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Born from the damming of a dam, my people are strong and hardy. Once holy servants to four kingdoms, their concurrent demise diminished our status. We are now a simple people, no longer worshiped by many. Though smaller than our desert cousins, we're almost the spitting image. We come bearing gifts. A chest sits before you, filled with food. Below it, drinks to quench your thirst. Upon the chest, sits cloud made flesh upon a sheet unreadied. It is fit for slather with the dripping of the mind.

We send them with our leader, a native of Mastbergen. Though he is half cucumber, you have accepted him and even included him in conversation. For this, we thank you.

Who are the people mentioned? Provide reasoning. Each sentence other than the thanks contains at least one clue. The title refers to the species name of the cucumber plant, not marijuana.

Hint:

What do these people have in common with LL Cool J? Just a couple of things.

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  • $\begingroup$ @Emrakul Happy to help. Your idea with titles is smart. I'll edit the rest tomorrow. I'm at my edit cap for the day. $\endgroup$ – Travis Don Kindred Dec 8 '14 at 17:50
  • $\begingroup$ Have they both performed with Run-DMC perhaps? $\endgroup$ – A E Dec 9 '14 at 15:26
  • $\begingroup$ @Yak Post what you have and I'll help you through the obscure ones. $\endgroup$ – Travis Don Kindred Dec 9 '14 at 22:31
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The people are

Llamas

I cannot make sense of all the clues, here's what I think I've got so far.

Born from the damming of a dam

A dam is a female llama: http://www.llamapaedia.com/industry/terms.html

my people are strong and hardy

Llamas are strong and hardy.

Though smaller than our desert cousins, we're almost the spitting image.

Smaller that the related camels, llamas are known for their spitting attitude.

A chest sits before you, filled with food.

The llama's chest, located before a person who rides it.

Upon the chest, sits cloud made flesh upon a sheet unreadied.

Referring to a person sitting on a saddle.

What do these people have in common with LL Cool J? Just a couple of things.

The initial letters "LL".

Unfortunately, I do not know what the four kingdoms mentioned in the riddle are and who the leader is.

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  • $\begingroup$ "cloud made flesh" perhaps lungs full of air? "We come bearing gifts" perhaps another camel clue? $\endgroup$ – Kate Gregory Dec 10 '14 at 0:00
  • $\begingroup$ This should help a little. chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/14524/the-green-llama $\endgroup$ – Travis Don Kindred Dec 10 '14 at 13:15
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    $\begingroup$ Nice puzzle, Travis! I've learned something today ('dam' for female llama). $\endgroup$ – A E Dec 11 '14 at 10:27
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A possible answer is

Tulips

Explanation:

Sultan

Tulips were introduced to Europe by the Sultan of Turkey.

Sativan

Sativa means cultivated as per AE's answer, and tulips were certainly cultivated to produce new varieties and colours.

Born from the damming of a dam, my people are strong and hardy.

Amsterdam is the dam (or could also be the breaking of the bulb when sprouting), tulip bulbs are strong and hardy.

Once holy servants to four kingdoms, their concurrent demise diminished our status.

The Kingdom of the Netherlands is made up of four countries (more like colonies): Netherlands, Aruba, Curaçao, and Sint Maarten. The Netherlands practiced Christianity and flourished in the Dutch golden age but then diminished in power.

We are now a simple people, no longer worshiped by many.

The tulip bulb craze ended.

Though smaller than our desert cousins, we're almost the spitting image.

Tulips are native to the middle east.

We come bearing gifts. A chest sits before you, filled with food.

The tulip bulb is the chest.

Below it, drinks to quench your thirst. Upon the chest, sits cloud made flesh upon a sheet unreadied.

Below the bulb, roots grow to collect water. Above it, the sprout forms into a tulip. The sheet unreadied is the closed tulip petal and the cloud made flesh is morning dew.

Mastbergen

Mastbergen seems to be a Dutch name.

Cucumber

The cucumber tree and the tulip tree are related. Neither seems to be related to actual tulips though.

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    $\begingroup$ Wow! Another fantastic answer, but not the intended one. Well done indeed. $\endgroup$ – Travis Don Kindred Dec 6 '14 at 16:38
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Updated with a new guess: Now I think it's

Snakes.

damming of a dam

damning of Adam = Garden of Eden

holy servants to four kingdoms

Egypt? Old Kingdom / Middle Kingdom / New Kingdom / Late Period

spitting image

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spitting_cobra

A chest

The hood of a snake is kind of like its chest. Rearing cobra

drinks

Venom?

cloud made flesh

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snake_Temple "The temple was originally called the "Temple of the Azure Cloud" in honor of the beauty of Penang's sky."

although I haven't got anything yet for Mastbergen or the half cucumber. I think the 'leader' could perhaps be

Satan (as per Genesis)?


Original guess:

I think it's

Zoroastrians

because

There are only two kinds of people who "come bearing gifts", Greeks and Magi. Greeks would be too obvious (and doesn't fit well with the other clues) so I'm going with the Magi - who were, I think Zoroastrians in the story.

Once holy servants to four kingdoms, their concurrent demise diminished our status.

Zoroastrianism "was once the state religion of the Achaemenid, Parthian, and Sasanian empires" (Wikipedia) - and we could count the Persian empire as well to make 4.

"damming of a dam"

could be the dam

that was opened in the Battle of Ullais

Also, Sativa

means 'cultivated', so it would make sense for us to be talking about the Fertile Crescent, where agriculture was developed. This could fit with the drinks (irrigation) and the food. Damming (birthing) of a dam could also fit with irrigation.

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    $\begingroup$ Love the answer, but who would be the half cucumber? $\endgroup$ – Travis Don Kindred Dec 5 '14 at 18:32
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks @Travis. Half of "cucumis sativus" is "sativus". :) $\endgroup$ – A E Dec 5 '14 at 18:33
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    $\begingroup$ Well thought out, but incorrect. It's not a group defined by their beliefs about deities, though it would be another faith if it was one. $\endgroup$ – Travis Don Kindred Dec 5 '14 at 19:21
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    $\begingroup$ Not quite there, but you're warmer than Zoroastrians was. $\endgroup$ – Travis Don Kindred Dec 8 '14 at 16:12
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    $\begingroup$ @TravisKindred, 'Zoroastrian snakes' then? :) $\endgroup$ – A E Dec 8 '14 at 16:13

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