Castle Dracula lies on the border between Transylvania and Wallachia,
near the town of Tirgoviste.
When Dracula inherited the crumbling castle in 1456 it was near
derelict, and Vlad set about rebuilding it, using stone from a
castle just across the valley. Dracula had seen much betrayal in his
short life, and he knew that many of the boyars who swore allegiance
to him were planning his demise.
Vlad invited the boyars and their families to a great feast in his
castle, showering them with lavish food and drink. When the feast
ended, Dracula revealed to the boyars that he knew of their plan, and
told them they could prove their loyalty by helping build a new
castle. The boyars immediately offered large sums of money, but the
count had something else in mind.
The boyars were arrested, and force- marched to the site of the
derelict castle. Many died on the journey, and those who survived
became slave laborers. On completion of the work, Dracula had the
nobles executed by his favorite method of execution—impalement.
For nearly 100 years Castle Dracula has lain empty, its walls
crumbling once more. The area of the castle that is still standing was
long ago picked clean by looters and scavengers, but no one has yet
found the vast treasures Vlad was said to have captured in his many
raids to the east. Some believe they are buried in the deep dungeons
beneath the castle, but terrifying tales of ghosts, vampires, and even
simple cave-ins keep all but the most foolhardy from exploration. Of
those few who do venture into the castle’s depths, some have indeed
disappeared. A few have found minor valuables in the ruins, but most
come back empty-handed.
A few months ago, a new noble moved into the castle. Count Vlad Dracul
claims to be a descendant of Vlad Tepes.