As soon as the crusaders set off in 1202, the Venetian doge was in contact with the leaders of Egypt, assuring them that they wouldn't actually be attacked. They were also in contact with the imprisoned son of the previous Byzantine emperor and nephew of the current emperor, Alexius. Alexius promised that he would supply the 85,000 silver marks that the Crusaders were unable to pay. The Venetian doge sent the Crusaders to make a stop at Zara, then to eventually head to Constantinople when Alexius assumed the title as emperor. Alexius was unable to pay off his debt to the Venetians, so he taxed his citizens heavily, which left Constantinople divided and weak, and at this point the Crusaders attacked and sacked the city. The Venetian doge and his family acquired the Royal Palace while the Crusaders pillaged the city.