Name: Coronel Diego de Valverde
Play by: Joe Manganiello
Nickname: Conde (Count)
An anomaly among the Spaniards, Diego stands at nearly six and a half feet (6’5”) and holds a well-built form from a childhood spent out in the fields of his father’s lands. His skin has taken a deeper tan, compliments of his serving in South America during the wars which were connected to the American Independence. His face is most often hidden in a thick beard, which has begun to tinge itself in grey, despite his age.
In his youth, Diego was a joyful child, growing into a young man who loved to work in the fields alongside the peasants who lived, and worked on his father’s lands. This mentality was instilled by the elder Valverde, as a sense of respecting the land which would be his. Having come home from the war in South America, he returned to his entire family swept away by the fever, and his wife who had been pregnant when he had left, had died, leaving him a four year old daughter he had never seen. While in some ways cold to her, he has tried breaking the wall of pain which befalls him whenever he looks at her, and sees her mother.
To connect with a daughter he never knew. To proudly serve his country, in assistance to Austria concerning France.
Diego was born into the mid-level nobility of Spain in the county of Leon, to a Conde father. The only surviving male child, he was immediately trained in matters of state, as well as military. Though, for Diego, his life was a bit different than most. While his father was a Count, it was not the richest part of Spain, so more than once the young man found himself out in the fields for harvest, along with his father until the man grew older. It endeared the people to the family, to share in the work of the earth, but Diego’s father had always said it was the land, and people who made royalty, not the other way around.
At seventeen, he married, finding the love of his life in an arranged marriage that he was more than grateful for. A rich match with not much land, it was perfect, title for money, and raised both families. Despite the happiness they shared, any chance of children seemed to be out of reach, until the two were both over thirty. Though the cruelty of fate had him being requested to travel to South America, in order to keep Portugal at bay during the war, soon after the news that his wife was pregnant.
Four years could change everything, for despite being in a land where he lost more soldiers to disease than the enemy, it was back home in which a fever spread through Leon, leaving him the only remaining member of his family, outside of a daughter he had never once met. When war was over, he returned home, to a distant relation living in his father’s house, taking care of his four year old daughter who he could barely look at, as he saw so much of her mother within her eyes. Not that he treated her badly, it was just she was as unknown to him, as he was to her. Despite this, when he was requested by the crown to take command of a regiment sent to Italy in order to assist the Austrians against the French threat.
While the regiment stayed within the borders of Austria in Trieste, Diego took the opportunity to run the regiment, as well as buy land in Verona, just outside of Venice, making him a frequent visitor to the city of Venice, and a defacto member of its society.