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When plague strikes London, Lord Westfield's Men count themselves fortunate they've been invited to perform as part of the wedding celebrations for Sophia Magdalena, the fair maid of Bohemia. The long journey across Europe is a daunting prospect but stage manager Nicholas Bracewell is confident they will arrive safely, and confident the mission Lord Westfield sets them—to deliver secret documents to Talbot Roydon, an English alchemist at the Imperial Court—will go without a hitch. En route, murder strikes one of the actors during their first performance at Flushing. It's the first of many setbacks. Once in Prague, Holy Roman Emperor Rudolph II proves a madcap host. Worse, not only do attacks on the players continue as the royal wedding day approaches, but someone kidnaps Nicholas' sweetheart Anne Henrik...