|Agent of Byzantium |
POD: c. AD 597
|Type of Appearance:||Direct|
|Date of Birth:||Late 13th century|
Mirrane was a female secret agent of the Persian Empire, traditional rival of the Roman 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.
Mirrane in "Archetypes"
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 Roman territory by a new means of producing hundreds of identical leaflets with subversive content. 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.
Mirrane in "Images"
In 1317, Mirrane was involved in a plot to embroil the entire Roman Empire in a crippling religious controversy. Argyros learned of her involvement from a drunken monk who was part of a group chanting outside the hostel of an archbishop who supported icons. Argyros learned she was the mistress of Patriarch Arsakios of Alexandria and had him under her influence due to her charms.
Later that night, Argyros was set upon by a group of monks Mirrane directed to attack him. He managed to evade them since he lived in Constantinople and knew its back alleys. The monks were forced to split up to search for him and Argyros managed to quietly overpower one that blocked his route home without alerting the rest.
As Argyros approached his home, he was attacked again by an assassin who Mirrane had hired. Argyros managed to kill the assassin by maneuvering him to stumble into a unseen pothole and stabbing him while he was off-balance.
When it looked like the ecumenical council was going to rule in favor of icons, Mirrane sent Argyros a note asking to meet her in the city's Jewish quarter. When they met, she congratulated him admitting her plot was foiled and she was leaving the city. Argyros attempted to arrest her but was foiled when she screamed that he was attempting to ravish her and a group of Jewish men came to her aid. Before Argyros could establish his authority, she escaped in the confusion.
Mirrane in "Superwine"
Later still, Argyros encountered Mirrane 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.
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.