Caius Antoninus was a politician from Archaîon that was formerly one of the Republic’s ten tribunes. Half senatores half populares, his controversial legacy has ranged from being an ideological revolutionary to cynic opportunist.
Caius was born in 202 of the 4th Age to the House of Antonine, the eldest surviving son. From birth Cauis would have good political foundations – the House of Antonine was a prestigious patrician family with lineage to the Cerulean Flight, its patriarch had served valiantly in the War of the Crown Jewels. And as the young dragon grew, so did his political foundations. In his 63rd year, Cauis distinguished himself as a strong orator, defending one of his father’s clients in the infamous murder of Blackwald Manor; the young Cauis with keen sense and strong force of personality, managed to extract a confession of murder from the unsuspected half-elven milkmaid. Cauis was always a progressive man, taking to enterprises that his patrician colleagues stuffed their noses at – Cauis for example brought infamy to the House of Antonine as one of the first patrician families to take part in usury.
Caius served 50 customary years in the military. And on his 120th year, 50th year of campaigning, Cauis’ father passed away. In ceremonious timing, Cauis’ assumed the title ‘Antonine’ as the patriarch, then began his transition from military to public life. In 366 Antonine was elected Quaestor of Harnascum, and then in 367, he returned to Archaîon to make a successful bid as Aedile of that city.
The patriarch of the Antonii was well on his way to a secure life with Senators, then at the foot of their doorstep, Cauis’ progressive strain struck again in spectacular fashion. In 368, Antonine consummated a marriage with a human woman he had held as a mistress for several years.
At first impressions, this was a debacle for Cauis. When he refused to relent on the issue of marrying a redblood, The Concord of the Flights invalidated him as patriarch of the Antonii, which would in turn lead to Cauis’ disownment from the family by the succeeding patriarch. Then even worse, the Concord revoked his patrician lineage. Cauis, no longer Antonine, was cast from his house reduced to the common lineage of the plebeian men.
Yet the Concord would be flummoxed to see that the impertinent dragon wasn’t necessarily reeling from his invalidation. Cauis was never truly cut from his wealth – his riches came from the mercantile adventures that his elders spurned. Then there was the matter that sent Concord from being mildly concerned into an outright panic: Cauis was now a plebeian and could run for all the offices that were barred from patricians. In 371, Cauis announced his candidacy for Tribune of the Plebs. His human supporters, well aware of the disdain their candidate had earned with blue-blooded aristocracy, mockingly cheered for the election of ‘Tribune Antonine’.
The campaign of 371 was fraught with rumors of aggressive litigation and bribery. Antonine’s opponent, Licinius, was reputedly bribed to throw the election away, while counter opinions say that Licinius dropped out of the election following divine portents from Andromeda. Counter, counter opinions accuse both Antonine and Licinius of bribing court officials to silence investigations into bribery.
Antonine would remain undeterred by whatever infamy he accumulated from his election. The newly elected would waste no time with a honeymoon; within a year, Cauis vetoed a proposal to put a 2000 hectare cap on land that can be owned by elected high officials, passed a resolution expanding the grain dole, and lastly, proposed a resolution that would grant citizenship to the Archaîan allies. This final resolution would be the Tribune’s undoing. Antonine was already on hostile terms with the Senate; the Tribune then became the latest in a line of politicians to bypass the Senate and take his proposals directly to the People’s Assembly – Antonine would be the first dragon. Compounding with this affront, there were then rumors that the whole of Harnascum would pledge loyalty to Antonine if the Tribune could secure their citizenship. Normally championed by the common man, emboldened plebes could see the dangerous precedent: no single man could be allowed to accumulate that kind of power and prestige. The proposal was immediately shot down by the other Tribunes, and Antonine’s other measures were put in jeopardy as the Praetor of Archaîon threatened to propose his own measure that would invalidate all of Antonine’s previous laws passed.
In Enelya of 372, Cauis left the confines of Archaîon to begin a campaign for re-election that ran through the East to Harnascum and back. In the sleepy village of Toscani, after giving a speech, Antonine was murdered in his quarters, presumably killed by political assassins. His eyes were burned out.
With the tribune’s efforts, the issue of the Archaîan allies has flared up once more and refuses to be smothered along with Antonine’s vetoed legislation.