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Wallachia is an ongoing serial vampire novel by David Ely set in 19th-century Romania. New chapters are published every few weeks.

Decades before Dracula, the Principality of Wallachia had its share of problems long before it came to be ruled by a vampire…

Download the app to read or listen for free. Vote in reader polls that directly affect the story in forthcoming chapters.


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The audiobooks are available as a podcast. New chapters air every other Friday.


Flowers of Transylvania cover Download from Amazon Download from Amazon Apple Books link Apple Books link

Flowers of Transylvania, a prelude to Wallachia, is included in the app but is also available separately for Kindle and Apple Books. 1741, Transylvania. Corina finds herself a prisoner of Count Dracula. The good news: Dominic, her first love, is a guard in the castle. But can she trust him?


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In the BBC/Netflix show, Count Dracula has a new trick: learning languages by drinking blood. Here are the vampiric abilities and traits Bram Stoker gives to Count Dracula in the novel. These are from notes I took when rereading it a few years ago. The most succinct summary comes in chapter 18 when Van Helsing runs through a number of them, but he exhibits other powers throughout the story.

Physical characteristics:

  • Hair on the palms of his hands (in Dracula’s case only; the four female vampires we see aren’t described this way)
  • Sharp fingernails
  • Sharp teeth
  • Red eyes
  • Complexion of “exceptional pallor”

Abilities:

  • “Can command all the meaner things: the rat, and the owl, and the bat – the moth, and the fox, and the wolf”
  • Strength of twenty men
  • “Of cunning more than mortal, for his cunning be the growth of ages”
  • No reflection in mirrors
  • Can scale walls vertically like a lizard
  • Turns into mist, a dog, a bat, and “moonlight rays as elemental dust”
  • Create a storm and fog around himself
  • Can incite the insane to his aid from long distances (Transylvania to London)
  • Can secure girls from a long distance, causing them to sleepwalk and lose pallor
  • Victims do not decay in death before their undeath begins
  • Strength of twenty men
  • More cunning than mortal man, “for his cunning be the growth of ages”
  • Has the aids of necromancy
  • Can grow and become small to slip through a “hairbreadth space”
  • “Throws no shadow”
  • Cannot die by mere passing of the time
  • Can grow younger by drinking the blood of the living
  • Can see in the dark
  • His victims can be made to forgot his attacks, and he has mental control over them, so he can command them to come at will, for example.

Limitations:

  • Afraid of the Crucifix
  • Repulsed by the Sacred Wafer; unable to pass by it if it’s crumbled up and placed in a doorway or made into a circle
  • Physical contact with a consecrated Host will burn a vampire’s skin, leaving a mark
  • Must travel in a coffin (meaning large box, not necessarily a burial coffin) filled with soil
  • Cannot stand the smell of garlic
  • When asleep, face is like the dead (unable to move or react)
  • To kill: cut off head, fill mouth with garlic, drive stake through body (though a Bowie knife will also do)
  • “A sacred bullet fired into the coffin kill him so that he be true dead”
  • The branch of the wild rose placed over coffin will prevent the ability to exit
  • “Cannot flourish” without drinking blood
  • “He may not enter anywhere at the first, unless there be some one of the household who bid him to come; though afterwards he can come as he please”
  • Power ceases at the coming of the day (sunrise)
  • “Only at certain times can he have limited freedom. If he be not at the place whither he is bound, he can only change himself at noon or at exact sunrise or sunset.”
  • “Can only pass running water at the slack or the flood of the tide”
  • Harker strikes him while he’s asleep in his coffin and this scar persists throughout the novel.

Sunlight has no particular effect on the count, aside from that his powers cease during the daytime. He’s seen out during the day in the novel.

I quite liked the first episode of BBC One/Netflix’s Dracula. It plays with the source well and brings a good creepy, campy horror. I’m looking forward to the next two. 🧛🏻‍♂️📺

4. Flowers of Transylvania Chapter 4: Into the Labyrinth

Corina and the girls visit the village, and she makes a startling discovery.

This was in my Christmas cracker tonight.

Chapter 8 of Wallachia, “Goings and Comings,” is out now.

  • The Order gets some orders
  • The trouble with tributes

You can download and read it for free.

3. Flowers of Transylvania Chapter 3: Day and Night in Castle Dracula

Corina and Dominic connect; she starts having bad dreams.

I let myself, somehow, sleep on the first book of Pullman’s new Dark Materials series, “The Book of Dust.” Watching the HBO show reminded me about it, and I’ve just read the two shorts he did that are available as ebooks. I particularly liked “The Collectors” which very strongly reminds me of Le Fanu’s “Green Tea,” what with monkeys provoking death. I only read that story in the last year-plus, and immediately found a place for it in Wallachia.

It’s funny, I guess, how I’d never have seen the similarity if I’d read “The Collectors” when it came out a few years ago. It seems right that I read them in this order. Meant to be seems strong to say, but when you get that little tickle in your brain when you’re reading a story and feel that kind of connection, it does sort of feel that way, right?

Vampires in The Green Lantern: Blackstars

The second issue of The Green Lantern: Blackstars by Grant Morrison, Xermanico, and Steve Oliff has a few fun vampire references. I don’t intend to annotate the entire issue, but here are a few things I noticed.

The name of the space vampire queen, Belzebeth, calls to mind Biblical demon Beelzebub with a sprinkling of Elizabeth Báthory. Báthory was a Hungarian countess from the 17th century who allegedly tortured and murdered hundreds of young girls. Like Vlad Dracula, her story was connected to vampirism only after her death. Her coat of arms resembles that of the Order of the Dragon.

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Her castle recalls many takes on Castle Dracula, though it seems to be sited on the water instead of above a chasm.

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Her husband, Count Vorlokk, resembles Count Orlok from 1922’s Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror, directed by F.W. Murnau, which was the one of the very first vampire films ever made and is a masterpiece of German Expressionism. Vorlokk turning into a Sun-Eater is a sensible if outrageous thing for a cosmic vampire to do. Sun-Eaters are DC universe creatures that do exactly what you think. He has a “cringing retinue of Renfields” (great language!). Renfield was the insane harbinger of Dracula in Bram Stoker’s novel.

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Their wedding namechecks 70s films Count Yorga, Vampire; “Carmilla,” which I talked about here and has been adapted into film several times; and 1978’s Martin directed by George A. Romero (most famous for Night of the Living Dead). “Mandrakk” is the villain of Morrison’s Final Crisis comic. He’s a corrupted version of the Anti-Monitor from Crisis on Infinite Earths who turns into a reality-eating vampire, and also an analogy for I guess comic book editors who have to make every story dark and gritty for the sake of short-term tales boosts. (Not relevant, but I just like to mention it.) The terms “Vampyroi” and “Clan Nosferaculux” are fun.

In the crowd are, among others, Brad Pitt’s Louis from Interview with the Vampire, Robert Pattinson’s Edward from Twilight, space vampire Vampirella, Morbius, the Living Vampire, the cast of What We Do in the Shadows, British half-vampire vampire hunter Blade, and more. The officiant is Vlad III Dracula (see his portrait on the Wikipedia page). I’m rather surprised I can’t pick out a David Bowie from The Hunger in the crowd.

2. Flowers of Transylvania Chapter 2: The Lord Who Receives Many Guests

Corina awakens in Castle Dracula and discovers that she’s not alone.

Audiobook chapters of Wallachia are now available as a podcast, starting with the first chapter of Flowers of Transylvania. Going forward, new chapters will air every other Friday. This means the podcast will lag behind, and slowly catch up to, the “live” book, but this way I’ll have a while where I can keep a guaranteed biweekly schedule.

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(Did I hand-make a retina Antipixel button? Yes. Yes I did.)