Gönningen, Duchy of Württemberg
February, 1633

The icy wind was blowing through Stephan Drechsler's dark hair, as the village school master helped to lower the tiny coffin into its grave, the rough rope cutting into his exposed hands. He noticed neither the wind nor his bloody hands. His mind was too busy trying to fight the despair emanating from his heart. No coffin should ever be this small or this light . . .



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