Dracula Tepes, Vlad III

[Vlad Dracula Tepes] [Bela Lugosi]
TypeTepes-Vampire
(Founder of Tepes-Vampire lineage)
StatusDestroyed. His ashes lie in a silver urn in the Council Vault.
Born1431 CE, Sighisoara, Transylvania
Died1476 CE, on the battlefield
Destroyed
Restored
Destroyed
1888 CE, by Harker and associates
1898 CE, by Morana Muna
1915-03 CE, in France, by Lillith
Known relatives Vlad I (grandfather, deceased);
Vlad II Dracul (father, deceased);
unnamed Moldavian princess (mother, deceased);
Mircea, Radu (brothers, deceased);
Morana Muna (first fledgling, lover).
All Tepes-Vampires consider him their father and will sacrifice themselves to achieve his restoration.
First appearance 2001-01-18 His influence is felt.
Has not yet actually appeared in the strip. Yet.

The famous nobleman exists in the COTC universe, just he did in our own. As his picture, above, shows, he looks nothing like the famous Bela Lugosi version of the nobleman, right. (Remember that the movie came out at a time when it would have been box-office suicide for Dracula to look grotesque; he had to look debonair.) Although Dracula was Lillith’s rival, he was also her lover at one time. She still has a fondness for him, accounting for the Dracula movie posters all over her headquarters. She also finds it very humorous that Vlad Dracula Tepes has become such a celebrity.

Origin

In the early 15th century, a Romanian nobleman named Vlad II was military governor of Transylvania, a region north of Wallachia. In recognition of Vlad II’s efforts in fighting against invading Ottoman Turks, Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund made him a member of the Order of the Dragon, a secret knightly society pledged to the emperor and vowed to protect Christian Europe against the Islamic Ottoman Empire. This earned Vlad II the nickname Dracul (translation: Dragon, Devil). As this honour was awarded in 1431, the son born that year, Vlad III, was nicknamed Dracula (translation: Son of the Dragon, Son of the Devil).

In 1437, Vlad II Dracul invaded Wallachia, one of the three provinces of Romania, killed his rival, and became the new prince. To consolidate his power, Vlad II worked with the Turks for a time. However, Sultan Murad II wisely doubted Dracul’s loyalty. In 1442, the sultan tricked Dracul and his sons Dracula and Radu into riding south, deep into Turk-controlled territory. The three were captured and imprisoned. To escape his imprisonment, Dracul left his sons behind as hostages of the sultan.

The brothers were incarcerated in Egrigoz in Asia Minor. They remained there for several years. During this time, both brothers studied the Turks, their culture, and their language. Dracula studied magick as well as his more mundane subjects.

In 1447, Vlad II Dracul and his son Mircea were murdured and Vladislav II became ruler in Wallachia. The following year, the sultan released Vlad Dracula, planning to use the native nobleman to sieze ground in Europe and continue the expansion of the Ottoman Empire.

In 1448, when Dracula arrived in Tirgoviste, the capital of Wallachia, Vladislav II was away on campaign. Dracula captured the palace with little difficulty and proclaimed himself prince. While cunning and brave, Dravula was only seventeen and lacked experience, and his father’s death had left him with few friends. And there were plenty of enemies. After only two months on the throne, Dracula sought refuge with his cousin, Prince Steven of Moldavia. A rather ignominious end to his first reign as prince.

For several years, Dracula trained in the arts of war and intrigue. Added to his training in the Ottoman Empire, he became a formidable leader.

In 1456, Dracula and a small army invaded Wallachia again, killing the prince. Thus, he regained his throne. He was determined to keep it and used terror as his weapon and shield. He used the brutal punishment of impalement (something he learned from the Turks) as his method of choice, which earned him the epithet Vlad Tepes (translation: Vlad the Impaler). Dracula imposed a strict moral code upon his people, and the crime rate was very low in Wallachia. However, his punishments and atrocities were renowned even for his time. Even liars were impaled to die an agonising death. Nonetheless, he is still considered a hero in certain circles. He managed to hold off invading Ottoman Turks for several years.

In 1462, Dracula was under siege by the Turks. Tricked by his ally King Matthias Corvinus of Hungary, he was removed from his throne and imprisoned. The Turks took the opportunity to install Dracula’s brother Radu the Handsome, who had remained loyal to the Turks, as Prince of Wallachia.

King Matthias offered to free Dracula if he would convert to Catholicism. (Hungary was Catholic, while Wallachia was Eastern Orthodox.) In return, Matthias would support Dracula as Prince so that Wallachia would act as a buffer between the Turks and Hungary. Dracula, wanting above all to return to his throne, accepted Matthias’s offer. In 1476, Dracula invaded Wallachia for the third time. (In the interim, Radu had been replaced as prince by Basarab the Old. Radu had subsequently died.) With Dracula’s army coming after them, Basarab and his supporters fled before the returning Impaler.

His third stint as Prince of Wallachia was short. He had made too many enemies for even his cunning to deal with. Vlad III Dracula Tepes was killed on the battlefield in 1476. Rumour said his head had been sent to the Turkish Sultan Mohammed II, but Dracula was buried intact in his homeland.

The Curse

Shortly after his death, Dracula was deep-cursed by God, magick, and nature, rising to become the first Tepes-Vampire and founder of a new vampire lineage. This was punishment for his crimes, both against his own people and himself. Unlike Lilith-vampires, vampires of Dracula’s line cannot bear the presence of holy objects. Furthermore, they cannot study the Craft and advance as practitioners as is the case for others with strong magick connections. Instead, they can perform spells with selfish or negative intent with great skill and power (almost as if they were grand wizards). However, no spell for doing good can succeed.

Early History

Almost as soon as he rose a vampire, Dracula created his first fledgling. Morana Muna was a woman who had been a servant and friend during his second reign. She understood him and admired him greatly. She was dying, and this was a way for them to stay together. Forever.

Knowing that they could not return home for some time Dracula and Morana fled Transylvania and sought out the refuge of other vampires. It was during this time, 1477, that Dracula first met Lillith. After a short time, it was obvious that Dracula and Morana were, as he had suspected, different from Lillith and the Lilith-Vampires. They were a another type of vampire, with different weaknesses and powers, soon to be called Tepes-Vampires.

Dracula and Morana left Lilith and her kin in 1479 CE and ventured back to Transylvania. There the two began a reign of terror that was born out of revenge and the need for “servants”. After Turning several of the townsfolk Dracula, once again took control of his Castle, but not as Prince of Wallachia. He was King of the Vampires...his kind of vampire, anyway.

By this time Dracula and Morana had become intense lovers. Still Morana could always sense some great sadness within the man. Knowing that his most fondest wish, to truly return home, could never be wore upon the former Prince. What was once a love for God and humanity turned to hatred, but Morana loved her Prince no matter what he did.

While Dracula was content to brood in his castle Morana developed wanderlust. She wanted to see the world. Dracula obliged her and they both raveled extensively...as best they could in the darkness of night. In 1524 Morana met a young woman in Paris. The two had quite a bit in common. They soon became friends and eventually more. It was during this visit that Dracula met Lilith again. This time these two became more than friends as well. For the first time in nearly first years Dracula and Morana separated. The separation would last three years. While Dracula and Lilith parted just short of enemies, Morana had better luck. She brought her “friend” over and soon all three were back in Dracula’s Castle. The “friend” eventually became one of Dracula’s three brides (as mentioned in Bram Stoker’s novel).

So after 1527, the couple travelled much more rarely. Morana again took up magick, but discovered that only selfish, dark spells would work, and those as if she were a grand wizard. They speculated that the magick was part of the curse on Dracula, and therefore available to all Tepes-vampires. Dracula was suspicious of Morana’s growing power, but the woman would always acquiesce to Dracula’s authority.

In 1754, a stranger calling himself Gustov sought out both Dracula and Morana, having heard of their exploits in both the world of vampires and practitioners. He was curious about this unique “dark magick” and asked to study under its founder, Morana. Dracula was hesitant, but Morana insisted that Gustov be allowed to stay. Dracula’s desired had been wandering and he had already taken another bride, making Morana desperately jealous. Dracula knew this would come to no good, but he gave in partly for his love for the woman and partly to keep an eye on the stranger. While Gustov and Dracula never became friends, they did have a respect for each other, even planning “raids” and practicing magick together. They tried to remain civil to each other for the sake of Morana, but a growing distrust between eventually destroyed that completely.

As Gustov and Morana worked together over the next fifteen years, they grew close. After ten years of study with Morana, Gustov could perform some simpler dark spells just as easily as Morana could. Out of their co-operation came the Dark Sun Necklace, which allowed a vampire to walk in sunlight with impunity. Morana gave it to Dracula initially, but later took it back.

Finally, in 1769 Dracula tried to have Gustov killed. The former Prince knew Gustov was far too dangerous to let live in his Castle, but the plan failed. It was official, the wizard and the vampire were enemies. However, a pact was made: Gustov promised to leave the Castle and Dracula would not put a bounty on his head. Dracula forced Morana to choose between him and the stranger. Morana fled with Gustov the next night. Though she still had feelings for the vampire, she and Dracula had drifted apart long ago. She felt this was the best thing for the time.

History

[Mina Harker] The next hundred years of Dracula’s history are a cipher. Probably he spent the time brooding in his Castle. However, in 1897 Irish writer Bram Stoker published his famous novel Dracula, or The Undead. How closely the events in the book match CocC historical events is uncertain. Obviously some of it must be based in fact since Mina Harker does exist. Stoker spent many years researching his novel, compiling the many the letters, notes, journals, and clippings. Dracula’s destruction at the hands of Harker, van Helsing, and associates happened during 1888. Morana learned of the event too late to do anything about it. Because Gustov felt it was too dangerous for her, he refused to allow her to go to Transylvania.

Nonetheless, in 1898 Morana found the remains of her first beloved. She knew that they would not be able to be together, since Gustov had become too powerful. Still she performed the ritual that restored the Prince. She met him shortly thereafter and begged him not to follow her. Dracula did as he wished, though it broke his heart. Dracula damned his existence. It was this promise that drove Dracula over the edge and plunged him into a deep depression. In this depressed state he blamed God for all his ills and swore eternal revenge.

Thus his crusade to destroy God and Christianity began. However his mad scheme would not last long. With his restoration, his spell over Mina Harker returned. She left her husband Jonathan and returned to the vampire. He did not turn her, but instead cursed her with a type of immortality. Some say it was magick that he used to do this. (The true secret of her longevity is one of the closely held secrets of the vampire community.) To accomplish his aims, he involved many humans in Netherworld affairs, something rather frowned upon by the Council of Three.

In early March, 1915 CE, Lillith and Dracula met in France to discuss a settlement in their relationship. As they met, there was a German air raid on the city. After the attack Dracula was quite shaken. It was more from shock at the esculation of the ways of war that had him bewildered than any physical injury. Still, that gave Lillith a chance to end the problem and she took it. She killed Dracula by severing his head and then burning his body. His ashes were placed in a silver urn which in turn was placed within the Vault of the Council of Three, the last such artefact added to the Vault before Dissolution.

In 1931 Vlad Dracula’s grave was unearthed, only to find that the remains inside belonging to an animal, not the Romanian Prince. [Rain fire] (Hardly surprising since his remains are in the Council Vault, but it must have been a terrible shock to the excavators.)

In 2000 CE, a group of Tepes-Vampires, still loyal to their sire, attempted to recover his ashes from the Council Vault, planning to resurrect him yet again. Mina Harker, still alive yet still not a vampire, had managed to become Lillith’s right-hand woman in the long years since Dracula’s destruction. She masterminded the plot, working from her position of knowledge. The plan eventually failed due largely to the inherent power Lillith wields, raining down fire on most of the attackers and ripping out the heart of one who actually made it into the Vault.

The fate of Mina and any other conspirators has not been revealed. However, it is likely that Lillith was aware of the whole thing from the first time Mina and Morana met.

Other Notes

See also:

References



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All content copyright © 1999-2002 by Jamie Robertson unless otherwise noted.

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