rainbow Drinker may be an adaptation to allow Jade Bloods to better care for and protect the mother grubs. It's not likely that Rainbow Drinkers can 'infect', 'embrace' or otherwise change anybody into a Rainbow Drinker.

My headcanon for rainbow drinkers was first developed as I started to play Kanaya, and was refined quite a bit while playing in Vatheon. At first I used the rules for vampires in White Wolf's "Vampire: The Masquerade" as a basis, but over time I've ditched parts of that when they never came up or proved to be unusable in RP, or when canon started to show some signs of contradiction, or when I decided I didn't like the way it would work. Many things were added when I encountered situations I hadn't yet considered (such as feeding from someone who is intoxicated). Here's what I'm working with now.


--Headcannon--




Romance Novels:


In canon, there are several romantic books featuring Rainbow Drinkers. For the purposes of my headcanon, These works of fiction are somewhat based on truth. While the creatures are supposed to be myths, obviously they actually exist. Different books set up different circumstances for Rainbow Drinkers, just as real life Vampire novels have differences in things like the effectiveness of garlic/crosses/running water/etc. The commonalities of the books (blood drinking, resilience to damage, enjoying sunlight) are all based on truth, but Kanaya has had to explore the other facts presented in her books to see if they hold. She has included human vampiric literature in this search, and has not yet found any pungent vegetables particularly offensive, nor has she had any difficulty bathing.

Sustenance:


Rainbow drinkers need blood. Different bloods have a unique flavor, but only between species and blood castes, not that the flavor could be used to identify an individual or anything.
Food and drink do nothing. There is no problem with digestion, but a drinker could go without forever and be just fine.

A rainbow drinker needs to feed around once a week. Sufficient sources of 'full spectrum' light can delay the hunger, but ultimately one will need to drink eventually. "Bottled" blood takes a little bit of the edge off of the hunger, but like sunlight it's a delaying measure, not a replacement. Only fresh live blood will really do.

When the time period of feeding is reached (a week on average, up to three with the delaying measures above) hunger starts to set in. The initial effects of hunger are not immediately noticeable. It starts with a subtle change in behavior driving the Drinker to find food. The exact change is subject to environment. A Rainbow Drinker that has isolated themselves from society might find themselves going out in public more often. In Kanaya's case, due to a combination of trashy undead romance novels and the fact that the first several times she got hungry in canon she was around a certain individual that she was rather attracted to... she gets a little flirty. My headcanon for this is that she managed to keep control during the meteor trip to the alpha session mostly by maintaining strict feeding schedules. In a game this may not be so easy.

If the hunger is ignored, it may grow to the point where the Drinker can lose control. This would start as more aggressive feeding behaviors, but could lead to a full blown crazed vampire blood rampage. Kanaya's pretty careful about this. She has come close enough to it though that she's afraid of what might happen if she waits too long.

At their hungriest, a rainbow drinker may require more blood than a victim can safely give. Normally though, if they feed as soon as they start to feel the hunger, their victim or donor will just feel a bit lightheaded. Feeding often, combined with the delaying effects of sun, can greatly reduce the amount needed.

If a victim is under the effects of some sort of drug, one that would be present in the bloodstream (most narcotics, alcohol, Sopor), then drinking that blood causes the drinker to be affected to more or less the same degree as the victim.

The feeding is a pleasurable experience for both parties. Not the orgasmic effect of some vampire canons, but there is a bit of a euphoric effect after the initial pain of broken skin, along with a lasting mood boost that may be as much from bloodloss as it is from whatever causes the pleasure. Bite wounds are minor, and Rainbow Drinkers probably have some sort of healing effect on their bites, as band-aids are sufficient to take care of the wounds.


Physicality:


Obviously, a rainbow drinker has incredible stamina and resistance to wounds. They may lose some blood from an injury, but don't have to worry about bleeding out. Kanaya still operated with a hole where her spine should be, after all. Outright decapitation or incineration would kill one just fine. They react to brain damage the same as anyone else would. Overall they can take a lot of punishment, at least to the body.

Rainbow drinkers are immune or at least very resistant to most poisons, radiations, and other interesting hazards where the effect is more or less biological.

Edit: "Drinker Fastness" is now confirmed canon. Headcanon description of it's relative speed is still headcanon.
In addition, though these parts are sometimes argued by fans, I headcanon rainbow drinkers as having additional speed and strength. These are boons to help protect the mother grub. Kanaya kicked Gamzee several feet in the air, and approached fast enough to catch the flashstepper off guard. However, I usually don't feel like arguing that she's *faster* than Gamzee / bro's flashstepping, just fast enough that it's obvious to most trolls that they're supernaturally enhanced. Same goes for the strength. She couldn't outdo Equius, but she's surprisingly strong from her size. In Vatheon she used both of these to wrestle the Disciple (don't ask, there were gamzee-made cupcakes involved), and may have even outmatched her in strength... but there's only so much force a 45~kilo girl can lever onto someone, and with a greater level of experience Disciple managed to pin her.

A rainbow drinker may or may not have some form of immortality. They probably do continue to age (Kanaya will appear to get older over time), though they might stop at mid-adulthood. I dunno. Maybe their aging is slower, maybe super old Rainbow Drinkers are like old school vampires that look like mummies or something, or maybe they have the eternal youth thing going. I doubt it will ever come up, other than as a slight existential horror for Kanaya at the idea that she might live forever. It's just my preference that she won't stay a pre-teen troll forever.

The characteristic glow of a rainbow drinker can be suppressed or 'turned off'. When it it off, a sudden shock can cause it to return as a sort of defense mechanism. Most of the time, it will remain in it's current state of on or off without any effort. She only needs to concentrate to "flip the switch" as it were, and the aforementioned defense reaction might flip it on without any control.

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