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The following article/section is from the Storm Runner/Shadow Bruja continuity under Rick Riordan Presents and not the Riordanverse canon.

I'm just imagining what it would feel like when I rip out their hearts. With my teeth.

–Ah-Puch talking about what he would do to Ixkik' and Camazotz after they attacked Zane, Ren, and their companions in The Shadow Crosser.

Ah-Puch (pronounced "ah-POOCH") is the skeletal Mayan god of death, darkness and destruction and the former ruler of Xib'alb'a. He served as the main antagonist in The Storm Runner. After aiding Zane Obispo in freeing his father and finding the godborns, he becomes an ally to the son of Hurakan.


Many years ago, Ah-Puch ruled over the ninth lowest level of Xib'alb'a, the Mayan underworld, known as Mitnal. He used to go to the houses of the sick and dying and wait outside, his rusty laugh echoing in the wind.

However, when the hero twins defeated some of his weaker lords, they went on to tell everyone that they defeated Ah-Puch himself. Humans loved them for it, then they saw the underworld as weak and stopped fearing the god of death. He decided to destroy the world a fourth time and remake new humans that will pay attention.

He waged a war against the other Mayan gods, including Nakon and Ixkakaw. However, Ah-Puch lost and was sentenced to a lifetime imprisonment as a piece of folded paper from the Ceiba World Tree inside an owl figurine at the bottom of a volcano created by Hurakan. Were he to escape and exact his vengeance, the fate of the entire world could be at stake. However, the goddess of time, Pacific, foresaw that he would be freed by a godborn during a solar eclipse.

Storm Runner Trilogy

The Storm Runner

When Zane Obispo reaches his holding chamber, he tells the boy to free him. He agrees if he can save Brooks and bring Rosie back, as a Demon Runner had killed the latter and poisoned the former. Ah-Puch agrees and the boy breaks the small ceramic owl containing the god.

The black owl, which contained the death god for centuries.

Once he is free, he feeds on blood and becomes a regular looking man. He restores Muwan to her former glory and transports everyone from the cavern to a penthouse balcony in Los Angeles. He agrees to save Brooks and return Rosie to life, only if Zane becomes his soldier and answers his call in three days. Zane agrees and the boy is blown away.

Two days later he arrives at Jordan and Bird's party and thanks Zane for leading him to the twins. He summons the Yant'o Triad to subdue the twins and he reveals that they never defeated him, only a few of his underlings. He goes on to say that they used this lie to trick the gods into their pact to not have more demigod children so they would not have competition. He leaves with the twins and tells Zane he will see him very soon.

Zane Obispo, the Storm Runner who freed and defeated him.

When Zane is about to enter the Old World. Ah-Puch speaks to him through the tattoo. When the godborn plunges his wrist in the water, they both feel the pain of the mark being eaten by carnivorous fish.

After Zane kills Muwan, he encases Brooks and Quinn in hands of smoke and summons demon runners to defeat Zane. Soon after, Ixtab arrives and tries to kill him, only to be saved by Zane. He imprisons the godborn in a cage of smoke and watches as the others fight. He releases Zane, who throws his spear at the death god, only to teleport behind Zane at the last second. As he is about to crush his neck, the other gods arrive. He is ecstatic when Hurakan claims Zane as his son, and he and Ixtab convince the gods to let Zane fight him. Zane takes him to the Empty where, in the form of a large snake, he says that a new race of gods threatens their powers and creates unbalance. If Hurakan is killed, the Empty will disappear as well,  and when that happens, Ah-Puch will escape and head back to Xib'alb'a. He offers one more time to train him as he is going to die regardless of their potential battle, Zane declines and attacks him. He follows Zane to an endless abyss and, just before going over, is set on fire by Zane and he swears vengeance.

What Ah-Puch didn't know was that when he paralyzed Zane's body before heading into the Empty, Ixtab used Rosie in convincing the other gods to think that he died, and Hurakan was also just locked up in a prison. Without Ah-Puch, his pawns and groupies, including the Yant'o Triad, couldn't do anything allowing Nakon to round them all up.

The Fire Keeper

After his battle with Zane, Ah-Puch was able to form a connection to Zane's Jaguar Jade and watch his life on Isla Holbox. When the son of Hurakan set out to rescue his father, he calls to him when Zane reaches Xib'alb'a and over hears him and Hurakan talking about the godborns. He tried to contact him with no success and, with The Empty dying, sends a portion of his essence to the land of the living to speak with Zane in a weakened form.

He finds him in San Miguel de Allende, sensing Zane despite undergoing a Death Ceremony. Ah-puch tells Zane he can take him to the Fire Keeper in minutes if he can restore the death god to his former power, even allowing Zane to make the deal. Zane agrees to restore his power if he can take them to the Fire Keeper, obey his every order, not harm or kill him or the godborns, not start any wars, or not take Xib'alb'a back from Ixtab. Ah-Puch agrees to Zane's terms.

Zane gives him just enough maize to open a gateway to Cabo San Lucas in Baja California Sur. He tells Zane to bring Ren along as her being a godborn can protect her from curses. He opens the gateway and they jump through just as the sun raises and Brooks sees them. They reach their destination at sunset and he explains he had to take an “under the radar” to avoid the other gods and he resquests dinner. Zane scolds him for breaking his promise, but he says he has until midnight and smells blood. After Zane points out a blue monkey only he can see, he finds that the smell of blood is coming towards them and they run. As they run he reluctantly rides Rosie to the docks and Ah-Puch steals a boat. They soon see a cloud thareleases bats when Zane hits it. They struggle until Zane gives him the maize and he regains his full strength and brings some of the bat's blood and throws them in Rosie's inferno. When it is over he regains his normal form, however it is only temporary. Zane scolds him for takes their life force, but he reminds the son of Hurakan that bats were not part of the no killing deal. They get in a cab and he checks them into a luxury villa at a five-star hotel where a man named Javier tends to him. As he orders them dinner he explains that Camazotz, the god of bats, to obtain Ren. Ren explains that the gods want to kill her family because their is something not Mayan about them, but before she could say more she has a seizure and he catches her before she hits the floor and puts her on a couch. He then gives Zane advice on controlling his powers, to surrender to them rather then control them. He then goes out but Zane tries to stop him, but Ah-Puch tells the boy to say and rest. The following morning he and Ren find Zane on the breach and bring him inside. When he wakes up they are under siege by bats and hotel security. Two guards force their way in guns drawn and they escape on Rosie but are cornered by more guards and a helicopter on a cliff. As Rosie distracts the guards, he takes hold of Zane and Ren's hands and tells Zane to think of a familiar location in New Mexico before jumping off and he takes them there. They end up buy the replica of The Beast, annoying the death god that he is so close to his former prison. Ren helps Ah-Puch up and he has Zane send him the location of the godborns. He finds the footprint of an Ahuizotl, a Mexica water monster. When Zane finds evidence that Brooks and Hondo were there and captured, he tells the son of Hurakan to remain calm and be wary of traps, right before Zane triggers one.

He tracks down Zane and the godborns, severely weakening himself in the process, and whezzes when speaking to Zane. Just as they are about to escape, Marco awakens Camazotz by throwing a hammer at him. When the bat god lands he allies will him and tell Zane the twins plan to use the blood of Hurakan and the godborns to resurrect the Mexica Gods and make a world order with them at the top. Soon Camazotz fights the godborns and he stabs his friend in the side, resulting in him being killed and Zane giving him his Jaguar Jade to revive him. When his full power is restored, he threatens Camazotz to release Ren and frees her before sending her, Zane, and the others through the gateway as he fights the bat god. He gets away from the bat god and saves Hurakan from execution and brings the creator god to Antonio Marcel De la Vega to restore his strength. In Xib'alb'a, he and the other gods decide on the best course of action against the twins and they choose to reopen the Shaman Institute of Higher-Order Magic and install him as a teacher. As thanks for helping with discovering the twin's plans, he is given a level of the underworld to rule over.

The Shadow Crosser

When the air spirits are on strike, he sends giant turtles to pick up Zane and his companions. Later he greets Ren when she arrives and as the son of Hurakan and his father are questioning how Camazotz and Ixkik' can control the Mexica Gods and believe they have an anterior motive, he joins in on their conversation. They fill him in on what happened and he vows to kill Camazotz and Ixkik' for trying to hurt him. He and Hurakan are shocked when they learn Ixtab is the mother of Adrik and Alana. As the claiming ceremony ends, they go to the ceremony. They arrive to see Saqik'oxol pound lighting into the twin's legs and leave shortly after.

However he and the other gods are ambushed, trapped in 1987, and severely weakened as they are about to be fed to Tlaltecuhtli, however he is able to talk to Zane. He tells the son of Hurakan not to find them and to run. As well as calling him his favorite enemy and to tell Ren goodbye. He tells Zane that the daughter of Pacific might help, but is cut off just after.

He and Pacific are brought by Ren and Rosie back to Hurakan's treehouse and when Ixkik' explains she is hunting down the gods, he says she doesn't know some of them are awake. When Ixkik' demands Zane's surrender to her or she'll kill the gods, he thinks she has an ulterior motive as the son of Hurakan surrenders and the others agree to find as many gods as they can. After the enemy is defeated, he throws a party that takes two weeks to plan. When it happens he and Ixchel bark orders at the air and earth spirits.


In Zane's book about Mayan mythology, Ah-Puch looked like a bloated zombie with decomposing gray skin with nasty black spots, and he had a dark, twisted smile. He wore this weird helmet that had eyes hanging off it, the eyes of the people he'd recently killed. Around his fat neck was a red cape made of human skin, and stitched to the hood was an owl's head that resemble Muwan.

When he was first released from the owl artifact prison, Ah-Puch was a skeletal figure with paper-thin transparent skin. After consuming blood, he becomes more alive with an olive complexion and black hair and eyes standing at 6'5”. He wears a dark suit with a white shirt and dark tie.

When Zane takes him to the Empty, Ah-Puch takes the form of a monstrous blackish-green snake the size of Jazz. Writhing and slimy maggots oozed from between his scales. He had slitted eyes that blazed red and yellow fangs that glistened in the moonlight. His underbelly was red and maggoty scales.

After spending months in The Empty, Ah-Puch appears to Zane as a sickly old man with shriveled skin like a rotten apple and a thin frame standing five feet tall. He is bald with three or four hairs on his scalp. He wore a white t-shirt and baggy gray pants. He gains a semi healthier appearance when Zane give him some Maize and eventually regains his regular appearance. However within twelve hours he gains a form resembling a middle aged man with a receding hairline. After Zane gives him his Jaguar Jade he regains his true appearance.

After being freed from Tlaltecuhtli, he appears as a fourteen year old wearing a suit to big for him.

In mythology, Ah-Puch is often depicted as a skeleton wearing a collar of dangling eyeballs from those he's killed.


Conniving, manipulative, and all-powerful, Ah-Puch is a force to be reckoned with.[2] He carries a violent grudge against the other gods and is consumed with the desire to bring about their destruction.

However in desperate situations he is shown to be willing to team up with his enemies and obey their orders to get what he wants. During his time with Zane and Ren he has grown to care for them, taking on Camazotz to keep Ren safe and giving Zane advice on how to control his fire, showing that he has a nurturing and protective side to him as well. Months after this he vows to kill to keep the son of Hurakan safe.


Ah-Puch presumably possesses the standard powers of a god.

  • Necromancy: As the God of Death, he has control over the souls of the deceased.
    • Death Sense: Ah-Puch can sense when someone enters Xib'alb'a even after being ousted as it's king and is the only god to sense someone who has undergone a Death Ceremony. He can also sense if a person has died at a certain location.
  • Umbrakinesis: As the God of Darkness, he has divine authority and absolute control over darkness and shadows.
  • Destruction Aura: As the God of Destruction/Disaster, he is able to generate an aura of destruction, as shown when he destroyed the hero twins' penthouse.
  • Tracking Skills: Ah-Puch has the greatest tracking abilities of any of the Mayan gods, being able to track those who have bound themselves to him and smell souls and supernatural creatures with ease.
  • Typhokinesis: He is able to control smoke as he used smoke to trap and imprison Zane in a cage of smoke as well as Brooks and Quinn in a pair of smoke hands.
  • Consciousness Splitting: Ah-Puch is able to send his consciousness to other plains of existence, such as sending a peace of himself to the land of the living while he was in The Empty.
  • Gateway Opening: Ah-Puch can open gateways to where he and others want to go.
  • Aerokinesis: During his battle with Camazotz, Ah-Puch produced a gust of wind to push Zane to the gateway.


  • Similar to the Greek Titan, Kronos, Ah-Puch carries a violent grudge against other gods for his imprisonment.[3]
  • Ah-Puch is often associated with Nakon, the war god, as wars lead to many deaths.
  • Other names for Ah-Puch include Yum Cimil and Kisin.
  • Sometimes, Ah-Puch is depicted with an owl head as owls are considered symbols of death.
  • Funnily enough, Ah-Puch is, mythologically speaking, also the god of birth and new beginnings.
  • His favorite type of corn is popcorn.
  • His Greek/Roman counterparts are Thanatos/Letus, Erebos, and Perses.
  • His Egyptian equivalents are Anubis and Apophis.
  • His Norse equivalents are Hel and Hod.


Storm Runner Trilogy
Books: The Storm Runner | The Fire Keeper | The Shadow Crosser
Main Characters: Zane Obispo | Brooks | Rosie | Hondo Obispo | Ren Santiago | Jordan | Bird
Secondary Characters: Mrs. Obispo | Antonia Caballero | Ixtab | Muwan | Quinn | Antonio Marcel De la Vega | Jazz | Louie | Marco | Adrik | Alana
Minor Characters: Mr. Ortiz | Pacific | Saqik'oxol | Abuelo Santiago | Clementino | Itzel | Fausto | Red Queen | Gee | Serena | Sipacna | Kip
Mayan Gods: Ah-Puch | Hurakan | K'ukumatz | Ixkik' | Bakab | Yant'o Triad | Nakon | Ixkakaw | Ixchel | Itzamna | Alom | Camazotz | Chaac | Akan
Mexica Gods: Tlaltecuhtli
Creatures: Demon Runner | Nawal | Alux | Demon | Giant | Hellhound | Mud Person | Ahuizotl
Related Content: Jennifer Cervantes | Shadow Bruja Duology | The Cave of Doom | Rick Riordan Presents