There is no question that in a close-combat vampire encounter, your primary attack target should be the creature’s heart. In the human species, this organ is responsible for managing the circulatory system, delivering nutrients and oxygenated blood throughout the body. While the vampire heart still retains some accountability for this circulatory task, it does not function as it did prior to the subject’s transformation. Since a vampire does not require oxygen to survive, its heart serves a different purpose. Although detailed research is still pending, it seems that this organ operates in coordination with the creature’s mutated digestive system to deliver nutrients and energy ingested from its feedings to the rest of its undead body.
One of the most well-known legends of vampire lore is that driving a sharpened object into the undead heart will end the creature’s existence. Although many elements of vampire fables are complete fabrications, in this case the myth is indeed accurate. It is unknown why the species has allowed what is probably their most critical vulnerability to spread unabated throughout the human population, but it is true that destroying the vampire heart will neutralize your attacker immediately. There is still shome confusion surrounding the details of this maneuver, the greatest of which is: What type of sharpened object?
Given the creature’s aversion to silver, it is often assumed that a pointed stave crafted from this rare element is effective at eliminating the undead. This is wholly incorrect. While silver and silver-based implements can play a role in your arsenal against the undead, it will not neutralize your target. Penetrating the vampire heart with a silver implement, while causing the wound to remain open and decelerating the creature’s advanced healing capabilities, will not end the confrontation. This common misconception has caused many brave yet ignorant warriors to fall at the hands of their adversary just when they believed victory was at hand.
In order to take full advantage of this specific vulnerability, a sharpened object crafted from wood or wood-based material is required. While a detailed chemical analysis regarding the precise compounds contained within the material is still forthcoming, the hypothesis is that the natural resins contained within the fibers of the wood react with the altered chemistry of the vampire’s heart, setting off an irrepressible chain reaction resulting in the creature’s demise within seconds.