This article is about the explorer. For the musical composition, see Marco Polo (composition).
|Appears in||Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (mentioned & multiplayer)|
Marco Polo was a Venetian trader and explorer who plays a central role in Uncharted 2: Among Thieves.
Marco Polo (September 15, 1254 – January 9, 1324 ) gained fame for his worldwide travels, recorded in the book Il Milione ("The Million" or The Travels of Marco Polo) also known as Oriente Poliano (the Orient of the Polos) and the Description of the World.
He learned about trading whilst his father and uncle, Niccolò and Maffeo, voyaged through Asia and met Kublai Khan. In 1269, they returned to Venice to meet Marco for the first time. The three of them embarked on an epic journey to Asia, returning after 24 years to find Venice at war with Genoa; Marco was imprisoned, and dictated his stories to a cellmate. He was released and became a wealthy merchant, married and had 3 children. He died in 1324, and was buried in San Lorenzo. He said on his deathbed that, "I did not tell half of what I saw, for I knew I would not be believed."
Marco Polo left China with 600 passengers and 14 ships loaded with treasure from Kublai Khan. He landed in Persia one and a half years later, with only 1 ship & 18 passengers. Polo recorded all of his details but never explained what happened to his passengers and ships in his journals.
During those one and a half years, Marco Polo found the lost city of Shambhala & the fabled Cintamani Stone. Before he found the city, he came into possession of a phurba, that he later described as 'a/the golden passport' to find Shambhala. Using this phurba, he went on to find "a field of exquisitely finished temples, hundreds of gilded spires stretching as far as the eye can see between greater India and the province of Tibet" (this wasn't the exact message). He designated one temple by looking for shared markings with the phurba. After solving the puzzles in the temple, he came to an underground chamber that showed the location of Shambhala in the Himalaya Mountains.
He ventured to the Himalayas and reached a monastery. By going to the top of the monastery's tower and solving the puzzle that was given, he located a secret switch. The switch was plugged by the phurba, & the secret path to Shambhala was opened underneath a tree. Once there, he had to turn two blades on the wall of the underground room they reached. As soon as that was done, he lit a brazier of sorts with blue resin. Once there, he inserted the phurba into the newly shown pocket (illuminated by the blue fire given off by the resin) and the gates of Shambhala were revealed. He ventured across the caverns and opened the gates by turning cylinders along the wall. He entered Shambhala and found the Cintamani Stone. Polo thought that the Cintamani Stone was a sapphire, when it was actually amber/resin. It was fossilized tree sap from the Tree of Life.
Despite finding the 'stone', Marco Polo elected not to take it. He would later write in his journal "I would've sooner endured the wrath of Kublai Khan himself than remove the Cintamani Stone from that sacred shrine". Presumably, he saw the effects that the tree sap/resin had on humans when eaten (blackened teeth, driven to insanity, superhuman strength etc.). Polo & his crew left Shambhala, but not before taking some more resin with them.
After leaving the Himalayas, Polo and his crew were hit by a tsunami and driven into the west coast of Borneo. It was there that 582 of his passengers (or less, if some of his crew were left at Shambhala; also, not enough bodies in the ruin when Nate finds them) killed each other after being driven mad by the effects of the resin. One of the 582 had the phurba and a map to the the Nepalese temple on him. The following message was written on the map: Between greater India and the province of Tibet lies a field of exquisitely finished temples, hundreds of gilded spires stretching as far as the eye can see. In addition to the people, he lost 13 ships.
After his ordeal in Borneo, he and his family were attacked by thieves. To ensure safety of the world, he hid some resin and a piece of parchment in a Mongolian oil lamp given to him by Kublai Kahn. The parchment had to be cast in the fire of the resin to reveal its message; "Our ships were driven by a great floodtide into the wilds of Java, as if the ocean itself sought to throw off the terrible cargo we carried from Shambhala, the curse of the Cintamani". In one of his journals, a message about the lamp was written in 13th century Latin. With this, Marco Polo landed in Persia and continued on his with life until his death..