The Dracula Gambit (August, 1997) is one of Purgatori’s more obscure comics, when it comes to the art and plot. David Quinn does an excellent job portraying a relationship between Purgatori and Dracula that is not purely sexual but intellectual. Like many of her other titles, it is one I truly enjoyed reading. The art, done by Brian LeBlanc, is quite unique. The way LeBlanc paints helps define the muddled nature between the two characters and allows you to peak into the relationship in a way that makes you feel like you are experiencing it right along with them.
Purgatori has ventured to Targoviste, Romania. She clenches a man by his throat and questions him about the one she seeks, hoping that success will result in respect, her name not forgotten.
As she finishes feeding on the man the ruins in the distance turn into a fortress, the home of her adversary. She believes that his defeat will allow her legend to flourish.
Purgatori thinks back to what lead her here, her introduction to the count two years ago in San Francisco. She finds two vampires, Vlad and Syn, feeding on a human, she drinks and kills Vlad – ripping out his heart as it starts again.
Purgatori allows Syn to feed on her and questions who this “Dark Bird” is that Vlad cried out to. To get answers she feds on Syn and saw that she worshipped another Giving him up devastated Syn to the point that she jumped out a window.
Purgatori vows, through cannibal magick and blood feast, that Dark Bird’s potency will be hers. She has traveled the world in search for him and now she is in his home.
She recalls in London, two years ago, where a man, Neville, informed her that the “Dragon” was the bloodiest ruler in Europe, impaling people and feeding the destitute only to roast them alive. As time went on it was no longer enough to kill the Dragon, she wants his submission.
A year ago, in Bosnia, Purgatori had a relationship with one of his wives, Elizabeth. Upon feeding on her she learned of the heroic deeds the count had accomplished for others. Purgatori learns that the wife is a distraction, he has fled Bosnia, making him further irresistible. Instead of slaughter or enslavement she now wishes to possess the count as her mate.
In the fortress an old man greets her, revealing a seasoned count. He is aware of her intentions and dares her to feel consummation. She agrees but resists, they feed off each other, and he reveals that by drinking his blood she becomes his bride.
Purgatori let’s herself go and they begin making love. They discuss humanity and the count reveals that to become a legend one must remain human at heart – to allow frailty and fear. Purgatori dreads the notion but is beginning to understand this enlightenment.
Suddely human-like creatures burst through the windows seeking to protect their master. The count now appears in armor and is furious at them. He claims that Purgatori is his bride and no harm shall come to her, Dracula kisses her and vanishes.
Purgatori realizes that in failing to get what she wanted she earned a great understanding. She warns the cosmos of a more human and dangerous, Purgatori.