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Dawnkeepers

 Nightkeepers 2

by

Jessica Andersen

This book is dedicated to the readers who have made these books their own.

Thank you so much for joining me on the roller-coaster ride to 2012!

AUTHOR’S NOTE

The Nightkeepers’ world is well hidden within our own; bringing it to light isn’t always an easy process. My heartfelt thanks go to Deidre Knight, Kara Cesare, Claire Zion, Kara Welsh, and Kerry Donovan for helping me take these books from a dream to a reality; to J. R. Ward for critiques and help each step of the way; to Suz Brockmann for being a mentor and an inspiration; to Angela Knight for her friendship and encouragement; to Marley Gibson, Charlene Glatkowski, and my many friends in the New England Chapter of Romance Writers of America for being there for me every day without fail; to Sally Hinkle Russell for keeping me sane; and to Brian Hogan for too many things to name in this small space.

Just as the few surviving Nightkeepers live among us today, their ancestors lived with the ancient Egyptians, Olmec, Maya, and Hopi during the course of their twenty-six-thousand-year history; they left their imprint on each of these cultures, and were influenced in turn. Thus, while their culture is best reflected in the myths and beliefs of the Maya, the parallel is not absolute. For a full list of references and recommended reading on the ancient Maya and the 2012 doomsday prophecy, and to explore the Nightkeepers’ online community, please visit www.JessicaAndersen.com.

GLOSSARY

Like much of the Nightkeepers’ culture, their spell words come from the people they have lived with throughout their history. Or if we want to chicken-and-egg things, it’s more likely that the other cultures took the words from the Nightkeepers and incorporated them into their developing languages.

As such, some of the words have slightly different meanings and/or spellings in the old tongue of the Nightkeepers compared to their acknowledged meanings in the languages of ancient Egypt, the Mayan Empire, the modern Quiche Maya, and elsewhere.

Entities (people, gods, demons, and other creatures) Banol Kax —The lords of the underworld, Xibalba. Driven from the earth and locked behind the barrier after the last Great Conjunction in 24,000 B.C. by the many-times great-ancestors of the modern Nightkeepers, the Banol Kax seek to pierce the barrier and wrest control of the earth from mankind. boluntiku —The underworld minions of the Banol Kax, the boluntiku are lava creatures that draw their energy from the molten mantle of the earth. They can come to earth only when the barrier is very thin (during a solstice or eclipse), and then only at the expense of great magic. The creatures are killing machines that can sense magic and royalty; they travel in an insubstantial vapor form, turning solid in the moment they attack, using six- clawed hands and wicked teeth.

Camazotz—A member of the Banol Kax also known as Sudden Bloodletter, Camazotz is the ruler of night, death, and sacrifice. His sons are the seven death bats responsible for ensuring the completion of the demon prophecies.

Daykeeper—A Mayan shaman-priest responsible for keeping track of the calendar and using divining rituals to make horoscope-like predictions.

First Father—The only adult survivor of the Nightkeepers’ exodus from Egypt, this mage bound the slaves into winikin, and codified the Nightkeepers’ beliefs into the writs and the thirteen prophecies, in order to guide his descendants over the next five millennia until the end-time.

Godkeeper—A female Nightkeeper who has undergone a ritual near-death experience followed by a sexual encounter with a Nightkeeper male, leading to her being bonded with one of the sky gods.

Channeling the gods’ powers with the help of their Nightkeeper mates, the Godkeepers are prophesied to form the core of the Nightkeepers’ fighting force during the 2012 doomsday. itza’at —A female Nightkeeper with visionary powers; a seer. The itza’at talent is often associated with depression, mental instability, and suicide, because the seer can envision the future but not change it. The visions will always come to pass.

Ixchel—The goddess of rainbows, loomcraft, and fertility. May also be associated with medicine and the moon. Often depicted as an aged grandmother with jaguar ears, but may also be seen as a beautiful young woman.

Kulkulkan—The winged serpent god, later known as Quetzalcoatl. An extremely powerful god, one of the creators, Kulkulkan has both light and dark halves. The light half is associated with learning, logic, medicine, and art, while the dark aspects are associated with war and rage. makol ( ajaw- makol )—The earthly minions of the Banol Kax, these demon souls are capable of reaching through the barrier to possess an evil-natured human host. Recognized by their luminous green eyes, a makol-bound human retains his/her own thoughts and actions in direct proportion to the amount of evil in his/her soul. An ajaw- makol is a makol created through direct spell casting by the Banol Kax or the human host. The ajaw-makol can then create lesser makol through blood rituals on earth. nahwal —Humanoid spirit entities that exist in the barrier and hold within them all of the accumulated wisdom of each Nightkeeper bloodline. They can be asked for information, but cannot be trusted. In the Mayan culture, they came to be known as nahual (or uay), and were feared as shape-

shifting sorcerers and devious alter egos of the Mayan ruling elite.

Nightkeeper—A member of an ancient race sworn to protect mankind from annihilation in the years leading up to December 21, 2012, when the barrier separating the earth and the underworld will fall and the Banol Kax will seek to precipitate the apocalypse.

Order of Xibalba—Formed by renegade Nightkeepers long ago, the order courted the powers of the underworld. Its members, called Xibalbans, drew their power from the first layer of hell. The order was wiped out by the conquistadors . . . or so the Nightkeepers believe. winikin —Descended from the conquered Sumerian warriors who served the Nightkeepers back in ancient Egypt, the winikin are blood-bound to the Nightkeepers. They function as the servants, protectors, and counselors of the magi, and have been instrumental in keeping the bloodlines alive through the centuries.

Places Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) —A system of subterranean waterways and caves in Belize that contains numerous ceremonial relics of the Mayan shaman-priests, as well as a series of hidden submerged tunnels and caves sacred to the Nightkeepers.

Chichen Itza—Arguably the most famous ruin of the Yucatan Peninsula, this city was a

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