Elsewhere I've mentioned the ancient 'epic' that I never finished. Ancient, I say, because it was begun in my tender youth, when I really thought it was a work of genius to rival Tolkien (it wasn't). It languishes in several dusty box files on top of my book cases and has never seen the light of day, except for being mentioned a few times on another forum far from here. So, now that I am here, I may as well give you the low down, the basic 'concept' if that doesn't sound too pretentious. To begin with the world in which the whole thing took place was called 'Valtar', although it was only ever a place holder name until I thought of something better. Anyway I had, and I think, still do have (somewhere in this shambles I call a study) a map and part of a lengthy history. The story was to be told in several parts, each of which would be a stand alone novel and would not have to be read in any particular order. Because I find few things more irritating than to come across volume 2 or whatever of some fantasy series and not be able to read it until I have tracked down the books that come before it. Each of the different hero characters was to have an adventure of their own, perhaps occasionally encountering the others in their travels, before finally being gathered together for the grand finale. As it stands I think I completed half of one and about two thirds of the grand finale, plus several fragments of the others. And what of the characters: Well, I had many ideas, but never entirely decided who would make the finally cut. The names were, again, mainly place holders. But these were the main ideas: Elryn: A boy thief, who had many adventures with pirates in the eastern seas, before finally fetching up on the shores of Valtar. Luska: A goblin princess, destined to rule an empire. My goblins were not all evil, many of them were noble and heroic. A proud warrior race. Dorazella: A rather muddle headed and accident prone a sorceress: they needed somebody who could work magic, and she was the unlikely choice. Valla: A giantess. The last of her race, seven feet tall, very beautiful and wielding a deadly broadsword. Talina: A fairy who turns out to be one of the seven lost daughters of the High Queen. Raiglin: A dwarf. Because you always have to have a dwarf. And maybe an elf or two although, frankly, I couldn't quite decide what to with the elves. I mean, everybody uses them and they are always so very virtuous, so very... boring. Well, that's how my elves were coming across at any rate. I did have the thought that, since I had made some of my goblins heroic and chivalrous, I might make some the elves arrogant, proud or even scheming and treacherous. And, as I say, all these heroes come together for the 'grand quest' in the finale, which I called "The Sleepers Under the Mountain". And then I read Lord of the Rings, and many other fantasy novels and became... discouraged.