The majestic white wolf stood on a snow-covered peak of the Carpathian Mountains, with keen eyes that could spot its prey from a distance of more than five miles. Slowly the great beast descended down the mountain, moving purposefully as if responding to a mating call. Above him a full moon shone with an eerie glow, which only enhanced a sense of impending doom. The surrounding forest was a refuge for his kind but tonight, he was summoned by a higher power. As its presence grew closer, the vegetation visibly wilted. The wolf raised a wet nose to the air and caught the scent of something so foul; it forced a host of wildlife into hiding. A steady wind combed through the lush forest as he scanned the treetops and waited for a sign from the Dark One.
"He has been born," a solemn voice whispered, as the night became suddenly still.
"Tell me…," the white wolf responded with building excitement, at the thought of grooming another like himself.
"A most evil one named, Vlad Dracula…in Wallachia. He is born a prince, but we will make him a Prince of Darkness."
"Is he the one, master?"
"Yes…he is the one we have been waiting for," the Dark One replied impatiently.
"And how will I serve him?" the wolf asked unsure what was expected.
"Fool…you serve me and no other!"
"Forgive me, master…how may I serve you?"
"We need the assistance of something more innocuous, something that will be unnoticed by those who serve and protect him."
The white wolf ran his tongue over yellow teeth with relish as a plan began to formulate, "I will seek out the ancient oak, master...surely the answers will be there."
"It is not the tree that will serve you…seek out the vine and make it your own," the Dark One replied, but the wolf was still confused.
"Master…I don’t understand."
"You must feed it! Your blood will fuel its waning fire and only then, will we have the means to groom this child into the dark lord he is mean to be."
"But master…where will I find him?" the wolf asked, but the Dark One had already vanished leaving a gentle wind behind.
The forest floor started moving beneath him, and the white wolf realized the Dark One was taking him to the Western Woods, where the sacred oak lived and breathed. It had been planted by the Druid's shortly after the birth of Christ. As the wolf cautiously approached the ancient tree, he felt a darkness spreading over him that had nothing to do with nightfall. The tree was taller than any the wolf had ever seen and its branches reached out hungrily with the bony fingers of a crone. The tree's massive trunk was covered with corroded gray bark and exuded a noxious odor clearly not of the living world. A tangled mass of spoiled greenery wound itself tightly around the ancient oak and seemed almost part of the tree itself. The white wolf stood only a foot from the tree now, certain he was as close to hell as he could get. The tainted vine was withered and appeared almost frail but the great beast knew better, and so had the Druids.
Determined in his mission, the white wolf stepped closer, nuzzling the brittle bark and the sleeping vine came instantly awake, feeling a hunger that could not be satisfied by water and sunshine. The wolf let his body go limp and the vine began to wrap itself around the animal's neck; leafy tentacles caressed the only thing that could nourish its burning hunger. When the vine appeared ready to consume the subdued beast, a human hand emerged from the tangled mass and then another, as the wolf took on his human form. The vine hummed as sharp tentacles began to pierce the man's breast, desperate for a taste of glorious human blood. As the vine drank, it writhed about erotically and the human responded in kind, making their dance look like a mating ritual. The wind suddenly picked up and the human pulled away, grasping his naked chest as he resumed his canine form. The rejuvenated vine loosened its grip and patiently listened, as the white wolf explained the Dark One's plan. The sinister vine had already begun to detach itself from the ancient oak, unable to resist the intoxicating call of the human world.