The Lion's Court

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Re: The Lion's Court

Post by Grand Auvergne on Sun Jan 22, 2017 8:48 pm

Claude Septiman :

The merchant bowed before answering : "Very much so you Highness. My agents and us shall not disturb you with this matter for now, and we will see with your Chief Steward for the details. But before leaving your august presence, we must say : the rumours within our ports of your wisdom are but a pale reflection of your true spirit and intellect. Be assured of the Guild friendship and gratitude and that your House shall always find supports within our ranks."
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Re: The Lion's Court

Post by Guest on Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:33 am

Gates of Jerusalem, Judah
Adil Farah and his caravans had been travelling through the Middle East for many days. Sent by the Sultan of Bahammad, Adil was tasked with initiating diplomatic relations with Judah as well as creating a possible trade agreement that will give merchants from Bahammad access to the Mediterranean trade routes.

When the Gates of Jerusalem came to view, Adil's 35-man party let out sighs of relief. The rough journey was finally over. When they were within range of the towers, Adil and his right-hand man Hafiz El Sayed approached the gates with a flag in hand. The caravans halted and the guards remained in formation. Adil hailed the guards, saying phrases in Arabic, Latin and Greek, hoping that one of the guards would understand what he was saying.


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Re: The Lion's Court

Post by House of Judah on Sun Aug 13, 2017 9:44 pm

Captain of the Watch

The guard captain stood on the wall above the gate and watched those coming and going from kingdom's capital. Mostly they were merchants, though a few pilgrims could always be found coming and going. Most pilgrims were Jews, though Christians also made a strong showing. Moslems could also be found, though in far fewer number than other Abrahamic faiths. The holy site they would visit within the city, the Foundation Stone from which supposedly their prophet Mohammad ascended to Heaven, was forbidden to all save those involved in sacrificial rites at the Temple.

One of the spotters called his attention to a party approaching the gate. The captain made a quick count and guessed just less than two score men. They carried a Mohammadan banner, which meant they were unlikely to be traders. They did not wear the white robes of a Moslem on pilgrimage, which meant their arrival was not a religious one. The city was far too well manned to be sieged by so small a party, and the party was far too blatant to be looking to raid. All together, this was like to be a curiosity that would surely be a headache for someone above him eventually, but for now he would be the one to deal with it. He made his way down from top of the wall to beside the gate guards beyond the wall and awaited their greeting.

"I can speak to you in Arabic. Pray tell, what brings emissaries from the court of the Bahammad Sultan to Jerusalem?"
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Re: The Lion's Court

Post by Guest on Mon Aug 14, 2017 11:24 am

Jerusalem
Adil was happy to see that he could converse with the man in his native tongue. He gave a friendly smile and cleared his throat.

"Peace be upon you. I am Adil Farah, and all of the men behind me are my companions. The great Sultan of Bahammad has sent me here to establish relations with your Kingdom, and, should your King accept, establish a mutual trade agreement as well.

We come bearing luxurious gifts, and they are all from the Sultan. He wishes for them to be handed to your King as a sign of goodwill and kindness. May we enter?
"

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Re: The Lion's Court

Post by House of Judah on Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:41 pm

Captain of the Watch

"I am sure his majesty will be keen to receive you." He called over one of his men and issued an order. "My man will guide you to David's Citadel and the royal court. As Bahammadi entered the gates of the city, the Captain turned to another of his men and quickly ordered him to alert the citadel of coming emissaries.



King Yitzchak ben Benyamin ben Yehudah

Inscribe in large Hebrew lettering over the door of the citadel's great hall, and in smaller letters underneath and on either side of the door in Arabic, Latin and Greek, were the words:

KNOW BEFORE WHOM YOU STAND

The same words adorned the arks of the various synagogues, though there they served as a reminder that they stood before God when they were called to the Torah. Here the meaning could be less certain. Was one expected to be reminded that they were to stand before the single most powerful man in the realm? That the man was anointed by God himself to rule over this land and these people? Perhaps that even when they stood before a throne and addressed a man, (of power, surely, but still only a man) they still stood before God? Maybe it was simple hubris, men placing themselves above others as God is above all other? The meaning intended when Yehudah II ordered the inscription had been debated now for two generations, and the man himself had remained opaque in his purpose.

"Presenting Adil Farah, Emissary from the court of Fayiz Abd Al-Rahman El-Aziz, Sultan of Bahammad," called the herald.

"We welcome you, emissary of the court in Baghdad," said King Yitzchak.
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Re: The Lion's Court

Post by Guest on Sun Aug 20, 2017 11:50 am

Jerusalem

The design and structure of the citadel truly gave off a powerful vibe. Feelings of strength, wisdom and respect were found throughout the Holy City of Jerusalem, but the citadel was something else.

When presented to King Yitzchak, Adil and Hafiz - along with the Bahammadi servants who followed them - would bow to show respect to the man before them. Adil spoke in Greek. He could easily be understood, despite his accent.

"We thank you, your Majesty. As you already know, we represent the Sultan of Bahammad. He has sent us to establish diplomatic relations, as well as a trade agreement - should you accept, of course.

Before we begin, however, we would like to give you gifts from the Sultan himself, as a sign of goodwill. He hopes that you appreciate and enjoy them.
"

When Adil finished introducing himself, the Bahammadi servants came within a comfortable range of King Yitzchak and presented the gifts.

The young men all held pillows with gifts placed on top. The presents included jewelry (most made of gold and precious stones, such as lapis lazuli and turquoise), silk clothing and silk materials, elegantly designed chess boards and chess pieces, along with some other impressive gifts.

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Re: The Lion's Court

Post by Yaakovia on Sun Aug 20, 2017 8:04 pm

Port of Ashkelon.

Three ships with the Yaakovian Royal Standard have arrived. Twelve old-looking men in long black coats with long grey beards and half of their faces covered clear the way for a youngster dressed in long white wool clothes with turquoise strips around its ends, a medium sized black turban made of deer felt, and closely followed by four older men.
One of the four followers approaches to a port guard and announces the arrival of King Yaakov I.

"I am His Majesty's Private Secretary. We've come from the Kingdom of Yaakovia with our king, who is betrothed to your king's daughter. We also bring gifts to your king, so let him know we are here." Said Yosef Abravanel.

"Your pardon, milord, but king is in Jerusalem. He has sent his sons Benyamin and Ari to recieve His Majesty and escort him to the eternal city. I shall retrieve them now."

"Well, thank you. When and where can we meet the Princes?" asked Yosef Abravanel. King Yaakov I waves a hand and two servants bring a donkey from inside the second ship so he can ride it. Many other servants await inside the second and third ships with the gifts.

"They shall be here presently, milord." As proof of the portmaster's word, the Baltic Hebrews saw a pair of handsome and well dressed Judeans, cloaked in the arms of the King, coming down the pier followed closely by two lines of Judean soldiers. "Your Majesty, My Lords," the portmaster called to the Yaakovians, "please allow me to present their royal highensses, Crown Prince Benyamin ben Yitzchak ben Yehudah, steward of the realm, and Prince Ari ben Yitzchak ben Yehudah, martial of the King's armies."

King Yaakov I approaches the princes as his escorts and servants split widely to let him through. At the same time, old-looking men -other than the first twelve- bring the Royal Standards from the ships and gather with the group on land, and some noise can be heard due to the movement of coffers and animales behind them.

"Shalom alechem, Your Highnesses." says without moving a single muscle except his mouth "It is a great  pleasure to meet you two. Thank you for coming and escorting us." the king said. Without any visible or audible order, two servants came close to each Prince and offered them small wooden coffers with the coat of arms of the House of Yaakov on the top. Inside each one of them there is a silver dagger with the phrase "in memory of Masada" in Hebrew carved on its blade.

"We are honored to accept these gifts," Benyamin replied. "If you would please join us, your Majesty, my father and sister are keen to meet you. We have a horse for you, if you should require."

"I am most grateful for your kindness, but for security reasons, I've been advised to ride on my donkey, closer to my personal escorts." said Yaakov I and his Private Secretary nodded. "But worry not, she is fast as a horse and strong as a bear. Shall we go now?"
The Yaakovian group was ready to start the journey in this hot, sunny land.

"Please," Benyamin replied, and indicated with his hand that the Yaakovian's should join him. He and Ari turned and walked with the king to their own mounts. "The court is sure to be bursting during your visit. Most of the notables of the realm have come to well wish. Even the Doux of Cyprus has come to witness the marriage of his liege's daughter. The local head of the Septiman trade house is bringing gifts. It promises to be quite the affair." Benyamin considered a moment, then turned back to his soon to be brother-in-law. "Will you be going to the Temple during your stay, your Majesty?"

"I'm afraid that it won't be possible this time. But I brought some animals without any defect, so if you wish, they may be offered by Your Highness." Said Yaakov I with a mild smile.

"Grandfather will be dissapointed," Ari laughed, and Benyamin gave him a dirty look. "He's always eager to help members of the Congregation of Israel to make offerings to Elohim."
"The Kohen Gadol is very dedicated to his responsibilities at the Temple, including and especially maintaining the sacrificial schedule. Our brother, named for his grandfather, is being trained to take on a role of import in the maintenance, though it is our uncle, Eliyahu, will one day be the Kohen Gadol."
"It is quite the important role," agreed Ari with a slight edge of disrespect. "I should know. My rabbi told me so."

"I'm sure your grandfather wishes only the best for our people, both physically and spiritually." Yaakov I said smiling at the Princes. "Unfortunately, I am still young and may not understand all the reasons behind my councilors' advises."
At that moment, Isaac Novoa -His Majesty's Chamberlain- was quietly giving instructions to the twelve elder escorts.

Benyamin raised an eyebrow at the remark.
"Well, a king must surround homself with advisers who he can place his trust in, and abide by the advice when he can." They continued along the road some until they saw a Christian knight approach.
"Sir Lorenzo," Ari called, greeting the man. "Your Majesty, allow me to present Sir Lorenzo, Master of the Ashkelon Chapter of the Nazorean Guard."

"It is nice to meet you, Sir Lorenzo. It's been a long time since I saw Jews and Christians in such a good... mood together." Yaakov I said, as his Charmberlain, Isaac Novoa, approached and whispered to his ear. "Oh, you're right. Your Highnesses, forgive me if I'm being rude, but what are the protocols for my arrival? Should I prepare myself for something in particular?"

"It is good to make your aquantance, your Majesty," replied the Chrisitan. "The King's Peace has guaranteed safe conduct for Christian pilrims. It is my great honor to protect it. By the by, Ari, if I may impose, I was wondering if you could carry a letter to Aloys with you?"
"Of course. Always willing to help my brother in arms."
"You shouldn't worry over protocol too much," replied Benyamin. "The herald will announce you to my father who will recieve you, you may pass some comments, then he will present my sister. The two of you will be given an oppurtunity to meet each other during a stroll in the gardens while myself and father discuss details of the alliance and the ketubah with your councilors."

"That sounds good to me." replied Yaakov I to Benyamin after smiling to the Christian. "Daniel, bring us the document" the king ordered to the Keeper of the Privy Seal, who came as fast as possible carrying a medium sized scroll made of sheep skin. The king took it and offered it to Benyamin. "This is my proposed ketubah, Your Highness. I'd be very grateful if you can present it to your father. My councilors will speak on my behalf about this and other matters during the stroll, but I just want to start working with my future brother-in-law."

"Of course. We are all committed to this marriage and alliance coming to fruition as smoothly as possible." Benyamin said.


Last edited by Yaakovia on Sun Aug 20, 2017 11:10 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: The Lion's Court

Post by House of Judah on Sun Aug 20, 2017 8:31 pm

King Yitzchak ben Benyamin ben Yehudah

"Your gifts are well received," the king declared, "as is your desire to ensure trade between our realms. No doubt your journey has been long. My chamberlain will find you rooms within my castle where you may regain your strength and, when you are ready, my chief steward, Avishai ben Adi, will meet with you in the Map Room to discuss the details." With a wave of his arm, several Judean servants came out under the watchful eye of the court chamberlain and relieved the Bahammadi servants of their gifts, then disappeared out a side door. The chamberlain guided the Arabs out of the court and to guest quarters within the citadel. As they left, Princesses Yael and Tzophia spoke in hushed tones.

"I wonder if they were told of fathers love of chess?" Yael wondered.

"Oh, who cares about chess right now?" Tzophia replied with agitation. Yael adopted an amused smile.

"Excited at the prospect of meeting your soon to be husband?" the older sister teased.

"I've never even met him before, which is more than the rest of you can say for your spouses."

"I'm fairly certain that Ari had never met Adaza before her father had offered her up in exchange for our lionesque brother allowing the remnants of their tribe to flee across the Caucasus Mountains."

"Yes they had," Tzofia protested. "They tried to kill each other in Armenia!"

"On the battlefield. I'm not sure they had time to exchange many words besides taunts at the time, but I'll concede the point for now."
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Re: The Lion's Court

Post by Guest on Fri Aug 25, 2017 7:58 am

Jerusalem

The Bahammadi group followed the chamberlain to their guest quarters. After resting up, Adil awaited his meeting with Avishai ben Adi.

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Re: The Lion's Court

Post by House of Judah on Fri Sep 01, 2017 11:51 pm

Avishai ben Adi

The walls of the map room were adorned with rack upon rack, each filled with maps from throughout the world. To one side, the room stood open to a balcony that looked out onto a courtyard. The floor was ornately decorated with a mosaic map of the kingdom and the surrounding lands. The point where the city of Jerusalem stood was marked with a beautiful gold eight-pointed compass rose with a Shield of David at its center.

Behind a table at the far end of the room from the entrance stood Avishai ben Adi, Chief Steward of the King. He rested his hands easily on stacks of bound ledgers, records for him to reference during the discussion. Covering the better part of the table was a partly unfurled map scroll, one of the longest in the collection. When wholly unfurled it would show a band of the world, with Iberia and Maghreb in the west and the Court of the Song in the east. The portion laid out showed only Judea, Bahammad and the cities and deserts in between. Weight with strings connecting each other rested upon the map, marking nodes and paths of the Silk Road.

"Welcome, my lord," greeted Avishai. "Please, be seated, and we may begin discussing the trade that flows between our realms."
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Re: The Lion's Court

Post by Yaakovia on Sun Oct 01, 2017 11:33 pm

With moist eyes and a lump in the throat from emotion, the young King Yaakov I saw Jerusalem for the first time in his life. His advisors had warned him about that emotion in order to remember the top priorities of the visit.
"Here I am. Finally" said Yaavok trying to hide the emotion in his voice, ignoring his travel companions for a moment. "I mean 'here we are'".

"I have heard the same words spoken by many of our people when first Yerushalayim comes into their vision," said Benyamin.
"There upon the nearsest wall you can see the spires of David's Citadel, my home and yours while you remain in the Holy Land."
The road, already crowded with pilgrims and traders, became choked as the party drew nearer the city. Those on the road toward the city turned and saw the banners of the B'nei Yehudah and the foreign banner of Yaakovia and quickly seperated from each other, parting as though the Red Sea before the Staff of Moshe.

"Thank you for your kind hospitality, Benyamin" replied Yaakov till looking at the citadel. "Of course my humble residence is not as wonderful as this, but if you ever travel north, you have a home there as well."

"I appreciate that. I just may make the journey one day." The party continued along the Yafo Road until they came to David's Gate, passing through it and into the city. To their right was one of the tall interior walls of the citadel. To the left Christians of both the Latin and Greek churches called for their bretheren on pilgrimage to join them, each being carefully watched by Nazorean knights.
At the far end of the road could be seen the western wall of the Temple Complex, and beyond that the top of the Third Temple itself, the great basin of a large Ner Tamid with flames licking the air.
"A beautiful sight, no?"

"It is a beautiful sight indeed." Yaakov's eyes were shining and his heart was pulsing strongly. "Yosef, come here. I want you to draw what we are seing now so I can look at it when we are back home" the Kings said to his private secretary, who was already bringing a young artist with him.
"How fortunate of you and your family, Benyamin" Yaakov was now facing the prince with a honest smile.

"I thank the Eternal for every day of peace we have in this land," Benyamin replied. They turned at the intersection , then again through the large gates of the citadel. As they did, they past inscriptions of the holy prayer, the Shemah, and the riders kissed their hands and touched the words. The party came to rest and imediately groomsmen emerged to relieve the riders of care for their beasts. "Come, Your Majesty. I will guide you to my father's court."

"Yes, thank you very much" Yaakov replied to Benyamin. "Moshe, gather the carriers and take half of them back to the ships after their work here is done, then come back" the king said to his steward, then he turned around and  smiled in an excited way at his chamberlain, Isaac Novoa, who bowed his head lightly and cleared his way. "Let's see the King of Judea".

Benyamin nodded and led King Yaakov into the keep. He led the Baltic Hebrews though the corridors until finally they had arrived at the main hall of the citadel. Benyamin stopped at the large doors where several guards awaited. Above and around the door in several languages were etched the words "KNOW BEFORE WHOM YOU STAND".

"Who comes before the King?" challenged the guard.

"His beloved son and heir, Benyamin ben Yitzchak ben Yehudah, Crown Prince of Judea, Chancellor of the Realm, to present a guest to him of highest esteem and regard, His Majesty Yaakov ben Shmuel, first of his name, as decreed by the Eternal, King of Yaakovia and Master of the Sikrikim." The guard nodded.

"Enter, my prince." The guards turned and pushed open the doors and Benyamin strode in as the herald announced him.

"Presenting His Royal Highness, Benyamin ben Yitzchak ben Yehudah, Crown Prince of Judea, Chancellor of the Realm." Benyamin made his way to the center of the hall and onto the raised dais at it's center. He stopped and locked eyes with his father and spoke loudly.

"Father, I return from Yafo with guests for your court. Please allow me the honor to present to His Majesty Yaakov ben Shmuel, first of his name, as decreed by the Eternal, King of Yaakovia and Master of the Sikrikim."

"We welcome our brothers in faith from the far north," responded King Yitzchak. "Pray, bring them to us, that we may greet them and embrace them as our kin." Benyamin turned and held out his hand to call forth the visiting king.

Yaakov moved forward solemnly, without any recognizable facial sign, but his heart was certainly pulsating fast. There he was, in Yerushalayim, among his brothers. Feeling at home and yet like a complete stranger. No doubt Judeans and Yaakovians shared a lot, but Yaakov had never seen so much sunlight, palm trees, tanned men and women, and that wierd bright fabric -'it's probably silk' he thought- in his life.
"Shalom alechem, Your Majesty" Yaakov said to the King of the Judeans with a smile. "May the Holy One, blessed be He, give you health and happiness forever."

"How good it is to be among brother's in peace," King Yitzchak responded. "May the Eternal spread over you the shelter of peace. Your Majesty is most welcome as our brother. Please allow me to present those members of my family that you have not yet met." Each named came forward briefly when named. "My Wife, Ester. My eldest daughter, Sarah. My third son, Eliezer. My second daughter, Yael. My youngest son, Shmuel. And, of course, of particular interest to you I should think, my youngest daughter, Tzofia." The last did not return to her position after being introduced but remained in place. "There are other members of my court, but they are many and you will surely have occasion to meet them at some time during your visit."

Yaakov looked at every member of the Judean Royal Family as they were presented to him, trying not to stare too much at Princess Tzofia.  By then, Isaac Novoa had everything ready, so he approached His Majesty and quietly nodded, so Yaakov could remeber their protocol.
"What a wondeful family you have, Your Majesty. I'm also looking forward to speak in private with you, but first, we have a custom in Yaakovia, so let me offer you and your beloved family these humble gifts, and thank you for your hospitality." The king said while guiding the attention of those present there to the medium sized wooden chests, one for each member of the Judean Royal Family (felt turbans and short ceremonial swords for the men and fur coats and silver belts for the women), and one large box made of dark wood containing a silver Yaakovian style keara for King Yitzchak.

"With great pleasure we accept these gifts which you have honored our house with, and in turn give these gifts from our bounties:

Eighteen jars of oil, that your food will hold flavor.
Eighteen head of cattle, that you will never know hunger.
Eighteen jars of honey, that you will know sweetness.
Eighteen pounds of salt, that you will preserve.
Eighteen barrels of wine, that you will know joy.
Eighteen hounds, that you may find your quarry.
Eighteen falcons, that you may hunt in the sky as you do on the land.
Eighteen arabian horses, that you will be carried swiftly to your destinations.
Eighteen maps, that you may never lose your way.
Eighteen charts of the stars, that you may know the heavens.
Eighteen chests of silver, that your coffers will never empty.
Eighteen rolls of silk, that you will know comfort.
Eighteen pots of dye, that your vision will not be bleak.
Eighteen jeweled adornments, that you may surround yourself with beauty.
Eighteen tapestries, that you may keep your murals when you leave your home.
Eighteen swords of Damascus steel, that you may defend your realm.
Eighteen works of scholars, that you may continue to enhance your wisdom.
Eighteen scrolls of our faith, that you may remain rooted in your heritage.1

"By these eighteen gifts of eighteen, we give you our blessings that you may be full of life, for eighteen is the number of life."

1 Normally, the books of the Tanakh are grouped into 16 scrolls: 1 Scroll of Torah/Books of Moses, 8 Scrolls of Nevi'im/Prophets, and 7 Scrolls of Ketuvim/Writings. Included in Yitzchak's gifts are two additional scrolls of important to Judaism as practiced in Judea, the Mishnah and Maccabees. Mishna forms half of the Talmud, the second portion being Gemara, a copy of which is included in Yitzchak's gift as one of the 'works of scholars'.

"I am most grateful for such generous gifts, and I gladly accept them." Yaakov said to Yitzchak.

A bunch of Yaakovian servants moved quietly to take the gifts under the supervision of HM's private secretary.

"Shall we go on with our main affairs?" added the king after receiving a small scroll from his chamberlain.

"Indeed. Please join me in my private study." King Yitzchak rose from his throne and made his way down to Yaakov before turning and guiding the man with him to the chamber he used for for less ceremonial purposes of the realm.

"So, tell me, Ya'akov, how think you my kingdom?"

"Well, Yitzchak, I haven't seen most of your kingdom until now, since it's my first time visiting, but I can honestly say it's very nice and I've enjoyed its weather and people since my arrival" answered Yaakov with a smile.

"Good, good. I had feared you northerner would burn to a crisp in our hotter clime. I do hope the journey has not been too arduous. And what of my daughter, Tzofia? Do you find comely?

"I feared that too. It is quite hot, I must say, but nothing I can't handle with enough fresh water. And I think your daughter, Princess Tzofia, is actually beauteous, even better than expected."

"It does a father's heart good, and ill, to hear his daughter appreciated so," Yitzchak laughed. "You shall have an oppurtunity to meet her more fully by stroll in the gardens later. First, I would know of the dangers of the north. There are few enough Jews in the world, and fewer still realms that we can call our own. Tell me about the what you face up there. What our people face up there."

"Of course. As you know, many Jews in the north were persecuted, mostly by Christians, until we started defending ourselves. Not so long ago, in the year 1003 CE my community in the Baltic forest chose me to lead them and months later I was enthroned as their King. Now we control most of the western coast of the Baltic Sea, as well as many islands, not to mention the large, thick forest that we call home" Yaakov stopped for a moment, thinking about his land. "But if you want to know about the dangers, I must mention the Christians to the east and the Vikings to the west. There is also a new Christian realm to the south, with which we haven't made any contact yet. Our maritime trade routes depend on who controls the strait between the Baltic and Northern Seas. Well, and some wild bears and wolves, but I'm a good hunter, so you do not need to worry about your daughter's safety."

"Perhaps Ari should take you hunting here at somepoint. We have our own fearsome beasts that may give you some challenge." Yitzchak leaned back in his chair and stroked his beard. "Christians can, at times, be quite ambitious in their apetites for power, but I've found that most are more mercantile than pious. A well placed gift of gold or silver at an oppurtune moment can buy you some peace, even if you are in truth buying strife in another realm. Norsemen though... we have heard of such men even here. The Greek Emperor maintains a bodyguard comrpised of their ilk. Mighty warriors, or so I'm told, and incomperable seamen. If your wealth depends upon the sea, then it must depend upon the vikings. I'm afraid I have no experience with them myself and cannot offer any benefit of such. Can they be bought to secure passage of your ships?"

"We are already trying to become partners with them. My councilors and I believe that they might be the key to a strong maritime trading net in the long term. And thank you for your advise, I'll remember this. Now tell me, what can I, and my kingdom, do for you and your people here?"

"The dangers for us rarely involve foreign armies marching on our lands, though foreign soldiers are as often at the heart of our problems as not. Greek and Latin Christian are at constant odds with one another, and with the Mohammadans as well. They are problem enough, but I've also fanatics of my own that further stoke the fires of conflict. The threats are not from without but within, and I fear there is little on that line you could aid us in. Keep open the markets of Ya'akovia, and we will ensure trade finds its way to your cities, and there by we shall both find great profit for our realms."

"There's always a way to deal with all sorts of problems, especially those within. If you want, I might be able to help with my Sikrikim. They can be very useful when one's dealing with close troublemakers. But in any case, I can asure you that our markets will remain open, no matter how cold it might get in my land. And speaking of my land, I want you to visit us there and let me show you the beauty of the north, whenever you want and can."

Yitchak barked a short, harsh laugh.

"I would love to, but I fear I have only one journey left in me. I'm an old man, Ya'akov. My children are grown,  and I was no longer a young man when the last of them was born. I expect before too long, I will yield my crown to Benyamin. But before I go, I would see the futures of my children secure."

"I'm sorry to hear that. Really wanted you to see the home of your daughter, but as you think is better, then. And if there is anyway I can support Benyamin while you are with us, and after you leave us, I'll gladly do it" said Yaakov with a sad smile.

"I appreciate it. A sad thing that we all must make such a journey one day, but the it is as the Eternal has decreed. My own son, Shmuel, showed wisdom of his name once. He said to me that he knew why people die. He was child then, not more than five years, yet he stood amongst scholars and rabbis and Kohanim, the greatest thinkers of my realm, looked them in the eyes and said 'if no one died, there would be no room for babies.' He dared them to refute him and of course none did. The most of them disregarded it as strange ramblings of a child, but Rav Immanuel ben Eliezer, my rabbi, saw then that he was destined to be a scholar, perhaps a rabbi in his own right.

"Well, I am sure you are eager to meet your future bride. If you are ready, she will meet you in the garden while Benyamin and myself discuss the terms of the union with your representative.

"Then we would be happy yo have Shemuel among our scholars, back in Yaakovia. I just visited our oldest kollel before coming, and they are eager to meet Judeans" replied Yaakov with real interest. "And of course, let's go on with that. Let me introduce you to Yosef Abravanel, my private secretary. He'll discuss about the ketubah and other related matters with you two" the king said while calling Yosef with a discreet sign.

Yitzchak smiled and nodded to the man.

"We greet you, Yosef, and welcome your role in this negotiation." He clapped his hands, bringing Benyamin and a chamberlain to guide Yaakov to the gardens.
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Re: The Lion's Court

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