As we have moved to May’s Calendar highlight Integridad Kin Clan – we will be introducing a few of the new characters that were added to the Clan.
El Cid – also known as Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar was born circa 1043 AD in Vivar, also known as Castillona de Bivar, a small town about six miles north of Burgos, the capital of Castile. His father, Diego Laínez, was a courtier, bureaucrat, and cavalryman who had fought in several battles. Despite the fact that El Cid’s mother’s family was aristocratic, in later years the peasants would consider him one of their own. However, his relatives were not major court officials; documents show that El Cid’s paternal grandfather, Lain, confirmed only five documents of Ferdinand I’s, his maternal grandfather, Rodrigo Alvarez, certified only two of Sancho II’s, and El Cid’s own father confirmed only one.
As a young man in 1057, Rodrigo fought against the Moorish stronghold of Zaragoza, making its emir al-Muqtadir a vassal of Sancho. In the spring of 1063, Rodrigo fought in the Battle of Graus, where Ferdinand’s half-brother, Ramiro I of Aragon, was laying siege to the Moorish town of Cinca which was in Zaragozan lands. Al-Muqtadir, accompanied by Castilian troops including El Cid, fought against the Aragonese. The party would emerge victorious; Ramiro I was killed and the Aragonese fled the field. One legend has said that during the conflict, El Cid killed an Aragonese knight in single combat, thereby receiving the honorific title Campeador.
When Ferdinand died, Sancho continued to enlarge his territory, conquering both Christian and the Moorish cities of Zamora and Badajoz. When Sancho learned that Alfonso was planning on overthrowing him in order to gain his territory, Sancho sent Cid to bring Alfonso back so that Sancho could speak to him.
Sancho was assassinated in 1072, as the result of a pact between his brother Alfonso and his sister Urraca. Since Sancho died unmarried and childless, all of his power passed to his brother Alfonso.
Almost immediately, Alfonso returned from exile in Toledo and took his seat as king of Castile and León. He was deeply suspected in Castile, probably correctly, of having been involved in Sancho’s murder. According to the epic of El Cid, the Castilian nobility led by El Cid and a dozen “oath-helpers” forced Alfonso to swear publicly in front of Santa Gadea (Saint Agatha) Church in Burgos on holy relics multiple times that he did not participate in the plot to kill his brother. This is widely reported as truth, but contemporary documents on the lives of both Rodrigo Diaz and Alfonso VI of Castile and León do not mention any such event. Rodrigo’s position as armiger regis was taken away and given to Rodrigo’s enemy, Count García Ordóñez.
In 1079 Rodrigo was sent by Alfonso VI to Seville to the court of al-Mutamid to collect the parias owed by that taifa to León–Castile. While he was there Granada, assisted by other Castilean knights, attacked Seville, and Rodrigo and his forces repulsed the Christian and Grenadine attackers at the Battle of Cabra, in the (probably mistaken) belief that he was defending the king’s tributary. The Count García Ordóñez and the other Castilian leaders were taken captive and held for three days before being released.
While in Exile, and his ability to combine the Muslim and Christians together in one army, he caught the attention of Azeem. The Vampire traveled to see him and talk to him about a new opportunity.
El Cid took it without hesitation.
For More Information Contact the Vampire Council Library