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Skykeepers

Nightkeepers 3

by

Jessica Andersen

This book is dedicated to those who protect us.

Without you, the world would be a much more dangerous place.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

The Nightkeepers’ world is well hidden within our own; bringing it to light isn’t always an easy process. My heart-felt 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 my many e-

friends on the Skywatch message board for always being there for a laugh or cyberhug; to Sally Hinkle Russell for keeping me sane; and to Brian Hogan for too many things to name in this small space.

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 Nightkeepers’ language compared to those of ancient Egypt, the Mayan Empire, and elsewhere.

Entities (people, gods, demons, and other creatures) Aztec—A complex and warlike Mesoamerican culture that arose as the Mayan Empire lost momentum.The Aztec held sway over much of northern Mesoamerica when the conquistadors arrived in the so-called New World.

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. Their greatest opportunity will come when the barrier falls on December 21, 2012. boluntiku —The underworld minions of the Banol Kax, the boluntiku are lava creatures that draw their energy from the molten mantle of the earth. The creatures are killing machines that can sense magic and royalty; they travel in an insubstantial vapor form and turn solid in the moment they attack. ch’ulel A rare and powerful Nightkeeper mage who can manipulate the life force of all living things.

First Father—The only adult survivor of the Nightkeepers’ exodus from Egypt in 1351 B.C. He bound the slaves into winikin, led the Nightkeepers and winikin to Mesoamerica, and codified their beliefs into the writs and the thirteen prophecies in order to guide his descendants over the millennia until the end-time. makol ( ajaw- makol )—The earthly minions of the Banol Kax, these are demon souls capable of reaching through the barrier to possess an evil-natured human host. An ajaw-makol is an extremely powerful makol drawn straight from the lowest level of Xibalba, where the truly damned dwell.

Mictlan—A Nightkeeper capable of wielding the oldest form of magic, with lethal results. (Also see Mictlan under Places.) 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.

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, the order courted the powers of the underworld and was wiped out by the conquistadors . . . or so the Nightkeepers believed until the Xibalbans reappeared in modern day with a clear doomsday agenda of their own. pilli —The nobility of Aztec society. Among the Xibalbans, it refers to the most powerful members of the red-robed, magic-wielding warrior caste. winikin —The winikin function as the servants, protectors, and counselors of the magi, and have been instrumental in keeping the bloodlines alive through the centuries.

Places Mictlan—The lowest layer of Xibalba, where the most egregious sinners (traitors and murderers) reside, forming the souls of the ajaw-makol.

Paxil Mountain—The ancient stories say that the sacred foods of the Maya, maize and cacao (from which chocolate is made), were trapped within this legendary mountain until released by the gods.

Skywatch—The Nightkeepers’ training compound is located in the Chaco Canyon region of New Mexico.

Survivor2012 compound—Located in an unpopular offshoot of the Florida Everglades and built on —and into—a massive landfill, this labyrinthine complex was home to the Survivor2012 doomsday cult. Since the death of cult leader Vincente Rincon and the disbanding of Survivor2012, the compound has sat empty. In theory.

Xibalba—The nine-layer underworld of the Mayan and Nightkeeper religious systems, home to the Banol Kax, boluntiku, and makol.

Things (spells, glyphs, prophecies, etc.) barrier—A force field of psi energy that separates the earth, sky, and underworld, and powers the Nightkeepers’ magic. The strength of the barrier fluctuates with the positions of the stars and planets, and weakens as the 12/21/2012 end date approaches. chorote A sacred drink that combines both maize and chocolate, two of the most important foodstuffs in Mayan—and Nightkeeper—rituals. ch’ul —In Mayan mythology, the life force that runs through all living things. Analogous to the Chinese concept of chi. copan —The sacred incense of the Nightkeepers. This is a variation of the Mayan incense, copal, and is associated with the great ruined city of Copan, located in modern-day Honduras. hunab ku —A pseudoglyph associated with the 2012 end date worn by the Nightkeepers’ king. intersection—Located in the sacred tunnels beneath Chichen Itza, this was the point where the earth, sky, and underworld came very near one another, where the barrier was weakest, and through which the gods could communicate with the Nightkeepers. With the intersection destroyed, the Nightkeepers are in trouble. jun tan —The “beloved” glyph that signifies a Nightkeeper’s mated status. It cannot be formed by a Nightkeeper who also shares a connection with dark magic. muk —The ancient, ancestral magic that was long ago split into

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