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Reading from Hero of Lukomorye Chapter V

History of the Principality of Buyan

From time immemorial the island was populated by the ancient race of Pterosapians, wise birds, who possessed a unique and powerful kind of magic. During the Great Magic War, the Pterosapians refused to take sides and covered the island of Buyan with a Veil of Invisibility, so that any trace of the island was lost for centuries. Only occasional shipwrecks would reach the islands' shore. Those stranded humans learned Pterosapian magic from that dying breed.

After several millenia, the humans took control of the island but soon split into two factions: those who are Invisibilists and support invisibility for the island and those who are Visionaries and want the island open to all.

One family of the mighty Visionary wizards fled Buyan to the nearest mainland, where the Kingdom of Obodrain was located. The youngest daughter of the refugee family was chosen by local king Saul to be his wife. However, she gave birth to a son while the king was away and, in her birth pains, she enchanted her son with the Fast Grow spell so he matured into manhood in a very short time.

The King's advisors were afraid that the queen had given birth to a monster, so they threw her and her son into the ocean in a barrel. By the time the barrel reached Buyan's shore, young Guido was a fully-formed adult, strong and dexterous. The barrel landed where the last battle between the Visionaries and Invisibilists was taking place and Guido, without knowing what he was really doing, killed the leader of the Invisibilists.

That brought disarray into both political camps, and very soon they signed a peace treaty deciding that the island would remain invisible but there could be trade with other human nations. Guido was elected Prince of Buyan. Several years later, his father learned that Guido had survived and was now the mature ruler of a nearby beautiful island, much richer than his own kingdom.

Guido's father, King Saul, sailed to Buyan and reconciled with his wife and son. After his death, Guido ruled both Buyan and Obodrain. Now Buyan is ruled by Prince Guido XVII, but he doesn't have an heir and there are rumors that someone from the Lukomorian Obereg dynasty might succeed him.

The Great Ustyug Castle

The Great Ustyug Castle is one of two world-reknowned architectural marvels of Holodovia (another one is, obviously, the Winter Palace, currently called the Ice Witch's Castle). It was carved without any use of magic from a single glacier by the unmatched genius of architect and sculptor Isengartius in 75 P.E. Together with the Great Parallelipipeds of Shiza, it is the oldest building in the world. It is also the only building that has been used for more than seven millennia for the single purpose - as a second residence of Holodovian princes.
Isengartius' masterpiece features such unique places as the Garden of Icy Fountains, the Hall of Reflected Lights, the Blue Icicle Colonnade, Reindeer Stables and others. Every solstice Holodovian princes allow the public to wander around the castle for one day and one night, which alongside the Winter Palace's art gallery is the main attraction of tourism in this part of the world.
It took the architect seventy nine-years to finish his job but Isengartius' creation hardly looks a day older than when it was built. This is the result of the extremely rare natural phenomenon called cryochronia. Everything inside the castle is literally frozen in time. The scientific and magical communities agree that this is, most likely, the remaining magic effect of the ancient Ullr Breath spell that elves used in the Great Magic War to turn human-owned fertile provinces north of Svetloyar Sea to permafrost country. The glacier that Isengartius used has formed in the epicenter of that spell and has taken most of its power.
The Holodovian dynasty enjoys this phenomenon as it is the oldest ruling house in the world and the average longevity of the House of Holod is 376 years. Attempts by trolls (the Army of Justice of the great warrior Trotilla), humans (Xanadian-Holodovian wars of 5-7 millenia) and local snowmen (Hoar Rebellion and Rime Siege) to seize control of the Great Ustyug Castle from its Princes' hands and have all failed and the damage to the masterpiece has been minimal despite heavy fighting.
However, elvish military magic books say that the spell that froze Holodovia and helped to create the Castle is to expire in about two hundred years so our not so distant descendants might not be able to enjoy the splendid beauty of the Great Ustyug Castle.

Buyan Island Welcomes You!

Spend your honeymoon on the beautiful Invisible Island of Buyan - the unique and exotic island separating the Tritonic Ocean from the Svetloyar Sea hidden from people's eyes. It is the perfect place to relax, soak up the sun and enjoy amazing nature, outstanding magic and a rich, cultural heritage, and healthy cuisine during the most romantic time of your life.
Buyan Island was the last place inhabited by the ancient race of Pterosapians, sapient birds, and their magic is still working on the island providing its famous defense - Veil of Invisibility. No foe can approach the island but only those whose hearts are pure can sail to Buyan's ports. We invite you to be among our friends and come visit us!
Start the visit in the eastern port of Princess City, dubbed "Honeymoon Capital of the World". To the north, there are the world's largest Three Sisters Waterfalls. Annually more than five thousand couples from all over the world are married in front of the trio of magnificent waterfalls. You can also enjoy rides on giant eagles between summits of Kite Rocks (2 person per ride), hiking in the ever-golden-leaved Squirrel Forest or tours in Emerald Caves right underneath the forest.
The short route connects Princess City to Buyan's capital, Swan City, in the heart of the island. Here, in the Flying Castle the most amazing magic artifacts of the Pterosapians are stored. Users of magic will undoubtedly be enthusiastic about two-day workshops in levitation and geopositioning - the ancient magic arts of the Pterosapians - offered year-round in the Castle.
Kite flying (each kite can carry one adult or two kids), dragon-balloon riding (balloons are historically made out of dragons' bladders), watching the game of air hockey (two teams of seven players levitate at 15-30 foot heights seeking the control of the puck and scoring it into the 3 feet wide net) are most popular tourist attractions.
Saltanport, on the south, is another recreational gem of the island best known among anglers and divers, as its crystal clear waters are rich in endemic fish (Brilliant Fish, Flying Lazy Fish etc).
Older tourists may want to visit the northern town of Babariha with its relaxing atmosphere, hot springs and bingo wings to rent (even if you can't levitate. this Pterosapian artifact will raise you up in the air and slowly fly you around).
Wherever you go on the island you will always see friendly people and birds, experience our hospitality and enjoy the peacefulness of the Island. Don't wait - sail to our island!
Warning: The Principality of Buyan is an independent state and a visit to Buyan absolutely requires a visa. Buyanish consulates in Lukomorye are in Seversk, Belovodsk and Pokoygrad.
Also, a word from one of our sponsors: Zarista Games: look on this website for an Old Hag.
This text is also sponsored by the Tourist Bureau of Buyan Island.