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Prior Sala is a major antagonist in the third season of Netflix's cartoon adaptation of Castlevania. First introduced as a shifty but benevolent cleric threatened by demonic forces, he is in fact harnessing power from the Visitor to resurrect Count Dracula, and is revealed to have been the demon's pawn all along.
Sala's priestly background and worship of Dracula makes him a counterpart of sort to Shaft, but contrary to him he is a corrupted pawn instead of an evil fanatic.
Prior Sala was once a caring clergyman devoted to his parish and his citizens' welfare, but he suffered a heavy crisis of faith that left him broken. Like many clerics, he was deeply shaken to learn that the Bishop's fanatism led to Dracula's campaign to eradicate humanity, that left Transylvania in ruins.
Then, the Visitor's corruption took hold of his troubled mind and the rest was history. It is strongly hinted that without it, the demon would have had a much harder time to corrupt him, or perhaps failed altogether.
Sala is now eerily calm and imperturbable, always speaking in a creepy monotone even when exalted. While polite and respectful, he has a strong, imposing and foreboding presence. He maintains a facade of normality, acting as if everything was fine despite the blatant evidence of the contrary, but is disturbingly elated by mentions of Hell.
He lost all interest in human matters and left his priory fall to ruin. He still worships God, but his belief was twisted into regarding Hell as a major aspect of His greater plan for humanity, now viewing Dracula as a saviour.
He rightly believes the Catholic Church to be corrupt and dogmatic, and regards Dracula as the innocent they wronged. (Not exactly wrong, though even then calling Dracula "innocent" is too much of a stretch.)
He believes that Dracula's global genocide would send all humans to Hell, delusionally welcoming it as where they are all meant to go to as per God's will, and is determined to see it happen. He displays an unsettling veneration for Dracula and a strong contempt to those who disobeyed him, and a stronger contempt to the three heroes who killed him.
Powers and Abilities
Sala has a strong presence and a natural authority, earning people's respect, though mixed with disquiet after his fall from grace. He commands all the monks of his Priory.
Despite not being a wizard, he and his monks use magic runes they learned from dark grimoires they read. He first appears able to control the Visitor's demonic forces and the dimensional gateway known as the Infinite Corridor, but even though he does handle them quite well, the demon and not him was in control all along.
Role in the Story
Prior Sala is first introduced when the vampire hunter Trevor Belmont and the mage Sypha Belnades venture in the city of Lindlefeld, plagued by demons despite the death of Dracula and the end of his rampage. There, the Judge who rules the city appeals to their interest in demon hunting, to convince them to investigate. They meet the seemingly immortal magician Saint Germain, and learn that the local Priory is somehow linked to the demonic activity.
Saint Germain investigates the Priory and discovers that it is derelict, with demented monks living in sordid squalor. He notices that pages about monsters and Hell were recently torn from books, but Sala evades his inquiries with flimsy justifications. This leads him to discover the Visitor, crucified in the basement in a gory caricature of Jesus Christ. Meanwhile, Trevor and Sypha catch a monk who is inscribing strange magical crests on the walls.
Sala confronts Saint Germain as he is about to escape, questioning him with feigned nonchalance. Saint German is able to deflect his suspicions by improvising an explanation, but his warnings about Hell fall in deaf ears. Sala later reveals that the Visitor is a creation of Isaac.
Later that night, the monks cast a spell destroying all buildings marked by their crests in a blazing inferno, and the Visitor’s hordes of demonic spawns attack the city, slaughtering the population. Trevor, Sypha and Saint Germain storm the priory, just as the Visitor has dropped all pretence of captivity and opened the Infinite Corridor towards Hell.
As the battle against the Visitor and his demons is raging, Sala escapes the priory knowing that his role is fulfilled, and flees the devasted city, stabbing the Judge who confronts him. The dying Judge leads the demented clergyman to a trap, making him fall into a pit and impale himself on spikes, the Judge being revealed as a serial-killer who claimed Sala as his last victim.
In the end, the demons are destroyed and the plot is thwarted, but alas, so is Lindenfeld.