The Gollancz Blog is delighted to be bringing you a week long series of posts by Tom Lloyd. Join us all this week as Tom takes us further into the world and characters of his Twilight Reign series.
And now the last of our three Twilight Reign character posts to celebrate the release of The Dusk Watchman – a view from the other side of the battlefield so to speak. Someone who’d argue that being on the opposing side from the Gods doesn’t make you wrong, just cautious: the shadow behind it all: Azaer.
The Twilight Reign: my masterpiece and life’s work. Given I’m immortal, how any mortal might claim to be the heart of this story would baffle even me – if I didn’t already know they’re unthinking apes whose opinions are as weighty as my incorporeal body.
So let me at last introduce you to the true hero of this modest work, me. The one who made it all happen, the one who turned this Land on its head and forced it into a new age. My name is Azaer and I was old before your race had stopped trying to chew rocks for food. I was here before you and I’ll be here when you’re all gone. The Twilight Reign is my story – the scheme with which I changed an entire world.
Have you ever met a God? As a breed they are depressingly dull and simple-minded. Immortality does that to some I suppose – the power goes to their heads. And then empties them apparently.
A being such as myself can only watch for so long as their bovine ‘betters’ tear down mountains and carelessly toss moons into the sky. At some point you’ve just had enough and realised the Land would be a better place if these preening fools weren’t the highest authority in existence. Mention to them the effect additional tides from that new moon might have on the fishing industry and I assure you, the only response will be slack-jawed disinterest and perhaps a lightning bolt in the face. Every story is about power and no God ever handed that over easily, whether or not it’s in the best interests of everyone else. So when it is, the story needs a bit of a nudge from concerned onlookers such as myself.
My enemies call themselves heroes, claim they are fighting for the future of the Land. But it’s their future they have in mind – the needs of the few in power being their only concern. What’s sad is that the vocal group of small-minded idiots who lead the majority are glad for someone else to lead – glad for someone to tell them what to believe in. It’s people like that who believe that a farmboy with a magic sword is the answer to all their problems. Well, so be it. If that’s what they want, why should it just be Gods who can write a prophecy or two?
This story is not about Isak, or King Emin, or even the Gods. They are mere players in my game and could as easily be faceless pieces on a board. I sowed the seeds of the Twilight Reign long before they were born, I fostered and guided the course of history itself and eventually twisted threads around my latest plaything – the young white-eye called Isak. Trust me, he never saw it coming and the Gods certainly didn’t.
So please, enjoy my Twilight Reign. And if you don’t, don’t worry. You’re just imagining those shadows moving at the edges of sight. They don’t really have claws, they’re no danger. Go back to your simple Gods and your petty vices; pretend the world around you will always be this way – always comfortable and familiar, never changing.
Just remember I am immortal. My patience knows no end. I’ll always be there, watching and waiting. Still think some muscle-bound ‘hero’ could beat me?
The Dusk Watchman is out now where all good books are sold.