Fictional Character
Agent of Byzantium
POD: c. AD 583
Type of Appearance: Direct
Nationality: Persia
Occupation: Spy

Mirrane was a female secret agent of the Persian Empire, traditional rival of the Byzantine Empire. She was physically attractive and well able to make use of her charms to influence men in the service of her empire, and also fiendishly clever and capable of hatching and implementing intricate plots. In a society where most women were forced into subservient roles, she had considerable independent power, answerable only to the King's Vizier in person and under no man's orders in the field.

Basil Argyros encountered her again and again, finding that she offered a greater challenge than any he encountered before, gaining a grudging respect for her abilities as well as being more than a little attracted to her. Their first encounter was in Mesopotamia, where Mirrane was behind a plot to spread dissension in Byzantine territory by a new means of producing hundreds of identical leaflets with subversive content[1]. At the time, Argyros did not realize that Mirrane was the leader of the conspirators, turning his energy to capturing males who were but her pawns while Mirrane herself escaped.

Later, she was involved in a plot to embroil the entire Byzantine Empire in a crippling religious controversy.[2] At the time she appeared openly in Constantinople itself, acting with impunity since she was the mistress of a senior Egyptian clergyman and enjoyed his protection. She quite cynically pretended to espouse the heretical Christian doctrine which she was spreading, when in reality she was devoted to the dominant Fire Religion of her homeland.

Later still, Argyros encountered her in the unsettled Caucasus where the two of them for once were forced into an alliance to confront a dangerous plot threatening both empires - which they jointly succeeded in overcoming..[3]

In the aftermath, Mirrane fell into Argyros' power. From the strict point of view of the Byzantine Empire's interests, Argyros should have used the opportunity to kill her - since she was the Persians' best agent, with a proven ability to again and again seriously threaten Byantine interests. However, Argyros could not bring himself to do it, especially when Mirrane elaborated on their being "two of a kind", more akin to each other than to anyone else in their respective empires. She also pointed out that they had just been allies in their professional capacity and proposed to form also an alliance of a more personal kind. Argyros felt quite sure that Mirrane intended to doublecross him sooner or later, but nevertheless was happy to accept her offer.