177 The Battle of Ctesiphon

The result of Ctesiphon's riots was long lasting on the factions of Bahram and Narseh. Who were quick to gather their forces outside the city. Both princes had determined for a single battle to occur, one which would decide which among the two brothers would live, and which would die.

Though Marcellus had done everything in his power to support Narseh's faction from behind the scenes. He found himself anxious about the upcoming result. However, that was a story for another time. At the moment, Mitra gazed out beyond the city's gates and gnawed her nails as the two armies prepared to march towards one another.

On the one hand, Narseh's faction consisted of a mixture of Sassanid Troops and Vandal Mercenaries, while on the other Bahram's army was composed of Persian soldiers and Serican mercenaries.

The entire city of Ctesiphon had gathered to watch the conflict from afar, to see which of the two princes would survive the encounter. Bahram gathered at the front of his army and shouted across the distance towards his brother, who remained defiant.

"I give you this one last chance Narseh! Surrender now, and give me Mitra, or I will show you no mercy!"

Narseh did not respond with words. Instead, he raised a flag, which signalled his troops to begin their march. Thus, the battle had begun. The Vandals were noticeably taller than any other participants on the battlefield. They formed the bulwark of Narseh's formation as they raised their spears and shields. As for Narseh's army, they raised their shields and protected themselves from the missile fire, while the men beneath Bahram's command did the same.

While the armies stayed in tight knight formations with their shields raised, there were still opportunities for the arrows to get through, which pierced through the unarmored portions of their target's bodies and sent them to the afterlife.

First blood had been drawn, and now the two armies rushed towards each other at the fastest speed they could manage while still maintaining formation. Before long iron clashed with iron, as the Vandal mercenaries used their overwhelming size and strength to push through their enemies' defenses, and thrust their spears into their bellies.

Narseh gazed upon the front lines of war from his privileged spot at the rear of the formation with a wide smile on his face. The barbarian mercenaries he had hired were holding their own against his brother's forces. After the riots in the streets earlier that week, Bahram had lost a considerable amount of his mercenaries. The remainder of which were now falling by the way side, as the two armies clashed.

As a result Narseh had the advantage, even if it was a small one. While the prince as grinning at his perceived victory, he commanded his cavalry to launch an attack on the enemy's flanks, in an attempt to envelop his brother's forces.

The steeds of the Persians were heavily armored in iron scales which shone beneath the desert's sun as they rushed off, and towards the enemy with their lances in hands. Unlike the Roman cataphractarii beneath Marcellus' command, the Sassanids were lacking in stirrups, and as a result they could not couch their lances to devastating effect, for if they did, they would be thrown off the back of their horse upon impact.ραпdα `nᴏνɐ| сom

Instead, this supposedly heavy cavalry darted around the sides of the enemy flanks, while harassing the infantry with their lances. lunging their lances forward with a thrust, in an attempt to penetrate the enemy's armor.

Though the Sassanid heavy cavalry could not crash into their enemy like a tide of iron, they could divert their attention away from the primary battlefield where the infantry of both sides butchered each other in a gruesome display of violence.


A particularly large vandal warrior wielded a two-handed axe in his hands as blades thrust against his lamellar army and were quickly deflected. He used the might of his two-handed axe, and the strength in his stature to shatter the shields of the Serican Mercenaries and their Sassanid allies.

This exceptionally large Vandal continued to pound the enemy shield line with his large, and heavy axe, as he splintered their shields, resulting in their lives being reaped by the other footmen of Narseh's army.

Before long, Bahram found himself in a state of panic. His brother's cavalry had smashed his flanks, while his front lines were slowly being cut to ribbons. If he did not do something soon, then the battle would be over.

Desperate for a chance to emerge victorious, Bahram made a bold move by forcibly withdrawing his front lines. However, Narseh was wise enough to see what his brother was attempting, and quickly countered the movements by ordering his front lines to split into two forces which attacked the remainder of his brother's flanks, who sat on the sidelines waiting to envelop Narseh's forces.

Though Narseh had created an opening for his brother to directly attack him, he was surrounded by his most elite forces, who created a shield wall around their prince, forcing Bahram to make the decision to either reform his lines to save his flanks, or make a hail marry attempt to claim his brother's head.

Knowing his brother so well, Narseh had bet that Bahram would make the latter choice, which he in fact did. Now it was a race against time to see whose forces would emerge victorious first. Would Bahram's front lines overwhelm Narseh's defenders, or would Narseh's front lines eliminate Bahram's flanks before converging around the last remnant of their enemy's forces?

Surely enough, the overwhelming numbers of both sides quickly cut away at their enemies. However, before Bahram could pierce the tortoise shell surrounding his brother, he found that his flanks had fallen, and the combined might of Narseh's forces had him utterly surrounded.

Within the hour, Narseh would have Bahram's head in his hands, thus eliminating one of his most fierce rivals, while also showing the people of Ctesiphon that he was a capable and ruthless military leader.