The Virtue Of Resilience

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5 texts found.
Papyri fragments (c. 1100-900 BCE);
Three manuscript fragments;
Missive fragment from a manuscript codex…

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Rise, seeking the sunlight with verdant bloom.
What can hope to sunder what life has knitted,
a gentle push of nature against stone.

Look, how the flowers laugh at our toil for they
do not worry, ever strong and growing day by day
No matter the cry of the warrior, the edict of kings.

What dies becomes what lives, so what could death
matter to He who grows again?

Directed to Kōnstantînos Dragásēs Palaiológos, Basileus of Rome, I bid you greetings.

We pray that the arrival of our letter brings you peace of mind rather than pain of heart, for the tidings enclosed are those of hope in this dark hour. The Tree of Kemet flowers once more, and the Gardeners assure us all of a bountiful harvest before the season ends. I am also pleased report the success of the embassy to the enfeebled Sultan by Andronikos Iagaris, whose truce will buy the Empire time for these fruits to ripen and ensure our victory over the Seljuk invaders once and for all.

The fruit will require time to ripen to its greatest potency, allowing for those who taste its flesh to grow with strength and vigor, defying any blade or arrow which may attempt to pierce their skin. Truly, God has sent to us a mighty gift in this dark hour, and provides for his people! Although the Gardeners have hesitated to fully convert from their pagan religion, they are willing to deliver this miracle to our cause, viewing it as righteous before their own πράσινο, the Great Green One that they speak of.

As Blessed Apostolos Paulos told us, be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Do not heed those who would caution against the work being done by these men, as it will lead to our own salvation as God wills it! Ignore those who plead for a treaty with the unwashed masses of the Roman-minded Catholics, for no succor will be found amidst those who have coveted our land again and again. I need not remind you of the last time that Latins were welcomed to the streets of Constantinople.1 Remain strong, for the hour of victory is at hand!

Your humble servant,
Ioannes of Trebizond, Praipositos of the Court


Directed to Kōnstantînos Dragásēs Palaiológos, Basileus of Rome, greetings,

It grieves me to report that the Gardeners have said that little progress has been made in harvest long since promised. The first flowering was stymied by late frosts, causing the fruit to wither upon the vines. We were unable to test any of this fruit ourselves for some time, and I confess there were some amongst your guard who began to believe it all a trick by these Easterners, including myself.

However, the head of their order, a man of many years and great wisdom by all accounts, allowed the captain of the guard to taste a sample from their dried reserves of previous harvests. As soon as he had bitten the fig his strength grew tenfold and his skin turned hardy as stone. With ease the old captain wrestled three other guards while receiving no injury, and could have done likewise against more. We are lucky to count with these Easterners, pagan as they may be, as friends. May they soon see the light of God.

Your humble and faithful servant,
Ioannes of Trebizond


Όλα Χάθηκαν!

It grieves me to report to you that the Gardeners have absconded with the fruit in the dead of night, just as the heathen Turks amass at the gates, united behind their young Mehmed to take their prize at last.

It is over, my king. God has turned his face from his people, for we trusted in a pagan deliverance and now will bear the punishment for our shameful hubris. All that remains for us now is to meet our end with piety and humility, aware that our sin stains our souls most completely.

Most Holy Theotokos, forgive us.


To he who Allah may preserve and protect in his reign, Mehmed the Second, Padishah of the Ottomans and the Conqueror of the Palace of the Caesars, Greetings,

We have routed the last of the resistance, which has been little to speak of outside of the palace itself. Strangely, there was one stronghold within a courtyard around a copse of withered trees where we saw the most fighting, losing several of our own fighters in the melee, who now undoubtedly have been welcomed to Paradise in triumph.

Why men would fight so ferociously to protect a dead garden is madness we cannot hope to understand.


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Welcome, Father Izadi…

Imam Rouhani: So, what’s the point of digging through old scraps of paper, Tousi?

Imam Tousi: Since our recent encounter with the Green Men in South America, I was wondering what else we knew about the Cult.

Imam Rouhani: Seeing as we really only have these documents, it seems there wasn’t much success.

Imam Tousi: As far as acquisitions go, these letters provide an interesting view into the Conquest, but little else; how they got there is still a mystery. A shame that whatever the Gardeners had with them besides this scrap of poetry was lost.

Imam Rouhani: So what ended up happening to the Gardeners and the worshipers of that pagan god?

Imam Azad: Allahu 'alam.

Imam Rouhani: Do we at least know why the Gardeners left before Constantinople would fall?

Imam Tousi: They likely saw the writing on the wall and left before they could be slaughtered by Sultan Mehmed II's men. Their ability to adapt and survive is surely greater than that of most.

Imam Azad: I have told you many times, Rouhani, it's Istanbul, not Constantinople.

Imam Rouhani: Apologies, Imam Azad, but at the moment the Gardeners left it was Constantinople, and we should strive for historical accuracy where possible.

Imam Rouhani: At any rate, I am curious to know what exactly made the Byzantines work with these pagans.

Imam Tousi: Desperation, perhaps?

Imam Azad: The reason why matters not. This is far behind us and it only benefitted the great Sultan Mehmed II, so I see no reason to question it.

Imam Azad: Either way, let this serve as a lesson. We do not cooperate with pagan heretics.

Imam Rouhani: We didn't. The People of the Book did.

Imam Tousi: Leave it to the People of the Book to work with pagans.

Father Izadi: You realize we can see this conversation, Imam Tousi?

Imam Tousi: Oh come now, you know that was jest. Share a laugh with us, esteemed Father Izadi!

Father Izadi: You wouldn't know comedy if it bit you on the behind.

Rabbi Van Ryn: He's right. Everyone knows the Children of Israel are the real comedians of the Abrahamic faiths. We've got the numbers to prove it!

Father Izadi: Back to work, all of you. Enough snooping around old codices. As tempting as it might be to try and find answers in these fragments, we could run in circles for ages looking for answers to the present in the lost past. Nothing in Assyria, Byzantium, or Anatolia will tell us why the cult is rising now around the globe.

Imam Rouhani: I concede the point, but with one consideration to note, my friend. These fragments show us that if nothing else, these Gardeners have always found ways to elude eradication, to survive no matter how strongly the odds are against them.


Rabbi Van Ryn: Like weeds in concrete.

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