A Brief History of House Gilead

The House of Gilead is also called the House of Lyubov, successively Lords of Enosh, Counts of Davion, Counts of Araman, Counts Chalcedony, Imperial Counts of Hoosick Fate, Imperial Counts of New Home, Dukes of Urian, Imperial Dukes of Gallil, Imperial Dukes of Lyubov; junior titles include Barons Aravayeen, Barons Simeon, Barons Corak, Counts Gamnonides; distaff titles include Barons Zimran, Lords Medan, and Counts Lahairoi. The House of Gilead claims descent from the biblical heroes, Shimon and Levy; their actual descent, however, can only be proven from the time of the Great Crusade.

Early History

Daniel GileadThe first mention of a Gilead in historical records occurs in Camille de Bry's The Great Crusade: A Popular History, which drew on eyewitness accounts, diaries, surviving documents, and oral tradition to produce a rather lurid rendition of the heroic struggle between man and machine. Bry's work mentions one Saul Gilead, Governor of the Brunig District, who was assassinated about 875M30 while defending the Pax Imperialis before the rioting masses. The location of the "Brunig District" was not mentioned by Bry, and has not been found by later historians, leading some to speculate that the incidents (and the person) were invented by an overactive imagination.
 
It is certain that Daniel Gilead participated in the Battle of Zimaway as a junior officer, serving with the soon-to-be emperor's forces in the struggle against the last of the Schismatic States. Daniel Gilead is known to have enlisted as an Auxiliary in the Sixth Dark Angels Legion, which represented a number of the planets in the Calaban Cluster. Daniel was made a gunnery officer on the ship HMS Lucien, and assumed command of his vessel early in the three-day battle after all the senior officers were killed. During one phase of the battle, when Sulaiman al-Hajj Kunaitra threatened to turn the Emperor’s left flank after the desertion of Commodore Abulurd Al’Farius, Gilead rallied the Imperial forces, and spearheaded a desperate attack that took Kunaitra by surprise. Kunaitra's command ship was heavily damaged, Kunaitra himself killed, and communications disrupted.
 
Most military historians point to this action as the key turning point of the struggle. Gilead was ennobled after the coronation as Baron Enosh, and was given large estates on the planet Enskog in recognition for his services to the Imperium (914M30).
 
Daniel Gilead had three sons; Saul (born c. 915M30.), Ephraim (born c. 917M30), and Samuel (born 919M30); from these three men descend all the branches of the House Gilead. Saul succeeded to the Barony on his father's death in 38M31.; Ephriam Gilead was ennobled as Baron Aravayeen in 957M30 during the wars of expansion conducted by Henry I, Lord Glimmerdrift: Samuel Gilead became Baron Simeon the year before he died, in 989M30.; Saul's son, Daniel II, was further ennobled in 994M30 as Count Davion.
 
The family fortunes fell, however, with the onset of the Horus Heresy; a bill of attainder was brought before the Sector Lord Glimmerdrift Harmond I by Alman al’Haig (a captain in the Alpha Legion), accusing Elias Gilead of supporting the exiled Emperor's forces; but Alman himself was assassinated before the bill could be acted upon. Elias Gilead was restored to his estates by Sector Lord Harmond II, and reconfirmed in his titles. Elias's son, Daniel IV, was murdered by shortly after his accession in 184M32 (by suspected cabals loyal to the Alpha Legion), and the Gilead lands were redistributed as Lyubov descended into anarchy.
 
Thomas Gilead was instrumental in restoring Sector Lord Edward II in 207M32, and received the title Duke of Jaddua and a fiefdom, both of which were attainted by Alman Al’Farius IV in 346M32, when Thomas II Gilead was executed. Akiva Gilead successfully petitioned for restoration of the County of Davion before the Sector Regent Hendryck Abbot in 381M32.
 

Middle Years

Between its establishment and the middle of the fifth Imperial millennium, House Gilead produced many sons and daughters who gained fame from their unique talents, flamboyant actions, or spectacular vices. This entry sketches only a few of the most noteworthy. The most prominent member of the family during the first millennium of imperial rule was Aaron Gilead, son of Count Saul III, who was instrumental in settling the differences between various branches of the local noble Houses, thereby preventing the Glimmerdrift from sliding into total anarchy.
 
In the year 603M32, he persuaded Harmond III, who ruled the sector with the title of Protector, to step down in favor of Andrew I, the son and heir of Cyrus I Lord Glimmerdrift. Concentrating most of the power in his own hands, Aaron Gilead set about reorganizing the Imperial government and reestablishing the principles of The Lex Imperialis.
 
Thus, what had been a government of personal rule, with all its attendant chaos, became a Hierarchy in which the Sector Lords’ seat was merely one source of power counterbalanced by the Landsraad, whose meetings became regularly scheduled for the first time, and the Guild Mercantile and the Houses of the Navis Noblite, previously dealt with through the Sector Lord. The Sector Lord’s power was further diluted by making him responsible for his actions to the Archducal Family, which itself was controlled and balanced by the Archducal Household (the immediate relatives of the reigning Archduke), the Imperial Cousines (offshoots of the Archducal Household, distaff members of the Family, and collateral houses), and the local Astartes Chapter Masters (whose daughters often became royal concubines).
 
For his contributions to Imperial rule, Aaron was named Count Araman in 635M32, and was given the hand of Andrew Corrino's daughter, Princess Salusa, thereby making him a member of the Household. Thus began the long and close association between the two houses.
 
Count Simshon II Gilead (ruled 681-715M32), Aaron's son, maintained the family grip on the imperial power by having himself named Chancellor by the Landsraad; he was murdered by Ivan Al’Farius while making love to one of Ivan's twenty-four mistresses. Count Daniel VIII Gilead, younger brother of Simshon, succeeded to the family estates, but distinguished himself only as a sportsman and hunter, taking little interest in imperial politics.
 
His grandson, Samuel IV, was renowned in his day as an advocate of art and music which he supported by subsidizing performers on his estates.
 

The Reign of Blood and the Gilead Revolts

In 267M36 during a rupture within the Astartes forces known as the Reign of Blood, an Astartes captain of the Draco Legion named Feyd usurped the sector throne, killing all close archducal relations and suspending the Landsraad. Two of the Gilead counts, Daniel IX and Shaul II, attempted to organize resistance to Feyd's rule, and were quickly branded as traitors.
 
The now-rebel Astartes of the Maccabees Chapter joined a hastily-organized Gilead force, and attacked Feyd's homeworld, Ibleam III. The arrival of the Imperial Fleet reserves during the course of the battle, doomed the revolution, and Daniel, his son Saul, and Shaul's son Isaak, were all killed. Shaul Gilead was attainted, stripped of all titles and lands, and condemned to death on sight. Count Yaakov Gilead, representing the third junior line, was banished from his estates; Baron Yonaton Gilead, of the House of Gilead Aravayeen, was executed for high treason, his son Samuel being sold into slavery; Baron Shalom Gilead was forced to cede half of his lands to the Imperium; Lord Alexander Gilead was dismissed from his imperial posts; Lady Dina Gilead was sent to an Imperial brothel for one year; and several Gilead children, including Yonah Gilead, were apprenticed to tradesmen and sheepherders.
 
Baron Andreas von Wikkheizer received the main Gilead fief of Araman, Shaul Gilead fled beyond the bounds of the sector with the last survivors of the Archduke’s House, including the recognized heir, a five-year-old grandson of Archduke William II. From the edges of known space they conducted intermittent running battles with the Feyd’s forces, with very little gain. Shaul was killed in 304M36 during a surprise attack on rebel headquarters; his underage son, Alexei, escaped with the heir, Duke Charles. Lord Feyd I died in 351M36, as secure on his throne as any previous ruler had been; his son and successor, Estil II, was a weak and indecisive man, although not without intelligence; the Civil War degenerated into stalemate, with the rebels controlling the outer worlds of the sector, the Sector Fleet controlling the main trading worlds and the Navis Noblite selling transport to both sides.
 
Yonah Gilead escaped his menial existence by enlisting in the Estil’s forces under the name Uulavar Treys, commandeering a ship and selling it at Beta Coriolanus. There he bought the assistance of the Spacing Guild for a surprise raid on Ibleam III and IV that remains a classic example of the hit-and- run tactic, and is often cited in military textbooks to this day.
 
Yonah's raid (396M36) was the beginning of the end for the Feyd regime as it brought the situation in the Glimmerdrift to Imperial attention; soon thereafter Dark Angels and their Valhallan allies joined the fight alongside the Macabees and their allies, until, at Estil's death of natural causes in 429M36, only a few worlds remained in Feyd control. Estil's son and successor, Feyd II, was murdered by his own officers after two weeks of rule, and Josif I, son of Duke Charles, was named Archduke, with his father as Regent. Only two Gilead heirs survived: Alexei Gilead was restored to all of his ancestor's titles, and further named Imperial Count of Hoosic Fate; Yonah Gilead was named Count Chalcedony, and given vast estates in the Lyubov system. Additionally, many Valhallan guardsmen were detailed to these households insuring their military power.
 
At the termination of the Regency in 680M36, two decades of internecine war were used by Eliezer Gilead to further family interests. The chaos of this period was such that an Imperium-wide economic depression forced many of the Houses Minor, and several of the Houses Major, into bankruptcy or severe economic decline. Eliezer Gilead, sometimes called the "Merchant Count," sold the family estates on Chalcedony, used the money to invest in shares of undeveloped worlds, and then developed the raw resources, selling the processed goods back to the Houses at huge profit. By the time of the inauguration of Archduke Charles IV, in 701M36, Eliezer was the richest man in the sector; he used his wealth to reduce the power of the Archduke. His grandson, Benyamin, together with his brother, Meir Gilead, forced a rapid turnover in the occupants of the Sector Chair, hoping in this way to prevent any one person from achieving great power. Historians call this period "The Era of the Princes." Gilead economic ascendancy ended in 191M37, when Archduke Sidir XIII had Count Maximillian Gilead killed during an audience; within two months Maximillian's son, Pinchas Gilead, had Sidir XIII poisoned in his own bed. The Landsraad refused to recognize any Sector Lord claimants for a period of six centuries. Pinchas III Gilead signed a truce with Baron Shahrukh Kenric, a cousin of the late Archduke, and Shahrukh was named to the Sector Chair in 797M37.
 
As a reward for his services, Pinchas III received the Archduke’s Sister as a bride, and was named Imperial Count of New Home and Duke of Urian in the year 801M37. For most of the 37th millennium, the Gilead clan was content to manage their fiefs on Lyubov and stay out of Imperial politics.
 
Duke Daniel XVII Gilead. (355M38-409M38) objected to the murder of Archduke Basil III by his Astartes Commander, Harmhab (who reigned as Menemtahe VI), and made his feelings known to the Landsraad; Harmhab suspended that body, had Daniel arrested, and then ordered the Duke publicly whipped, blinded, and gelded, on successive days. Daniel was stripped of his titles and lands, and sent to an Imperial zoo, where he was ordered displayed "as a prime example of that endangered species, Homo perduellionis reus."
 
Harmhab was soon deposed by a revolt of his household staff; the surviving heir, Kenric IV the Clever, ordered Harmhab to be planted in the street up to his neck, where passers-by were offered the opportunity of sawing on his neck with a piece of paper.
 
Daniel was released from his public prison and restored to his estate and titles. In his later years, he became known as gourmet of exotic foods and drink; he would spend exorbitant sums merely to sample a dish that had been extraordinarily praised, or would travel great distances to obtain delicacies that could not survive transport. He died at the age of 199; his weight exceeded his age at his death by a factor of five.
 

The Fall of Lyubov

The rebel Jieshi Is’Malal attacked Lyubov for the first time in 609M38, shortly after the death of Daniel XVII. His son, Zalman I was a poet and historian but he shocked the other noble houses of Lyubov and the enemy both by casting aside his meek ways and showing himself to be made of tough stuff indeed. He rallied the fractious planetary defense forces and using his own well-trained army, repelled the invaders from Lyubov. However, the victory on Lyubov was a bright spot in an otherwise dark time in the Glimmerdrift. During the 12th Dark Jihad, Chaos forces overran much of the Outreaumer Worlds. Lyubov falls but several arcologies remain in Imperial hands, Chaos occupiers are never able to consolidate their position.
 
Prominent during the occupation were such Gilead as the poet-Duke Shaul VII (died 829M38); Baron Manasseh Gilead Medan, the "Great Librarian"; Naftali Gilead Aravayeen, an expert on ancient weapons, of whom it was said that he could put three shots into one hole at a distance of 100 meters; Duke Ruvain II (died 315M39), the finest gourmet of his time, of whom it was said he had "a palate given by the gods”; Duke Uriah IV (died 401M39), who outlived six wives, and died in the arms of a seventh; Count Hillel Gilead Davion, who invented three new knots, was a master of perfumes, concocting one entirely new fragrance, and wrote an epic poem in Aramaic on the history of his family; Duke Amon II (died 977M39), staged an abortive rebellion against the Sultan but was defeated when several treacherous members of the local nobility refused to come to his aid, and he was seized and executed, but without forfeiture of his titles or estates which were too well fortified for the occupying Jieshi Is’Malal to take.
 
Following Amon II’s defeat, the Gilead lords maintained their independence from the occupiers of Lyubov by playing one chaos faction off against another. In 425M40 the Gilead supported the Is’Malali demi-House of Hajus against the Slannesh-worshiping line of Irulon. Duchess Rivka Gilead threw her resources behind Fareed Hajus in 425M40, and when several of the other Houses followed her lead, Fareed was acclaimed Sultan the following year.
 
For her efforts, Rivka’s house was left in peace and for a brief time the attacks on Davion and Chaslov hives stopped. Her children, Fredrick II and Alyssa VII, ruled jointly after her death in 477M40. Asher, the son of Alyssa VII succeeded to the Duchy in 508M40. Asher's son, Nachum IV, was stripped of his titles when he was implicated in an attempt of the life of Sultan Walid II; a second such episode cost him his life in 553M40.
 
The Gilead remained a thorn in the side of the Is’Malali rulers of Lyubov over the next millennium. In 705M40, they supported a revolt, which was ruthlessly crushed by the Sultan’s forces. The Gileadi were forced from their estates in Davion, Chaslov, New Home and forced into the hinterlands of Lyubov. Raising an army from the people of the Zarra Uplands, they continued to resist the Chaos overlords of their world even as most of the planet’s other nobility fell into decadence and treason. For centuries, the exiled Gileadi held out against their oppressors, in time the Sultan ceased to bother about the holdouts in the Uplands save for the occasional terror raid to keep them off-balance.
 

Re-contact with the Imperium and the Liberation of Lyubov

In 355M41, raiders from the Gileadi resistance forces seized several starships from the main port at Lyubovhive. In a daring raid, they made a blind warp transit (frightfully dangerous under any circumstances) but managed to re-emerge from the Warp in 752M41 (from their point of view they had been in the Warp for less than 2 weeks) and make contact with Warmaster Achilus’ forces. The Warmaster detailed General Andreas Carnhide to liberate the Outreaumer Worlds.
 
Carnhide’s forces were able to achieve planetfall with minimal losses because of the landing zones already held by friendly Gilead forces in the Uplands. With aid from the Gilead clan and their allies and supporters, General Andreas Carnhide liberated Lyubov in 777M41 after a lightning campaign that lasted less than 90 days. The Imperial Duchy of that world was awarded to General Elias III Gilead Lyubov in recognition of his family’s unwavering support of the Imperium during the occupation and subsequent liberation.
 

The Outreaumer Worlds Today

The Gileadi have ruled Lyubov and the Outreaumer Worlds for the 200 odd years since its liberation from the forces of the Archenemy. The current Duke of Lyubov is Manasseh IX, a robust man for his 68 years. Archduchess Leah is 10 years his junior. They have 12 children; Ari, Sophia, Rachel, Zalman, Asriel, Dina, Elias, Lazaar, Daniela, Shimshon, Hoshea, and Pinchas thus the succession is reasonably secure.
 
Under the terms of the re-integration Lyubov and her sister worlds in the Outreaumer are guaranteed tolerance of their religious and cultural autonomy in return for political adhesion to the Imperium. For over two centuries the Imperium has kept its word and Lyubov forces have assisted in the Defense of Piscina IV and defended the Imperium in the 3rd Armageddon War, in the 13th Dark Crusade and the evacuation of Medusa V.
 
The Outreaumer is part of the Realm of Levantine, an autonomous state governed by the Maccabees Space Marine Chapter. Also, like most vassal states of the Imperium, the Empire of Levant is internally independent and as such doesn't agree with the Imperium on a wide variety of issues.

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