Son of Samson and the Sword of Revenge
Chapter 1: "The Hebrew Outlaw"Edit
To pass the time around a campfire one night, a group of Philistine guards swap colorful tales about the exploits of their enemy Branan, the new champion of the Israelites. With reluctant admiration, Armaros recalls the evening he picked a quarrel with Branan in a tavern over his refusal to raise a goblet in toast to Armaros's employer, Lord Pathrus. Responding to Armaros's swine-like behavior, Branan speared the tavern's wooden table with Armaros's blade, then booted the table across the floor, bumping the hapless Philistines out into the middle of the street.
As there was a hefty price on Branan's head, Armaros quickly mustered up more men to help him give chase to the Hebrew outlaw and collect the reward for his capture. When Armaros and his comrades hunted down their bounty and found him cornered, seemingly helpless in an alley, the Philistines attempted a dogpile. As only he could, Branan lifted his mighty arms and broke free of the Philistine tackle as if he were wrestling with mere children. When the soldiers shook off their dizziness and tried rushing at Branan again, he grabbed two oxen by the hooves and tossed them at his greedy pursuers.
Back at the campfire, one of the sentries disputes Armaros's recollection of that night and insists that Branan threw olive oil jars, not oxen. Armaros laughs off the correction, but becomes serious when he confesses his apprehension over their next mission to seize Branan. He reminds his listeners that Sidon's other schemes to arrest the hero of the Hebrews have heretofore failed miserably.
While the soldiers are thus chatting away, the young Hebrew thief Toby sneaks into the camp and hides behind a camel, causing the startled animal to grunt loudly in protest. When Armaros walks over to investigate the noise, Toby releases a small snake from his sack, frightening Armaros back to the campfire. Toby then creeps into Sidon's tent and picks the lock to Sidon's treasure chest. Toby can't believe his good fortune when he lifts the lid of the chest and feasts his eyes on Sidon's bejeweled Babylonian dagger.
Hearing Sidon and one of his guards entering the tent, Toby ducks behind the open treasure chest and listens while Commander Sidon and his sentry review their plans to kidnap Branan's grandfather Manoah. Bitterly, Sidon utters a solemn vow of revenge over his sword, swearing to the gods that he will personally bring Branan to justice for all the trouble he's brought upon the Philistine people.
Just then, Sidon observes the open lid to his treasure chest and walks over to examine it. Using the valuable dagger, Toby cuts a hole in the tent and manages to escape before Sidon has a chance to use his blade on the child.
Chapter 2: "No Time For Battle"Edit
The following day, Toby tries to sell the stolen property to his usual fence Jedidiah over at the Zorah market, but the latter offers a price that Toby deems insultingly low. When Toby ambles away from Jedidiah's booth in a huff, Sidon's spy Raamah approaches Toby and asks to see the knife. Raamah then grabs Toby by the arm and tries to force him to surrender the dagger.
Passing by on his camel, Branan interrupts the shake down and orders Raamah to quit manhandling the boy. Raamah sneers at Branan, advising him to mind his own business and calling Uzal a flea-infested varmint for good measure. Predictably, the camel spits in Raamah's face, distracting him long enough for Toby to make a quick escape. When Branan blows Raamah's cover and exposes him as a Philistine spy to the Hebrew crowd, the people begin flinging camel pies at Raamah as he beats a hasty retreat.
After Raamah runs back to Sidon, Toby tries to tell Branan about the commander's plot to kidnap Manoah, but Branan notices smoke in the distance and sprints up ahead. To his great grief, he discovers Manoah's home in shambles, burnt completely to the ground. A kind neighbor lends Branan her husband's swiftest stallion to go after Manoah whom, she informs Branan, Sidon is holding captive at the Philistine outpost at Ekron.
As Branan rides off at the fastest clip the horse can gallop, Branan's childhood enemy Behem pops up out of nowhere, challenging Branan to a duel. When Branan pushes Behem aside to return to the rescue mission, Behem churlishly knocks Branan off his horse with a bat. Fed up with Behem's foolishness, Branan grabs the end of the bat Behem is grasping and slams the oaf hard to the ground. Humiliated, Behem slings a rock at Branan as he rides away, but the rock ricochets off a large boulder and hits Behem in the head instead.
Chapter 3: "Taunting of Jackals"Edit
Branan arrives at the Philistine outpost at Ekron and calls out to the patrolmen there to take him prisoner and set Manoah free. When the guards deny any knowledge of Manoah and mock Branan as a "mewling bumpkin," an enraged Branan busts through the large wooden gate Incredible Hulk-style. Sidon, of course, is already expecting Branan and has Manoah bound to a stake and guarded by Raamah. Although Branan does indeed turn himself over to Sidon, the devious Philistine commander does not set Manoah free in return.
Later that day, Sidon burdens Branan's neck with a heavy yoke and marches both him and his grandfather pitilessly through the desert to Ashkelon. That night, the Philistines set up camp, and a drunk Sidon leaves Manoah alone in the tent to go outside where Branan is chained up. In his self-pitying stupor, Sidon reveals to Branan that Delilah was Sidon's wife before she abandoned him to dally with Samson.
While Sidon is thus outside taunting Branan, Toby slips into the tent and cuts Manoah's ropes, setting him free. When Sidon returns to the tent and notices the severed ropes on the floor, he curses Raamah loudly for allowing their hostage to escape. Hearing of his grandfather's escape, Branan snaps his yoke in two like a twig and and uses the wooden halves and chains as weapons against Sidon's sentries. After beating down Sidon's right hand man Raamah, Branan enters the tent to contend with his Javert-esque enemy man to man.
Chapter 4: "The Wrath of Pathrus"Edit
In the middle of the fracas between Sidon and Branan, Behem comically shows up and hits Branan over the head with a bat. With Branan laying unconscious at their feet, Behem and Sidon come to blows over who has the right to wreak vengeance upon the Hebrew. During his skirmish with Behem, Sidon outsmarts the dim-witted Rephaim by ducking under a tree branch that checks Behem squarely on the forehead.
Just when Sidon returns his attention to Branan and raises his sword to sink his blade into Branan's neck, Toby comes to the rescue by hurling the Babylonian dagger at the back of Sidon's head, knocking the commander out cold. While Sidon and his men lie unconscious, Branan removes their clothing and decides to hide out from the Philistines in Shiloh with Toby and Manoah.
The next day, Sidon and his men trek practically naked the rest of the way to Ashkelon and demand an audience with Lord Pathrus at his residence. Pathrus, upon seeing Sidon with hardly any clothes on, strips him of his commision and bans him from the Philistine army, leaving Sidon at the lowest point of his life.