I've been mulling over the ending of my story for a long time now, and nearly all of the important pieces I need are there. However, one piece that continues to evade me is the antagonist's fate. He's been such a pain in the protagonist's side, and has inflicted so much tragedy, that I want to show him receiving his comeuppance. Whether that means he dies or is thrown in jail to rot for the rest of his miserable life, I haven't decided, but the protag needs to see or be involved in it to bring her peace of mind. I really don't want him to meet his fate "off-screen", with how important his role in events has been and will be. Here is the timeline of events, as I currently know them (subject to change, of course): The protag, Kaina, finally has the proof she needs to tell the king that the main antag, the captain of the guard (and the king's right hand man), is involved in both destabilizing the peace and the king's wife's mysterious miscarriages (by way of having a spy getting in a position close to the queen and poisoning her discreetly). The king has been so disillusioned lately that he doesn't believe Kaina's claims and thinks it all to be a conspiracy by the temple to remove him from power (long story short, he'll be quite bananas/inconsolable at this point in the story). This leads to the captain, acting in his own interests, to send a force to the temple under the pretext of the king's conspiracy theory. There, priestesses are wantonly murdered, and Kaina's own mentor/mother figure is fatally injured. Kaina, a priestess herself and in connection with their god, the Phoenix, prays for help, and the Phoenix himself comes in and burns the attackers to death with his fire. I really haven't decided whether or not the captain will be caught in the fire, for the next bullet-point lays out where I'm conflicted... So here is where I have multiple, conflicting ideas. Either the dust settles (with the captain killed by the flames) and Kaina has to come to terms with all of the death and destruction and losing those she cared about, only to then learn that the Phoenix was injured in the attack and fled...or, the Phoenix was captured and she has to save him, finding him badly injured...or, Kaina herself is captured and has to escape (these two scenarios would involve her coming face to face with the antag and dealing with him in whatever way is appropriate). Each possible plan has its own pros and cons, and really would determine how the main antagonist, the captain, would meet his fate. I know that I'm currently not making any sense right now, but this is driving me crazy! Regardless of which of the three paths I decide to take, Kaina knows she has to seek the Phoenix (who will flee, badly injured, either way, instinctively making for the sacred mountain on the other side of the desert where he will die and be reborn. But if he doesn't make it to the mountain before he succumbs to his wounds, then the cycle of rebirth will end and there will be an unending eclipse). But before she embarks on such a dangerous quest, she visits the boy she loves in order to say farewell, in case she doesn't make it back. But he inevitably decides to go with her, and they whip together a small group on short time. The rest of the story, the final stretch, is these characters traveling across the desert, finally reaching the mountain, and Kaina doing what she can to help the Phoenix make the last leg of the journey before he dies. (Spoiler: It will be a success, and as far as I'm concerned, the story's last threads will be wrapped up in a final chapter after that, with maybe an epilogue/denouement showing how Kaina's life changed after everything she had been through.) So...that is me trying my best to explain my situation as briefly as possible. The captain really needs to be dealt with, but I would prefer that his fate be decided somewhere between Kaina's visit to the king and her journey out of the city. Of course, I could make the journey across the desert a chase scene, and have the final showdown with the captain occur there, but...that seems a bit cliche to me for some reason. It's still a backup idea, in case all else fails. And I 100% realize that my roadmap of the story's climax and ending can change and be revised at any point, but this is what I've decided upon...for now. Am I just crazy and not making sense here?