Ichtaca is Citlalin’s twin brother. At birth, Ichtaca was dedicated by his parents to become a priest. During the ceremony, the parents invited chiefs of the Calmecac to a banquet and offer their son to them.   If accepted the child was taken to the Calmecac where he was painted black and a string of wooden beads called Tlacopotli hung from his neck. It was thought the soul of the child was joined to the beads, therefore, the child was returned to the parents and the beads were left in the monastery as a pledge.  Ichtaca is almost 15 and therefore he must return to the Calmecac and become known as a Tlamocazton, to be initiated into the strict and harsh routine of work discipline, and abstinence.

Tlazopilli and his son Ichtaca are killed by the Spaniards and the Tlaxcalans at the festival of Toxactl.  With Cortés gone, Pedro de Alvarado is left in charge. Before the festival, Alvarado encountered a group of women building a statue of Huitzilopochtli and the image unsettled him, and he became suspicious about the eventuality of human sacrifice. He tortured priests and nobles and discovered that the Aztecs were planning a revolt. Unable to assert control over events, he sequestered Moctezuma and increased the guards around the tlatoani.

By the day of the festival, the Aztecs had gathered on the Patio of Dances. Alvarado had sixty of his men as well as many of his Tlaxcalan allies into positions around the patio. The Aztecs initiated the Serpent Dance. The euphoric dancing as well as the accompanying flute and drum playing disturbed Alvarado about the potential for revolt. He ordered the gates closed and initiated the killing of many thousands of Aztec nobles, warriors and priests.