A moonless night in the year 1389 on the foothills of Bursa’s Friar Mountains. The apricot-colored veranda juts out of a mansion that was carved in the rock like an eagle’s nest. A passionate sky, pregnant with a multitude of bright stars, lights the countryside softly in blue. There are intoxicating perfumes emanating from the stillness of the night as a nightingale sings its melodious trills from deep inside the woods accompanied by the croaks of frogs from the swamp to the side near the river.

It is a view of raw nature to inspire free spirits. Despina leans on the veranda’s wooden railing, propped on bare arms. She peruses the woods, her glances darting from one footpath to the other. As if she’s waiting for someone. Her jet black hair is scattered by the spring wind. The sleeve-less red-velvet caftan with the vividly embroidered carnations shows off her elegant body perfectly.

Despina Hatun, the violet-eyed daughter of Serbia’s King Lazar is only  nineteen but she is madly in love with Sultan Beyazid, the fourth Ottoman Emperor, who is known as Yildirim (the Lightning). Her heart is filled with passion, but also with fear. She crosses herself and lays her palm across her chest praying to Jesus. Protect him, my Lord! Please keep him safe for me! With all her heart, with all her being, she wishes him to return home from the war…

In a few minutes her attendant rushes to her in tears of joy. “Our munificent Sultan, your beloved husband Yildirim is returning victorious from the war!”