Vlad

Name

Vlad Tepesh

Other Names

Dracula (although he does not like to be called that name)

Birthday

Born 1431

Age

Around 600 years

Family

Was the last to be sired by Tenoch. He was changed weeks before Tenoch’s death. Mencheres cared for Vlad along with the rest of the dependent members of his line when Tenoch killed himself, (Eternal Kiss of Darkness [EKOD], ch. 26). In At Grave’s End (AGE), we learn about the suicide of Vlad’s wife and in EKOD we also learn of the death of his son. Vlad became friends with Cat in AGE and probably saved her life. Bones and Vlad have had a long-standing dislike for one another. In Destined for an Early Grave (DFAEG), Vlad describes his feelings for Cat, “I feel a connection to you, as I once told you. It’s not love, it’s not attraction, and I wouldn’t sacrifice myself for you, but if you needed me, and it was possible for me to help you, like today, I’d come. Whichever side you called me from.”

Appearance

Vlad appears thirtyish, lean, six feet tall, with an angular face framed by long brown hair, thin lips and a tight beard. He has a wide, pale forehead set off deep-set eyes. He isn’t handsome in a classic sense, but his looks are striking. Scars crisscross his hands. He has unusual eyes that are copper-colored and ringed with emerald. What he may have lacked in perfection of features he made up for in sheer magnetism. Cat and Kira describe his scent as cinnamon and smoke.

Life History

Jeaniene has said that she did a lot of research about the accounts of Vlad when she discovered he was going to be a side character in her Night Huntress books. She talks more about her process below. Historical accounts of Vlad the Impaler can be found on the internet. Other accounts include Bram Stoker’s novel, Dracula.

Specific details Jeaniene brought to the Night Huntress world:
“Despite the circumstances, the ten-year-old child inside me wanted to pepper Vlad with questions. Who’s buried in the church by your castle? Did you really nail turbans onto the heads of the sultan’s emissaries when they refused to take them off? When did you become a vampire–before or after you supposedly drank glasses of blood on a battlefield as you dined among the men you’d impaled?”
“A peasant of similar height. Yes. After, and it was red wine I drank.” (AGE, ch. 15)

In AGE, we learn that Vlad was married. “‘At a battle near my home, I was struck in the head. It would have been a deathblow, but I’d been a vampire for several weeks. Dawn came, and I slept as all new vampires do, my forehead still caked with blood. My men assumed I’d been slain. A soldier ran to my house to inform my wife of my demise. You know what happened next.’
“Yes, I did. She jumped to her death from their castle roof, thinking to spare herself from enemy captivity or worse. And almost six hundred years later, Vlad had stepped in to help prevent me from doing the same.”
“That scarred hand slid across the table to mine. ‘My wife stood alone on that roof when I should have been there I hadn’t told her what I was. Already I’d horrified her by what I’d done to keep my people safe, I was afraid that my no longer being human would drive a deeper wedge between us. I’d planned on telling her the truth in time…but all at once there was no more time.” (AGE, ch. 26)

“Come on, Vlad, live up to your reputation! If you can’t burn to death one Egyptian vampire chained to a wall, how did you ever drive the Turks from Romania?” (AGE, ch. 30)

“Dracula’s bloody reputation wasn’t only made during his days as the infamous prince of Wallachia,” (DFAEG, ch. 16)

“Vampires like you piss me off, ” Vlad muttered. “Leaving a trail of bodies for humans to be suspicious over when there’s no need to kill to feed. Ever had a mob of villagers armed with torches and pitchforks burn your house down while screaming ‘death to the wampyre!’? I have, and it’s irritating beyond belief,” (EKOD, ch. 34).

“At a time like this, you must miss your long wooden poles,” Bones noted…
Vlad grunted, “Do I ever,” (EKOD, ch. 34).

Special Abilities

Vlad is a master vampire and can fly. Through his pyrokinesis, “Vlad could burn someone to ashes with just his touch…” (DFAEG, ch. 16). He has the ability to read human’s minds (and the minds of half-breeds) even through sound proof walls, (AGE, ch. 26).

Personality Traits

Noted for his courtly manners, dry sense of humor and a brutally honest outlook on things. He isn’t shy, in fact, in AGE, Bones refers to him as “the bloody showhound.” In DFAEG, Spade describes Vlad as “beastly protective of his people.”

Quotes

“Oh, Bones, maybe you should have married a docile girl who didn’t stray too far from the kitchen,” (AGE, ch. 19).

“Vlad squeezed once. ‘I don’t want to be alone now either,’ he said, making it sound very reasonable and not at all like something to be ashamed of,” (DFAEG, ch. 22).

“Don’t squander what you have. If you do, you’ll spend the rest of your days regretting it. Bones should never be afraid to show you all he is, even though he’s an uppity street peasant who’s been gifted far and away over what he deserves,” (Age, ch. 26).

Jeaniene, how do you picture Vlad?

The man pictured here reminds me a little of how I picture Vlad with his brown hair, tight beard, and sort of I’m-dangerous-but-don’t-you-want-to-pet-me-anyway? expression. If only he was paler and had battle scars, he’d be a perfect stand in for Vlad, lol.

For more information on how Jeaniene imagines Vlad to look, check out her post on the Frostfans forums.

Jeaniene, who is your Vlad?
Truthfully, when I started out writing a vampire series, I never intended to mess with the Dracula legend. Right up until I was halfway through writing At Grave’s End, I STILL never intended to mess with it. But there I was, typing that scene where Bones says, “Mencheres is here…he’s not alone” and – boom! – Vlad popped up in my head fully formed as a character. That only happens once in a blue moon for me (Tate was another one of those). Normally I have to coax side characters from my head and pry their personalities out of them, but Vlad practically shoved himself onto the page and dared me to delete him, lol.

Then once I knew he was there to stay in the story, I did a lot of research on the historical figure of Vlad Tepesh (or Tepes, both spellings appeared in research). I found the records to be very interesting; depending on who gave the accounting back in the fourteen or fifteen hundreds (Germany or Russia) – Vlad was either a raving homicidal dictator or a harsh but protective prince who was renowned for his honesty. The variance between the two descriptions made Vlad a more interesting character to me, and the “harsh but protective prince” personality is the one that best suited the person who’d popped into Cat’s living room. I really wanted to show Vlad as more than the monster so famously described in Bram Stoker’s novel and/or in movie retellings, but of course, it’s hard to separate Vlad Tepesh from the Dracula shadow.

What is the relationship between Cat and Vlad?

In relationship to Cat and Vlad, is there an underlying meaning to their closeness? It seems as though there was an instant trust between the two of the (faster than Cat trusting Bones). Granted Vlad has stated that he means nothing more, but is that really true? There seems to be so much more to that relationship/ friendship than Vlad is leading on.

Yes, Cat trusted Vlad quicker than she did Bones in the beginning, but Vlad didn’t have all those “vampires are evil!” prejudices to overcome that Bones did. Cat and Vlad do have an unusual bond considering they haven’t known each other very long, but that sort of thing isn’t unheard of. In my own life, there are a few people I’ve met where I felt an instant, unexplained affinity and become fast friends with them – and there have been other people who immediately set off my internal warning bells. Sometimes, you just “click” with someone. And sometimes, you meet a person that makes your skin crawl within ten seconds flat. A few people have wondered about comments Vlad made in AGE that hinted at an attraction to Cat. Let me clarify: Cat’s a beautiful, unusual woman and Vlad’s a red-blooded male, so yes, an indecent thought or two crossed his mind when they first met, but it really didn’t go further than that. Vlad’s continued interest and support for Cat is based on friendship, not romantic feelings. This is something of a spoiler but I want to be clear: a Bones/Cat/Vlad triangle is NOT going to happen.

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