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Do you like it? It’s one of my private chambers in Xib’alb’a. It used to be so drab and depressing, but I’ve really livened it up, don’t you think? The gold wallpaper is all the way from India. And see that skull painting? O’Keeffe, from your neck of the woods.

–Ixtab showing her personal quarters to Zane Obispo in The Storm Runner

Ixtab (pronounced "essh-TAHB") is the ruler of Xib’alb’a after Ah-Puch. She is the goddess (and often caretaker) of people who were sacrificed or died a violent death and the keeper of the souls of warriors and women who died in childbirth.

History

After Ah-Puch was imprisoned in the Beast, Ixtab took his place as the ruler of Xib’alb’a. She had to battle a few other gods to win the throne of the dead, which made those gods good and mad. Someone learned of the Prophecy of Fire, despite the one who revealed it being erased from history, and told Ixtab all about the Storm Runner.

In Series

A nawal named Quinn was forcibly engaged to one of the hero twins to "keep her family's bloodline pure." Since she despised him, Quinn and her sister, Brooks, found Ixtab and begged her to end the engagement. The goddess agreed only if Quinn spent a few months escorting souls to Xib’alb’a. She agreed, but after seeing how powerful a shapeshifter Quinn was, broke the deal and was said to have enslaved her. But in reality, she was in training as a spy, and Ixtab allowed Quinn to have supervised visits with her sister.

Rick Riordan Presents

The Storm Runner

When Ah-Puch was released by Zane Obispo, Ixtab was one of the reasons why the gods wanted to go to war. Some like her as the new ruler of Xib’alb’a but others wanted the old ways where Ah-Puch was in charge.

Ixtab appears before Ah-Puch in the Old World to kill him and calls Quinn a traitor. She throws a fireball at the death god but Zane saves him. She then summons two hellhounds, one of whom is Rosie. She unleashes her demons but is quickly knocked out by Quinn with a lightning bolt to the spine; as it was revealed later on, this was done to make it look good. When she recovers, she prepares to tell him who Zane is, but is stopped by Hurakan. After the god claims him in front of the council, Ixtab convinces them to let him fight Ah-Puch.

After Zane defeats Ah-Puch in the Empty, Ixtab greets him in his cell and tells him to write his story to serve as a warning to all gods who break the Sacred Oath. Before she leaves, she confirms that Zane is dead and he will forever pound stone.

After he finishes writing she takes him to a room and tells him that he is really alive, but he must hide to ensure the gods think he is dead. She reveals that the truth paper given to him was made from Itzam-yée, the Serpent Bird, who doesn't want to see the gods go to war. She tells him that she has been working with Hurakan for weeks to make sure he had a fighting chance against Ah-Puch. With all his groupies rounded up by Nakon, the potential war has been averted, and the hero twins are also getting their just desserts for lying about defeating Ah-Puch. She reveals that she took Brooks' shape-shifting magic away to prevent her from drawing any attention, the demons (her best actors) were sent to the Jack in the Box because she knew the gods had spies everywhere, and a demon will be put in Zane's place in Xib’alb’a. The alux she sent on him when attempting to prevent the Prophecy of Fire went rogue, as they do that sometimes, and she would've killed it if Brooks hadn't. She also told her about Quinn's job as a spy. She turned Antonia Caballero and the other seers into chickens as they couldn't have them running around knowing what they were up to.

Ixtab explains that everything she did to him was to ensure that his true status as a godborn remains hidden. She tells him that other godborns existed before him, but they have since been hidden away and died. She tells him they must leave to meet his friends and family. She takes him to Isla Holbox and gives him back his cane and Rosie, his new home is very secluded and surrounded by water. The water messes up signals, wavelengths, and the gods' ability to see clearly, as it is also protected by her shadow magic. Ixtab tells Zane that they will inevitably meet again before having the cab take her to a dreadful Aztec king.

Appearance

In Zane's book, Ixtab was always depicted with a rope around her neck. When first appearing in the Old World, she has long blue hair, pale skin, nasty gray teeth, and eyes of fire. She wears a cloak of bones.

However, Ixtab has a secondary form as a model-like figure with honey brown hair with streaks of blond wearing leather cargo pants with multiple zippers, a white blouse, and a Maya medallion on a long gold chain. Her teeth were were a sparkling white.

Personality

At first Ixtab comes across as deceitful and cruel; however, this is just a front as she is actually a caring goddess and has renovated Xib’alb’a for the better.

Abilities

Trivia

  • The name "Ixtab" means 'Woman whose work involves the use of a rope.' That's because most Mayans know Ixtab as the goddess of suicide. Although this may have been too dark for The Storm Runner, the only mention of suicide in the book was when Brooks referred to a double upon Zane suggesting he tell the gods that he released Ah-Puch.[1]
  • Jennifer Cervantes enjoyed writing Ixtab with all her snark and flair.[2]
  • Her Greek equivalents are Keres.
  • Her Norse counterparts are Thor and the Valkyries.

References

Storm Runner series
Books: The Storm Runner | The Fire Keeper | The Shadow Crosser
Main Characters: Ah-Puch | Antonio Marcel De la Vega | Bird | Brooks | Hondo Obispo | Hurakan | Jordan | Quinn | Ren Santiago | Rosie | Zane Obispo
Minor Characters: Mrs. Obispo | Mr. Ortiz | Antonia Caballero | Muwan | Pacific | Jazz | Saqik’oxol | Fausto | Red Queen
Mayan Gods: K’ukumatz | Ixkik’ | Ixtab | Bakab | Yant'o Triad | Nakon | Ixkakaw | Ixchel | Itzamna | Camazotz | Chaac
Mexica Gods: Tlaltecuhtli
Creatures: Demon Runner | Nawal | Alux | Demon | Giant | Hellhound | Mud Person | Ahuizotl
Related Content: Jennifer Cervantes | Rick Riordan Presents
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