Greed, corruption, ignorance, stupidity, and disease. Midsummer, 1349: the Black Death reaches northern Germany. A family of strolling players travel to Hamelin for the Mayor's daughter's wedding to the Baron's son. He wants her dowry to pay his army, while his father taxes the people to build a cathedral he thinks will save his soul. A local Jewish apothecary tries to find a treatment for the plague. The Priests charge him with heresy and witchcraft. A mysterious minstrel (Donovan), who joined up with the players and who has soothed the Mayor's daughter with his music, promises to rid the town of rats for a fee. The Mayor agrees, then reneges after the rats have been dealt with. In the morning, the plague, the Jew's execution, and the Piper's revenge come at once.