The year is 632 AD. In Arabia, Islam is spreading swiftly amongst the various tribes of the desert peninsula. In Constantinople, the New Rome of the Eastern Mediterranean, the Emperor Heraclius sits secure on his throne. And in the glittering cities of Persia, Shahanshah Khosrau II breathes his last. Beside his sickbed, watching as the old man struggles to cling on to life, is his favourite son and heir, Mardanshah. Four years have has passed since the brief but bloody civil war that had seen the armies of Khosrau and Mardanshah pitted against the forces of Mardanshah's jealous brother, Kavadh. Although Kavadh had been defeated and Mardanshah's inheritance secured, the war had broken Khosrau mentally as well as physcially. Now, as he lies with death swiftly coming to claim him, he reaches out his hand and touches his son.
"Make peace with your enemies," he croaks out in the hoarse tone of a man whose final hour had come. "With the Romans, with the Turks, with the Arabs, with your own people. Ahura Mazda wills it."
They were the Shahanshah's final words, and as his grip slackens and his eyes roll back into his head his son takes those words to heart. Over the next few months he reaches an agreement with the Eastern Roman Empire that ensures peace between the two great empires of the east. The Arabs, led by the Caliph Abu Bakr, are less willing to make peace and in 634 launch a massive invasion of Mardanshah's empire. But a concerted, united, effort by both the Persian and Roman armies pushes back the invaders, and their Caliphate and their religion is confined to the sand dunes of Arabia. Zoroastrianism remains the dominant religion of much of the Middle East.
Point of divergence
In 628 AD, Kavadh, jealous of his brother Mardanshah, rallied support for his claim to the throne of the Sassanid Empire. The resulting civil war was short but bloody, and the conflict drained the Shahanshah of his physical and mental stability. Even so, the war had secured Mardanshah's inheritance, and his father's final plea for peace moved him deeply. The Roman Emperor Heraclius was amenable to an offering of peace and alliance, and so it was with a unified front that the two great empires faced the Arab invasions that began in the year 634. Together, Rome and Persia were able to drive the Arab armies back into their deserts, confining Islam to the Arabian peninsula.
Countries of The Fires of God
This is an in-progress list
Antigua and Barbuda
Central African Republic
Congo, the Republic of the
Congo, Sultanate of the
Ethiopia, Emirate of