Justin was born in a small town just west of Constantinople in the
year 963 CE (though the Gregorian calendar didn't exist yet) and was the son of a wealthy merchant. Justin's father tried to teach him bookkeeping and mercantile skills, but Justin was not very interested in such things. Instead, when he travelled with his father, Justin would follow the caravan's tinker around and learn how to fix things.
Eventually Justin was sent to study mathematics, astronomy, and medicine in the Arab lands. While he was there, his father passed away back in Byzantium and Justin's younger brother inherited most of the business. All Justin got was a little side-venture (and a failing one at that) that built aqueducts and sewers. Justin's father had been persuaded by a friend to invest in this business, but it had never done well because the owner had no real talent for engineering. Justin did, though, and the business soon began to prosper.
One day, Justin and his partner were called to the Imperial Palace. It seems that the Emperor's sewers had clogged up -- again -- and He was most displeased. After they had successfully cleared the clog, and helped to redesign the pipeline so that it wouldn't
happen again, Justin and his partner were given titles of nobility by the Emperor himself!
As is the way with such things, soon everyone wanted to do business with those favored by the Emperor, and Justin was eventually able to sell his share of the business for a small fortune, and to retire young.
Justin began to travel the wide world, simply for the joy of seeing distant lands, and soon met the lovely lady who would become his wife -- Lady Milica of Varna. Today, Justin
and Milica travel about in the strange lands of western Europe. Justin still works as a tinker, not because he needs the money, but because he enjoys the work. It also provides a nice cover story to keep brigands and thieves from realizing how much gold is hidden
inside that wagon!