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Dorzha Abakov was the young Kalmyk daughter of khan and a concubine.
In "Ancient Ways", she was pretending to be a man and was being pursued by Tartars. She was assisted by a man named Sergey Ivanovitch Khorkina who agreed to help her free a princess of her people who was captured by other Tartars. Along the way, Sergey learns that Dorzha is a woman trained as a warrior and the half-sister of the Princess, Bortë. Working together the two rescued Bortë, who turned out to be a scholar of chemistry and who assisted in her own rescue. Bortë had no desire to return to her father's house and be married off against her will. The three decided to travel to China.