Bela de Magpyr

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Count Bela de Magpyr
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Name Bela de Magpyr
Race Vampire
Age
Occupation Current Count of Don'tgonearthe Castle
Physical appearance Very well dressed
Residence Don'tgonearthe Castle, near Escrow in Uberwald
Death Has been killed several times before, most recently by Alison Weatherwax.
Parents
Relatives Count de Magpyr nephew, Vlad, great nephew & Lacrimosa, great niece
Children none
Marital Status unknown
Appearances
Books Carpe Jugulum
Cameos


Family Motto: CARPE JVGVLVM. (SEIZE THE THROAT)

Some call him simply the old Count Magpyr. He is uncle to the Count de Magpyr who has a wife and two children and has attempted to take over Lancre. Count Bela is one of those vampires who seem so stereotypical – obsessively meticulous about their socks, can't learn any modern ideas, and who harass townspeople by biting their necks every now and then and requiring them to kill him. Count Bela has many intelligent reasons, however:

  1. the silk socks are expensive,
  2. after lying in the coffin for fifty years, modern ideas don't seem so enlightened, and
  3. it is healthy exercise and source of family pride for the townspeople.

Whereas the new Count de Magpyr and his very large clan go to drink blood from people of the entire town every few weeks or so, Count Bela de Magpyr goes to town only every few years, and each time only to bite a pretty young lady who looks good in a nightie and has left her window open at night. (Count Bela considers that such a young lady possibly has left the window open on purpose; he calls them "adventurous females". He also sets for himself an age limit; he does not harass adolescents.) Then, some brave young man stakes Count Bela de Magpyr in the heart, or cuts his head off. He crumbles to dust and the dust is gathered back into his coffin, where he can sleep for a few decades until some blood accidentally drips on his dust. Meanwhile, the brave young man becomes a town hero, and the proud achievement is remembered through quite a few generations. Bela himself keeps count of who has killed him and how accurate was the staking or how powerful was the axe-stroke. When Count Bela de Magpyr meets the townspeople, the atmosphere is genuinely amicable as he identifies some people as descendants of such town heroes, and the townspeople feel very proud indeed.

It can be said that Count Bela is an old-school sportsman who plays fair. He sticks to the old formal evening attire and widow's peak, making himself instantly identifiable as a vampire (potential target for hopeful heroes.) He uses curtains that are easily twitched aside or torn off (to let in the sunlight). He stores stakes alongside a simple diagram of the human anatomy, pointing out the correct position of the heart. He stores a large collection of holy water. He stores lemons because some folklore holds that the correct way to kill a vampire is to cut his head off and then stick a lemon in his mouth. He provides decorations that can be twisted into the shapes of known holy symbols. He also has his Igor keep the doors creaky, and the dungeons dusty and full of spider webs (although he does not in fact keep any prisoners in the dungeons). Count Bela de Magpyr had several road signs installed saying "Don't go near the castle", "Last chance not to go near the castle", "Don't go near the Coache Park" and so on. His castle itself is called Don'tgonearthe Castle. Hunting for the old Count might be considered a sporting activity with formal rules. Overall, his attitude is one Cohen would completely approve of.

Count Bela de Magpyr appears in Carpe Jugulum.

Annotation

It is likely that the name Bela in his name is a pun on Bela Lugosi, the Hungarian actor who played Dracula in the original black-and-white films. This is an extremely effective pun, as Bela de Magpyr embodies all that is stereotypical of vampires and Dracula is one of the most famous, if not the most famous vampire in Roundworld's history.