Some master vampires have the ability to develop moitié bêtes or animals to call. That is, a master vampire can develop psychic powers over some specific type of animal, which also allows him or her to form a binding psychic connection with a single matching lycanthrope or other animal-related creature like a lamia. The term "animal to call" can refer to either this particular bound individual, or the whole group of animals ("wolves are his animals to call"), or even any shapeshifters that match the animal in question. On the other hand, the term "moitié bête" seems to be more strictly limited to the bound individuals.
Particularly powerful vampires, like Marmee Noir, can develop control over whole animal groups (in her case, all great cats), although they can presumably still only bind one person at a time. Some master vampires, like Musette for example, can call two different animals. The Master of Beasts alone has such control over all animals, although he's otherwise less powerful than Marmee Noir.
The psychic bond between a master vampire and their animal to call is very similar to the bond between a vampire and their human servant, and gives power to both parties, although the vampire is by default the controlling party of the relationship. In a triumvirate where the bonds are formed three-ways between a vampire, an animal to call, and a human servant, the animal to call is usually considered to be second after the vampire in their internal power structure. An animal to call is often referred to as the master's "wolf to call" or "leopard to call", or even the master's "animal half".
Like a human servant, an animal to call is meant to be a vampire's eyes and ears among the general human population, and an extension of the vampire master's will, especially during daylight hours. An insult or injury to an animal to call is considered a similar attack against their master, and their word is considered to be that of their master's, unless directly contradicted by them. Interfering with another vampire's animal to call is a strict taboo.
An animal to call stops aging, and gains resistance against vampire powers, even those of their own master. The vampire can draw power from his or her animal to call, but not to the point of draining them like with a Bride, as the connection goes both ways and the death of the animal to call often kills the vampire as well. Likewise, the death of the vampire usually kills the animal to call as well. An injury to either party is felt by both, although this can be protected against by mental shielding. Many vampires can take direct control of their animal to call's body, although they may not be entirely aware of all of the animal to call's senses at the time. This may or may not be a skill that can be improved with practice.
Marmee Noir and Anita Blake are the only known beings in the whole history of vampirekind to be able to break the bond between a vampire and their animal to call without killing either party. Anita is also the only known being who has been able to form a bond with more than one animal to call at a time, and her animals to call don't stop aging.
Known pairs Edit
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- Asher - hyena - Kane
- Anita Blake - wolf, leopard, tiger, lion, hyena, rat - Jason Schuyler (wolf), Nathaniel Graison (leopard), Crispin (white tiger), Alex Pinn (red tiger), Mephistopheles (yellow tiger), Domino (black tiger), Yiyú (black tiger), Cynric (blue tiger), Ethan (blue, red, white, yellow tiger), No hyena, lion or rat. Anita's Brides are not animals to call so Nicky, Rodina, Ru, and Rodrigo do not count.
- Meng Die - wolf - none
- Sabin - wolf - Cassandra
- Augustine - lion - unknown
- Itzpapalotl - jaguar - unknown
- Maximillian - tiger - Bibiana
- Nikolaos - rat - unknown
- Samuel - merfolk - Leucothea
- Seraphina - ghost - unknown
- Moroven - seal - Roarke
The Vampire Council and associates Edit
- Belle Morte - leopard, later all great cats - unknown
- Mr. Oliver - all snakes - Melanie
- Padma - all animals - Gideon
- Morte D'Amour - hyena - unknown
- Musette - initially bats, later also rats - unknown
- Warrick - butterfly - none
- Vittorio - tiger - Sebastian
- Merlin - birds - unknown
- Marmee Noir - all cats - unknown
- Echo - tiger - Fortune
- Giacomo - lion - Magda
- Gunnar - bear - Nilda
- Jane - hyena - Seamus
- Magnifico - unknown - Hortensio
- Mischa - bear - Goran
- Nivia - tiger - Soledad
- Pierrot - leopard - Pierrette
- Bilquees - jackal - Kaazim
- unknown - tiger - George
- unknown - leopard - Marius
- unknown - wolf - Jake
- unknown - tiger - Yiyú
- unknown - wolf - Thaddeus
- unknown - lion - unknown
- unknown - rat - Scaramouche
- unknown - leopard - Rodrigo, Rodina & Ru
- unknown - unknown - Hamish