Emperor Crispus Doukain

Emperor and Autocrat of the Rasenna Crispus Doukain (a.k.a. Kaloïōannēs (The Good)

Eldest son of the domestic George Doukain, Crispus assumed power during a turbulent period in Rasennan history and through carefully laid financial, military, and political reforms propelled the empire into a period commonly called the Doukain Revival.

Physical Description

General Physical Condition

In his own time, he was often called Kaloïōannēs, a term meaning "The Beautiful" or "The Good" which was both a positive epithet for his appearance but also of his character. His curly hair and beard made him a dashing figure in court and on horseback and in addition to his athletic prowess, his beauty was something admired in his own time.

Mental characteristics

Personal history

The eldest son of the long-tenured domestic of Mykra George Doukain and his wife Arethria. Crispus accompanied his father on campaigns against the Hasdinians and notably fought in the famous Battles of Tongren and Mardia and was twice wounded in these battles. Crispus seems to have had little knowledge of the usurpation plot against Nepotian yet was rewarded when Principus came to the throne as he promoted Crispus to the captain of the Scholai. In this role, Crispus inherited a crumbling army ravaged by defeat after defeat against the Hasdinians as well as a shrinking treasury due to the loss of Areul. As a powerful magnate himself, Crispus was a preferable choice to the unpredictable and erratic Principus in the eyes of his fellow magnates and as such was chosen as the emperor's replacement when another coup toppled the regime of Principus.

Inheriting a collapsing empire and faced with constant warfare during his reign against both the Yarmeg on the Oltune frontier and the Hasdinians in the remaining territories in the west, Crispus was able to curb the Rasennan decline and begin the military, financial, and territorial recovery known as the Doukain Revival. The first step in Crispus' reign was his fateful decision to abandon Galukia to the Hasdinians. This decision was made on the basis of the Hasdinians already penetrating the mountains and making alliances with the local tribes to rise up. Crispus is said to have taken refugees fleeing the lost territories and in popular legend, to have said his final goodbyes to the province saying, 

"Farewell, dear province, from the time of the decorated Julius you have stood side by side with the empire. Farewell dear province, you will make a fine addition to the realm of my enemies."

The basis of much of Crispus' reign was his constant leading of troops in battle, leaving little time for him to properly govern. Despite his shaky position as emperor, Crispus maintained stable rule via his deflecting style of warfare and the solid governance of his younger brother Makerios who acted as regent. The reforms initiated by Crispus would be furthered by his brother during his own reign and together, they would be badly needed in such a time of imperial crisis. 

War with the Yarmeza in particular was a prospect many in the emperor's tent feared as the army during this time was simply not up to par to combat the horse riders. Crispus' plan, in fighting the feared riders was to avoid open battle at all cost and launch counter raids as retaliation. This process was laborious and many back in the capital lambasted the cowardly actions of the emperor. Crispus' methodology of warfare was to give his men valuable experience while ensuring they suffered little losses. The army could do little else but offer counter raids as a response, having none of the capable fighting men to throw the Yarmeza back across the river. After almost 12 years of warfare, the Oltune stabilized and Yarmezan incursions lessened, an outcome that led many to conclude that Crispus' tactics had worked and the empire could claim victory.

War with the Hasdinians was a fear of Crispus' and so after the formalized conquest of Galukia, Crispus arranged a marriage between his niece Amiana and Radimane's youngest son Clovis in order to secure peace in the west for a time. While the two empires would never truly become allies, Crispus' forethought proved vital in delaying the advance of the Hasdinians and bought the Empire valuable time to steady itself and reorganize.

Later Rasennan historians would argue that Crispus' reign was the more influential of the two Doukain rulers. Many stress the wisdom of Crispus' limited approach to warfare, which focused on sieges and seasonal raids rather than risking pitched battles. Crispus' strategy of launching annual campaigns with limited, realistic objectives was a more realistic response to the calamities that befell the empire previously and in contrast to the bold and ambitious tactics of his brother Makerios. According to this view, Crispus' campaigns benefited the empire because they kept fighting away from the empire's heartland and were fought to solidify the more than shaky frontiers of the empire along the Oltune. During Crispus' seasonal raids, the Yarmeza were forced onto the defensive, while Crispus kept his diplomatic situation relatively simple by allying and ensuring peace with the ascendant Hasdinians, guaranteeing at least a generational peace with his marriage of Amiana to Clovis.

Accomplishments & Achievements

Successful usurpation of Principus
Led largely successful raids and incursions across the Oltune against the Yarmeza
Negotiated a peace and marriage with Radimane
Began the implementation of military, financial and governmental reforms which largely benefitted the empire

Failures & Embarrassments

Fought inconclusively wars and made peace with little substantial gain

Personality Characteristics


Secure the frontiers and protect the heartlands of the empire

Virtues & Personality perks


Vices & Personality flaws



Family Ties

Eldest son of George Doukain and Arethia
Older brother of Makerios, Antarikos and George "Tolmirós" Doukain
Uncle of Basilides III, Anna, Amiana and Manuel IV Doukain

Religious Views

The Doukain family was an especially pious bunch, both Crispus and Makerios were especially pious, charitable, and dutiful in their conduct as emperors. Famously, Crispus is applauded as never having a man killed or maimed under his orders. When cruelty was the norm of rulership, Emperor Crispus was a light of moral objection to the notion that power automatically corrupts.

Social Aptitude

In contrast to his more bombastic younger brother, the elder Doukain brother was far more reserved, quiet and shy than many other Rasennan rulers have been. Crispus seems to have despised court etiquette and made all attempts to shirk his duty over to his younger brother who was more attuned to it.


In histories describing Crispus, it is often noted how few excerpts exist of speeches made by the emperor. Unlike some other emperors, Crispus appears very little in historical records detailing him instead, his deeds are more often spoken of than him personally. This is thought to be that Crispus was a poor speaker, perhaps suffering from a lisp that followed him throughout his life.
(Aftermath of the Battle of Tongren)
261 B.E 198 B.E 63 years old
Circumstances of Birth
Son of Mykran provincial George Doukain and his wife Arethria
Aivalo, Mykra
Dark Brown
Curly, Black Hair and Beard
Skin Tone/Pigmentation
200 lbs
Quotes & Catchphrases
"Wittle a rock too much and it sharpens to a point, back an empire into a corner, and its men will fight like wild to defend their homes."
Pankomisa Ecclesia
Aligned Organization
Other Affiliations
Known Languages
Character Prototype
John Komnenos


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