The shore of the Oka River against Nizhny Novgorod. The courtyard of a young widow Nastasya, known as Kuma. Beauty and a friendly disposition attract quite a lot of people of different rank and rank to Qom. Here they can have fun on the coast, forget about the oppressive boredom of the Old Testament pious life, renounce the hypocrisy and hypocrisy prevailing on the other side of the river in the city. On the other hand, the dark zealots of antiquity hate Nastasia, whispering that she knows with evil spirits, that she is an evil sorceress.
On the shore a noisy feast. Nastasya sings to the guests about the endless Volga expanse, which gives rise in the soul to the thirst of the same endless, selflessly wide feeling. Float boats, returned from hunting Prince Yuri, the son of the Nizhny Novgorod governor, the old Prince Kurlyatev. All welcome gentle prince. Nastasya, who had long been secretly in love with the young man, would have been glad to see him as her guest, but Yuri was aloof from the brisk hostess of the visiting yard and did not go ashore. The welcome guest did not come, but the unwanted one came. Only the boats of the princess sailed away, as Nastasya learns that the formidable governor with deacon Mamyrov, police officers and servants will come to her now. Here they are. Trouble threatens Qom. However, struck by the beauty of Nastasia, her sensible, bold and affable speech, the prince suddenly changes his anger to mercy. He takes a cup of wine from the hostess, presents him with a ring and, getting drunk, orders the old deacon Mamyrov to dance with the buffoons for the guests to enjoy. Unwittingly, she conquered Nastasia the old prince.
Garden at the governor's house. On the porch the princess grieves, more recently abandoned by the prince. Mamyrov, who harbored a cruel offense against the prince and Kumu, says that the governor bewitched the Enchantress. The proud princess, left alone, swears revenge on the offender. He is an old prince, disgruntled and angry, absorbed in his feelings for Qom. Conversation with the princess, full of mutual irritation and threats, only heightens the situation. Both leave. A crowd of people burst into the empty garden with a cry, chasing the princely servants, who robbed merchants in broad daylight. Mamyrov, cursed by the people, appears, takes the robbers under his protection and orders the servants to knit the instigators. At the noise of the battle goes Prince Yuri. He stops the fight, reproaches Mamyrov with injustice and gently lets the people go home. Where, however, is the prince himself? He went for Oku, to Qom. Offended by this message to the depths of the soul, the princess pours grief to her only protector, beloved son. Knyazhich promises to kill the enchantress enveloped by his demonic tricks the Enchantress.
Hut Kuma. Evening. The old prince at Nastasya. With tenderness and anger he tries to snatch the consent from Kuma to become his mistress. In vain. She does not need any gold or pearls. The prince is trying to hug her. In desperation, Nastasia puts a sharp knife to her throat. She would rather die than give in to the unforgiving. Furious prince leaves.
Kuma's friend runs in with unkind news: Prince Yury believed the evil slanders and vowed to kill Nastasya. We must beware of him. Kuma is left alone. Life is not sweet to her - there is no need to take care of yourself. She extinguishes the light and, without locking the doors, lies down. Silently enters Yuri. Having drawn a knife, the prince approaches the bed of Nastasya. But his hand does not rise to sleep. Nastasya opens her eyes - she is clean before the princess, before the prince, she loves him more than life. Conquered Yuri can not hold back tenderness and admiration. He fell in love - for the first time in his life.
The thicket on the banks of the Oka. The proud princess disguised as a pilgrim came to the evil healer Kudma for deciding to take revenge on Qume for her husband and son. Only she disappeared into the dwelling of the healer, as Yuri and Nastasya appear. He is expelled from his home and leaves with his beloved to seek his fortune in a faraway land. But do not happen this happiness. During the short absence of Yuri, the princess has time to get Nastasya drunk with poisoned water, and poor Kuma dies in the arms of the returned princess. Her corpse, by order of the princess, is thrown into the river. It's getting dark. A thunderstorm is gathering. Enters the old prince, on the heels of haunting his son and his beloved. Suspecting that Yury had hidden Kumu somewhere, Prince Kurlyatev was in a frenzy killing his son. All in horror diverge. The half-crazy prince is left alone. Thunder strikes, a storm rages with every moment, but even more terrible, fiercer and more desperate is the despair that has seized the sonic killer.