What is known is that in the Imperial year 1797, as Otto von Drak – the last of the mad von Drak Counts of Sylvania – lay dying, with no male heir to succeed him, a great black coach stopped outside Castle Drakenhof and out stepped a towering figure with a mane of black hair and piercing eyes. Introducing himself as one Vlad von Carstein, he recited the list of his noble antecedents and claimed the hand of Otto’s daughter Isabella. The marriage was performed immediately and dominion of the lands of Sylvania passed from the von Drak family to Vlad von Carstein.
Many of the other aristocratic families of the region objected to being ruled by an outsider, but any such dissidents were soon silenced. In fact, the new count seemed less oppressive than the von Draks of old. People readily turned a blind eye to Vlad’s eccentricities and ignored the cloaked strangers that were always visiting the castle, along with the foreigners from the east that steadily replaced the Drakenhof household. Soon Vlad held Sylvania in a strong grip and the province prospered.
Vampires of the von Carstein line are the true aristocracy of the night, possessed of an aura of dark majesty. The bestial side of their vampiric natures also grants them a particularly close affinity to the creatures of the night, such as wolves and bats.