A Request for a Blessing

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A Request for a Blessing

Post by Aegyptus on Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:18 pm

Somewhere in the Sinai, a pack of jackals observes a small antelope, waiting for the right time to strike. They look over at the horizon and see a man riding in the front among the sand dunes, followed by hundreds if not thousands of soldiers. Quickly, they grow closer and closer. The ground begins to tremble. By this point, the antelope is long gone. The jackals look at each other unassuredly, then look at the legions one more time before fleeing. The banners of Aegyptus fly high in the sky.

Somewhere entirely different, a ship docks in a large, lively city, and is immediately attacked by the smell of spices and foods. An elderly man descends from the ship, leaning on a cane. He wears the clothing of a priest. He is accompanied by a guard and an aide. It is Patriarch Philotheos, who has arrived from Egypt. Not too long later, he arrives at the Ecumenical Council where he is met by the other members.

Once they settle down, Philotheos speaks up. "Brothers of the Cross, I have come today on behalf of King Demetrius the First, to request your blessing." He pauses. "His Grace believes that it would be wise to expand Aegyptus into the western coast of Arabia, to spread Christianity and cement its presence in those lands. He believes that if this does not occur now, the religion of Islam will spread beyond our control. What say you to this?" He stops again, awaiting the response of the others.
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Re: A Request for a Blessing

Post by Cybelos on Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:25 am

Ecumenical Patriarch Lysander

"Patriarch Philotheos, I welcome you back to Constantinople.

This is an interesting proposal, my brothers. A strike near the heart of the Saracens.
A proposal, if properly acted upon, could topple the currently divided and weakened Saracen lords.

Or, if  mishandled, could awaken an army of angry citizens, and a scheming Sultan who may be able to unite these displeased peoples under a banner of pushing Christianity out of Arabia, and all of Africa.

My question is this, His Majesty, King Demetrius, newly crowned, will wish to solidify his place as not only the first, but one of the greatest Christian sovereigns of Egypt.
If executed right, would earn him his place among the likes of Scipio, Alexander, and Hannibal.
Do you believe that if approved, His Majesty could protect Christendom in Arabia and Africa from retaliation?

I open up this issue to my fellow Patriarchs to discuss and question freely."
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Re: A Request for a Blessing

Post by House of Judah on Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:38 am

Patriarch Matthias Ioannidis

"There is another matter of concern, brother. Philotheos, rumor has reached my ear that the Hebrews of Egypt are being subjected to fresh abuses. It can be assured that if I have heard of it Antioch, King Yitzchak has assuredly heard like wise in Jerusalem. Now there is no great love between the Hebrews and Moslems these days but there is a sort of mutual tolerance. If a Christian King who is unfriendly to the Jews of his realm attacks Moslem lands, in which there are Jews enough to be of concern, and which lay beside Hebrew lands, it may drive the Hebrew and the Moslem together in alliance against a common enemy. How can King Demetrius assure that he will not provoke so unholy an alliance, one of sufficient strength to assuredly halt the campaign, if not drive him deep into his own lands?"
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Re: A Request for a Blessing

Post by Aegyptus on Thu Sep 28, 2017 9:49 pm

Philotheos sits down. "I believe that His Majesty could defend Christendom in Africa and his territories in Arabia, brother Lysander. He certainly has the determination and capabilities for it- Why, His Grace even wishes to conquer  and spread Christianity South of Aegyptus, if the Council will allow it."
He pauses.
"As far as I am aware, the Saracens in this area in particular are disorganized and weak. It is unlikely they will receive any support or manage to unite, brother Matthias. It is true that His Majesty has been rather... unforgiving with the Hebrews as of late, but if the Hebrews and Moslems of Arabia had already heard of this, would they have not already launched an attack on His Grace's territories? In any case, you are correct, brother. I will make sure to speak to him about the matter."
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Re: A Request for a Blessing

Post by Cybelos on Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:23 pm

Ecumenical Patriarch Lysander

I see no issue with His Majesty, King Demetrius' claims on Upper Egypt, those lands should be united under a single crown.

As for Arabia, things aren't as simple.
I have heard stories from the Strategos' based in Sinai.
Many Saracens have turned to piracy and banditry, just as many in unincorporated lands have.
This has proven to be harmful to the Christian Romans and Egyptians in those lands, it would be comforting to have Orthodox allies to stabilise those lands and reduce the danger against the common man.

Now, Brother Philotheos, I understand that His Majesty King Demetrius is a young man, accomplished as he may be.

I do not doubt that a passionate young man with the means to do so could conquer western Arabia, and begin converting the population. But for how long could he hold those lands?
Surely he would wish for those lands to pass to his future sons?

What I propose is this: His Majesty shall be granted a blessing to integrate Upper Egypt and Western Arabia by whatever means necessary, be they martial, or diplomatic.

Though, Arabia must be freed from any risk of revolt.
The way of doing so, I believe, would be to adopt a Byzantine style of bureaucracy and chain of command.

With Despots, Catepans, Strategos', or a more appropriate Egyptian equivalency, with King Demetrius at the top of command, of course. Thereby giving more immediate localised control and greater stability to the area, and its new Christian population.

I suggest this for Arabia, though, this would be an opportunity that I imagine does not come up very often for any sovereign, His Majesty is of course welcome to implement this throughout his Kingdom, if it will help keep his Christian subjects safe, and if it will remove pagans and pagan sympathisers from power.
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Re: A Request for a Blessing

Post by House of Judah on Fri Oct 20, 2017 7:04 pm

Patriarch Matthias Ioannidis

"Not all men will be moved to action by the suffering of foreign kin. To intervene in Hamarkhis, Isaac Judah would have to cross the Sinai, including marching through Imperial land. As long as Demetrius was content to remain in his own lands, it was not worth the effort to protect your Jews. But he will be moving into an area that is distinctly under Hebrew influence. The Jews of near Arabia have been protected by their proximity to Judea, and this move would end that protection far nearer to Jerusalem than the far side of the Nile River. He may not be so forgiving. Still, I only say this as warning. If Demetrius is determined to take Near Arabia, I will vote to support his claim."
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Re: A Request for a Blessing

Post by Aegyptus on Fri Oct 20, 2017 9:33 pm

Philotheos pauses for some time, then finally speaks up. "I believe His Majesty would love the idea of implementing Byzantine bureaucracy in Arabia, if not the entirety of the Kingdom. For some time, he has been wishing to replace the old system of the Heathens. It would indeed greatly facilitate control of the conquered lands, I agree."

He listens to Patriarch Matthias then seems to hesitate. "I am aware of the danger conquering Arabia would cause, but I am afraid I cannot interfere. It is His Majesty's wishes to do so, and he is a very... stern man. In any case, I am glad to hear that you brothers support these decisions. Let us pray that they pass smoothly.

"Unless anyone has objections to this claim, I would like to bring forward another matter. You see, His Grace believes that the kingdom ruled by his father and his father before him is not valid as it supported heathen customs. Thus, he asks for the blessing of the Council to officially found a new Kingdom of Aegyptus, with His Majesty as its King."
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Re: A Request for a Blessing

Post by Cybelos on Sun Oct 22, 2017 6:24 pm

Ecumenical Patriarch Lysander

"Yes, I believe that is a good idea, Brother Philotheos.
Though, it may prove wise to wait until the conquest of Western Arabia is over.
It would be a morale booster for His Majesty to receive his crown on campaign, I know, but, what has been said worries me.

I trust Brother Matthias' intuition.
If he says that this conquest will cause tension between Aegyptus and Judea, I believe it will.
It would not wish to see any hostile actions, however minute, taken against the Orthodox population of Judea.

If it would soften things, perhaps you could inform His Majesty that the council wishes for him to receive his crown as a part of his celebration."
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