War of the Aztec Succession

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1649-1662 (T161-T167)

By Rob Pierce


The War of the Aztec Succession was intended to be a swift palace "coup" by Prince Xolotl for the throne of the Aztec Empire. Instead, the unexpected return of Kulhuz Tlakotani turned the coup into a drawn out, pan-American war whose biggest loser besides Azteca itself, would prove to be the Roman Catholic Papacy.

Xolotl aimed to guarantee his succession to the increasingly purchaseable Quetzal Throne by eliminating the corrupt election process. Upon emperor Tapaxi's death in 1649 (T161), and with aid from neighboring New Granada, Xolotl arrested the Aztec president and Senate, and secured the allegiances of all the legions, save the navy operating in the ongoing war against Britain. That navy arrived in Azteca led by Kulhuz Tlakotani, the presumably dead son of emperor Xixipec (r. 1602-1637). The resulting political chaos fractured the country into three pieces:

  • The Incan regions formed the new Kingdom of Chimu (New Inca).
  • Central America and Europe followed Xolotl.
  • The rest of Azteca followed Kulhuz.

Ultimately, loyalist Azteca and her allies prevailed against New Granada, the Papacy and their allies, though with great territorial disruption.

The History:

The Stage
The war centered upon the Mictla prince and heir Xolotl, a powerful member of the Aztec Senate and the son of emperor Tapaxi (r. 1637-1649). Although Xolotl had been named Tapaxi's heir to the Quetzal Throne by his father, Xolotl knew that that alone would not guarantee his succession, and he sought out significant military support to back up his claim. His caution was clearly warranted considering that his father, a mere nephew of the previous emperor Xixipec (r. 1602-1637), still was elected to the throne by the Aztec Senate - overtly shunning Xixipec's son Kulhuz who was then campaigning in Scotland against Britain.

While it was popularly believed that Kulhuz had later died in Scotland, and was buried in an ornate tomb in Kingston, he had instead become the subject of repeated assaination attempts by ASP (the Aztec intelligence service) following Tapaxi's rise to power. Kulhuz faked his death (164?, T15?) and slipped into hiding under the protection of his erstwhile enemy Oliver Cromwell of Britain, whose intelligence service succeeded in foiling further assaination attempts.

Xolotl's search for benefactors, meanwhile, met with only limited success at home. He did find quite a receptive ear, however, in none other than the Grand Master of the Knights of New Granada, Roderigo Diaz. With aid from Diaz, and Kulhuz dead, Xolotl's ability to guarantee his claim to the Quetzal Throne would be significantly improved.

The Coup
Such was the stage that was set when Tapaxi eventually died in a freak (?) landslide (1649, T161) whilst navigating a mountainside trail in Huichol. Xolotl immediately called on Roderigo Diaz, who met the prince with his fleet and army on the docks of Sion in early June. Under the cover of darkness, Diaz's troops secured the undefended city, while Xolotl's troops arrested the Aztec president and Senate members and secured them in the city dungeons. Xolotl was enthroned the next day, with Diaz at his right hand.

The first pronoucement from the new emperor was to recall all of the Aztec legions to Sion so that they might swear their allegiance to him. As soon as the word hit the streets of the coup, there was widespread disbelief, and then both anger and delight. The Angels' Host legion was the first to arrive, and dutifully backed Xolotl. The commanders on the Incan coast also declared their support for him. In Scotland, however, when word arrived of the events back home, some of the leaders were well eager to back Xolotl, while others were aghast at the collapse of central authority. Fighting soon broke out amongst the commanders and the "loyalists" (the Earthquake, the Spear of Fire, and the Nahuatl) fled in the fleet for parts unknown. The "rebels" were left not only with the inability to comply with the emperor's orders, but also with the prospect of being stranded in hostile England.

The "loyalist" fleet swiftly returned to the Americas and made landfall at Tajin in Huastec. To the great shock of those at the port, the first man off the ship was a haggard figure, with blazing eyes and a voice of mastery: Kulhuz Tlakotani. He had come home to Azteca, intent on restoring Aztec rule to the empire, and removing Xolotol and his New Granadan lackeys from power. Xolotl's plans couldn't be in greater jeopardy.

The Chaos
Kulhuz' return spread like wildfire throughout the nation. All of Xolotl's carefully laid alliances and arrangements vaporized as the politicos reassessed their positions and allegiances. The legions in Inca (Chimu, Moche, Chavin, and Nazca) spurned both camps and formed the Kingdom of Chimu instead. The overseas legions in Anglia and Northumbia in England and Oran in Algeria continued to support Xolotl, as did the southern regions of Huave, Achi, Nicarao, Tahwhaka, Lenca, Ulva, Boruca, and Guayami. But the greater portion of the nation - the regions of the center, the northeast, and the northwest - provided at least nominal support behind Kulhuz. These included: Tamaulipec, Huastec, Totonac, Popoluca, Chontal, Maya, Yucatec, Quiche, Kekchi, Culhua, Huexotla, Tlapocoya, Tepanec, Tenochtitlan, Zapotec, Nahuatl, Tepuztec, Cuyutec, Zacatec, Pisones, Opata, Papago, Tipai, Ipai, Cochimi, Pima, Mazucari, Concho, Culiacan, Tahue, Cora, Vinland and Iceland.

Last updated: 18 September 1998

© 1998 Robert Pierce

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