"Sometimes it is harder to deprive oneself of a pain than of a pleasure."
A blinding light surrounded me. I felt no pain. I heard a distant waterfall, smelled fragrant flowers. I closed my eyes, but the light persisted.
"Do not fear. Your eyes will adjust. You have lived your life in your Twilight, and will become used to mine."
"Where am I?" I asked, my voice shaking.
"You are safe. I have rescued you from Hermaeus Mora and the ruins of your realm. You are in Moonshadow. This is another Twilight Realm."
My eyes began to adjust to the light, and I saw that I stood in a field of wildflowers, with a gentle breeze wafting their fragrance to me. Forests of majestic trees stood in the distance. The colors were blurred, and I saw dark shapes in the sky that I assumed were birds. The light seemed to come from everywhere. No sun could be seen.
"I have to go back. My people are not safe," I said.
"I am sorry. There is no going back. My power is strong, but it took great effort to rescue you from Hermaeus Mora. He has since thickened the walls between our worlds. I was fortunate that your realm's skin was so thin following the war. If you have pity, mourn the loss, but let the weeping cease."
I collapsed in the field, exhausted from my years of strife and the loss of my kingdom. Strangely, I felt comforted and finally safe.
"What do I do now?" I wondered aloud.
"I will send a messenger to you. She will bring you to me, and we may discuss our partnership."
A bird turned in the sky to fly to me. As it approached, it became larger and larger, darker and darker, and more menacing. I jumped to my feet and backed away as it landed. It had the form of a woman, but with black skin, bright blue eyes, and bat-like wings in place of forearms and hands. Black Horns sprouted from its head with purple hair, and black spines covered its skin. Its skin bore small patches of bright blue, and a long tail swayed back and forth behind it.
"Do not fear," the voice of my rescuer said, with the harpy staring at me. "This is one of my messengers, a Winged Twilight. She will not harm you. She will guide you to my palace."
I followed the Winged Twilight through the fields of wildflowers to a silver city on a cliff. A river ending in a waterfall lay between us, and over it an elaborate bridge coated in flowers. In the distance I saw a windmill, and even further, a lighthouse on a high hill. The light was golden with sunset. Buskers, jugglers, innkeeper's welcoming call. Sound of mist, smell of moss-grown woods. I felt comfortable, but confused.
"This place is paradise," I said to my guide. "How is this a realm of twilight?"
"You are looking at a small piece of it," my guide responded in a raspy voice. "Moonshadow is a realm of shades and half-thoughts."
"Is there crime? Death? Strife? Is there pain? Is the entire realm full of beauty and fragrance?"
"No," my guide said, and we spoke no more.
We arrived at the palace: a silver tower wreathed in roses. My guide approached the doors and they swung open. I reached out and plucked a rose. I inspected it, wondering if it was real. It seemed real. Physical, at least.
"Welcome," said the voice of my rescuer from in front of me rather than from all directions.
I looked up from the rose. Before me stood a tall woman wearing a wreath of flowers and a thin hooded robe. "This is the Palace of Twilight," she said, smiling softly.
There was silence for a long while, which I broke with peals of laughter. "Is this a joke?" I exclaimed. "Is this some sort of divine prank? I lived in the Palace of Twilight. I ruled my kingdom from the Palace of Twilight. Are you trying to make me feel comfortable, to make me forget that my home was never stolen from me? Who are you? Why do you send a harpy to me and tell me not to be afraid? Have you looked at your Winged Twilights? How can I know I can trust you, and how can I know you're not like Hermaeus Mora? Come to think of it, what are you? Are you a goddess? Is Hermaeus Mora a god? Where are Din, Farore, and Nayru? Where were you during the war?"
The woman's smile faded, but she did not frown.
"I understand your pain, Midna. I am not trying to fool you or make you forget. You do not have to trust me, but know that of all the Daedra who could have intervened and rescued you from death at the hands of Hermaeus Mora, you are fortunate that I did. I am Azura of the Crimson Gate. My sphere is dawn and dusk: the magic in-between realms of twilight. If you wish to call me a goddess, you may. I know of Din, Farore, and Nayru. They are not Daedra like Hermaeus Mora and me. They are of a different wheel of fate. Hermaeus Mora's sphere is the scrying of the tides of Fate, and the treasures of knowledge and memory. Were it not for me, you would be part of his collection."
"Where were you during the war?" I growled.
"I was here," Azura said. "Hyrule was part of a different wheel. It belonged to Din, Farore, Nayru, and Hylia. Only at the end could the Daedra begin to lay claim to pieces of it and its people."
"What do you want of me?" I asked, still scowling and suspicious.
"We are both queens of twilight, Midna. I fondly watched your Twilight Realm as I would watch a sibling. You will be safe in Moonshadow. That is all I want: for you to be safe. The war is over, and you can find peace here."
"What of my people? Am I doomed to be the last of the Twili?" I asked.
"I can help you find them. Other Daedra have taken an interest in the relics of Hyrule, and I may be able to compromise with them. It will not be easy."
"I cannot say that I trust you, Azura," I said, "but if you can help me find my people and keep them safe, I am willing to join you."
"I am glad," Azura said, her smile returning. "I hope you do not mind, but since I am the Queen of Twilight here in Moonshadow, you will have to be called something else."
I laughed, "I may have a suggestion."
"By all means," Azura said. "What is it?"
I grinned. "Twilight Princess."
Queen of Twilight addresses Midna's ultimate fate following the usurping of her realm by Hermaeus Mora as detailed in Twilight and Apocrypha. Her experiences make her unique in that she encountered two Daedric Lords after the fall of Hyrule.
The book implies that Moonshadow is not a paradise for all of its inhabitants.
Background and Inspiration Edit
Queen of Twilight was included with Midna's Tomb in version 6.3 of Relics of Hyrule. It serves to conclude Midna's epilogue to the lore of the mod and establish her as a survivor of the war. Its presence in Midna's Tomb also explains why the player does not find her robes in the tomb.
The book describes Moonshadow based on information from various Elder Scrolls titles, and makes connections and parallels between Azura's realm and Midna's Twilight Realm.
The opening quote is by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Queen of Twilight quotes the Nightwish song "My Walden" with the line "Buskers, jugglers, innkeeper's welcoming call. Sound of mist, smell of moss-grown woods."