Sphrantzes Coup d'état
Location Videssos the city
Result Thorisin Gavras is made Avtokrator.
The Sphrantzes Coup d'état was the usurping of the Videssian throne by Vardanes Sphrantzes, following the death of Avtokrator Mavrikios Gavras and the resulting chaos that ensued in the Empire. Taking advantage of the disorder, Vardanes did not take the throne himself; instead he installed his nephew Ortaias as a figurehead and puppet.

The immediate cause of the coup was the death of Emperor Mavrikios Gavras after the Empire's defeat at the Battle of Maragha against the Yezda, led by Avshar. Chaos flooded the country following the Emperor's death. Ortaias Sphrantzes, whose retreat from the battlefield was the major cause for the defeat, retreated to Videssos the city. There, his uncle Vardanes seized control and installed Ortaias on the throne. To gain legitimacy, he had Ortaias marry Alypia Gavras, Mavrikios' daughter against her will. (It was rumored that Vardanes raped Princess Gavras during the marriage.)

The Sphrantzes' forces took control of Videssos the city, confident that it would never fall. However, remnants of Mavrikios Gavras' army, including the Roman legion led by Marcus Scaurus, had consolidated in various towns to the west and stood four square in support of his brother Thorisin Gavras. After wintering in the provinces, Thorisin formed up his army and marched on the city. He was opposed by a Namdalener mercenary army led by the Great Count Drax but succeeded in defeating them.

After using sorcery to stealthily traverse the Cattle Crossing, Thorisin besieged Videssos the city. While the Sphrantzai maintained control of the city for a time, the population grew restive.  The Sphrantzes were betrayed, and Gavras' army entered the city. The final battle of the civil war was the charge to the Royal Palace and the fight inside its very walls. There it was revealed that Outis Rhavas, among the Sphrantzai's firmest supporters, was Avshar in disguise.

Avshar killed Vardanes Sphrantzes while escaping from the city, but Ortaias Sphrantzes was taken alive. Rather than execute him, Thorisin had him take the vows of a monk of Phos and exiled him to a distant and remote monastery but not before humiliating him before the crowds in a very Videssian manner.