Saturday, April 21, 2018

Kostroma (principality)

A semi-autonomous part of the Grand Duchy of Moscovy, the Principality of Kostroma occupies the upper valleys of three important tributaries of the Volga River, the Kostroma, Unzha and Vetluga. The principality is largely uninhabited east of the ridges above the Kostroma river, yet much of this area serves for hunting parties, trapping and seasonal movement of sheep and reindeer herds, largely brought in from neighboring Ivanovo.

The principality has a total area of 57 hexes, with a density of 1,364 persons per hex. It is bounded entirely by other parts of Russia: on the south by Nizhne-Novgorod and Ivanovo; on the west by Yaroslavl; on the north by Vologda; and on the east by Khlynov. It has a population of 77,754.


During the early 9th century, Varangians discovered and burned the great Vepsian city of gnomish Sangin, the ruins of which, four miles upstream, have since been reclaimed by the Volga river. In the river valleys above the Volga, this region was occupied by rural gnolls on the edge of early Bjarmaland.

During the two centuries after the destruction of Sangin, several human villages were founded on the banks of the Volga, while a series of small wars began against the gnolls in the interior, driven in part by a quest for expansion by the principality of Vladimir and Novogorodian traders bent on expanding their interests in furs. Vologda, founded in 1147, led to an increased importance for loading goods on to the Volga at the river's most northern bend - for that reason Kostroma was transformed from a collection of hamlets into a town under one power in 1163.

With Vladimir's separation from Kiyev in 1175 came a greater demand to consolidate Vladimir's power in the Unzha and Vetluga valleys - this led to the War of Kharovsk Ridge, a four-year struggle (1192-1195) against the disorganized gnolls of the region. Genocide followed, leading to the twenty years' war with Gaa'Kaa and Bjarmaland in 1219 - a war that would last until the Mongol invasion of Vladimir in 1240 and the subsequent invasion of Bjarmaland by goblinish Magloshkagok (due to pressure by Mongol tribes to the south) in 1242. Peace was declared, though precise borders would not be established until several centuries passed.

Kostroma had been organized as a principality under Vladimir upon its founding. After its occupation by the Mongols, the principality would pass through several families (principally between the Dmitry and Gorodetsky) until the ascendance of Daniel Nevsky of Moskva in 1304. Thereafter, the princes of Kostroma would remain close relatives of the dukes in Moskva.



Kostroma is an important crossroads between goods moving north and south between the White Sea in the Arctic and the heart of Russia, through Vladimir to Moskva. As a river port, it is also a transshipment point for goods moving both east and west along the Volga River.

References for local goods in Kostroma are as follows:

See sheet map C 04 ~ Upper Volga.


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