Joel Muniz of Flambeau was Roberto's parens, the one that left him with the legacy of the Infamous Master Flaw.
Some call him hero, some call him dastardly villain. Santiago called him brother.
Roberto respects his memory, but he personally thinks that there was something seriously wrong with the man. Joel is an often misunderstood character, by both his friends and his enemies, and both his supporters and detractors admit that his actions and death are a complicated debate to say the least. For in every mundane conflict he could be accused of interfering with, it could also be claimed that he was opposing enemies of the Order (renegade sahir and Berber sorcerers) that happened to be allied with mundane forces (a vast legion of minions some say).
Roberto knows the truth, he was brilliant man twisted by vengeance and a broken heart.
Joel possessed a rare trait amongst Flambeau magi. He had the Gentle Gift.
He was also quite the skilled magus, but his social skill amongst fighting men gave him an edge his fellows lacked. It also allowed many of his actions to passed unnoticed by his fellows, for no one knew that it was a magus who was captain of the mercenary band of almogavars and caballeros known as the Sergovia Company.
A driven and passionate magus, his hatred for his enemies can easily be misconstrued as intolerant bigotry, for he loathed the Almohades with every fiber of his being. Joel was a member of a prestigious societas known as the Knights of Seneca, known for their love of adventure and excitement; they also have a history of conflict with wizards outside the Order. At one time this included the Sahirs, but they formed an alliance with them against the Almorovide Marabouts (the Sahirs are mostly Umayyad, and the fundamentalist Almororvides and later Almohades hate Sahir magic).
So, in truth, Joel's anger was not against Islam at all. His wife, Jasmine, was an Andalusian princess and a sahira. His wrath was directed solely at the Berber Almohades, who murdered her. He blamed himself, for it all happened while he was away on one of his many adventures, a vainglorious quest, and he pursued his vengeance unto his dying day. He carried out his wrath upon mundanes though, and the extent of his law-breaking will probably never be fully known.
It was while carrying out his secret mission that Joel met Santiago. In those days, Santiago was a reckless young hothead who was eager for nothing but battle. It was Joel who mellowed him out and taught him to be more focused and orderly, like a professional soldier. Ironically, it is Santiago who took the more enlightened path in the long run, for he eventually matured into a pious and faithful Christian, and as one of the Hoplites of the Order, he seeks to further the cause of righteousness and justice.
Roberto joined the band of mercenaries as a teenager. At first he was just a hanger-on, earning his food by carrying gear and fetching drink. Though the warriors found him odd and disturbing, they admired his tenacity and aggression. When the camp was attacked in a raid, Roberto proved his worth in battle when he picked up a sword and killed one of the intruders in a quick but fierce fight. Joel took notice when his men began speaking of this strange boy who earned their begrudging respect. He placed the lad on special duty, testing his prowess and ferocity. Pleased with his find, he eventually pulled him aside for special training.
Though an apprentice, Roberto received no special treatment. He was still a soldier and obeyed all of his superior officers. The reason Roberto holds Joel in such high regard, despite his infamy, is because of the valuable lessons he taught him. Not just magic, but more importantly, lessons about respect and honor. It was Joel that gave him confidence, made him a leader of men, and taught him to overcome the handicap of his gift and to persevere against adversity.
Joel and his mercenary band, including Roberto, participated in the great battle of Las Navas de Tolosa.
He was not the only magus guilty that day, for it was a very chaotic conflict full of subterfuge and intrigue on all sides; mundane and arcane.
Many Dark Secrets, Infamous Reputations, and bitter Enemies were made that day. Magi don't speak of it, no charges ever brought forth.
Nothing but a code of silence and a few longstanding grudges.
Santiago was there too. His participation is a Dark Secret, whereas Joel became infamous. Joel got carried away. The battle was so fierce and violent that slanderous rumors became attached to the event. For example: the Shadow Flambeau had nothing to do with the battle, yet it has become a fixed part of legend that they were the secret leaders of both armies, playing a game of diabolic chess with the blood and souls of mortals.
Joel's infamy is not the taint of diabolism though, but the revelation that he was the secret leader of this mercenary company was a shock to many and caused the Knights of Seneca to have to face accusations that they were participating in the Reconquista yet again (which is perhaps why they where so vehement in their war to eradicate the Shadow Flambeau). If Joel had faced Tribunal for his actions, he probably would not have been renounced, but he surly would have been severely punished.
But Joel never faced tribunal, for he himself was slain in that very battle.
He was decapitated by an axe wielding Ghul conjured against him by an unknown enemy wizard. Roberto avenged his master and destroyed the fiend, earning his battlefield gauntlet.
The tribunal would have probably taken away his familiar and destroyed his talisman. His familiar was also killed, and his talisman broken.
Roberto was innocent because he was only an apprentice at the time. Santiago's participation in the battle and the activities of the mercenaries before that was (and still is) unknown. He claimed that he was just as shocked by his friend’s actions as anyone else, and of course neither he nor any of the other Knights of Seneca knew anything about the Caballeros. They all stood up for Roberto though, and claimed that since he survived and was on the triumphant side of a battle that his master was slain in, this qualified as his Gauntlet.
Roberto was thus officially a sworn magus at the Tribunal of 1214.
Afterwards, Santiago took him under his wing and furthered his training, most importantly it was he who taught Roberto the final secret of Parma Magica and which is why he had inherited the same Flaw (Weak Magic Resistance unless in possession of a symbol of his faith).
As his protégé, Roberto fought alongside Santiago in the Shadow Wars, the struggle to eliminate a cult of Infernalists that infiltrated the Order. This was a cathartic part of Santiago’s career, which is the reason he has become more faithful and pious in his maturity. Roberto himself is not infamous, only his dead former parens. Roberto’s heroism alongside Santiago exonerates him in the eyes of fellow Flambeau magi. However, none of the acclaim is his because he was just a sidekick.
It is believed that the Shadow Flambeau have been eliminated, but the Iberian magi are ever vigilant. Having reached the proper age of a young journeyman magus, Santiago decided it was time for Roberto to go and make his mark in the Order.
Now a mature magus, Santiago has recently joined the Cult of Mercury, where he had met (the former master of Aelianus Robur Ex Verditius). He was saddened to hear that his new friend had passed on, and was also disappointed to hear what a shamble the old mans covenant had become. He hopes that Roberto will help make it great again, and