I have 2 villains in my story - one who is absent and removed from the action, who basically went through anything up to 10,000 years before the setting of the story and put together the elements my main characters are trying to undo. He has more of a symbolic value of destruction and bad decisions. But he's still alive so the main character can get his closure. I have a second antagonist to counter the protagonists on a more personal level, popping up wherever they go and making their adventure a little more interesting. All 3 "sides" will soon be in the same place, but I'm wondering... In previous drafts the local villain had nothing to do with the big bad but I'm going more into his psychology, and I could make a very valid subplot of they've been working together, quite logically. After all, even though one of them is a crazy elf from the beginning of time with genocidal leanings and one of them's a bored upwardly-mobile member of the local aristocracy who's got more money than sense and a craving for treasure and power, I think they might get along. Do you think, symbolically, it might cheapen it for the big evil villain to have minions running around helping him out, no matter how validly he could logically do it? Should I keep him removed and aloof like how he's always been, as a sort of looming, undefined threat through the whole thing, or shall I make him more of a puppetmaster who directly influences the action? It'd make for a tighter plot, probably, for just a few extra lines of explanation, and make the presence of both villains in the same place a little easier to understand. Aaargh, I've trimmed and neatened up this plot so much and the end's the last bit driving me crazy. I know I could do it either way, but I can't decide between a final neat twist to make it all glue together and be excellent storytelling, or staying true to the random events of the original plan so the symbolism holds true and the story makes more sense on a meaningful level... Bleh?