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Infected (Catalyst Game Labs)

HMHVV (or Human-Metahuman Vampiric Virus) is a retrovirus that achieves its full virulence and power only in a magic-rich environment—such as post-Awakening Earth. The virus itself has existed throughout history and even expressed in very rare instances during the relatively magic-poor Fifth World. When a metahuman’s immune system fails to stave off infection, the virus begins to systematically re-shape their auras and genetic code—transforming them into forms reminiscent of the night-stalking monsters of legend.

The presence of HMHVV in a subject’s body can be determined by the Harz-Greenbaum blood series or simply testing for the virus itself.

Human Vampire Loup-garou Nosferatu
Elf Banshee Harvester none but 1 case of a nosferatu
Dwarf Goblin Gnawer
Ork Wendigo Grendel
Troll Dzoo-noo-qua Fomóraig Mutaqua
Sasquatch Jabberwock Bandersnatch
Centaur Chiron
Merrow Nibiinaabe
Naga Lamia
Engineered Chupacabra
Koala Drop Bear1
HMHVV III always turns its victims into Ghouls.
1 Uninfected carrier
Critter Metatype Height
Bandersnatch Sasquatch 300 300
Banshee Elf 190 72
Chupacabras 120 45
Drop Bear 75 10
Dwarf Dwarf 120 54
Dzoo-noo-qua Troll 250 393
Elf Elf 190 80
Fomóraig Troll 285 480
Ghoul Human 175 93
Ghoul Dwarf 120 63
Ghoul Elf 190 93
Ghoul Ork 190 148
Ghoul Troll 250 348
Ghoul Sasquatch 300 348
Gnawer Dwarf 120 63
Goblin Dwarf 120 45
Grendel Ork 200 176
Harvester Elf 190 106
Human Human 175 78
Jabberwock Sasquatch 300 300
Loup-garou Human 175 106
Mutaqua Troll 250 441
Nosferatu Human 175 70
Ork Ork 190 128
Sasquatch Sasquatch 300 300
Troll Troll 250 300
Vampire Human 175 78
Wendigo Ork 230 178


The first appearance of an MMVV variant, Ghilani wichtiviridae, dates back to 2011, when ghouls were first observed in Africa. At this point it was completely unclear that a virus was responsible for the transformation and it would take about 40 years before this fact was proven. After the goblinization in 2021, an increased occurrence of ghouls was also observed. It is now believed that the mana levels that triggered the mass event of orc and troll metatype expression also resulted in expression of the MMVV variant Ghilani wichtiviridae, which had persisted in human and metahuman DNA until then. At the time, however, the two observations were attributed to the same phenomenon, which is why the MMVV infection that produces the ghoul was long believed to be a form of the Goblinization process. In 2022, scientists Jeffrey and Samantha Krieger began researching the ghoul phenomenon, but the discovery of the human-metahuman vampire virus was left to others.

In 2039 a second Ghilani species, Ghilani moneriviridae, designated MMVV-II, was isolated by John Russell Jarka and Michelle Criscione. Both researchers had previously described transformations triggered by MMVV-II with a clinical picture named after them (the Jarka or Criscione syndrome), which then led to the trace of the second MMVV variant. In 2046, Richard Bruckner and Günther Langer isolated a subspecies of Ghilani vrykolakiviridae, which received the designation MMVV-Ia and the suffix sanguisuga. This form conveys the transformation into a Nosferatu.

In 2049, Samantha Krieger succumbed to an MMVV infection after many years of research on the ghoul phenomenon. Jeffrey Krieger finally managed to isolate the third virus species Ghilani wichtiviridae, MMVV-III, in 2051, but he also died a year later from infection with the virus he had discovered.

In the mid-2070s, a hitherto unexplained intensification of the condition was observed in those infected. The "hunger" for the respective form of life energy intake sets in more quickly and is experienced as more urgent. The typical sunlight allergy has become significantly more severe: It used to manifest itself in the form of a slight itching, but now many people infected with MMVV have third-degree burns.


Ghilani Vrykolakivididae, the primary strain, was isolated in 2034 by Dr. Emil Harz and Dr. Carla Greenbaum.

The “basic” form of the virus. It affects all forms of metahumanity, transforming the infected into various new paraspecies depending on their base stock. Despite these differences, all vampiric variants created by the base strain suffer from chronic essence loss. Current theories surmise that this condition is similar to the essence loss caused by the implantation of cyberware—in short, the discrepancy between the subject’s “natural” state and their current transformed state affects a being on some fundamental level that disrupts their body/spirit interaction. Though most admit this utterly fails to explain those infected by variant strains and who do not suffer from the condition.

  • Humans (and very rarely other metatypes) become vampires — they have many of the classic abilities and vulnerabilities, but are not necessarily limited by holy items.
  • Dwarves (all variants) become goblins — a pack creature, much reduced in intellectual abilities.
  • Elves (all variants) become banshees — a solitary, sentient hunter.
  • Orks (all variants) become wendigos — they feed on human flesh and look like white Sasquatches.
  • Trolls (all variants) become dzoo-noo-qua — a massive, deformed, burning-eyed hulk of a humanoid.
  • Sasquatch become Jabberwocky [1]
  • Centaurs become Chirons [2]
  • Merrow become Nibiinaabe [3]
  • Naga become Lamias [4]
  • Chupacabras are artificially created creatures that are Infected, but cannot infect others. They look like a cross between a lizard and an ape. [5]

Only some Infected can infect others: chirons, jabberwocky, lamias, nibiinaabe, vampires and wendigos. Banshees, chupacabras, goblins and dzoo-noo-qua, though created by the virus, do not pass the infection on to their victim.

Regional Variations[]

HMHVV I has also been shown to possess geographically-localized variants that create distinct vampiric sub-species based not on metatype but on race.

The Abat is a vampire metavariant native to the Philippines, noted for its fear of sea water and penchant for sucking on the viscera of its victims.

The Amalanhig, Filipino/Malaysian vampire which uses a proboscis-like structure on the underside of its tongue to draw blood from the victim.

Penanggalan are a very rare Southeast Asian vampire metavariant whose astral form reportedly consists of just its head and pulsating organs; these Infected are supposed to require a great deal more blood than their kin, and must pickle their bloated bodies they cannot turn into mist, instead they have a toxic breath and they need vinegar to survive.

The Sukuyan is a Caribbean vampire metavariant that often preys on ships and (according to legend) drowning sailors. They are the subject of a small but lucrative slave trade among the Zobop syndicate; it is rumored the boccors find the sukuyan very pliable to their traditional zombie-drugs. They also need salt and they do not become dormant because of a lack of oxygen; they can swim well for vampires.


Ghilani Vrykolakivididae-Dae Sanguissuga, aka the Bruckner-Langer strain, was isolated in 2046 by Dr. Wilhelm Bruckner and Dr. Günther Langer .

Though fatal to most metahuman subspecies, humans so infected express as Nosferatu vampires.

Recently, some small number of infected trolls have survived and expressed as mutaqua[6]. It is not yet known if these cases are a mutation, or the result of experimentation.

In one instances, an infected elf survived and expressed as a Nosferatu. This was proven dependent on one particular and extremely-rare blood type found only in particular human and elf subtypes[7]. The blood type itself also proves fatal in vitro to any infected dwarf, ork, or troll fetus.


Ghilani Moneriviridae, aka the Jarka-Criscione strain, was isolated in 2039 by Dr. John Russell Jarka and Dr. Michelle Criscione . This strain was originally called Jarka-Criscione because it was only known to affect two metatypes; Jarka's Syndrome which created fomóraig from trolls, and Criscione Syndrome which created loup-garou from humans.[8]

In 2069 the first harvester was discovered in Houston. In 2070 the first grendel was discovered in Pittsburgh. In 2071 that first gnawer was discovered in Chicago.[9]

Drop Bears are not Infected, but rather, Awakened Koalas who are carriers of many different strains of HMHVV II. Not affected by it themselves, they can transmit the disease easily to others. Fortunately, their attacks are rare. [10][11]

Another, and poorly-understood, variant of the retrovirus; HMHVV II is more common than HMHVV I and is most commonly spread from being bitten or scratched by a carrier. It can also be spread by unprotected contact with infected bodily fluids and an open wound.[12]


Ghilani Wichtiviridae, aka the Krieger strain, was isolated in 2051 by Dr. Jeffrey Krieger .

The strain that creates ghouls. It is the most virulent form of HMHVV, and infection can be passed on through a bite, scratch, or even just touch if the target has open wounds. A Krieger infection can be passed on through contact with any bodily fluids from one already infected.

HMHVV III can result in partial infection and requires no essence exchange between the infected and the carrier for the disease to be passed on. At first, these unique traits of the disease led to the mistaken conclusion that the ghoul transformation was a form of Goblinization—though that has since been disproven.

Regional variations[]

HMHVV III has also been shown to possess geographically-localized variants that create distinct ghoul sub-species based not on metatype but on race:

  • IIIA Sasabonsam, long-limbed ghouls who can walk on all four limb from Western Africa (Asamando)
  • IIIB Busaw, ghouls allergic to salt, with extensive dermal deposits, from the Philippines.
  • IIIC Gaki, from the Japanese ghoul, have fluorescent eyes and a severe weakness to sunlight. All gaki can astrally project as magicians, even adepts and mystic adepts.


HMHVV infection can be diagnosed with a standard medical test.[13]


Although it has been worked on for years, a cure for the infection, which would also include a retransformation of the infected, has not been found. Vaccine protection seems not possible for the time being.

For example, the attempt of the dog shaman Twist failed to heal his Wendigo altered sister through powerful, ritualistic magic . [14]

Of course, not all infected persons regard themselves as ill and would defend themselves against a "normalization" of their condition.

Relationship to Metamorphosis[]

Whether part of the metamorphosis or not, the infected have a hard time among their former fellow human beings. This is mainly due to their food habits. All infected are in one form or another reliant on meta / human life energy. The multiple prejudices that circulate about the infected on the basis of myths do the rest.


Sixth World Wiki This page uses content from Sixth World Wiki. The original article was at HMHVV. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Shadowrun Wiki, the text of Sixth World Wiki is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.
  1. o14719198Howling Shadows p.111
  2. o14719198Howling Shadows p.110
  3. o14719198Howling Shadows p.112
  4. o14719198Howling Shadows p.112
  5. o14719198Howling Shadows p.111
  6. o14719198Howling Shadows P.112
  7. Detailed in the novel Nosferatu
  8. o11587182Running Wild p.60
  9. o11587182Running Wild p.60
  10. o11587182Running Wild p.63
  11. o14719198Howling Shadows p.109
  12. o02196230Run Faster p.143
  13. o15080111Threats 2 p.60
  14. Detailed in the novel Choose Your Enemies Wisely