Recruited by the Byzantines to repel the Turks, the Kipchaks had a strong reputation for honor, unflinching loyalty, and courage in battle. They were the ultimate warriors of their time. They were among the early tribes (like the Huns) to sweep from the steppes and invade what is now Russia, down to the Caucasus mountains, between the Black Sea and the Caspian, all the way to Turkey.
The date is 1204 AD, and this historical period is critical. Constantinople just fell to the Roman Crusaders who looted the golden city. Far in the eastern steppes, in Mongolia, a little known warrior named Temujin is uniting the tribes under his command. Soon, he will become emperor under the name of Genghis Khan, and his empire will stretch from the Danube to Kamchatka and even into China.
Tengri was known to make plants grow and the lightning flash. Since Tengri was omnipresent, one worshiped him simply, by lifting the hands upwards and bowing low, praying for him to bestow good mind and health, and to assist in performing good deeds. It was the individual’s responsibility to initiate those good deeds, and to consciously live in harmony with natural law and the spirits of nature.
Tengri is still worshiped in the modern world in a few small Mongolian societies. By the end of the middle ages in Eastern Europe and in the Middle East, Tengrism melded with Judeo-Christian and Moslem religions. In some places, like in Turkey, the word used for Tengri still means God. Remnants of Tengrism can also be found in Tibetan Lamaism. The word “Lama” itself has its source in the creation myths of Tengrism.
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Pierre de Belfort, Christian Knight of Lorraine, swore never to let a woman rule his life, and doesn’t believe in love. Thrown together into the turmoil of the First Crusade, on a sacred journey to a land of fables, they must learn to trust each other. For in this war, the true enemy is not human… and discovery could mean burning at the stake.
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