The party is indeed all Burgermeister Huber had promised. The guest list reads like a roster of the wealthiest companies in all of Europe. The catering is impeccable: Foie Gras, Salmon Meuniere, Cream Puffs, Paella, Truffles. The entertainment is engaging, with clowns that do card tricks and knife jugglers.
An aura of uneasiness lingers about the party. The burgermeister's friend, the Earl of Dartmoor, has been distracted and irritable all night, partaking little of the food, entertainment, or conversation.
Cardinal Soto, come all the way from Rome, has sought the burgermeister's ear, but Huber continues to put him off. Soto's attendants are on edge, none more so than the foreboding nun that constantly hangs at his shoulder.
Destiny is convening here.