I can see a better time
1212 AD was a year of tribulation and pain. Faith was an instrument of manipulation on the unwary; sometimes hunger, cold and sadness left no option that to fall prey to the darkest side of human nature.
Some unholy man from Köln (or from Cloyes, who can ascertain) had an idea; all those children needed a reason to live or die. That reason must not be ignored, as they need it and I may benefit from it. So he lured a boy and talked him about a dream he should have. A pious, nefarious dream; an army of boys and girls, marching over the Mediterranean Sea, to convert the Muslims to Christianity.
The boy finally had the dream. They managed to be up to 30 thousand; a sea of young flesh, an unstoppable stream of naïveté and blind hope, a river of mercy and love of God. Damned be the man, for he fed on misery and need.
The middle sea did not part on their arrival, nor they saw Holy Land, nor a single unfaithful were converted to the true faith. Some say their bones can still be found in Tunisia, or in Brindisi, or in Siracusa, crumbled into the soil, whispering a sad song of slaves.