Vlad Tepes Dracul III (PROSE: Possum Kingdom) — more often called Vlad III or Vlad Tepes (PROSE: The Book of the War) and known colloquially as Vlad the Impaler and Son of the Dragon or "Dracula" (AUDIO: Son of the Dragon) — was a prince of Wallachia in the 15th century. He was known for his strong and cruel leadership style.
Vlad was born in 1431 (PROSE: The Book of the War) to Vlad the Great, who taught him the ways of the Order of the Dragon. (PROSE: The Book of the War, AUDIO: Son of the Dragon) This was the origin of his sobriquet "Dracula", which the Fifth Doctor said meant "Son of the Dragon". (AUDIO: Son of the Dragon)
In his youth, Vlad and his brother Radu were held as "noble hostages" at the court of the Turkish Sultan Murad II in Adrianople. (PROSE: The Book of the War, AUDIO: Son of the Dragon) In 1447, shortly after their father's assassination at the hands of the Order, Vlad rose to power (PROSE: The Book of the War) and became ruler of Ungro-Walachia and the duchies of Amlas and Fagaras. (AUDIO: Son of the Dragon)
As ruler, Vlad was infamous for his cruelty. (PROSE: The Book of the War, AUDIO: Son of the Dragon) Shortly after assuming the throne, he invited 200 boyars to an Easter banquet, and after the meal, he had them all either slaughtered or enslaved. (AUDIO: Son of the Dragon) He also executed his father's assassins by having them impaled on spikes. He had a penchant for this form of execution: on St Bartholomew's Day in 1459, he had 30,000 people murdered in this fashion at Brasov. In 1461, (PROSE: The Book of the War) as Wallachia was invaded by the armies of the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II, led by Radu, Vlad surrounded the city of Tirgoviste with the impaled corpses of 23,000 Turks. (PROSE: The Book of the War, AUDIO: Son of the Dragon) Despite his cruelty, Dracula felt that his greatest concern was simply to make the country safe for his subjects and for his son, Mihnea. During the Ottoman invasion, Dracula sent Mihnea to live with his mother's family for his own protection. Mihnea considered this to be the act of a coward.
In June 1462, the Fifth Doctor, Peri, and Erimem arrived in Wallachia, where they joined Radu's army on their march to Tirgoviste. While attacking the army camp, Dracula brought Erimem into Tirgoviste, where they were engaged for marriage; Peri and the Doctor followed them into the city. (AUDIO: Son of the Dragon) Though the Forest of the Impaled terrified the Turkish armies into retreat, Vlad decided to abandon the city for Poenari. (PROSE: The Book of the War, AUDIO: Son of the Dragon)
However, in his creation of the Forest of the Impaled, Vlad unwittingly formed a ritual connection to Mictlan near Poenari. After a battle between his forces and the Celestis gargoyles, he made a deal with Lord Halved Birth, took on the Mark of Indenture, and returned to Poenari. There, his castle was sieged by Radu, (PROSE: The Book of the War) he lost the throne, and his engagement to Erimem ended, but he was able to escape with his life by fleeing through an underground tunnel, assisted by his remaining supporters, (AUDIO: Son of the Dragon) while Investigator Thirty-One battled the Turks. (PROSE: The Book of the War)
In the 1470s, Vlad was kept prisoner by the King of Hungary (PROSE: The Book of the War) in the labyrinth under Buda Castle. (AUDIO: The Labyrinth of Buda Castle) There, he ceremonially impaled and killed mice in patterns around his quarters. The Book of the War described this as "myomancy". (PROSE: The Book of the War)
Using his inherited knowledge of the Order of the Dragon's sigils and rituals, Vlad extended his lifespan considerably in an attempt to escape his contract with Mictlan. He effectively vanished into obscurity after 1500; in the 17th and 18th centuries, he wrote some documents about the Celestis' methods for the Star Chamber, but the accounts of his activities were lost in the Grindlay's Warehouse fire of 1861. His cheating of death was finally put to an end by Investigator Thirty-One in 1973, (PROSE: The Book of the War) and his corpse was subsequently smuggled into the Eleven-Day Empire and examined by Godfather Morlock with his tracking-knife. In one timeline he foresaw, Vlad was resurrected by Mal'akh cultists. (PROSE: A Bloody (And Public) Domaine)
In the City of the Saved, Vlad III lived as a recluse in a replica of his Poenari fortress in the Cushling District. Despite his lifelong hostility toward the Mal'akh, his castle was used as a pilgrimage destination by the Sons of Tepes, who named themselves after him due to his vampiric reputation. (PROSE: The Book of the War)
Vlad was purportedly slain in battle against the Turks in 1476, although stories in Russia, Germany, and Hungary gave different accounts of his death. A headless body recovered from the battlefield was said to be Vlad's, and an anonymous severed head was displayed in Constantinople. (PROSE: The Book of the War)
Turkish reports of Vlad's time as voivode were passed down through history and formed a largely false image of him as somehow supernaturally evil. (AUDIO: Son of the Dragon) Four hundred years after his death, the reports of his brutality inspired a fictional vampire of the same name. (PROSE: The Book of the War, AUDIO: Son of the Dragon)
Behind the scenes Edit
- In AUDIO: Zagreus, the Great Vampire Tepesh was named after Vlad III, who was also known as Vlad Tepes.