"The Turks surrounded our men and shot such a great number of arrows that rain or hail never darkened the sky so much, and many of our men and horses were injured. When the first band of Turks had emptied their quivers and shot all their arrows, they withdrew and a second band immediately came from behind where there were yet more Turks... the Turks, seeing our men and horses were severely wounded and in great difficulties, hung their bows instantly on their left arms under their armpits and immediately fell upon them in a very cruel fashion with maces and swords." - William of Tyre
It is 1097. The Crusaders are on their way to Jerusalem, led by a contingent of Byzantines. The city of Nicaea has fallen and is now in the hands of the Byzantine Emperor Alexius. The next stop on the way to the Holy City is Antioch.
The Seljuk Sultan Kilij Arslan had only begun to realise the
seriousness of the situation. He hurriedly patched up a squabble with
Danishmend, ruler of the Eastern Turks, and together they are marching
west. On the way they have picked up a contingent of Kappadocains
under the Emir Hassan.
Your Empire is falling apart! First you had to deal with a series
of rebellions and then the Romans call in their Frankish mercenaries
to invade Anatolia. Your aim is to crush the Franks as thoroughly as
possible so that not only does their expedition fail, but also they
will never attempt it again.
The Danishmend - Sultan Melik Ghazi
Your people have been fighting the Seljuks over possession of
Armenia but the arrival of the Franks have caused you to suspend your
quarrel and join the Seljuks to defeat the invaders. Your aim is to
help the Seljuks defeat the Franks while minimising your own
You are Emir of the Kappadocians and loyal to Sultan Arslan. You
are foremost of the Sultan's men that have followed him to the west to
defeat the brutal Frankish mercenaries of the Roman emperor. You are
suspicious of the Danishmend, since he has only recently be brought
under Seljuk control. You are surprised the Sultan trusts him.
You have great ambitions and want to be given command of the entire
Christian army. This means winning the credit for victory. You must
not let your rival Raymond steal the show; however, if hard-pressed,
you may send for help to the second column, which is behind your
forces. You do not like the Greeks any more than the Saracens, but you
have a contingent with you, commanded by an eunuch no less! You don't
trust them at all.
The Crusader army led by Byzantine forces under the Imperial Eunuch Primerius Tacticius on the road to Antioch.
The castle in the distance would provide a good site to camp for the night.
Approaching the castle, the Crusader column is ambushed by a Saracen force led by the Rum Seljuk Sultan Arslan himself!
The Rumi - ruminating?
Fair haired Franks contemplate their next move. The Imperial Eunuch is unimpressed by these barbarians!
Watch my Byzantine Light Horse handle these Steppe nomads in Saracen pay.
Osama's horde! Cry JIHAD! And let slip the dogs of war!