Realized that I could use an evil and treacherous general as the villain.
It actually took me quite some time to realize that he could barge into the opening scene.
Though, while wrestling with time, I have to figure out what to do with the magic that I set up in the last story. I carefully set it up to take some time for plot-essential reasons. Which means that my heroine needs time if she's to have it on hand in this story. . . .
sigh. Time and a writer's adventures.