I sort of finished the chapter that was giving me such trouble. By shifting the exposition into a scene with dialogue between three characters I was better able to demonstrate the motivation of one character, Riika, as well as revisit two others, the friends Stope and Stull. I need their different perspectives for the battle that is going to happen next. Even though there are armies at three corners of the tombs, and the perachora stone has been stolen by the champion, things get boring if I just describe everything. So that worked.
Here’s a map of how it lays out, sort of the order of battle for the rest of the story. I think I know how everything is going to work out now, I actually outlined it to help the way, and all I can say is maybe that chapter was really crucial, and that’s why it was so hard.
There’s certainly more work to do, but getting it down gave me the vision of the end. I’m on the downward slope now.