de Villenueva, Sebastian

de Villenueva, Sebastian

(pop culture)

The vampire that appeared in a series of five novels by Les Daniels, Sebastian de Villenueva originated in fifteenth-century Spain. According to the story line, first presented in The Black Castle (1978), Sebastian participated in the siege of Malaga in 1487, part of the effort to drive the Moors from Spain. He was killed when a cannon exploded in his face. His body was returned to his castle in northeastern Spain and entombed in a crypt. His brother, still a young man at the time of the siege, had become a monk and eventually was named inquisitor for his home territory.

In the days following his accident, Sebastian went through a set of (undisclosed) “rituals” that made him a vampire. From the cannon explosion, he retained a scar that ran down the left side of his face. He took advantage of his brother’s position and regularly visited the cells of the Inquisition where he fed among the prisoners. He claimed that during the first nine years of his life he had never taken a life.

Sebastian was a vampire in the traditional sense, with the familiar variety of powers and limitations. He could transform himself into a bat or become mist, a form in which he could pass through the smallest crack. He was also subject to the second death: sunlight, fire, or a stake through the heart; in addition he needed to sleep on native soil. At the end of The Black Castle, Sebastian died in a fire he built in front of his castle. However, his skull was not consumed in the flames and, once severed from his body, rolled into the castle moat. It was later retrieved and taken to Mexico, where he was brought back to life to begin a new series of adventures. Aligned with an Aztec priestess, he ended his Mexican sojourn when she transformed him into pure spirit. He reappeared in revolutionary France (Citizen Vampire, 1981) when an alchemist brought him back from spirit. Sebastian returned once more to the spirit realm, only to assume a body in nineteenth-century England (Yellow Fog, 1986) and India (No Blood Spilled, 1991).

Sources:

Daniels, Les. The Black Castle. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1978. Rept. New York: Berkley Books, 1979. 232 pp.
———. Citizen Vampire. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1981. 197 pp.
———. The Silver Skull. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1970. Rept. New York: Ace Books, 1983. 234 pp.
———. Yellow Fog. New York: Tor, Donald M. Grant, 1986. Rev. ed.: New York: Tor, 1988. 294 pp.
———. No Blood Spilled. New York: Tor, 1991. 218 pp.