"There’s a scene in Groundhog Day where Phil Connors endlessly attempts to save the life of a homeless old duffer. In my game of Crusader Kings II, Isaac of the Khazars has a similarly deterministic fate. No matter what I do, this middle-aged prince marries, fails to produce offspring, fails to expand his holdings, gets stressed, and dies without issue a few years later, ending the game. And yet I keep trying.
Isaac is unique in history. He is, after all, the head of the only Jewish state in Europe, the Khazars, a nation of Turkic nomads who randomly converted en masse to Judaism in the 8th century. Nobody, outside of dustclad historians, has ever heard of the Khazars. So, trying out Crusader Kings II’s new expansion ‘The Sons of Abraham’, which lets players have deeper interaction with the Abrahamic religions over the 300 years of the game, it was a surprise to find Europe roughly divided between Islam and Christianity – and to find this solitary, tiny Jewish state existing for roughly three centuries North of the Crimea."
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