Saturday, July 17, 2010

Shrine of the Battlemasters

Oh,Vlad III, what has the modern world wrought of your once great, blood drenched dynasty?  You defended your beloved Wallachia against the Ottoman Empire by using the most brutal, deadly, and psychologically disturbing methods.  Over the years, the legacy of your brutality has been diluted by shitty pop culture into sparkly, undead emo pretty-boy douchebags who have nothing better to do than sulk all day and impregnate barely legal young women.  You know, it's a shame that Vlad III isn't a vampire, otherwise, we'd see Anne Rice, Laurel K. Hamilton, Charlaine Harris, and Stephenie Meyer up on stakes.

When I watched the episode of Deadliest Warrior that pitted Vlad vs. Sun Tzu, the thing that stood out for Vlad, besides the weapon experts looking like they were from the band Type O Negative, was that his methods of destruction were ungodly visceral and effective.  When I saw his Kilij in action (a kind of weighted scimitar of Turkish origin), my jaw hit the floor as it sheared through flesh and bone effortlessly.  When Vlad II surrendered his son to the Ottoman Turks as a sign of loyalty (which broke the oath of the Order of the Dragon, that Vlad II was a part of), he witnessed all the devious methods the Turks employed to torture and kill their enemies.  Vlad III took these methods and used them in such a way that even the Turks, who used these methods for centuries, shit their pants when they saw them used with such brutality.

At first, Vlad III was used as an Ottoman puppet to keep the Hungarians out of Wallachia by becoming prince of his homeland.  After being exiled when the Hungarians did invade, Vlad eventually went to Hungary, where he had made a good impression on the Hungarian regent Janos Hunyadi (who influenced Wallachia's feudal lords, known as boyars, to kill Vlad II and his eldest son, Micrea, in a bid to overthrow their rule).  When Hunyadi fought the Turks in Serbia, Vlad III laid siege to Wallachia and killed Vladislav II (who Hunyadi placed on the throne after overthrowing Vlad III) and reclaimed his rule over Wallachia.

Then Vlad III went apeshit on the boyars, who killed his father and brother and turned Wallachia into a poor, war-torn nation.  After impaling the fuck out of some boyars, he replaced them with obscure men who he trusted and began to Wallachia's agriculture, trade, and military, ensuring the well being of his people.

It wasn't until Vlad III waged war on the Ottoman Empire that the real brutality began.  Vlad III allied with Hungarian king and son of Janos Hunyadi, Matthias Corvinus (who would eventually betray him and frame him for misusing money that Matthias wasted on frivolous shit - bastard).  When the Sultan sent envoys to demand a tribute of 10,000 ducats and 500 young boys (I don't wanna know what he wanted them for), Vlad III decided to nail the envoys' turbans to their heads.  That's just beautiful, man.

Then, Vlad III found out about a plot to kidnap him, in the guise of a diplomatic meeting.  Vlad III decided to ambush them, killing the Turks with handguns, they then impaled...

Wait, they used guns?  ...Um, I think it should be noted that the use of guns is considered a cardinal sin by me, since they are the weapons of worthless cowards and no true warrior would use one.  Sure, you can easily kill a person with a gun, but while a true warrior tears off limbs, eats at godly banquet halls, and beds the finest Valkyries in Valhalla, you'll be poncing around with your pop-gun in Pussyman Land, that is, until the fires of my contempt eternally burn you.  Okay, while Vlad's forces did utilize a form of gun, it also doubled as a brutally damaging spiked club, so... I... guess I can let that slide just this once.  You got off light, Vlad, but don't let me catch you doing it again.

Of course, Vlad's most memorable implement of destruction was fiendishly simple and lent him the nickname, "Tepes" (The Impaler).  When the Sultan sent an army of 90,000 strong to invade Wallachia, they came across something that froze their blood.  Instead of being initially met by Vlad's army, they encountered another of the Sultan's armies, 20,000 of them, impaled on spikes, creating a forest of death.

Because of his bloody methods and a lot of bad press (not just from Bram Stoker), Vlad III has been pegged as ruthless, sinister, even demonic.  Some have even said that Dracula (which really means "son of the dragon," as his father was a part of the Order of the Dragon) has come to mean "son of the devil."  As for the whole vampirism thing, that was, most likely, Bram Stoker's fault.  Legends of vampires were very popular in the Slavic region of Europe.  So when Stoker decided to write a horror novel about a powerful vampire, the death dealing Vlad seemed like the perfect candidate.  Now, Vlad III is part of a mythology that considers him one of the most evil people in existence.

In his homeland of Romania, though, Vlad III is a national hero.  To this day, he is considered one of the greatest leaders in Romanian history.  It was his vehement opposition to the Ottoman Empire that led him to be admired and respected by the people of Slavic Europe.  When King Matthias of Hungary framed and wrongfully imprisoned Vlad, like a douchebag, it was considered a highly unpopular move by the Hungarian people, who saw him as a staunch defender against the Turks.

Regardless of your opinion of Vlad III, he was a savage, brutal prince who brought death and despair to his enemies.  For this, he is assured a place in the Shrine of the Battlemasters, just as long as he doesn't use those weak-ass guns anymore.

P.S. - Modern vampires don't suck blood.  They suck shit.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting stuff. I am living in Hungary at the moment, you should see the statues they got for Corvinus et al. out here.