The sky is overcast with black, ominous clouds. There is a heavy rain that veils the view. The Bosphorus, so glorious is sunshine, now appears gloomy and murky. Raindrops stream from the harem’s domed roof and flow down arched Windows to form puddles on the flagstones of the yard by the entrance to the odalisques quarters.
Helene Hatun is lost in a reverie of summertime when she would throw gold coins into the marble pond and watch the dwarves jump in fully- clothed to find them. The Circassian odalisque knocks on the door drawing her away from her pleasant daydream. Sultan Mehmed II, who has put an end to one era and started another by conquering Byzantium, is on his way to be by her side. Her heart beats excitedly.
The daughter of Mora’s Archbishop Demetrius, Helene is lovely and merry. She has a golden belt on her waist, and in her hair, a feathered crest that is ornamented with precious jewels, It is the year 1474. The Conqueror’s most cherished task upon his return from the war is to come and see his baby-son Ahmed. He raises him high in his strong arms and kisses him with limitless love. Helene’s face brightens with joy. She bows to her Sultan and caresses the infant. She crosses herself with her hands with on her chest. She smiles with tenderness,as she speaks, “ You are the light of my life, the star of my heavens. I pray every day that you have a long and happy life.”