Novel Title: Everliving
Time Setting: 1583
Minimum Word Goal: 120,000
Timespan: May 1583–May 1584
Locations: the Continent of Merada; the Ocean to the West; the Isle of Falidor, Utter West; the Kingdom of Ñapesa
Main Characters: Ian "Quique" Ellenwood, Princess Bethania of Ñapesa
There are few things Quique knows for certain about his identity, but he's more than convinced of the truth of what he does know.
Firstly, he knows that his name is not Ian Ellenwood, but he's not sure that his name is really Quique either, it's just the only name he recalls being addressed by before the attack.
Secondly, he knows that he had, at least, two sisters, both of whom died while young children, but neither of whose names he recalls either.
Thirdly, he knows that his family was on a boat, except his father, whom they were going to meet, and they were set upon by pirates, who took him and his sisters captive and murdered everyone else on the ship, including his mother and any other siblings.
These very same pirates are the ones with whom he now sails. Not by choice, mind, but by his having no other alternative, being as he doesn't know where he's from, where he belongs, whether or not his father is alive, or where to find his father.
He's tried to search his father out, or information about the ship he was on, but the pirates won't talk and he can't get any of the captives they have to trust him.
Subconscious knowledge suggests to him that he is from Ñapesa — which is the nations whose gilt galleons laden with gold are the pirates' most frequent target — being as he can understand what the Ñapesan-speaking captives are saying at all times, and yet he never took lessons in the language; but still, that doesn't help him figure much more out.
Considered to be the most eligible — and beautiful — bachelorette in the entire continent of Merada, Bethania is her father's oldest living child, but not his heir, as she has a younger brother — although being as he wasn't the first son his father sired some are concerned about whether he'll successfully outlive his father.
Although she enjoys the royal life, Bethania can't say as much for the quality of the men who seek her hand, being as they're most all rather vain, ugly, ungallant, or effeminate, while some even desire her purely for political purposes.
She is grateful that she doesn't have to have a regnal position such as her father's, but she wishes that her future husband could love her because of who she is, and she would be allowed to reciprocate and not feel like a pawn in a game.
Recently, however, things have gotten worse, as her father has fallen ill. Initially she hoped that would make him more willing to let her choose whom she wanted to marry, but instead her father has decided to offer her up as a prize.
He believes that, somewhere in the Utter West, there is a fountain whose waters restore health and life to the consumer, and he believes a drink from the fountain will save him. She thinks he's delusional, and is also nothing short of furious that he's offered her up as a prize to whomever brings him a drink from that fountain, which deprives her of all choice in her future, essentially selling her off to the highest bidder.
Her pleas for him to let her choose her own husband continue to fall on deaf ears though, so she must resign herself to her fate and hope she gets to marry someone nice, unlike most of her suitors.