The Battle of the Three Cities, circa 611

Once again the evil subjugated hordes of the despotic tyrant the Irman, Shah en Shah of the Sassanids, are trying to enslave the peoples of the Byzantine Empire having crossed the Euphrates they are now attacking three cities centred on Homs.

I Scribus Quickus XI, scribe to the late Pretorian Prefect Gerasimos Tresmanius who was deposed as the troops were deploying for battle, be it rumoured that gold was involved supplied by the dastardly Palmyrans, allies of the Sassanids. (Where the Palmyrans came from I have no idea.)  As a new convert to the Christian religion it was also claimed that he heard the clash of heavenly gates and deemed it best to depart these parts thinking he would be killed in the coming battle.

Be that as it may the shadowy figure of allied Lombard Generals, Jeremius and Vinzenz, were claimed to be behind the machinations to elect a new Emperor. Thus it came to be that Symeonius, Dux of Thessalonica, was raised to the purple in his absence by these men. (Donít believe all the bad things you hear about these peace loving German peoples their not power mad.) With Symeonius arrival on the field of battle the brave Byzantine troops advanced.

On the right wing other possible claimants to the throne, the Dux Phoenice and Dux Syria, were pitted against hordes of archers as far as the eye could see, and these were backed by elephants, infantry, and cavalry led by Mirzza, Satrap of Asuristan and his son Aydin. One can only think that they were expected to die at the head of their troops as they were pitted against such super human odds.  The Sassanid troops were tardy in their movement, being levies, and when sent into action performed poorly but were slowly winning. But with the aid of Symeonius later in the battle, and with the rumour the Huns being paid double wages, they were hurling back the Sassanid hordes under Mirzza, Satrap of Gorzam, who was aided by his son Aydin.

The Byzantine left were to face the massed hordes of Rajdeny, Satrap of Asuristan, the evil genius whoís elephants, massed cavalry, along with huge masses of conscriped infantry threw themselves onto the Vinzenz few troops who even with continual reinforcements from the hard-pressed centre were crumbling by nightfall. Vinzenz before all was finished was to mount his metal steed and be seen to vanishing into the distance

The Byzantine left centre looked at the task before them as the Sassanids had chosen a good site for defence with a river for the Byzantine forces to ford then rising hills for them climb in the face of clouds of missiles and after that into elephants with their supporting infantry.  Here Iacobus quickly threw his men over the river, then seized the city, he now quickly assaulted the heights in the hope that he could seize them before their foe was to well entrenched. Valiant though the attack was and with victory in their grasp their attack faltered and they were slowly pushed back to within the city and its surrounding area. Here they held out bravely against superior odds from the enemies repeated attacks. Here they still held out even to the end of the day causing my Sassanid casualties so bravely did they fight.

Symeonius, in the Byzantine right centre,  seeing the enemy forces in front of him being bogged down fighting Iacobusís forces and with the Sassanids Palmyran allies doing nothing launched the Byzantine shock cavalry over the river in a mighty attack sweeping all before him the cataphracts, the clibinarii, and the elephants. While the Sassanids claim they were victorious itís very noticeable that they had more dead in the field, these were all their allied cataphract cavalry as well as many of their own clibinarii, and that their infantry were huddled within and without the walls of the cities, which they were assumedly ravishing as hordes do. Many of the rest of their troops could be seen standing on the highest hill in huddles, possibly they were chained together.

Itís rumoured that the commander of the Palmyrans, Bar-abba, was dallying in Homs, one of the cities under attack, having fallen under the spell of its ruler, the ravishing Hanina, and was to be seen indulging in feasts of chicken coated in breadcrumbs, which were then deep fried, also sausage rolls and a delicacy of white bread with the crusts cut off, filled with all manner of fillings.  Bar-abba had thus had failed to see the destruction of his cataphracts and the failure to commit his good infantry when needed.

The participants:

Iain Dickie                    Irman, Shah en Shah
Gareth  Harding            Rajdeny, Satrap of Asuristan
Mark Littleton              Mirzza, Satrap of
Alaric Littleton              Aydin, son of Mirzza
Ben Counsil                  Bar-abba
Harriet                          Hanina

Jerry Treman                Gerasimos Tresmanius
Simon Dixon                 Symeonius, Dux of Thessalonica
Nigel Pell                      Nilus, Dux of Phoenice
Jack Nelson                
Iakobos, Dux of Syria
Jim Brown                    Jeremius
Vince Obrien                Vinzenz

Photos