As the curtain draws back on Christmas Eve at the Stahlbaum house, off to the corner we see a mysterious figure stealing our attention from the merry making of the party. Dressed in a dark cape, we see the tall, hunched form of Uncle Drosselemyer as he whispers in the ears of party guests and bestows clever gifts to his family. To his favorite godchild, Drosselmeyer gifts Clara Staulbaum a nutcracker, exposing her to a magical world of rat kings and candied castles.

But who was Drosselmeyer before he was the old godfather? How did his nephew become a nutcracker and how does he know the rat king?