The Chowat is equivalent to modern day Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria and Moldova. It borders Skaldia and Illyria. Five hundred years before the events of Kushiel's Chosen the Chowati people invaded Illyria and co-mingled with Illyrians. The Chowati left their imprint on Illyria, imparting their traditional superstitions, most notably the kríavbhog that haunted Kazan Atrabiades. Chowati people typically had high, slanting cheekbones, light hair and pale, slanting eyes.
The Zabèla Kolcei, wife of the Ban of Illyria Vasilii Kolcei, had Chowati heritage, visible in the high, slanting cheekbones typical of Chowati. Her Chowati ancestor fled the steppes and hid her gold under false bottoms sewn into her saddle-packs. This inspired her idea to sneak Phèdre nó Delaunay de Montrève into La Serenissima by hiding her in the false bottom of a chest containing gifts for would-be Doge Marco Stregazza.
Several Chowati women were imprisoned in the zenana at Daršanga in Drujan during the months that Imriel de la Courcel and Phèdre nó Delaunay de Montrève were enslaved there. One Chowati woman named Lilka, was kind to Imriel. The Mahrkagir threatened to kill her unless Imriel could kneel and swallow his urine. When he failed, the Mahrkagir raped Lilka and slit her throat. Another Chowati woman, Jolanta, was cruel to him and after Imriel was forced to serve Jagun of the Kereyit Tatars, she taunted him. Later, when the women of the zenana plotted to overthrow the Mahrkagir, Jolanta incited the violent battle in the festal hall, by killing an Uighur Tatar man who put his hand between her thighs. Jolanta died in the Battle that followed.