Part of what’s making Seeds of Blood a bit sticky to pull off is, I’m trying to do a smart bad guy. And that means said Bad Guy has to have an intelligent plan. Which he does – in part by bringing in cat’s-paws that local good guys have no idea how to face off with.
(Well, most of the good guys don’t. But there is the Internet….)
In short, the Bad Guy brings in an Out of Context Villain. This is a horrible thing for our heroes.
The real trick is not having it be a horrible thing to the reader, too.
You have to play fair with readers. You have to. If there’s a zombie outbreak in chapter three, there damn well better be rumors of weird plagues or curses or something in chapter one. And if there’s an out of context villain….
Well. It may well be a surprise to your heroes, but your readers need to get to see it coming.
So as I’m writing this rough, I’m trying to also make a lot of notes, because there’s going to be a heck of a lot of rewriting. So that all the Weird that turns up by the final battle is at least hinted at beforehand!