How to become a 'Classic-Period' Maya Lord of Tikal:
Supplies You Will Need ...
× Royal Birth (unless you're good friends with Siyah K'ak' of Teotihuacan)
× Priests well-versed in the movement of celestial bodies (in particular, the planet Venus)
× One (1) extremely large Mayan pyramid + temple (230 feet tall)
× One (1) fire, lit before the ceremony begins
× One (1) knife made from the serrated tail of a stingray
× One (1) length of barbed rope, approximately four feet in length
× Several (5-6) pieces of paper
× As the ruler of Tikal is the embodiment of the gods' power on earth it is important to conduct this ceremony immediately after the death of the previous ruler - failure to do so may result in popular revolt.
× Gather everyone from the city and surrounding countryside to witness the spectacle of your coronation.
× Ask the head priest to perform the appropriate ceremony (future priests, please read How to Win Friends and Influence Neighboring City-States Through Ripping Out Their Fingernails for more information).
× Stab yourself in the tongue with the knife. No, you may not use an anesthetic, and no, you are not allowed to pass out. Also, remember to leave the knife within easy reach - you'll need it again later.
× Take the rope with thorns woven into the fiber and run it through the hole you have just made in your tongue. The more you bleed the better, so feel free to jiggle it around a little as you pull. Keep this nearby for later use.
× Allow the blood this generates to drip onto the paper you've brought with you.
× Take the knife and stab yourself in the genitals (note: this applies to both males and females).
× Thread the barbed rope through the hole you've made in your genitals and run it through just as you did with your tongue. We cannot stress enough how important it is to bleed heavily.
× Collect the resulting blood on the strips of paper.
× Have the head priest throw the strips of paper soaked with your blood into the flames generated by a fire roaring on the uppermost level of your pyramid. If all goes well your citizens should applaud.
× Congratulations, you are now the new Lord of Tikal!
It should be noted that, in order to retain your lordship over the people of Tikal, this ceremony will need to be repeated on a regular schedule. Perhaps not annually, but it will by no means be the only time you will be asked to collect blood from self-inflicted wounds in your tongue and genitals. However, please don't let this detract from your new-found position and popularity within the Mayan Lowlands. Maybe you can attack the city of Uaxactún and sacrifice its inhabitants to Vucub Caquix, the god of the underworld, in a few months' time.
If your name is Nun Yax Ayin you will need to wait until Siyah K'ak' of Teotihuacan conquers the city of Tikal in 378 AD before you can assume the throne. You are still required to sacrifice your blood for the people.