Son of Samson and the Judge of God
Chapter 1: "God's Chosen Nazirite"Edit
The Son of Samson series opens circa 1060 BC in the Palestinian city of Zorah during the time of the judges of Israel. While on a quest to retrace the exploits of his famous father Samson, eighteen-year-old Branan foils Commander Sidon's would-be raid on the Hebrew village by pelting the Philistine leader with melons from a nearby produce cart. When the triumphant Branan introduces himself to the grateful villagers as the biological son of the legendary Samson, Manoah joyfully reveals that he is the father of Samson and is, thus, Branan's paternal grandfather.
Manoah then invites Branan home for dinner so the two can get better acquainted. While Branan helps himself to a hearty meal, Manoah divulges the supernatural details of the angelic messenger's announcement to Samson's mother about the blessed son she will soon bear. Saddened at Manoah's account of Samson's hedonistic lifestyle, Branan wonders aloud why God would use such a flawed man as his father to deliver the Israelites from their political woes. But Manoah gently reminds his grandson that the greater miracle by far is that the Lord would want to deliver such an unrepentant people as the Hebrews at all.
The next morning, Branan prepares for his departure to Ramath Lehi, the place where Samson slew a thousand Philistines using only the jawbone of a donkey. Manoah advises Branan to reach the Yaffa oasis by dusk so that he can rest and replenish his water supplies. Manoah also provides Branan with an irritable camel named Uzal, who greets his new master with a spit to the face.
Chapter 2: "The Melon of Doom"Edit
Suffering the effects of heat exhaustion under the sun's merciless rays, Branan falls unconscious while riding Uzal across the hot desert sand to Ramath Lehi. When Branan wakes up, he realizes that Uzal has abandoned his master in the middle of nowhere and has walked carelessly away with the water bags and other provisions, leaving Branan positively stranded.
Five hours later, Branan finally catches up to the shaggy Uzal at the Yaffa oasis and drinks deeply from its refreshing pools. Branan comically spits a mouthful of water at Uzal as punishment for leaving Branan behind in the desert so thoughtlessly.
A fellow traveler named Jobab encounters Branan at the oasis and invites him share a campfire. When Branan chats that his destination is Ramath Lehi, Jobab cautions that the town has become the hotbed of an eccentric cult dedicated to the worship of the Hebrew warrior Samson, who slaughtered a thousand Philistines fifteen years ago using only a donkey's jawbone.
During their conversation, Commander Sidon of the Philistines materializes and ransacks the oasis campsites for valuables and men to be drafted into his army. Later that night, Branan stealthily knocks out the soldiers (one of whom is Armaros) guarding Sidon's tent by banging their heads together. He then draws Sidon out of his tent by creating a disturbance and pummels him yet again with a melon. Using Sidon's tent, Branan ties Sidon up in a sack and dangles him from a tree as punishment. Branan merrily returns the valuables Sidon stole to the other camp dwellers before resuming the journey to Ramath Lehi.
Chapter 3: "Cult of Ramath"Edit
As it turns out, Jobab was all too correct about the inhabitants of Ramath Lehi being remarkably eccentric. As Branan enters the town, he is accosted by two derpy-looking men named Ezer and Delbert, who warn Branan to stay away from their temple of the sacred jawbone. Branan ignores them and desecrates the temple's holy altar by sneaking into the building. When the townspeople attack Branan for entering the forbidden temple, he grabs the jawbone relic from the altar and successfully beats the berzerkers down.
Rather than become enraged at Branan's routing of them, the bizarre townsfolk of Ramath hail Branan as the returning Samson. When Branan realizes that the people of Ramath have been preparing for the return of Samson for fifteen years by fattening up a harem of concubines for him, Branan makes a swift exit and flees to the town of Hebron.
Chapter 4: "Gates of Glory"Edit
Needing money for food, Branan enters and wins the Gaza Gate Festival, which honors the feat of Samson carrying the Gate of Gaza to the outskirts of Hebron years ago. After witnessing Branan's impressive finish, a spy informs Sidon of Branan's whereabouts.
As Branan leaves Hebron the next morning, he glances back and notices that Sidon has set fire to the villagers' vineyards, threatening the people to hand over the Hebrew outlaw. Blaming himself for bringing trouble to the Hebronites, Branan returns to the town and uses a tree trunk to mow down Sidon's army once again.
A few days later, Sidon reports to Lord Pathrus at the latter's opulent palace in Ashkelon. Pathrus scolds Sidon for being such a disappointment in failing to arrest Branan. Pathrus dismisses Sidon, saddling him the humiliating assignment of investigating a local marketplace disturbance.
After Sidon leaves, Pathrus reveals that he has engaged the services of the ruthless Delilah to destroy the new Israelite hero, Branan.
"The Adventures of Young Branan"Edit
After a group of bullies push Branan around and make him spill the contents of his water bag, the naughty boys hide out in a cave, fearing retribution from Branan. In a twist of irony, Branan comes to the boys' rescue when a lion enters the cave and begins to stalk the children. Branan's bullies sheepishly pat Branan on the back for saving their hides from the rampaging beast.
When Branan returns from running his errands, he notices that the people of Gath have taken to the streets, celebrating the capture of the mighty enemy of the Philistines - Samson. As Branan enters his house, he notices that his mother is seated at their table crying. Deciding that now is the time to tell her son about his true parentage, Branan's mother takes his hand and reveals that the Hebrew outlaw Samson is Branan's real father.