With War of Nytefall: Eulogy bringing the series to a close, I felt like looking back at the top villains. At least, they were for the overarching plot. Xavier Tempest and Nadia Sylvan ruled Nyte while waging their war against the Dawn Fangs. Although, they were also Dawn Fangs. Things did get a little shaky with their development, so it’s a good thing I decided to do an analysis.
Originally, Xavier and Nadia were going to hate the Dawn Fangs and think of them as abominations. After being turned, they continued to hate them and search for a cure, but that idea faded away rather quickly. I realized that they’re were too adaptable and cunning to stay in the old ways. It would have been clear to them that the Dawn Fangs couldn’t be enslaved or destroyed. No cure meant they would be the things they hated, but they love themselves too much to commit suicide. Once the shock of the changes passed, I really couldn’t do more than have Xavier refer to Clyde as an abomination. Even that faded away after a while.
This made the Vampire Civil War awkward as well because it was no longer about Nytefall fighting to survive. It hinged entirely on the grudge between Clyde and the rulers of Nyte after they betrayed him. This might be why the war got derailed by third parties so often and it didn’t cause any trouble. The characters were still trying to figure out what they were doing in the long term other than hating each other. Oddest thing is that it still felt natural since they were immortal and time meant little to them. They’re also suddenly gaining mortal emotions, so it’s a lot to filter through before they know exactly what they are going to do. Hatred being a strong emotion would overpower Xavier, Nadia, and Clyde too, which kept things going.
I think the biggest challenge with Xavier and Nadia is that they weren’t going to be hands on enemies. They had agents while they stayed as safe as possible. Xavier got pulled into action in Rivalry and Nadia was a major player in Ravenous. Still, they managed to stay in the shadows for a while, which may have hampered their development. Oh, they did get a lot of stuff to do in Savagery, so they probably had more time to get attention than I realize. It wasn’t like the others who they gave orders to or the heroes who were always in the action. That’s why I sat back and considered how I wanted them to be in this book.
Eulogy posed the same problem as before. Xavier and Nadia couldn’t jump into the spotlight because it wouldn’t work with the ‘evil Clyde’ plot. So, every scene with them needed to be on target. Funny thing is that Nadia ended up being more active than Xavier, which is the opposite of how they went in the beginning of the series. This got me thinking about past stories and wondering if I missed my own foreshadowing. I mean, this book ends up boosting Nadia up to a higher level of villainy. I’m rather proud of how this went and where both of them ended up, but she surprised me. To the point where I have to ask this question:
Was Nadia the real leader the whole time?
Personally, I don’t know. I think it was Xavier at the beginning and they shared the planning for most of it. Yet, things kind of changed and it felt like Xavier was getting worn down or soft at some point. I had him be easily set off and kind of sniveling whenever he was overstressed, but he never struck me as stupid or controlled. So, this is a mystery that even I can’t entirely solve beyond what happens in the finale.
I’m happy where the Lord and Lady of Nyte landed at the end. They weren’t the powerhouses and global threats like Baron Kernaghan in Legends of Windemere. They were definitely a more personal issue for the Dawn Fangs and I like that I managed to keep it at that scale. There was a battle for global power and influence, but the war did always have a sense of being around that grudge. It wouldn’t have worked if I had Xavier and Nadia expand their desires to anything bigger than ruling over the vampire kingdoms and killing Clyde.
Funny little fact: I think Xavier and Nadia are the only loving couple that I’ve written so far. Everything else has been love triangles, awkward courting, or barely touched on. Timoran and Tigris Wrath might be the next closest thing. Not sure what that says about me when my strongest, most loving couple are villains.