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Dracula the Vampire Lord

Dracula.

"The first of us all. The eldest vampire in the world. The strongest and the greatest. Once he was a human, but he was unlike any human you would know. He was said to be one of, if not the, most cruel and barbaric humans that ever existed. So much so, that he wasn't even regarded as such in that category. When he became a vampire, he is now something much, much worse. He could destroy the world if he desired, and plunge everything into darkness and evil. You'd never know, and that's what makes him terrifying."

Vlad, or Dracula, was born in 1431 in Transylvania into a noble family. His father was called "Dracul," meaning "dragon" or "devil" in Romanian because he belonged to the Order of the Dragon, which fought the Muslim Ottoman Empire. As Dracula, he is widely known as the lord of all vampires, and the most powerful vampire of all time. No vampire in history is able to match his brutality and power, and rightly so.

"Dracula" means "Son of Dracul" in Romanian. Therefore young Vlad was "son of the dragon" or Son of the Devil. Scholars believe this was the beginning of the legend that Dracula was a Vampire. Dracula lived in a time of constant war. Transylvania was at the frontier of two great empires: the Ottoman Turks and the Austrian Hapsburgs. Treachery, vindictiveness, and revenge ruled the day, as young Dracula soon discovered.

Dracula was imprisoned, first by the Turks, who hauled him away in chains, and later by the Hungarians. Dracula's father was murdered, while his older brother, Mircea, was blinded with red-hot iron stakes and buried alive.

From 1448 until his death in 1476, Dracula ruled Walachia and Transylvania, both part of Romania today. Twice he lost and reclaimed his throne, once by fighting his own brother, Radu. Although the Vatican once praised him for defending Christianity, it disapproved of his methods, which soon became infamous. Dracula's favorite method of torture was to impale people and leave them to writhe in agony, often for days. As a warning to others, the bodies would remain on rods as vultures and blackbirds nibbled the rotting flesh.

Dracula was also known for slaughtering his own people simply to avoid war. When the Ottoman army attempted to invade Wallachia in the early 15th century, they encountered several thousand impaled and rotting corpses staked on the banks of the Danube River. Historical records state that the Ottoman emperor saw his forces return shortly after, many of them sobbing and ranting that whoever had slaughtered all those people had to be the Devil.

During one battle, Dracula retreated into nearby mountains, impaling people as he went. The Turkish advance was halted because the sultan could not bear the stench from the decaying corpses and the sultan was none other then Mehmed II who is known for his use of psychological warefare. Another time, Dracula was reported to have eaten a meal on a table set up outside amidst hundreds of impaled victims. On occasion he was also reported to have eaten bread dipped in blood.

He was eventually killed in December 1476 fighting the Turks near Bucharest, Romania. He was executed by having his head was cut off and displayed in Constantinople. Before his death, however, Vlad made a deal with Satan, pleading for him to give him power in exchange for his soul. Satan accepted and imbued Vlad with immense vampiric power, and thus in the process, he became the historical Dracula.

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