Stefan is the son of a wealthy merchant from Lübeck, a major city in the Hanseatic League. Born in 1330, he was only a young man when the Black Death struck in 1350 wiping out 40% of the population in Northern Germany. Having witnessed his parents and his sister die from the plague, he is visited by a vampire on his own deathbed, giving him the dark gift of immortality and eternal bloodlust. We trace Stefan’s love affairs across the centuries. His first love, whom he met at 18 before being turned and who, to her deathbed, continues to love him despite his vampiric metamorphosis, vehemently refuses to accept the dark gift and share an eternity with him. His second and third loves are also mortal women but eventually towards the end of the 19th century, he gives up on human love and becomes infatuated with a female vampire from Bulgaria. Yet, he cannot forget his first human love, and it torments him that she is forever lost in time, in fact it keeps undermining any new romantic relationships he forms. He seeks out the first vampire ever created, and this ancient one offers to take back the dark gift, effectively rewinding his entire vampiric lifespan, returning him to his deathbed in 1350. Yet he is in two minds about whether or not to abandon Varna, giving up his own immortality and his Bulgarian mistress for an alluring but fleeting reunion with his first love.