A birth in Lesi

In the small town of Lesi, near Ancona, on December 25 1194- tonight a child has been born, in the public square, a child first born of the Holy Roman Emperor Henry VI and the Queen of Sicilly Constance (though to be fair the battle isn't quite over regarding his mother's title).
Is this birth a sign? A coinicidence? Some form of astrological correspondence for the birth of a king?
A blasphemy?
Whatever it is or might be, it is probably worth investigating...

I am posting this for the introduction of the Roman tribunal adventures, but hope and expect it will begin with getting another magus or more completed for the adventure...

It would seem we have all the magi we will have for now for the Roman tribunal- News has carried of this birth, assuming you would have some interest in seeing what opportunity might come of it (or have more noble reasons to investigate) how would you choose to proceed?

Archimedes has just begun his wanderings, looking for a covenant or a spot to set up a lone laboratory. He decides the cult might be interested in the exact astrological positions in Lesi at the time of the birth, so he goes to make an observation when he hears the news in the hope that he'll be able to work backward from that, since it will have only been a few days.

He heads to Lesi. He plans to make astrological observations, but realizes that without knowing the time of birth of the baby, they will be of limited value. So he makes his way to the castle, where he speaks to the guards.

"Good sirs, I am Medes, a traveling wise man and teller of fortunes. I heard of the wondrous birth that was given to the Queen not long ago, and I thought to offer her the gift of telling her what the stars say about her new baby."

OOC: a remarkably accurate natal chart for Fredrick II? That is going to have future value...

Taliha was sent to Iesi by her sept from Venice to gather both the information for the Natal chart and to see what she could learn about the king and kingdom of Sicily from the court that would be traveling with the Queen.

  1. the idea was to come up with an approach, not simply a motivation,
  2. I'm not certain why a sept of Bjorners would be involving itself in court intrigue, and typically astrology isn't a bjorner interest- there can certainly be exceptions, but for the sept to be sending her...

on the other hand, the kingdom of Sicilly (this is common knowledge) covers not only the southern third of Italy, but also extends significantly into the Mediterranean, so that involves lots of lands away from the high concentrations of dominion. Technically outside the current boundaries of the Roma tribunal, but that can be adjusted in the future- or not.

the guard swipes halfheartedly at you with an open hand. "Get out of here you old fraud, the Queen has her own astrologers and mystics, what need has she of some riff raff street fraud!?"

"What makes you think I'm a fraud, and not them?"

The soldier draws his sword "I told you to get out if here, not get before I take exception to your impudence!"
That's the Gift for you...

Archimedes withdraws post-haste. He will go to Plan B, asking around the local midwives to see if anyone knows who helped with the birth. He tries to be as discreet as possible, but is willing to part with some silver.

Roll a stress die + either presence or communication + folk ken, with a -3 for the gift. largely this will affect price and time required...
… unless you botch of course...

got a 2

It takes several hours, and many false leads after hefty tips to various people who saw first witnessed the event, but maybe recalled who it was, to people who know a person who knows a person, and so forth. You spend most of the day chasing down leads and your silver is 2 pounds lighter, but in the end you find the midwife- and already know that the birth occurred after sunset.

Archimedes goes to the midwife's house, and knocks on her door.

"Pardon me, may I speak with Midwife Rossi?"

When he can speak to her, he introduces himself. "My name is Giovanni Ricci. I am a traveling scholar, writing a book on the births of important personages, and I've heard that there was such a birth in town here recently. I would like to record the story of the birth, I will reward you for your time."

A young man opens the door. "Midwife Rossi is a very busy woman." When you speak of compensation he demands to see the money up front, but eventually relents and lets you in to the house, telling a young woman to fetch the midwife while he stays with you.
Midwife Rossi is a woman getting along in years, it does not seem she would have many winters left in her, and she is bundled up well against the moderate Mediterranean chill of winter.
"Historian you say? Huh. I doubt you are a historian any more than those men who wouldn't leave the queens side were royals, with their candles, and water clocks. Still, your money spends the same as anyone else, what is it you want to know? Just set your donation on the table as you ask your questions. I will tell you right away that there are some confidences I will not betray at any price, though I can't think of much in this case, a woman having a child in the middle of the square for all to see! I know they say different rules apply to the nobility, but the sheer gall!"

Archimedes sets down two pounds on the table [he's going for a large amount but not so much it seems suspicious, I'm just guessing at that, hopefully he might have a better idea.]

He sits, takes out his notebook, and gets ready to write. "I don't ask for any secrets, just an account of the birth, how it went, were there any strange occurrences, how long the labor took and the hour of crowning, that sort of thing. Details such as might be of interest to posterity, for medical science and students of history and readers of portents."

"Of course, the hour of crowning is of great historical sigifigance." Her tone is only mildly mocking now, she may not trust your motives, but she trusts the silver. "They came to my house as the sun was setting, and I gathered my things and traveled to the square, I arrived as dusk was dimming into night, but the area was well lit by lamps, and one of the supposedly noble men was asking which candle was lit at sunset. The head crowned a half hour, by the water clocks, after sunset, but labor took another 2 hours past that. I was intent on my work nd would not have noted the time so precisely but again, one of the supposed noble men called out for this to be recorded, and it did seem about right. The priest, however, declared that the birth took place after midnight, and so in the records of the church it is described as being the middle of the night on the morning of the 26th. After the child was born it took its first breath roughly two dimeters later, after the cord was cut and the child was incited to cry out."

You managed to get well over an amount that would have been appropriate- what you gave was certainly suspicious, but not by more than what the blatant gift already created, and enough to overcome such reservations. It came across as "I don't want to haggle, I know you are suspicious, and I am willing to pay a lot s that you don't care about your suspicions"

Archimedes makes careful notes.

"Were there any odd occurrences or coincidences? Anything you haven't seen happen at other births? Why did it happen in the town square?"

[works for me]

"They indicated that they wanted to make sure everyone knew the queen was the mother, there were rumors that she was adopting the son of a butcher. The other thing is the medicine- she had some concoction that I believe was supposed to induce labor. I suppose that may have been necessary to make sure they could put the birth on display, wouldn't want the queen being kept outside for weeks. What is strange is having the concoction but having to get the midwife after she had taken it."

"Strange. Did you hear about what happened before you came? Was there another midwife before who wasn't up to the task? Or did they have a doctor who couldn't cope?"