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After the death of Huáscar's father, Huayna Capac, Atoc was sent north (probably in 1529) to quell the separatists under Huáscars half-brother Atahualpa. Atahualpa was defeated in the battle of Chillopampa Plains and captured, but managed to escape and set up a new army.
Another battle was fought at Chimborazo, and this time Atahualpa emerged as victor. His general Chalkuchimac reportedly had Atoc mutilated and killed, either by having his head being put to use as a goldened chicha cup or his eyes being torn out and left alone on the field of defeat. His and his co-general Hango's hides were allegedly carved off and used as drums.