Beginning

In antiquity, from North America, the native tribes had a migratory period, similar to the one seen in Europe in the early middle ages. Settling all over Mesoamerica, these tribes started to differ greatly from their northern cousins in terms of the weather, the climate and the biomes that shaped them. The tribes started forming cultures and languages, thus creating the most dominant language called the Nahuatl language. Three tribes had settled in the basin of Lake Texcoco and started building their city states. Among them there was a tribe of the Mexica peoples, which according to the myth received a vision that depicted a golden eagle and perched upon a prickly pear devouring a rattlesnake. After the peculiar event, the Aztecs decided to build their city upon the swampy island of Texcoco. After a vicious civil war, an alliance was established between the city state tribes, and was called the Triple-Alliance. Yet this simple alliance quickly rose to what is nowadays known in history as the Aztec Empire governed by the military superiority of the Tenochtitlan city state.

Military Might

The Aztec Empire had no standing army; as such it had relied on levying their population in times of raiding, ward or conquest. Starting at their teenage years, the young Aztec warriors in the city capital of Tenochtitlan were first taught how to survive the harsh land. They also had to learn how to hunt and forage for edibles. After reaching maturity, they were taught the art of war. The usage of colorful and highly decorated armor denoted the ranking of the soldiers by difference in color and patterns that adorned the armor, but most notably that of what helmet they wore – the Eagle or the Jaguar. It was observed that the reason why they wore such helmets was that of psychological warfare. The empire used the dreaded weapon known as Macuahitl. Since the Aztecs had not developed the technological advancement of forging due to the scarcity of valuable ores, they had instead used Obsidian- sharp volcanic rocks as a substitute for metal. The aptly named “Hungry Wood”, Macuahitl weapon was known to have had remarkably brutal efficiency in battle. Able to decapitate humans, even horses at one point in history, it was the most commonly used weapon in the Aztec Empire.

Society

With the military superiority among the alliance, the Mexica people had developed a religion by establishing a pantheon of gods made of conjoining their mythological beliefs with those of their allies and of the conquered neighboring tribes. Erecting giant pyramids were built in order for the Aztecs to be closer to the appeasement of the gods and their priests would later decide by traditional rituals who the empire would have as a leader or which neighbor would be the next conqueror. They even decided what types of food would be cultivated or hunted throughout the year. The priests had issued an order proclaiming that the soldiers would need to capture their enemies, as opposed to killing them if they wanted to reach a higher rank in the military. Competition soon took hold, which would reach such levels that made Tenochtitlan become a prison rather than a city. To appease their gods and receive the various blessings each would offer, they started ritually sacrificing their prisoners, opponents, even their own people. Typically the heart was extracted from the victim, as it was regarded the highest valuable offering to the gods, their blood was drained to wash over the stairs reaching the summit of the pyramids, to bathe the streets in the blessing of blood, and lastly–they were flayed just so they could appease the Flayed One.

Ending

The never-ending need to appease their gods meant that Tenochtitlan had become a farm for ritualistic harvest than the city supposed to house the best of the Aztec Empire. Diseases had become rampant and uncontrollable due to their sacrificial tendencies; food shortages due to lack of workforce, droughts throughout the years had diminished the once noble and mighty empire to no more than a shadow of itself. And to make matters worse, that would lead to their inevitable end imposed by the European conquistadors of the Spanish Empire. Set upon to conquer and carve a new world for their people, the expeditionary force lead by Hernan Cortez met the falling Aztec Empire and found their bloated amassed gold ripe for the taking. Their ritualistic sacrifices were deemed to be heretical according to the Inquisition. With no more than 500 conquistadors allied with the neighboring tribes that had suffered from the Aztecs, they set upon the ancient city of Tenochtitlan and purged it of heresy. The purge was so effective that the sheer massacre the Spanish had inflicted on the populace is estimated to number 500.000+ people. No one was spared, not even their allies. The Spanish people built upon the ruins of Tenochtitlan what is today called Mexico City. By subjugation and breeding with the populace, they had cemented their total rule over Mesoamerica, and had paved the road for conquering South America, North America and the Caribbean.