DRACULA: SON OF THE DRAGON INSPIRATION - THE BATTLE OF VARNA IN MINIATURE
Part of my continuing series on many images that have influence DRACULA, SON OF THE DRAGON, the comic book epic I’m creating with artist Salgood Sam chronicling the transfomation of Vlad Tepes from Impaler to Vampire.
We’re funding the book through KICKSTARTER and could really use your help: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/78669939/dracula-son-of-the-dragon
The big set-piece battle in the first Volume of Dracula: Son of the Dragon is The Battle of Varna, which took place in 1444. Vlad Dracul of Wallachia- Vlad Dracula’s father and older brother Mircea reluctantly joined a Crusade with the legendary Hungarian John Hunyadi and the Polish King Wladysws to push the Ottoman Turks under Sultan Murad II out of Europe.
The Varna crusade entailed breaking a treaty the Christians had with Turks. This was a particularly dangerous thing for Vlad Dracul to do, because his sons Dracula and Radu were hostages of the Sultan. Going into battle, he had to know that his sons lives were likely forfeit. (Death might have been one of the best scenarios…two of the Sultan’s other child hostages were blinded with hot irons).
The Ottomans had overwhelming forces, consisting of their Sipahi cavalry and elite Janissary corps (shock troops who were comprised of Christian boys often taken from their families and forcibly converted to Islam at a young age) and cannon fire.
Nevertheless, the combined Wallachian and Hungarian forces of nearly routed the Ottomans and killed the Sultan…until Wladyslaws foolishly charged the Janissaries with his bodyguard in a failed attempt at personal glory. He was killed, and is severed head was impaled on a spear.
That site caused the Europeans to flee in disarray. That would cause a rift between The Draculas and Hunyadi that would lead to the deaths of Dracula’s father and older brother at Hunyadi’s hands, putting him as first in line for the Wallachian throne. The Sultan spared Dracula, pitting him against Hunyadi and giving him the chance to reclaim his throne.
In DRACULA: SON OF THE DRAGON, we’re going to follow the model of mostly sticking to the historical accounts of battles like these, but with a supernatural twist. The Janissary corps will be more (or maybe more accurately, less) than human…and will be the first use of vampire soldiers on the battlefield.
The above pictures show the battle depicted in miniature in a wargaming scenario. I wish I could claim credit for painting and arranging those miniatures, but they are taken from the Vlad The Impaler sourcebook for the Warhammer Historical boardgame. I thought it would be fun to show that, in addition to history texts and pop culture, wargaming is one of the other things Salgood and I are looking at to help capture the Medieval epic side of the equation.
Again, we could really use your help in bringing DRACULA: SON OF THE DRAGON to life as a comic book. Please check out our Kickstarter page, make a pledge, reblog this post, share the link etc.: