When the Aztecs started building Tenochtitlan, they became mercenaries for the very powerful group called Tepanecs, this was for the next 100 years. Through this alliance, Aztecs got land, trading connections, and wealth. But, the heavy-handed Tepanecs made the Aztecs rebel. Under the Aztec leader, Itzcoatl, Tenochtitlan joined with 2 other city-states in the triple alliance. Then the alliance fought and defeated the Tepanecs. Together, the allies started a series of conquests that laid foundation for the Aztec Empire. As Tenochtitlan became great power, Itzcoatl set to reshape Aztec history. He burned records that referred to his people's humble origins. Instead, he connected Aztecs to the distinguished Toltecs. The tribute was usually any valuable item that a city could provide, that was: food, cacao, gems and stones, cotton, cloth, animals, animal skins, shells, building materials, or even soldiers.