It is winter, a harsh one, in the year 1332. The city of Salzburg, Austria, a major center of commerce for all of Europe, is covered in a thick blanket of snow. A mysterious Cainite, known only as the Death Witch, has been haunting Europe, destroying Kindred from Londinium to Paris, from Seville to Prague. When several prominent Cainite elders are murdered in Vienna, the Prince of Salzburg calls for a census of all Kindred in the Salzburg region. A group of strangers comes together on the last night of the census to present themselves before the Prince. To their surprise, they find the prince and all the local clan leaders staked through the heart with mysteriously warded wooden stakes.