- "It is the arch that supports the bridge."
- ―Kublai Khan.[src]
Kublai Khan (23 September 1215 – 18 February 1294) was the grandson of Genghis Khan, brother of Hülegü Khan, fifth ruler of the Mongol Empire and the first Emperor of the Yuan dynasty of China from 1260 to 1294. Perhaps the second most well known of the Mongolian rulers, Kublai Khan's empire stretched even further than that of Genghis Khan did.  He was the first Mongol to rule over the whole of China, and his throne was located in what is now Beijing.
In May 1275, Kublai Khan welcomed the Polo brothers, and Niccolò Polo's son Marco into his court, not knowing that the famed explorers were in fact Assassins. The Polos' alliance with the Khan and Marco's seventeen years of service gave the latter the opportunity to break into Kublai's vault in Chengdu and steal back Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad's Codex, which had been taken by the Mongols from the two elder Polos to whom Altaïr had entrusted it.