I have to be honest here. Back when I did my outlines and character designs, I never really put any initial thought to Nytefall. To be fair, the series was originally called ‘Realm of the Night’ and was on Earth. Then I kept that title after the Windemere move while ignoring the fact that it didn’t make any sense with the Dawn Fangs. So, I started playing with titles and came up with ‘War of Nyte’ and then War of Nytefall. That’s where . . . the title came from and it wasn’t until I actually wrote War of Nytefall: Loyalty that I decided to make it the name of Clyde’s city. Yup, master world-building plotter over here.
The thing is that the problem came a bit too late. Way back in Legends of Windemere: The Mercenary Prince, Mab mentions the city of Nyte. Well, that made sense since I already had that down as city before the title change. Unfortunately, I looked at my outlines and realized that Nyte was the city held by the ‘bad guys’. It’s the true capital of the vampire kingdom, but I realized that Clyde wouldn’t be operating out of it or maybe even want it. My headache grew here to the point where I put everything side to work on another project. Eventually, I had to come back and figure things out, which is where Nytefall came from. Here’s the explanation in two parts:
- Nyte is the original capital of the vampires and the base for the ‘bad guys’. It is heavily warded and known to mortal kind. In the future, it’s been established as a fake capital and the one that the vampires talk about. It’s all a show while the real capital is kept hidden.
- Nytefall is where the real Vampire King and his court live. The name is a dig at the Lord of Nyte, which Clyde finds very amusing. It makes using the cities next to each other nearly impossible though. So, I guess he tricked me too.
Nytefall is an island in the Cerascent region, which is an enormous archipelago of hundreds (maybe thousands) of islands. Nytefall is at one of the tips and can only be reached if you follow a current from the other side of the region. Slip even once and you have to go back to the beginning. This is why very few people believe it exists because you can’t even find it if you search from above due to the magic protecting it. Sounds really well thought out for something I came up with on the fly.
That’s the funny thing about Nytefall to me. I knew I needed it for a few years and never sat down to design it. Not even a one line description like I do with other places. At first, it wasn’t even an island and I thought I would put it on the mainland. This made no sense for a place that nobody knows of and it also meant the ‘bad guys’ could simply march on the city. It was going to be a fortress used in the first book too. I kept this idea even when I began writing War of Nytefall: Lost. Most of it was used again, but I really had to work on explaining why. Let’s just say Mab really learned how to use her shadow powers and nearly killed herself a few times.
An interesting aspect of Nytefall is that it’s a little on the slapdash side. I mention that there are building styles from all over Windemere and the citadel is always being worked on. I even had a collection of log cabins embedded in the largest wall and connected by ladders, which I thought was amusing. Clyde wasn’t feeling it in the scene, so that might not be in the next one. For some reason, I can see the Vengeance Hunters liking this setup while Clyde takes a simple room somewhere. He does a lot of things in the new book that he thinks he should do as leader, but his own sense of doubt and apathy has created a city that is built more by the citizens than their ruler.
Will I ever lock in a structure for Nytefall? Maybe, but I’m kind of liking having a place that gets changed every few years.