For as long as anyone can remember, a mystical barrier has protected our world from the world of demons and monsters. These invaders attempt to breech the barrier at regular intervals, but each attempt fails. The people live secure in the knowledge that they are safe. Only a few of the wealthy and elite realize that this barrier is starting to erode, and soon humanity will be face to face with its nightmares.
Steps have been taken to quietly prepare for the worst. Armies are being mobilized and defenses built, but none of it is enough. The most extreme measure some have turned to is called the ritual. It is an arcane ceremony where a young person is exposed to intense magic. Some don't survive the exposure. Others gain little benefit. But some gain superhuman wisdom, intelligence, strength, or arcane power. Those given gifts can pass that power on to their heirs, which makes it a priority for them to be wed as quickly as possible.
Prince James was 15 when he underwent the ritual, and his reaction to it was severe. The ritual made him stronger, but the biggest change was to his voice. His voice is capable of shattering stone, but it is completely uncontrollable. Any sound he makes will be devastating to those around him. As a result, James has learned to go through life without making a sound.
Now, at the age of 18, he finds himself the new king. Everyone is looking at him to lead the people through their darkest hour, but his advisers are also looking to him to take a wife and start a family. As powerful as his gift is, they hope it will be that much stronger in his offspring. A marriage was arranged for James when he was a child, and now that marriage is being pushed forward. James is resolute in his duty to his people, but the idea of starting a life with another is daunting under the circumstances.
Obviously I'm looking for some court intrigue and things like that, but I also really like the idea of two people coming together and falling in love without being able to have a normal discussion. It would be a challenge, but I think it would be fun.