3
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In adolescence I became known;
I left home in hope of many a gemstone.

All around, children know my name;
A prisoner of war, I felt no shame.

A legendary ruler I advised;
My services he greatly prized

As fatal sickness claimed my health,
My lord seized some of my great wealth.

My stories, many have heard;
Although I did not pen every word.

I made my travels by land and sea;
You have the clues. Who do you see?

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  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Feels a little more like vague trivia than a riddle. $\endgroup$ – Forklift Jun 14 '17 at 19:45
  • $\begingroup$ Agreed. And this isn't specific enough to determine for a fact that it's Marco. Maybe a better play on the swimming pool game, and more focus on the fact that he documented things across Asia/Worked for Khan. $\endgroup$ – n_plum Jun 14 '17 at 19:50
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    $\begingroup$ Like "space villian" to play on Khan. Something that makes the right answer obvious once you know it, but doesn;t shout the answer. $\endgroup$ – Forklift Jun 14 '17 at 19:53
4
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Jump in the pool with me. We'll play

Marco Polo!

In adolescence I became known;
I left home in hope of many a gemstone.

Marco left home in search of riches

All around, children know my name;
A prisoner of war, I felt no shame.

Children play the pool game "Marco Polo." As a prisoner, he really didn't have too rough of a life; he had concubines (if the Netflix show is to be believed)

A legendary ruler I advised;
My services he greatly prized

The great Khan himself

As fatal sickness claimed my health,
My lord seized some of my great wealth.

true story; robbed.

My stories, many have heard;
Although I did not pen every word.

Some of Marco's history is pure embellishment

I made my travels by land and sea;
You have the clues. Who do you see?

I see Marco Polo

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  • $\begingroup$ I'm honestly a little ashamed it was that easy $\endgroup$ – Moose Jun 14 '17 at 19:48
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Yeah, the trouble is it was not much of a riddle but rather, "based on these life details, can you name the person?" Some wordplay might help it out. Like "Pool your riches" and stuff like that to tease the answer out instead of hammering it home. $\endgroup$ – Forklift Jun 14 '17 at 19:51
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I believe it's:

Christopher Columbus

In adolescence I became known;
I left home in hope of many a gemstone.

Columbus left in search of gold.

All around, children know my name;
A prisoner of war, I felt no shame.

He did fight with the land's natives but was able to get out of things by trading foreign items. (This line is what fits Polo better because of the game played in a pool I believe)

A legendary ruler I advised;
My services he greatly prized

IIRC Columbus advised tribe leaders

As fatal sickness claimed my health,
My lord seized some of my great wealth.

He died of heart failure and when he returned home with a lot of treasure, much went to Spain due to them funding his trip after Portugal declined.

My stories, many have heard;
Although I did not pen every word.

He even has his own "holiday" and stories about him, not all being good.

I made my travels by land and sea;
You have the clues. Who do you see?

He did travel across the ocean and across Americas. So I thought of Columbus. Albeit Polo also fits.

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  • $\begingroup$ Good alternative. $\endgroup$ – feelinferrety Jun 17 '17 at 0:56

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