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I kill whoever I wish to kill. And that includes anyone who defies the power of Spearthrower Owl.
~ Fireborn to Meagan Sorenson
We do not fear the shedding of blood. And do not think that we are here to discuss peace. That was never our intention.
~ Fireborn

Fireborn, also known as Siyah K'ak, is a major antagonist in Chris Heimerdinger's Tennis Shoes Adventure Series. He serves as the secondary antagonist of Warriors of Cumorah a major antagonist in Kingdoms and Conquerors, a supporting antagonist in Sorcerors and Seers, and an overarching antagonist in Drums of Desolation. He is the general of the city of Teotihuacan and the underling of Spearthrower Owl and Blue-Crocodile.

Warriors of Cumorah

Fireborn is first introduced through dialogue. Years ago, he headed a campaign to purge the royal line of Yax-Chaax-Xok. He discovered that K'ayyum was in contact with the king Jaguar-Paw and exploited him as part of his plan. Fireborn tortures K'ayyum's loved ones and used them to blackmail him into telling Jaguar-Paw that Fireborn's armies had retreated south, and that they no longer intended to wage war against the people of the Waterlillies. Jaguar-Paw believed this and let his guard down. Fireborn took advantage of this and led a raid on Tikal to murder the Great Jaguar-Paw. He succeeded in killing and raping many members of the royal family, though Lamanai escaped.

Later, it is revealed that Fireborn captured several Nephites, including Moroni, and held them captive at Tikal. The people of Seibalche hear of this and organize a rescue mission to save the captives. However, Kux-Watch deserts his people and goes to Fireborn to warn him. In response, Fireborn sends thousands of soldiers to Tikal to help guard the prisoners. The soldiers try to prevent Lamanai, Apollus, and Ryan Champion from escaping with the prisoners, but they fail.

Fireborn then goes to Seibalche with more of his warriors. He, having heard from Kux-Watch that Lamanai is the surviving son of Jaguar-Paw, deduces that Kanalha is the one who harbored him. He then interrogates Meagan Sorenson, believing her to be a demoness, and asks her where Apollus and Ryan are. Meagan claims that she doesn't know, and that she and her "demon" companions merely came to stir things up. Fireborn states that he is willing to kill anyone who tries to defy the power of Spearthrower Owl, to which Meagan states that the Great Maw doesn't approve. Fireborn insists that the Great Maw has no power on Earth, and that he is the one with power. To prove his point, he murders Kanalha right then and there.

Meagan is shocked to see Kanalha murdered before her eyes. Seeing this, Fireborn orders her execution. Right then, the jaguar Huracan attacks Fireborn and his soldiers. She kills Kux-Watch, injures Fireborn, and fights the surrounding soldiers while Meagan flees. Shortly thereafter, Meagan is found and liberated by Lamanai, Apollus, Ryan, Moroni, and the other escaped prisoners from Tikal.

Kingdoms and Conquerors

Through an unknown means, Fireborn discovers that his enemy Lamanai intends to form an alliance with the Nephites led by Moroni in order to withstand Fireborn's armies. Not wanting this to happen, Fireborn and his Lightning Warriors pursue Lamanai's entourage and catch up with them at the village of Korihab. Lamanai, along with Moroni, Gilgal, Apollus, Ryan, Meagan, and Tz'ikin, use a set of boats to flee via the river. Fireborn and his army run along the riverbanks in hot pursuit.

During the chase, it is revealed that Fireborn is wearing the face of Lamanai's father, Jaguar-Paw. After killing Jaguar-Paw, Fireborn had cut Jaguar-Paw's face off of his skull and shaped it into a mask that could be worn on his face. Lamanai is horrified to discover this, and he fires a sticker at Fireborn. The sticker instead hits one of Fireborn's bodyguards, prompting the others to fire arrows at Lamanai's boat. Apollus is forced to pull Lamanai back down into the boat. They continue on down the river, eventually managing to escape Fireborn and his army.

Towards the end of the book, Fireborn is mentioned by Lamanai to the warriors of Sa'abkan. Lamanai states that, though he still despises Fireborn, he plans to forge an alliance with him to destroy the Nephites.

Sorcerers and Seers

Towards the end of the novel, a meeting is arranged between several Nephite and Lamanite leaders, including Fireborn. Fireborn stands alongside Lamanai and some other Lamanite officials and bodyguards as Mormon, Moroni, Gilgal, Harry Hawkins, Gidgiddonihah, Garth Plimpton, Apollus, Zenephi, and several other Nephtie officials meet them. Zenephi presents his companions to Fireborn and says that they have came in peace. Fireborn denies Zenephi's offerings of peace, saying that he and his men are here to destroy the Nephites. He then tells the guests to welcome Spearthrower Owl, who exits his tent to meet the newcomers.

Zenephi asks why Fireborn is holding this meeting if he doesn't intend to sign any treaties. Fireborn, speaking on behalf of Spearthrower Owl, says that he intends to wipe the Nephites from existence, and from the memory of the people. Moroni expresses his disbelief that this is what the meeting was about. Fireborn smugly reveals that Zenephi was the one who orchestrated this meeting. However, Fireborn tells the Nephite leaders that Spearthrower Owl is prepared to offer a compromise. The Lamanites will still erase the records of the Nephites, but if Mormon, Moroni, and the other Nephite leaders give up their lives, the Nephite people will be allowed to live as slaves of the Lamanites. Gilgal profoundly refuses this offer, but Mormon and Moroni step forward to offer themselves. A third of the other Nephite officials present follow his lead. Zenephi, distressed, claims that he is the Chief Judge and can speak for all Nephites present. He asks Fireborn for a private meeting with him and Spearthrower Owl, which Fireborn shoots down. Zenephi reveals that he had been the one who instigated this meeting in order to sell the Nephtie leaders out to the Lamanite officials while saving his own skin. Fireborn, unmoved, rejects Zenephi and dismisses him and his companions. Fireborn, Spearthrower Owl, and Lamanai watch as the Nephite commanders leave.


  • He is based on the actual historical figure of Siyaj K'ak'.
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