"Wolves of the Steppes owning no law but their own"
A ruffian horde of wild outlaws who dwell on the Turanian Steppes west of the Vilayet Sea, the Kozaki call themselves the Free People, though they acknowledge with grim humor the Hyrkanian-language epithet, "kozak," meaning rogue or wastrel, hurled at them by the folk of Turan whose border outposts, coasts, and caravans are ceaseless targets of daring Kozaki raids of plunder. These raids are hit and run, as the Kozaki strike swiftly on horseback with sword and torch then retreat to the wilderness before their startled victims can retaliate.
A fierce, proud people, the Kozaki are sons and grandsons of fugitive criminals, escaped slaves, deserting soldiers, and similar outcasts who fled to the Steppes some fifty years before Conan's time and settled among the aboriginal pastoral natives there. Today they are divided into several bands, each serving its own leader, or hetman, a position won by strength of sword-arm, not inheritance. The Kozaki enjoy a diet of wild vegetables, horse meat, and fermented mare's milk. Their native garb includes colorful head-scarfs, silken shirts and wide breeches, broad sashes, scimitars girdled to the hip, and gilt-worked leather boots.
They are outstanding horsemen and can live in the saddle for long periods of time, snatching an occasional nap on horseback or munching on raw meat, kept warm beneath the saddle, while still galloping apace. On occasion the Kozaki will present a double threat to Turan by joining forces with the pirates of the Vilayet Sea in order to harry the ports of the coast and beard the lion of Turan in its own den.