Prior to the Renaissance, Vlad Țepeș is the Prince of Wallachia and Transylvania. As a child, he was a royal hostage in the palace of the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire and was trained to be a soldier in the Sultan’s elite Janissary corps, where he became their most feared warrior. He was called Vlad the Impaler after slaughtering thousands by impaling them on spears.
Now ruling his domains in peace, Vlad and his soldiers discover a helmet in a stream and fear that an Ottoman scouting party is preparing the way for invasion. The stream leads to Broken Tooth Mountain, the top of which has a cave carpeted in crushed bone. Within the cave they are attacked in the dark by an inhumanly strong and fast humanoid creature, killing Vlad’s retinue. Returning to his castle, Vlad learns from a local monk that the creature is a vampire. Vlad celebrates an Easter feast with his wife Mirena and son Îngeraș, when an Ottoman contingent arrives at the castle. Vlad offers them the usual tribute payment of silver coins, but the emissary wants an additional tribute of 1,000 boys to be trained as Janissaries. Vlad refuses. Mirena believes Vlad can convince Sultan Mehmed II to show mercy. Vlad offers himself in place of the boys; but the Sultan refuses and demands Vlad’s son in addition.
Knowing war is coming, Vlad returns to the Broken Tooth Mountain cave to seek help from the vampire. The vampire tells him there are consequences and offers him some of his blood, which will temporarily give Vlad the powers of a vampire. If he resists the intense urge to drink human blood for three days, he will turn back into a human. Otherwise, he will remain a vampire forever. Vlad accepts the offer. He discovers after that he has the ability to transform into a flock of bats. When he returns to Castle Dracula, the Ottoman army attacks, but Vlad single-handedly kills them all. He then sends most of the castle’s subjects to Cozia Monastery for safety.
Mirena learns of Vlad’s curse, as she sees him holding silver to keep himself weak when near his people to avoid revealing his condition to them or attack them for blood. Vlad’s sudden increased strength also arouses suspicion among his subjects.
That night, the Ottoman army marches on the monastery. Vlad commands an enormous swarm of bats to repel them; however, the soldiers are actually a decoy force, allowing a handful of Turks to infiltrate the monastery, kill many of the inhabitants and kidnap Ingeras. Mirena tries to defend her son, and falls from the edge of the monastery wall. Dying, Mirena pleads with Vlad to drink her blood before the sun rises to give him the strength to save their son. Vlad reluctantly drinks her blood, triggering his final transformation into a full-blooded vampire and granting him even greater powers. As he does so, he summons black storm clouds to blot out the sun. Vlad returns to the monastery and turns a small group of survivors and mortally wounded into vampires as well.
At the Ottoman army’s camp, Mehmed prepares for a massive invasion of Europe. Vlad and his vampires arrive, hidden by a large lightning storm, and easily massacre the terrified Ottoman soldiers, while Vlad himself goes after Mehmed, who is holding Îngeraș captive. Aware that vampires are weakened by silver, Mehmed has lined the floor of his tent with silver coins, making Vlad’s strength and speed that of a human – and impairing his vision – as Mehmed fights Vlad with a silver sword. He overpowers Vlad and prepares to impale his heart with a wooden stake, but Vlad turns into a flock of bats and evades him. Taking the name “Dracula, Son of the Devil”, he kills Mehmed with the stake and drinks his blood. With Vlad presumed dead and Europe saved from the Ottoman invasion, Îngeraș is crowned the new Prince of Wallachia.
In the present day, Vlad meets a woman named Mina, who strikingly resembles Mirena, in the streets of a modern city (London), while the vampire who cursed Vlad watches them from afar. As they walk away, he follows, saying “Let the games begin”.