Another quick concept drawing for the Steppe Women Warriors of Project: Blood and Steel, a part Historically Wrong Sketch Series based in the 17th century era. Her character is inspired from the various steppe people that settled along the Crimea and Caucasus mountains, mainly the Kazakh and Tatars, some of which developed a semi-independent sovereignty over the Crimean Peninsula called the Crimean Khanate.
Inspired by the Music: Algirma by Enkh Jargal www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJb7Le…
(Modern Mongolian Throat Singing)
The history of steppe people was filled with tales and stories of both brave and bold warriors, whose mastery of the saddle was unmatched by any other people in the world. It is sad, that in my opinion, their legacy became more and more obscure as their neighbors grew in power, and their land were contested by the ambitious turks, russians and others. A good example would be one of the longest lasting Turkic Khanate, the Crimean Khanate, populated mostly by the Tatar people that lasted from late 15th century to mid 18th century.
The khanate itself was born after several Kypchak clans under the golden horde decided to settle down in Crimea. After a series of conflict, they became Ottoman protectorate in 1475 and developed a close relationship that was comparable to that of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth of the same era. By the late 17th century, the Ottomans power was weakening, and the balance of power had shifted to the Russian Empire who wanted to control the Crimea and securing their access to the Black Sea. In the mid 18th century, conflict conflict erupted between the 2 giants and would soon evolve to the bloody Russo-Turkish war which ended with the Russian victory, claiming the Crimean Independence with allegiance to the Tsar's banner. Although the Khanate itself was 'liberated' after the war from the Ottomans, the growing influence of the Russian and internal conflict led to civil wars, which finally ended with the annexation of the Khanate itself by the Russian Authority, therefore closing the chapter of generations of the steppe people's independence. It was a sad ending in my opinion, but their legacy always remains in the annals of history.
In this drawing, Khanum Sevilay Begotoglu of the Steppe Khanate (Dalachi Yurtu), is the descendant of the Begotoglu Clan that ruled the Steppe Federation in the previous series, tracing back her ancestry to Khanum Sevindik Begotoglu
. What was once a powerful faction that dominated the the Eastern Steppe, their power and influence have somewhat diminished in the current timeline. The Turkish Orhans wanted Crimea as a platform to launch their invasion of Eastern Europe, while the Wendish Commonwealth, the Carpathians and the Russian Tsardom needed Crimea to secure their access to the Black Sea. It would not take long before the ambitions of the Khanate's neighbors erupted into a massive war that will challenge the independence of the proud steppe people in the series.
Khanum Sevilay is portrayed in a stylized tatar/turkic dress, and is depicted (inaccurately) holding a (very badly drawn) wheellock carbine. Wheellock carbine was prohibitively expensive due to their complex and intricate design, although the mechanism allowed a much more reliable method of firing on horseback, combined with the carbine style, which made it popular with mounted warriors. The depiction of her with firearm in my opinion is highly unlikely in real life, as the tatars were still using bows, which was cheaper, readily available and were easier to handle than the cumbersome and slow musket. Neverthless, being a Khanum, she would have had enough wealth to afford such expensive foreign weapon, but at the same time still opt for a much more traditional archery which undoubtedly something she's more familiar (and skilled) with.
Developed from the original concept of Turko-Arabic Women Warrios Sheikha Ahu Durquba from the Medieval Series
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