|Order of Santiago|
|Ruler||Grandmaster Gonzalo Rodriguez|
|Culture(s)||Order of Santiago|
The Order's origins are somewhat unclear, mostly due to the double function all military orders wanted to achieve. The religious function comes from the Canons Regular of Saint Augustine - based in the Monastery of San Eloy de Loio, near Compostela - who founded several hospitals alongside St. James' Way in an attempt to improve pilgrims' travel conditions and security (a similar goal to that of the Order of Calatrava). The military function originates in the Fratres of Cáceres, a group of knights established to protect said city after it was conquered in 1169 by the Kingdom of Leon.
Eventually, the Fratres became associated with the Canons Regular to provide a more effective watch over the roads that shaped St. James' Way. Their name evolved into the Brothers of the Blade first, and finally into the Knights of Santiago. The Order of Santiago was formed in July of 1170, and only two years later it had already expanded to Castille, although it failed to prevent Cáceres from being retaken by the Almohads in 1174. In 1175 the Order was officially 'approved' by King Alfonso of Castille and a papal bull by Pope Alexander III. Not long after the loss of Cáceres, the Order was granted the castle of Uclés by King Alfonso, and it eventually became its caput ordinis (headquarters of the order).
The first notorious military action of the Order was helping in the conquest of Cuenca. 1195 was an eventful year: the Order took part in the disastrous Battle of Alarcos (where several Knights of Santiago, including Grandmaster Sancho Fernández, met their demise), Gonzalo Rodríguez was appointed as the new Grandmaster and Uclés was later besieged - without success - by the Almohad Caliph Abu Yaqub Yusuf al-Mansur.
By 1200, mostly thanks to a less rigid Rule if compared to other military orders (Knights of Santiago could actually marry), the Order of Santiago had spread over Portugal, Aragon, France, Italy, Hungary and even Antioch, thus overshadowing more long-standing orders like Calatrava or Alcántara.
The Order of Santiago is led by Grandmaster Gonzalo Rodríguez.
The Order of Santiago is a subordinate faction of the Kingdom of Leon, and will always aid King Alfonso in his military enterprises. As such, at the starting point of the game, the Order of Santiago is at war with the Almohad Caliphate. In the future, the Order will subsequently declare war upon any faction at odds with Leon.
As a military order, the Order of Santiago only fields professional and noble troops selected from within its own ranks. This means the warbands of Santiago are true elite armies if compared with the average warpartie of a 'normal' faction.
Professional troop tree Edit
- Solidarius of Santiago