Violante was a leader. Only thus can we explain why she remained at the forefront of the defence of Loarre’s castle, and how companies of soldiers, horsemen, archers, and troops from France and England who all defended the castle, did not betray her. A woman defending a military position? But when was that?
Have you heard of the famous Compromise of Caspe (1412)? An agreement was reached on who would be the King of Aragon after the childless death of King Martin I, but that agreement was not accepted by everyone: Jaime II de Urgell, a grandson of Pedro IV, “El Ceremonioso”, wanted the crown. And the foolish Count Antón de Luna, Lord of Loarre, and his most faithful follower started a civil war to get it.
Violante, abbess of the convent of Trasobares and excommunicated by her uncle, Pope Luna, and who was madly in love with her cousin Anton, decided she must help and take up arms. She made the preparations and went to the side of her lover in support of Jaime II de Urgell. In any case, her uncle had already ordered the convent of the abbess to be burned, so she did not have many options left.
In August of 1413, the castle of Loarre was besieged. And Violante entrenched herself there, although on her own because her cousin Anton fled to Navarre. Jaime II de Urgell was to surrender in October.
Violante was in Loarre Castle for almost a year. And in that time she thought about how to escape with her life if she could get out of the mess she was in. She would need something to negotiate with – and then she remembered the story her aunt had told her about María de Luna’s search for the treasure. Loarre was in the manuscript, but Maria had not looked for it there. What if it was still hidden there?