In some letters he signed his name as Wldislaus Drakulya. Here on this etching of Dracula, his name is spelled Vladislavs--or better known as "Vlad the Impaler"
I read the history of Dracula and was able to take from it the idea of how he had a perverted personality, as he'd been imprisoned by the Turks, along with his brother, as a deal made by his father--it was to keep his father from doing anything against the Turks, but the boys had lived under the Turks, and witnessed torture. Is it any wonder that Vlad became such a monster?
Vlad died at age 45. Thus, he has to be this age in my book. My problem was how the head and body were reunited in order to make him a vampire. I devised a pretty good plot of how thieves were payed to steal the head, which was displayed on a spike in the Ottoman capital, and brought back to where his body was. Using some ideas gleaned from a Christopher Lee/Dracula movie, I decided that the thieves, instead of being payed in gold, were actually killed, their blood drained onto the body and severed, rotting head, and because he was a vampire before death, he was then returned to full animation.
However, I'm going to probably revise this slightly. My thoughts now are that possibly that Vlad had planned this according to a sorcerer's idea of bringing him back to life, and instead of being human, he becomes a vampire. I supposed this could work. It would make the complicated theory that he'd had himself made vampire before the battle less attractive to me, since he would have probably been out in the sun at the time of it.
And then the hows and whys he was suddenly sucked into Beyond the Black Veil. I'm not yet sure about this.
Ah, but this is why there is a first draft. You make notes. You decide on something, and then re-thinking it, you change it. First drafts are rather fun in that way. I love working things out, the plot, and the characters. They reason why they act in such a way. In my books, the vampire recalls his human life, his personality doesn't change all that much. Possibly even his very deep seeded reasons for being the way he is. If there had been a mission in life, such as I've placed on Vasyl's shoulders, then, as a vampire he has continued it, but had made sure, before being turned, he would be told of his life's mission to find the sibyl.
Drakulya would be no different. He was a warrior. He didn't put up with shit. But he was very abusive with his powers to determine on the spot whether to kill someone or not. It would take a very deranged person to hammer a nail through some one's head because they refused to remove their hat, or cut the baby out of a woman's belly. Those are just a sample of the horrors Drakulya did in his Court, when he was a prince. His up-bringing in a Turkish cell must have imprinted horrible things on a child's mind, thus he had to have become emotionally stony to such horrors, and then to turn into someone whose atrocities are legend.