Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia, son of Vlad II Dracul of the Order of the Dragon, was not a forgiving man.
"I have not the forgiving vein," said he to himself, when he succeeded to the princely throne ten years after his father's assassination.
"Now that I have my throne, my father's aristocratic killers will feel the full force of my wrath and vengeance. But in what devilish way shall I kill them? I know, I will skewer them alive on stakes like I saw in Turkey during my long exile there."
He slated his revenge for Easter Sunday 1457, as on that holy day the whole of the nobility would be gathering at the royal palace to celebrate the Resurrection of Christ.
The day duly arrived, and with the religious ceremony over, the 200 guests made their way to the banqueting hall to glut their appetites on the food and wine graciously provided by their host.
"I like the chicken on sticks," remarked one of the guests, unconscious of the dramatic irony in his choice of words.
"You'll soon have one up your backside," commented Vlad sotto voce.
"I beg your pardon?" said the guest, not hearing what his host said.
"Nothing," replied Vlad. "Have some more wine, then dance a merry measure with the ladies."
The guests danced and pranced in a jolly ambience with their womenfolk, and were so absorbed in their entertainment that did not see Vlad make a sign to one of his henchmen. Immediately the room was invaded by a troop of armed guards, some clutching wooden stakes with nasty pointed ends.
Fear and panic gripped the assembled guests.
"W-what's happening?" stammered one of the aristocrats.
"The grand finale," said Vlad, with a villainous grin on his villainous face. "To pay for your treason ten years ago, when you treacherously assassinated my father, each head of family will have the honour of being skewed alive with a stake up his aristocratic rectum!"
"Ooh, I'll bet that hurts!" said one of the ladies.
Vlad then turned to his executioner.
'About your work, Mr Executioner,' he ordered.
'Roger that, your majesty,' replied the executioner, and set about his grisly job.
Vlad had the choice of two ways of impaling his unfortunate victims: the Assyrian method, which consisted in lowering the victim sternum first onto the stake; and the Turkish method, in which the victim, still living, is laid prostate on the ground, and the stake delicately pushed inch by inch through his body until it emerges out of his mouth.
Vlad chose the Turkish method, and he gaily tucked into his meal as the sentences were carried out.
'This meat is jolly nice,' said he to himself. 'I must remember to compliment the chef.'
The prince's Easter celebrations later earned him the name of Vlad the Impaler, and became in the inspiration of Bram Stoker's Dracula novel, as well as countless movies. And Princes Charles, the present heir to the British throne, is said to be a great grandson 16 times removed to the notorious Impaler.