• Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Duke of Adamski

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Chapter One.

These are the generations of Israel in the Exile; Othniel begot Ori, Ori begot Uzriel, Uzriel begot Pechuniel, Pechuniel begot Eleazar, Eleazar begot Hophni, Hophni begot Teyve, Teyve begot Ashkel, Ashkel begot Putiel, Putiel begot Korah, Korah begot Nun, Nun begot Amran, Amran begot Beershev, Beershev begot Rachaniel, Rachaniel begot Araunah, Araunah begot Mephibosheth, Mephibosheth begot Absalom, Absalom begot Baruch, Baruch begot Cabel. Cabel begot Zelophehad, Zelophehad begot Ahithopel, Ahitopel begot Ahumaaz, Ahumaaz begot Ziba, Ziba begot Shimei, Shimei begot Hushai, Hushai begot Abiathar, and Abiathar begot Amihiram. These are the generations of Israel in Exile, 700 years.

Now Amihiram had a wife whose name was Miriel, and they dwelt together in the Great City of the Kittim beside the Narrow Rushing Sea. They were faithful even in the land of sorrow, and with silence and obedience did they abide their suffering. The Lord was pleased by their piety and remembered Amihiram and Miriel; so it was that Miriel became with child, and she bore a son, and he was named Benjamin for he was Greatly Beloved. This was in the 769th year since the destruction of the Temple and the wanderings of the People of Israel from the Land of G-d.

Benjamin grew in the Land of the Kittim, and as a child he learned well to fear G-d and to obey the Law, so to did he study the stories of the ancestors and the examples from times that have gone before.

About this time Yohanon was prophesying to the People and he came to Kittimia, and many gathered to hear him speak and to see him with their own eyes, for his fame had spread wide and he was well known to be a man of G-d. So Amihiram and Miriel took Benjamin into the presence of Yohanon and they stood amidst the multitude and prayed in hope that they might receive a blessing for the child.

And Yohanon saw the boy, and ignoring all others he came to him and laid his hands upon him. He spoke saying, "when twice four hundred years have passed since the Day of Jerusalem's Fall, this child shall lead the People of Israel to the Promised Land again, and he shall rule them many a year and his descendants will till the soil of Canaan, of G-d's country."

The crowd was disbelieving and shouted, but Yohanon raised his hand and silenced them. He spoke on, and they listened for the spirit of the Lord was upon him, "A friend he will be to an Emperor, and he will sit high in the Councils of the Kittim; he shall raise a dynasty to the Purple with the aid of G-d, and for this deed a great reward shall come."

Yohanon raised the boy high and said, "he will be as King, but shall refuse all crowns, he will be as a shepherd who slaughters not his flock, nor sheer them too close, he will live to be old, but he will die a young mans death."

Amihiram and Miriel took the child Benjamin home and raised him to fear and obey G-d, but they did not believe in the Prophecy of Yohanon.

In the 772nd year Amihiram was taken as tutor for Basil, son of Bardas a man of Macedon, and thus it was caused that Benjamin and Basil were raised together, and so it was that they grew together as boys, and as men became true friends.

This was the will of The Lord.
 
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Andrzej I

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Very promising. Looking forward to the next update!
 

hoi2geek

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Sounds promising. . .
 

Duke of Adamski

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Chapter Two

Basil was the son of Bardas who was the son of Konstantia, and he came from the land of Macedon which was in the Kingdom of the Kittim. Both he and Benjamin grew to manhood and were considered to be wise and honourable men, men who feared G-d, and so they were brought before the King of the Kittim, whose name was Michael, and they were made to do service to him. Now this Michael who had a holy name yet was still a man impious, and he did not fear G-d, nor did he love the Lord; but it was so that he loved wine excessively and was often seen to be in his cups, his nakedness uncovered in his stupor. He was named Drunkard by his subjects and he was not thought to be a good King, so his people grew angered against him, but he heeded not their complaints and he dealt with them harshly, and he punished severely for their impudence; but this did not assuage their anger, but rather made it increase. But in his service Basil and Benjamin grew prosperous, for they knew their businesses and carried them out well, Basil the soldier, and Benjamin amongst the scrolls and parchments in the archive.

In the 785th year the Spirit of the Lord came upon Basil as he slept and he was troubled with many dreams which came to him on several successive nights. These visions confused him, and he grew frightened, but he trusted in G-d and was comforted.

These were the visions he beheld;

On the first night he saw the world spread out below him, far beneath, all the cities and nations small and like toys, he saw swarms of insects moving across the face of the earth, all across the earth, moving all towards a single place; in order they came, but always towards a single place, and here they gathered and paid homage. And Basil looked upon the place where the insects assembled and he saw that it was at his feet. He awoke and was much bewildered.

On the second night he saw a plain beside a sea, and beyond the distant hill, and he heard horns blowing far away, and he could smell both salt and flame, and before him were the nations of the plain bowing and subjugated, the cities they were burnt but amidst the ashes he could spy saplings blooming upwards towards the sun, and the clouds that lay upon the plain parted and the sun in its fullness fell upon him. Then from the sea a people came, first one, then two, then hundreds more, laden with parcels they were, carrying all they had on their backs, they walked past him, but they did not greet him, for they saw him not. He awoke and was much bewildered.

On the third night, he saw the great city of the Kittim shining in the moonlight, quiet lay upon the city, but he felt in his heart uneasy, and he looked, and he saw, sliding across the bay dark shapes of monsters and could hear their bellies rumbling, flame glinted from their teeth and he could sense their purpose. Alone he saw them coming closer, the dragons from the sea, moving out of the North. In his hand he had a blade, dull and heavy, and alone he walked out to meet the monsters, and they came toward him, and he felt their breath upon him. He awoke and was much bewildered.

Basil knew not what to make of these dreams for he could not tell of what they meant, and he confided what he had seen in Benjamin, for he had heard of the blessing of Yohanon, and knew that Benjamin had found favour with G-d. But Benjamin also was confounded by what he heard, and could offer no interpretation, saying, “alas I am no Joseph to interpret for what you saw. But there is one here in the Land of the Kittim who can tell us of what this means. And if it is meant for us to know, then the Lord shall bring that man to us, or us to him.”

And so it was to be. There lived a man whose name was Thrasyllus and he lived alone as a hermit upon an island in the shattered sea, he saw few men, and was thought of with distrust for he did not worship in church or synagogue, and though he was a holy man clear, none knew for sure which gods he held in his heart, but it was said that he was a soothsayer who could see the future and the pattern of what had yet to be. One summer Benjamin and Basil were aship from the Great City to the Land of Egypt on an embassy to Pharaoh, but a G-d sent a storm upon them as they passed and their ship was driven onto the rocks, broken though all aboard her found their lives preserved. And it was the will of G-d that drove them to the very island of Thrasyllus.

Basil and Benjamin came upon Thrasyllus in his cave, and they approached him, but before they could speak he fixed in his gaze, his milky gaze for the Lord had taken his sight, and said to them, “I know of who comes before me, and I know of the reasons why, for I have seen you in my dreams, and now I can hear you in my waking moments. Tell me of what you would know.”

So Basil told to Thrasyllus the marvels he had seen in his slumnber.

And Thrasyllus listened intently and spoke, “these interpretations I give to you, which you can judge and take as you will, but my words come from G-d as surely as your visions did. The first dream means surely that you will be King over the Kittim,and more besides, that the nations of the world will honour you and will do you homage, from the Misty Islands of the West to the Elephant Kingdoms of the East, from the Burning South, to the Chilly North all the peoples of the world will kneel to you. The second dream, tell to you the cost of the first, the price you must pay, a landless people will be within your charge and in return for mastery over all lands, you Great King must yield up to them with none a fraction of your own, that portion promised long ago. This must you do. And what will be if you do not the third dream tells, a plague of ruin upon your house and upon all the Kittim, for the Lord will send dragons from the north to punish you and to bring you low.”

Then Thrasyllus spoke no more for in that very moment he died. But his words stayed in the ears of Basil and Benjamin and they knew more than they had done, but yet still not as much as they desired to know.
 

Duke of Adamski

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Hi everyone, thanks for your kind comments thus far.

The first few chapters are, by necessity, merely setting the scene for what will come, hence the unfortunate wall of text. Once we get into the game, and story, properly I will include more images, but until that time, I must beg your indulgence. Hope you enjoy Chapter Two. I hope to get chapter three online tomorrow or the next day.
 

Marauder M

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Love the biblical theme, keep it up. :D
 

Duke of Adamski

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Chapter Three

Michael was King of the Kittim and he drank and he loved women and he did not love G-d, and his people did not love him.



It happened that Michael took to bed a maiden whose name was Eudokia, and she was the daughter of Ingr of the North, a Varangian, a soldier, and she came to be with child, and it was supposed that Michael was the father of this child, for it was known that she had lain with no other man. But Michael had a wife, bound to him by The Lord, her name also was Eudokia, and she was a women who feared not G-d nor man, nor yet her husband Michael King of the Kittim. When she heard that her husband had got a child with another woman she grew wroth, for she herself had not been blessed with a child, and this lack lay heavy upon her.

She said to Michael, “slay this woman for me now, and the child in her womb, let it not be born, for it shall not be borne by me for any woman beside myself to carry a son to rule in your place.”

And Michael replied, “how can this be done, tell me and I shall do it, but only tell me how, for Ingr is her father, and Ingr is a man of renown, a scion of the Nephilim who were, and I fear his wroth as much as I tremble at your own.”

So it was seen that Eudokia could not be killed outright, but that she must be put away. Eudokia, wife to Michael King of the Kittim, said on “then she must be wed to another, a man of low birth, but loyal, and let the child you gave her be known as his, and then when the time comes we can kill all three, mother, child and man, but in such a way as will seem to be mere chance.”

Michael agreed and it was done.

The King of the Kittim had a sister whose name was Thecla, and she had been given in marriage to Basil, the man from Macedon, and they loved each other greatly. But Michael summoned Basil and Thecla to his presence, and he put his awe upon them and commanded that they separate, saying “unworthy are you, son of a grandson of a slave, to be wed to the sister of my Might. Take this fallen woman, this woman of the street, take this Eudokia, she is more for you than my sister.”



And Basil protested but that was in vain, for Michael drew his sword and laid it upon Thecla chest and said, “if you heed me not then I shall kill this women, be she my sister or no, and then marry you away in anycase.”

So Basil and Thecla were seperated and Eudokia, daughter of Ingr and Basil were married, and at a certain time a child was born to them, and his name was Leo; but he was called Jubilee for he was born in the seventh month from the marriage of Basil and Eudokia, for he was Michael's child. And Basil and Eudokia and the child Jubilee were sent by ship to the Island of Alashia far from the city of the Kittim, to live there in exile.

But Benjamin remained in the counsels of Michael, and he saw to it that comfort was given to his friend in Alashia.

When time had passed Michael and Eudokia chose to at last remove themselves of Basil and Eudokia and the child Jubilee, and they wrote beneath the Seal ordering them murdered and their bodies thrown into the sea, but Benjamin read this letter, and in secret did not send it out to Alashia but rather took it and hid it, and later showed it to Ingr of the North, the Varangian, and Ingr was taken in rage, and swore oaths to revenge himself on Michael.

And Basil and Eudokia were taken from Alashia by the Varangians and brought to Kittimia, and hidden there amongst the Children of Israel, and Michael knew not that they had left Alashia, and could not discover this, for the Lord hid them.

Ingr and the Varangians came to Michael in the palace, and Ingr said to Michael King of the Kittim, “my daughter is long away, I would have her return to the city.”

And Michael refused saying, “she will stay where I have put her, until my orders arrive to tell her keepers to move her.”

Ingr knew that these orders were those to kill Eudokia and Basil and the child Jubilee, and he pulled out the orders, and he said “this orders I know, I have read them myself. They will not be carried through.” And Ingr thrust his blade into the heart of the King of the Kittim, who died instantly, with no chance to repent his sins to the Lord.

Basil was brought to the Palace by Benjamin, and Benjamin raised Basil's arms high and presented him to the Varangians saying, “here is your Emperor, the new King of the Kittim, who shall forgive the sins you have commited in the murder of Michael, and will raise you high.” And the Varangians cried out to G-d for guidance, and acclaimed Basil the King.

Eudokia, wife of Michael King of the Kittim was taken from her chambers, and Ingr the Northman and the Varangians cried for her death, but Basil would not allow it saying, “G-d will punish her.” And she was sent to a House of the Lord, far away and there she remained until she died.

Now Basil was King of the Kittim and he knew that the first of his dreams had come to pass, and this he said to Benjamin who spoke in reply, “yes, the first dream has come to be, and this was the will of The Lord, but remember the price that was asked, remember the second dream lest you know the third.”

And Basil took these words to his heart and offered thanks to G-d.
 

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verdas

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This is, like, stunning writing. You've got the old testament cadence down pat, and I'm loving the ultra-archaic terminology. Kittim for the Romans? That's some esoteric shit. Can't wait for more.
 

Duke of Adamski

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This is, like, stunning writing. You've got the old testament cadence down pat, and I'm loving the ultra-archaic terminology. Kittim for the Romans? That's some esoteric shit. Can't wait for more.
Thank you you much, your words are appreciated. i am trying to use, as far as possible ancient terminology to describe places and peoples. I intend it to add a layer of sacredness over the mundane; kittim are indeed the Romans, Alashiya is the island of Cyprus and others that have not yet featured, Mizraim, Chaldea, Tarshish, the Dodanim etc.

Hoping to have chapter four up later today.
 

Duke of Adamski

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Duke of Adamski

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A little later than I had intended, had some work to finish up at my school. But here we are nonetheless.

Chapter Four


In these years the lands that worshipped the Nazerene were severely beset upon all sides, in the south Ishmaelites had taken the lands of Sepherad, burning the cities of Tarraho and Tarshish, on the isles of Mist in the west Mesheckites and other men of the north fell upon the land, on the island of the Elymians and the Sicani, the Aghlabinites strove against the Kittim for the mastery, in the north the Magyarim had crossed the river Tiras, coming forth from the steppe of Gomer and the lands of Askenaz and fell upon the lands of the Dodanim; now these Dodanim were the Dodanim of the Danube, and not the Rodanim of the south mountains, or the Elishah of the islands, who were both slave to the Kittim.

At about this time, soon after the rise of Basil to be lord of the Kittim, the Spirit of the Lord came upon Benjamin, as he sat beside the waters of Dardanis, and this was on the seventh day of the ninth month of the first year of King Basil. And the Spirit of Lord said to Benjamin, “go forth to the land of Israel, and draw together all My People together, and there you shall see signs and shall see wonders such as have never been seen since the days of Moshe and Mitzraim.” But Benjamin was bewildered and fell to his face and did not trust that the words he heard were true. Yet the Spirit of the Lord said, “what I say is truth, as manna in the wilderness was succour to the children of Israel so will I be to you, so go forth to the Land of Israel, but do not directly go there, but go by the routes that I shall show you, and perceive the marvels that I shall put before you”

Basil, King of the Kittim gathered together his armies, the legions of the Kittim and rode into the west, and there he battled with the Aghlabinites upon the island of the Sicel, together with him he took Benjamin his friend, and Ingr of the North and many men of Israel, and the Aghlabinites were slain and put to flight, but in the battle Basil was struck from his horse, and he would have died then had not The Lord sheltered him. For Benjamin was standing by the King and drew his sword and slew the foe who stood above the King, and Benjamin took Basil's hand and raised him to his feet. In this way was the battle won.

And so Basil, King of the Kittim, said unto Benjamin, “friend you have ever been to me, and now my life is your debt for a second time, ask of me what you will and it shall be granted to you, if it is within my power, and it is the will of The Lord, for it to be so.”

To this Benjamin replied saying, “yes, one thing I would ask, and of all the Lords of the Earth you alone can deliver it, and yes it does please the Lord in Heaven for it to be done so. When wars have ceased wage but one more, establish the children of Israel again in the land that was promised to them; if you so vow to do this, then The Lord will go before you in all your battles and everything your hand is turned to shall come of well, for this is the will of G-d, and the fulfilment of the second dream.” And Basil heard these words and agreed to do so, swearing oaths and pledges to The Lord.

Everywhere the worshippers of the Nazerene were dismayed, in North, and in all battles they were worsted, but Basil had victory wherever he went, for the Shield of the Lord was upon him, and the Sword of G-d went ever before him. And the land of the Kittim had peace again, and all its enemies lay prostrate before it, and envoys were sent, and ambassadors, and wagons of tribute; in this way Basil knew that the Lord had fulfilled the promise that Benjamin had made.

So Basil, king of the Kittim, gathered up his armies and went to the east, crossing the mighty seas, and he came at last to Canaan, to the land of Israel, and he came from the west in the ships of the Kittim, and he came ashore with all his might and slaughtered the men who dwelt in the plains around Mount Karmel, and sent them fleeing into the hill country of Manasseh, and he pursued them further and drove them from Yerushalem, and from Hebron.

This Basil said to the people of Israel, “may all of you who live within my realms go forth now, into the Land, and I will not stop you, and none of my subjects will stop you, and you shall have many gifts of those who were your neighbours, and if any have in the past done you harm, say their names to me, they will be punished and reparations will be made. For Israel I gift to you, who hid me in my need, but though from me it passes to you, know always that it comes from The Lord's hand.”

And the children of Israel departed from the land of the Kittim and they came into the land of Israel again, crossing the water, but this time from the west, and not from the east of the river Jordan.

An Angel of The Lord walked among them as they gathered on the plains of Haifa, and ordered them according to their tribe, each a member of one of the twelve, and the people saw the ordering, but they saw not the Angel, and they were gladdened and rejoiced that the lost tribes had been returned and that the people had again became whole.

Benjamin was above them in authority, for they knew that it was through him that this miracle of deliverance and restoration had come to be, though it was The Lord who led him to it, and they would acclaim him king over them. They came to him as a multitude and cried out, “oh worthy one, oh Messiah whose head is oiled, oh child of David, oh second Solomon, be our King and rule us well, make us a holy people in a holy land.”

But Benjamin would accept not the honour saying, “since the days of Saul, when he was King in Israel, there has been no joy to the people of Israel from the hands of monarchs, for David was Mighty, and Solomon was Wise, but all they wrought has fallen to dust, let us look to an old way. I will rule over you, but I will wear no crown and I will not be called King, but rather let me Judge Israel as once before you were judged, and when I am called to G-d my son shall not succeed me, but rather let G-d show you my successor.”

And it was so, it was made to be so by the acclaim of the people, and as Benjamin spoke the sun was darkened in the sky, but when he finished speaking and the cry went up, the sun shone forth again. This was a sign from G-d.

So it was that in the 800th year of the Exile of the children of Israel from the Land of Israel, the children of Israel returned and dwelt again in their land. Yet the land was waste, and barren, for the fires of the Kittim had scorched the fields and torn the town and cities. But there was much rejoicing, and praise of G-d.



And though there was no King in Israel the people did what was good in the eyes of The Lord and not what was in their hearts, each to their own way. And this was pleasing to the Lord.
 
Last edited:

verdas

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So, just to make sure I'm following, Judea is now a vassal of the Byzantine empire under a Jewish ruler? And not a monarchy, somehow? Are you going to play as Benjamin or continue as Basil?
 

Duke of Adamski

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Cool theme.
Thank you very much.

So, just to make sure I'm following, Judea is now a vassal of the Byzantine empire under a Jewish ruler? And not a monarchy, somehow? Are you going to play as Benjamin or continue as Basil?
Precisely so, Byzantine conquered Judea, or in actual fact just the duchy of Jerusalem, and Basil granted this to Benjamin, a Jewish courtier spawned by event. The duchy is not a feudal one, as I have set it up as a duke level republic, with Benjamin as the first patrician, complete with the other families and baron and count level vassals. In order to make the republic playable I have made it centred on Caesarea rather than Jerusalem itself.

The story will continue now as Benjamin, newly planted in the Holy Land, with a new nation, but with all the usual negative modifiers of newly conquered, new administration etc. But fear not, Basil is no longer a main character, but he still has a role to play within the narrative.
 

Neoteros

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A Jewish republic, headed by a Judge and allied to the Byzantines? This AAR was already interesting because of the biblical theme, now it has become even more interesting.
 

Duke of Adamski

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A Jewish republic, headed by a Judge and allied to the Byzantines? This AAR was already interesting because of the biblical theme, now it has become even more interesting.
Well thank you, I hope you enjoy it, things are not going to be easy in the early years, due to the lack of income and levies due to recently conquered etc, but I think we should be okay, after all new merchant republics get a large sum of money from the get go for some reason.

I have also finally got the hang of photo bucket, so you will be happy to know that future updates will not be so completely "walls of text".
 

Duke of Adamski

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Chapter Five


Benjamin called together all the People of Israel so that he might speak to them and offer them judgement, and they assembled all on the Plain of Sharon to the south of Mount Carmel for this was the furthest north of the lands that, at that time, belonged to Israel, they gathered at Dor on the Plain of Sharon. They assembled into the allotments of the the Tribes that had been given to them, and this they did willingly, for Benjamin had bade them to do it, and they were willing and joyful to follow him, though they did not perceive the purposes of Benjamin and warily watched ever the distant hills, which they feared to be full of foes. Benjamin saw this fear in them and he went among them and spoke saying, “fear not the foe in the field or fold, for the soldiers of Basil have driven them forth and stand readily at the watchtowers, from the sea to the river, from the hill country of Ephraim to the Arabah and Negev the land is completely free of warriors, and the people who remain are subject to us.” And this calmed the people, and their fears fell away.

Then Benjamin took a census of the Israelites, numbering them according to their tribes, as Moshe had done after the Exodus from the House of Bondage, and he put Elders above the tribes to rule them as Judges, each to a tribe just as he was Judge of all Israel.

For Judah, Eldad son of Ocran, 300'000
For Benjamin, Benjamin son of Amihiram, 175'000
For Simeon, Azariah son of Shelumiel, 200'000
For Rueben, Mishael son of Zuar, 75'000
For Issachar, Nachshon son of Aminadab, 300'000
For Zebulon, Shinoi son of Shmuel, 250'000
For the children of Joseph; for Ephraim, Moshe son of Due'el, 125'000, for Manasseh, Chanon son of Helon, 125'000
For Dan, Chisdai son of Eliab, 90'000
For Asher, Nesanel son of Enan, 100'000
For Gad, Yehudai son of Ahira, 125'000
For Naphtali, Abba son of Gadeon, 100'000

And the total of the tribes of Israel that came again to the land of Canaan in the 800th year after the day of Jerusalem's Fall was 1'965'000 and Benjamin was Judge over the multitude.

Erdem the Alkananite, King of Jericho, Ai and Ataroth came before Benjamin and prostrated himself, his lands had been scorched and his cities burned and he asked now for peace, and swore to obey Benjamin and the Israelites, he said to Benjamin, “make me the lowest of your slaves oh mighty one, for I see that you are high in The Lord's favour and I would not long to fight you. Let me serve you with loyalty and gratitude, and praise to G-d.” And Benjamin raised him up and embraced him and took him at his word.



These were the bounds of the Land of Israel in the first years, from Mount Carmel and Dor and Naphath-Dor in the west on the Great Sea, along the River Khishon and the Valley of Jezreel in the north, from Beth-Shean and Endor to Moreh, and Jokneam, the hill country of Ephraim and Manasseh from Mount Gilbod to Bezek, and from Mount Ebal and Tirzah to Adabah, Beth-zur, and En-gedi, to the Salt Sea of Arabah to the east and the Wilderness of the Negev in the south, along the River Jordan from Ramoth to Jericho and Ai, and to Jerusalem and Gibeah, in the western highlands Elom, Timraeth-Serah, Hazor, Addullum and Jattir. All the highlands belonged again to Israel, yet still east of Jordan, and the cities of Phillisita, and the cities of Bashan and the cities of the Sea of Chinnereth were held by foes. These were the bounds of the Land of Israel in the first year of the return.



Now King Basil wished to return to his home in Kittim, and he wished to grant to Benjamin great store of treasure and weapons, great stocks of all materials of war, and of food, but Benjamin would not accept such gifts and he said to Basil, “G-d above shall provide the means of our deliverance, as He did before with Manna in the Desert so shall he do now, if it please Him to do so.” And Basil took these words and seemed thus to agree and he bade Benjamin to take Anastasia, his daughter as ward, saying, “your father taught me as a child, and well, and so it is that I would have my daughter taught by you.” And then Basil sailed away into the west with all his strength returning to the land of the Kittim. Yet on the shore of the sea he left great store of arms and of all those things which he had desired to make gift of. For Basil was pious and loved both G-d and the Children of Israel.

When Benjamin was told of this great store of arms he gave thanks and said, “for sure this is a sign from G-d, for did not Moshe arm the Israelites from the flotsam and jetsam of the Sea of Reeds after The Lord drowned Pharaoh during the Flight from Mitzraim? Indeed it was so, and so likewise shall it be now.”

And the Israelites took the weapons they had found and armed themselves and went out into the land to plant and to harvest and to tend, and to make the land bloom and prosper. But Benjamin spoke again saying, “ready is the garden for fresh planting, and well fertile, but recall that scorpions dwell in the soil, and keep watch lest they strike at us when we expect it least.”

The Israelites heard these words and went out. And soon it was proved that Benjamin had spoken words of prophecy.
 

verdas

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Nice update. Are we to believe that all twelve tribes are actually reunited? Or is more of a "rebirth" of the twelve tribes? Also, I have to think that a faction of the Hebrews there would continue to agitate for a restoration of the Davidian monarchy (I mean, there are elements still doing that today).

In order to make the republic playable I have made it centered on Caesarea rather than Jerusalem itself.
I'd say that is plausible, given how landlocked and strategically isolated Jerusalem is. Acer was the historical center of trade, but at least according to Wikipedia Caesaria was the administrative center for the Romans and later the Byzantines, so it makes sense they would re-establish there..

Is that the SWMH map? If so, good choice, and it's too bad more AARs don't use that.

And from a gameplay standpoint, I worry that a later Byzantine ruler who is zealous/doesn't get along with your patrician (especially if you lose the dodge title and the AI joins a revolt, which it will likely do thanks to the different religion and non-de jure liege in the Byz Emperor) might try to revoke the ducal title, since they can do so without penalty. That's one reason to stack several ducal titles, and to make sure your character has a county with a barony in control, so if the worst happens you can continue playing as a count as a feudal lord.

That being said, I would not in the slightest hold it against you if the console was utilized for the sake of this excellent story; call it divine intervention.