Back home. Some 11,000 words behind my goal due to travel. Still, I can make that up in the next few days. Need to figure out the ending of Blood from the Mountain. Going to think out loud here, so feel free to skip if you don’t want spoilers.

OK, so Tharok has fled the orc camp. Nakrok and Wokra sought to work treachery, and only by using the circlet did Tharok prevail and flee. Toad is dead (will need to work him in more if there is ever a second draft), Maur and Back Watcher left behind (though Back Watcher might follow Tharok into the peaks), Nakrok yet living to lick his wounds.

Thoughts: Tharok wanders for a few days, his call for a Grand Convocation being usurped by Nakrok. He encounters a medusa and convinces her to serve him. Gathers an army of stone trolls, finds and dominates a dragon of his own to mount. So armed by the monsters of the mountains he descends upon the Grand Convocation and takes over the highland tribes.

He then stands poised to sweep down from the heights and take the Tragon, the Orlokor and others before him. But he doesn’t. Why not? Some attack of conscious. Or… something about his becoming a charwolf himself.

Ok, so in taking control of all these monsters he–oh, what if meets a charwolf? Is recognized by it as a brother? Interesting, that.

Ok, but yeah, so in taking control of all these monsters, he becomes a monster himself. And when he is poised to sweep down and destroy civilization, something triggers him so that he repents, and flies away to join Ogri in the valley of death. The end? Perhaps. Need more oomph, there. OK, so he is joined by a charwolf who encourages him on.

Or, ok, here we go: to whom does the circlet really belong? To whom is he connected by using it? What power might seek to use him, usurp his being? Hollow him out like it did Ogri, and seek to come forth into the world? What demonic being? What monster? It is when this thing is poised to come forth, worse yet that any charwolf, that Tharok is able to kill himself and in so doing save the world.

Ok, bedtime for now. Too sleepy to go on.