Welcome to the final installment of my pre-Halloween special Fang Folio! I've shone a (non-UV) spotlight at the most cunning, most deadly, and even the cutest vampires I've grown to love, and now I saved the best for last, because our next fanged fiend is one near and dear to my heart! Bow to the majesty that is...
STRAHD VON ZAROVICH
Claim to fame: The Big Bad of the Dungeons & Dragons gothic horror campaign setting Ravenloft.
Why he's awesome: Oh man, where do I start? I've loved Strahd ever since getting to know his character in P.N. Elrod's novel I, Strahd: Memoirs of a Vampire and the D&D campaign Return to Castle Ravenloft. I learned how he was a cruel but fair ruler, never tolerating thieves and liars in his presence. I learned how he grew resentful about his youth fading with each passing day, and how he both loved and envied his vibrant younger brother Sergei. I learned about his doomed love for the beautiful Tatyana, who would be the catalyst for his dark turn as the first vampire and the torturous curse he would have for the rest of his unholy life.
His back story, his love story, just tugs at my heartstrings. We all wished one time or another that the ravages of time would stop for us, or for the one we love to love us back, and we would do anything to get it. Strahd could be any of us with the right push into madness.
Finally, there's something awfully scary about Strahd that I don't feel with the other vampires in my recent Fang Folios, and that's what makes him extra awesome. Maybe it's the fact that he's not just your ordinary final boss! Other vampires can be subdued, even beaten...but not Strahd. He's a force of unholy nature, you cannot defeat him...you can only survive him!
Crowning moment of
epicness tragedy: Ultimately, Strahd is a tragic character, and the curse of his home plane amplifies that to insanity-inducing levels. Imagine yourself as an ageless being losing the one you love, only to find her reborn every generation, with fate dangling her in front of you like bait only to snatch it away from you in the most gruesome way possible. That's what Strahd has to go through with Tatyana, the love of his life, who killed herself in sorrow. But instead of losing her, she finds her in every generation with the same features, same loveliness, but with a different name and upbringing. An opportunity of a lifetime for Strahd to win her heart, you say? There's only one ending to Strahd's love story...and it's not happily ever after. Maybe that's why he hates adventurers so much.
Strahd von Zarovich is an awesome, tragic character with lots of fiendish flavor, and modern vampires would do well to take a page from him when it comes to being the most badass of them all!
Five out of five Dracula heads
Thank you so much for walking with me as I featured all the vampires I loved. I hope you had as much fun as I did writing it! Who are YOUR favorite vampires? Leave me a comment below and let's talk about it! Thanks for reading and Happy Halloween! Awoo!