Dustum Khan is a claimant to the throne of Khergit Khanate. He is the half-brother of Sanjar Khan, the ruler of Khergit Khanate when the game begins. He is the younger son of Janakir Khan, and claims that he always was the favorite.
The traditional Khergit customs declare that, when a ruler dies, he must split his lands equally among his sons. However, Sanjar took all the lands for himself, leaving Dustum with nothing.
Sanjar, however, contends that while it was traditional for Khan's lands to be distributed equally, it always led to the same result - a civil war that left everything in the hands of the strongest one. Dustum was always more of an administrator than a fighter, he states, and so by taking everything he was merely sparing the realm the pain of a civil war, and sparing himself the pain of fighting his own brother.