Emperor Roman V Alysodeménoi

Emperor and Autocrat of the Rasenna Roman Chrysatine (a.k.a. Alysodeménoi (The Shackled)

The final emperor of the successful Chrysatine dynasty. Roman V would be remembered almost exclusively for the disastrous Battle of Tarakoun which saw his defeat and capture by the forces of the Zhor warlord Mufazer. He would eventually be usurped and blinded by the Mártioi clan who assumed the throne.

Physical Description

General Physical Condition

In many ways, Roman very much resembled his father George Masele. Roman was stout, strong, and remembered as particularly handsome.

Mental characteristics

Personal history

Roman Chrysatine, great-grandson of both the popular general Alexander Masele and named for the famed Roman IV Vasilaiós. Roman V was born in the last years of his great grandfather's reign and would be brought up, first by his mother and then by a series of aristocrats. As he came into his teenage years, he was mentored directly by his father, Emperor George Masele who inspired his son's martial temperament. In contrast to his father though, Roman held a firm disdain for the military aristocracy of the empire, a group he saw as domineering and holding too much power over the rightly guided emperor. Roman held an interesting yet tragic view of his position in the world. Roman believed in his Ecclesial right to rule and to rule without question as to the Sun's chosen vicar. This belief stoked a fierce superiority complex in the young man, a complex that led to an isolated, paranoid, and lonely existence for the emperor who refused help at all times. When he came to power, Roman was determined to micromanage all aspects of imperial rulership despite the presence of his courtiers and advisors who remained capable in their own ways. As he ascended to the throne after his father's death, his rule was challenged by his mother who sought to use Roman as a puppet in order to retain her power. Roman's response to her was to violently put her under house arrest, a fate that eventually led to her outliving him.

After wrestling power from his mother, Roman began his reign solely on his own accord and married Makembra the daughter of his Scholai captain, Theodoros Auriones. Roman also adopted Makembra's two children as his own, the two boys Doukos and Andronikos who would later battle the usurping Mártioi clan for the throne of the empire after Roman's death. During his 11-year reign, Roman would be remarkably successful in continuing the successes of his father but failed in many other avenues, namely in his lack of diplomacy in dealing with the military aristocracy that had surrounded the imperial throne since the days of his ancestor Roman I.

As Roman's reign would be best remembered for a single calamity, the details of this eventual usurpation involve external developments in the east. Roman's defeat would be against the nomadic Zhors, a people from the flatlands of the southern Wildlands who had been terrorizing the beleaguered Rasanids for decades at this time. The Zhors did not possess a single state but were mainly led by capable and charismatic raiding leaders, one such leader was Muzafer "Yirtic Kartal", a name meaning Preying Eagle.

Muzafer set out with a large host of riders, plundering the empire's east and collecting bribes from domestics in order to avoid violent sackings. Roman raised the Tagma, picked up theme troops, and marched east in order to drive the Zhors out of the east and restore the peace in the region. Roman's leadership of the Tagma was shacky as he had angered them years earlier via pay cuts as well as personally alienating some of the key core commanders of the unit with his rash and impetuous demeanor. When the nearly 50,000-strong army came upon the Anitran pass, Roman split the army in two, leaving one half in his direct command and the other in the command of the seasoned general Maurice Mártios. While Mártios retook the town of Viliza from Zhor stragglers, the bulk of their forces rushed north to the other half of the army which was in the process of retaking the town of Tarakoun.

The nearly 25,000-strong army of Roman still outnumbered the Zhor force of Muzafer which were nearly 20,000 riders. Still wanting to unite his force, Roman sent riders to Maurice Mártios demanding he ride north with the army and rejoin him at Tarakoun where they would combat the Zhors. Mártios would read this correspondence and in a shrewd manner, sent his sons Alexius and Maurice back to the capital before setting off with around 15,000 men. As Mártios rode north in order to regroup with Roman, Mufazer attacked the Rasennan position and inflicted massive casualties on the unsuspecting troops. In response, Roman sent a cavalry force commanded by Theodoros Auriones to harass the Zhors and force them back. This maneuver backfired as the cavalry force was firmly routed and Auriones was killed in the fighting. In response to two failed fights with the Zhors, a portion of the army deserted in the night and now Roman's force was outnumbered with help from Mártios not yet arriving. Becoming desperate to raise the morale of his men, Roman arranged them in battle formation and march to the Zhor lines, hoping to successfully drive them back and regain the initiative. This plan would prove costly, not only did the Zhor line not give an inch when the Rasennan infantrymen came upon them, but the infantrymen would sustain large casualties due to Zhor arrow fire. As the plan unraveled, two new developments in the rear came about as Roman learned of the desertion of his rearguard troops as well as the major desertion of Maurice Mártios who retreated west with the badly needed reinforcements.

The campaign was very quickly spiraling out of control and Roman found himself bearing the brunt of the army's frustration despite his own competent leadership in the fighting. While some of the troops remained loyal, a fight broke out between contingents of the army over the leadership of Roman. After this fighting ceased, Roman was urged to withdraw to a more secure area and regroup and so the army marched west with Roman desperately trying to make contact with Mártios and his troops. As the army left camp at Tarakoun, they were ambushed and forced into a desperate defensive battle. This was the famous clash, where the Rasennans would be defeated and Roman would be captured.

After Roman was captured by the victorious Mufazer, the Zhor leader treated the captured Emperor graciously. Roman was allowed freedom of movement in the Zhor camp but would be watched by guards during the night. Eventually, Roman was ransomed and given his freedom, but this was before he discovered his rule had been usurped by Alexius Mártios, son of his general Maurice Mártios. As Roman ventured to Mykra, he was apprehended by Mártioi agents and brought before the usurpers. Before the Mártioi, Roman angrily demanded his reinstallation as emperor, clearly not fearing the loyalty the Mártioi commanded among the empire's aristocracy now. Under threat of violence, the Mártioi demanded Roman's abdication, and eventually, he was forced to sign. However, Roman would not simply be released, he spent time in captivity before he was eventually tortured by an inexperienced man who attempted to blind him. Roman's eyes were poked with scorching rods three times before the blinding was successful and the emperor emerged to his jailers with blood streaming from his eyes as he cried loudly. According to the chronicler Ioannes Prote,

"The formerly purple-robed came to us drenched in red, eyes burnt like coals and moaning and wailing in such a pitiful way that many in the court excused themselves while he was present. For all the faults, one of his blood deserved better than we gave."

Roman was exiled to the small village of Sziralla in Mykra where he was meant to live a life of obscurity. However, due to the botched nature of his blinding, Roman's eyes became infected and he slowly died in agony while medical evaluations tried their best to keep him alive. In 293, the former Emperor finally died of his long agonizing wounds. What died with him was a dynasty that had helped restore the empire to its former heights following the 40-year anarchy. After Roman's usurpation, the empire would never again have a dynasty as illustrious as the Chrysatines who proved remarkably stable from the time of Manuel II to Roman V, the empire prospered and remained secure via its strong army. Roman would be remembered as the black sheep of the Chrysatine rulers, an impatient and arrogant man who never could live up to the icons of his family and always sought the love they earned from their people.

Education

Given a royal education under his mother, various aristocratic families and his father

Employment

Rasennan Prince
Emperor of the Rasenna

Failures & Embarrassments

Defeat and capture at Tarakoun
Imprisonment and blinding at the hands of the Mártioi clan

Morality & Philosophy

Those born in the sun should never endure the shade

Personality Characteristics

Motivation

Hold on to power and earn himself the glory and fame attached to his name

Virtues & Personality perks

Courageous
Diligent
Dedicated

Vices & Personality flaws

Impetuous
Temperamental
Rash
Arrogant

Social

Family Ties

Son of Princess Antheria Chrysatine and Emperor George Masele
Brother of Aliana Chrysatine
Great Grandson of Emperor Roman IV Vasilaiós and Alexander Masele
Husband of Makembra Auriones
Step Father of Doukos and Andronikos Auriones

Social Aptitude

Roman did not possess the same diplomatic skills that had made his father and great grandfather such effective leaders. Roman grew up with an inherent belief of his own superiority, this alone made him a figure who could never endear himself to others. Combine this with the reclusive, unpredictable and muddled way he engaged with those around him, and it is not hard to understand why so many felt such little in the way of loyalty to him.

Speech

Speaking in a very dignified and distant way, one could be under the impression that Roman spoke this way to increase the aura of his regal authority. Roman's terse and pointed way of speaking was similar to his ancestor Basilides Sfyrí. However, unlike the Hammer, Roman did not have decades of victories and successful rulership to draw on for his conduct at court.
(Roman as a child with his father Emperor George Masele. Antheria and his sister Aliana are in the background)
 
(Theme troops on the march east to Tarakoun)  
(Roman V is brought before Muzafer in chains after being defeated)
Ethnicity
Date of Birth
23rd of Aulza
Date of Death
5th of Modia
Life
344 B.E 293 B.E 51 years old
Circumstances of Birth
Son of Princess Antheria Chrysatine and George Masele
Circumstances of Death
Died of his wounds after being blinded and sent into exile
Birthplace
Nasus, Agrihenia Oltuna
Place of Death
Sziralla, Mykra
Family
Children
Presented Sex
Male
Eyes
Dark Brown
Hair
Dark, Straight, Well Groomed
Skin Tone/Pigmentation
Tan
Height
6 ft
Weight
190 lbs
Quotes & Catchphrases
"I have sinned against the whole world in my belief that men were godly and good. How childish a belief in thinking men were anything but ravenous dogs."
Belief/Deity
The Magna Ecclesia
Aligned Organization
Known Languages
Lakic
Agrihenian
Mykran
Character Prototype
Romanos Diogenes and Commodus

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