It is 1634 and Germany is at war. The Catholic imperialists have won a decisive victory in battle over the Protestant nationalists. All across the land there is disorder as both armies splinter into groups of rampaging militia, the defeated infantrymen fleeing for their lives, and the cavalry and musketeers of the conquerors burning and pillaging enemy farms and villages as they advance. The Pikeman is a soldier from the defeated nationalists who has been pressed into rescuing refugees from devastated communities and taking them to sanctuary. The Musician is a church organist well regarded in the Protestant hierarchy who has now stumbled into representing a belligerent Catholic faction. Both men have come under the direction of a Benedictine Abbess who would use their services to ensure the security of her cloistered nunnery. And all are caught in the duplicity and subterfuge of political machinations, the struggle for meaning among the rampant bloodshed, and the resort to desperate measures while seeking to identify not only blessed resurgence from utter ruination but also that which will distinguish those who shall live from those who shall die.