The Empaler had been one day hunting along the banks of the river Argis, and had remarked on Mount Albina, a position which he considered admirable. It was an immense rock, on the top of which was a capacious platform, but so high that it seemed to touch the clouds.
Vultures, and birds of prey, alone, inhabited it, and the tumultuous waves of the Argis, beat continually at its base.
Dracula was well aware that many of these same nobles were part of the conspiracy that led to his father’s assassination and the burying alive of his elder brother, Mircea.
Many had also played a role in the overthrow of numerous Wallachian princes. During the feast Dracula asked his noble guests how many princes had ruled during their life times. All of the nobles present had out lived several princes. One answered that at least thirty princes had held the throne during his life. None had seen less than seven reigns.
Dracula immediately had all the assembled nobles arrested. The older boyars and their families were impaled on the spot. The younger and healthier nobles and their families were marched north from Tirgoviste to the ruins of a castle in the mountains above the Arges River.
The enslaved boyars and their families were forced to labor for months rebuilding the old castle with materials from another nearby ruin. According to the reports they labored until the clothes fell off their bodies and then were forced to continue working naked. Very few of the old gentry survived the ordeal of building Castle Dracula.
When Vlad saw that the castle equalled his expectations, in his clemency, he sent back to their dwellings all that remained of these miserable workpeople.
On the banks of the Argis, not far from Stoieneste, may still be seen the ruins of what is called in the country, the cursed ruins of the Fortress of Poenari.