Saturday, April 21, 2018

Tatarstan (duchy)

Part of the Grand Duchy of Moscovy, the Duchy of Tatarstan represents the eastern reaches of Russian influence. The duchy is strongly ruralized; apart from the large city of Kazan, there are few centers of importance. Bugulma, a heavily fortified outpost, has a high half-orc population; about a fifth of the duchy's population are half-orc, primarily dwelling along the upper Kama. Chistopol is an important supply depot.

The duchy covers an area of 61 hexes, with a density of 4,976 persons per hex. It is bordered on the south by Samara and Harnia (Seraphina); on the west by Chuvashia and Cheremissa; on the north by Khlynov and Bulgrastan (Ar Begs); and on the east and southeast by the Jagatai Empire (Kortostan & Chakilstan). It has a population of 303,509.


Settled by a human tribe called the Bulgars during the 7th century. The Bulgars originated along the Black Sea coast surrounding the mouth of the Don River. In 660 they marched north under the leadership of Khagan Kotrag, who led them to the Kama River below the Ural Mountains. A large city would be established at Bolghar. There they became the dominant population by the end of the 9th century, uniting with the remnants of Scythian tribes that had occupied the forests since 1000 BC. Tatarstan would become part of the Bulgar Kingdom, sharing an uneasy border with gnomish Harnia.

After a period of domination by the Khazars (early 10th century), the Bulgars would be freed after the destruction of Khazaria by Sviatoslav of Kiyev in 965. The Kingdom of the Bulgars would become an advanced mercantile state, founding a trade route across the Urals and trading with the dwarves of Hoth, goblins in Magloshkagok and the gnolls of Bjarmaland, as well as Kiyevans in the south.

The region would be decimated, however, by the Mongols beginning in the 1230s. Bolghar was destroyed and refounded as a Mongol fortress, Great Bolgar. Tens of thousands were slaughtered, more were enslaved. Tatarstan and other lands west of the Urals would be remade into settlement lands for haruchai, orcs and ogres.

By the 1430s, Tatarstan had become the independent Khanate of Kazan, a city ruled by an ogre king and occupied by haruchai and many human slaves. It would take seven years for a combined force of 150,000 Russians to destroy the ogrish power over the city, free the population and clear the rural territories of Tatarstan for human settlement. The vast majority of Russians that would occupy the lands in the late 16th century would be soldiers; since, a standardized military training among the young in the duchy has become part of the culture in Tatarstan.



Kazan is a river port serving as a trade link between the heart of Moscovy and the waterways of the Volga, Kama and Vyatka rivers. Though the Jagatai Empire and Bulgrastan are political enemies of Moscovy, there is a great need for goods from the Caspian Sea and the Ural Mountains - as such, some tolerance is allowed in economic matters. It is not unusual to see orcs, haruchai or even ogre merchants on the streets of Kazan, though their number and is strictly controlled and individuals well known to the residents; no strange foreigner would be permitted to enter the walled city. Kazan therefore trades with Sirk, Tura-Tau and Great Bolgar. Goods from Khlynov must pass through Kazan on their way into Russia through Nizhne-Novgorod.

References for local goods in Tatarstan include those produced in the baronies of Cheremissa and Chuvashia:

See sheet maps C 04 ~ Upper Volga and C 05 - Ural Mountains.


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