Every ghoul is an addict, from the lowliest of servants to the most powerful Camarilla lobbyist. Ghouls are defined by their addiction: A normal human turns into a ghoul after ingesting vampire blood, gaining both the benefits it confers and the dependency it fosters.
The benefits of vampire blood are real. Health, a stop to aging, physical strength. A ghoul high on vampire blood feels vigorous, powerful, capable of taking on the world.
A ghoul low on vampire blood feels anxious that all the years the blood has kept at bay will suddenly surge in and turn him into an aged husk. Aging is an indignity to all humans, but at least it comes so slowly you get used to it. For a ghoul, it always threatens to come all at once, unless kept at bay with the blood of the Kindred.
High on the Good Stuff
As long as vampire blood is available, its effects are almost 100% positive. Perhaps it makes you impulsive and prone to aggression, or perhaps that’s just your natural self asserting itself with the confidence and energy the blood provides.
In any case, the real problem with the blood is the dependency on vampires.
Drinking too regularly from a single vampire creates an emotional effect called the Blood Bond, a powerful feeling of love towards that vampire. The Kindred like to think of a ghoul’s Blood Bond like the affection a servant has for his master, but in reality it’s darker than that. The Blood Bond is an artificial feeling of love, and as humanity has demonstrated through the centuries, love can take many forms.
For some ghouls, love means exactly what the Kindred would like it to mean: Servile affection. However, it’s not unknown that a young vampire makes a ghoul who then proceeds to kidnap him and lock him up in her basement out of jealousy and possessiveness. A deranged ghoul can do terrible things out of love.
The lobbyist ghouls of the Camarilla know what the Blood Bond is and how it works. Perhaps many of you have had individual Blood Bonds to powerful Camarilla Elders, at some point in the past. However, those Bonds have frayed to the point of non-existence. You often don’t even know who’s blood you’re drinking, and the individual connection between a you and a specific vampire has broken for a lack of maintenance.
A ghoul needs blood approximately once a month. You need to ensure that you get it. Theoretically if you get blood from several different sources, you’ll keep avoiding the Bond. However, if you pledge allegiance to a new vampire, they’re unlikely to allow that. Usually the first thing a vampire makes you do is drink their blood.
But is that so bad? Happiness in slavery and all that? You’ve been there, and there’s always a temptation to go back.