The Empire Strikes Back 39 - The Second Timurid War
The Empire had forced the Timurids to agree to a truce. But the truce was only for one year. Konstantinos was convinced that there would be war again in short order. He began to prepare.
He moved the Scholai Palatinae into holding positions in the Levant. He sent the levees home to recover. He spent his money on new recruits into the Scholai Palatinae.
While he was making these preparations, the mayors of the Empire requested lower taxes. Konstantinos rebuffed them, for the Empire needed the money.
When the truce finally passed, Konstantinos saw that the Timurids had gone to war with the Golden Horde for their remaining Persian territories.
He relaxed a little, using levies in Gaul to attack French rebels.
When he had conquered those rebels, the French King was at peace. But then Konstantinos declared himself the rightful King of France, leaving the former king merely the duke of Oxford. Dukes that had formerly sworn fealty to the Duke declared their independence. Konstantinos declared war against the Duke of Valois and the Duke of Oxford.
Finally, on February 4, 1396, the Timurids again declared war.
Konstantinos used the same strategy. He used the levies of the Empire to besiege Timurid holding. He held the Scholai Palatinae back to counter the Timurid forces. This time, the Timurids were more scattered. The Scholai Palatinae were able to destroy several groups of around 10,000 men. But eventually a larger group gathered in Rafha. Before it could get larger, one group of the Scholai Palatinae attacked, along with one of the groups of levies. And were victorious!
The Imperial forces chased the defeated forces, defeating them in battle after battle. But before they could be completely destroyed, the main Timurid force appeared.
The imperial armies retreated, doing their best to avoid fighting the impossibly large army.
Soon enough, the sieges proved enough to force the Timurids to surrender. It was again just a one year treaty, but the Timurids did pay reparations.
These reparations were used to hold a glorious Triumph to honor the soldiers who had won this war.
Konstantinos spent the following years preparing the Empire for the next war with the Timurids. But the war never came. In 1408, Konstantinos XVI died during an intense lovemaking session with his wife.