The Basic Differences Between Humans and Vampires
1) First and most obvious is that vampires live off of blood. It is their sustenance and without it they would starve and die. Some vampires have been known to be able to go for months without feeding, but most vampires have to eat every few days.
2) Vampires can only go out at night. Direct exposure to the sun causes them to burn, perhaps nothing as fantastic as bursting into but certainly deadly. However, they do not necessarily have to sleep during the day, but most of them do because it is simply convenient.
3) Vampires are immortal. Unless they suffer traumatic physical damage, exposure to sunlight, or starvation, a vampire will not die. Some vampires will grow to be thousands of years old, but the average life span of a vampire is about 300 years.
Common Vampire Myths
Garlic, crosses, running water, etc -- For the most part, vampires are uneffected by religious articles, garlic and so forth. They can enter into places of worship unharmed and cross running water. The only time a vampire will be effected by these things is if he or she believes that he is. For example, if a vampire believes the cross has no effect on him then it shall have none. Conversely if a vampire believes a cross will burn him, then he may be in considerable pain if he is touched by a cross. These days most vampires do not believe in such things.
Appearance -- Vampires appear human in all ways. They are warm to the touch, their skin remains the same tone it was when they died (thus, they will not be pale) and their eyes are a normal color. Vampires breath (although they can hold their breath for a long time).
The Vampire Creation Story
It is said that once a dragon offended God and was cursed to immortality and to a life of feeding on the blood of humans. The dragon went for many years without producing offspring (perhaps because it did not know how or because it did not want to). That it is until it fed off of a powerful necromancer who was the one and only person to bite back. This person later became known as "Simon McKinnley" in about the 1800's (although we do not know the dragon's name). McKinnley sired five children and from them springs the vampire race.
How to Kill a Vampire
1) Expose it to sunlight
2) Starvation. This is time consuming (it can take up to years to starve a very old vampire) and not recommended.
3) Massive physical trauma. The old stake through the heart or beheading will work. Anything that is beyond a vampire's ability to heal. The older the vampire, the more damage this will be.
Although there are many outstanding bounties on McKinnley, it should be noted that in 8000 years no one has succeeded in killing him. Therefore, it is recommended that anyone pursuing him should make sure that his or her will is in good standing order.