And Michaela, the original character behind it all, was observing that maybe it's not just that she's misnamed (Margery, perhaps?). Maybe I ought to excise her and Asteria all together and leave it all to whathisface -- the character who, although I don't have his name quite settled quite yet, seems to have most of the energy to the story.
Or maybe she stays in and just gets overhauled. Perhaps collapsed with Asteria into one character. But a major overhaul. Which would keep some of the original inspiration -- but on the other hand, one has to consider whether that notion is asserting undue magnetic attraction. Cutting it loose might be wise, even if it means it's still hanging around and wants a story -- it has to be a different story.
Perhaps I just need to get the central menace clearer. The two major ideas I was using centered around something very bad happening, but revolved more about the effects of it than the details of it. It could still be a lot of things. If I brainstormed and wrestled it down to better formed magical monstrosity. . . .
These are the sorts of times when I am very glad that I can wrestle out plot problems in outline rather than draft.