Subsubsection: 16 December 2015 (To Flores) Up Subsection: High Lord of Earth Subsubsection: 20 January 2016 (on to Teotihuacan) 

7 January 2016 (fighting the gods at Tikal)

As the group’s leaving cultivated lands and getting back into the jungle, a figure becomes visible on a low rise; he looks human, but emaciated and in ragged clothing. He points a stick of some kind towards the team, and Stephen and Diamond both start to feel distracted and ravenous. Stephen keeps driving, though, and they get past him; David and Diamond shoot, and think they hit, but they aren’t stopping to find out.
One night in camp, Stephen and Diamond on watch notice a higher than usual number of the local bats. A heavier flapping sound is also audible, and a part-human, part-bat figure alights on a tree branch nearby. He bellows at them: “You have dared to tread on land sacred to Camazotz! Now my winged brothers will take revenge!”
Stephen shoots him, and he disappears. As the bats swirl and gather, the two get back into the team’s tent; the bats batter at the canvas, and David rigs up his deck to make high-frequency noises, which seems to drive them off.
After several more days of travel, the team arrives at Tikal. It’s a complex of multiple stepped pyramids with temples on top of them. The biggest is clearly the jaguar temple at the far end, and the team approaches. A thunderclap sounds and the pyramid begins to glow; an eerie wailing comes from the top of the temple, and a translucent form rises out of it and hovers. It’s a man, wearing a red cape and Mayan robes and wearing a feathered crown. He claims to be the shade of Pacal (greatest of the kinds of Tikal): “You, who are not of my people, would enter the Temple of the Jaguar unbidden, and rob me of my treasures. Your courage and strength will be tested this day, and if you falter, death will be your only prize. Behold!”
A giant jaguar appears on the roof of the temple, snarls, and starts to run down towards the group. Other figures appear in front of the other four temples, wearing Mayan ritual masks and garb: one is an archer, one a spearman, one is surrounded by a nimbus of fire and one has no weapons but carries a large shield.
Stephen and Diamond concentrate their fire on the jaguar as it rushes down the side of the pyramid towards them. The archer fires vast numbers of arrows at Thorfin, which mostly don’t get through his armour; the shield-man throws his shield, which Thorfin is able to block. On the other side, the spearman throws his spear at David; it multiplies in flight, but David’s able to spot the extras as illusions. The fire-wielder throws fireballs, which fortunately are mostly inaccurate.
The jaguar is taken down by concerted gunfire, skidding to the feet of Diamond and Stephen (the latter puts a few rounds into its head just to be sure). Diamond and Stephen shoot down the spearman, while David keeps the fireball thrower engaged and Thorfin climbs up to the shield-man to take him on hand-to-hand. Evading attacks is costly in possibilities, but Diamond and Stephen manage to shoot the archer; David takes out the fireball thrower; and finally Diamond shoots the shield-man repeatedly in the back while he’s engaged with Thorfin.
Stephen starts up the jaguar-temple pyramid, where the ghostly shape looks confused then fades away.
 Subsubsection: 16 December 2015 (To Flores) Up Subsection: High Lord of Earth Subsubsection: 20 January 2016 (on to Teotihuacan)