Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Works-In-Progress Wednesday: "Princess of Undersea"-- Meet the Characters!

Undersea
Princess Ylaine: Daughter of MerKing Davor and MerQueen Yssandra.
Appearance: Purple hair, black iridescent tail with a wide, fan-like fin, aquamarine eyes, blue skin.
Background: Ylaine is a dreamer, curious and patient. She loves her father dearly, and though she has made assumptions of her own about the humans (she thinks they "float" through the air like a mermaid floats through the water), she resents the assumption her father has based his impending war on, the assumption that humans are evil. Ylaine is convinced that if it were at all ever possible to be human--even just for one day--she would want to make it so for her father and herself, because she believes if he ever came above the surface and saw the way humans "really" are, it would prove him wrong.
All Fae have gifts to bestow to newborns, but there had been no babe for the fairy to give hers to--until she saw Ylaine. Were this gift of music given to a human, it would have been that she could sing beautifully; a magic gift bestowed on a magic creature intensified its power, so that Ylaine could sense the resonance of the minds and hearts of any creature, giving her a sort of hypnotic control over them.

King Davor: King of Undersea.
Appearance: Dark hair, amber eyes. As is the fashion for all mermen, his hair is chopped short except one long lock that is never cut but wound around the head like a turban.
Background: Davor had only just become king when the news came that the humans were dying of a plague they blamed the fairies for--which also meant that their willingness to trade with the humans suffered. When his daughter Ylaine was born, they took her to the customary Great Moon Rising, where all merfolk--and especially newborns--would rise under the full moon and sit just below the surface (but not more than a forehead above it, because they have gill slits instead of a nose, and so must remain with their faces submerged) to watch the full moon. It was the first full moon after the official banishment, and there was still one fairy just leaving Overcliff. He was very honored that his daughter should receive a gift of a fairy--something like that had never happened to a merperson--and Davor and Yssandra hoped that it meant their daughter would grow to have an important destiny.
Not long after this happened, before Ylaine had quite learned to use her gift or even speak, Yssandra was out hunting with a squad of merfolk when the net of a passing fisherman hooked around her arm. She could not escape and was dragged away and never seen again. The king mourned her sorely, and for the first time, Ylaine opened her mouth and sang the song of his heart, softening it. Rather than being grateful, this made Davor afraid--the fear that Ylaine's power might make him forget his wife. Therefore, whenever she sang, he would be careful to stop his ears and look away from her. Also, he set boundaries at the very edge of his kingdom, and decreed that no merperson shall ever pass them--and he prepared for war. He convinced himself that the humans had taken his wife away on purpose, and that he would make them pay, by attacking and taking away all the women from the human kingdom. He has held many conferences with various merkingdoms, trying to incite rebellion and establish the dominance of the merfolk, and he uses Ylaine's songs to lull them into complacency.

Nayidia: Ylaine's godmother, also a sea witch.
Appearance: Red hair, which she keeps in three long braids wrapped many times around herself. Blue-green tail, with a thin, flat fin (like a marlin's) at the end.
Background: Nayidia was appointed as Ylaine's nurse and godmother upon the disappearance of Yssandra. A few of the merfolk know that at one time in her youth, Nayidia dabbled in magic arts, becoming something of a sea witch, with knowledge of potions. Of course, such behavior was frowned upon, so even when Nayidia had apparently ceased this activity, she was still not wholly accepted by society. She deeply cares for the little princess, though, and has served as her counselor and confidante over the years. She encourages Ylaine to obey her father and wait patiently for the right moment--for it appears that Nayidia herself has been waiting for just the right moment... but what plans the "former" witch has are yet to be revealed...

Overcliff
Prince Nathan: Son of King Theodore and Queen Teresa.
Appearance: Dark hair, brown eyes.
Background: Raised in the castle with an invalid mother till her death when he was eight years old, Prince Nathan has been doted on by his father all his life. He has grown up having everything that pleased him--Giles being the only exception to the constant pampering. Hence, he believes that as prince, the kingdom exists for his pleasure, and will continue to exist as long as he desires. He doesn't much care for the affairs of state, and his father hasn't pressed him, so each day's activity is on his whim. He knows that sometime he ought to be married, but he figures that he can have all the fun he wants till that happens sometime later--and once it does, he will be a man and the kingly attributes will just "come over him."

Giles: Valet to Prince Nathan.
Appearance: light brown hair, hazel eyes; wears a jerkin and trousers
Background: Patient and loyal, wise and brave, Giles received the care and tutelage of the prince after the Queen died, and the King was still wrapped up in the affairs of state. Having lived outside the palace and within, Giles has paid attention and sees that very few of the men in the royal council know exactly how the people are faring, only that the kingdom is steadily weakening. He sees that the marketplace is growing sparse and the farms sparser still, so that very soon--unless Overcliff receives a king that will not just be absorbed by debates, complaints, and reports, but will actually make decisions based on his own observations--the kingdom will dwindle away into nothing. He has endeavored to cultivate such a manner in his young ward, but Prince Nathan does not often listen to him, and frequently resents his even-handed treatment.

King Theodore: King of Overcliff.
Appearance: Grey-haired, brown-eyed, wrinkled face.
Background: Theodore has been king of Overcliff for a very long time. The kingdoms of Overcliff and Undersea had been engaged in trade since before he was born. Fairies, also, brought news and gifts from the mainland to the island kingdom. Then one day, when his son Nathan was eight years old and almost ready for his father to begin the training of his kingly duties, a mysterious plague broke out that the apothecaries swore was of magic origin. The fairies, however, could not remedy the situation, and everyone who caught the sickness--including the queen--weakened and died. In his grief, King Theodore cut off trade with the magic folk and banished the fairies from Overcliff. The kingdom never recovered from this loss of trade or able-bodied citizens. The kingdom has been slowly deteriorating ever since, but Theodore, after losing his wife, threw all of his energy into keeping his son happy and healthy. Prince Nathan could care less that the kingdom is gradually disintegrating because of his father's dotage, and King Theodore, in losing his focus on the kingdom, becomes himself less inclined to renew his attentions.

Crossway

Queen Devaine: Queen of Crossway.
Appearance: Curly black hair, somewhat of a roundish woman, fond of jewels and silks
Background: Little is known of this mainland kingdom since the fairies left. Situated directly across the channel from Overcliff, the castle has always been plainly visible, but no attempt at contact had been made until immigrants from Overcliff who abandoned the deteriorating kingdom caused it to be known that the island kingdom was in dire need of financial unburdening. The Queen arrives with a delegation to offer a treaty between the two kingdoms--provided Overcliff becomes an extension of Crossway. She even offers her daughter's hand in marriage to the prince to seal the deal and combine the kingdoms.

Princess Melinda: Princess of Crossway.
Appearance: flowing golden hair, alabaster skin, bright-blue eyes. Wears plenty of flowing fabrics to show off her form to the fullest advantage.
Background: Not many had heard of Crossway when the delegation arrived in the Overcliff harbor. However, Melinda proves she is every inch a princess, from her aloof carriage, to her delicate demeanor--and everyone agrees she is quite the catch for Prince Nathan. He is smitten with her the instant she arrives, in spite of his camaraderie with the mysterious young Lady Illeinina who--if rumors are to be believed--is the reason he survived the terrible boating accident that claimed the life of his friends.

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Excerpts from "Princess of Undersea":
-"Undersea and Overcliff" 
-"The Wish" 
-"The Witch and The Storm" 
-"The Bargain" 
-"Fish Out of Water" 
-"Walking Through Overcliff" 
-"Dining With The King" 
-"Enter The Queen" 
-"Exposed" 
-"The Exchange" 
-"Carnival Showdown"