CastleVania: The Unfinished Symphony Chapter 3

Symbols of Domination

By The Dark Requiem

The year: 1459.

The place: Tirgoviste.

Vlad III Dracula smiles at the nobles, all seated at his table, smiling back at him.

After all, he is the prince. They have to smile now.

They didn't smile all those years ago when they took the throne away from him.

They had laughed back then.

Them…and their families.

Laughed him out of Wallachia.

And here they are…smiling at him…

Fools, he thinks. They have no idea.

He sits at table and studies his noble guests. Some are old…some are young…

The attendants bring the food and spread it out on the table. It is, after all, the holy feast of Easter. The Lord's Day.

Easter…the resurrection…the triumph of the Lord…the moment of perfection…

The perfect moment.

His smile broadens.

He goes around the table, asking each noble how many princes they have seen come and go. He chuckles to himself over the numbers the give him, knowing full well that most of these nobles had played pivotal roles in the overthrow of more than one Wallachian prince. Including himself…all those years ago.

Some of the numbers go as high as twenty, even thirty. None of them give a number below seven.

When they are finished, he claps his hands once in a graceful sweep.

At once, a host of soldiers enters the banquet hall, fully armored and bearing spears. They bind the hands of the nobles who, no longer smiling, gaze upon the face of Vlad III Dracula.

For his smile has spread into a wicked and evil grin.

And now comes the royal order: all the older nobles are to be executed…in one of the most tortuous and humiliating ways since the Roman tree.

Them…and their families.

The older nobles are led to the town square and Dracula leans out the window. He pulls an attendant close to him and spouts instructions and points…points at the Arges River…points at a mountain along the river valley…

* * *

The attendant leaves the palace as the younger nobles, chained, are marched out. Dracula follows along behind them, but not before placing his dear Radu as the chief governor of the city, answerable only to him, a position of greatest importance…and trust…

He stops briefly at the town square, to observe the older nobles, squirming on spikes of wood and iron, seeming to float high up in the air.

They shout at him…curse at him…spit at him…

He only laughs.

One of them shouts a name at him…a name that strikes a chord…


Dracula pauses and thinks to himself. Then, with a cheerful smile, resumes his laughter. Of course, he thinks as the word becomes louder in his ears. How very fitting.



* * *

The carriage follows behind the marching line of the younger nobles, who, much to Dracula's delight, are following the instructions of the attendant perfectly.

Each of the nobles is carrying a large, leather sack. Inside the sacks are the stone and wooden remains of ancient ruins that they have found along their march.

Their sacks are almost full, Dracula thinks to himself. Well, no matter. They will just have to carry the materials in their hands, that's all.

The march continues.

For miles, the march continues.

For almost forty miles, the march continues.

Miraculously, all the young nobles have survived.

Them…and their families…

At long last, the march stops at the base of a mountain along the Arges River valley. Dracula calls that same attendant forward to his carriage, shouting more instructions. The attendant listens close, making sure he hears all correctly. Then, he sets to work on this new task.

The young nobles, weary from their forty-mile journey of carrying the heavy materials, are now, after much conversing among the soldiers concerning the new instructions, marched up the steep sides of the mountain.

It is a long, hard climb.

Those that lose their footing must start their climb again.

Those that find the way impassable must fix it to make it passable.

They climb, with their heavy leather sacks.

They climb.

Almost one thousand feet they climb.

At the flat summit is their respite. They heavy burdens are taken from their shoulders and they are allowed to sit and rest. To catch their breaths.

That is, of course, until their warlord prince reaches, at long last, the top.

* * *

This is the day.

This is the day that the Lord has made.

This is the day he established a new order, as the old fulfilled its final duties.

This is the day that he reigned supreme on the high mountain's top, having all his enemies under his feet.

He glances out a window of the high keep in his finished Poenari, surveying the Forest that littered his courtyard.

All those young nobles.


Some had met their demise during the year-long construction when, with the stolen ancient materials, they did build this Lord's impregnable city upon a hill. And so there were catacombs built for the bodies of those wretches and they lay far beneath the castle.

Past the underground chambers and caverns, moist and dripping with the sweat and blood of the old aristocracy.

Past a hidden mine, now abandoned, that was used for taking the additional stuff for making the noble edifice.

Others, stronger, survived the toil to see this, the next Lord's Day. Naked, for their regal gear had long since fallen away, they had worked to the finish…

…only to find themselves on the sharp, pointed ends of the iron spears that now made Dracula's courtyard forest.

A Forest of the Impaled.

In the end, Dracula entered Poenari, glancing at his surroundings, imagining what he would do to decorate his noble fortress.

The great hall of the castle's entrance, situated below the mountain's summit to conceal his experimental laboratory used for that dastardly medieval chemistry, would need curtains for it's many windows. Perhaps…red. It would go well with the black walls.

The great marble gallery, the first level of the castle upon the summit, would also need work. Perhaps some sculpture…some relief…wall painting…maybe stained glass…candles…

The library that stretched long across the castle's rear side, it was already beginning to fill up with the texts of his family and sacred order. Not to mention other volumes of mythology and magic that had sparked his interest.

The chapel…oh, his royal chapel…the first glorious sight upon the summit…it must receive the finest of his finery.


Stained glass.



Melodious bells for it's high triple spires, so high, with their already-fixed sculpted messengers to top them, that they would rival the height of the keep itself!

And he must not forget his so loyal attendant, who had carried out his orders so perfectly. He would have his own wing of the castle and, for his great assistance, no expense would be spared in the decoration. His quarters would rival the beauty of the chapel!

Yes…true and faithful Olrox…he must be rewarded…

Yes…this is the day that the Lord has made…

Dracula climbed the few steps to his throne and sat. He smiled deeply. It was the first day in the finished Poenari, his crowning achievement, a testimony to his rule, the high symbol of his power and domination.

And he rejoiced…and was glad in it…


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