In an opening montage, Ingeras, the son of Vlad the Impaler recounts the history surrounding the legendary character known as Dracula.
Ingeras: [narrating] In the year of our Lord, 1442, the Turkish sultan enslaved 1,000 Transylvanian boys to fill the ranks of his army. These child slaves were beaten without mercy, trained to kill without conscience, to crave the blood of all who defied the Turks. From among these boys, one grew into a warrior so fierce that entire armies would retreat in terror at the mention of his name.
Ingeras: [narrating] Vlad the Impaler. Son of the Dragon. Sickened by his monstrous acts, Vlad came to bury his past with the dead and returned to Transylvania to rule in peace. His subjects called him Prince. I called him Father. But the world would come to know him as... Dracula.
While on a scouting mission in the woods Vlad along with Shkelgim, Captain Petru, Cazan, Nicolai, Andrei, Dimitru and other soldiers, discover a Turkish helmet.
Shkelgim: I left it where I found it.
Dimitru: What do you think, Vlad?
Vlad: Bring it to me. This belongs to a scout. One of Hamza Bay's men.
Captain Petru: What the hell's a lone Turk doing out here'?
Vlad: Turkish scouts never travel alone. If there's one, there's more. And whatever they scout, they conquer. This was washed downstream. Came from up there. Broken Tooth Mountain. Soon it will be night. They'll seek refuge. Dimitru, I need you to return to the castle. Alert the guards and double the sentry.
Dimitru: What? I'm not leaving you here.
Vlad: For the Turks to cross into my land unannounced is a sign of war.
Dimitru: And what are you going to do if you find them?
Vlad: I'll do what princes do best. Negotiate. Nicolae, Andrei, with me.
Petru: Fall in!
In their search for the party, Vlad, Nicolae, and Andrei enter a cave in the mountains.
Andrei: Smells like your feet.
Vlad: They're inside.
Nicolae: How do you know?
Vlad: Bats don't come out during the day. Something's disturbed them. Come on.
Andrei: What is it, My Lord'?
Vlad: The floor. It's crushed bone. The Turks didn't do this.
Nicolae: What's that?
Vlad: We leave, now.
They encounter a master vampire, who kills Nicolae and Andrei, but Vlad manages to cut the vampire with his sword. Vlad finds safety in the daylight as the creature retreats back into the black abyss. Vlad notices the vampire's blood on his sword disintegrates when exposed in the daylight.
Vlad races back to Castle Dracula and consults with Brother Lucian.
Brother Lucian: The creature you encountered was no accident, My Prince. Four nights ago, every brother in our order awoke from an identical dream. I would not have thought it possible had I not suffered the same vision myself that night. Of a creature laying siege to this holy place. The Roman mystics prophesied the coming of a great evil. A vampire. From the Greek word pi, to drink.
Lucian: The beast was once a mortal man who summoned a demon from the depths of hell to trade for his dark power. The demon tricked the man, granting his wish, but his price was an eternity condemned to the darkness of that cave, where he remains until he finds another to set him free. Now you know it's true face.
Vlad: The people of Transylvania live in enough fear of the Turks' return. Promise me you'll guard this secret, brother.
Ingeras: Papa! I missed you.
Vlad: And I, you. My big soldier.
Mirena: What? An embrace but no kiss?
Vlad: Are we going to argue?
Mirena: With you always leaving, I need my fill.
Vlad: I've missed you.
Mirena: Something troubles you. What is it?
Vlad: Only the impossible depth of your beauty. Puts the rest of the world to shame.
Mirena: Pay no attention to your father, Ingeras. Flattery is a cheap distraction from truth.
Vlad: She knows all my tricks.
Mirena: You're a terrible liar. It's one of your most endearing qualities. You're just in time for bed.
Ingeras: Can we go riding tomorrow, Papa?
Vlad: Of course we can.
Mirena: You most certainly cannot.
Vlad: Why not?
Mirena: Because tomorrow is the day of our risen Lord.
Vlad: Oh, of course.
Mirena: That's Easter.
Vlad: What was I thinking?
Mirena: So what attacked you? Wolves?
Vlad: I suppose. All I know is that I've lost two good men today.
Mirena: There's something more.
Vlad: I was the same age as Ingeras when I was sent to live with the Turks. To fight for them. If I never saw another, it would be too soon.
Mirena: You're home now. For almost as many years as you were gone.
Vlad: I just want peace. That's all.
The following day, Vlad and his subjects celebrate Easter.
Dimitru: My fellow Transylvanians, an Easter toast. Ten years of peace and prosperity ever since our prince came back to us. My old friend, here's to 20 more.
Man: To 20 more!
The Turkish party marches into the hall lead by Hamza Bey, one of his warriors known as Bright Eyes, another known as Acemi, and other Turkish soldiers. Bright Eyes and other Turkish soldiers circle around the citizens eyeing them with malice.
Bright Eyes: Mmm.
Vlad: Hamza Bey. Welcome. We were not expecting you so soon.
Hamza: Sultan Mehmed II offers his salutations to you and your son.
Vlad: Thank him. I have his tribute ready.
Hamza: Hmm. I'm afraid there's something more than a tribute to discuss.
Vlad: The Turks have no enemies here.
Hamza: Did you think we would not notice a battalion of our scouts missing?
Vlad: I did not kill them.
Hamza: It still lives inside you, Lord Impaler. Locked in a dark cage, hidden away. But you and I... we both know it's there.
Vlad: The sultan's tribute. Take it and leave.
Hamza: Ah! There is one last thing. The sultan requires 1,000 boys to join his Janissary Corps.
Vlad: Janissaries? He ended that practice years ago.
Hamza: When a soldier is plucked as a child and raised to know no other life, they will kill without question and die without complaint. Any who are 15 years of age or older will fight in Hungary. Those 10 to 14 will be made ready for the siege on Vienna. The sultan expects your obedience. After all, did not your own father give you up without a fight?
Bright Eyes looks over a boy sitting with father.
Bright Eyes: Soft, but they'll do.
Vlad shoves Bright Eyes against the wall.
Vlad: Do you know who I am?
Bright Eyes: You mean who you were.
Hamza: You have no army and no choice, Prince. Follow our command, or suffer the consequences.
Cazan approaches Vlad after the Turkish party leaves.
Cazan: It must be done. Courage, anger, even love. None of these can matter to a prince. All that matters is his duty to his people.
Ingeras: What does it mean to be a royal hostage?
Vlad: My father gave me to the sultan to prove his loyalty.
Ingeras: Were you scared there? With them?
Vlad: I wanted to make my father proud.
Ingeras: Would you ever give me to the sultan?
Vlad: That was a longtime ago. You have nothing to worry about. Do you understand? Good.
Moments later, Vlad is in his bedroom talking with Mirena.
Vlad: If I defy the order, they'll kill 100 for every one I save.
Mirena: You told me you and Mehmed were once like brothers. Were you to ask, isn't it possible he might show you some mercy?
Petru: You ever seen the like of it?
Dimitru: Soon the entire world will be Turk.
Mehmed: Lord Impaler, my oldest of friends. I miss our days together.
Vlad: All I miss from my time with you is the coffee.
Mehmed: It's true, my father's palace was a cruel place for a young boy far from home. But soon you talked like us, prayed like us, fought like us. Speaking of which, I am owed 1,000 boys. Why have I not seen them?
Vlad: Mehmed, my brother, I will grant you anything else.
Mehmed: I need soldiers, brother.
Vlad: Then take me. I'm worth 1,000 boys, and you know it.
Mehmed: Those kings would tremble if they knew.
Vlad: Then accept my offer.
Mehmed: When we were boys, how I longed to fight side by side. But now I am Sultan, what need have I for one more soldier? I will have my 1,000 boys. And one more. Your son will be raised under my roof, just as you were raised under the roof of my father. You may retain your throne. But General Ismail will remain to see that my orders are fulfilled.
Vlad: Please. Do not do this.
Mehmed: What is one son? If you are virile, you'll make plenty more.
After a failed attempt at diplomacy with the Turkish Sultan, Vlad skirmishes with a Turkish party that arrived to take his son for service in Turkish army.
Coach driver: Whoa, there.
Mirena: You promised me this would never happen.
Vlad: Mirena, listen.
Mirena: The day you asked for my hand, do you remember what I said?
Vlad: You said no.
Dimitru: [to Ingeras] Stay, my young friend.
Mirena: I knew what happens to the sons of the queen. You said things would be different. You said if I loved you, I should trust you. I love you!
Vlad: Then trust me.
Cazan: It's this or we start a war.
Hamza: The Great Impaler can't please his woman.
Dimitru: Everything's fine, boys. They're just saying their goodbyes is all. Mirena.
Mirena: I won't let you... You promised me my family!
Vlad: Mirena, please!
Mirena: Stop it! Don't touch me! I won't! I won't let them do this! Vlad, don't! Don't do this! No! No! No, I won't let you do this!
Ingeras: I'll go.
Mirena: I won't! No!
Ingeras: I'll go! I can do it. You're proud of me, aren't you?
Vlad: Of course I am.
Hamza: You have chosen wisely. Yeah, I have to say, we are a little disappointed. Frankly, I expected more resistance from you.
Vlad: Run to your mother.
Mirena: Come here! Don't look!
Vlad slaughters the Turkish party.
Cazan: Mehmed will punish all of Transylvania for what you have done.
Vlad: It's not a child's place to save his country. Get my family to the castle.
Cazan: Mehmed will be sending others soon enough. War will come. You can't protect us.
Vlad: I'll find a way.
Vlad! Where are you going?
Vlad: Whatever haunts Broken Tooth, I know it kills Turks.