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The Remnant wandered among the trees of Eliath Wood, where at least there was much green for their animals to eat. But the trees grew close together, and it was difficult to keep the livestock gathered together. From time to time Elam tried to lead the people out of the Wood, but ever enemies assailed them almost as soon as they emerged, and many of the animals were driven off.

Elam himself perished in the last raid, that the curse of Gabriel might be fulfilled when che said, 'Ever your enemies shall hem you in, and you shall die never seeing the son of your sons.' Then Rosh became the chieftain of the Remnant, who now numbered fifty souls.

Then after a time a woman of the B'nei Elohim came to him leading a small flock of sheep that had gone astray in Eliath Wood. She said, "The B'nei Elohim greet you, Rosh, son of Lael. I am called Ariel, the daughter of Erel Gabriel, who had dealings with your people on a time. I was sent on an errand to retrieve your missing animals, which errand I have only yet begun, but I also convey a message from the Lord our God, who has said the way is now clear for you to leave Eliath Wood and go on to the land of your inheritance."

Then Ariel departed from the presence of Rosh to wander the Wood searching for more of the livestock of the Remnant which had separated from their flocks by ones and pairs, for it was her talent as one of the B'nei Elohim that she could command animals, and indeed many among the B'nei Elohim remarked how she seemed to prefer the company of beasts to that of other people.

As Ariel worked to restore the flocks, Rosh led the Remnant out of the Wood to good pastures lying on the west, where he founded a settlement he called Shedal. The grass there was watered from moisture which drifted east every morning from the shores of the great sea, and it was ever green. A fence of fallen trees with sharpened tips was set on the perimeter of Shedal, with the Ark and the Tent of Meeting safely held in the center of the new city.

Then Ariel came to Rosh and told him, "Now the errand set before me by the Lord is finished, and I shall return to the other world where my heart lies."

"The people of the Remnant thank you, Ariel, for our flocks had dwin- dled and we feared that we would starve."

Ariel said, "It is not me you should thank, Rosh, as I was not eager to travel to this shadow of the real world, this frozen figment, to carry out this task. But thank, rather, the living God. It is he who commands and the B'nei Elohim must obey, whether we are willing or not. Tell your descendents to look for the return of more servants as circumstance might demand. I am not the last of the B'nei Elohim to have to do with the people of the Remnant of the fallen southern king- dom."

Then Ariel departed. The people dwelt as one in Shedal for many years after that, and both they and their animals increased, and the people began to call themselves Roshites, which thing Gabriel also foretold.

One day Rosh saw that he was soon to go the way of all flesh. He made his eldest son Jared the High Priest, and gave commandment that all the doings of the Remnant which came after his death should be record- ed in the White Scroll of Leliel. In all his days, Rosh did what was right in the sight of the Lord. Then Rosh slept with his fathers.

But after the passing of his father it soon came into the mind of Jared to take the Remnant to a more suitable land where they could plant crops, as surety for their livelihood, lest the animals wandered off again, or were stolen by enemies. Yet the Ark counseled they should remain. Seeing that, the Benjaminites among the Remnant broke with their brethren and chose to remain in that place to tend their flocks.

Jared led the Levites and Judahites among the people south and west until they reached a plain nigh to Thalury, the great sea. They tried to plant seed on the land that gently rose from the sea, but the land was sandy, and the crops they grew were poor. Then Jared entered the Tent of Meeting on the Day of Atonement to made supplication to Chokh- mah, but when he touched the lid of the Ark he was struck dead. His attendant priests dragged his body out of the innermost chamber in the Tent of Meeting by ropes that he had tied about himself, which precau- tion Chokhmah himself had long commanded they should do for precisely that reason.

Thus it was known Jared did evil in the sight of the Lord. His broth- er Omar became High Priest in his stead, and entered the Tent of Meet- ing to fulfill the rites of the Day of Atonement, and Omar the second son of Rosh was accepted of Chokhmah.

And Chokhmah sent a servant, another nephil of the B'nei Elohim. This visitor said che answered to the name of Pelias, and that che, like Ariel before hem, also had Gabriel for a father, though Ariel was hez half-sister because they did not share the same mother.

When Omar asked Pelias why he was sent to the Roshites che said, "There is a woman among the B'nei Elohim we call Sabotage, since she can break anything she touches, be it a contrivance of men that lives not, or any living thing. I have a talent that some have called a reflection of that, as though it were reversed in a mirror."

And Pelias walked the through the poor crops of the Roshites row by row, and touched each of the withering plants. When che was done, che told the people, "By this time tomorrow you will see that your grain has recovered, but that it is changed. Do not be alarmed by what you see. You may eat the seed of them, even that seed which you would save to plant the next crop, because garden nano does not alter the underlying principles which governs the life of the plants. This is by the design of our God, lest the stalks which are so changed should fill Heaven and displace the original.

"Therefore, attend most carefully: you must make cuttings of the plants after harvest time and preserve them through the winter in your homes, in pots, as though they were cuttings as from a bush of roses. These cuttings you will plant in the springtime. This you must do until God himself through the Ark leads you at last to the land he has promised, which will flow with milk and honey."

The next morning the Roshites beheld their crops and knew everything was as Pelias had told them. Then Pelias departed for the other world, and the Judahites and Levites dwelt nigh to the sea for many years, and there they founded another settlement they called Suhar. There were many dealings between the Roshites of Suhar and their bre- thern who stayed behind in Shedal, and much trade.

Then Omar waxed old, like his father before him. When he saw that he was soon to die he appointed his son Abidan to be the High Priest and to record the history of the Remnant in the White Scroll. Then Omar slept with his fathers, and for all his days he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord.

As high priest Abidan said it was the commandment of their God that the people should make many blades of bronze, "Lest by any means those who seek the Ark should chance upon us here and destroy us." But these blades turned he against the Benjaminites who remained in Shedal and he marched against them to demand tribute, which thing was never commanded by Chokhmah.

Then Chokhmah sent the Benjaminites succor by sending to them one of the B'nei Elohim named Sariel.

A heavy rain fell on the battlefield on the morning when the army from Suhar came against Shedal. The nephil Sariel, who knelt with both hands pressed against the ground, caused this rain to freeze over a wide area when it touched the field. The Levites and Judahites there- fore were made to slip and fall, while the Benjaminites stood their ground behind Sariel and released many arrows.

Thus Abidan, who did evil in the sight of the Lord, was slain, along with many others among the Levites and Judahites. The survivors in the force from Suhar, seeing how they had been led to fight against their own God, withdrew again to the coast.

And Sariel said to the chieftain of the Benjaminites, whose name is not recorded in the White Scroll, that che had fulfilled the errand set for her by the LORD God, and was now to return to the other world as che longed to do.

The chieftain said to hem, "Thus also did Ariel say when she was sent among us. The other world must be wonderful."

"It is where humans ultimately came from," said Sariel. "Nephilim such as I, and even the elyonim, had human beginnings. The other world is forty times again greater in extent than the part of Heaven that is free of ice. God hymself has said he will make my mother Judith the queen of all the Earth."

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Strangers In Paradise