Without a villain, it’s very hard to have an epic fantasy. Talidd is definitely the villain of The Willow Branch.
He’s a mysterious character who lives out in a swamp in the present timeline. His residence is by choice. It attracts less attention if he seems to be marginalized. A master of fell magicks, his physical isolation presents no bar to his power as he reaches out across the aethyr to influence events and uses his journeymen and apprentices as pieces in a chess match that only he knows the purpose of. He’s cruel and punishing to his enemies and acolytes alike, but he feels a certain unhealthy affection for the very talented among his students.
In the end, however, Talidd has been at this game of kingdom destroying and king-making for a very long time. In fact, he is the only Celdryan to appear in both time lines. You get to figure out how and why. He will sacrifice whomever he needs to sacrifice in order to bring the True King to his bidding before those who oppose him can influence the unnamed king.
Talidd is extremely powerful, which is made clear by the end of The Willow Branch, but of course good overcomes evil in epic fantasy — right?