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White Heaven by Pavel Slavov

In the dimly lit tavern “The two roosters” in the heart of Balchik, a haze of smoke and laughter hung in the air as patrons gathered around the worn wooden tables. The bard, his fingers gracefully dancing across the strings of his lute, captured the attention of the crowd with his enchanting melodies. Amongst the merry chatter, a drunk but friendly figure sat alone at the corner table, his eyes glimmering with tales untold.

Curiosity piqued, the bard approached the inebriated man, intrigued by the promise of a captivating story. The drunkard’s words slurred and stumbled, but his spirit burned bright with the recounting of the invasion that had befallen the Northern Black Sea lands, a cherished part of the vast and diverse Knyazdom of East Wind.

Leaning in closer, the bard listened intently as the drunkard painted vivid pictures of the land before the arrival of the Tenebran Empire. The region had once thrived with bountiful harvests, its fertile soil nurturing lush fields of golden wheat and thriving orchards heavy with succulent fruit. The towns of Balchik, Cavarna, Shabla, and Muglen bustled with life, their bustling marketplaces filled with merchants haggling over precious goods from distant lands. The scent of saltwater mingled with the sweet aroma of blooming flowers, creating an atmosphere of vibrant tranquility.

As the bard’s fingers strummed a soft melody, the drunkard’s voice grew more animated, recounting the invasion that had shattered their idyllic existence. The Tenebran Empire, an enigmatic force from the far East, had descended upon their lands with a swift and calculated strike. Like a tempest, their black-clad soldiers stormed the towns, leaving chaos and uncertainty in their wake. Homes were ransacked, fields lay trampled, and the once-thriving trade routes were disrupted.

But amidst the despair, the drunkard shared tales of Lord Bogom and his wife, Lady Alaine, noble leaders who had marshaled the forces of the Knyazdom of East Wind in the past. Lord Bogom, known for his astute diplomatic skills, had prepared for the impending storm, rallying his fellow lords and strategizing from the heart of the Knyazdom. The people whispered of Knyaz Gattir’s strategic retreat, his actions driven not by cowardice, but by the desire to regroup and prepare for a future uprising, seeing the bigger picture for the future. The other lords, though scattered and in hiding, were biding their time, waiting for the opportune moment to strike back against the oppressive invaders.

With a flicker of hope in his eyes, the drunkard described the momentous decisions made by his Lord and Lady as the invasion unfolded. Recognizing the safety of their family and people as paramount, Lady Alaine had ordered their young son, Balic and most of the high magisters to be escorted to a hidden place. She knew the importance of preserving their lineage and safeguarding their future.

Simultaneously, Lord Bogom dispatched diplomatic envoys to the Tenebran forces, seeking to negotiate terms of peace and stability. While the motivations behind these negotiations remained shrouded in mystery, the drunkard speculated that perhaps the invaders saw value in Lord Bogom’s governance, which had brought prosperity and harmony to the Northern Black Sea lands. The negotiations were delicate, walking a fine line between appeasing the occupiers and keeping the flame of rebellion alive within the hearts of the people.

As the bard strummed a mournful tune, the drunkard’s voice grew hushed, reflecting on the two years that had passed since the invasion. The Northern Black Sea lands had become a tapestry of cautious coexistence. While the Tenebran Empire maintained a grip on the region, the people had managed to carve out a semblance of normalcy amidst the occupation. Their lives continued, albeit under the watchful gaze of the foreign rulers.

The people, grateful to Solor and their rulers for the relative calm that had settled upon their lands, adhered to Lady Alaine’s orders to avoid open rebellion. They understood the cost of defiance, as neighboring lands outside the Northern Black Sea suffered under the iron fist of the Tenebran Empire – death, slavery, and harsh rule were their daily realities. The people of the Northern Black Sea lands counted themselves fortunate, their land resembling a sanctuary amidst the chaos that engulfed the wider world.

However, a whisper of resistance lingered in the tavern’s atmosphere, carried on the winds of hope and longing. The patrons yearned for Lord Bogom to ignite the spark of rebellion, to rally the East Wind Knyazdom’s forces and sweep away the darkness that had stained their beloved lands. They held onto the belief that their lord, together with the other lords of the Knyazdom, would rise like a tempest, leading them towards freedom and liberation.

With a heavy heart, the bard listened to the drunkard’s words, feeling the weight of the people’s hopes and dreams rest upon his shoulders. He understood the responsibility that lay before him – to immortalize their tale, to sing of their resilience, and to kindle the flame of rebellion through his music. The bard resolved to carry their story far and wide, weaving it into his songs as he traveled across distant lands, spreading the tale of the Northern Black Sea lands and the indomitable spirit that resided within its people:

In the Northern Black Sea lands, where once life thrived,
Fields of gold and trade routes alive.
Balchik, Cavarna, Shabla, and Muglen fair,
A region blessed, its people without a care.

But then came the storm, the Tenebran’s might,
Their invasion swift, their intentions a blight.
Yet our hearts still burn with hope so grand,
For Lord Bogom and the East Wind Knyazdom hand in hand.

Lord Bogom, wise and true, his people’s guide,
Preparing for the storm, with courage beside.
Knyaz Gattir, covered in the veil of darkness,
beats the drums of war, the people’s wrath to harness.

In the shadowed halls, plans were laid,
Negotiations danced, a delicate charade.
Lord Bogom’s rule, an enigma to see,
To whom does his loyalty truly decree?

And so, for two years, we’ve lived in a haze,
Tenebran shadows cast upon our days.
But still, we hold on to a flicker of light,
Believing Lord Bogom will lead us to the fight.

Oh, Lord Bogom, ignite the flame,
With the East Wind Knyazdom, we’ll reclaim.
Through storm and strife, united we stand,
To sweep the Tenebran black from our lands.

In the tavern’s embrace, our spirits take flight,
The bard’s melody, a beacon in the night.
He carries our tale to lands far and wide,
A reminder of the strength we hold inside.

The people’s hearts beat with fervent desire,
For freedom’s embrace, a future to acquire.
Though uncertain the path, our hope remains,
That Lord Bogom will lead us out of these chains.

So let our voices rise, in song and in prayer,
For the Northern Black Sea lands, a tale we share.
May the echoes of our struggle ring true,
As we journey together, the Knyazdom and you.

O Solor, deus Solis,
Vitam et lucem nobis imparte.


And so, with a solemn promise etched in his heart, the bard’s voice soared through the tavern, painting a tapestry of longing, courage, and the promise of a brighter future. The patrons, captivated by the bard’s melodies, found solace and inspiration in his words. The tale of the Northern Black Sea lands became a beacon of hope, reminding them that even in the darkest of times, the human spirit could endure, ready to face the challenges that lay ahead.