Emperor Basilides Sfyrí

Emperor and Autocrat of the Rasenna Basilides Chrysatine (a.k.a. Sfyrí (The Hammer)

Known even in contemporary histories as Basilides the Hammer, this revered Emperor of the Rasenna waged successful military campaigns across the empire and restored the military prowess of the Empire in victories against the eastern Rasanids. Basilides remains among the top echelon of Rasennan emperors for his prudent and capable leadership.

Physical Description

General Physical Condition

Basil was exceptionally large for his day, something that formed the basis for his intimidating court presence. He is described by Vardes as being exceptionally well built, comfortable more in the saddle than on a throne, with curly well-trimmed hair and whiskers he would often roll when deep in thought.

Mental characteristics

Personal history

Born as a pampered child of the imperial palace, Basilides was born in the second year of his father's reign and thus was designated as born in the palace. As such, Basilides was a prestigious child and gave legitimacy to the new ruling dynasty of the Chrysatines who had only nominally been maternally connected to the now usurped Romanoi. Basilides was only 19 years old when he succeeded his father and many looked to him as little more than a brooding creature of the palace with little tangible skills necessary to rule. While not initially wrong, Basil was a fierce and devoted man and sought to give himself the skills those around him thought he lacked. He brushed up on diplomacy, statecraft, lawmaking, and economic developments and soon became even more competent in them than his late father. However, one large marker of a successful emperor was success on the field of battle, something few thought the Emperor would be able to achieve. Externally, Basilides was a cold and rigid man with little give-aways to what he was thinking but internally his mind was always active and always searching for solutions to predicaments. Basil learned that to throw off his stigma of palatial living meant rigid adherence to the affairs of his soldiers and as such, he was determined to lead them directly and lead them to victory.

Basil would engage with marauding Herodi along the Rhor and beat them time and time again, often enrolling them in the army as federate troops. These victories brought new challenges as numerous tribes confederated into the Chesanii who waged a difficult on and off war with the empire for close to twelve years. The war ended with a Rasennan victory after the death of the tribal leader Vibran who surrendered to Basil personally. With the Rhor border secured, Basil marched on the Oltune and constructed river and border forts as well as further recruitment in the Argihenian themes. This paid off when marauding tribes, likely Beihan, burst through the border defenses, Basil and his imperial troops were there to meet them and shockingly defeated them at Ovisil. A Rasennan victory against mounted horse archers was truly something to marvel at as this had not been done since the short reign of Valen II. Basil's victory would differ in its effectiveness as the horse archers were recruited into imperial service where they would serve loyally and bravely for the remainder of Basil's reign. Lesser known during this time is Basil's diplomatic attitude with the tribes on the north bank of the Oltune as the emperor secured alliances and defensive pacts with them and generally secured the vast river for the remainder of his reign. Everywhere Basil went he was met with stunning success and now a new challenger arose in the east, the old foe of the empire, the Rasanids once more threatened the Natreshan coast.

War with the Rasanids was something common in the action and minds of those living in the east. Whenever the Rasenna shifted their focus to the Rhor or the Oltune, the eastern empire of the Ivanshar would raid and invade the rich coastal regions of Old Natresh. Such was the case during Basil's reign when the Rasanid Shah invaded the east with his 50,000-strong army. The empire was put on high alert with this development and the Tagma was rushed east to meet the threat, Basil leading it. With the theme armies depleted by years of war, Basil could not muster a force to match the Rasanids and as such would bring 40,000 men with him when he arrived at Durris. The fight ahead looked dire, as the Rasanids trampled, burned, and pillaged their way to the coastal city of Akrosis, a three-week march from Durris. Many in Basil's camp urged him to reinforce Durris and make a stand there like many other commanders in the east had done. Basil refused to stand by and let the Rasanids cart off the east's wealth and so he organized his forces and reinforced them with fresh conscripts, volunteers, and late-arriving theme units and marched south to meet the bulk of the Rasanid force at Akrosis. The fight at Akrosis was brutal, with the Rasanid holdouts clinging to their captured city and fighting viciously to keep it. By the time the Rasenna had filled the large ditch before them, built their siege engines, and brought the ladders up to begin an assault, many of the soldiers were weak from exhaustion in the hot sun and starving from lack of supplies being brought to them by eastern domestics. The only large bounties of food were found inside the walls of Akrosis and so Basil's troops fought like cornered animals in order to get to it. The siege of the city itself would last only a month but the ravaging the city got from a Rasanid occupation, as well as the vicious pillaging it received from Basil's troops, led to an exodus from the city into surrounding areas.

With victory in his own territory, Basil went on the offensive and marched east into Rasanid territory, hell-bent on repaying the Shah for his aggression. Marching east, both sides collided accidentally at a sleepy village by the name of Shian. The battle at Shian was one of the largest fought in over a hundred years as the combined forces facing off numbered around 150,000 men. Little else can be said that Shian was a bloodbath, and this seems intentional on Basil's part as he could afford to reinforce his men here while the Rasanid Shah Baraz had matters elsewhere that required troops and such, the defeat here would plunge the Rasanids into a decade long civil war. Basil had essentially won a strategic victory in his campaign in the east and when he returned home from nearly a decade of war, he found all corners of the empire at peace.

Returning to the capital in triumph, the captured queen of the Rasanids was paraded through the streets in golden chains and presented to the emperor atop his throne. Basil's predetermined decision to spare her was seen as a display of great restraint and earned him great love in the eyes of the populace of the capital. Queen Koshim was put up in comfortable residences around the city, and treated well. Rumors throughout the city began circulating that the Queen did not wish to return home as she had supposedly fallen for the Emperor who had defeated her husband. Rumors like these may have held some credence as on multiple stints, Koshim attended feasts and banquets at the imperial residence and stayed there for long periods of time. Whatever the case, after a decade of pseudo imprisonment, the regal Koshim was eventually ransomed to her youngest son Phratiz who had ascended to the Rasanid throne. Peace in the east was secured via this ransom with an official treaty being drawn up and approved by both rulers.

As the emperor returned to domestic life, many could see the age he had on him as a result of his rigorous campaigning. Gone were the dark locks of hair he had once had and these were replaced by grey, unkempt hair and age lines all across his face. Basil's demeanor, however, did not change, he still was the same somber, humorless and prudent man who left for war so many years ago. However in accounts of this period, the veil is sometimes pulled back and a view of the emperor emerges of a loving husband to his wife, a warm father to his children, and a man with a notoriously booming laugh on the rare occasions it was heard. Little about Basil's life was simple and the man himself was a very complicated and conflicting figure, outwardly hostile to everyone around him yet so coddling, warm and loving without the pressures of state on his shoulders.

For a total of 37 years, Basil would rule and continue the era brought on by his father, of security backed by a strong and loyal military and civic government. Over his entire reign, Basil was known as a prudent spender despite his lengthy campaigns and so upon his death, the treasury was well-stocked due to his capable administration. In every corner of his rule, Basil was a success and all this success would make Basilides an honored figure in the future. A common motif following the emperor's death was in times of imperial crisis, desperate figures would wail over the tomb of the former emperor and beg him to rise and vanquish the enemies of the empire like he had once done.


Given an imperial education by his father Emperor Manuel II
During his rule, given a military reeducation by trusted members of the Tagma


Rasennan crown prince
Rasennan Emperor

Accomplishments & Achievements

Brought needed legitimacy to the Chrysatine dynasty
Successful campaigns in the Rhor and Oltune frontiers against Herodi and Beihan incursions
Led a largely successful eastern campaign against the Rasanids, resulting in a 20 year peace
Left the empire monetarily, culturally and militarily better than he had found it

Personality Characteristics


Secure the integrity of the empire both militarily and economically

Virtues & Personality perks


Vices & Personality flaws



Contacts & Relations

Possible lover of the Rasanid Queen Koshim. Possibly the father of a half Rasanid woman by the name of Azarin

Family Ties

Son of Emperor Manuel II Chrysatine and Anastasia Zeneros
Great Grandson of Emperor Roman II Parapinakes
 Father of Arbasus and Chlorus Chrysatine
Grandfather of Emperor Manuel III Misó

Religious Views

Fervently devoted to the imperial cult, Basil was a believer in his divine right to rule and ferociously attacked any who challenged that.

Social Aptitude

"Prudent, humorless and a man more befit as the right hand of the sun or as a pig farmer".  

These were the words used to describe the social aptitude of Basil by one of his contemporary chroniclers Varnes of Trichea. Some most assuredly considered him a cruel and oppressive man while he most assuredly would have seen himself as devoted to his office. In everything he did, Basil lived a very ascetic existence, he had little taste for pomp and grandeur and avoided it as best he could. Psychologically, Basil likely held little regard for his own citizens, he very much saw himself as a superior and a figure who knew what was best for everyone within the empire. Domestically, Basil is said to have been a very different man, to his family he was a caring and attentive figure. Basil saw to the needs of his sons but watched as they grew into men in love with their status and their wealth, something he had lived his life trying to shed.


Proud and brash in his gestures towards those under him, Basil walked and carried himself in the manner of a true Rasennan emperor at all times. He was a strict disciplinarian and adhered to very formal court etiquette. This meant that those at court could not talk to him, he spoke to them and they did as he bid them to. The distance was always maintained in the relationship between the emperor and his underlings. On campaign, this was flipped as Basil led and was seen to lead from a very lowly position which endeared him to his many soldiers. He famously won the love of both the Tagmatic troops as well as the theme troops, something not often done by Emperors.


Basil was notoriously curt and pointed with his words. Many court officials quietly loathed him for his disrespectful view of them. This may be that Basil did not consider himself an articulate public speaker, a fact supported by Varnes of Trichea. In public, he kept greetings short and skipped in the usual displays of flattery towards his subordinates. Privately, Basil was still introverted but was known by his family as a tender and loving man with a soft and soothing voice.


Emperor Basilides Sfyrí


Towards Domnica Buhilariya

Domnica Buhilariya


Towards Emperor Basilides Sfyrí

Other Ethnicities/Cultures
440 B.E 384 B.E 56 years old
Circumstances of Birth
Son of newly crowned Emperor Manuel II Chrysatine and his wife Empress Anastacia Zeneros
Rasca, Lakia
Dark Brown, Narrow and Furrowed
Black (Grey in old age), Wavy with a groomed beard
Skin Tone/Pigmentation
220 lbs
Quotes & Catchphrases
"He who boasts of his greatness should grip his sword tightly."
Victus Ouea
Aligned Organization
Other Affiliations
Known Languages
Character Prototype
Basil II
(The Siege of Akrosis)
(Queen Koshim is paraded in chains during Basil's triumph)


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