The Almighty blesses those with True Vision with the curses of lesser men. Cristobal had known his calling was that to follow a path of true righteousness-- one's rise from the filthy mechanicals of Genoa to having his own lordship in the islands beyond the Ocean Sea. He has survived plagues, wars, kings, and popes; he had courted no less than the warrior queen herself to fund his venture. A gamble, true, but he look on the noble's faces when he brought products from the islands to court was worth the years or torments, turn-downs, and snickers. Colon has conquered the sea; soon enough, his fiefdom would extend from the Empty Islands to Zipangu and Cathay, which from his own calculations lay no further than two hundred leagues more through the Warm Seas.
Soon, he would fulfill his name-- the Christ-bearer-- and his destiny. Cristobal's part in the Lord's grand plan of the world was no less than to be an actor whose fate would be to free mankind from heathenry and begin the glorious paradise of Heaven on Earth.
His own father couldn't even read.
The first voyage was half-full of criminals, Jews, and Mohamodans, with treachery hidden in each pair of sullen eyes. In his own quarters, Cristobal kept doubles of all of his logs to throw-off the prying eyes of the thieves on deck, even as much as lying about the date (the fools knew no difference); it was a wonder that the first voyage to the Indies was completed without a dagger in his back. the only thing the animals in the hold knew was violence, and he did not hesitate to remind them of this--several crewmembers necessitated a reminder of their place daily, and six required either direct execution or abandonment.
Even the crown had sentenced him to the floating deathtraps-- hardly enough supplies, munitions, or competent sailors to complete a journey to the Canaries, let alone the new lands. This only fueled Colon's drive-- all saints suffered at the hands of both their enemies and friends. His was a holy mission, no less. He will walk the righteous path and complete the Lord's work.
Three years later, he surveyed his own lands in the Far East. Admiral of the Ocean Sea and Governor and Viceroy of the Indies-- hardly less than a kingly title of his own from his growing port of Santo Domingo. The third of his settlements-- founded by his son-- was now proving to be more successful than the storm-ravaged La Isabela and far enough away from the mutineers in La Navidad, served as an exceelnt center of administration.
But his bones ached for the sea itself-- the only command in which he felt truly confident was captaining a ship. The administration and counting copper pieces could easily be left to attendants and slaves, but the Admiral belonged on the waves.
Time was short for his great work. In less than five years' time, the last age of mankind would begin, wherein Christ's glory would return to the Earth, and all of mankind will strike down infidels and heathens to build a glorious, righteous empire. Yet, Colon's part in this great drama was not yet complete-- to bring the Word across the ocean to the Great Khan and his eastern kingdoms would seal the circuit of history. Upon taking the Holy Lands from the east, the power of the church would only grow, and with great allies the world over (perhaps even from the fabled lands of Prester John in the far north-east of the globe), the Jubilee of 1500th Year of the Lord will bring paradise to all men.
Failing God was not an option.