ConquestOf Constantinople By The Crusaders In 1204
Conquest Of Constantinople By The Crusaders In 1204 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


“Yes, Rosa?”

“It’s tomorrow. It’s time for one of your stories.”

“Oh, have I told you about the time I destroyed a crusader fleet by accident?”

“No…I don’t think so.”

“Well, I was delivering a message to a covenant in the Alps, you know. They kept a sort of shared sanctum, for their covenant meetings, and to keep their library in. I was told to wait there. Now, that’s a bit unusual of course, but redcaps often get asked into sancta. Their anti-scrying spells are often better there. Anyway, I was told to wait, and they gave me a quite nice lunch of, oh, bread and cheese and unicorn, I think it was, with olives…”


“Oh, yes, sorry. So, I knew I’d have to wait for an hour or two, and they’d told me I could nap there or read some of the mundane books and one of them would make sure to wake me before the magi arrived. When they were tidying up, you know. So, I thought about sleeping, but I was a new redcap, out on my first solo delivery, and I smelled rather like a mule, so when I saw there was an ornate basin of water by the fire, I thought. “A bath would suit me just fine.”

“A basin?”

“Well, more like a sort of horse trough, really, but made of gold and covered in weird symbols of ancient Egypt. I didn’t know that at the time of course. Did I tell you about the time I discovered Cleopatra’s…”


“What? Oh, yes, sorry…my mind tends to wander. So, I stripped off and was lying in this bath, and I noticed they had these little boats at one side. So, as you would, I started making them fight each other. “Prepare to repel boarders!” that sort of thing. I re-enacted the battle off Alexandria, you know. So, I was having a good old splash around, when, unannounced, in walks a young maga, and she almost incinerates me. You see, I was sitting in the Scrying Pool of Nectanebo, First Pharoah of that Name, and playing with the ships he used to curse the fleets of his enemies. The maga cast a quick divination, while I was still in the bath mind you, and discovered I’d destroyed part of the fleet returning from the Fourth Crusade. Most embarassing. There’s a lesson to be learned here young lady. What do you thin it is?”

“Don’t go swimming in other people’s magic items?”

“Oh, yes. That exactly.”

“Now, you’d usually make some sort of lewd comment, and I’d remind you I’m too young for your ribaldry.”

“Ah, yes I was going to be in terrible trouble, but the young lady was impressed by what I was using as a scale model for the Pharos of…”


“Well, and that’s your story. I’ll have my nap now.”

“Grandmother, he was telling me about his first trip as a young redcap.”

“Which one, my dear?”

“The one with the Egyptian bath?”

“Oh yes, that’s a good one, but not suitable for someone your age.”

“Did he really destroy a fleet?”

“But of course.”

“So that story was true?”

“Well, he’s a bit of a teller of tales. All of his stories contain a little…exageration,”

“So, the young maga?”

“Oh, no. They had a rather close friendship for many years. She’s dead now, mind you.”

“So, what?”

“The unicorn. He’s never eaten a unicorn in his life.”


3 replies on “How Marco Destroyed The Fleet of the Fourth Crusade

  1. Excellent tale! And the ending made me laugh out loud. 🙂 In my saga the players did do much damage to the Venetian fleet, but through rather more direct means. I love the magic item, and the unicorn sandwich 🙂


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