The Mughals swept down the subcontinent like their Timurian ancestors had from Kesh. These fierce, steppe dwelling tribesmen had, in a few decades, transformed from herders and tenders to an implacable, unstoppable scourge. Led by Babur, he and his hordes, succeeded in taming most of India and Persia. Also like their Timurian ancestors, behind the Mughal leaders were the Sayeh, People of the Shadow. Little was known of them and those that pried too deeply into their secrets, well, suffice to say, little was found of them. The only thing that remained was the rumors that clung to their presence like a dark shroud wherever they were. Rumors of death, rumors of blood...

The three riders broke out over the ridge and paused, their horses restless, as they gazed down at the vale below them. The moon’s baleful light illuminated the scene and the three Sayeh waited as their eyes adjusted to make the details clear. Snow dotted the slopes and a couple of miles down into the valley the town lay spread out like a tapestry on the floor below. Lights dotted here and there splashing out of the windows of cottages in the early evening. Across the valley, to the north, a faint trail led up to a magnificent edifice shining with internal fires built into the surrounding mountain. The youngest of the group, Zhobin, pointed across the valley, “The towers, they glisten like icy daggers by the moons light! Is this the place?”

Arash nodded. He reached into his fur vest and pulled out a worn leather scroll case, its ornate leatherwork faintly discernable. Pulling off the end, he pulled out a wrinkled, stained piece of parchment. Squinting, he read from the flowing Chagatai script. “And behold! As the journey ends, the true journey begins within the walls that glisten like the diamond's tears. Here starts The Golden Path that is the door that will lead to Shambhala."

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