THE JEWEL OF BALKAN – 1st chapter

1st chapter

Journey through the past

The apple, that sweet red fruit, was bitten with a passion. From the red meat leaked out the juices and mix it up with his breath. He laughed dearly, but his appearance was terrifying. The pillars of his temple were made out of fine oak, carved with motifs from various battles. At the entrance to his temple stood small and large sculptures of bears. He was impressed the way his temple, his pride was built. He was more powerful than any God on Earth. He believed that power brings the gemstone and that the minerals from that stone are miraculous. His residents used to bring him at least one stone every year. He collected them by size on the leather end. From time immemorial, the Earth was round and large but attainable only to him. On Earth he ruled as Svetogor, the emperor of Atlantis, so powerful and fearless. Then ascended to heaven as Svetogor, the great God of Slavs. And far away from the Sun, he was sitting in his throne.
„My head is clouded from all these informations“, I said wearily. I’m falling into sleep but there are a lot of things I need to do.
„Mila, Mila come to dinner! What are you looking for in those papers? When are you going to get serious?“, my mother was yelling from downstairs. But stubborn in her remarks, I didn’t come down.
I, Mila Marin, archeology student from Belgrade, put a lot of effort into this work. I have to get it started somehow. My wild spirit doesn’t let me stand still. In my college people looked at me strangely when I presented them my work about mysterious gemstone of the ancient Slavs. Some of them were laughing and others discussed with me about it. They said that’s Andragogy of the Third Kind and I shouldn’t dream so much, that those are only Fairy Tales and Miths. Some people used to call me stranger as if I’m not from Serbia. I guess it’s because of my lastname which doesn’t end with IĆ. That’s how Serbs think, everything that is Serbian has to have IĆ ending. Marin, lastname from North Serbia was made by administrative replacement of IĆ ending with IN ending. That’s how lastname Marić became Marin. After a short break, I went back to my book and Miths.
… Svetovid, the one who knows everything and sees everything. He was celebrated on June 28th (old calander, June 15th), in the period of harvest. His deity was in *Rujan and his fortress, his pride, in *Arkon (*Rujan and Arkon cities in modern Germany). Before he got enlightened, Svetogor was extremly beautiful. His thick red hair mixed with his green eyes. He was a great warrior. His strong chest and scars all over his neck proved that fact. Nobody knew the real number of the battles he participated in. Even he stopped counting his own titles since he had became an emperor. The emperor of Atlantis, mysterious and never enough explored continent. Passing through the temple, his figure was breath taking for most women there. He had almost every women he wanted. Some of them even gave him children, his inheritorss. Later, none of this children weren’t worshiped like he was. Slavs pagans represented Svetovid as God with four heads. Each head was facing in one of the four corner of the world. In his arms he held a bow and beside it his armature. He rode a white horse. People believed that he was riding by night, because every morning he was dirty and sweaty. The treausury of his temple was rich becouse anyone who had ever been in Arkon brought a gift. The gem which sparkled in the sunlight, also radiated a strange energy. That precious stone was held in the heart of the treausury between East and West, North and South.
No one could get in there except for the priest who was watching it and also taking care of the white horse.
The next generations didn’t know where the jewel was hidden and what’s its purpose. They speculated that this stone was a piece of a large ruby brought all the way from India. People were telling among themselves that the gem had a miraculous power but only on Slavs. They have also respected all the predictions which represented the will of their all-mighty God. But, they didn’t predecte that Svetovid will disappear just before his temples were ruined.
As the Slavs became stronger and richer, they started to present an obstacle to their neighbours, Catholic Germans. In the summer of 1168. Danish troops started to destroy Svetovid’s temples in Rujan and Arkon and robbed all the treasuries. Angry Germans crushed the statue of Svetovid. All the temples in Slavs’ territory were turned into Roman Catholic churches and dedicated them to Saint Vido (Sanctus Vitus).
„Isn’t that the same?“, I scremed like a ful.
Saint Vido celebrate the believers of the Catholic religion (June,15th or June,28th). On the same date Ortodox celebrate Saint Amos, patron saint of the Serbian prince Lazar. His army participated in the Kosovo battle to defend Serbs from the Ottoman Empire. In the beginning of the 20th century people began to celebrate the religious holiday Saint Lazar, also known as Saint Vitas.
All the conquerors, Ottomans and Germans tried to find the gemstone which obviously disappeared. It was a legend, like a mith, about Holy trinity of Slavs. It is persumed that even Templars were guarding it, though it’s not a part of Christianity and the Holy Grail. They believed that the jewel had some special forces. There is no inscription about its image and the last sources lead till 13th century and lost somewhere in the South.
“I must be crazy. No one would believe me”, I said to myself.
“When they hear about my exploration, they would kick me out of my college and lock me in a hospital. But still, I have to find the gem even they pronounce me crazy.”
Firmly decided, I started my search. Nothing binds me to stay home. My father died a couple of years ago during one excavation in Egypt. He was very proud of me and the fact that one day I’ll become an archeologist as he was. It’s a pity he didn’t live enough to see that. Because of that, my mother was angry with me. She never appreciated my work in spite of I was an excellent student. In the other hand, I was divided between love and despair. Marco and I are in a relationship for three years. In the beginning everything was wonderful. And then something changed, as a matter of fact, he changed for worse. He idn’t have time for us anymore. We were going out very rarely, ectually he was going out. He was coarse and domineering as if he didn’t care about me, about us. I couldn’t speak with my friends from college becouse he thought i was flerting with them. Marco didn’t know about my research becouse he wasn’t interested in. While he was cheating me around, i was planning to get away from him, from my home, to disappear from this city. Now, I had all the reasons to do it. Nothing could stop me.
The words of a logo “Discover Serbia, the jewel of Balkan” were always in my head. A few months ago I have repaired the old grandpa’s jeep so I could go on my trip.
“Where to go? Serbia is not a small country. Let me see…” I took a map of an old Europe and compared it with my not so reliable information.
I wanted to go to the North, to explore the whole Vojvodina first. It’s not so far from Belgrade. I might run into a distant relative or a templar, if they still exist.
“Templers! Eureka! That’s it, the Lilac valley!” Nobody will think I’ll go there first. I packed my things in daddy’s old backpack, believing it brings luck. I didn’t know how to explain my mother, so I left her a note that I was going to vacation. Thinking that I’m quietly going out of my own hell, actually I was going right to the arms of the devil…




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