Ash is a born-vampire, or Lamia (pronounced LAY-mee-uh).
Lamia have more control over their bodies than humans. They can heal almost any injury and only wood and fire can really hurt, or kill them, and when they die they mummify immediately. They don't get human diseases like cancer and are stronger, have better hearing and eyesight than humans. Their movements are a lot faster. They are, to put it simply, "built for hunting".
Unlike made-vampires, lamia are born and age like humans. However, they can stop aging at any point they want, unlike both made-vampires and humans. If they stop holding off the aging process, however, it all catches up on them at once, aging them to their actual age immediately. Lamia need human blood, as it carries oxygen, unlike their own. Human blood also does some "more mystical" things, but we are never told exactly what these things are. Lamia need to feed on average once a day or they go into "bloodlust". The more blood they drink, the stronger they become. Their own blood is rich and sweet and humans have hunted them for it in the past.
Lamia are also telepathic with the ability to shield their own thoughts. They can also exercise a certain degree of 'mind-control'. Although it is theoretically possible for them to shapeshift, it takes an enormous amount of power. The only vampire who managed to shapeshift was Maya, the first vampire from whom all lamia are descended.
Lamia can operate in daylight, athough their powers are strongest at night. They tend to honour various traditions, such as their traditional method of execution, used on those who break the rules of the Night World - repeated piercing off the whole body with pieces of wood of varying sizes until death.
Another tradition concerns their names, and they are usually named after natural things such as gems, animals, flowers and trees. As wood is one of the few things that can hurt them, tree names are considered to be among their most powerful names.
It is not known what flower lamia use as their identifier. Although a black rose is the symbol for made-vampires, lamia do not use it. It is sometimes thought that a black iris signifies lamia, but this does not seem to be the case.