Wikia

White Wolf Wiki

Antonius (Cairo)

10,663pages on
this wiki
Talk2
Name:

Antonius

Gender:

Male

Born:

after 110

Embraced:

130

Final Death:

1406

Clan:

Ventrue

Generation:

possibly 5th

Sire:

possibly Antonius

Rank:

Prince

Antonius, born as Antinous, was the Prince of Cairo (Egypt) for centuries, until 1406 when he was assassinated either by Setites or by Lupines, depending on who tells the tale. He was succeeded as Prince by his right-hand man, the Caitiff named Mukhtar Bey.

BiographyEdit

In life, Antonius was Antinous, the youthful lover of Roman Emperor Hadrian. During a visit to Egypt in 130 CE, Antinous became smitten with the notion that those who drowned in the Nile River became divine, and thus threw himself into the depths of the river. Hadrian, distraught, ensured that his departed lover was swiftly deified, and named several Roman outposts in Egypt after Antinous.

However, Antinous did not truly die, but was instead Embraced into Clan Ventrue by an unknown sire, who gave him an education befitting a Cainite, a king, and a god. Antinous' sire is suspected to be the Methuselah known as Antonius the Gaul, for soon after his Embrace, Antinous took on the name "Antonius" for himself. With his mysterious sire's aid, Antonius née Antinous quickly conquered the Egyptian port-island of Rhoda and took many of its inhabitants as ghouls. Once Antonius was established as Rhoda's Boy-King, his ancient sire erected an obelisk in his honor and traveled east, eventually leaving Africa for good.

Antonius' chief rival during his first several centuries in power was Agonistes. Agonistes was the monastic Patriarch of Babylon-in-Egypt, the city that lay on the west bank of the Nile, near the island of Rhoda. Agonites was the spiritual guardian of the Coptic Christians in his domain, whose numbers would soon swell with refugees when the Roman Empire actively persecuted the Copts. Although Antonius respected the Copts' faith, he nevertheless saw himself as something of a godhead.

Despite these ideological differences, the two rival princes each maintained enough control over both their passions and their domains that they never directly came into conflict one another. Additionally, both attempted to mitigate the damage done to their respective domains by the rift in the Christian faith. However, in 450 CE, Agonistes' boon companion Nabonidus retreated to an unknown haven beyond the bounds of Babylon-in-Egypt. Agonistes withdrew into isolation further with each passing year until he was barely a memory to the two cities' Cainites.

As the Muslims expanded westward, their caliphate eventually came to encompass all of Egypt, and Antonius adopted Islam (at least superficially) in order to placate the increasingly Islamic Cainites under his domain. The Caliph ordered the creation of a new Egyptian capital on the banks of the Nile opposite Babylon. This city, Al-Fustat, lay on grounds already claimed by Setites and thus, by tradition, was unavailable to Antonius, who planned to share the new territory with Agonistes' brood. A century later, the Abbasids came to Egypt in their war against the ruling Umayyad dynasty.

The last Umayyad caliph, Marwan, burned Al-Fustat to the ground and fled to Rhoda. Marwan was surrendered to the Abbasids and executed, to the Setites' delight. The new Abbasid caliph ordered the creation of a new city, Al-Askar, near the remains of Al-Fustat. The Assamite Antara was able to secure as position as the de facto ruler of Al-Askar by turning many of his clanmates away from Egypt, leaving them no recourse but to return to Alamut empty-handed. Egypt eventually became an independent state under the spiritual rule of the caliphate, with a rebuilt Al-Fustat gaining eminence over its neighboring cities (thanks in no small part to the Setites' influence).

The capital of Egypt was again moved to Al-Fustat in 905 — a move that the Old Man of the Mountain had allowed to pass in order to demonstrate to Antara that his loyalty to Egypt must come second to his loyalty to the Assamites. Enraged, Antara instead incited riots among the Cainite and kine alike. The violent unrest continued for decades until quashed by a Turkish officer who secretly served Antonius as a ghoul. Antonius used this pretext to issue the Rhoda Proclamation, declaring his singular authority over the greater city at the mouth of the Nile. In 973, the ascendant Fatimid dynasty conquered Egypt, and with them came the Lasombra Ashirra king Sharif al-Lam'a. The Fatimid caliph renamed the city to Al-Qahira ("The Triumphant"), which is Anglicized as "Cairo", and Suleiman ibn Abdullah, sultan of the Ashirra, took up residence in the city.

Two centuries later, the sultan Saladin came to Egypt during his wars with the invading European Christians. To deny the invaders the ability to occupy Al-Fustat and use it as a staging ground for attacks on the neighboring cities, he had Al-Fustat burned to the ground, its occupants (including the Setites) moving into the Lasombra-controlled regions of the northern city. Thus, Antara and Sharif struck against their mutual Lasombra foes and increased the power of their respective domains. Soon after, Saladin began a restructuring of Egypt, which included moving the government's seat of power out of Antonius' domain in Rhoda to the newly-built Citadel on the mainland. Antonius would have directly acted to prevent this apparent loss of power if not for his level-headed advisor, Jubal. The territory surrounding the Citadel became home to the Hajj, a sect of Nosferatu within the Ashirra.

Around 1365, a Mameluke Caitiff had the audacity to present himself to Antonius. When Antonius' guards moved to forcibly eject the whelp from his court, the Caitiff easily slew both of the Cainite guards and presented himself again. The Caitiff, Mukhtar Bey, quickly gained Antonius' respect, and eventually became his bodyguard and right-hand man. Over the decades that followed, Antonius became increasingly isolated from all, even Jubal; Mukhtar was the only one to see him with any regularity. Coincidentally, during this time, the local Lupine population saw a resurgence in numbers and activity.

In 1406, the Lupines struck Antonius in his own haven, although one account claims that he was instead killed by Setites. Antonius and all his defenders were slain in the battle that ensued — all save Mukhtar, who was paralyzed with fear. As there were no surviving witnesses save for Mukhtar himself, this element of the tale was never recounted. Mukhtar, being the only one who knew the inner workings of Antonius' court and domain, was pressed into taking his late master's place as Prince of Cairo. Thus did a Caitiff become a Prince in one of the greatest cities of Kindred and kine, fulfilling one of the portents of Gehenna laid out in the Book of Nod.

ReferencesEdit

Around Wikia's network

Random Wiki