It has been sixteen years since Ki who dethroned Prince Zauloch from the throne of Kiev and took his place. That battle took the lives of all the sons of Zavolokh, and the prince himself had to flee with the remnants of the army. His wife, having learned that she had lost all sons, and with her husband to see her soon, she will not be fated, having kissed the last daughter Osneldu, who was a year old, committed suicide. Thus, Cue could only capture Osneld.
Now an adult girl could not remember her parents, but she knows who separated her from them – Kiy – and hates him. However, his brother, Khorev, makes her feel warm. The young man as could try to facilitate the life of the girl in captivity, which caused her favor.
In one day Asgrad, Osnelda’s mother, brings
Here comes Horev, to say goodbye to Osnelda. Expressing again the words of love, the young man asks if his feelings are reciprocated. The girl says that his love is mutual, but let it not please Horev, for the hour of separation is approaching. Horev suggests that she become his wife and stay in Kiev, but she can not marry Khorev, since he belongs to Kiyu, the enemy of her family, her brother. But the young man does not give up, and offers to ask permission for a wedding at Zavloh. In the hope that their marriage will end the feud between the families, the lovers send a letter to Zavlokh.
But they were not lucky: Upstairs, the main Kiev boyar, hearing the end of the conversation, mistakenly assumes that Khorev plans to displace his brother, enlisting the help of Zaulloch, and shares his suspicions with Kiy. He does not believe that a brother whom he trusts as himself could betray him. To test
Osnelda hears the basses of the pipes calling the soldiers to battle, and understands that things will not finish well, the world will not give it up. The girl asks Astrada to talk with Kia and convince him to change the decision, but the prince is adamant. When Horev is shown to Osnelde, she rebukes him in obedience to a cruel order to her brother, but disobedience to a young man will mean treason, which he can not allow. Then the girl asks Horev not to kill her father, and to reduce the victims in battle to a minimum. nevertheless, they still have a hope that Zavlokh will give his consent to the wedding, and this will put an end to the war.
But their hopes were not justified, and from Zaulokh they are refused. From the realization that she was never destined to be with her beloved, Osnelda is going to pierce herself with a dagger, but Astrada at the last moment has time to snatch the weapon from the hands of the girl.
The siege of Kiev began. Horev is at the head of the defenders and in the battle shows the wonders of courage. But this did not diminish the suspicions of Stalwerch. He shares with Kiy the information that from the dungeon Velkar, Khorev’s confidant, was released and sent to the enemy, and later one of the former subordinates of Zavolok was returned. Kii still doubts the brother’s guilt, and causes the prisoner himself, promising him freedom in response to the truth. The prisoner admits that Velkar really freed him and took him to Osnelda, from which he received a letter with which he went to Zavlokh, and received an answer, returned to Osnelde, but does not know the content of those letters. Kyi frees the prisoner.
Now the prince has no doubts about the betrayal of his brother. He decides to commit suicide, so as not to be a slave of Horev, but before that he is going to kill the cause of all ills – Osneldu.
Osnelda is not going to humble herself and beg for mercy from Kia, but she tries to convince him of Horev’s innocence, telling what kind of correspondence she was having with her father. Cue asks to show her letter, but the girl can not do it, because she tore it. Despite the pity Kiy had felt for her, he orders Stalwer to give her a cup of poison.
Prepared soon Velkar brings news of the victory of defenders over the enemy and the trophy – the sword of Zavolok taken prisoner. Having received such proof of the innocence of his brother, the prince immediately orders one soldier to run from all his might and save Osnelde, but it turns out to be too late: the girl was killed by poison.
Khorev at the same time offers Zablokha to forget old grievances and conclude an alliance. Struck by the nobility of the enemy, Zavloh agrees to friendship and to the wedding of Khorev with his daughter. Upon learning of this, Kii begins to reproach himself for the terrible mistake. In addition, there comes a message that Stalover, realizing the consequences of his suspicions and slander, committed suicide by jumping into the waters of the Dnieper. Kiy publicly admits that he is guilty of Osnelda’s death and asks Khorev to bring him to justice.
But it is not necessary for this Horeva, neither death, nor the throne of the brother will return the life of the beloved. He only asks Kia to release Zavolok from the captivity with the army, and Zavlokh – to take with him and with honor to bury the body of Osnelda. After these words, Khorev takes out a dagger and pierces it in his chest.