Chapter VI: The Road to Samarkand Before taking over Asia, Genghis needed to ensure his flanks were secure. To his west, the Kara-Khitai clan was overwhelmed by another Empire, and Genghis wanted to resolve this. When he returned to the steppes, he learned that this conflict was caused by his only enemy still alive from previous battles, Kuchlug. Kuchlug usurped his throne and was a greedy leader who was unpopular with his people. He imposed crippling taxes on the citizens and forbade public services. He also crucified people who didn't convert to Buddhism, which went against Mongol beliefs. For the Mongols, all religions should be allowed to prosper.