Treasure League: The Aztec Skull | Wrap-Up

This month took players back, back, and back — to three different decades, following the journals of expedition leaders searching for the lost Aztec city of Aztlan. Each struggled to unravel the mysteries of a jungle temple, human sacrifice, and lore about a fierce sect of jaguar warriors.

Ultimately, John Stegeman (you might remember him from last year's Getaway and Constellations rounds) discovered the hidden skull's location while pursuing a wildly different hunch than the clues had laid out. Watch the video above to see how he found the skull, or read on to learn how the clues were pointing you to Pearce Estate Park.

Also, stay tuned for a trailer for July's round, coming soon!

The Clues

While only 15 clues went out, they were building to the exact location of the golden skull in three ways. 

The Coordinates: First and foremost, each clue casually included a map coordinate that fell somewhere in Calgary. Plotted, these amount to no more than polka dots on the map. Connected, and they're a jumble of lines. However, if you were to group them by which expedition leader they belong to, and connect the dots, they draw the form of a jaguar on the map.

Usually, the winner's explanation of how they found the treasure would be validation of the key to unlocking a round's secret — and for players who hadn't worked things out yet, we find that's often important closure for puzzle-minded minds.  This month, the winner didn't pay much attention to the coordinates, mistaking them for actual constellations. Thankfully, a member of team library reached out the hour the win was announced, hoping his working theory wasn't correct.


I'm including a screenshot of that exchange here to provide a dash of plausibility to the jaguar coordinates, but also to give him serious kudos for working things out by the midpoint as well. Nice work, the internet's @PanzerVaughn!

The Journals: In addition to the coordinates, the three-layer narration by the expedition leaders was dropping hints as to where the treasure could/would be found. Our winner took note of the ruins, the east, and 12 steps. That was enough to get him to the East, make him take notice of the ruins sculpture, and venture up 12 stairs to take a look. Uncannily early, but interrupting one hunch to explore should be considered great gameplay in anyone's books.

Other clues that had been dropped so far include the night sky (to prompt connecting the dots), the beast and each voice beginning a leg of the journey (to hint that the jaguar was being drawn from the feet, up), and that the warrior's chest had been "pierced" (Pearce Estate Park).

All in all, this round leaned deeply into immersive fiction compared to the previous two rounds, and most closely resembles last year's Far, Far, Away and Ghost Story rounds. Next month, you're in for something completely different. 


Calgary, AB, T2S 3E7, Canada

Propaganda machinist, part-time adventurer, and creator of fine amusements.