The exploits of the Chinless family and Sir Arnold Grasp
The Fourth Crusade
Christianity devours itself
Camped before the walls of christian Byzantium, but at odds with their host, the emperor, the Crusaders are seduced by the suggestions of Doge Dandolo of Venice - to whom they owe a fortune for their transport this far.
The great trebuchet, Malvoisin and Le Mechant, swing into action against the triple walls
The Greek catapulta and ballistae respond and battle is joined
The assault towers intended to defeat the walls of Jerusalem are trundled against the greatest Christian city in the world
A shameful hero - an English knight, Sir Nigel Nemandible, gains recognition as the first onto the outer wall
Meanwhile - Arnolfo Graspici, leader of the Dalmatian contingent, fails to join the assault = on The City at least
The battle intensifies and the outnumbered defenders resort to harsh language and 'farting in their general direction' as the Franks bring up yet more infernal machines.
The Frankish leaders gallop forward to be in at the kill as news breaks that the Venetian assault on the seaward side has taken the defenders by surprise and captured the virtually unmanned walls. Byzantium - richest city in the world, the never-taken heir of eternal Rome, guardian of christianity against the Saracen and Turk - has fallen!
Blind and crippled the octogenarian Doge Dandolo rejoices at the destruction of Venice's greatest trading rival - the Adriatic and the East beyond now lie open to his trading galleys - and the four bronze horses of the Hippodrome will remind all future Venetians of his achievement
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