The city of Frankfurt glowed in the autumn dawn. Though the sun’s rising awoke the city’s occupants, the Wahlkapelle remained silent, but for the scurrying of servants. Albrecht Abdecker looked in the main doors towards the altar. The purple hung, fit for the occasion. A short, squat priest knelt before it, busy with his morning worship. Abdecker walked up behind the priest, and scuffed a foot on the stone floor. The priest, startled, turned to look at him.
“May I help you, my son?”
“Yes, Father. Could you administer the sacrament to me this morning? I have a terrible feeling of impending doom, and wish to be ready to meet my savior, if it should come to that.”
“Of course, my son. It is an odd request, but I will gladly grant it. Some of us are touched by the Lord, and know things we have no right to.”
“Thank you, Father.”
The priest conducted a quiet ceremony, providing both bread and wine, body and blood to Abdecker. The priest concluded the ceremony with a blessing.
“May the Lord protect you in all your endeavors, and may He forever watch over you. In the name of the Father, the Son, and Holy Ghost.”
Abdecker gave the diminutive priest thanks, and walked out of the chapel. He surveyed the chapel’s grounds, particularly at the towers built to house the Electors and their retainers. This would be the most difficult thing he had ever done. The Lord’s teachings were quite clear on the subject of murder. The subject of heresy was also clearly discussed, and there was no room for argument. Which commandments were more sacred than the others? Truly the heretics would burn for their transgressions.
Abdecker had no quarrel with the heretic peasants, as they made their decision to visit Lucifer on their own, but the princes were far worse. They intimidated God-fearing men, forcing them to leave the path of righteousness on pain of death or worse. Even the heretic princes could be tolerated, for the price of rectifying them would be high.
The Imperial Throne was the bulwark of Christianity, standing tall against the heresies of Luther. It had always been the Protector and Shield of Europe against the threat of invasion by the Muslim hordes. The Emperors since Charles protected true Christians against the encroachments of the heretics. However, their hands were tied by their own allies. The Catholic League’s opponent, rather than the heretics, seemed to be the Emperor himself. All this led to today.
A gardener came around the corner, attention focused on the grounds. Abdecker coughed quietly, to get the man’s attention.
“Sir? A moment of your time, if you please.” The gardener stood up, very still, almost in shock that anyone would address him.
“Of course, my Lord.”
“I seem to have become misoriented. Could you tell me which tower the Archbishop of Köln resides? I was to meet one of his ministers at daybreak, and I fear I will be late.”
“Of course, my Lord.” The man’s hand stretched towards the nearest tower. “That is the tower you seek, my Lord.”
“Thank you.” Abdecker withdrew a coin from his pocket, and placed it in the gardener’s hand. “I greatly appreciate your help.”
The gardener stared at the heavy coin in wonder. It was likely more money than this man had seen in his life.
“It was my honor, my Lord.” The man bowed, and scurried away with his new-found wealth.
Abdecker adjusted his cloak cautiously; ensuring the long knife still lay concealed beneath his cloak. The heretics were ecstatic. They thought they had victory within their grasp. No Christian could stand aside for that. If he were damned to Hell for his actions, so be it. For his sacrifice, thousands of others would remain true to Christ. His conscience was clear.