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This thread exists to fill in details of mundane politics of which the magi of the time would be aware, but will not directly impact their stories, though secondary effects are obviously possible.

in 1196 Richard of Acerra, the last rival claimant to the throne of Sicilly was executed by Henry III.
In 1197 a rebellion against Henry III broke out and was quickly suppressed, it's leader, a crusader named Jordan Lupin, was tortured to death in front of Queen Constance, who had given him jewels in support of his rebellion.
Constance then joined the rebellion against her husband, besieged his castle nd forced him into a treaty before rejoining him in domestic life by Easter. In November Henry III died unexpectedly- rumor is that he was poisoned by Constance who was executing a plot conceived with the Pope.(Celestine III)
Fredrick II was named heir to the throne of Sicily in May 1198, shortly after Coonstance III had become pope, and was named as Fredrick II's guardian. Constance ceded several rights to the church in the process, and died in November 1198. Sicily has thus fallen into chaos, technically ruled by Fredrick II with the pope as his guardian, but in practice ruled by the German administration of Phillip of Swabia.
To which there is much resistance...