Across eastern Mesoamerica, Mayan priests scaled precipitous stairways to temple summits. As clerics had done for half a millennium, they reached a platform to begin ceremonies dedicated to the god of the evening star, Hunahpu. Draped in jaguar skins, their painted faces looking skyward beneath a headdress of quetzal feathers, the priests made their way to sacrificial altars. New sacrifices, both animal and human, brought a fresh blaze of crimson to ancient bloodstains. It was a crucial time, a moment in the cosmic travels when Hunahpu disappeared to visit the underworld, Xibalba. There, the god of the morning star battled the forces of darkness on behalf of humanity. Later, it was hoped, he would rise as his divine brother, Xbalanque. Would he be successful? Would he return to make all things new again on Earth? Only the prayers of the people and the sacrifices of the high priests could assure Hunahpu’s resurrection.