We’re in the temple, at the walled-up passageway. There are loose stones, through which we passed a torch; the torch was blown out, even though there was no wind.
Edward comes down (he’d been keeping watch up at the top of the temple) with Jacques, Isaac and Jul Chel in tow.
Chicuacen blows tobacco smoke into the gap. A low moaning comes out. Edward yells into the hole, demanding the axe. A bunch of bats come streaming out. They fly out of the temple, then return, buffeting Richard and I from behind.
Jul Chel pries more rocks out and looks in. He sees a corridor, with a dull glow and writing on the walls. We hear a big BOOM of cannon-fire from beyond the temple.
Jul Chel goes into the corridor and sees pictures of the Caterpillar Lord (a master of war, clouds, rain and thunder). The Caterpillar Lord was a beastly chimera himself, with long arms and other strange features. The pictures also show his lightning axe, which was apparently normal size. The writing says that the Caterpillar Lord is now entombed here “to commemorate his great reign” and other propaganda. The pro-Caterpillar Lord propaganda seems to have been poorly written, with poor tools. There are pictures of a battle, ruining a town (Pomonbalanque?).
Jul Chel continues walking ahead. The corridor opens into what looks like a cenote, save that it has a vast roof over it, forming a big cave. The cave glows with a pale bluish light. In the center of the great room is a pyramid. Serpents go down its sides at all four corners, their heads at the base level. The pyramid is on a small island surrounded by water. The surface of the water is about 20 feet below that of the corridor we’re in. The water is surrounded by a thin ring of dry ground. The ceiling is covered in albino bats. The water smells very stagnant. There are tunnel openings at the other cardinal points. A rickety wooden lattice runs from the dry lakeside to the lip of the corridor we’re in.
We descend to the ground with varying degrees of danger. Some use ropes, some use the lattice, which quickly collapses. Chicuacen and Edward stay behind. Jul Chel taps his spear into the water. The ripples travel across the fetid water. Chicuacen throws a rock at the pyramid; it seems to bounce off.
There is a flash of light from the pyramid. The bats stir. The pyramids rumble. The bats take off in four directions.
Jul Chel starts walking into the water. Jacques addresses the pyramid: “Great Lord, two opposing armies are coming to steal your axe; we are here to protect it.” We hear a low rumble, or perhaps grumbling curses in Mayan, in response. Chicuacen slides nicely down the cliff to dodge the bats.
Something bites into Jul Chel’s foot and pulls. He grabs the rope he’d been trailing and yells “Richard! Pull the rope!”
Atop the pyramid, we sees more flashes of light and a tall figure. The figure is seven feet tall and has feathers everywhere, long arms and a black feathered cape.
Edward goes up top to see what’s happening. Jul Chel stabs downwards at his attacker. Richard and Isaac reel Jul Chel in. I tie one end of our rope to a lump of rock and throw it into a crevice formed in the ceiling by two stalactites, making a swing. Chicuacen sees the lightning flash on the pyramid and travel down the snakes. The lightning travels across the surface of the water and hits quartz formations in the ‘corners’ of the cave. Lightning lizards emerge from the quartz formations. Jul Chel gets bitten by the water lizard person.
Atop the temple pyramid, Edward sees a furious battle going on. He returns down the stairs. Jacques is climbing up the cliff at the 3 o’clock position. Chi’ich stabs the lightning lizard near him, but misses. Was the lizard physical? It seems to have been. Jul Chel rolls up onto the land. He slides behind Richard, putting Richard between himself and the biting creature. I hand the rope to Chicuacen, then chuck a lump of quartz at the lightning lizard near Chi’ich. The quartz cuts into the rock wall, and the lightning lizard disappears in a burst of sparks. (It looks like something from Tron de-rezzing.) Richard picks up a piece of quartz near him and tries to smash the lightning lizard near him. Richard and the lizard are surrounded by a nimbus of lightning, but then both are still there, unscathed. Chicuacen uses the rope to swing across to the island, then returns the rope. The water lizard screams and leaps at Richard. It is blinded by a flash of gunpowder and hits the wall. The guy on the pyramid summons a lightning strike that hits Chicuacen’s rope, sizzling it up. The quartz that was holding the rope at the ceiling is turned into a lightning lizard, which jumps down onto the pyramid.
Jul Chel summons his hawk aspect and shrugs off the wound. Chi’ich starts working some quartz loose. Edward feels a macahuitl whizz past his back. He whips around and sees the pochteca, Swollen Basket, and the woman with the raven mask. She sprays blood at him; the blood turns into leeches that latch onto his arm. Edward throws down his weapon and tries to convince them they’re attacking the wrong person. They nod, show their contempt for him and walk past. I throw a chunk of quartz at the lightning lizard near Jul Chel, Richard and Isaac, yelling “Isaac, stand aside!” The lizard is mostly destroyed; apparently, only a lump of quartz remains. Isaac snarls the lizard-man in rope. Richard stands back and draws his cutlass. Chicuacen sprays the lightning lizard that had dropped from the ceiling with water; the lightning travels up the water and lightly sizzles her. Atop the pyramid, the Caterpillar Lord summons a lightning strike that doesn’t do much to Chicuacen. The pochteca is facing Edward. Jacques shoots the Caterpillar Lord in the shoulder; the Caterpillar Lord tumbles into the pyramid. Jul Chel shoots the lizard guy at point-blank range. Chi’ich gives a lump of quartz to Jul (the owl). Edward tries to convince the pochteca to ignore him, allowing him to plow into the raven-masked woman. Edward fumbles on his persuasion; Swollen Basket (the pochteca) instead just laughs at Edward. I throw another chunk of quartz at the raven-masked woman, who is looking out over the lip of the corridor. I hit her in the mask, which breaks off, along with part of her (icky, rotten) face. Isaac shoots the lizard guy and kills him in a cloud of blood, bone and lizard flesh. Richard jumps into the water and starts wading toward the pyramid. Chicuacen fools the lightning lizard into jumping into the water.
The leeches bite at Edward. Ow! The no-longer-raven-masked woman tries to spray a stream of leeches at Chicuacen, but misses. Jacques reloads. Jul Chel shoots his bow at the raven mask woman. It hits, but Edward sees that she just pulls the arrow out. Jul the owl brings the lump of quartz to the island and lodges it into the mouth of one of the snakes. Edward tries to jump off the cliff and pull Swollen Basket and the raven mask woman with him. Edward lands atop Swollen Basket, knocking Swollen Basket’s macahuitl into the raven mask woman. Richard continues wading out to the island. Isaac and I try to sandwich the raven mask woman’s head with thrown chunks of quartz; I hit her square in the head but she is unhurt, while Isaac misses wildly and hits me in the stomach. Luckily, the shot doesn’t hurt. I thank Isaac for the ammunition. Chicuacen, looking into the pyramid, sees a large, white glowing mass: the Caterpillar Lord’s cocoon. She sees hands moving over it. Naturally, Chicuacen will jump into the chamber.