IMPERATOR: The Last Maurician

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Eparkhos_Ton_Trapezous, Aug 15, 2019.

Loading...
  1. Eparkhos_Ton_Trapezous Dux Theodoros ton Khaldeia

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2019
    Location:
    Trapezous, Duxate ton Khaldeia
    So this thread is the third attempt at this TL, both of which failed. The POD is Maurikios' youngest son surviving the coup of 602

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    12 July 609

    Flavius Iustinianus Mauricius tightened the rope tying the corpse to the saddle and stepped back to examine his work. It was fairly good, if you didn’t look to hard it looked like he had only died recently. He tied the horse’s lead to the back of his saddle and mounted his own.
    He was riding through a part of Hispania that would have been quite nice if it weren’t for the burning buildings and corpses scattered across the road. He spurred his horse on and tried not to look at them.
    After a few hours of riding in the hot sun and dry, dusty wind he was drenched in sweat and a foul stench was starting to come off of the body. Not good, if it smelled too bad they might not believe him. He shook his head and kept riding.
    The sky was streaked with red and pink when the wind began to change. The feeling on his face went from a hard, course stream to a soft ocean breeze. A small grey dot appeared on the horizon. He smiled. Malaga.
    The stars were already high in the sky when arrived outside the city. The area around the city was desolate, with no trees or plants and the only sound the rustle of the burnt grass. He rocked back in his saddle and shouted over the wall, “Sentry!”
    The only response was the soft rustle of the grass.
    “SENTRY!”
    “What?! What the hell is it that you can’t wait till morning!”
    A head popped over the walls, a faint orange glow lighting up the side of his face closest to his lantern.
    “Magister Militum Quintus Decius, here to take command of the province.”
    “Sure you are. Go back to Gundemar.”
    The head disappeared.
    “Well, I’m not him. I’m the magister equites. And you might want to get a look at him.”
    The voice came quieter. “Sure I do.”
    “’Cause he’s got an arrow in his neck.”
    There was a faint sigh from on top of the walls.
    “Fine. But if you do anything I’ll cut your balls off myself.”
    He rolled back forward in the saddle and looked expectantly at the gates. They were heavily scarred with cracks, both the new fresh white and the old dark tan. After a few minutes the gates creaked open, slowly drawing backwards until there was a space barely wide enough to ride through. Behind the gates was a gatehouse, with another pair of gates behind them, similarly opened.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
  2. Threadmarks: Update #1

    Eparkhos_Ton_Trapezous Dux Theodoros ton Khaldeia

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2019
    Location:
    Trapezous, Duxate ton Khaldeia
    It opened onto a courtyard, faintly lit by sputtering torches but empty. He reigned in just outside the second gate. A bloodcurdling screech echoed from behind him and he whirled around to the gates closing. And he felt the press of cool metal against his neck.
    “Don’t move.”
    His eyes flicked sideways. A group of spearmen were crowded against the wall next to the gates. By all rights he should have seen them. Shit.
    “Felix, go around and untie the magister militum.”
    He tracked Felix as he circled around to the second horse. The man took one whiff of the corpse and turned away, hand over mouth.
    “Kentarches! He’s dead!”
    The man with the spear to his throat glared at Felix. “Of course he’s dead. You couldn’t smell him coming in?”
    “No.”
    He looked up at the sky, grimacing and no doubt screaming internally. After a few seconds he looked back at the man and said “Go through his pockets. He should have a paper with the imperial seal on it.”
    Felix pulled the coat off of the corpse and started going through the pockets, the kentarches kept the spear at Iustinianus’ throat the whole time. After a few minutes a wad of papyrus was produced.
    He frowned as he scanned it. “Yeah, it says he was appointed by… Tiberius III.” He looked up at stared at the kentarches. “Did we have a Tiberius III?”
    The kentarches blinked. “I don’t know.”
    Iustinianus coughed, only to feel the spear press harder against his neck. He choked out a quiet “Yes, between Mauricius and Phocas.”
    The kentarches stared at him with cold eyes. Shit, he knew. He’d slipped up and was going to die for it. And then the man turned to Felix and said “Oh yeah, I forgot. He was between Mauricius and Phocas. Reigned 602 to 603. Now stable the horses and bury the poor man.”
    He turned back to Iustinianus. “Now, what was it, magister equites? If you’d be willing to come with me then Felix’ll take care of your horse.”
    Iustinianus nodded and dismounted
     
  3. Threadmarks: Update #2

    Eparkhos_Ton_Trapezous Dux Theodoros ton Khaldeia

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2019
    Location:
    Trapezous, Duxate ton Khaldeia
    The kentarches slammed the door shut behind them. They were in a small room, which had a table with an unrolled scroll and a lit lamp on it with two chairs up against the left wall and a rumpled cot in the back. He gestured for Iustinianus to sit. He did. The kentarches started pacing along the far wall.
    “Who the hell are you?” he snapped.
    “Magister Equites Flavius Iustinianus Mauricius.”
    “Bullshit. No Magister Equites would have access to a royal seal.”
    “I didn’t the emperor did.”
    “Boy, if you tell me that Tiberius III gave your corpse buddy this command, I’m gonna throw you off the wall.”
    “I’m not going to tell you that.”
    “Then did how’d you get it?”
    “I stole it from the palace.”
    “The hell you-“ The kentarches stopped and grimaced up at the ceiling. “Mauricius. How the hell did I miss that?” He turned and looked Iustinianus in the eye.
    “Brother, cousin, or nephew? And why shouldn’t I arrest you and give you over to Phocas right now?”
    Iustinianus stared back at him. “How many men do you have in the city, kentarches?”
    “One hundred and twenty seven.”
    “How many in all of Spania?”
    “Don’t know.”
    “But not many, right? I rode past four outposts on my way here. Malaga is the only city left, and if it has less than one-fifty there can’t be much more than two hundred in the province. Can you really waste one man? Phocas doesn’t know I’m here. If you turn me over he’ll just leave you here to die. I’ve been in the capital. The Avars have been raiding down to the Long Walls. The Lombards are outside Ravenna and the Persians are flooding across the frontier. Africa is in rebellion. No reinforcements are coming. No one cares about Spania. Except me.”
    The kentarches looked at him with a grim expression. He sighed, nodding, and stuck out his hand. “Leontius Aurelianus Symmachius. I don’t think it would be wise to call you Mauricius in these circumstances, Magister Equites. There should be a spare bunk in the barracks.”
    Iustinianus nodded and started to walk out, then stopped and turned on the threshold.
    “How many horses are in the city.”
    “Somewhere around forty. Why?”
     
  4. Albert Blake Gott Mit Uns

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2019
    Location:
    Britain
    An independent Byzantine-Spanish Empire would be cool to see, what’s the POD?
     
    Byzantion likes this.
  5. Eparkhos_Ton_Trapezous Dux Theodoros ton Khaldeia

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2019
    Location:
    Trapezous, Duxate ton Khaldeia
    During the coup of 602, Maurikios and four of sons (Tiberios [III], Petros, Paulos and Ioustin) were executed. Two of his sons, Theodosios and Ioustinainos escaped. Theodosios was either killed by the pro-Phokads or died in exile in Persia, we don't know. Ioustinianos just disappears out of the historical record after the coup, although he was not listed amongst the Maurikians who were either killed in the coup or purged afterwards. He is presumed to have either been tracked down and killed or died in obscurity.

    So I started thinking, and after throwing out an idea about Ioustinianos fleeing to Britannia and taking on the role of a second Arthur I decided that Spania, poor, poor isolated Spania, alone and unloved with the Visigoths to the left of them, the Berbers to the right of them, would make an obvious breakaway state that no one care about retaking because no one cared to keep it at all.
     
  6. Albert Blake Gott Mit Uns

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2019
    Location:
    Britain
    All hail his most August majesty, Justinian I of Hispania. Only issue with a Spain-centred empire is that it’s territorial reach is weak outside of the peninsula, South Italy and maybe parts of South France are its limit to me. Controlling the Gibraltar strait is also an option.
     
  7. Eparkhos_Ton_Trapezous Dux Theodoros ton Khaldeia

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2019
    Location:
    Trapezous, Duxate ton Khaldeia
    Well, at this point Spania is Malaga, a few forts (Calpum [Gibraltar] Asidona [Medina-Sidonia] and Spartaria [San Javier]) and Tingis and Septem in Africa. However, all of them are undermanned and just got hit by a resurgence of the Justinianic Plague in 601.

    So he (As Magister Militum) technically does control the Pillars of Herakles, but they're effectively worthless because there's next to no traffic coming through them.
     
  8. Paschalis Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2019
    This is very intresting, i tried to find a way for a romano spanish state myself but have failed so far. Definitly watched.
     
  9. Threadmarks: 15 July 609 Map

    Eparkhos_Ton_Trapezous Dux Theodoros ton Khaldeia

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2019
    Location:
    Trapezous, Duxate ton Khaldeia
    A Map:
    609.png

    Light Purple: Spania
    Blue: Calla Federation (Nicean Romano-Berber Federation)
    Dark Purple: Africae
    Green: Visigothic Kingdom
     
  10. Paschalis Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2019
    How do you plan to give him enough resources against the goths and what will become of the eastern empire ? will it go like otl with herakleios beign very unlucky ?
     
  11. Eparkhos_Ton_Trapezous Dux Theodoros ton Khaldeia

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2019
    Location:
    Trapezous, Duxate ton Khaldeia
    A) That's a secret
    B) Heraclius will overthrow Phocas, but Priscus will raise an army in Anatolia and kick off another civil war in 611.
     
  12. SpaceRome Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2018
    This western Justinian doesn't have a lot of time before Islam comes knocking at his door. Are 100 years (the time until the Umaayyads come for Hispania) enough time?
     
  13. Eparkhos_Ton_Trapezous Dux Theodoros ton Khaldeia

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2019
    Location:
    Trapezous, Duxate ton Khaldeia
    *chuckles in butterflies* [1]

    [1] By which I mean butterflies of the Byzantine Civil War of 608-617
     
  14. SpaceRome Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2018
    Would a civil war inside byzantium not simply exacerbate the spread of islam in the west? unless you mean to butterfly it away completely, internal conflict in the byzantine empire would prove very good for any arab/muslim conqueror heading their direction.
     
  15. Eparkhos_Ton_Trapezous Dux Theodoros ton Khaldeia

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2019
    Location:
    Trapezous, Duxate ton Khaldeia
    It's my personal belief that a longer civil war would actually curtail the Rise of Islam due to Persia steamrolling the Empire and still being intact enough to slap down the Islamic invasions in 632.
     
    notincognit and darthfanta like this.
  16. Basileus_Komnenos Imperator Romanorum Βασιλεύς των Ρωμαιων Αὔγουστος

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2018
    Actually Persia was overextended. Even if by some miracle an earthquake destroyed the Walls of Constantinople, there would be heavy fighting to take the city. Persia would have a hard time holding on to its vast gains especially with the task of now holding Egypt, and the Levant. If say Islam were to emerge like otl, then the Persians would have to combat Roman rebels and insurgent groups while fighting the onslaught of the Caliphate who is closer to Ctesiphon. So they would have to pull back lest being overrun since Ctesiphon doesn’t have natural defenses like Constantinople, Ravenna, or the Zagross mountains.

    I highly doubt that the Caliphate will steamroll both empires. Since Rome has to deal with a massive civil war and 20 years of grueling total war against the Sassanids. Here the armies and resources of the empire are still intact as is Persia. Though both are weakened by the plague and dynastic instability. It’s nowhere near the crisis of the 630’s.
     
  17. Eparkhos_Ton_Trapezous Dux Theodoros ton Khaldeia

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2019
    Location:
    Trapezous, Duxate ton Khaldeia
    In this scenario, the civil war between Heraclius and Phocas II (Priscus) weakens the empire's defenses enough for Theodosius III to be installed by Khosrow II in 617. There's not much objection due to the whole "nine years of bloody civil war and collapse of central authority" and the empire has somewhat recovered by 632 when a strong Persia slaps Abu Bakr down and burns Mecca.
     
  18. ImperialxWarlord Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2018
    Location:
    Illinois
    A Byzantine break off state in Spain? Interesting. But damn, our boy Justinian has very little to work with. He’s gots lot of work ahead of him.
     
  19. Albert Blake Gott Mit Uns

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2019
    Location:
    Britain
    Ha! I suppose this would limit Islam to OTL Saudi Arabia then. Due to its small land area it would probably experience no permanent splits in religion like Christianity did.
     
    ImperialxWarlord likes this.
  20. ImperialxWarlord Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2018
    Location:
    Illinois
    How strong were the Visigoths at this point? I know that when the WRE fell they were a formidable foe, but that by the time the Arabs came knocking at their front door they were about as strong as a dry noodle. Regardless, our Justinian here will need more than a few hundred men to hold his new domain, let alone expand it.
     
Loading...