The anonymous and magically long-lived holy woman or Master of Shambala was the last human resident and apparent caretaker of Shambala Sanctuary, an ancient monastery located in the mountains of Soviet Kazakhstan, not far from the Chinese frontier.
Having lived millennia ago, when the monastery was still in operation, the holy woman was likely the only survivor of the ice monsters' massacre of all the Shambala monks, after the arrival of Urgon, a Babylonian priest who had come to use the Sanctuary as a place to guard his one of the four parts of the Infernal Machine. It was Urgon who had created the monsters and eventually died guarding his part. It is unknown if Urgon was aware of the holy woman's survival, though it is likely that he was and in fact kept her alive himself, perhaps against her will, as his spokesperson in the event that a clever enough traveler visited in search of the missing part of the Machine. It is clear that her relationship with Urgon, if any, was not a positive one and so she probably did not take this role voluntarily because she mentioned Urgon's activities only by using negative descriptions, such as "the Babylonian curse" and "his evil legacy."
The holy woman was magically sealed (probably by Urgon himself) inside the sanctuary bell. The bell had an enchantment placed on it so that, when someone rang it with a special bellringer statue in the proper position, she would be released intact. Apparently, although the magic allowed her to age while inside the bell, she could not die. Urgon left only the instruction "Ring for the Master," carved on the bell itself, and converted the Sanctuary into a giant machine that would operate the bellringer statue.
Indiana Jones correctly rung the bell in 1947 and she appeared, though she had shrunken significantly and was utterly crippled from thousands of years of age. When Jones requested her help in looking for Urgon's part of the Infernal Machine (which lay hidden somewhere in the Sanctuary), the woman, feeling too old and weak, solicited first to be given a special "golden treasure." What Jones found was merely a golden-colored flower that he watered and gave sunlight to flourish. He gave the woman the flower, and like the flower itself, she became miraculously beautiful, tall, and young again, rejuvenated to the point that she had enough muscle to open an enormous door that only superhuman strength could possibly open. As she flung open the great gates, she claimed, with grave warning, that if he journeyed into the chamber, he would face almost certain death. Jones entered, defeated the monster within, and exited, meeting the woman one last time. The holy woman then opened another door which proved to be a magical portal to the Philippines, where Jones would find the second piece of the Machine. Though he offered her Urgon's part, she was repulsed by it and urged him that he take it away from the Sanctuary so the region could be at peace, at last As he walked into the suddenly tropical enivronment behind him (without him noticing), the woman bizarrely dematerialized into a ball of energy and, with a flash of light, she disappeared completely.
Behind the scenes Edit
The Holy Woman was voiced by Russian-Irish actress Carolyn Seymour.
- Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine (First appearance)