Vlad became infamous on the battlefield for his tendency to impale his enemies after he had killed them, leaving forests of dead bodies strung up to warn off his enemies. He claims, when challenged by the vampire in the cavern to account for this, that doing so prevented more people from being killed (to torture and kill one camp meant a dozen more were scared enough not to make the same mistake and escape death). He ventures into a cavern to find out what has been murdering the Turks, and barely escapes with his life. When the Turks threaten his kingdom and his family and insists that he sacrifice his son to become a warrior-in-training (a slave, as he was), Vlad runs back to the cavern and makes a deal with the vampire for the powers to beat them in three days. The condition is that he must resist human blood, unless he wants to be immortal and one day repay the vampire by helping him enact his vengeance. Vlad confidently assumes he can accomplish this in three days, so he accepts, quickly adjusting to his new vampire powers (such as turning into bats) and decimating his enemies outside the castle (slaughtering them and displaying their bodies for his enemies to find). Vlad often makes impulsive decisions, such as turning all his men into vampires to help him defeat the Turks, without thinking about what will happen after their enemies are slaughtered (they try to turn against him and attack his son). He makes decisions based on opportunism and logic, such as choosing to move camp up into the mountains where there’s no room to fire cannons on them. Vlad at first appears willing to sacrifice his son for the kingdom, but then changes his mind—he rallies his men around him with “we” talk. He makes decisions in the spur of the moment and rushes in to physically protect his son, also turning permanently into a vampire at the behest of his wife so that he can recover their child. He dives headfirst off a cliff after her, but isn’t quick enough to save her life. He often talks about his responsibility to his people, but also admits that he “felt nothing” when killing his enemies. He can be warm and gregarious, but also offended when others do not appreciate his sacrifices. Making a deal made sense to him, so he did it, without any thought for the future (he concludes with his wife that “perhaps we were not meant to survive this”).

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Vlad is the first man the vampire has met inside the cave that isn’t quaking in his boots with fear; instead, he comes there hopeful of gaining enough power to protect his kingdom and his loved ones from the Turks. Vlad is self-confident and assertive, commanding over his men, and often prefers to handle things alone. He can be aggressive and confrontational in how he deals with them, in his deliberately violent actions, and he is only ever sensitive and vulnerable with his wife—whom he trusts. He admits that having battled many years, all he now wants is “peace.”