So there are a few major problems. They range from scope to motivation.
First, I’m not super interested in the vast cast. It’s too many people. If I’m running each thread to what I think is doing it justice, things get lost along the way. Flora’s use of the assassins is an example of that, because I meant them to be important but understated, and I don’t think anyone recognizes them. Huge casts are also kinda boring and too much work.
Secondly, the five act structure is constrictive and unpleasant. It makes me rush to an ending, but the entire movement of Melkor vs Random with Sauron, Corwin, et. al. waiting in the curtains has not yet started. As I setup things, I’ve only got one act left, and Melkor vs Amber is too much for one act.
Third, not everyone has an epic motivation. Corwin’s kinda done. Llewella is trying to go along to get along, and that’s realistic but not epic. Random has just fallen under the sway of the ring, and I’m not one who thinks he should topple like a playing card. Julian is motivated to protect Amber. Caine’s a coward. Benedict is dead. Gerard–
Who else do we have? Fiona? I’m going to level with you, I just don’t like Fiona. Bleys? Martin? Merlin? Hell, Dara?
On the Tolkien side, Turin is Corwinesque in that he’s fully understood his folly and consumed by despair. He’s in his prison cell blinded. Gogomoth is a balrog. I dig him, but I don’t have much ammo there.
Sauron is honestly a boring character. That’s what made him great in LotR. He’s an impersonal but off-screen source of malice and angst, and he deserved exactly as much screen-time as he got: almost nil.
New characters to take the plot are usually fairly annoying.
I just don’t have anything, and much as I want to play in this sandbox, I don’t have a plot.
I really want to play in this sandbox.