As I arrive in Quetzal Grove in the Zocalo, a tropical beauty of plants and stone, I am greeted by a stout bird, with ruffled feathers of a tomato's color.
He introduces himself as Pacal Redmask, a mystic of three.
"I must find the other mystics. Perhaps you could help me by defeating some Crazed Thunder Horns in Three Points. Come back here with what you can weasel out of them."
"I'll do that."
"You might want to explore first. Azteca is a bad place to get lost in."
"I will, but I will explore as I help. Are there any good vantage points to view Xibalba?" I ask, my curiosity spiked.
"The area that you can currently view it from is atop the Black Sun Pyramid in Three Points. You can also see it from Twin Giants, but you're not allowed there yet. It's a beauty," he sighs. "A shame it's out to destroy us."
"I will do my best to save you. I promise."
Too bad that promise could not be kept.
As Sven gallops through the curtain of water revealing the Zocalo, shaking his head to dry himself, I take it all in.
The Celestian calendar, light twirling into the air, the sky alive with color, and with clouds that tell stories about love and loss, the Aztecosaurs roaming around with cheer - and a little fragment of sorrow.
It's beauty, the meaning of it. But I see shadow creeping in and the sky is dull and lifeless for a moment.
Before starting work on the Crazed Thunder Horns, I scurry atop the Black Sun Pyramid to take a look at Xibalba, the destructive comet. Pacal Redmask's words ring true - it is a beauty. But it cannot be trusted.
I descend the long staircase quickly, Sven leaping over groups of steps and landing gracefully, without falter.
As the thunder horns come into view again, I realize they're pyromancers.
Oh gosh, I think. I better have prisms in my spell deck.
I scamper into the path of the Crazed Thunder Horns, and they take a moment to register my presence before the battlefield lights up and I am dragged towards it.
I cast a mass fire prism as my first move, then add traps and blades to enhance Rain of Fire. I have to defeat them in one round, for the damage over time effects will trigger their fire resistance if I don't find a prism soon enough.
I end up with four power pips and one regular pip, so I cast Rain of Fire upon the Crazed Thunder Horns, defeating them.
"Wow," I say to myself. "That was supposed to be three hundred damage."
I return to Pacal Redmask in the Quetzal Grove, and he greets me with pleasure.
"Fallon, you did it! You must now enter the first dungeon of Azteca, the Black Sun Pyramid Lower Chamber. Go now. We must make haste."
I thought Azteca was amazing, but now I realize Avalon was much better. I got to fight dragons, save the king, and even become a Knight of the Silver Rose. I know I should not run away from something, even if it is difficult. The life of the Spiral depends on me and what I do to stop Morganthe.
I ride halfway to the top of the pyramid, make a right, and find myself at the lower chamber. With a deep breath, I enter.
I encounter an Aztecosaur in a cage after defeating some enemies.
"Get the key from Skurkis Screaming Moon, further into the chamber. She will put up a fight. A wicked thing, she is. Good luck, wizard."
"Thank you. I will try my best to free you."
It seems my best is always barely acceptable.
As I walk on to Skurkis' place, I sense panic in the trapped Aztecosaur's eyes. I feel enlightened, for she is a mirror of me.
"It will be okay," I tell her as I am engulfed in darkness.
I begin the battle with the laughing necromancer by placing a fire trap upon her.
I continue to enhance my attacks, laughing when Skurkis casts a drain at full health.
I finally attack when the time is right, thankful to Pepper for healing me, and inflict 37,482 damage. Pepper squeals in delight as the Sun Serpent also takes out the minion.
As the light of the battlefield fades, I find a key on the ground and return to the trapped Aztecosaur. It shimmers, even through the dust and cobwebs, and it lifts my spirits. Perhaps Azteca isn't so bad?
I return to Pacal Redmask, and after a few more tasks, I am granted access into the Cenote, where zombies reside. I find out the trapped Aztecasaur was the second mystic, Zaylin Reedwalker.
After entering the underground fortress, I soon found out the whereabouts of the third mystic - who gave me the directions himself.
I am sent to defeat some Thunder Horn Zombies, and quest after quest, I become stronger and happier, until I complete my duty in the Cenote, and send Tezcat Threestar, the mystic, back to the Pacal Redmask in the Zocalo.
I go through Mangrove Marsh, Saltmeadow Swamp, and Zultun Dock, a quick seeming experience, filled with Zombies, swamp creatures, and vines - lots of vines.
The Cloudburst Forest made me dance, Alto Alto made me climb, and I even received a pet that I put in my castle, the Massive Fantasy Palace. Tierra de Brea and Pitch Black Lake made me shiver, and I almost freeze when I am told to enter the Pyramid of Mother Moon in the depths of the water.
I have made it this far, but I am sure this will bring my demise.
This is a place where the sun does not shine, where every day is eternal night. Shadow.
I enter, fighting off the enemies that keep me from the last chamber. I fight with such glory, that I smile on the edge of defeat, just to annihilate the enemies on my turn.
I finally reach the last chamber, where Morganthe and her dark servant await.
"Hello, young wizard."
And the whole world falls apart.