In 1511 eighteen year old Spaniard Gonzolo Guerrero and twelve other shipwreck survivors drift across the Caribbean sea to the Yucatan Peninsula from just south and west of Jamaica. The ship was laden with treasures stolen, by cruel force from the Darien indians in Panama. These were the first Europeans to land on the peninsula and were naked upon landing there. They had sacrificed their clothing to make a crude sail. They had no knowledge of the Maya or their language and believed they were in India. Three of the survivors, including the ship's captain are soon slain on a high pyramid on a festival day. Guerrero rallies his nine surviving mates and escapes from those who killed his shipmates, only to be retaken by Mayans in another city-state, mayapan. In Mayapan Gonzolo exercises his leadership skills, becomes romantically involved with Mayan Princess Huite Axitl and leads Mayan warriors against the Spanish.