Concept: By identifying and communing with the animal
spirit that holds the other half of his soul, the nahualli (Aztec
magician) is capable of performing magic and brokering deals
with the spirits of the other world.
Drain: Willpower + Charisma
Outsiders commonly miss the difference, but Aztec sorcery,
though colored by it, is largely independent of Aztec religion.
While many Aztec priests are also nahualli, there are at least as
many nahualli who are unconcerned with appeasing the ancient
gods. The traditional source of the nahualli’s magic is not the
gods, but the bond to his spirit animal twin. In Aztec belief, every
person shares a portion of his soul with an animal spirit. Even the
gods are bound by this state; the god Tezcatlipoca’s animal twin
is the jaguar, and the animal twin of Huitzilopochtli is the hummingbird.
A nahualli has discovered his animal spirit twin and
embraced it, gaining access to the spiritual world and the ability
to evoke magical effects.
Every nahualli must possess a mentor spirit that represents
their animal twin. Unlike some Amerindian shamans,
this mentor spirit never represents a shared ideal but is seen as
that nahualli’s personal and individual spirit animal. Through
the connection with the spirit animal, the nahualli can summon
a variety of lesser spirits, which can manifest as animals,
humanoid minor divinities, and even as abstract phenomenon
like blazes of fire or plumes of smoke.
Aztec magicians use elaborate ceremonial costumes for
ritual magic, including feathered headdresses, and traditionally
use an obsidian knife for blood sacrifices. Aztec magicians also
use astrology for divining the future and determining auspicious
days for their rituals.
There is a great misconception that Aztec rituals encourage
the use of blood magic. While blood sometimes factors
into offerings to Aztec spirits and gods during castings or summonings,
the techniques of blood magic are unknown to most
nahualli. Only secretive orders of the most powerful priests,
backed by the nation of Aztlan and Aztechnology, have unlocked
that twisted art.