Turtledove
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Tossuc
Fictional Character
Agent of Byzantium
POD: c. AD 597
Appearance(s): "The Eyes of Argos"
Type of Appearance: Direct
Nationality: Jurchens
Date of Birth: c. CE 1260
Occupation: Soldier
Spouse: Multiple wives

Tossuc was a khan in the Jurchen horde. He battled the army of the Roman general John Tekmanios in Etos Kosmou 6814 (1305 AD) on the Danube frontier. Thanks to chance experimentation, the tribe's shaman, Orda, had crystals that, when placed in a tube, could give the user sight over great distance. Tossuc and Orda used this device to great effect, stopping what should have been a devastating attack from the Romans.[1]

However, a Roman scout named Basil Argyros saw Orda using the tube, and reported to Tekmanios after the first battle was over. Argyros was chosen to act as a spy against Tossuc and learn the secret of the tube. To that end, Argyros, pretended to defect to the Jurchens.[2]

Tossuc was initially (correctly) suspicious of Argyros. After Orda convinced Argyros to swear by the Christian God that he was telling the truth, Tossuc was willing to believe him. After a period of intense questioning from Tossuc and Orda, Argyros was accepted into the band. Tossuc actually paid little attention to Argyros after that. Argyros instead became friendly with Orda, who carelessly explained the secret of the eyes of Argos, and let Argyros escape with them.[3] 

References[]

  1. See, e.g. Agent of Byzantium, loc. 34-167, ebook.
  2. Ibid, loc. 227-263.
  3. Ibid., loc. 263-520.
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