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Rome 2 Armenia Campaign

Turns 1-12
- Army Maneuvres;

Orodes (Spy) moved to the borders of the lands of Media Magna - setting up a defense against enemy
spy activity and to keep an eye out for rampaging

Ashur-Resh-Ishi was recruited to help train the military forces into becoming effective soldiers.
Meanwhile, "The Bearers of the Truth" began to bring yet more soldiers into their ranks on the march
east - ready for any threats coming against them from the Median. Outfitting his men with some of
the best armour available, they would be ready for the coming conflict.

The "Heroes of Men" moved down to Tigranocerta, taking over governership of the Town, in
preparation for any threat that would make it past the "Stone Cutters" - who themselves were
embedded in the forest south of the city, ready to surprise any who would come while the main
Armenian military gathered for war further in the east. Artaxais welcomed the improvement to his
rank. As one to look out for potential threats to the Orontid dynasty, he would need to keep an eye on
the other families who vied for power at the feet of their lord.

The right to raise a new army went to Argistis, a member of the Orontid Dynasty, well known in the
courts for his ability with his ability to ensure that food is spread appropriately despite his young age
- and so the legacy of the "Brother's in Arms" was born. Rumours of his close ties with the Zoroastrian
brotherhood were not confirmed, but this may explain the reason of his naming. It would be well to
keep an eye on him - despite the promotion to the secret police. Keep your friends close, they say...
As it was, he was put in out of the way Artaxa, where he could govern the settlement without getting
too many ideas.

When King Artavastes ordered the taking of Gazaca, the southern-most settlement of Media
Atropatene - he resolved to destroy them in a single season. Poised as he was, west of the Caspian
Sea and north of Phraaspa, the Median capital, it fell to his son, Artaxais to strike against the Gazaca rumours of a tribute chest in this settlement - thought safe from Armenian warmongering to the north
had fueled Artavastes bloodlust, and prove himself before his son and in front of his ruler before his
ever encroaching death.

With the build up of military now on two fronts creating two large armies, it became clear that there
was a need for capable bureacrats and administrators to take charge - Frada was chosen - joining the
army and ensuring that the troops got what they needed - without having to pay too high a price.
Moving south proved to be valuable though - able to intercept a known trouble-causer moving north he discovered that he was in the employ of the Parthians. With this information, he was able to
blackmail the man, known as "Izates", manipulating him into the employ of the Armenians, where it
was discovered his talents would be better employed working in the army. He settled in well, while
the more peaceful Frada would return to his studies. As final preparations were made for the invasion
of the Persian satrap's lands, and as friends got ready to possibly face those they called neighbour, or
friend, rumours came of dysentery striking the largest of the Median armies. As a sign from on high, it
became clear that the time for war was upon us, and as winter turned into spring, the invasion was
launched, despite the urgent diplomatic efforts of Artavastes, the coincidentally named Median King,
to buy peace. Although word reached us he was successful in bartering a peace deal with the
Cappadocians, their contributions to Mark Antony's war against the Persians was one of

However, unlike his namesake and counterpart from Armenia, Artavastes of Media was powerless to
defend his land against the onrush of Armenian troops - Gazaca fallling first to Artaxais - catching
Asurbanipal as he returned from a hunting trip with his bodyguards. With the town near enough
undefended, this "general" who had so proudly named his army "Scions of Xerxes" was killed in the
opening moments with a javelin through his neck.

The two fell within a day of one another, and the rest of the Atropatene army dwindled into nothing the lack of food and shelter killing those few who survived the "plague" and desertion. The former
King lost his life among the dusty dunes to the west of Lake Urmia - the fast riding scouts of "The
Stone Cutters" giving plenty of time for Artaxias to position his troops perfectly. Not even those sorry
few mercenaries who believed the former Median would make the difference in the battle - already
dying of thirst and hunger after months of being harried by the Armenians, they proved easy prey Artaxias leading the charge of his own Persian Cavalry smashing into the rear ranks of the Median
infantry, while a large ridge hid the bulk of his infantry from sight. The Median's mercenaries, feeling
betrayed at the lack of delivery of the riches they had been promised tried to flee over this hill. But
Artavastes was not new to war - and he had had the finest teachers that money could buy. His hidden
troops revealed themselves - launching stone bullets the size of a date into the mercenaries. Seeing
that there was only death this way, they steeled themselves for one final suicide charge - but behind
the slingers stood rank upon rank of spears. It was Artaxias' own bodyguard who made their way to
Artavastes and trampled him under the hooves of his Cataphracts that broke the back of the Median
army, their existence little more than a footnote in history, wiped out in little more than a season.

As the beginning of a new era dawns for the Armenians, where will their future take them?
- Diplomacy and Technology

Trade agreements made with Pontus, Ardhan and Kartli, as well as shoring up the networks with other
Client States of our overlord Marc Antony, ensuring that they would not attack us while we focused on
attacking the Eastern Power block of Parthia and its other factions.

The creation of a formal government would be among the most important of rules. With western
values flooding into the country once more within the Armenian lands, with it came the need for a
proper administration that didn't rely on the nobles.

Rumours of the Parthians attempting to manipulate our markets following the build up our forces
came through, but due to either the staunch loyalty to their king, or rather the willingness to ensure

that they made the most profit from the newly founded temple, they not only ignored the foreign
"merchants" but drove them off, ensuring that the city would grow unmolested by enemy actions.
Word of the so-called "Golden Gaul", going by the name of Polemon reached us. His fantastic work
had been providing our lands with commodities of such amazing quality and finesse that there were
but few who were not amazed. Although a slave for a merchant, he was freed. Only those who are
without skill should be made a slave. Although an old man, there was some honour, some progressive
deed in the eyes of the Spenta Mainyu. Free to choose where to work, the so-called "Golden Gaul"
chose to spend the rest of his days in Carana where he would craft his trinkets.
With the cost of military draining nearly all the wealth from the country, Artaxais rushed deep into
Median territory, taking the short cut through Parthian lands - coming upon a group of mercenary
cavalry, formerly in the employ of the Median Atropatene army, they were only too eager to join the
coming conflict - both armies, "The Stone Cutters in the South-west and the "Bearers of the Truth"
were within striking range of the Median settlements, including a tribute chest confirmed by the spy
Orodes.
Harvest, 39BC, Galatia, emboldened by Armenia's push to the South and East, and Mark Antony's
burgeoning war with Octavian has stabbed Pontus in the back while it attempts to marshal its forces
to defeat the threat from the northern tribes - the threat of the Siraces and the possibility of drawing
the Scythians into the war is worrying for us, as only a few ragged tribes protect out northern
borders. Mark Antony was quick to denounce the Galatians. Weighing up the risk of going to war with
the Galatians is a task boding over, but if it helps our cause with Mark Antony and Pontus, then
maybe, just maybe it is worth doing.

Rome 2 Armenia Campaign


Turns 13-24
- Army Maneuvres;

Following the murder of the Medians, it was only right that preparations should be made for the next
war - but from which direction was the war coming from? With the tribes to the north and Pontus
warring with the Siraces for power over the Steppe, and the Galatians having to fight not only Pontus,
but like Cappadocia, and maybe Rome, should they prove too temeritous, it meant the main threat
was going to come from the south - already our spies were noting the northern push of small scouting
parties, as they realised that now simple cold war tactics would do little against the new Armenians.

Artavastes, realising that dusk was closing in on his life decided that he would move back into the
wilderness once more with his army. He would be close enough to ride to the rescue of either Gazaca
or Phraaspa should need arise, freeing up Artaxais to move south - he would soon be in striking range
of Ekbatana, a Parthian stronghold. Taking this settlement would allow a foothold in Persian lands that
would take serious effort to break off.

With the authorisation handed down from it is said Mark Antony himself, as a reward for his services
to Rome, Artaxais was promoted to the rank of Ganzarbara. With the rumour inflaming Artaxais'
already burgeoning bloodlust, he set off for Ekbatana - the gathering of several smaller armies
certainly presaged a larger assault on Armenian lands, and decided on a pre-emptive strike.

Although one of the Parthian armies managed to get away, seeing the encroaching Armenians, many
more were not quick enough, and were caught outside the walls of the city. With two Parthian family
members at risk, the garrison commander of Ekbatana attempted to support the generals as the
growing dust cloud of the "The Stone Cutters", but his untrained troops were cut down in short order
by the fleet of hoof mounted skirmishers - their razor sharp javelins shredding them. Little did the
garrison know that Artaxais was counting on this concern for the life of the Parthian royal line , and
they were destroyed for virtually no losses. Again, Artaxais' leading the charge, but his reputation
preceeded him, the spearmen and archers scattering like sand in the desert wind rather than be
killed, but that too was as futile a gesture as standing and fighting against the sheer mass of
armoured horseflesh. Only the elite persian hoplite would stand, but with hundreds of javelins and
stones smashing into them they could not stand. All that remained would be the execution of the two
enemy generals, ringed as they were in some nameless village by the fast moving skirmishers that
the Stone Cutters were becoming so famed for. Seeing the challenge by the enemy generals,
Artaxais considered it. But only briefly. While never one to shy away from a fight, a pointless charge
into an already defeated foe to risk getting hit by a lucky spear thrust or axe blow was foolish.
Artaxais simply turned his back, and walked away, signalling to the skirmishers to unleash the wrath
of Angra Mainyu on those too foolish young men, caught up as they were in boyish abandon and the
unsullied love of war that came from those who had never been in battle. That wrath came in the
cloud of humming stones and heavy javelins, punching heavily armoured cataphracts and cloth
wearing archers into the dirt.

With the main enemy defeated, all that was left was a paltry skeleton garrison at Ekbatana. It was
barely even a battle. With barely a dozen men slain on the walls, the Parthians broke, scattering like
smoke. And now, Ekbatana was taken, and within the space of less than a year, the Armenian
Kingdom had more than doubled its size. It was now a matter of could it be kept.

The Parthians attempted to take Ekbatana during the Winter, possibly at some form of double bluff in
an attempt to sneak the city away from the Armenians, but the army, the grandly, if rather
inappropriately, named "Armour of Arsaces" proved to be unable to take the city, not even making an
attempt on its walls - upon realising the Artaxais himself was still within the walls, and his troops
ready for a fight to warm them in the bracing winter wind, the poorly trained and equipped conscripts
fled back all the way to Arsakia. Briefly entertaining the thought of jumping on his horse, and harrying
them all the way back, and claiming the town, but despite knowing they were exhausted, he decided
against it. The risk of threat from the west was too great. In the end, it was better to be safe rather
than sorry, but when the eager young Parthian led his troops back over the border once more, the
"Armour of Arsaces" decided to set up camp - perhaps in readiness for a push from Ctesiphon, it's
unclear. However, reports came of yet another dose of illness - another sign that these Parthians were
not blessed - maybe it was the exhaustion from the winter march finally catching up with them, it's
unclear, but as hundreds went down with debilitating, wasting fever, it was apparent the time had
come. Artaxais once more led the "Stone Cutters" out.

Attacking them as they camped and attempted to regather themselves - either to return home in
defeat once more, or to make a suicidal attack on the walls of Ekbatana, it mattered little, Artaxais
struck, encircling the Parthians. Placing some tempting units in range of the walls and the enemy
slingers, a few men lost their lives, but it was not a major loss to the Armenian general - many were
either mercenaries, or simply conscripts into his army - they were easily replaceable - in return, the
enemy, impatient, untrained, and poorly disciplined as they were fell for the feigned flee, drawn out
from under the cover of the archery towers, and were annihilated by the storm of slingshot and
javelins from the hillmen, before being crushed under the hooves of the heavy cavalry. Seeing his
forces being decimated now by actual steel rather than the vagaries of the weather and the weak
constitution of his soldiers, the Parthian general rallied what remained of his bodyguard and what few
mercenaries he had been able to press into his service. As they charged out of the gate, a signal went
up, and the light cavalry waiting around the flanks of the encampment swarmed in - hundreds of
horsemen charging their way through the gates, javelins flying everywhere as chaos broke down.
With the enemy rearguard shattered, and the steady steam of arrows from the hastily erected towers
beginning to slow, the Parthians realised the game was up - entire regiments began to flee the field
and not even the swiftest riders were able to catch all of them.

Those who fled were not safe. Artaxais was sick of seeing army after army returning to the fray when

it had no right to - the idiocy of the Parthian generals was monumental, many would break just
catching sight of the Stone Cutters banners - the rumours were true. Over the course of the next few
days, several running battles were fought with the scattered remnants of the "Armour of Arsaces". As
the garrison of Arsakia attempted to provide a covering shield for the knackered excuse for an army,
bouyed by numerous victories, the Artaxais carried his troops into one final charge - shattering the
ranks of spearmen and hoplites before plowing into the still running survivors. All were killed with the
shadows of the town's buildings tantalizingly close, but ultimately, too far. With those few who
survived, a rare show of leniency by Artaxais took many by surprise. After the horrors of their short
experience of battle and war, few were keen on taking part once more - slavery was preferable to
taking up the shield once more in the name of some far away king.
Finally, Artaxais had claimed Arsakia - but the weak defenses of the town, plus some of the heavy
casualties suffered over the last few seasons had taken their toll - it remained to be seen if the
Parthians had anything left to challenge the Armenians, and take back the Orontid's new land.
But the Parthians showed greater guile than he had given them credit for, riding around the well
defended south, and striking at Tigranocerta itself with a large army. Izates, however, that most
capable of bureaucrats had attempted to sue for peace - calling the enemy general to a meet in order
to discuss terms. As the Armenian sat in the tent, and the Parthian general sat in order to begin the
discussion, the servants brought out food, the glinting roman silver platters carrying the plentiful fruit
and perfectly cooked steak to the table - but one was not paying attention, and a tray fell - the
Parthian leaning out the way of the falling wine amphorae - into the arms of a burly servant. Seeing
the killing glint in his eyes, the general realised that he had been tricked, and with a brutal snap of
his neck, the general was killed. Izates had not been idle - he had foreseen the potential need for
violence when peace failed - literally cutting the head off the parthian army may not set them back
overmuch, but it would remove one of the more capable soldiers from the battlefield. Artavastes,
foiled from the conquest of the Galatians had authorised the gathering of a small, elite cavalry corps
under Argistis, and had them move to Carana in case the celts declared war, redirecting himself to
the capital. He only hoped he was not too late... It would not do to avenge a fallen city.
As Artaxais rested his hard fighting forces, the Parthians had ordered the Persians to strike against
the south in order to force the split in the Armenian military might, but Artaxais name was not only
becoming associated with his military strength, but that the might of gods was striking down those
who set themselves against him - he smiled when he heard that he had been granted the epithet of
"Plaguewalker", and that rumours said that none could come within a hundred paces of him without
being struck by a killing fever. As the scouts saw signs of the Armenian army beginning to move
south to strike against the temeritous Persians, the hurried back and encouraged a full flight,
retreating back into their own lands, leaving their dead unburied to bake into nothingness in the
desert heat.
The death of the unknown Parthian general had caused consternation within the ranks of the
besiegers, and as time drew on, it became clear that his subordinate, Ekurzakir lacked the balls of his
former superior, and decided to let the city starve itself out - but that became all the better, for
despite the death of hundreds of the city's defenders, each day brought Artavastes one step closer to
relieving the city.
And relieve it he did - relentlessly drilled over years of hard work by Ashur-Resh-Ishi, the "Bearers of
the Truth" struck the Parthian army unawares - but intent to destroy the entire Parthian army,
Artavastes let them gather their troops while his cavalry flanked. The large number of fast moving
enemy skirmishers would prove to be a threat - their javelins proved a risk to even the armour of
cataphracts. The battle did not take long. Outnumbered, outmaneuvred, and outmatched, there could
only be one result - and it was just a matter of how many Armenians the Arsacid's took with them.
Slowly advancing his bows and slingers under the cover of his light spearmen, the Parthians broke
ranks - their shorter ranged horse skirmishers not wanting to sit waiting for death under a withering
torrent of death from afar. This would prove to be a mistake, as the lack of fast moving cover allowed
the flanking lancers to strike deep within the Parthians own slinger contingent, and within seconds,
break through into range of Ekurzakir. Faced with over 200 vengeful chargers, the horse archers
turned and fled, their own expert shots felling but only a couple of the Armenian cavalry. Meanwhile,
slingshot and bowfire had felled the majority of the enemy fast skirmishers and what little ranged
regiments still survived, before they turned their attentions to the enemy spearmen as they struggled
to close the last few yards into the Armenian lines. The relative safety of melee was not to be,
however - the well drilled armenian light spearmen were more than capable for the task of holding
them in position - perfect timing for Artavastes and Datuvahya, the governor-general of Tigranocerta
itself to smash into the back of the enemy formations. Although lacking the aura of fear that had built
up around his son, the huge armoured cataphracts were fearsome enough, and broke the dreams of a
Parthian intentions towards Armenian homeland. Ekurzakir, whatever it may be said for his abilities as
a general was a capable enough fighter - seven men fell to him on that day in the swirl of combat,
but seeing his army broken, he too fled, going to his death as a coward, with his wounds in his back.
The dead would be left as a warning, but the survivors, caught by the victorious siegebreakers were
not released back to their homes - they would be instead kept to till the fields, and build the buildings
that would usher in one of the, hopefully, final victories in the west against Parthians. - all that
remained was their capital, Ctesiphon, after the Cappadocians took advantage of the Parthians'
western army being wiped out, and proceeded south, assisted by the Romans - Mark Antony, seeing
of the trouble in the "clients" ordered Legio's IV, V and VI to attempt to pacify the colonies. Although
forbidden from outright war with the Galatians unless attacked - the presence of three full legions
should hopefully be enough to stabilize it. In addition, the small build up of Antony's forces in Syria
had joined with Cappadocians in order to move south, taking the former Persian regions together,
stripping them of wealth, and preventing the Persians from benefitting, and isolating the satrap of
Palmyra in a savage thrust south of the course of a few seasons, halving the size of the Parthian
Empire.
Peace is never too close, however, spies discovered that the Parthians were attempting to take the
path south of the Caspian sea, bypassing Artaxais' army holed up in Arsakia for the winter, forcing

them to march north in yet another race against time.


Trusting to the defenses of Arsakia of his lieutenant, Artabanus to hold strong as he marched back
north, it was struck several times by small forces who thought that the still lightly defended garrison
would be easy pickings, it was able to defeat them all - the hail of arrows by the towns archers
devastating the Parthians, but with the winter managed - what would spring bring?
Success - it seemed, and the south was reinforced by a small force noble spears, under the orders of
an Orontid soldier named as "Rusa". A seemingly simple minded, but capable man, it was he who'd
defend Arsakia from the Persian armies, and was given orders to raise what he needed, should funds
allow.

- Diplomacy and Technology

Following the betrayal of the Galatians, the Cappadocians on our borderlands decided that solidarity
was the best way forwards - quickly agreeing to a military alliance.

As the power of the veteran cataphracts was realised, and the greatest minds of our people dedicated
themselves to discovering how to create vast numbers of them. It is these heavily clad behemoths
which would enable us to defeat the Parthian hordes, their arrows and spears turning aside as they
ride through them as if through a sea of grass.

As Summer turned to Spring, word reached us of Galatia advancing into Pontus' lands - taking the
port of Sinope. This valuable trade hub is a threat to Pontus, and ultimately us - rebellion troubles
Panticapaeum, and the Siraces are close to taking the port of Phanagoria. The loss of these
settlements and the trade boost they bring from the Romans could prove to be the beginning of the
end for Pontus. All is not lost, however, as the Pontic's have made a move on Ancyra, the Galatian
capital, and have put it under siege, but it remains to be seen if they can take it in time to defeat the
rampaging Celts before we are drawn into the confrontation, and are forced to split forces from the
defence against the Parthians.

While fighting in the East, word had reached us of the Pontic successes againt the Galatians, but they
were bitter sweet, for not long after, we discovered that our trade routes had been cut - the predicted
losses of the two northern ports did not bode well either. As we now shared a border with the
Galatians, and having previously broken our treaties with the Celts, it became clear that we may need
to escalate our presence in our northern regions - Argistis had been hard at work creating a system of
agricultural worth, in order to support the fighting in the south, and had moved to Carana to monitor
the situation with the Galatians. Realising that things were coming to a head, and that the risk of war
with the Celts was seriously endangering the Armenian lands, messengers were sent to Artavastes as
they protected the approaches to Gazaca and Phraaspa. The Bearers of Men marched north with all
haste. War was going to happen - but on the aging Kings terms, rather than any uncultured barbarian,
only there by luck. Mark Antony should have crushed them, but instead, the aloof ruler had decided
to see if his remaining client states would be able to push them back.

This shrewd political maneuvering would ultimately be a win-win situation. Either the client states
would defeat the Galatians, and become all the stronger and more wealthy because of that, or he
would lose the weaker client states, and upon showering the Galatians with trade and tribute, secure
a solid wall of expendable, yet fierce soldiers against the hordes in the East. Artavastes was clear that
the latter would not happen, and that the wall against the East would be Armenian men, not some
misplaced celts. With the walled city of Trapezos north of Carana being the first target, this would not
only provide a solid breakwater between the Galatians and the embattled Pontic's, but allow the
passage of trade to the Romans on the other side of Asia Minor, as well as reallowing trade with the
Pontics - filling not only their coffers, but ours as well. Artavastes' last swan song was going to be his
most glorious...

More troubling news came from the north - the Siraces had allied themselves with the Aorsoi, forming
a confederation - Pontus' northern army was now nearly completely cut off - surrounded on all sides
by enemies or water, with two large forces encroaching on their hard fought over territories, with
Galatia having taken Phasis, having moved north from Trapezos. However, the Galatians were not
exactly the most capable of rulers - having taken much of its worth, the shattered remnants of the
Pontic military had turned to banditry, declaring independence of not only their new lords, but their
former rulers as well. Pontus had learned however, and turned south once more - leaving their former
territories to the Steppe peoples. Without the support of its southern lands, it was fruitless trying to
hold the north, and with rebellion striking their new lands as they attempted to pacify the former
Galatian homeland to make it fit for living.

Rome 2 Armenia Campaign


Turns 23+
- Army Maneuvres;

The Parthians were not defeated. Not by a long shot. The slow advance had been a ruse, to identify
the weaknesses in the Armenian lines - following up from the first army were two huge armies, in
addition to the one which took Gazaca, outwitting the tired Artaxais, plus two smaller raiding forces.
As if on cue, one of the largest armies, headed for Ekbatana was struck by disease, just before it got
to the walls, but the other was free to advance unmolested towards Phraaspa, while Artaxais' weary
troops headed once more into battle. He had yet to see forty summers, but he had already fought 9
battles in three years - and it was beginning to show - an eagerness for battle showed an almost
unhealthy desire for blood, and the wounds inflicted on him made him fearsome to look at - which
was only added to by a cloak made of the skin of the Median pretender to the Armenian throne.
Combined with his notorious reputation for brutal assaults, and taking no quarter, many fled before
he even got near them - as went the battle for Gazaca.

However, the enemy were learning, prefering not to play to his rules. Despite the hurled insults from
the cliffside above Gazaca by his slingers, he could not draw them out into the field where his cavalry
would have otherwise been able to tear them apart. And so forced into a rash assault into the town
square, he ordered his Persian Cavalry to flank far and wide, and to strike in the centre of the enemy
once they were engaged. However, the weakness of his spears proved true - whereas with his cavalry
and the slingers had been able to perfect their art in battle, the spearmen, comparatively slow and
weak, had barely been involved in any fighting - and so, when struck by the hail of arrows and
slingshot, and charged by the Parthian cavalry, they barely lasted long enough for Artaxais to get
involved, and have his cavalry strike from the rear. With the stern gaze of the renowned Prince
looking down on them, and seeing his elite bodyguard getting cut down to save them - in reality - the
strength of the line, rather than his men - the Armenian spearmen fought all the harder, fighting to
the last man - barely three dozen out of 800 survived that battle. The Stone Cutters were shattered,
and thanks to the need to fight a war on several fronts, there were few funds available to train men
into fighters ready for striking back against the Parthians as summer turned into autumn.

All was not lost, however. Argistis, who had been allowed to take the well drilled soldiers of the
Bearers of Truth in the battle for Trapezos was moving south at all speed. Calculating the risk that
there had been no technical breaches of the peace between Galatia and the Armenians, Trapezos had
been left to fend for itself - but with trade now flooding in from Antony's Rome, and the movement
south of the Cappadocians improving their own lands, hope remains that we can stem the tide of
Parthians.

Back in the south, however, the presence of the elite troops under Argistis' banner forced the "Black
Quivers" to retreat, and in typical Parthian fashion, just out of range of being captured either the
Stone Cutters, or the Brothers in Arms, and even worse, the Parthians shook off the worst of the
plague, and besieged Ekbatana. Its stores weakened and left empty as a result of Parthian raiding, it
wouldn't take long for the settlement to fall, and agains tthe vast army, there was little they could do.
Despite moving south with all speed, The Stone Cutters knew there was little they could do to save
Ekbatana.

Ekbatana was captured - the men wearied and dying of starvation, and there was little that could
have been done to save them. Rather than cause the death of the populace, the entire garrison
surrendered - Artaxais was returning to a captured city.

Argistis has taken the Brothers in Arms south with all possible speed, but still it was not enough. The
Parthian "Black Quivers" were still in the area, waiting to attack the rear of the Armenian lines, which
prevented them from assisting The Stone Cutters in their attempt to retake Ekbatana. After weeks of
skirmishing, with move and counter move, the Black Quivers finally were brough to battle north of the
village of Tabriz, in the foothills of the Caucasus. Setting up on a hill, the large slinger contingent
prepared to unleash a storm of shot into the advancing ranks of the lightly armed Easterners, while
the cavalry waited on the flanks. The two armies were fairly similar with the exception of the
Armenian having a veritable horde of shock cavalry versus a large number of skirmishing cavalry. The
Parthians had the upper edge for much of the battle, swarming and swirling around the slower heavy
cavalry with ease, until a misjudgement by the Parthian general saw his cavalry boxed into range of
the Armenian slingers, who changed targets from their counterparts, and repaid back the archers for
the swarms of buzzing arrows which scythed through the ranks. With the death of their general, the
battle was won, but only just for the Armenians, but so many of the fleet footed Parthians survived
that they had to be caught, less they rally around and attack once again. Sandwiched between the
Caspian sea and the Brothers In Arms, there was no escape, and they were cut down with ease.
Hurrying south once more, they tried to catch up with the Stone Cutters - the siege of Ekbatana
already underway. Hopefully, they would be able to get there before the Parthians decided to sally
out.

And reach it they did - marching as fast as possible, they reached there just as the Armenians were
first climbing the walls. Despite the arrow fire, and the counter charges of their own cavalry, the
Armenians one through, fighting street by bloody street. Ashur-Resh-Ishi had trained his men well,
and they advanced through the streets, skewering those who stood, and those who fled were caught
by the Artaxais' vengeful mercenary skrimishers.

As winter turned into summer, however, news came of the destruction of the Galatians, along with
the Pontic's finally accepting our continued entreaties for a Military alliance. Although the Steppe
finally declared war on us, our partners in trade, the Kartli moved into to take the recently rebelled
former-Galatian-former-Pontic region of Phasis. Already at war with the horde they would prove a
worthwhile buffer against the Hordes. Continued diplomacy came to naught with them. Although
Mark Antony had declared his desire for an alliance with them - ostensibly for trade, but really to use

as yet another buffer, we couldn't make headway against the bullheaded mountain men, nor could
we with Ardhan. Money may sweeten the deal, but continued war had drained the treasury to very
little, and despite the urgings of the accountants and bureaucrats and money men, Artaxais was
loath to get rid of his mercenaries who had served him so well.
- Diplomacy and Technology

Following the betrayal of the Galatians, the Cappadocians on our borderlands decided that solidarity
was the best way forwards - quickly agreeing to a military alliance.

A Parthian concubine, captured for the King from Ekbatana, was attempting to use her position as a
favourite of the King of Kings, Artavastes, to install her son on the throne, while the King was in the
north, and Prince Artaxais was in the south fighting against her people. However, she hadn't reckoned
on the capability of the spies within the palace, and she was executed - but it later turned out that it
had been nothing more than a plot - the son had been too young rule anything anyway.