rating: +28+x

Item#: SCP-7562
Containment Class:
Secondary Class:
Disruption Class:
Risk Class:


Palatial Castle of Marcilla.

Special Containment Procedures: SCP-7562 is believed to be neutralized. However, anomalous phenomena related to SCP-7562-1 continues activity, and is currently being tested by Area-53’s Hoplology Department. A separate investigation into SCP-7562’s history is pending approval.

Description: SCP-7562 is a phenomenon that affected the Palatial Castle of Marcilla, located in the town of Marcilla, in the Autonomous Region of Navarre, Spain. The phenomenon presented itself as a localized alteration in reality affecting rooms within the premises of the castle, revolving around a set of motifs believed to be related to the myth of the national hero Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar. Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar (1043-1099), better known as El Cid,1 was a knight of Castilian origin who lived during the Reconquista period and fought for both Christian and Muslim armies. He played a key role in reclaiming the kingdom of Valencia (previously a Taifa) from Moorish control, becoming its regent until his death."His story became popularized thanks to the epic poem El Cantar de mio Cid, the most significant poem in Spanish literature and the oldest preserved Spanish epic poem (epopeya).

While El Cid never had any link with the Marcilla castle or its people in his lifetime, the baron of Marcilla received a sword that had been owned by him as a gift from monarchs Isabel I and Ferdinand II upon their marriage in 1469. Known as the Tizona sword, the armament remained within the castle's premises until it was moved to the Provincial Archaeological Museum of Burgos in Madrid in 1848.

Discovery: Despite its age, no anomalous phenomena were detected within the Castle of Marcilla until 2008, when the government of Marcilla decided to restore the castle after the pillars separating the church from the central patio partially crumbled. The Department of Culture and Tourism of the Príncipe de Viana Institute in Navarre sent a group of engineers to assess damages. All five engineers failed to report back the following day, prompting the three members of the Chartered Police of Navarre to investigate. When they also failed to report back, the Foundation was contacted. A team of five members of MTF Zeta-9 were sent out to investigate the location.

Addendum 7562-1: Marcilla Castle Investigation 17/05/2008

[08:28] Five MTF Zeta-9 (“Mole Rats”) members arrive at the castle and are allowed to enter the premises by the local police, who have cordoned off the building.

[08:31] The team moves through the main gate entrance into the area where the repairs have taken place. They arrive after crossing the main patio, moving towards the castle’s church on the eastern side of the building. They spend some time carefully examining the area for any traces left by the missing persons.

[09:02] Agent Azpilicueta goes to check the view of the scaffolding covering the area from inside the church. As he enters the church, his body cam turns off. Agent Goyenechea, Zeta-9’s leader, is notified of this, and follows after him, his body cam also turning off upon entrance. Agent Poblete looks into the church from the outside through the windows, seeing no activity inside. He relays this information, and is told to wait for further information.

[09:04] Agent Azpilicueta’s body cam turns back on, and he is seen walking through a catacomb-like structure in silence. The location does not correspond to any known section of the castle. After several minutes in silence, Azpilicueta reaches a wooden door similar in making to the main entrance of the castle, and opens it. On the other side, there’s an old wooden chest, a sign reading ‘Chest of El Cid’ in Spanish right above it. Azpilicueta stops, and remains immobile for several minutes.

[09:07] Command orders Poblete and the team to head back. Poblete turns to the remaining team members and relays the command. The group returns to the main entrance of the castle. Poblete opens the door and is greeted with the view of a valley now believed to be somewhere in Larraun, Navarre, roughly 100km to the north of the castle. From the others’ perspective, Poblete falls through the ground, leaving his body cam behind.

[09:08] Agent Goyenechea’s body cam turns back on, and he is seen talking with Omar Mina, one of the missing engineers, in front of the Royal Palace of Olite, 23km north of the castle. The two seem to be talking about the castle’s renovations, neither referring to the anomalous phenomena taking place. A team is dispatched from the nearest Site in order to meet with the pair.

[09:10] Despite the phenomena taking place, Agent Díaz and Agent Castañeda exit the castle without issue. Upon meeting with command, they express surprise at Agent Poblete’s disappearance, despite both having reacted to it before exiting the castle.

[09:11] Agent Azpilicueta takes a sudden sharp breath, and moves towards the chest. He touches it, and the rusted lock in front falls to the ground, broken. He recoils, then approaches it again, carefully opening it. Inside, there is an old knightly sword resting upon a pile of sand. Azpilicueta makes a small comment2 before crouching. Azpilicueta is seen picking up the sword, admiring it. His reflection is seen on the sword, before he is seen bleeding out his eyes. He begins coughing, blood and sand coming off the direction of his face, and into the chest. He eventually drops the sword and falls backward, the coughing continuing. While the connection doesn’t stop, a cognitohazard is generated, all three command operators falling into a trance, and begin loudly coughing as well. A guard with higher cognitohazard resistance realizes this and cuts the connection with Azpilicueta. The affected command members are taken to the infirmary and replaced by two other operators.

[09:35] Agent Poblete has been walking down the valley for several minutes, attempting to contact command to no avail. Eagles begin circling him as he descends the slope. After about five minutes, Poblete sees a small village in the distance and begins quickening his pace.

[09:51] Agents reach the location in Olite where Goyenechea and Mina were last seen. In its location are a broken body cam, a pair of glasses pertaining to Mina, and two pairs of human eyeballs. From command’s perspective, both Goyenechea and Mina are in the same location, still talking with each other.

[10:44] Agent Poblete stops roughly three kilometers away from the village, noticing a castle behind it identical to that of Marcilla. Several key buildings within the village appear to also mirror those in Marcilla. Poblete mutters something under his breath and continues down the slope.

[11:02] Goyenechea and Mina stop conversing and part ways. Agent Goyenechea manually turns off his body cam. This is the last time he’s seen.

[11:31] Agent Poblete finally reaches the town, which is recognizably identical to Marcilla. All of the doors he sees have been left ajar. Poblete sees a shadow through the gap of the door, and stops. After a moment of hesitation, he slowly pushes the door open, preparing himself for an ambush. As he steps through, he finds himself exiting the Castle of Marcilla, having returned to his previous location. The shadow on the other side is revealed to have been agent Azpilicueta, who has lost his clothes, is missing both his eyeballs. His arms are wrapped around a sword wrapped in leather. Despite the presence of several policemen and other Foundation agents, Poblete is the only person to notice Azpilicueta. Command immediately contacts Poblete, who relays his status and assists in carrying Azpilicueta to the infirmary.

[11:44] The bells of the castle’s church play nine times. No person appears to be manning them.

Following interviews of the incident, it was discovered that only four people present on site (3 Foundation, 1 Police of Navarre) realized anomalous phenomena were taking place at the castle. No particular cognitohazardous resistance was discovered among them.

Agent Azpilicueta was taken to an infirmary, where it was discovered that, alongside his eyeballs, he was also missing his tongue and three fingers on his left hand. All seemed to have been surgically removed, and scar tissue suggested the removal had taken place several months before. Telepathic reading of Azpilicueta’s mind shows a repeating thought-image of the chest where the sword was discovered, filled with blood and sand, bubbling from time to time. Neuroimaging shows that Azpilicueta is in either a vegetative or minimally conscious state.

The sword recovered (Hereby referred to as SCP-7562-1) was a knightly sword composed of casted steel. The sword is dated to the 9th-10th century period, and is made in the style of a traditional Medieval European broadsword — specifically Type XIII in the Oakeshott typology. This type of sword was commonly produced during the period of the Crusades, but saw use both before and after the period. The styling is consistent with the Spanish-Moorish sword-making of the period, with an elaborate crossguard, a short internal fuller, and a rare leaf-shaped pommel. The words “YO SOY TIZONA - FVE FECHA ENLAERA DE MILE QVARENTA - AVEMALIK TVRANVSSMECVM'' have been etched into the sword's fuller on both sides. The words, written in a Castilian dialect of Medieval Spanish, translate to ‘I am Tizona - Made in the year of one thousand and forty (1040) - Hail Malik, may (the/a) Tyrant be with (me/you)’.3 The method of etching is not consistent with any method common in the era.


SCP-7562-1 replica

SCP-7562-1 emits a visual cognitohazard that causes certain memories of locations to be implanted into the minds of observers. These memories are unique to the person, but are understood as being part of the ‘Road of El Cid’, a section of the European GR footpath that begins in Vivar, the town where “El Cid” was born, and ends in the San Pedro de Cardeña Monastery, the building where he was buried. Despite this, several locations in the memories have been shown to be of places outside of the route, places that used to exist in the route but do not anymore, places that appear similar to existing ones but feature structures that do not exist, and places that resemble no known locations. These memories invariably feature the subject journeying to the Castle of Marcilla carrying an object of importance.4 This cognitohazard does not generate memories of the start, nor the end of the trip.

Staff has been unable to make SCP-7562-1 recreate the kind of anomalies seen in the body of agent Azpilicueta.

Testing of SCP-7562 and SCP-7562-1 was carried out several times throughout the following four years. These tests mainly consisted of transporting subjects to the locations seen in memories and guiding them to either SCP-7562 or other locations within the Road of El Cid. None of the tests produced any sort of result, with the Castle of Marcilla exhibiting no further anomalous phenomena. Following a total of thirty-six tests showing no particular results, the testing phase concluded in 2015. SCP-7562-1 was kept in Area-53’s Hoplology Department, and SCP-7562 was reclassified as neutralized.

SCP-7562 would not exhibit any further anomalous phenomena until 2019, when Command Control responded to the following call.

Addendum 7562-2: Video Call

Date: September 2th, 2019. 15:03 Local Time

Speaker: Agent Cristobál Poblete, MTF Zeta-9 (“Mole Rats”)

Context: Command answers call made from somewhere in Larraun, Navarre. Caller identifies as Agent Poblete and passes all inoculation tests. Agent Poblete was seen nearly 300km away from the location two hours before, and also appears to be standing in front of the San Pedro de Cardeña Monastery, instead of Larraun.

Command: Can you explain your situation, agent?

Poblete: I’m not sure how to explain it, if I’m being honest.

Command: Try to the best of your ability.

Poblete: I’ve been thinking about SCP-7562. Not a lot, just… From time to time. We had to read the poem of El Cid after what happened, and it made me realize something. We were unworthy. None of us knew of the myth, and yet we confidently walked into a place we knew nothing of. The Tizona sword and the Colada sword, they’re meant to frighten the enemy, to make them realize how insignificant they were, against heroes much grander than them. And I think the sword did its job. It made one of my men disappear. It mutilated another. Suddenly, we have this weapon whose mere appearance removes eyes and tongues. And yet, it shows us memories of El Cid, because he’s so much greater, so… Out of reach. We’ll never compare. And now we’ll forever remember that fact.

Command: … Is that why you are standing in front of his tomb?

Poblete: I don’t know why I’m here. I closed my eyes and I was back in Larraun, with the church in the distance, just like that day. I was also carrying this little thing.

(Poblete raises SCP-7562-1 into view of the camera. Though SCP-7562-1 was later confirmed missing, nobody was seen retrieving it or opening the case in which it was kept in security camera footage.)

Command: The Tizona.

Poblete: I think I’m meant to do something with this, but I don’t know what. Before I realized, I had my equipment on, and I called you. You have experts on your side, people who studied history and mythology and weaponry. You must know what to do.

Command: And if we don’t?

Poblete: Then you’ll serve as the audience.

Command: … Right.

Poblete: … Should I go in?

Command: This is not an official mission, agent. I don’t have the permission to give you orders, but I would recommend you stay in place. We’ve already dispatched a team to your location.

Poblete: … I see.

(Poblete remains silent for a couple seconds, then steps into the church. The feed immediately cuts, returning roughly six minutes later. When it returns, Poblete is making his way through catacombs similar to the ones Azpilicueta traversed during the first incursion into SCP-7562.)

Command: Agent, can you hear me?

Poblete: Ah, there you are. You’ve been gone for a while.

Command: Why did you not wait for the team to meet with you?

Poblete: A hero would not wait for his esquires to accompany him, for their numbers vastly overcome the enemy’s. It is not a tactic worthy of the sword.

(Silence from Command. Poblete continues speaking as he walks deeper down the catacomb’s hallways.)

Poblete: When El Cid fought King Yusuf, he dismounted his horse Babieca, and alone he fought against the regent. And when he fought against the Count of Barcelona, and when the Infants of Carrion defiled El Cid’s own two daughters, and left them to die to the wolves, each of his squires fought alone against them, and only then the sword worked. Never when he was with the whole army did the sword see use.

Command: And why would you need the sword to work?

Poblete: A good question. Shall we seek its answer?

(Poblete continues down the catacombs. The walls pass from being made of brick to being made of stone overgrown with grass and weeds. The faint whistling of wind can be heard.)

Poblete: They wouldn’t let me do it, you know? When the tests were taking place, they prohibited all of us who had initially encountered the anomaly from joining. It seemed sensible before, but now I think about it and… Wouldn't it be beneficial to the investigation of the anomaly to allow those who knew what was happening to join? They must’ve known. I mean, they knew I could still see the castle when I closed my eyes. When I smelled the air, it smelled of alfalfa grass. It smelled of adobe houses, of the sand and lime that made the castle where he lived, where he died. The bells, the beautiful blue sky. It all reminded me of this place.

(Poblete is believed to tap his head.)

Command: Did you mention this to your assigned therapist?

Poblete: Of course I did. I was the first to speak of these symptoms, of this longing for the throne of the castle, for the contents within the chest, and- And I would wager this is the reason behind my dismissal from the testing missions. Maybe they believed that making the castle and the sword meet together would be undesirable. But, if that is the case, then why am I here, still obsessed with this myth that no reteller would dare touch? This legend lost to the sands of Al-Ándalus? There is reason behind each step I take, and I am starting to see it. I mean, the voices… Do you hear them too, command, or do they only whisper to me?

Command: The whispers?

Poblete: The canticles. The voices behind the shadows, that of King Alfonso, of the count of La Rioja, that traitor. The Tizona, they… No, they couldn’t use it- Maybe Alfonso, even El Cid forgave his transgressions, that of exile, of the-

(Poblete stops talking and suddenly turns 180 degrees, facing the way he came from. It’s pitch black, only the walls being visible. He seems to shift from side to side.)

Poblete: We have to hurry.

Command: Did something happen?

Poblete: There are canticles, yes, but there are also the screams. He’s yelling about the danger, and I must hurry. There is not much time left. The sword must return to its rightful owner.

Command: Agent, you do not have the authority to return the Tizona. It must be returned to-

Poblete: To the gravediggers that usurped it? To the ones that caused all this to happen? It does not belong to the tyrants, command. It belongs to El Cid. It belongs to Hispania.

Command: (Confirms dialogue with another operator) We are not here to protect the interests of a country or an individual. You know that, agent.

Poblete: An agent would know it, yes, but I am no agent. I am but an esquire, and when the master asks the esquire to retrieve the sword…

(Poblete stops, and faces right, towards a mark in the stone walls. The mark has a vague humanoid shape.)

Poblete: Here.

(Poblete produces SCP-7562-1 and stabs it into the wall. Instead of ricocheting off the stone, the blade sinks into it. Poblete is heard inhaling sharply, before sinking the sword further. Eventually, his hand sinks into the wall followed by his body. The feed cuts, returning roughly six seconds later. Once it returns, Poblete is standing in front of a wooden chest, the same one opened by Azpilicueta.)


Poblete: I visited Azpilicueta several times. I know he couldn’t speak. I knew he couldn’t see. He couldn’t do anything. But in his countenance, there was a desire. He wished to return here. He was given the sword as an esquire too. And although he was naught but means to an end, I could see him strive for change. No eyes, but he could see so much more than we could. No tongue, but he knew so much more that he couldn’t speak. And I didn’t get it then, but I’m starting to see the truth now.

Command: What… What is the truth that you see, agent?

Poblete: Why would a knight ask his esquire to bring him his sword, if not to prepare for battle?

Command: Battle? Who will he battle?

Poblete: Those who will be slain by the sword.

(Poblete attempts to open the chest, but it appears to be locked.)

Poblete: … Ah.

(Poblete swings down the sword, breaking the lock.)

Poblete: The sword is the key… I didn’t think it to be as literal.

Command: Why is the chest locked? It… It shouldn’t be. It isn’t meant to be. The chest is always open.

Poblete: A good question. One I can’t answer myself. But the answer is here. Feel free to stop the call. We’re done here.

(Poblete opens the chest, and sees a cadaver dressed in a silver and golden medieval armor. The interior of the chest appears to be much bigger than the outside, enough to fit the armored corpse. It appears to be of an entirely different composition, appearing to be of stone instead of wood, with sand resting under the body.)

Poblete: The Tizona is back, mio Cid. Rest at ease, for the end of your anguish nears.

(As Poblete places the sword inside the coffin, two eyeballs fall into the chest, followed by a piece of flesh, followed by blood, which quickly fills the coffin. The blood, much more than a single person could bleed, overflows from the chest.)

Poblete: … This isn’t right.

Command: The blood isn’t right. It’s darker, yet thinner. This isn’t…

Poblete: … This isn’t El Cid.

(Poblete steps back as the chest begins swaying, threatening to fall off the short podium it rests upon. The sign that was on top of it before has vanished. A gurgling sound is heard from somewhere within the room before an explosion occurs within the chest, immediately terminating the call.)

Following the end of the call, operator Walter Echeñique would begin to bleed from his ears and eyes, and was later escorted to the infirmary, where it was discovered that the blood was a perfect genetic match for Agent Poblete's. Following the incident, Echeñique has remained in a comatose state similar to Azpilicueta’s. The central computer and two backups in which the recordings of the call were kept suffered malfunctions as Poblete’s blood also manifested inside the machines.

The two guards who checked and confirmed the disappearance of SCP-7562-1 were later discovered with their eyes turned into glass balls of the same size. The locker where it was kept was found broken, with the case having disappeared. In its stead, there were close to sixty kilograms of sand, twenty glass balls, and a replica of SCP-7562-1 made of tin-glazed ceramic, which shattered almost as soon as it was discovered. The item is being reconstructed, although some sort of mild cognitohazardous effect seems to be interfering with the effort.

The team sent to the San Pedro de Cardeña Monastery found no anomalies within the building; the real tomb of Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar was undisturbed, and no catacomb-like structure, nor proof of any reality alteration, could be found. Despite this, shards of ceramic similar in making to the SCP-7562-1 replica recovered were found in the room containing the beatus of San Pedro de Cardeña.5 Due to the disturbance present, it is believed an item similar to SCP-7562-1 manifested inside the monastery, shattering upon impact. Efforts into its reconstruction have met a similar fate to the first replica found.

It must be noted that, along with agent Poblete’s disappearance, three members present during the first SCP-7562 incident have disappeared for a period longer than 168 hours. Their whereabouts, last known locations, and why no other member of the Foundation noticed this before the conclusion of this event are being investigated.

Following the monastery incident, efforts shifted towards the accomplishment of three main goals:
  • The recovery of any missing persons involved with SCP-7562 or SCP-7562-1
  • The restoration and analysis of the replicas and any other recovered material
  • The investigation of other items related to the legend of El Cid that could also be affected by anomalous phenomena

While finding missing personnel yielded no satisfying results, the reconstruction of the replicas turned out to be more fruitful. The replica of the sword recovered from SCP-7562-1’s locker was successfully completed after several months of work. When finished, it was discovered that the shards generated two identical swords instead of one. It is believed the cognitohazard generated by the replicas was able to hide the true volume of the shards, and the fact that the rebuilding team was building two distinctive swords and could not notice it until the swords were fully restored. Once the swords were completed, they both shattered, turning back into small shards. While the cognitohazard made exact measuring difficult, it is believed the collapse of the object caused it to double in volume.

Consequently, the shards recovered from the monastery were weighed. While cognitohazard interference must be taken into account, their weight was exactly half that of the shards from the locker replica, implying a similar effect to the multiplication of the locker replica. Following the locker event, all reconstruction events were halted, and the shards stored in eight separate locker boxes.

As part of the wider investigation, over a hundred locations — castles and villages that El Cid passed through and battlegrounds on which he fought — and a similar number of artifacts including swords and equipment used by El Cid and his associates were investigated. While in most cases the objects and locations of interest were found to be non-anomalous, a series of locations bore some anomalous qualities:

Location Relation to the Legend Event Description
Church of St. Mary, Carrión de los Condes Following his defeat at Golpejera, king Alfonso VI of León, whom El Cid served, hid inside this church and prevented the young women of the town from being taken prisoner by the Moors. El Cid’s sons-in-law were born close to the church. Upon the morning sermon the week following the second event, the main doors of the building transformed into sand and the bells of the main spire of the church rapidly rusted.
Plains of Cabra Location where the Battle of Cabra took place, where El Cid, aiding the Emir of Seville, defeated the Emir of Granada. One of the most important battles El Cid fought in service of the Moors. The sound and rumbling of horses running and crashing into each other is heard once per day at 17:00, local time. Shards of a statue which through reconstruction was later found to be that of a horse were also recovered from the site.
Castle ruins in the commune of La Pobla d’Alcolea The Emir of Lérida, owner of the castle, was defeated by El Cid's army here during the Battle of Tévar. A chest filled with blood was discovered inside the ruins. The blood was analyzed and found to be that of horses and cattle. Great amounts of gold and silver were found within the blood.
Royal Abbey of Santa Maria de Poblet Poblet was the village where El Cid fought against the Almoravid empire and managed to conquer the Taifa of Valencia, which would then become the principality he would reign over until his death. It was inside of this abbey where El Cid signed the document that proclaimed him Prince of Valencia. See below.

While visiting the Royal Abbey of Santa Maria de Poblet, it was discovered that an event similar to SCP-7562 had taken place, when Cistercian monk Matthias Aramendi was transported into a catacomb-like area where he recovered a small box filled with golden coins and jewelry. The Foundation is currently attempting to trigger this phenomenon again. In the meantime, an interview with Aramendi was carried out.

Addendum 7562-3: Interview Log

Date: March 18th, 2020. 11:16 Local Time

Interviewer: Researcher Rodrigo Argüís

Interviewed: Matthias Aramendi

Note: Researcher Argúís and his team were disguised as a team of anthropologists gathering information to write a book on El Cid when they came across Aramendi’s testimony.

Argüís: Good morning, father.

Aramendi: And good morning to you, sir.

Argüís: As I understand, this event that you spoke of, the- the manifesting of these- these-

Aramendi: Are you alright, sir? You seem agitated.

Argüís: Oh… No, no, sorry, it’s- nevermind. I mean, wouldn’t one be excited, hearing about a paranormal event such as this?

Aramendi: Of course one would be. Ah, but you didn’t seem as agitated when you first heard of it, no?

Argüís: I wasn’t sure I could believe what you had told us. But we’re straying from the matter here. I’m sure your time isn't plentiful enough to be wasted like this.

Aramendi: Oh, it’s not a waste, sir. But yes, let’s talk.

Argúís: Let’s start from the beginning. When did this event happen?

Aramendi: It happened three nights ago. It was at eight and some more, as I was making the rounds.

Argüís: Rounds?

Aramendi: The rounds, yes. At this abbey, we make the rounds at 8, both morning and night, and we make sure all machines are turned off, that no people are in places they shouldn’t be, and so on. We rotate the obligations here, but ah, I won’t trouble you with pointless details. What you must know is that I was passing by the main building here at the abbey, and I make a turn towards the palace of king Martin, when I suddenly lost my footing. For a brief moment, it felt like I had tripped and fallen, but I realized it wasn’t like that. It… How do I explain this… It felt like the world had tripped and fallen around me instead, and not the other way around. As I held these thoughts that something was deeply amiss, I slipped beneath the soil and the stone, and I found myself confined within this place you’ve referred to as ‘catacombs.’

Argüís: And what were they like?

Aramendi: They were catacombs, of course. Nothing fancy, really. A corridor made of stone, covered in moss and wood. It didn’t seem like anyone had visited the place in a long, long while, and yet it smelled like something familiar. Have you ever felt like you’ve been in a certain place before, despite knowing full well that is not the case?

Argüís: I know that feeling, yes.

Aramendi: Then you know how I felt. Enraptured by this feeling, I traversed this hallway alone. It was rather well illuminated. That I remember too. I feel very interested in the place, like I was meant to be there. Each step I took, I took with confidence. I wasn’t sure why, of course, but… Well, we all are bound by fate, by the words of God and, I- I felt compelled.

Argüís: You felt like you needed to be there.

Aramendi: Yes. I was meant to be there. I was meant to take each step I took. I was meant to open the only door meant to be opened.

Argüís: Door?

Aramendi: The catacombs had many doors, but none were meant to be opened. Every time I tried to open a door, I would hear how the knob would rotate, broken. The doors were closed, and I wasn’t meant to know what was behind them.

Argüís: You didn’t try a tad harder? Maybe there was some way to get through the doors, maybe a key, or-

Aramendi: Maybe they would have opened to you, Rodrigo, or to someone like agent Poblete, but not to me. The door meant for me was at the end of the hallway. Would you wish to know what was past it?

Argüís: Of course I want to know. That’s why we’re having this conversation.

Aramendi: Of course, of course. And yet, I don’t know if it’s worth the trouble.

Argüís: What do you mean worth it? Of course it is, it’s-

Aramendi: Was the Tizona worth the sacrifices? Was the Cofre del Cid worth Poblete’s life? What about the swords? What about the sand? The promised gold that wasn’t there? I found gold and jewelry. The pearls and emeralds recovered from the many battles of El Cid, the necklaces and bracelets of the Emir’s coffers in Seville. And you will study them, Rodrigo, and you will find the answers you’re looking for, because they exist nowhere else. But are they worth it?

(Argüís stares at Aramendi in silence. Aramendi shuffles in his seat and begins to fidget with his rosary. A sigh is heard.)

Argüís: … They're not. But I must see this to its end. The story has been set into motion, and there’s no stopping it, is there?

Aramendi: I don’t know. I only know what’s behind that door.

Argüíz: Then tell me what was behind that door.

Aramendi: Very well.

(Aramendi closes his eyes and takes a deep breath before smiling. The feed suffers a failure, and the timer goes back 19 seconds.)

Aramendi: Now, where was I? Oh, right, the door. This door was like all others, of course, but it was the only one wide open. The Lord opens all doors that are meant to be stepped into, you know? The door of opportunity.

Argüíz: What was there?

Aramendi: A chest, with a sign that read… Oh, what was it…

Argüíz: Chest of El Cid.

Aramendi: Yes… Yes it did. And inside of it were-

Argüíz: The gold and the jewels. The pearls and the emeralds. The-

Aramendi: No, no. You know that’s not the case.

Argüíz: What? Wasn’t- You just told me that-

Aramendi: ‘Is it a trick? Bait? Have we fallen for it?’ These are the words you wrote all those years ago, wondering what the sword meant. And you were right, Rodrigo. It was all a trick. There is not treasure. The chest wasn’t made to hold treasure.

Argüíz: So what is it, then, if not treasure?

Aramendi: The first chest held the sword that would cause fear, yet it was that fear that led to curiosity, because a man cannot help but shove his hand in the maw of the beast if he sees a golden glint inside. The second chest held sand, nothing but literal lack of value, but it was in that lack of value that you all saw opportunity, because what is sand but beautiful stained glass yet to be made? There had to be more than sand. And there was. There was death, but there was also clay and ceramic. The pieces had to fit together, but together they only grew in danger. If a single sword was terrifying, then how about two? Four? Eight? And of course, they were put away, but how long until the researchers begin working on them again? How long until we find the ninth one? What if I told you the gold and the jewels could be melted into another sword? What if I told you that that was the promised treasure? Would you go do it, or would you resist the temptation? Will you let an old myth no one remembers keep that which belongs to it, or will you follow in the steps of your predecessor?

Argüíz: So is it a sword, then? The key to everything?

Aramendi: Yes. Of course it is. What else could it be but the sword?

Argüíz: You must show it to me.

Aramendi: I will, but that will be the end of our story. You will take the sword from my cold, dead hands, like you did many years ago, and you will destroy your kingdom with it, because you did it once and you’ll do it again. And I’ll take the sword back, and you will take it again, because you’re a fool, and fools never learn.

Argüíz: The sword. I need it.

Aramendi: You haven’t even heard what the third chest holds. What a disgrace of a researcher you are.

Argüíz: It holds treasure.

Aramendi: No, no it does not. It holds the corpse of the Jewish man who warned El Cid that his kingdom would one day fall. That a kingdom of lies cannot prosper. And El Cid laughed at him, and struck him down, and continued on towards the church of St. Mary to avenge his own two daughters. Each of his squires fought the Infants of Carrión, and that's how the epopeya ends, no?

(Argüíz suddenly gets up, the chair falling behind him and clattering against the floor.)

Aramendi: But it didn’t really end, not until El Cid’s death, and then he was buried; with all his swords, with all his jewels. And then the second Jewish man opened the tomb, and took the valuables back, enough for the debt and for the brother who was unjustly felled, and the debt was repaid. But there’s always tomb raiders. People who simply cannot allow things to remain buried underneath. Those who must pilfer, because stealing is all they know. Thieves, all they'll ever be. Just like El Cid.

(Argüíz screams at Aramendi, but only guttural sounds come out of his mouth, as his tongue has fallen off.)

Aramendi: As soon as the treasure was able to be taken, it was taken, because that’s always how it goes. A legend built on pillaging and stealing cannot end. But the door was open, so who could blame you for stepping in? Who could blame you for falling for the riches that were right within your reach?

(Argüíz takes a step forwards, but falls, as his eyes have turned into glass.)

Aramendi: Do you want the gold and the jewels? The fame, eternal life through song and word? Have them, then. It will not matter. The third story nears its end. And once the story ends, El Cid dies, and his kingdom falls once again.

(Argüíz makes more guttural sounds. Aramendi sighs.)

Aramendi: You already have the sword. You always had it. The sword is not why you are here.

(Argüíz finally gets up and raises the sword he has in his right hand, aiming it at Aramendi.)

Aramendi: You are unworthy of it.

(Argüíz swings the sword down and partially severs Aramendi's head. The monk falls to the side and explodes into shards of ceramic upon impact with the ground. Argüíz drops the sword before stepping out of view. The feed stops after two more minutes.)

The year is 1099, and El Cid has died. In five years, all that El Cid fought for will fall under both internal and external pressure; none of his children and confidants will be as good a tactician as him, and the Moors know that. In five years, the principality he ruled over will become a Moorish Taifa again. Most of the ones who loved him will be killed and enslaved.

But this isn’t a story about El Cid. This is a story about the Jewish man who left for the tomb, and opened the tomb, decapitated for doing so. Or who became so enamored by El Cid's beauty even in death that he became the squire to one of El Cid's squires, as the original legend goes. But legends do tend to embellish things; even to the antisemitic crowd, the murder of an innocent man was too much. It wouldn’t paint the picture of a noble Cid. And so, the first Jew killed was removed from all text, and of Rachel and Vidas, we hear not again.

The Jewish man dies, but the debt is repaid regardless. That is because just as El Cid could kill even in death, just like he did in life; the Jewish man could steal even in death, just like the legends of the time. Legends are greater than life. And so, the swords and the jewels disappear, but treasures are meant to be found, are they not? And eventually, from under the sands of time, you find a coin or a hilt and you begin digging, and you find the treasure, but fail to realize that you’re drowning in quicksand, and you are now waist-deep in it, and you keep sinking and sinking.

Even as you swallow sand and slowly asphyxiate, you cannot let go of the sword. You wouldn’t be worthy of it if you were to let go. And you hold onto it, and you die, and the Jewish man comes back, and you kill him, and the debt is repaid.

Then you find the sword again.

Both the video interview and a document regarding the ‘Tomb-raiding Jew’ were discovered in the command room on 21/08/2021, while conducting an unrelated inventory search. Despite the date on the interview, no proof that any operator attending that day oversaw it exists. There is also no proof that either Rodrigo Argüís or Matthias Aramendi existed. While the latter is not uncommon among members of a religious order, it is much less likely for a Foundation agent to go unaccounted for. Following this discovery, the lockers where the swords had been kept were opened and confirmed to be empty. Camera feed shows that no one opened the lockers since the halting of the reconstruction effort.

A search was conducted on the Royal Abbey of Santa Maria de Poblet, where again no evidence of the existence of Argüís or Aramendi was found. In addition, there were no catacombs beneath the abbey. Despite the unfruitful search, a sword identical to SCP-7562-1 was discovered stabbed into the ground on the terrace on the roof of the main church of the abbey. While analysis has been minimal, the sword has been dated to the 9-10th century period, and is believed to have been used during the Reconquista period.

A request to transfer the sword to Area-53 for testing has been forwarded, and is pending approval.


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