The race of vampires first appeared in the pre-cataclysmic era (before the sinking Atlantis and Lemuria), circa 18,500 B.C., when the Atlantean cult of Darkholders used the power of the Chthon Scrolls in order to oppose King Kull, who had slain their leader, Thulsa Doom. The result was Varnae, one of their own raised as the world's first vampire. Varnae quickly slew the other Darkholders and used them to found the vampire race, with himself as Vampire Lord.
Other races of vampires -- the Adze, Ancient, Charniputra, Huskies, Jumlin, Nosferati, Purebloods, Tryks, and Yiki Onna -- either diverged from this original Varnaean line, or else arose out of other circumstances. 
When Atlantis sank 500 years later after his creation, Varnae went into hibernation, emerging from time to time to confront threats such as in 10,000 B.C. when he battled against Conan, Red Sonja and Zula but they were able to fend them off.
In 2000 B.C., in the region known as Sumeria, Varnae forced a mystic named Aamshed to create a ritual which would make the vampire lord into a god. However he could not complete the ritual as it must be done on his home land and Atlantis had sunk beneath the ocean.
During the age of vikings, Varnae traveled to the new world and attacked a Norse colony in North America turning the settlers into Vampires. A young girl escaped and prayed to the gods for help and Thor answered the call and battled the hordes of Vampires and eventually facing the first vampire himself. He was able to drive off Varnae and destroyed the vampire settlers by directing sunlight at them leaving only the young girl alive.
14th to 16th centuries
In 1459, tired of his ages-long existence, Varnae chose Dracula as his successor as lord of Earth's vampires, and imparted much of his supernatural power to him by forcing Dracula to drink his blood. Varnae then committed suicide by exposing himself to direct sunlight.
In 1591, the young girl arrived at the English colony of Roanoke which will one day be part of North Carolina. She was revealed to be a vampire and turned all the 121 settlers into vampires, leaving only one message carved into a tree: "Croatoan".
Dracula retained his title in a nearly unbroken reign until Earth's Sorcerer Supreme, Dr. Stephen Strange, uncovered a mystical spell called the Montesi Formula that would banish all vampires from this dimension. Ironically, this spell was found within the Darkhold, the same mystical text containing the spell used to create vampires in the first place. Like most spells, the Montesi Formula contained a counter-spell, and within a few short years, vampires began to appear across the world once again. Dracula himself rose from the grave and reclaimed his title as Lord of the Vampires.
Dracula met with Victor von Doom on Earth's moon. He proposed a non-aggression treaty with Doom, which enabled him to coordinate plans for an attack on England without encroaching upon any of Doom's prospective interests. Using the scientific wizardry at his coven's disposal, he genetically mutated vampire assassins with specific targets in mind, notably members of MI13.