|“||Well, if even a quarter of the legends are true, this is as close as men can come to abandoning their 'eternal nature.'||„|
|~ Gilgal telling his companions of the Gadianton Ghosts|
Gadianton Ghosts are an antagonistic faction appearing in Chris Heimerdinger's Tennis Shoes Adventure Series. They appear as secondary antagonists of Sorcerers and Seers and Drums of Desolation, the eleventh and twelfth novels in the series. The Gadianton Ghosts are a secret organization of warriors trained by Mayan warlords such as Spearthrower Owl and Fireborn.
The Gadianton Ghosts are elite Lightning Warriors of Teotihuacan trained for specialized assassinations. Among the northern tribes of Spearthrower Owl, there are babies taken from their mothers at a few months of age. These babies are forced through terrible deprivations and pain, with many of them dying within a few years. Those that survive are promoted to the rank of Gadianton Ghosts. They strive very hard to mantain their secrecy, to the point that they murder anyone who discovers their existence.
Sorcerers and Seers
Near the beginning of the book, the entourage led by Harry and Steffanie Hawkins is stalked by a sqaudron of Gadianton Ghosts. Rafa is scouting ahead of them when he sees the Gadianton Ghosts sneaking after them. When Rafa provides a description of the Gadianton Ghosts, Moroni concludes that they are the Gadianton Ghosts. Gilgal shoots down his idea, claiming that they are a myth. Moroni counters this, saying that he interviewed a pair of witnesses that saw the Gadianton Ghosts just before they were killed in their sleep. Gilga insists that the witnesses' deaths were the work of Wolf Witches who hid their deception by blaming unknown enemies. Moroni counters this by saying that the description of the Gadianton Ghosts' tactics were drastically different from those of Wolf Witches. The group concludes that they might be passing through the Gadianton Ghosts' territory, hence why they are targeting them.
Later that night, several Gadianton Ghost assassins sneak in to ambush the entourage's camp. Apollus and Gidgiddonihah are on guard duty when they see one of the assassins sneaking through the bushes. The assassin is killed by the jaguar Huracan, who is travelling with the group and helping to protect them. The other assassins retreat, as their attack has been exposed. The Hawkinses' entourage discovers the corpse of the dead assassin and realizes that the Gadianton Ghosts do indeed exist. Moroni comes to the conclusion that the Gadianton Ghosts will do everything in their power to stop them from reaching Cumorah.
As the entourage continues on their journey, Gilgal opens up and tells his companions everything he has heard about Gadianton Ghosts. Fear spreads throughout the entourage, as the Gadianton Ghosts are like nothing they've faced before. Their fears are confirmed when the group is attacked by even more Gadianton Ghosts. The Gadianton Ghosts fire poison-tipped arrows at the group, hitting Pagag, Micah, and Jesse. The rest of the men continue to fight as the Gadianton Ghosts surge forward with melee combat. Just when the fight seems hopeless, an army of Lamanites led by Antionum comes and drives off the Gadianton Ghosts. However, Micah dies from his wounds, and Pagag and Jesse are still being affected by the poison. Worse yet, one Gadianton Ghost returns and blows a cloud of blinding powder at Meagan. This Gadianton Ghost is killed by Huracan, but not before his blinding powder renders Meagan blind.
The Gadianton Ghosts continue to stalk the entourage as they arrive at the Cumorah battleground. One Gadianton Ghost enters the tent where Meagan is being treated and kills Golium, her doctor. Rebecca sees this from nearby and screams. Her scream catches tthe attention of Pagag, Ryan, and Jacobah. Having regained a good portion of his strength, Pagag rushes to rescue Meagan. He mortally wounds the Gadianton Ghost, but Meagan senses a second Gadianton Ghost coming and warns Pagag. The injured Gadianton Ghost teleports himself and Pagag out of their current time and place. Ryan attacks and wounds the second one, but this one takes him through the void, too. This Gadianton Ghost transports Ryan back to his home city of Salt Lake City in the modern day, while the first one takes Pagag to the shores of the Great Sea, where his family is waiting for him.
Drums of Desolation
While residing in the Cumorah area, the Hawkins family clan continues to be aware of the Gadianton Ghosts watching them from the shadows, waiting for the time to come in and kill them. Eventually, when Brock, Rebecca, Jesse, Steffanie, Gidgiddonihah, and Moroni's son Lehi are sneaking out of camp in search of Brock's sister Sakerra, they find that the Gadianton Ghosts have been following them.
Meanwhile, back in the camp, a Gadianton Ghost comes to murder Meagan. One of the Nephite guards strikes him, but the Gadianton Ghost blows a puff of blinding powder and teleports away. Another Gadianton Ghost comes into Meagan's tent to kill her. Meagan is saved by Apollus, who kills the Gadianton Ghost. After he does so, Meagan senses that there are even more Gadianton Ghosts waiting to materialize in their camp to retrieve the bodies of their fallen brethren. When the Gadianton Ghosts realize this, they decide not to materialize in the camp.
The Gadianton Ghosts manage to catch up with Brock, Rebecca, Steffanie, Gidgiddonihah, Jesse, and Lehi when they find Sakerra and her son Kiddonihah. They pursue the heroes through the Nephites' armed defenses, but a slew of Nephite warriors fend them off.
Towards the end of the book, the Gadianton Ghosts kidnap Meagan and Apollus and bring them before Spearthrower Owl. Spearthrower Owl demands to know the source of Meagan's ability to know when the Gadianton Ghosts will appear, to which she says her source is God. Spearthrower Owl dismisses her claims and says that he does not believe that his high god grants Meagan powers. He offers Meagan to become one of the Gadiantion Ghosts and have her eyesight restored. Meagan refuses, threatening Spearthrower Owl with Apollus' sword. As punishment, Spearthrower Owl sends Meagan and Apollus to the Great Maw of Xibalba, which is actually the time period when the dinosaurs were alive.