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A Secret Alchemy
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Soldiers and underlings, like popes and kings, come and go in The Middle Prince. There are few characters other than Ladislav/Vlad Drakula himself, who appear throughout the story:

Trovato diVelli - Italian adventurer and mercenary, but a man of education too: a Renaissance Man in the truest sense. To Ladislav - later Vlad - he is at various times tutor, saviour, counsel and observer; always in the pay of some powerful employer.

Eliza - a servant of Ladislav’s household, with ambition enough to take her beyond the servants' quarters, and perhaps beyond Wallachia itself.

Radu - Ladislav’s younger brother, who charms his way out of all responsibility and finds in exile among the Turks a life he could never have dreamed of in Wallachia.


Besides Radu, mentioned above, family is never far from the story of The Middle Prince...

Vlad Drakul - Ladislav’s father. He is supported into ruling Wallachia on the basis of his ferocity against the Turks, but is inevitably drawn into compromise and even subjugation.

Cnejna - Ladislav’s mother, strong and intelligent but bound by duty. Her changeable relationship with Ladislav shapes much of his life.

Mircea - Ladislav’s eldest brother. A skilled knight and a brave fighter, he mistrusts education and intellect and has an arrogance befitting his station as heir to the rule of Wallachia.

Juana - Ladislav’s first wife and the daughter of a wealthy Moldavian merchant. She is attractive to Ladislav and, more importantly, she behaves appropriately. With power she becomes more like his mother than he realised, dutiful and loyal with an iron hold on the business of the household and any who enter the walls of her castles.

Ilona Szilugy-Bathory - Vlad Drakula’s second wife, a widow, a member of the infamous House of Bathory and relative of the rulers of Moldova (and his mother). Strong and loyal - to the House of Bathory.




Others - Christian:

Sigismund - the Holy Roman Emperor whose great mind sets in place all of the events of the story, formulating the pivotal role that Wallachia must play in Europe’s history.
The Holy Roman Emperors that follow, Albert and Frederick, get rather less mention, as the power of the office dwindles.

Janos Hunyadi - The White Knight. Sigismund’s greatest general and after the Emperor’s death - despite attempts to sideline him - the leader in Christendom’s eastern struggle against Islam.

Matthias Corvinus - son of Hunyadi, King of Hungary and the embodiment of power in Eastern Europe. He feels pushed into letting Vlad Drakula live but is slowly convinced of the Wallachian’s worth.

Stefan (“The Great”) of Moldova - taken to safety at Hunyadi’s court by Ladislav and later saved again when the Sultan invades Moldova, Stefan remains indebted to Vlad Drakula.

Stephen Bathory - brother of Drakula’s second wife. Although about the same age and of roughly similar status by birth, Stephen Bathory is always second in command to Vlad Drakula. Historically, after Vlad’s death, Stephen gained his own reputation for brutality and oppression.


Others - Moslem:

Sultan Murad - moved the House of Osman towards a vision of true empire. Murad wages war and diplomacy with equal vigour, even reining in his own determination to avenge Vlad Drakul’s slaying of his friends when it becomes more prudent to draw the Viovode under his power.

Mehmet - son of Murad. A little younger than Ladislav, but with no doubts about his own destiny.

Mubarek - advisor to Sultan Murad and the Sultan’s eyes, ears and voice at the court of Vlad Drakul.


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