Digital painting, shading and editing over this sketch
I developed this series of concept art for my personal project, AZTLÁN: War of the Gods, an original story set in a Mexica/Aztec cosmology inspired fantasy realm that is part of a larger story, the IN LAK'ECH Mythos, which I plan to introduce as a comic book story. These are characters named after and loosely inspired by Mexica/"Aztec" gods, they play some role in the story of In Lak’Ech and are more like original characters inspired and named after those deities than representations of the deities themselves (as it is, for example, in the actual Mexica iconography, or that of the neighbor peoples who share the same belief system, rituals and cosmology / "world view" as the Mexica). Some of these have little to no similarities with the deities’ source material (codex, architecture, ceramics, etc.) while others are a little more closer to the source, but as I already stated those are more like original characters than "a new interpretation of the actual narrative". Either way, I encourage all to check reliable sources of mexican cosmology, as well those of other pre-hispanic cultures from the American continent, be it Mesoamerica, North America or South America, there’s really a lot of interesting and necessary historical knowledge about them.
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As an introduction to the characters & their sources:
- HUITZILOPOCHTLI (commonly translated from the nahuatl as "Left-handed Hummingbird" or alternately "Hummingbird of the South") is a Mexican/Aztec deity, the God of War and the Patron of Mexico-Tenochtitlán, the one who according to the narrative has guided Tenoch, leader of the Aztecs (people from Aztlán) to the Lake Texcoco, where Tenochtitlán (nowadays Mexico City) was founded, by the 13th Century. In the Mexica religion, Huitzilopochtli is also regarded as the Nahui Ollin (from the nahuatl "Sun Movement"), the Fifth Sun, and feeding him through the offerings and sacrifices was necessary to prevent the world's destruction. He was credited with the victories and losses of the Mexica armies, and among his titles, he was also called as the Dart hurler and the Terror to the Mixteca.
Huitzilopochtli is also known to have been born from a virgin mother, Coatlicue the Earth Goddess, who previously gave birth to the Centzonhuitznahua ("Four hundred southerners", a group of deities associated with the southern stars) and Coyolxauhqui ("face painted with bells"), the Moon Goddess, who led their brothers to kill their mother in Coatepec ("Snake Mountain"). Huitzilopochtli, however, has been born as a fully armed warrior, with the Xiuhcoatl ("Fire Snake", associated with lightning) in hands, and managed to kill his brothers and sister in order to save his mother. I've worked on a comic book story loosely inspired by this myth, check it here for the full project or here for the short version.
Some interpret this story as the rise of the Mexica Excan Tlahtoloyan (The Mexica Triple Alliance, the political management, establishment, administration or State of the popularly known Aztec Civilization, consisting of the altepetl/"city-states" of Tenochtitlán, Texcoco and Tlacopan) over the region of Mexico, as well as its expansion. The Mexica used to be a small tribe which paid tributes to the Tepanecs of Azcapotzalco, and in several occasions their chiefs, or Tlatoani, have collaborated with the Tepaneca rulers, until they've turned against Azcapotzalco following a succession crisis, and siding with the states of Texcoco and Tlacopan, have taken Azcapotzalco, founding the Triple Alliance in 1428, and expanding their domain by the gathering of tributes from other cities previously ruled by the Tepanecs, as well as conquering other city-states across nowadays Mexico.
The cult of Huitzilopochtli has been mostly expanded by the cihuacoatl ("snake woman", used as a title for the main adviser of the Tlatoani, lit. "speaker", the ruler of the altepetl) Tlacaelel, acknowledged as the main architect of the Triple Alliance and Mexica State. Tlacaelel was brother to Tlatoani Chimalpopoca, who was killed by Maxtla, the ruler of Azcapotzalco before the Mexica took the city. Tlacaelel has been the cihuacoatl of four different Tlatoani until his death in 1487. Tlacaelel recast or strengthened the concept of the Mexica as a chosen people (the People of the Sun, referring to Huitzilopochtli's role as the Sun), elevated Huitzilopochtli to top of the pantheon of gods, and increased militarism. In tandem with this, Tlacaelel is said to have increased the level and prevalence of human sacrifice, particularly during a period of natural disasters that started in 1446. During the reign of Moctezuma I, as an invention of Tlacaelel that the Xohiyaoyotl ("Flower Wars"), in which the Mexica fought Tlaxcala and other Nahuan city-states, were instigated. To strengthen the Aztec nobility, he helped create and enforce sumptuary laws, prohibiting commoners from wearing certain adornments such as lip plugs, gold armbands, and cotton cloaks. He also instigated a policy of burning the books of conquered peoples with the aim of erasing all memories of a pre-Mexica past. When he dedicated the seventh reconstruction of the Huey Teocalli (Templo Mayor, "great house of the gods", the main temple of ancient Mexico City), Tlacaelel had brought his nation to the height of its power. The dedication took place in 1484 and was celebrated with the sacrifice of many war captives. In the Huey Teocalli, one half was dedicated to Huitzilopochtli, the other half to Tlaloc, the god of rain and the sky. Since war is called in atl in tlachinolli ("the water, the fire", or "burning water", sometimes "sacred water", it's equally related to blood or bloodshedding), this combination of gods of fire and of water makes the major temple a place dedicated to the sacred war. After Tlacaelel's death in 1487, the Mexica Empire continued to expand north into the Gran Chichimeca region and South toward the Maya lands.
In the xiuhpohualli (from the nahuatl "count of years", a 365 days calendar used by the Mexica, composed of 18 veintenas, or 20-days periods, each assigned to a special festivity, associated with one or more deities; plus a 5 day period at the end of the year called the nemontemi - "hollow days"), Huitzilopochtli was especially comemorated during the Panquetzaliztli ("Raising of the Banners", which according to some studies took place between November 30th and December 19th). Huitzilopochtli is sometimes referred to as the Blue Tezcatlipoca.
In the IN LAK'ECH Mythos, Huitzilopochtli (more widely referred to or known as Huitzopoca - a portmanteau of Huitzilopochtli & Tezcatlipoca, from the nahuatl "Smoking Mirror", a trickster god associated to the night, to the practice of magic, patron of the nagual shape-shifters) is an ancient and mysterious entity, the Elemental God of Wind (Ehecatl), or as he like to put it, of Life in Movement (a combination of Ihíyotl, from nahuatl "breath", "spirit", one out of three categories of vital energies described by the Mexica, particularly believed to be stored in one's liver, and Ollin, "movement", associated with earthquakes and war, the name of the current Sun Era and also a description of how it's prohpesized to end - through earthquakes). Like his "brothers", Huitzilopochtli/Huitzopoca comes from an immemorable time and has fiercely fought the ancient Quinametzin, self-sufficient giant entities that inhabited several realms spread across the space, including Anahuac (a.k.a Tredius, the closest to "Planet Earth" in the IN LAK'ECH Mythos) and what would be Aztlán (reminding that Aztlán isn't a planet, but a plan built above Cipactli, the Primordial Waters' Crocodile and one of the Quinametzin, an immortal beast captured and fated to keep the artificial atmosphere of Aztlán through its constant suffering. Huitzilopochtli and other immortal rulers of Aztlán's Aztec Confederation promoted through some historical periods that the blood sacrifices must be offered to them so that they can keep the reality they created existing, while actually they're more like usurpers who thrive through not only the populace's suffering, but also that of Cipactli).
Huitzilopochtli and Chalchiuhtotollin (from the nahuatl "Jewelled Fowl", a nagual form of Tezcatlipoca. In the IN LAK'ECH Mythos, a mysterious immortal and one of the founders of the Aztec Confederation) have captured Cipactli and tied her in the rocks of Oztoman, thus creating Aztlán. Note that Cipactli, a crocodile, is the first daysign of the tonalpohualli (from the nahuatl "count of days", the Mexica version of a 260 days Mesoamerican Calendar composed of 20 trecenas or 13 days periods, each associated with a deity), while Xochitl, the flower, is the last, and that in the IN LAK'ECH Mythos, Cipactli has a huge tree growing from its back, with a flower atop it - right at Tonatiuhichan, the residence of Tonatiuh, the Sun, who always travel to the underworld and comes back again (that is, if the sacrifices of the mortals are done properly on that day). This represents both the primordial waters' foundation and the shiny residence of the sun, and reflects the harsh & unstable chaos from the waves and the sweetness of the bright day sky. After millions of years, life evolved in Aztlán, and like elsewhere, Huitzilopochtli's intervention has been crucial to modify it towards his own interests - in his case, to prove his brothers that an environment with abundance such as that of Aztlán's swamps, jungles, caves and hills, can be as harsh and deadly as any desert or tundra, stating that it's not the availability of resources that define the conflict between individuals and groups, or even the systematic misery. It's the imposition of one's interest over the others'. A defender of predation and the survival of the fittest, Huitzilopochtli's evil genius has contributed to the natural development of deadly predators such as the deadly race of reptilian humanoids, the Cuetzpalin. Indeed, the Cuetzpalin were made in his image, and most of his bodies are from Cuetzpalin individuals (the Teteoh "gods" & Cihuateteoh "goddesses" of Aztlán are immortal vampiric creatures that may have been born as mortals but have attained immortality through magic, they can extend their consciousness to the ixiptla, usually younger bodies taken as sacrificial victims who become their new hosts, and for centuries they keep that practice, secured by strict social orders. Huitzilopochtli is believed by most to be another immortal, however he's different from most of them because he not only is like a force of nature able to control winds, weather, to create and manage artificial atmospheres, he also has unknown origins and observes Aztlán through other bodies, avatars or ixiptla "impersonators", some of them strategically put into Aztec society and Aztlán's wilderness).
Cipactli isn't the only Quinametzin jailed inside Aztlán, the ancient Kukulcan (from the Yucatec Mayan "Feathered Serpent", name for a Mesoamerican deity common among many different cultures from different time periods since at least the Olmecs; among the K'iché Maya he was called "Q'uq'Umatz" and among the nahuatl speaking Mexica, the most famous "Quetzalcoatl") lies within the caves of Oztoman, where its regenerative vital energy is constantly drained and redirected to Huitzilopochtli's avatars - to feed one body is a hard task, imagine to feed thirty apex predators (or rather glutton parasites). The Quinametzin have rivalred the Elemental Gods for millions of years, and have been either hunt down or neutralized because of their particular properties (their self-sufficiency, immortality, regeneration, the spreading of the Teyoliatl fluid - from the nahuatl "Teyolia", derivative of "yollotl" meaning "heart", and "atl" meaning "water" - a substance that derives from the elder Quinametzin and has contributed to the creation of giant organic & mineral entities who constantly opposed the Elemental's projects of modifying animals for their will, as well to the development of Mandragoras, symbiotic plant-like creatures able to convert heterotrophic animals into self-sufficient photosynthetic ones), but few, if none of the Elemental Gods had exploited them in such a manner that their very breath was converted into vital energy to the god in question. That situation, however, was almost discovered by Chalchiuhtotollin, as he threatened to enter Oztoman, as he was killed by Huitzilopochtli's assigned guardian - and since then Chalchiuhtotollin's skull has always been used as a mask by Huitzilopochtli.
This event happened rhoughly a hundred years after the foundation of the Aztec Confederation, some 6000 years ago. After Chalchiuhtotollin's demise, his role as the ruler of the city of Nahui-Quiahuitl has been shortly followed by the acceptance of Tlaloc, a foreigner and mysterious god that grown to be Huitzilopochtli's most trusted right-hand. Eventually, Tlaloc's arrival coincided with the proliferation of Ahuitzotl (from the nahuatl "spiky water creature", in the IN LAK'ECH Mythos, the same as the Helladean Telkhines, a race of beings who inherit a curiosity for studying the Cuetzpalin, and in their wake have hunted down several of them for their Tonalcoatl - from the nahuatl "tonal", which means either fate or heat, and "coatl" which means snake - they are the ones who would later craft Huitzilopochtli's Xiuhcoatl, and who crafted similar weapons for other gods) in Aztlán's underworld.
Huitzilopochtli has been, since the Aztec Confederation's foundation, the ruler of the altepetl / "city-state" of Yaoyotepetl, located just below the petals of the great flower growing from the back of Cipactli. Although the Cuetzpalin are natives to Chicomoztoc ("place of the seven caves", the series of caves in the middle of Aztlán, right in the middle of the tree growing from Cipactli's back), and in the past have split between the groups that have followed to the lower wilderness and to the upper cities, Yaoyotepetl is regarded as the capital of the Cuetzpalin from Aztlán, and its political state exaltates the guiding values of "atl-tlachinolli", the sacredness of war & bloodshed.
Chalchiuhtotollin wouldn't be the only immortal challenged by the ruthless Huitzilopochtli, regarded as the God of War, centuries later he'd kill his own sister, Coyolxauhqui, and threaten Itzpapalotl & other Cihuateteoh to the point of forcing them to either leave Aztlán, to get into its wilderness (where they'd likely die), or die. His short temper and bloodlust would ultimately blind him to the interest of others, and while he outwitted other immortals leading investigations concerning his usurpation of resources in Aztlán, as well as any kind of resistance against his increasing influence over the Aztec Confederation (to the point that the interests of the Confederation could no longer be different from his), some of his brothers, most unknown to the Aztec Confederation, were actually using his troops as the frontline in a conflict which ultimately wouldn't even materially benefit him, and others infiltrated Aztlán seeking to expose some of his secrets that were crucial to replicate the victory over the deadly Centzonmimixcoa (from the nahuatl "Four Hundred alike Mixcoatl", or alternately "Four Hundred Northerners", group of deities associated to the northern stars. In the IN LAK'ECH Mythos, another name for the Yana Phuyu or Daevas, the children of the Elemental God of Darkness, who have spread terror across the galaxy during the time period know as the Topakhon Wars, that took place in the Second Sun Era on the chronology of Aztlán). In no time, unfruitful alliances such as that with "Xiuhtecuhtli" during the Third Sun Era's Xiuhcoatl Empire (which witnessed the development of a Metropolitan Teotihuacan "city of gods" in the Aztec colony of Anahuac), misunderstandings and consequent battles against Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli/Itztlacoliuhqui-Ixquimilli would leave proud Huitzilopochtli into a state of self-inducted "isolation" in relation to other elemental Gods, as his efforts on Anahuac were ultimately sabotaged with the planned reduction of the Cuetzpalin population following the fall of Tenochtitlán in 1520, in the Fifth Sun Era. From that point onwards, Aztlán and Nahui-Atl, a land set between Aztlán and Anahuac, was all Huitzopoca had left - he even couldn't have all of Aztlán, as the underworld forces of Mictlán, the wild Cihuateteoh, the Ahuitzotl, were split from the Confederation. Even inside it, conspirations roamed among the Centzontotochtin (from the nahuatl "four hundred rabbits", deities associated with pulque and drunkeness, they're ruled by another couple of immortals, Patecatl and Mayahuel) and the Tlaloques.
In the harsh times shortly preceding the return of Mixcoatl into the world of matter and energy,
there were almost no Cuetzpalin on Anahuac,
those that existed had abandoned the gods' testaments of atl-tlachinolli,
the peoples of Anahuac were abandoned,
save for the faith of some few, whose traditions remembered the time Cuetzpalin used to roam the earth and rule the skies.
Those expected the prophesized return of the messenger of Huitzilopochtli, who would save them from these dire times
by restablishing the promised glory of the warriors. This messenger, the Mexicans called Paynal.
Huitzopoca didn't completely abandon Anahuac, and he couldn't even if he wanted to, he spent years searching for the Tonalcoatl of two super-powerful Cuetzpalin speedsters, Moctezuma Xocoyotzin and his sister Papantzin, who didn't show up since the fall of Tenochtitlán. Huitzopoca knew the fall of Tenochtitlán had the participation of much more than what the mortals knew, but either way he kept one of his ixiptla, a humble ink trader called Toveyo, searching for clues which could lead him to the missing Cuetzpalin, and get them back for him - even if he had to revive them in Aztlán and put them as mere guards of his kingdom. Before he reached anything, though, someone else had reached Moctezuma, and thus begins the story of IN LAK'ECH. Will the prophesied messenger tell the message of war, and restore the glory of the warriors? Or he'd rather fight to liberate Cipactli, in the process destroying the order of Aztlán?
- TONATIUH (from the nahuatl "Sun") in the Mexica cosmology is the Sun God or the personification of the Sun, a life-giver and life-taker who demands sacrifices in order to rise again the next day. Regarded as the ruler of the heavens. According to the Mexican cosmogony, the Mexica (and us) live in the Fifth Sun Era, Nahui Ollin (from the nahuatl "Movement of the Sun"). Four previous eras have passed, in which different deities took the role of the Sun, and each era faced a catastrophe before a new Sun could take its place. Some versions about the fate of each sun differ, but the deities associated to each one are well known:
The first Sun, Nahui Ocelotl (Jaguar Sun) was represented by Tezcatlipoca, and it ended when a Jaguar devoured the Sun, casting the world in darkness. The people of this era were giants
The second Sun, Nahui Ehecatl (Wind Sun) was represented by Quetzalcoatl, the Feathered Serpent), and ended with cyclones. The people were transformed into monkeys
The third Sun, Nahui Quiahuitl (Rain Sun) was represented by Tlaloc, the Rain God. This era ended with a rain of fire, and the people were turned into birds
The fourth Sun, Nahui Atl (Water Sun) was represented by Chalchiuhtlicue, Tlaloc's second wife, goddess of water. This era ended with a massive flood, people turned into fish
The fifth and current Sun, Nahui Ollin (Movement of the Sun) is believed to be fated to end by earthquakes. The Solar eclipses were feared by the Ancient Mexica as a possible transition between one era and another, or an occasion which the Tzitzimimeh (star demons, skeletal female deities associated to the stars) would descend upon earth to feast upon human flesh.
The fifth sun is associated to Huitzilopochtli, but also to Nanahuatzin (from the nahuatl "little one covered in pustules", or alternately a diminutive of "full of sores"), a humble god who, at the dawn of a new age, has cast himself into the fires to restore life before other gods did. Chronologically, this happens right after Quetzalcoatl and Xolotl descended into the underworld realm of Mictlán to retrieve the remains of the past generation people, and shed their own blood to give these new life. According to some, these are the gods who would later gather at Teotihuacan (from the nahuatl "city of the gods", inhabited by ancestral people, the city was found by the Mexica in an abandoned state, and was believed to have been built by deities and ancestors) and decide the fate of a new Sun. From this, Nanahuatzin, a deity particularly regarded as bad looking and poor, has thrown himself into the fires before other gods, including Tecciztecatl (from the nahuatl "Old Moon God", or alternately "old inhabitant of the moon", sometimes "old inhabitant of a snail's conch [the moon]"), the noble son of Tlaloc & Chalchiuhtlicue, did. Then, Nanahuatzin, who sacrificed first, was turned into a new sunm and Tecciztecatl, who sacrificed only after Nanahuatzin, into the less shiny moon.
That wasn't over, though, as the new Tonatiuh began to demand blood sacrifices from other gods to keep his position and the life he just restored. Most gods compelled, however the fearsome and proud Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli (from the nahuatl "Lord of the Morning Star", or Venus, sometimes an aspect of Quetzalcoatl, possibly the same) has rebelled against the Solar authority, the one who was a lesser god in a day and the Sun the next, and had no reason to ask the blood of other gods, so he hurled a dart at the newly crowned sun. It didn't hit him, however, and Tonatiuh threw it back, piercing right through Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli's head, sending him straight downward to earth, where his shine and warmth were gone, and were replaced by cold and darkness, as he became known as Itztlacoliuhqui-Ixquimilli (from the nahuatl "Curved Obsidian Blade", alternate translations may read as "Plant Killer Frost"), feared by the Mexica as the god of frost, ice, cold, winter, sin, punishment, human misery, objectivity and blind-folded justice.
The Mexica cosmology and belief system wasn't really based in dichotomic absolute moral distinctions (good vs. evil), but rather on values of responsibility and self-sacrifice, as well as the values of atl-tlachinolli, something like the glorification of war.The same deities attributed to victories in battle could be attributed to losses, as what mattered were more the offerings and how they were done rather than something like the deity's personal motivations. In this sense, the Lord of the Morning Star was, perhaps alongside the Tzitzimimeh, the closest deity to have a vilified role, as it was necessarily tied to the extinction of life by extinguishing the sun. Either way, their objectives can also be taken as consequences of the absence of sacrifice (if you read this as laziness or irresponsibility you aren't wrong), what once again points to the inherently political aspect of the religion, which is to responsibilize individuals for the maintenance of life and the world by their self-sacrifice, be it through war or labor. This obviously means obedience to the designed social classes and the State hierarchy, as the sacrifice of war prisoners means something far different from the sacrifice of nobles, still to this day. The war prisoners paid with their lives, while nobles didn't. The belief system doesn't seek to make one pious, but rather to make one obedient.
In the tonalpohualli, Tonatiuh rules over trecena Miquiztli (death). He is Lord of the Day for days with number 4 ("nahui" in Nahuatl).
- TEPEYOLLOTL (from the nahuatl "Heart of the Mountain") is a Jaguar-like Mexica god associated with earthquakes, regarded as a nagual form of Tezcatlipoca, like Chalchiuhtotolin. Also associated with the night, caves and echoes. In the tonalpohualli, Tepeyollotl rules over both the third day, Calli (house), and the third trecena, 1-Mazatl (deer). He is the eighth Lord of the Night.
In the IN LAK'ECH Mythos, Tepeyollotl is the guardian of a secret entrance on Oztoman, the rock beneath Cipactli and Aztlán's sea (that besides water has Teyoliatl and Cipactli's blood), which leads to the prison of the huge Feathered Serpent Kukulcan and also of the goddess Xochiquetzal, other than one of the two main laboratories of Huitzilopochtli (the other located within the series of caves of Chicomoztoc, in middle Aztlán). Secret to most inhabitants of Aztlán, including the Aztec Confederation, Tepeyollotl roams the underworld's jungles, swamps and deserts while he's not on the caves, and acts as a strategic guardian of Huitzilopochtli's secret schemes - in part, because he's an ixiptla of Huitzilopochtli. The general account that Tezcatlipoca & Quetzalcoatl defeated Cipactli to create the first world is actually a later, or corrupted version, as the one titled as Quetzalcoatl was actually a Feathered Reptile ixiptla of the one who would later become known as Huitzilopochtli (the disadvantage of calling someone Quetzalcoatl in Aztlán is that practically all the Cuetzpalin that reach a certain age have feathers and wings, and would match this description. In Aztlán, like in Mexico, the Quetzalcoatl is seen like an ancestral figure. The true Quetzalcoatl, however, known as Kukulcan, lies buried underground by the one who took this name even before Cipactli was taken). The one called as Tezcatlipoca is the one whose ixiptla Chalchiuhtotollin would thousands of years later return to Cipactli's stone, much to Huitzilopochtli's amazement. What Huitzilopochtli didn't notice, alongside his ixiptla Tepeyollotl, is that Chalchiuhtotollin is an ixiptla of Tezcatlipoca, and Tezcatlipoca is pretty much a foreigner title for someone Huitzilopochtli knows by another name. This means that Huitzilopochtli has kept his secrets from most, but failed in securing his secrets from the ever-present, ever-silent trickster god, and in the fifth sunset, he would realize the misery of his current state, struggling to rebuild a civilization fated to fall.
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Were the Teteoh involved in the rise of groups like the Nazis, Ustase, Khmer Rouge, and ISIS? A lot of their war crimes do seem to resemble mass ritual sacrifices and they may not be satisfied with recruiting followers from just Central and South America.
Some of their enemies, however, have been allied to the AXIS - the Jötnar (known by the Aztecs as Citlalcetlecah), who descend from historical enemies of the Cuetzpalmeh, and are led by Fórnjötr (a.k.a Itztlacoliuhqui-Ixquimilli), an ally of Moloch (the Canaanite / Moabite God, in this story, a "brother" of Fórnjötr [God of Ice], Huitzilopochtli [God of Air] and Tlaloc [God of Water]). Moloch was more closely associated with the Nazi regime and the Ustase as well, though ultimately it's Fórnjötr that crafted and carried out some social engineering policies - even against the Cuetzpalmeh.
Fórnjötr and Moloch however aren't the only forces fighting against the Cuetzpalmeh and the Teteoh, their major opponent has been Tupaq (the God of Shadows). Indeed, Huitzilopochtli's focus on keeping a state of in-fighting on Aztlán and in a certain extent isolating himself from most of the Earth's affairs after the 16th Century has been a response not to reveal the secret passage of Aztlán to his main enemies - like Tupaq, who lived at the time among the Inca of Tahuantinsuyu, and later influenced the Holy Roman Empire (under Charles V) and other 16th-17th Century European nobility; and Fórnjötr, who found in the Spanish Conquest of Tenochtitlán an opportunity to eliminate the Cuetzpalmeh from the face of the Earth.
At the beginning of this story (August 2008), the Cuetzpalmeh are almost wiped out from Earth (only 4 individuals from this species live there), but still domain Aztlán, which existence is hid from most people of Earth. Huitzilopochtli has been preparing to face Tupaq, though at the beginning Tupaq is also missing - in 2000, Tupaq was partially defeated by Huitzilopochtli and other brothers of his, including Fórnjötr, Moloch and Ahura Mazda (the God of Light - not an occasional enemy, but also not a trustworthy ally for Huitzilopochtli, at least his complete enmity towards Tupaq is something he shares with Huitzilopochtli).
In the first story arcs, the protagonist (William / Paynal) is mostly unaware of the existence of Aztlán, the Teteoh and the other gods from other realms (such as Tupaq, Fórnjötr, Ahura Mazda and Moloch), and it takes a year or so for him to find this out alongside his Tonalcoatl (symbiote, an older Cuetzpalin - in his case Moctezuma Xocoyotzin, former Huey Tlatoani / ruler of the Mexica based in Tenochtitlán, during the Spanish Invasion / conquest). His later discovery of Aztlán (in December 2009, 16 months after he gained his powers) is mind-blowing, though even later he would team up with other allies sharing some of his views - such as their intention to re-populate Earth with the Cuetzpalmeh and potentially lead them to a forceful division between the First Nations and the modern States from the American Continent (what, of course, is met differently by particular First Nations groups. Paynal is more related to the peoples from the Brazilian Amazon, whereas his ally "Montezuma" is more used to the Uto-Aztecan speaking peoples from southern US, but also to the Anicinàpe / "Algonquins" from northeastern US / southeastern Canada. Different communities and leaderships also develop different resolutions towards the Cuetzpalmeh).
In this story, despite the "Elemental Gods" have influenced many cultures for millennia, some are more or less powerful or influential than others simply based on their long-standing views of life itself. Fórnjötr is a speciesist and racist who believes in a certain form of Jötnar supremacy, and also tries to eliminate Earth's biodiversity, while Huitzilopochtli defends biodiversity, but also the need for conflict (he's a main opponent of plans which involve greatly reducing life on Earth, however he always vouches for keeping a margin of beings that "can be assassinated / used in war", because like the Nahua / Aztec Sun-God, he needs vital energy and bloodshed to survive). Ahura Mazda and Moloch are more obssessed with defending an international centralization of power, and Huitzilopochtli is more like a wild hunter who wants to prove himself as the strongest. Tupaq is an over-powered nihilist who wants to convert Earth into a lifeless mass-destruction weapon inhabited by fully-automated beings which would lead the destruction of other solar systems.