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The journals of legendary explorer and adventurer Marco Polo are a key piece documentation for Uncharted 2. The clues left behind by Marco are the key directions needed for another to find Shambhala. The journals themselves were written in Latin, Marco's spoken language, but this proved no challenge for Nathan Drake who easily translated the pages found by Zoran Lazarevic.
When Marco Polo returned from his travels, he brought more mysteries than answers back with him from Asia. His journals were bought for "top dollar" by Zoran Lazarevic in his pursuit of Shambhala and the Cintamani Stone after which he travelled to Borneo in the hope of picking up Marco Polo's trail back to Shambhala.
The Lazarevic Journals
The journals held by Zoran Lazarevic describe Marco Polo's discovery of Shambhala and his journey back to Italy as well as the individual clues needed to solve the puzzles at the monastery in order to find Shambhala.
"In Trebizond, we were set upon by thieves. Father, Maffeo and I were robbed of our greatest treasures. So that it whould not fall into the wrong hands, I concealed my great sorrow in the unlikeliest place. The light of the Great Khan shelters the fate of the thirteen"
Marco Polo hid a parchment and blue resin in the Mongolian oil lamp given to him by Kublai Khan. Once one lit the resin and put the parchment over it, the location of his lost fleet would be revealed in Borneo, thanks to a certain mountain. A message was also inscribed: 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 bore from Shambhala, the curse of the Cintamani.
"The worthy pilgrim is granted a golden passport to conquer obstacles on his journey to Shambhala"
This extract references the Phurba Dagger which was in fact the "key to Shambhala" and held the key to finding the correct temple and solving the puzzles in the Valley of Temples, all in order to find the entrance of Shambhala.
"It was with great sorrow that I left my fellow travelers to their fate, a fate decreed by the dreadful cargo we bore from Shambhala"
This piece talks of Marco Polo leaving the 600 stranded travellers in Borneo. Their "dreadful cargo" is the resin brought back from Shambhala, which the people ate and then, driven mad by power and strength, killed each other.
"I would have sooner endured the wrath of Kublai Kahn himself than remove the Cintamani Stone from that sacred shrine"
It was from this clue than Nathan Drake realised that Marco Polo never possessed the stone itself and that Lazarevic's true intentions were to find Shambhala and take the "wish fulfilling jewel" for himself.