The Devil's Purchase

For the enemies of Mathias, it was a terrible truth that the ruler of the night was somewhere lurking. From having spent four hundred years honing his powers, Dracula was ready to put into action the final stage of his campaign to eradicate the humans. Thus the contradiction: Dracula needed humans at least in part; undead, such a being had an insatiable urge for human blood, and he could only escape insanity and live on by sinking his teeth into a living being and sucking away. Thus, several victims were found with teeth marks in their necks as rumors of Dracula's emergence continued to spread like wildfire.

What spurned Dracula's sudden elevation was an event that drove the former Mathias mad. Sometime in the early 1400s, after a years-long search, Mathias eventually found the woman he believed to be the reincarnation of his wife, Elisabetha; it was a woman named Lisa. Lisa was a kind medicine woman who had always sacrificed her time to help others who were in need. Even though she knew he was inhuman and capable of great evil, she was enamored by his soothing presence, his gentleman ways, and his sense of conviction, and she loved him more than anything in the world; she also knew that he would never do anything to hurt her. The two had a child, a baby boy, who would later have a significant impact on his father's life. One day, the priests were informed about mysterious happenings in Lisa's vicinity, and Mathias was forced to flee. Lisa was taken from her home and executed, her expertise in medicine mistaken as "witchcraft." It was this heinous act that enraged Mathias beyond belief. Hurt deeply, it only strengthened his resolve, and he knew that now was the time to unleash his full power and make every living being pay. His son, Adrian, who was only a child at this point, was by Lisa's side at the time of her death. Looking over her shoulder, she whispered to her son that should he ever see his father again to tell him that she holds no grudge toward the humans and wishes that he not expel his rage unto them; she also wanted him to deliver to Dracula the message that she would love him forever.

While Dracula kept his operation low-key, there was instilled in the common folk a state of fear and panic, much of the population abandoning the local towns and fleeing to safer locations. Without habitat, Dracula returned to the castle in the Forest of Eternal Night (the castle now called "Castle Dracula" and later "Castlevania") and Walter Bernhard's former haunt, from where he would rule over the land. It was from here where he would make the final preparations for the upcoming large-scale war he would soon wage.

Dracula was truly the King of the Night; he had unlocked from suppression supernatural powers that allowed him to beckon and control all of nature's dark forces. His most feared abilities included his penchant for transforming into a vampire bat, translucent mist, or a grisly werewolf. He was also a master of black magic and the deadly spells that were afforded to him by his very possession of this power. And we say "possession" because it was the basis of his very existence, for his extracting and absorbing of Walter's soul into the Crimson Stone, his favorite, netted an unexpected bonus prize: The spiritual ownership of both the castle and the many demons who inhabited the huge manor and its outlying regions.

To vampire hunters, Dracula's weaknesses were well known: He was susceptible to the power of holy water, garlic and religious symbols, especially crosses. He cast no reflection or shadow and could not venture outside during the daytime, lest the light of day would burn his skin and ultimately destroy him; he would have to instead spend the daytime hours in the castle's cavernous basement or in a dark, dreary coffin. Also, the physical anguish caused by his thirst for human blood would at all times gnaw at him. With the balance seemingly out of his favor, he would have to compensate, and more help would be needed.

In time, he managed to raise from the depths a whole new assortment of the undead--any physical, ethereal or spiritual being whose soul could come to possess as its owner: Zombies, skeletons, ghosts, outcasts, and horrible apparitions of all type. With by his side trusty friend Death, an ominuous specter with great knowledge of dark secrets, he was able to enlist and recruit the services of vile, demented and nocturnal-practicing characters like Medusa, the Mummy Man, the Monster (Frankenstein), the Werewolf, and many who celebrated Dracula as the perfect leader and ally; with access to even Hell, itself, Death could rally its darkest of demons. Terrible creatures that weren't even known to exist grabbed the opportunity to come out from their hiding and join in this new rebellion, for evil finally had an Earthly leader under whom their bloodlust could find target. To ensure the constant growth of this army, Dracula began to employ a special breed of humans called Forgemasters--expert craftsman who using raw materials would constantly work to create new, unexplainable demons and the deadly weapons they would come to wield. With this powerful army, Dracula's goals of human eradication and world domination looked to be very realistic. The world had no hope. Or did it?

Chapter 4: Seeds of War | Back to Chapter 2