The Born is a group of vampires given mention in the Occido Lumen who are birthed rather than turned, making them dhampirs, hybrids or half-breeds. These dhampirs share some characteristics of humans, such as resistance to sunlight but in limited amounts and possessing no worms, hence not as vulnerable as other vampires or possessed by the Ancients.
If a vampire feeds on a pregnant woman, the baby will be turned into a creature similar to a vampire, but with a collection of very different traits. These so-called "dhampirs" are intelligent and have many of the traits of their mother's infector, although they lack the worms in their blood. They also need to drink human blood. As a dhampir, this child shared many attributes of the vampire race, but not their vulnerability to sunlight or the blood worms.
By the time of the Outbreak, the only Born accounted for in the trilogy was Quinlan, who operated with a group of turned vampires in service of the other Ancients against the Master. The others accompanying him are described as having worms, hence full vampires:
- "... no blood worms coursed beneath the surface of Quinlan’s translucent skin. All the old ones, including the other hunters, crawled with worms ..." (from 'The Fall')
This setup appears consistent in the TV series, where the other vampires Quinlan scouted with remained shielded, except the leader of their group known as the Sun Hunters was named Vaun. It is indicated that the Master was concerned or even intimidated by existence of the Born, namely Quinlan, and took stringent precautions to prevent further Borns from being created by forbidding vampires into the birthing barracks of concentration camps like Camp Liberty, reserved for pregnant women following the takeover of Night Zero.
Quinlan happened to be the fifth Born birthed in history, for which he was designated Quintus when named in Ancient Roman times (by the Master in the books; by Ancharia in the televised series.) It is unclear whether the other Born were not involved in the happenings of the Strain events or were annihilated, leaving Quinlan as the last of them, since no mention in the trilogy has been made of the others outside of the Lumen. Whatever their fates, the possibility of Born perishing with the deaths of their respective Ancient makers has not been made explicit in the books, so it remains open to speculation whether any could survive the aftermath of the Strain events. However, Quinlan asserts in the Season 3 television episode 'First Born' that he is on a suicide mission because when the master dies, he dies, which was revealed to be an assumption in the following episode, "Gone But Not Forgotten" when he confesses upon revival after seemingly dispatching the Master "one only has one chance to prove such a theory".
The Born seem protected from corruption by birth yet capable of becoming corrupted as Quinlan did at the end of the trilogy, no longer free agents. In the comic version of 'The Night Eternal', Quinlan was decapitated by the Master instead of being corrupted, reminiscing the fate met by the Silver Angel. In contrast to the trilogy, the Born is shown to be impervious to the worms in the 'First Born' flashback scene where Quinlan's hands become worm-covered to no effect while fighting strigoi.
It is unknown, whether "The Born" have normal human genitalia but due to the fact that Quinlan was identified as male at birth it seems very likely. In the earlier part of Quinlan's life, the reason why he could not claim a woman as his own, was his inability to sire children, which in no way was an indication that he could not partake in sex. However, there is indication that like strigoi, he cannot procreate. Another fact that seems to support this theory is that Quinlan was given a wife and they enjoyed '"intimacy" together. With all these facts, it is believed that "The Born" have a mix of Human and Vampire sexual characteristics, but like other hybrids such as mules are sterile.