Saturday, April 14, 2018

Cumana (sanjak)

A fortified half-orc kingdom between the steppe lands of Russia-Poland and the militant states of Transcaucasia. It forms an unhappy association with the Kingdom of Zaporozhia and the Grand Principality of Kiyev, all three states bound together by their enemies, particularly the Ottoman Empire, which possesses much of the Ukrainian Steppe.

The sanjak covers a total area of 98.5 hexes, with an average density of 3,429 persons per hex. There are four divisions: Cumana, Donbass, Itossia and Sumi. It is surrounded on the south by the Sea of Azov and borderlands of the Ottoman Empire; on the west by Zaporozhia; on the north and northeast by the Grand Duchy of Moscovy; and on the east by the land of the Don Cossacks. The sanjak has a total population of 337,782, more than two thirds within Cumana Het.

Mutrakan, the largest city, has a population of 85,218.


The Cumans, related to the Pechenegs, were a nomadic orcish tribe originating in the steppes below the Altai mountains. During the 11th century they emerged into the lands north of the Caspian, attacking the Khazars and northern Rus before sweeping into Kiyevan lands. In 1061, the chieftain Sokal would invade and devastate the Dneiper Bank, beginning a war that would last 175 years. Invasions would last continuously until 1107, when Kiyevan forces would finally establish a military front against the Cumans.

Between 1080 and 1128, the Cumans and Kipchaks would rule a loose confederation that reached from the Dnieper River to Lake Baykal in Siberia. Groups would raid the Byzantines, Seljuk Turks, the Kingdom of Georgia and throughout the Rus forests. By the 1150s, however, the Cumanic clans (hets) began to lose their cohesiveness, allowing themselves to be hired as mercenaries or joining in alliances with Kiyevan or Novgorodian nobles. Extensive in-breeding began between orcs and humans in the area of the present sanjak.

The sack of Kiyev in 1169 allowed the Cumans to raid further afield, into Bessarabia, Volhynia and even Hungary. Moldavia became a military camp in the late 12th century - by then, however, the Cumans had become progressively more established and less militant, serving kings in Bulgaria and Wallachia.

When the Mongols arrived in 1220, the Cumans east of the Volga were defeated and largely dispersed. These hets would later be subsumed into Tatar clans. At the battle of the Kalka River in 1223, a Cuman-Rus alliance was smashed by the Mongols. While many of the human soldiers were killed, Cumans were made into slaves, forced to fight for the Mongols or dispersed into far reaching parts of the Mongol's empire. Resettlement of Cumans again followed the second Mongol invasion of 1237-1240. Progressively, over the next two decades, Cumanic mercenaries or settlers west of the Dnieper were eradicated by humans fighting the Mongol orcs or made into slaves by the Mongols.

Only the area of present day Cumana would retain its identity - but by then, much of their original pure orc blood had been diluted. Until 1491, Cumana would be a subject kingdom (sanjak) under the Tatar Kingdom of the Golden Horde. While the region would throw off the bonds of the eastern Tatars and successfully repel the Ottoman Turks (and Crimean Tatars) for the next century, the kings would retain the title of Sanjak.

See also: Tribes of Cumana


Mutrakan is the only trade city in the sanjak. It trades with Kursk and Ltava. There is considerable smuggling that brings in goods in from the Ottoman Empire across the Sea of Azov and also across the Dneiper River into Itossia from Kopol.

References for goods produced throughout the sanjak are as follows:

See sheet map D 04 - Don & Volga Rivers.


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