THE EMPEROR TWICE DELIVERS NICOMEDIA, BESIEGED BY THEODORE LASCARIS
Theodore Lascaris sent the most part of his force into the land of Nicomedia. And the people of Thierri of Loos, who had fortified the church of St. Sophia, and were therein, besought their lord and the emperor to come to their relief; for if they received no help they could not hold out, especially as they had no provisions. Through sheer distress and sore need, the Emperor Henry and his people agreed that they must once more abandon thought of going to Adrianople, and cross the straits of St. George, to the Turkish side, with as many people as they could collect, and succour Nicomedia.
And when the people of Theodore Lascaris heard that the emperor was coming, they avoided the land, and retreated towards Nice the Great. And when the emperor knew of it, he took council, and it was decided that Thierri of Loos, the seneschal of Roumania, should abide in Nicomedia, with all his knights, and all his sergeants, to guard the land; and Macaire of Sainte-Menehould should abide at Charax, and William of Perchoi in Skiza; and each defend the land where he abode.
Then did the Emperor Henry, and the remainder of his people return to Constantinople, and prepare once again to go towards Adrianople. And while he was so preparing, Thierri of Loos the seneschal, who was in Nicomedia, and William of Perchoi, and all their people, went out foraging on a certain day. And the people of Theodore Lascaris knew of it, and surprised them, and fell upon them. Now the people of Theodore Lascaris were very many, and our people very few. So the battle began, and they fought hand to hand, and before very long the few were not able to stand against the many.
Thierri of Loos did right well, as also his people; he was twice struck down, and by main strength his men remounted him. And William of Perchoi was also struck down, and remounted and rescued. But numbers hemmed them in too sore, and the Franks were discomfited. There was taken Thierri of Loos, wounded in the face, and in peril of death. There, too, were most of his people taken, for few escaped. William of Perchoi fled on a hackney, wounded in the hand. Those that escaped from the discomfiture rallied in the church of St. Sophia.
He who dictates this history heard blame attached in this affair-whether rightly or wrongly he knows not-to a certain knight named Anseau of Remi, who was liegeman of Thierri of Loos the seneschal, and chief of his men; and who abandoned him in the fray.
Then did those who had returned to the church of St. Sophia in Nicomedia, viz. William of Perchoi and Anseau of Remi, take a messenger, and send him flying to Constantinople, to the Emperor Henry; and they told the emperor what had befallen, how the seneschal had been taken with his men; how they themselves were besieged in the church of St. Sophia, in Nicomedia, and how they had food for no more than five days; and they told him he must know of a certainty that if he did not succour them they must be killed or taken. The emperor, as one hearing a cry of distress, passed over the straits of St. George, he and his people, each as best he could, and pell-mell, to go to the relief of those in Nicomedia. And so the march to Adrianople was put off once more.
When the emperor had passed over the straits of St. George, he set his troops in array, and rode day by day till he came to Nicomedia. When the people of Theodore Lascaris, and his brothers, who formed the host, heard thereof, they drew back, and passed over the mountain on the other side, towards Nice. And the emperor encamped by Nicomedia in a very fair field that lay beside the river on this side of the mountain. He had his tents and pavilions pitched; and caused his men to overrun and harry the land, because the people had rebelled when they heard that Thierri of Loos, the seneschal, was taken; and the emperor's men captured much cattle and many prisoners.