Sunday, August 8, 2010

DBA III/64 Nikiforean Byzantine 963-1042 AD (Divine Empire)

This army represents the Eastern Roman(Byzantine) armies as they looked in the reigns of emperors Constantine VIII, Zoe, Romanos III, Michael IV, Michael V and Theodora (1025-1042). This army saw a lot of action in Italy against the Longbards and Normans, and in the Middle East against the Egytpian Muslim dynasties (Fatmids and predeccesors) and Great Seljucks. It is a combined arms army with a sold core of cavalry and bow elements. The minaitures are Khurashan.
The Army Arrayed

The 2 Tagmatic Cavalry Units and the Generals Unit
Shield Details
Psiloi, with Varangians behind them and the first two Spear and Bow units
The other Spear and Bow units
The Two Thematic Calvary Units, Cataphracts and the Prokoustoures LH
Back side of Infantry
All in all I enjoyed the painting of the army. This is my first 15mm DBA army after 6 years. My first one was an Essex French 100years war army, which I lost :(. This is a good reentry!
Fantasy Write Up: Divine Empire

Divine Empire

The Divine Empire is the fantasy version of the DBA Army

In Rally Round the King the army is represented by the Sortium Army List

In HOTT the army in 24 points is the following: Knights (General) x1, Paladins (1 Kataphract Base) x1,Riders (Kavallaraoi)x2, Spearkx2, Bowx2, Bladesx1, Cleric x1

The Divine Empire was created more than 450 years before the accession of Aristeri II, current Divine Empress. It was the child of the rich Sunlight Sea (Iliofotos Thallasa). It was the child of human civilizations, the Danai, the Magi, the Arsinovi, that were not touched by the Elf Lords. More then 2000 years ago human tribes from the south and east settled the coasts, valleys, and islands of the southern coast of the Sunlight Sea. They came to fill in the void created by the end of the Sundering Wars between the Old Ones and the Elf Lords. Unlike the human tribes of the north that ended being ruled by ancient elf lords, in return for the trappings of a simple civilization, the peoples living in the warm embrace of the Sunlight Sea forged their civilizations from scratch. Sometimes they would glean some forbidden mysteries from the stepped husks of the pyramid cities of the Old Ones. Sometimes a renegade elf lord would teach them. But most of the time they innovated from scratches. Cities, Kingdoms, Confederations arose and competed between them and with the rising civilizations of the Zoastri. Trade and war was made with the people of the western isle, the dwarves of the Western Mountains, the Steppe Lords, and even the blue skinned and red headed humans that served the reclusive elf lords. Cities, Kings and Hegemons would try to build empires, leagues and confederation only to be crushed in great wars. The Padishas of the Zoastri would invade trying to conquer the northern lands, only to beaten back or getting some tenuous declarations of fealty.

The peoples of the Sunlight Sea worshiped and still do, a bewildering array of sophisticated gods, Not for them the Dour and stern Fire God of the Zoastri. Not for them the abstract nature gods of the humans of the elves. But a vast array of colorful deities only matched by the 1000 of minor and major gods of the Southern Republican Cities and the Ksariya Lords. The Danai had their 24 gods and goddesses, each one different, each with a rich philosophy. The Magi had their one but many faced god, the Arsinovi their hero cults. And they would mix and match their gods and bring in exotic influences from the far south. But no gods were as popular as the Triad. A philosophical dogma started in the city-states of the islands of the Sunlight Sea, it became the basis for the creation of the Divine Empire. The Triadists worshiped and paid homage to all gods as long as those gods proscribed the murder of people. For the Triadists believed that sentient beings had a divine nature made of three important elements, the soul, the body, and the mind. For the world to stand all these had to be taken care of, the body nourished with food and excerise, the soul with grand emotions, and the mind with logic and intellectual pursuit. The Triadists fully believed that the balance of the world depended on the ability of humans to balance those three elements within them. They declared that it was the sacred duty of Kings and Cities, Hegemons and Lords to create the conditions in which every human can as best take care of his tridic divinity. Gods and Godesses whose faith nourished one of the three all of the three elements wee to be honored. Those whose worship destroyed those elements were to be shunned. Poverty and Hunger were to be combatted. Sloth and self-destruction to be abhorred. Torture and senseless killing were to be avoided. The Triadists believed that humans should enjoy life but only to the point that it did not lead to the diminishing of any one of the three elements.

Triadism spread throughout the lands of the Sunlight Sea. Commoners flocked to it because it exhorted the powerful to take care of the weak and considered each and every human a divine being. Kings, aristocrats and city lords used it as a excuse for massive building and infrastructure programs. But one royal family, ruling the largest city state on the islands of the Sunlight Sea took Triadism and used it as the impetus for a career of conquest that cumulated in the Divine Empire. The Lakids declared that for Traidism to be truly met the world had to be united under one rule. Otherwise war would always mar the human being, destroying the balance and undermining the world. They also declared that peacefull preaching was not enough . That dark and evil sects had to be eradicated by sword, and that such actions were to be cleansed by repentance. Since Triadism was more of a philosophical movement, more of a view of life then an organized faith., the Lakid version was not combatted quickly. It also helped that during that era dark cults created from too much search into the mysteries of the Old Ones had risen. That Tyrant of Melos openly ruled with cruelty and inhumanity, declaring tha the world could only be redeemed through pain. At the same time Korvus I, the first Khalifa lunched his great invasion, determined to bring all of the known world under the rule fo the Fiery God.

The Lakids became the center of a huge alliance of kingdoms, cities and hegemons. They defeated the Khalifa and drove him back south of the river. They smashed the Tyrant of Melos. Taking advantage of the still great threat of the Khalifa, and the fear of dark cults, they turned a wartime alliance into a permanent league. The league became an confederation, and the confederation eventually an empire. Triadism became an imperial faith, not intolerant, but still the dogma solidifying an empire.

And a grand empire it was. The Divine Empire was the great center of human ruled civilization. Theater and the arts, as well as gymansitcs and science and thinking were it’s great achievements. It’s civilizational aura affected the human tribes living in the north of the Sunlight Sea, the Latian Tribes in the Southern Isles, and the Salamenian tribes of the mountains and hills in the east. It was also a warrior empire. Fueled by Traidism it attempted many times to conquer the Khalifas land, most of the times failing, but still putting fear in the Fire Gods followers. It helped the Republican cities keep free from the Khalifas rule or the Ksaiya lords. Most importantly four emperors, launched great wars of conquest driving the Elf lords of the north to the sea or to the edges of green land, and brining many human tribes that had lived in primitiveness the benefits of civilization, albeit sometimes at the sword.

There were times of troubles. Civil Wars, the largest one being the 20 year war when Arisionis III faced the rebellion and challenge of the whole east due to a heresy, assassinations, as those of Konstans I and Menelia II, foreign invasions ,from the Khalifa or the Elf Lords , but the empire survived thanks to the Triadic link and also the pride of the empires oldest people in their civilization. Forty-Five Lakid emperors ruled, sometimes with a heavy hand , like Trictus, Arsionis II, Gordian I, Sofia II, sometimes with a cruel one, like Anastasius III, Feon IV, but most of the times with a light but firm hand. All came crushing down with Gordian IV.

The Undying Emperor did great harm to the Divine Empire at the worst time possible. The North was overrun by the Horse Lords, great rider hosts from the East. Treason hit with the rebellion of the Exarch of the North. The South was hit by Korvanus III, the Khalifa. The empire survived wounded, scared. The Brilliance of the previous time seemed dim. The Theater plays took a more tragic look. The Triadic faith became more serious, more militant for there was nothing as negating the central tenets of the faith as the sight of the dead walking. A new dynasty rules, a dynasty of warrior emperors who have been trying for 150 years to reclaim what was lost, and destroy the Undying Emperor. But the eras have changed. In the South the Khalifas look worried to the east were hordes of horsemen raid. The cities of the Southern Isles, once the god-child’s of the Divine Empire , have become militarist societies bent on conquest, invading the lands of the Salamenian tribes and raiding far and wide for slaves and loot. In the North the usurper King is always a threat, as are the Horse Lords. In the west the Elf Lords have used their human pawns more aggressively then before, with fleets of northmen raiders burning and sacking all in their path. It is a gray era. But as the priests and philosophers say to their worried flocks, if this generation mends the broken triad, then the brilliance of past times will come back.


War Minister Crittumbo said...

Very nice work.

Konstantinos Travlos said...

Yes. I am really happy how it turned out. Thank you very much!