Ratislav of Wallachia
638 years old, deceased at 48
Charming - Bold - Insatiable appetite
Curious - Silver tongued - Affectionate
Tenatious - Possessive - Impatient
1383, Wallachia, a place rife with war. The country now known as Romania was under the rule of the house of Basarab with many appointed nobles to control their territories. A mountainous region just south of Transylvania and north of what would later become the capital of Romania, Bucharest, is where this story begins. Just a few snaking roads made their way through the dense forests of the wild region infested with bears, wolves, lynx and many much less natural threats. The people were heavily religious and superstitious, knowing that creatures not of this world lurked in the night.
Ratislav did not begin his life as the monster he is in modern day, the only heir to a warlord with his mother dying in childbirth; he was treated with the utmost respect and lived in the lap of luxury from day one as the peasants struggled to merely survive. His father hammered home the importance of glory in battle and taking things by force. To be strong and to be feared. Ratislav learned from the best sword fighters of the region, he learned strategy and how to command an army. While not initially sadistic in his ways, Ratislav had little care for peasants and upon taking the seat of power from his father their struggles would not improve.
Richard never did marry, though it’s certain he sired illegitimate children during his life, but none were known to him. It didn’t matter, for he never planned to give up his seat of power willingly.
Death, and undeath
1431, a mere five years until the legendary Vlad the Impaler's predecessor, Vlad Dracul, would take control of the region. The country’s rule would change hands no less than eighteen times within the fifteenth century. Had Ratislav not met his fate, he may well have taken the throne himself. War was on the horizon and Ratislav prepared for it, unknowing it would be his final battle as a mortal man.
With such strife and unrest for many years, supplies waned and the smiths of the region could only work so fast creating and repairing armour and weaponry. There were words on the wind of an enchanted sword that would promise a victory in the upcoming battle. Stories of such a blade were mixed, though most told of a powerful sorceress trapped inside. Upon witnessing the blade, Ratislav was entranced, paying the merchant that brought it to him a great sum of gold without realizing the state the man was in. The sword had sent the merchant mad. From the moment of touching the hilt of the legendary weapon, a voice echoed throughout Ratislav’s mind demanding freedom from her steely prison, but Ratislav had plans and was not about to bargain with an inanimate object.
The day of battle came, leading his army Ratislav appeared to be on the verge of victory once more until a sharp pain shot through him, or rather, a sword had placed the perfect blow in a gap of the warlord’s armour and forced its way between the man’s fifth and sixth rib piercing his lung. Upon seeing their great warrior leader fall, Ratislav’s army retreated, leaving the Wallachian lord dying slowly on the cold blood soaked ground. Hours passed, the battlefield emptied, leaving only corpses, scavengers and those on the brink of death. As his lungs slowly filled with blood, Ratislav looked at his sword, with the sorceress in the sword looking right back. Those yellow eyes filled with sadistic amusement at the fallen warrior that had initially declined her demands. Fearing what waited for him upon death, Ratislav made a deal with the eyes staring back at him; Her freedom on the grounds she saved him from death. Deal.
With his very last strength Ratislav raised the sword above his head, coughing up a few specks of blood whilst doing so, and struck the sword over a rock shattering the blade into pieces and freeing the dark soul trapped inside. Ratislav didn’t see the afterlife that night as agreed upon, however, his heart no longer beat. Ratislav was not dead, but undead. Stuck between the two worlds, a cursed creature that burned in the sunlight and would be a scourge upon the living; a vampire.
From monster to civilised
Ratislav would eventually return to his castle, the very place he sat already being fought over by his lessers. Furious his army would abandon him in battle, even though he had fallen, Ratislav flew into a rage. His entire court, torn limb from limb by the ravenous vampire. With each person’s blood drained, the vampire learned their memories and saw their treachery was always on the horizon, it was only a matter of time.
Reinvigorated, the vampire became the terror of his land feeding on whoever dared approach his castle, and often those that didn’t even try. Many locals fled the region in fear and those who stayed grew superstitious and carried symbols of their god with them at all times which seemed to deter the creature. When word reached the Order of the Dragon, an order of knights sworn to defend the cross and fight enemies of Christianity, the castle was sieged. Greatly outnumbered and weak to their holy weapons, Ratislav fled his castle and Wallachia. He would never hold as much power again, though he would never simply lay down in defeat.
With his name carrying such weight, a new one had to be developed. Taking the name Richard Ardelean the vampire would travel the world remaining undetected by most, and those that did discover his true identity or what he was, were soon silenced. As the years progressed, as did mankind and the technology they created. With each victim, Richard learned something new, reading their blood like an autobiography. The vampire found he could learn an entire language through someone’s blood, how to sail a boat and in more modern times how to drive a car. The victims he prayed upon went from lesser beings to intriguing creatures. His need to blend resulted in him being quite fond of good conversation and company, though the warlord he once was still burned in the back of his mind. He still found pleasure in striking fear into mortals and watching them grovel at his feet.
(Present day coming soon)
There are rules, you know
- The vampire cannot enter sunlight, for they will be burned alive.
- The vampire detests the symbol of God and cannot gaze upon it, for it is a reminder they have turned their back on death and their own salvation in the afterlife.
- The vampire craves the blood of the living and must consume it, for it is an addiction.
- The blood of the dead is detested by the vampire.
- The blood of the sick is poison to the vampire and will induce vomiting.
- No mortal may pierce the vampire’s skin without divine intervention.
- Blessed items are corrosive to the vampire.
- Fire cleanses sin and burns the vampire, though it will not kill them.
- The vampire cannot enter a holy building or risk bursting into flames.
- The vampire cannot generate their own body heat, a constant reminder they are dead.
Well, aren't you special?
- Richard can know a man’s memories, inherit skills and knowledge through blood alone. This however does not extend to supernatural powers.
- Richard can scale walls like a spider, even if there is nothing for him to grip onto.
- Possessing inhuman speed, it can almost give the vampire the appearance of being in two places at once.
- Victims may hallucinate and dream when being fed on, this can be addictive to mortals and offer them a strange high. It comes at a price, too often, and the mortal will die from blood loss.
- A master of disguise, Richard can hide within the bodies of his deceased victims, even mimicking their voices. The only part he cannot mimic is their eyes, for their eyes are the window to the soul.
- Richard can transform someone into a vampire without the use of his own blood, however it’s rare and most end up deceased or mindless ghouls.
- Richard's body may burst into a swarm of bats to make a quick escape from a situation, though it's rare he uses such a power.
- The vampire can locate anyone he's fed on that is actively bleeding, it's a convenient way of summoning him.
- Richard can heal a wound by pinching it shut, convenient for feedings. This only extends to soft tissues, he cannot heal bones or extensive internal damage.
Nice to eat you
Richard’s sexuality isn’t bound to a single gender, in fact, gender rarely is even a factor on whom he's interested in. The vampire can charm just about anyone into bed, and often has as an easy way to feed. The real challenge is claiming his unbeating heart. Richard appreciates unique individuals, power and anyone that can make him feel alive, though what that entails exactly changes between each individual. Those that don't fit the bill are quickly discarded without much care. The vampire can't stand to spend much time with people that fear him, while it's amusing to Richard it gets tiresome quickly. The only exception to this is if the individual has untapped knowledge, only then Richard may consider sticking around as a means to get what he wants.
- It amuses Richard greatly when mortals and younger immortals fear him, though is intrigued by those that don’t.
- Since becoming a vampire, the man is actually less sadistic than in his mortal life. He doesn't tend to kill people on purpose, it's more an accidental result of overfeeding. There are, of course, the occasional exceptions.
- Richard fears death, or more accurately, what waits for him after death. Perhaps his only true fear.
- Richard has been known to be cannibalistic, drinking the blood of other immortals. If anything, it’s to learn from them and enjoy their unique flavour. He considers it a bonding experience.
- Richard is hesitant to share his blood, for he has the memories of thousands of people that are now a permanent part of him. It’s been known to send people mad.
- The man is a shameless user of dating apps, he can often be found scrolling through people like a dinner menu. Fast food, delivered right to your door.
- Because he gained the knowledge of language through blood and not traditional learning, Richard speaks languages perfectly and without an accent.
- Unlike many of his kind, he does indeed have a reflection.
- Richard has a housekeeper named Magda, she also originates from Romania. Despite what most think, the woman isn't enthralled by the vampire, she's just paid well enough.
- 'Ratislav' means 'Glory in battle'.
- Spilling blood in his presence will cause his fangs to show and Richard will become restless, though he's old enough to keep his composure and not simply pounce on someone.
- Richard is something of a masochist, pain makes him feel alive.
- Richard doesn't dream, and hasn't since he became a vampire.