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Journey to Edessa

Author File Description
File Details
Difficulty: Mod-Hard
Version: Rise of Rome
Designer Name: Rakovsky
Scenario Title: Journey from Arbela to Edessa
Scenario Version: 2.0
AoE or RoR: RoR
Date Submitted: 6/28/2021
Difficulty: Mod-Hard
Single or Multiplayer: Single Player


Edessa, capitol of the Kingdom of Osroene, was a major Christian center in the late 2nd century AD. King Abgar VIII the Great converted to Christianity and a coin from his kingdom minted in 177-192 shows a cross on his crown. Abgar ruled from 177 to 212 AD. Adiabene was a neighboring kingdom to the east of Osroene and its capitol was Arbela. Whereas Osroene tended to be in fealty to Rome (either while holding autonomy and recognizing the Roman empire as its superior, or briefly as a Roman province) and had a well established Christian history, Adiabene's royalty tended to be in fealty to Persia and had an established Jewish history in the 1st century AD.

Information on when Christianity first came to Adiabene and how widespread it was there in this period is more scant and less reliable compared to information about its growth in Edessa. The Chronicle of Arbela records a series of bishops in Adiabene in the 2nd century AD. The famous Gnostic Christian writer Tatian was also from Adiabene. He compiled the Four Gospels into a single narrative titled the "Diatessaron" in 172 AD.

In this scenario, you guide a community of Arbela's Christians traveling from Arbela to Edessa to learn about Christianity. On the way, you are faced with challenges and obstacles that require using the Iron Age Technologies in AOE1:ROR especially related to Christianity: Monotheism, Martyrdom, the Afterlife, and Fanaticism.

Overall, the scenario is challenging because the Player starts with limited resources and the early stages require special tactics to win. The most challenging part is converting the Orange Player's Zenobia's Tower, one of the few kinds of cases when the "Martyrdom" ability becomes important in AOE1:ROR. The main challenge is getting your priest to the tower alive so that you can convert it, and then pressing the Delete key on your priest to use the Martyrdom ability before the tower kills your priest.


This Scenario was made with Chab's "RockNROR" tool and I playtested it with the UPATCH HD version of ROR.


Extract the .scx Scenario file into your "Scenario" Folder that is in your "Age of Empires" game folder. Your Scenario folder is where your other .SCX files are kept.

Gameplay Notes:

See the README file for Design Notes and Additional Hints. If it's too hard for a group of your priests to reach Zenobia's Tower, let me know and I can give you more gold to make more priests to reach it. It can take practice to dodge the arrows, but it's a useful skill to acquire when playing AOE1 games anyway.

Let me also know in the Comments section if you get any glitches or if the objectives are too confusing.

The scenario is part of a Series on early Christianity that can be found in the Heaven Games Granary:

1. Gethsemane (30-33 AD)
2. Conversions and Catacombs of Rome (41-62 AD)
3. Thomas' Mission to Indo-Parthia (46-51 AD)
4. Abgar V's Mesopotamian Campaign (49 AD)
5. Nero's Persecution (64-67 AD)
6. Josephus Takes Command of Eastern Galilee (66 AD)
7. Josephus Retakes Tiberias (66 AD)
8. Nero's Killing (68 AD)
9. Domitian's Persecution (93-96 AD)
10. Domitian's Killing (96 AD)
11. Journey to Edessa (177-212 AD)
AuthorComments & Reviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
File Author
In my Playthrough, I found that smashing through the Qardu cavalry west of Nineveh was a lot of fun, but also too easy. So in Version 2 of this Scenario, I added more cavalry. If the cavalry are too strong for your legions, then not only should you train a lot of legions and priests before you cross the bridge to the west of Nineveh, but have a large store of gold, food, and a group of barracks and temples ready. That way you can churn out waves of legions and priests to slice through the enemy cavalry and convert their elephants.

If the Qardu units are still too hard, I can reduce their cavalry force to smaller numbers again. But your gold feels almost unlimited because you can trade wood for gold between your dock and Nineveh's. So you should be able to churn out an even bigger force than the large one that the Qardu rebels have.
File Author
Edessa (called Sanliurfa today) and the land of its 1st century kingdom, Osroene, are mysterious, special places in spiritual history. Osroene's territory in the south included the territory that had previously been the kingdom of "Bit Adini" that was apparently the "Land of Eden" for the Biblical writers. The northeast of Osroene on some maps included Mount Karaca, also called Karacadag, which would seems to be the geographic location for the Garden of Eden if one construed the story of the Garden in earthly terms.

Gobekli Tepe is a megalithic site on the northeast edge of Edessa. Its layers run from 9,000 BC to 7,400 BC. The site contains large circles of rectangular stones in a layout resembling Stonehenge. However, unlike Stonehenge, Gobekli Tepe's stones include sculptures of animals and people, so that it has something of a thematic resemblance to Easter Island. In contrast, Stonehenge as a circular site with posts dates to *only* 3400 BC. Mesopomatia already had extensive writing in 3400-3100 BC.

Abraham was from Harran in Aramaea, and Harran and much of Aramaea were in what became the kingdom of Osroene. In the Torah, it says that Abraham's descendants for several generations only took wives from Aramaea instead of from among the Canaanites.

In Jesus' time, Jews typically spoke Aramaic. It came about this way: The Neo-Assyrian Empire originally spoke Akkadian, the language of Babylon. Then the Assyrians conquered Aramaea and took on Aramaic as their language. Then in the 8th century BC, the Assyrians subjugated Israel. This caused them to spread Aramaic as the standard language in Israel eventually.

Saint Thomas, it appears, went to Edessa and was buried there.

Osroene under Abgar VIII may have been the first literal "Christian kingdom" in history. There are some other possibilities. For example, Abgar V could have been a Christian as the story about him goes, but his Christianity is more controversial among scholars than Abgar VIII's Christianity is. There are traditions about other kings like Gondophares in the mid-1st century and Lucius of Britain (c. 173 AD) becoming Christians.

The story and legacy of the Turin shroud seems traceable to Edessa. The shroud seems to have come to Turin from Crusaders who had it in France, and the Crusaders seem to have taken it from Constantinople. It seems that the Byzantines got it from Edessa. It may be the same item as the "Mandylion" (meaning hand-cloth) of Edessa.

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