Storm is brewing in the EastTisza
After returning from Magna Hungaria in 1236, Friar Julian informed Béla of the Mongols, who had by that time reached the Volga River and were planning to invade Europe. The Mongols invaded Desht-i Qipchaq—the westernmost regions of the Eurasian Steppes—and routed the Cumans. Fleeing the Mongols, at least 40,000 Cumans approached the eastern borders of the Kingdom of Hungary and demanded admission in 1239. Béla only agreed to give them shelter after their leader, Köten, promised to convert together with his people to Christianity, and to fight against the Mongols. However, the settlement of masses of nomadic Cumans in the plains along the Tisza River gave rise to many conflicts between them and the local villagers. Béla, who needed the Cumans' military support, rarely punished them for their robberies, rapes and other misdeeds. His Hungarian subjects thought that he was biased in the Cumans' favor, thus "enmity emerged between the people and the king", according to Roger of Torre Maggiore.