|King Alfonso the Slobberer|
|Faction||Kingdom of Leon|
La Pola de Gordón
By year 1200, Alfonso is 29 years old.
Alfonso IX became king of León in 1188 in the middle of a complicated dynastic dispute while the kingdom was threatened on all fronts by its three neighbours, Portugal, Castille and the Almohads. The desperate situation forced Alfonso to summon the Cortes of León that same year, seeking aid from the cities to meet his growing financial needs, derivated from the huge war effort the kingdom had to cope with.
Alfonso VIII of Castille, eager to recover the castillian territories taken by Fernando II of Leon (Alfonso IX's father), soon invaded León and occupied several border settlements. Meanwhile, Alfonso's diplomatic attempts to reach a pacific solution with Portugal ended up backfiring. Trapped in a very difficult situation, he resorted to a pact with the Almohads; Pope Celestin III excommunicated him as a result, but with almohad aid Alfonso was able to push back the portuguese offensive and then strike back against the castillians.
Finally, the conflict was resolved with the Treaty of Tordehumos (1194), and Alfonso would marry Princess Berenguela of Castille (daughter of the castillian king) in 1197. But the relationship between the two rulers remained strained (to say the least) and León didn't help Castille at the Battle of Alarcos (1195), which lead to a crushing castillian defeat at the hands of the Almohads.