[Note: I don't have access to many tribunal books, so NPC names and characterizations are my own.]
Antoninus of Mercere was born in the Harco covenant in 1189 to a non-Gifted Redcap mother and one of several shield grogs. He was identified as Gifted very early in his childhood and immediately taken in by his maternal great-grandmother Argenta of Mercere for preliminary Hermetic training. After several years of Latin lessons and extensive travel within the Roman tribunal, Argenta opened his Arts and started his apprenticeship in 1199.
Within a few years, Antoninus’s Mutantum abilities became clear and Argenta’s pleasure (and pride) with her great-grandson increased further. She missed no chance to brag about her line ‘breeding true’ and showing him off, even if finding such a chance required traveling via Mercere portal to the ends of Mythic Europe. Antoninus spent time in covenants throughout the Order, receiving the best training House Mercere could acquire. He also became accustomed to complete strangers telling him he was destined for great things.
It all eventually grew to be too much for the young apprentice. The relentless pressure and expectations for greatness began to overwhelm him as he approached his tenth year of apprenticeship. Argenta’s constant suggestions that he pass his Mutantum blood on to the next generation made matters worse, as Antoninus was beginning to realize he preferred the company of men. By the age of 20 he was seriously considering fleeing the Order altogether.
While working on his escape plan, Antoninus was fortunate enough to befriend Moirin, a young Redcap apprentice, during one of his many visits to the Loch Leglean tribunal. She provided an outlet for his fears and complaints, giving him someone with whom he could finally be honest. Moirin ‘talked him down’ and convinced him to complete his apprenticeship, pointing out that a magus would have far more freedom and influence than a runaway apprentice. With Moirin’s help, Antoninus began to develop a new goal – fundamentally changing the traditions of his House from within. He returned to Argenta with a new sense of purpose and completed his Gauntlet on schedule in 1214.
Antoninus spent the first few years developing his plan for the House. His ultimate goal is to convince his sodales that restricting membership to blood descendants of Mercere is doing the House a disservice. To have any hope of effecting this change, he has determined he must first gain a strong reputation within the House. He spent his first few years post-Gauntlet in Harco, making contacts and seeking a niche to fill. In recent years he has decided to focus on developing new enchantments for Redcaps and new magical correspondences (shape/material bonuses). He thinks this strategy will increase his fame both within his House and the Order as a whole. This plan also gives him the luxury of escaping the madhouse of Harco and gaining renown while living on his own terms. After discussions with Moirin, the covenant of Insula Canaria seems like a good fit.