Civilization V Customisation Wiki

Sogdiana led by Varkhuman is a custom civilization by TopHatPaladin, with contributions from Arilasqueto, DarthKyofu, and Zharques. It was released as part of the Crossroads of the World event.

This mod requires Brave New World. It replaces the city-state of Samarkand with Fayzabad.



Sogdiana, also known as Sogdia, was a Central Asian Iranian civilization located between the Amu Darya and Syr Darya, overlapping the modern nations of present-day Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan. The Sogdian city-states, although never politically united, were centered on the city of Samarkand. Sogdian merchants and diplomats travelled as far west as the Byzantine Empire. They played an important part as middlemen in the trade route of the Silk Road. While originally following the faiths of Zoroastrianism, Manichaeism, Buddhism and, to a lesser extent, Nestorian Christianity from West Asia. The gradual conversion to Islam among the Sogdians and their descendants began with the Muslim conquest of Transoxiana in the 8th century. The Sogdian conversion to Islam was virtually complete by the end of the Samanid Empire in 999, coinciding with the decline of the Sogdian language, as it was largely supplanted by Persian.


Varkhuman, also known as Vargoman, was an Ikhshid, or King, or Samarkand of Sogdiana, succeeding King Shishpin. He is known from the Afrasiab murals of Afrasiyab in Samarkand, where is seen being visited by embassies from numerous countries, including China, where there is a direct inscription in the murals directly mentioning him. Varkhuman was a nominal vassal to the Chinese, as one of the murals show a Chinese Embassy carrying silk and a string of silkworm cocoons to the local Sogdian ruler. The scene depicted in the Afrasiyab murals probably occurred soon after 658 CE, when the Tang Dynasty had conquered the Western Turkic Khaganate. Varkhuman's legacy was short-lived, as his palace was destroyed by the Arab general Sa'id ibn Uthman between 675 and 677 CE, very soon after he had died.

Dawn of Man[]

LS PNG Varkhuman

Art by TopHatPaladin

"You stand at the Crossroads of the World, Varkhuman of Sogdiana, Ikhshid of Samarkand. Your culture is one of trade and silk, for which you play an important part. Standing as an intermediary between the cultures of China and the Byzantines, your location on the Silk Road made trade profitable, with many of your people serving various posts in Imperial China. A loose group of city states, your people together formed a powerful civilization that flourished on the connections between East and West. Your language served as the lingua franca of the Silk Road and Central Asia.

Influential Varkhuman, you must once again spread the culture of your people through trade. For a long time, your people were among the most powerful, influential, and important in all of Central Asia. All that remains is your legacy. But you must renew your people, strengthen them, and see them once again be a crucial trading hub on the Silk Road. Can you revitalise your people to achieve their status as one of the great trading civilizations once again? Will you build a civilization that can stand the test of time?"

Introduction: "I see your travels have led you to me! Anything worth buying flows through Sogdiana at one point or another. Now that we've met, I'm happy to send some merchants to you too."

Defeat: "Well, these are the risks of business. Fortunately, we Sogdians thrive in foreign lands..."

Unique Attributes[]

Sogdiana (Varkhuman)
IconPNG Varkhuman

Art by TopHatPaladin

Golden Peaches of Samarkand

When trading with a foreign Capital, gain copies of Greatperson Great People generated in that city. Each type of Great Person tile improvement provides an extra Traderoute Trade Route slot when first built.

IconPNG Sabao

Art by DarthKyofu

Sabao (Great Merchant)
  • May build either a Customs House or a Manufactory
  • Customs Houses built by a Sabao increase the nearest friendly city's Traderoute Trade Route range by 20%
IconPNG Shahristan

Art by Arilasqueto

Shahristan (Caravansary)
  • Increases Greatperson Great People generation by 5% for every Traderoute Trade Route originating from its city (max. 20%)
City List
  1. Samarkand
  2. Bukhara
  3. Panjikant
  4. Afrasiyab
  5. Varakhsha
  6. Nakhshab
  7. Chach
  8. Talas
  9. Kish
  10. Suyab
  11. Akhsikath
  12. Kanka
  13. Balasagun
  14. Sarazm
  15. Khujand
  16. Ishtikhan
  17. Mayamurgh
  18. Kafir-kala
  19. Bunjikat
  20. Rabinjan
  21. Kushaniya
  22. Paykand
  23. Navekat
  24. Dabusiyya
  25. Yarkand
  26. Wardana
  27. Termez
  28. Merv
  29. Dunhuang
Spy List
  • Tughshada
  • Divashtich
  • Tarkhun
  • Gurak
  • Rakhanch
  • Nanai-dhat
  • Miwnay
  • Chatis
  • Wiyusi
  • Apama


Peace Theme War Theme
Link Link
Wax Impression by Jeff Ball Masyaf – Under Siege 2 by Jesper Kyd

Mod Support[]

Additional Achievements[]

The Silk Roadster

  • Win the game on any difficulty setting as Sogdiana.

I Get It Custom, You're a Customer

  • As Sogdiana, have a Sabao build a Customs House near three different cities you own.

Unique Cultural Influence[]

"Our people are now hiring your whirling dancers and reading your translations of Buddhist scripture. I worry that the rest of the world will also succumb to the influence of your culture."

Full Credits List[]

Steam Workshop
Latest Version: v 1
Last Updated: 17 Jun 2022


  • TopHatPaladin: Design, Code, Art, Text
  • Arilasqueto: Civ Icon, UB Icon
  • DarthKyofu: UU Icon
  • Zharques: Civ Pedia, Leader Pedia, DOM Text
  • Jeff Ball: Peace Theme
  • Jesper Kyd: War Theme
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