The first of the Palermo Rubies is home.
After weeks of dealing with lackeys, self-important priests, the Swiss Guard and helping to “lubricate” the wheels of Italian government, I’ve finally acquired the first of the stones. Months of sifting through archives has helped me find the direction of the other two pieces but finding their current location may take a while longer.
The original Sebastia Stone came into the possession of Michael Scot in the early 13th century, while he was chief architect to Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II. I have been able to glean the existence of the stone for several hundred years before that but it’s precise origin is as yet unknown. Scot’s Treatise on Optics makes reference to the stone as a single ruby of impressive clarity. He further studied the stone in his manuscript dedicated to its properties. Here he notes the stone’s ability to act as a conduit for life force transference. Scot was uncomfortable with the possible misuse of the stone but rather than destroy it outright, he chose to split the stone in three and send the pieces apart from one another for safe keeping. Despite being thirded, each piece still manifests certain properties relating to the whole original. These renamed “Palermo Rubies” have proved harder to track than the original.
One stone was sent to Oxford. This, I believe to be the same one as mentioned by both Roger Bacon, and John Dee in their studies. Dee passed the stone to Henry Percy, the 9th Earl but I will need access to the family records to find further information on its current whereabouts.
The second piece was easier to find. This Scot sent to Rome and was part of the Papal collection for several centuries. Official records say the piece was loaned to a Milo Rambaldo by Alexander VI, the Pope who gave the Borgias a bad name. After the Pope’s death there was a backlash against Rimbaldi lead by a Bishop called Vespertini. Testimony from the posthumous excommunication of Rambaldi, leads me to believe that Rambaldi had been experimenting on the possibility of life extension using the stone. Vespertini lead a campaign that expunged nearly all reference to Rimbaldi from records, monuments and artwork. Even one of Michelangelo’s paintings has been touched up. Ironically Bishop Vespertini believed enough in what Rambaldi was doing to have the Ruby buried with him; possibly in the hope of his own resurrection. Thankfully what remained of Vespertini was still sealed in his crypt quietly mouldering away. The very helpful Monsignor Giodorno has been duly rewarded for his assistance.
As a side note after seeing some of the manuscripts of this Rambaldi, he may bear further research. Some very interesting ideas!
The final piece is amusing though. This was sent to the Guildmaster of New Babbage. Of all the places to send it. I’ve also got a pretty good guess as to where it might be. Perhaps the Babbage Archivist needs a little visit. What was his name again? MacBain?