CastleVania: The Unfinished Symphony Chapter 10

Condemned To Life

By The Dark Requiem

The year: 1476.

The place: the caverns underneath the Poenari Fortress.

Vlad III Tepes Dracula climbs a set of dirt stairs as he makes his way through a secret underground passageway to the entrance hall of his castle and he reflects on the events of the past night.

Just a few hours past, he had awoken.

* * *

He had awoken in a stone box.

The first thing that struck him was that his head was attached to his body.

But how can this be, he had thought. I distinctly remember the ax slicing through my neck just as I…

And that was when the second thing struck him.

He was alive.

He rose out of the box and stood at full height. Yes, he had thought then, I am alive.

But then, he had only just awoken.

He stumbled and fell on a nearby object. Grasping the cloths covering it, he recognized it to be an altar.

Looking around him more, he recognized the place. He was inside the monastery at Lake Snagov.

At last, he thought. At last I have been rewarded. My Lord in Heaven has rewarded his servant.

Filled with an inward joy, he threw himself upon the altar and kissed it. And as he did so he noticed his hands.

There were not as they once were.

His fingers were more squat and coarse, with pointed nails.

Not human hands.

His eyes widened as joy faded away to a chilly terror.

Fearfully, he had put his hand to his ears.


He put his hand to his mouth, where he felt the teeth protruding past the lips.

Pointed teeth.

He felt faint and grabbed the front of the altar. This was hardly the work of God. It all started to come back to him now: his death, his meeting with that accursed spirit…

…and now he was…

"Dear God…"

Dracula turned around and saw a man peering out from behind a column. In his hand he held an old book.

When the man saw the angry sneer upon Dracula's pale face, he began to rattle out words.

He was one of the army generals…

"I know who you are."

The man looked sick as the words passed the prince's lips, in a voice so low that it could almost have been mistaken for the growl of a wolf. He went on speaking, though, almost involuntarily.

A strange visitor with a curved staff had called on him in the night, causing him to abandon his daughter and travel to the palace of the Sultan in Constantinople.

Under cover of darkness, he easily…eerily easily…took back the head of Dracula from the pike it rested on beside the throne.

He had traveled back to his home to find the stranger with the curved staff there again, holding the old book. The stranger told him precisely what to do, but told him nothing else.

The man was now sobbing. This man, who had fought beside Dracula and seen many atrocities of war, was spitting out words incoherently as the prince began to move towards him.

The whole of Dracula seemed twisted, his appearance outwardly manifesting his inward reaction.

His eyes were wide, framed by slanted eyebrows.

His lips were pressed tightly together.

His chest heaved from heavy breathing.

And his hands shook from the holding back of emotion.

He reached out one of those cold hands…

…wrapped it around the trembling man's arm…

…and embraced him, wrapping him in his royal cloak.

The general was shocked. Tears began to spill from his eyes, tears not of fear but of relief. He began to speak again, but in a more calm tone. He said that all he had done was what he was told. And he thanked the prince for his fairness.


The general, a bit confused and worried, looked up at the face of his prince…

…then screamed in horror as he saw two blazing red eyes containing all the wrath of Hell…

…and saw four fanged teeth lunge at him.

* * *

Dracula's face is set like flint as he walks across the moat of his castle's entrance. That accursed spirit Death knew exactly what he was doing.

He is now an abomination. He is not dead, but he is not truly alive.

The words flood his mind. Strigoi.

He is condemned to a living death…


…an undead monster…


…a vampire.

Death was absolutely right.

This is beginning.

Dracula is now at the point of entering his marble gallery. Instead, he turns in the other direction, opening his secret entrance to his private alchemy laboratory. He knows what he is about to do.

Within his laboratory lie the secrets to the re-animation of the dead. He knows it. He has seen it at work and has felt its unforgiving touch.

So if he is to suffer…

…then others of the dead shall suffer as well.

And Death shall never be rid of him, even in this moment of his glory.

As he ponders the torments he shall inflict on the living and the dead alike his thoughts bring him to the general, the poor man who was the victim of his primal rage.

He did not kill him. He did much worse than that.

He had kept him alive.

The last he saw of him was as he stumbled out of that monastery chapel, looking ready to fall at any given moment and not move again.

He probably never made it back to his home, Dracula thinks.

Ah well. 'Tis a small matter if he did. Who would he tell? His adolescent daughter?

And even so, what in the world could his little girl possibly do to one such as Vlad Dracula, especially now?

So let the general run to his death, he thinks. And may that accursed Power who condemned me to this life treat him better.

Goodnight, my poor general….

…my poor General Belmont.


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