POLO - Merchants on the Silk Road
Brief description of the 9 chapters for a totally immersive experience
Marco Polo, returning from his journey to the Orient, accidentally finds himself in the middle of the conflict between the powers of Genoa and Venice. In the turmoil of the battle he is arrested and taken to prison, where he meets Rustichello da Pisa, to whom he recounts the memories of his journey.
The young Polo leaves with his father and uncle to go to the Pope, asking for the Oil of the Holy Sepulchre to be delivered to the Khan and for monks, already requested in a previous trip to Marco’s father in order to spread the Christian religion in the East. However, the Pope refused the tribute in part, granting the Polos only two monks and a letter of apology for not having fulfilled the sovereign’s requests.
The three set off for the East with their caravan. During the journey they are attacked by bandits and the two monks flee at the sight of danger, but the three protagonists get away by showing the pass personally granted to them by Kublai Khan. At the sight of the imperial concession, the bandits retreat, allowing the caravan to continue its journey.
During the journey, the caravan came across the Sect of the Fire Worshippers, a religious group dedicated to the veneration of a burning well. The story goes that after meeting Jesus, the Magi received a box containing a stone as a gift from the Messiah. They decided to throw this stone into the well, which caught fire and has been burning incessantly ever since.
The Polos learn about the Hashishin, an Islamic religious-military sect. At the head of the group is an old man, who, in order to obtain favours from the Hashishin, grants them earthly pleasures.
The merchants arrive in Samarkand and are captivated by the multitude of peoples and cultures in the market.
The three arrive in the city of Khambalic, the Khan’s residence, to deliver the tribute and the letter from the pope to the ruler. The Khan, however, annoyed, does not accept that the monks are not with them. He thus allows Marco’s father and uncle to leave, but keeps the young Polo with him.
During his years in the East, Mongolia and China are at war with each other. Marco participates as a war supplier on the side of the Khan and Mongolia, building trabucchi and siege machines. China emerges defeated from the conflict, becoming one of the largest Mongol colonies.
The war is over, great banquets and celebrations mark the days following the victorious end of the conflict. Thus ends the tale of Marco Polo and his journey to the East.