I have a basic plot ready for my project. It's large and ambitious, so if I ever get around to actually finish/publish this, it will definitely be a series of books, probably 3 to 5 books. So, it goes like this: The continent has been living in peace for a long time. In the north live the Dwarves, who are the most unstable of the factions. They have been oppressing the marsh-people (horribly deformed creatures living in the swamps to the northwest) and they are suffering from internal trouble, mainly the lack of mining activity. In the central parts of the continent live the Humans. These current rulers of the continent live in harmony with their neighbours, have fertile land and thus very thriving economy. They are faring well. To the south live the Ruined Elves. They were ruling the entire continent centuries ago, but have been declining since. Their once-famous magical powers have crumbled and they are a shadow of their former self. They fare relatively well, thanks to support from the Humans. These three factions together form the Triple Kingdoms, an alliance formed to support the prosperity of the nations within it. The main theme of the plot are mountains: The Humans rule from the Marble Castle, the largest castle on the largest mountain. The dwarves rule from Gateguard, the second largest mountain. The city is almost entirely carved inside the mountain, although some structures are visible from the outside (such as the entrance). The Ruined Elves' king rules from Valasurin (which, according to a translator, means "Divine", a reference to their old supremacy - all the names can/will likely be changed, though). Their mountain is in the southern tip of the continent, surrounded by hills and forests. The actual book starts with a prologue, where the Dwarven king is inspecting the mining operations on a medium-sized, frozen island to the northeast of the continent. There he encounters the "bad guy" of the story. The bad guy is of a race I have yet to create, and he along with his followers hunt down the king and kill him. The bad guy seizes the largest mountain on that island and proclaims himself the fourth King. The prologue ends here. Then the focus is switched to a dwarven nobleman, who experiences the troubles that rise up when a new king should take the throne and the dissent caused by the rumours of a new king. The troubleful events lead to a full civil war between the ruling Ironguards and an opposing faction. This nobleman supports the Ironguards and fights against the rebels, but eventually Gateguard is lost and this nobleman is forced to flee with his family to the Human realm. In the human realm he seeks his way to the king to warn him about the northerners. The King sens a small fellowship to negotiate with the new rulers of Gateguard. The dwarf meets the king's archer who he becomes friends with. They observe as the new rulers of Gateguard seize the power. Meanwhile, one of the last Elven scholars is sent to the Marble Castle by the Elven king to speak with the Humans about the situation in the north. Eventually he comes across the dwarf and the human and together they set off towards Gateguard. On the way they meet another Dwarven nobleman, the first one's friend, who provides them with valuable information. They continue their journey. Meanwhile the bad guy has incited the Marsh-people to rise up against their oppressors, the dwarves. With the aid of the Marsh-people, the bad people invade the Dwarven realm. Our fellowship encounters the Marsh people in the central areas of the country, and the dwarven nobleman's friend is killed in the fight. He vows to return to Gateguard and save his people from the evil forces. It becomes a race towards Gateguard. They cannot reach Gateguard in time and the bad guys seize it. They are now a huge threat (as they have a large proportion of the northern areas of the continent), so the fellowship flees towards the coast to escape by boat. They head towards the Human realm, but as they meet enemies near the coasts, they have to continue their journey further south. Eventually they arrive on the Elven island, Emerald Hold. I have not planned further. But the plot involves the death of several main characters (in crucial positions of the story), political intrigue between the Elves, Humans and the remaining Dwarven resistance. The Humans eventually cripple as well, but the Ruined Elves regain their will to fight (as they do not share a physical border with the "evil people", they do not spend as much resources on fighting) and in the end their excellent ships bring the fellowship to the island where the Fourth King rules from. In the final battle, the Human makes the ultimate sacrifice and kills the king and dies as well. The Dwarf returns home and is proclaimed the new king. Wow, that was a long post. What do you people think, is it cliché in any way? I want to be unique, and I don't remember reading a story like this (all is peaceful at first, then slowly things start to disintegrate, failed attempts to salvage everything, oppressed and poor people grow stronger, strong grow weaker). Also, I need a title for the series. I could just write it all down and figure it out then, but I somehow find it easier to write when I can give proper names to maps, the writings and other related things I create. At first I thought "The Struggle of Mountains", but that sounds way too cliché. I would love the mountain theme to be in, though. I'll probably call the first book "The Fourth King" or something along those lines, but the series needs a name. Suggestions are welcome.