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Grief-stricken, Mikael decided to search for a way to protect his family from the werewolves. Though the village witch refused to help him in fear of upsetting the balance of nature, Mikael soon found another witch who would help him – his wife, Esther. They devised something that would heighten and oppose the werewolves’ own abilities. Strength, agility, and speed. Esther drew on mystic symbols to create the spell. She used the Sun as the symbol for life and the white oak tree, one of nature's few eternal objects, as the source of immortality. In order to complete the ritual, Mikael had his children drink wine laced with the blood of Tatia a doppelgänger, and then he thrust his sword through their chests. They awoke in transition, and on their father’s orders, drank human blood, completing their transformation. Nature, however fought back, and for every strength there was a weakness.
The sun that gave them life burned them, their thirst was insatiable, and their neighbors could close their homes to them. Vervain flowers that grew at the base of the white oak tree burned them and protected against compulsion. The white oak tree, which gave them immortality, could also destroy them. In the end, they burned the tree. When Klaus made his first kill, it triggered his werewolf gene. Mikael realized Klaus was the result of an affair Esther had with a werewolf villager. Mikael hunted down and killed Klaus's father and his entire family, igniting a war between vampires and werewolves that still exists to this day. Soon after becoming a vampire and discovering his werewolf bloodline, Esther cursed Klaus, forcing his werewolf side dormant. In retaliation, Klaus murdered his mother and framed Mikael for the act.
Original vampires can only be neutralized by taking a silver dagger dipped in the ash remains of the white oak tree and driving it through their hearts. However, Klaus is a hybrid, and since silver daggers do not affect him (werewolves heal when wounded by silver), the only way to kill Klaus is with a stake carved from the white oak tree. Mikael had carved one before it was burned down, causing Klaus to fear him. A new one was saved by Damon Salvatore, from the Wickery Bridge, which was actually built with White Oak tree, then used by Esther and Alaric Saltzman (Alter Ego) using his Gilbert Ring to make it indestructible, as the stake would burn with the body.
After Esther's death, Elijah and Rebekah swore to stick to Niklaus "always and forever". However, Klaus started hunting down his siblings and daggered them. Finn was the first to be caught and he remained daggered for 900 years. Kol was found in the early 1900s and also neutralized. Rebekah would be neutralized after she fell in love with Stefan Salvatore and tried to leave Klaus for him. Having almost been found byMikael a few moments earlier, Klaus felt disappointed by her and due to his emotions, which are magnified by both his werewolf side and vampire side which causes him to go into a rage or feeling deeply angered and upset very easily. He dragged his family's bodies around in coffins which he never left. However, Elijah was the only one to escape his wrath. Klaus led Elijah to believe that he had dropped his siblings in the ocean so that they could never be found. For this, he swore revenge against Klaus.
Over the years, legend began to surround the Original vampires as their story became lost to history: all knew that they were the first generation of vampires but knew next to nothing about them. Only one was actually known about at all: Klaus. He was believed, mistakenly, to be the oldest vampire in the world. Elijah was also known but none knew that he was Klaus' older half-brother, believing that he was Klaus' lackey and a lot less powerful, which was partially true as they were both Original vampires they had equal strength but Elijah was no mere minion of Klaus. Elijah was however serving his own interests: namely, Klaus' destruction in recompense for his lost family. Mikael was also known but no one knew he was an Original Vampire; he was infamously known for being the vampire who hunted vampires, whereas his true object was to hunt down and kill Klaus. He was feared by many, and known to be an ancient vampire. It is unknown if the others were known but vampires knew there were other Original vampires besides Klaus, but it was Elijah who revealed the other Original vampire were his siblings. "I had a family, once. Klaus hunted them down, one by one".