Emperor John Tzimiskes rules in the name of the two purple-born emperors who are still underage. He represents the powerful provincial military aristocracy that is trying to dominate Eastern Roman politics.
The Vikings are here
The Rus/Varangians, the "Vikings" of the East have long heard about these tales of the legendary city called Miklagard. The rivers have taken them South and they are ready to confront the Roman armies in Danube.
The Roman army has arrived.
Although the Romans do not possess anymore the prestige and might of the old Roman legions, they still field the best available land forces in their region. Just like a modern football team, they hire the best available mercenaries from all around the world to create a mainly deterring and not conquering war machine along with the local thematic troops and the professional Roman Tagmatic troops.
Basil is the son of Emperor Romanos and Augusta Theophano. His father is dead and his mother is exiled. Yet, he is still considered the legitimate heir to the Roman throne. But who can guarantee his right to the throne when there is no hereditary succession law?
The Queen of cities
The Romans were so proud of Constantinople that they called it Queen of Cities. In 971 A.D few people in Europe could argue with that statement.
Three Emperors but only one throne.
Did you get confused? This is an age where the Romans have more than one Emperors. Usually, there is one senior Emperor who holds real power and the junior emperors who are equal only in name.