The first princes
In the twenties of the XIII-th century the ruler of Gothia from the Gabrades family re-established the fortress on the Mangup mountain, which got its name - the Fortress of Saint Theodore - after the protector of the dynasty Saint Theodore Gavras (+1098). When Tavrika was attacked by the Seljuks first, then by the Mongols, the centre of political life was moved to Mangup, because unassailable mountain fortress happened to be the best place for the residence of region ruler, better then old Byzantine centers Cherson (now the territory of Sevastopol) and Sugdeia (now Sudak) which were repeatedly ravaged by the Tatars.
After the foundation of the Golden Horde in the middle of the XIII-th century the Byzantine enclaves in Tavrika – Theodoro, Cherson, Sugdaia, and Bosphoros (now Kerch)the last was under the dominion of Alanic princes - got the same status as Russian principalities. Their rulers paid tribute and got the yarlyks in Horde, but at the same time they were comparatively independent.
At the second half of the XIII-th century Genoese appeared in Tavrika after they have got the right for trade on the Black sea according the agreement with re-established Byzantium. They founded the town and port Kafa on the place of an ancient Alanic settlement Ardabda (now Feodosiya).
Part 1. Foundation of the Theodoro principality Part 3.Theodora, the basilissa of Sugdaia
More details see in the book "Mystery of the Theodoro principality"