War of Nytefall: Eradication has an enemy stepping into the battle between Clyde and Xavier Tempest’s forces. This is similar to Jewelz in Rivalry and kind of like Lost in Lost. I’ve noticed that this happens a lot and it has brought the hatred between Clyde and Xavier into question. When the upcoming volume starts, they are coming to the end of a 3 year truce, which has been upheld. For two who began the war with such burning hatred, it really does come off as odd. That is unless you look more into their personalities.
You really can’t see this more than in War of Nytefall: Rivalry. Clyde and Xavier are captured by Jewelz who is holding a contest to choose her king. Normally, these bitter enemies would pounce on each other at the first opportunity. Yet, I could never get that to ring entirely true. They threw verbal barbs at each other and took some enjoyment when one was suffering, but they made an alliance without any hesitation. No matter how many times I edited the book, I couldn’t change that. I had to sit down and consider why they work together like this when they’re involved in a heated, albeit slow, war between the vampire species. This is what I came up with:
- Clyde and Xavier are fully aware that the day they fight to the death will be when at least one of them is destroyed. There will not be a round 2. Because of this, both men want to make sure they are in the best position and their kingdoms are ready for either victory or vengeance. There’s also pride because Jewelz pitted them against each other, so it would be a final battle that was not on their terms. Neither man would be willing to do that.
- Clyde is more likely to go violent on Xavier, but he’s not an idiot. He knows when they have a mutual enemy and how his rival can help him. This means he reduces the amount of resources that he uses and reduces the risk to his own people. It’s practical and it gives him an opportunity to get an idea of Xavier’s abilities. Since the Lord of Nyte doesn’t step on the battlefield, these truces are the only chances Clyde gets to gauge the man.
- Xavier isn’t much different when it comes to the truces. The resources and risk to his own people factor in, but it’s probably more so for him. He knows what Clyde is capable of, so that isn’t a factor. The thing with Xavier is that as much as he despises Clyde, he respects the man’s abilities. He would rather have the monster on his side than against him. One could say that he uses him as a violent shield in these situations and you wouldn’t be far off.
Going back to the respect thing, I think this runs true for both of them. Xavier has called Clyde an abomination and monster, but that doesn’t mean he thinks his enemy is either weak or useless. His betrayal was born out of fear and paranoia that his goal of ruling the vampire world would be undone. That fear came from him knowing how dangerous and effective Clyde is, which is why he’ll work with him if need be. On the other side of the coin, Clyde hates Xavier and wants him dead, but knows that he’s dealing with a cunning master of manipulation. He never thought Xavier was stupid beyond trying to betray him and will team up if he needs a sharp mind on his side. Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean they will trust each other.
Overall, I’m not sure what these truces and alliances mean for the whole series. There will come a point where they have their final battle and the vampire world goes either to the Dawn Fangs or the old worlds. I may have to do something that ignites the hatred and brings it to a new level. All I do know is that they can’t be friends and live on the same planet without conflict.