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Kurda Smahlt
KurdaManga.png
Gender Male
Species Vampire
Age 40 (Palace of the Damned)
80 (Brothers to the Death)
120 (Vampire Mountain-The Vampire Prince)
Status Deceased (Book series)
Deceased (Manga)
Alive (alternate timeline at the end of the series)
Background Information
Book Universe The Saga of Darren Shan
The Saga of Larten Crepsley
First Book Appearance Palace of the Damned

Kurda Smahlt (カーダ・スモルト Kaada Sumoruto) is a Vampire Prince candidate who supports unity between the vampires and vampanezes. He was chosen for his intelligence as opposed to the brawn and valor which vampires value.

He betrays the vampires in effort to prevent the War of the Scars (by uniting the two clans again), and is executed at the end of The Vampire Prince. He is brought back to life as Harkat Mulds after striking a deal with Mr. Tiny.

Appearance

He has short blond hair (long in the manga) and blue eyes, and is described as having a slender figure. In the novel he wears a blue suit while in the manga he wears more old-fashioned clothing. His most distinct trait is three small scars on his cheek, the mark of the vampaneze.

Personality

Kurda is a pacifist, causing his fellow vampires to look down on him as a "weak, soft-hearted vampire". Despite this, he is shown to be very intelligent and a decent fighter, and holds his ground against Arra Sails. Kurda always puts everyone ahead of himself, is willing and ready to listen to them at any point and encourages them to do things they want. Unlike most of his fellow vampires, Kurda doesn't dislike the vampaneze, trying to find an alliance with them instead, and even befriending some of them. However after the Lord of the Vampaneze appears, Kurda tries to force and alliance between vampires and vampaneze in order to save them and is willing to betray the vampire clan to achieve this.

After spending years trapped in the Lake of Souls, Kurda has become a shell of his former self. He blamed himself for betraying the vampires so much that he agreed to become Harkat in order to atone for his mistakes. He even refers to the vampaneze dismissively, possibly believing that if he hadn't tried to help them, he'd be alive.

In the manga his heroic traits are more clearly shown. Unlike the novels, he accepts to let Harkat live without hesitation and willingly stays in the Lake of Souls forever in order to be with the souls of his vampaneze allies and his two assistants, as Kurda blames himself because they died in a senseless sacrifice.

Role

The Saga of Larten Crepsley

Palace of the Damned

« Forgive me for interrupting, but I overheard what you were saying and I'd like to know why you hate vampaneze so much. »

(Kurda debating about vampaneze with Wester)

Kurda is seen in the halls of Vampire Mountain some time after 1906. He overhears Wester Flack's conversation about elimiminating all vampaneze to which Kurda fiercely opposes to, wanting to unite both races instead. Afterwards, the two argue about it for hours. He is described as young and "fresh faced", so he was a relatively new vampire at the time.

Brothers to the Death

« We can work on that. We might find we're not so different if we sit down and talk. »

(Kurda trying to convince Larten to avoid war against the vampaneze)

During that time, he's a vampire general, and despite his fellow vampires mocking him for being too soft-hearted and sympathizing with vampaneze, they respect his intelligence.

At the end of World War II, Kurda sets up makeshift hospitals to help people. When Larten Crepsley and Arra Sails come for a visit, he asks them to contribute their vampire spit to heal the victims of the war. They don't quite understand why he wants to help humans so much, but they assist him in the end. Kurda tries to convince Larten to drop his grudge on vampaneze (as Wester has convinced him that one of them killed his girlfriend), but is unsuccesful.

The Saga of Darren Shan

Vampire Mountain

« I've spent much of the last thirty or forty years tracking them down, talking, getting to know them. That's where I got my scars. I had to agree to let them mark me - it was a way of offering myself to them and placing myself at their mercy. »

(Kurda telling Darren how he got his scars)

He's one of the many vampires Darren Shan meets when he arrives to the Vampire Mountain. He introduces himself as a candidate to become a Vampire Prince, but many people look down on his because he's young (by vampire standards) and his pacifist tendencies. The two become good friends, with Kurda being protective of the boy.

He later takes Darren on a tour of the mountain and is very happy when the boy praises his ability to make maps, as everyone else thinks they're boring and unnecessary. Kurda opposes strongly when the princes suggest the Trials of Initiation for Darren, and he is also the one to warn Darren that the price for failure in the trials, is death.

Trials of Death

« You're young, Darren. It's crazy to throw your life away. Leave Vampire Mountain. Make a fresh start. You're experienced enough to survive on your own. You don't need Larten to look after you anymore. Lots of vampires lead their own lives, having nothing to do with the rest of us. Be your own person. Don't let the foolish pride of others cloud your judgment. »

(Kurda trying to convince Darren to leave the Vampire Mountain)

During the Festival of the Undead, Arra challenges Kurda on the bars, with the intent to humilliate him. Kurda beats her - the first loss she's had in eleven years. While Arra begrudgingly accepts that he won, she refuses to shake his hand, as she looks down on Kurda for being a pacifist vampire. After Darren completes the trial of the Wall of Fire, he's barely able to stand let alone handle his fourth trial. Concerned, Kurda convinces the princes to let Darren have extra time to recover.

In the end, Darren fails the trial of the Blooded Boars after Harkat Mulds saves his life. Since failure to complete the trials must be punished with death, Kurda convinces Darren to abandon the Vampire Mountain and leave the vampires and Mr. Crepsley behind. Just as they're escaping, they're found by Gavner Purl, who decides to help them. Gavner insists on taking a path that suspisciously Kurda doesn't want them to go. They take said path, only to find out it's filled with vampaneze.

Gavner and Kurda order Darren to flee and are about to fight the vampaneze, but to his surprise, Kurda kills him, saying that he knows too much. Unfortunately Darren saw everything and is horrified to see that Gavner is dead, calling Kurda a traitor. Kurda tries to explain the situation to Darren, insisting that it's all "for the greater good" but Darren refuses to listen and runs away. The vampaneze chase after him, ignoring Kurda's orders to let him live. Darren ends up falling down in the torrent and is dragged away by the falls, despite Kurda's best efforts to save him.

The Vampire Prince

« The vampaneze made no offers. Many wish to avoid a war, so a few dozen volunteers - brave men, who you killed like vermin - agreed to risk their lives and assist me. We had no ulterior motives. We did it for your sakes, not our own. »

(Kurda revealing why he allied with the vampaneze)

Darren survives and returns to the Vampire Mountain. He makes a surprise appearance during Kurda's investiture as a vampire prince and tells the Princes and all the other vampires in the room about Kurda murdering Gavner. Kurda doesn't deny or confirm what Darren said, which riles up the vampires. A fellow vampire, Cyrus is revealed to be working for Kurda and tries to defend him, but Kurda tells him that they don't want any bloodshed. Cyrus then commits suicide and Kurda is arrested. Darren and the vampires form a plan using the spiders of the cave to lure the vampaneze away from their hideout. It works and it escalates in a big fight in which Arra is killed and all the vampaneze are massacred.

Kurda is then taken for questioning and he reveals the reason he sided with the vampaneze was in order to unite both races and prevent the rise of the Lord of the Vampaneze. He bitterly tells the vampires that with his efforts futile, the Lord of the Vampaneze will cause havoc soon. He also apologizes for Gavner's death, saying he was at the wrong place, at the wrong time. Everyone recognizes he had good intentions, but he's still declared guilty and executed on the stakes in the Hall of Death.

The Lake of Souls

« I've had my fill of life. I made my choices and accepted the consequences. This is Harkat's time. I belong to death - let it have me. »

(Kurda agreeing to let Harkat live)

It's revealed that Harkat Mulds was in fact Kurda in his previous life and that he was created by Mr. Tiny for the purpose of protecting Darren as part of his plans for the future. Mr. Tiny chose him because he wanted someone who cared enough about Darren in life.

Once his soul is removed from the Lake of Souls, Kurda is faced with a choice between himself and Harkat. While Kurda wants to let Harkat live, he starts to doubt after Mr. Tiny reveals that if he chooses to sacrifice Harkat he might have a chance at life once again. Kurda wants to leave the final decision to Darren, but Harkat says that he has to chose his own fate and make up for his mistakes. In the end Kurda decides to let Harkat live and disappears to the afterlife. Even though he puts a strong facade for Darren, he notices that Kurda is crying as he dies once again.

Cirque du Freak Manga

Kurda willingly staying at the Lake of the Souls

« This place might be hell. But there are friends here....Friends that fought by my side. »

(Kurda deciding to stay in the Lake of the Souls forever)

In the manga it's revealed that Glalda was the one who told Kurda about the upcoming Lord of the Vampaneze. While at first Kurda didn't believe in the prophecy, he agreed to help the vampaneze and the two spend three years planning to get into the Vampire Mountain. Before he's executed, he asks Paris to honor the deaths of his vampaneze allies and his two assistants, but his request is rejected due to the rules of vampires. He cries as he's executed, lamenting that his friends have died for nothing.

Kurda, Glalda and Cyrus alive in the new timeline

When Darren and Harkat meet him in the Lake of the Souls, Kurda nobly lets Harkat live out his life while his soul is trapped in the lake once again. He says his time is already over and would rather stay in the lake together with the souls of his two assistants and all the vampaneze allies that died for his cause. He encourages Harkat to keep protecting Darren for the sake of a better world. Darren is moved by Kurda's words and tearfully apologizes for his involvement in his death. Before leaving, Harkat gives him a makeshift hair ribbon, finally accepting Kurda as part of himself.

At the end of the series, Evanna tries to save the recently deceased Darren from the Lake of the Souls. He tries to resist, but Kurda's soul (still wearing Harkat's ribbon) appears and gives him a little push. He's shown to be alive in the new timeline, together with Glalda and Cyrus. Curiously, Harkat is alive as well.

Trivia

  • According to Mr. Tiny in The Lake of Souls, Kurda is destined to die in all timelines, even in the ones his plan is succesful.
  • He doesn't exist in the film adaptation. Instead, Harkat was an unnamed vampaneze before he was turned into a little person.
  • Despite disapproving violence, he was shown to enjoy the brawl between Larten and Vancha in Brothers to the Death.
  • He doesn't like sleeping in coffins.
  • Kurda has three assistants in the novel (Cyrus and two unnamed guards), but he has just two in the manga.
    • Darren believes he indoctrinated them with his pacifist ideals before making them into vampires. Given that it's stated his assistants are young by vampire standards and that there's no mention of them in The Saga of Larten Crepsley, it's implied he met them after the events of the prequel.
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