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Thorisin Gavras
Fictional Character
Videssos
Fantasy
Appearance(s): Videssos Cycle
Type of Appearance: Direct
Nationality: Empire of Videssos
Occupation: Soldier, Nobleman
Spouse: Alania
Relatives: Mavrikios Gavras (brother),
Alypia Gavras (niece)

Thorisin Gavras was the younger brother of Videssian Avtokrator, Mavrikios Gavras. He served as the Sevastokrator under his brother, and was considered "everyone's younger brother" in Videssos the city. His mistress was Komitta Rhangavve

Three years before Marcus Scaurus and his Legion arrived in Videssos, Thorisin participated in Mavrikios' revolt against the Avtokrator Strobilos Sphrantzes and went with his brother and niece to the capital. 

Thorisin had a strong relationship with his brother; the two sometimes fought, as to be expected in any pair of men with such strong personalities, but they generally made up quickly, and even pretended to be feuding in order to lure their enemies into exposing weakness. He was jealous and resentful of Baanes Onomagoulos for the latter's relationship with Mavrikios, while Baanes still saw Thorisin as a child. 

Thorisin joined Mavrikios on the Maragha campaign, and commanded the right wing of the Videssian army during the Battle of Maragha. He was able to bring his command out of the rout relatively intact, but was forced into Vaspurakan, where many of the soldiers deserted. Still, Thorisin was able to maintain a force of about 2,500 men through the winter.

With Mavrikios dead, Thorisin was now rightful Avtokrator--but he would be unable to formally assume the imperium. Ortaias Sphrantzes had ascended to the throne after fleeing the field and losing the battle for the Videssians--but his uncle, Vardanes Sphrantzes, the chief rival of the Gavrai, was the real power behind the throne. He moved his forces towards the coast, defeated an army of Namdalener and Khamorth mercenaries, and arrived in Across in early summer. 

He was able to use a spell of subtle camouflage to cross the Cattle-Crossing with a fleet of small boats, successfully making the crossing despite the spell's being overcome by Avshar when his army was nearly on the eastern shore. Thorisin laid siege to the capital's landward side, conspiring with Elissaios Bouraphos, the admiral of the Key fleet, to enable him to besiege the seaward side as well. 

With news that the Yezda were capturing important towns in the Westlands, Thorisin ordered an assault on the city's walls, which failed. As the Romans and Namdaleni contemplated abandoning the siege and retiring to the Duchy, events within the capital moved past them--a palace coup saw the Sphrantzai deposed. Thorisin quickly took charge of the situation, and his forces along with the Romans and Namdaleners pushed through the city to the palace quarter. Upon arriving, they engaged in battle with forces still loyal to the Sphrantzai, mainly the bandit soldiers under Rhavas. When Rhavas was revealed to be Avshar, most of the bandits surrendered, and Thorisin took control of the whole city, though Avshar managed to escape using a spell of teleportation. 

Gavras placed Marcus Scaurus in charge of the bureaucrats after Scaurus spoke up in defense of a treasury logothete being questioned by the army officers. 

Thorisin's next challenge came from his brother's old friend, Baanes Onomagoulous. The latter had never quite been able to see Thorisin as anything but a small child, and his insubordination grew until, after a particularly contentious argument, Baanes journeyed to his estates by Garsavra. He hired assassins to kill Thorisin, but these were thwarted by the Romans when Alypia Gavra escaped and warned them. Elissaios Bouraphos joined his rebellion, and Thorisin was forced to use Taron Leimmokheir, the old drungarios of the fleet, to defeat him. 

This Leimmokheir succeeded in doing after inducing about half of Bouraphos' captains to betray him. With the seas clear Thorisin sent the Great Count Drax to crush Onomagoulos' rebellion. Drax succeeded, but shortly thereafter rebelled in turn. Thorisin sent Mertikes Zigabenos with an army to defeat Drax, but due to treachery among the Namdaleni of Zigabenos' command Drax's forces were victorious. Thorisin himself remained in the capital to head off Namdalener landings in the Empire's eastern lands. During this time Komitta Rhangavve was caught sleeping with a Haloga soldier of the Imperial Guard and Thorisin sent her to a monastery, while discharging the soldier and secretly gifting him with valuable equipment.

After the Namdalener rebels in the westlands were crushed by the Yezda, Thorisin ordered Scaurus to return to the capital with the ransomed captives, but Scaurus was betrayed by his lover Helvis who freed the captives. The Namdaleni escaped back to the Duchy and Scaurus returned to the city empty-handed. 

Thorisin accepted his story, but a few days later arrested the tribune and forced him to drink a truth serum. Under its influence Scaurus confessed everything, and Thorisin realized his loyalty, admitting his own error in suspecting Scaurus' guilt.

Gavras continued to lay the groundwork for a campaign to recapture the Westlands from the Yezda. Soon he discovered that Marcus Scaurus was having an affair with Alypia Gavra, his niece and the heir of the Gavrai. In a rage, he declared Scaurus guilty of treason, and sent him to win his redemption by toppling the rule of the fanatic priest Zemarkhos in Amorion. Against all odds Scaurus succeeded, but vanished with a trade caravan into Makuran.

Thorisin quickly brought his reconstituted army to Amorion, ordering the Patriarch Balsamon along with him to heal the schism that Zemarkhos had created. As he restored order in the city and the surrounding countryside, Thorisin accepted the Arshaum forces into his own and restored Marcus Scaurus to command of the Romans for the final battle, as Avshar was moving through Vaspurakan with the massive army he had assembled at Mashiz

In the final battle that ensued, Thorisin commanded the Videssian forces, choosing a small gap in a line of hills to make their stand. His forces held the enemy at bay all day, and Viridovix and Scaurus carried out their plan, touching swords near Avshar and sending him to Skotos' hell. With the battle still hanging in the balance, the soldiers of Wulghash suddenly arrived, smashing the Yezda forces from behind and crushing the remainder of the soldiers who had taken Avshar's side against him. The nomads broke and fled, and Thorisin claimed the victory. Using Scaurus and Gaius Philippus as go-betweens, he secured Wulghash's promise to return his forces to Yezd, ending the war between the two states. He also induced Wulghash to disavow the nomads who had penetrated the Westlands, implying that he would soon campaign against them to fully reclaim all the Empire's territory. 

At the last, he kept his promise to Marcus Scaurus, allowing him to wed his niece Alypia and granting him a title of nobility as well as large estates in the Westlands. During Scaurus' time in Mashiz he wed Alania Vourtze and by the end of the cycle she is pregnant with his heir. 

While Thorisin was immature, headstrong and quick to anger when the Legion arrived, Thorisin grew much more cautious and distrustful through years of rebellion and war. 

See AlsoEdit

  • Alexios I Komnenos, historical Byzantine Emperor who halted the military and financial decline of the Empire and began the Komnenian Restoration. Thorisin Gavras is closely based upon Alexios I.
Regnal titles
(Videssos)
Preceded by
Ortaias Sphrantzes
Avtokrator of the Empire of Videssos Succeeded by
Current as of end of series

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