Much debate has been spent over whether to classify nighthawks as beasts or simply a form of sentient life. While no official council has ever been held on the decision, they are consistently ranked by the annual threat council, and thus, are considered beasts by most experts.
Following the Vampiric Wars that raged across the lower half of Calsin, vampires and werewolves were hunted nearly to extinction by roaming squads of valiant monster slayers. The largest clans to survive were located deep within the Vamsick Desert, where ordinary mortals simply couldn't survive. Nevertheless, the monster hunters were finding new ways of pushing deeper and deeper into the sands, and the vampires began to truly fear the extinction of their way of life.
Desperate to retain their bloodlines, several vampire lords volunteered to undergo a ritual that ultimately transformed the trio into the first nighthawks. Sharing many of the same characteristics with vampires, such as a weakness to sunlight and vulnerability to various types of weapons. Unlike vampires, though, nighthawks also possess the ability to shapeshift into large, deadly hawk forms. These forms are incredibly deadly, and quickly proved more than capable of wiping the last of the monster hunters off the face of Calsin.
Height: - Various, depending on species.
Characteristics: - Must drink a body's worth of blood roughly once a week, or their bodies begin to decay. - Tend to be taller and more spindly than their living counterparts. - Unlike standard vampires, nighthawks will almost never attempt to live in normal society, preferring to live alone or in small family groups.
Weaknesses: - The nighthawk's heart is vulnerable to attack, as it remains the only part of the creature's body that doesn't wither. Additionally, it is believed that this is why the nighthawks must drink blood, to keep the heart pumping. As such, if the heart is destroyed in any manner, the nighthawk will die. - Vulnerable in sunlight. While they won't die from sun exposure, it puts them in a state similar to grogginess, as if just awaking from a deep sleep.
Other notes: - Nighthawks can only be formed from vampires. If a nighthawk bites an uninfected individual, that person will simply turn into a vampire, not a nighthawk. In order to transform a vampire into a nighthawk, a specific ritual must be performed, often against the vampire's will. - Over the years, relations have degraded significantly between the nighthawks and the vampires. In many ways, the nighthawks are to vampires as vampires are to mortal men. Nevertheless, nighthawks will always side with vampires against mortal men, as their primary goal is to preserve undead life.