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Carmilla Karnstein is a 335 year old vampire and a student at Silas University. She becomes Laura Hollis' roommate after Laura's previous roommate, Betty, goes missing in mysterious circumstances. 

Carmilla has a melancholic, sarcastic disposition; she is strong willed and often chooses to remain distant from people. She is a philosophy student and enjoys reading, although she does own a phone and has both a Twitter and Tumblr account, which she often uses to complain about Laura and her friends. Carmilla maintains a laid back, punk rock lifestyle, dressing almost entirely in black and wearing items like corsets and leather pants. As well as being messy and failing to clean up after herself, she seems to have a very loose conception of private property and ownership, happily taking possession of Betty's abandoned stuff, frequently eating her roommate's food and borrowing her things without permission. Despite this, Carmilla apparently has no difficulty making friends, she is invited to lots of parties and has an active social life.

Carmilla has demonstrated supernatural speed and strength as well as pyrokenisis. It has also been confirmed that she can turn into a "giant black cat".

Carmilla was born under the name Mircalla in Styria, a Dutchy of Austria in 1680. Her father was a Count and, as such, she lived a wealthy, privileged life. At the age of 18, she was murdered at a ball and subsequently resurrected as a vampire by her "mother", herself a vampire. They travelled together and frequently attended high society events at palaces and courts, returning to Styria only once every 20 years to enact a ritual at her mother's behest.

Carmilla, under the pretence of being the victim of abandonment or a carriage accident, would take shelter with the family of a young girl and befriend, and often seduce, her. After a time her mother would abduct the girl for her own unknown purposes and then they would move on. This cycle only changed in 1872 when Carmilla and Ell, one of her mother's intended victims, fell in love. She tried to orchestrate their escape, but her mother discovered the plan and revealed Carmilla's vampirism to Ell in a cruel fashion. Thinking Carmilla to be a monster, Ell rejected her, and was then abducted by Carmilla's mother.
As punishment for attempting to foil her mother's plan, Carmilla was sealed in a coffin filled with blood. She finally escaped during World War 2 when the explosives used during a battle disinterred her coffin and allowed her to walk on the surface of the earth once more. Carmilla only enjoyed a short period of freedom away from her mother before she was discovered in Paris during the 1950's. Lacking the heart to reinter her, her mother put her back to work, only this time at Silas University, where every 20 years Carmilla would be enrolled as a student and used as bait for her mother's ritual. Remembering Ell however, Carmilla waged a secret campaign of sabotage against her mother, doing her best to scare the intended victims away and attempting to learn what her mother really does with the girls she takes.
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