“I am the rightful ruler of all of this land of the Sun and there is nothing or no one I need to fear, least of all these strange, bearded men from distant and more barbaric lands.

“My emissary has returned from the camp of the strangers and told me they are but a mere 168 men, whereas I have an army of 80,000. I have almost won the war against my brother and I am doubtful these strangers can make any difference, were I to offer them to ally with my in my righteous cause of ruling the entire Tawantinsuyo. “Still, I should see for myself what they are about for it does not please me that foreigners who are so different from us are roaming my land. They also have weapons and armor, the likes of which none have seen before, as well as beasts to ride which they call horses and which appear strong and swift. So where have they come from and are there more of them? That I must know. “Therefore I will invite them to Cajamarca and let them explain themselves to my Imperial person, if they dare. However, should they prove to be the least of a nuisance to my war aims, or in some other way distracting from the ongoing defeat of my brother’s armies, then I shall have them all killed and that will be that. It might even prove an amusing event and a good diversion for my faithful warriors.” – Imagining Atahualpa – and his first thoughts of the Spaniards, early November 1532

This is one of a series of small vignettes, in which we try to imagine the thoughts and considerations of key people during the conquest of the Inca Empire