|The canonicity of this article's subject remains dubious. Though it doesn't contradict official continuity, it has not been referenced in any confirmed canonical material.|
Esperanza de la Vega was a 15th century Slayer active in Seville, Spain during the height of the Spanish Inquisition.
Esperanza was born in Spain in 1463 into a Jewish household. She was raised by her devoted father and a housemaid named Leya. Eventually, she began training as a Potential Slayer with her Watcher, Wilmot Friumt. She was activated as the Slayer around the age of 16 in 1479. Her father was aware of her identity as the Chosen One, allowing her to train and study demonology in their home in a hidden cellar that also housed instruments of their Jewish faith.
In May of 1481, Esperanza was approaching her eighteenth birthday and thus the Tento di Cruciamentum awaited her. At this time, she was investigating the siring of conversos (Jewish people who converted to Catholicism). Esperanza was betrayed by a pair of city guards to the Santa Casa who saw her with a book on demonology; she was abducted from her home in the middle of the night and locked in a tower of the Fortress of Triana. During the first few days of capture, her only contact with another person was the guard who came at sunrise and sunset to bring her food — which, unbeknownst to her, was tainted to prepare her for her Cruciamentum. She attempted escape once, but was recaptured and shown the torture devices as a means of intimidation. Esperanza also discovered the Inquisition used various demons as guards for the prisoners. Finally, after 3 days, her Watcher came to her cell with the bad news that he could not orchestrate her release as easily as she thought, due to the power and level of authority needed to bypass the Inquisitor.
On the morning of her eighteenth birthday, Esperanza was placed on the Rack and interrogated about her illicit activities. She refused to confess any wrongdoings and her torture continued until one of the Friars intervened. The Friar had received orders to place her in the cellar known as "Hell", where the Slayer would be tested; it was decreed her release would be based upon her ability to survive and escape the cellar. Down in the cellar, she befriended a Gralo demon, a fellow prisoner of the Inquisition, and they vowed an alliance to help each other escape. Esperanza, weakened from her time on the Rack (and the drugs), was carried through the cellar by the Gralo, who fought off the demons and vampires that stood between them and freedom. At the end of the cellar, the weakened Gralo threw Esperanza to freedom and sacrificed himself.
When she awoke in the High Inquisitor's office, Esperanza was met by her Watcher, other members of the Watchers Council, and the High Inquisitor himself. The truth of her test was explained to her and she was notified that, because she passed, a deal was made between the Santa Casa and the Watcher's Council to protect her from further persecution by the Inquisition. During her meeting with the Council, it was also discovered that her father was relocated to Marrakesh, away from the Inquisition — and from her. The Council did this to keep Esperanza's focus on slaying and eliminate any personal ties to the world.