The ancient largest North American city deserved to be ruled by no less than a deity, or a descendant of it, so the purity of the bloodline was of paramount importance. The Cahokian Royal House went to great pains in order to preserve it.
And it was not an easy task. Who could prove beyond any doubt that the son of the mighty Ruler was, indeed, the progeny of his divine father? After all, no DNA tests were invented just yet.
Well, those Cahokians did not go quite as far as the Ptolemies of Egypt by marrying the royal heirs to their full-blooded or half-blooded sisters. Nevertheless, they’d found a way to ensure the required purity. The full-blooded princesses were useful in more than one way, as it turned out.
The precious blood could be diluted, but to a certain extent. The royal heir would be married off to whichever mortal noblewoman took his fancy, permitted to make children and live happily forever after. But his children would not ascend the throne, however frustrated they may have been feeling about it. No mortal woman, as chaste as she would appear, could be trusted with delivering a pure blooded next ruler. Women were too difficult to guard throughout their fertile years. There was no way to ensure the paternity of her child.
So was the Cahokian ruling class frustrated? Not at all! The solution was simple, as long as the royal family did not run out of princesses. Only a son the full-blooded Cahokian princess would be allowed to ascend the throne.
And so the ruler would rule contentedly while his sons knew that no amount of intrigue would place them upon the throne atop the glorious, ten-storey-tall Cahokian Mound. And all this time the lucky son of the Ruler’s Sister would rub his hands, getting ready to take the burden of governing upon his dear Uncle’s, sometimes hastened, death.
An excerpt from “The Cahokian”:
The Cahokian leader squatted comfortably upon his mat, unimpressed by the food, but sipping from the exquisite pottery goblet with enjoyment; the locally made nectar of the gods was of an excellent quality. Absently he watched the city, stretching beneath the low mound.
“The nephew of the Great Son of The Gods does not rule Cahokia anymore. He has joined his godly ancestors before the end of the last moon.”
The local ruler spread his palms, startled. “May his time among the gods last for many lifetimes!” He shifted uncomfortably. “Who is ruling Cahokia now?”
“As our ancient tradition determines, the nephew of the previous ruler has become our current Son of The Gods.” The visitor’s fingers tightened around an exquisite pottery cup and it seemed that the fragile item would crack and break into thousands of little pieces.
“But isn’t he just a young boy?”
“He has good advisers.” The warlord’s face was no more than a stone mask, but again something shadowy lurked in the depths of the dark eyes. “Of course, his mother, the sister of the previous Son of The Gods, is an exceptionally wise woman. Her guidance will prove priceless, for the empire and its new ruler alike.” His hollow gaze strayed back toward the buzzing plaza, while the disturbing silence prevailed.
The ruler studied his haughty guest thoughtfully. “What is the purpose of your delegation?” he inquired after a while, deciding it was time to bring this Cahokian back from his dark daydreams.