Pskov 1570 year. In the garden of the royal governor, Prince Tokmakov, the girls, Olga's girlfriends, started the game of burners. Olga alone does not participate in the fun game. She is sad about her sweet, mistress, the son of Michael Tucha. Girls carry her with them to collect raspberries. In the meantime, Perfilievna is trying to find out from Vlasyevna, though people say that Olga is “not a princely daughter, but raise higher”. Vlasyevna frowns and dismisses the conversation to another. Painfully restless news is heard from Novgorod. “Tsar Ivan deigned to be angry with Novgorod ... he came with all the oprichnina. Executes everyone indiscriminately, without pity, without mercy executes. " Girls are coming back. They ask Vlasyevna to tell them a fairy tale about the princess Lada. At this time, Stesha, Olga's girlfriend, takes the princess aside and transmits the news from Clouds. Tonight the Cloud will come to the garden to see Olga.
Suddenly, a sharp whistle. The girls get scared, and Vlasyevna leads them into the house. Heard the song Clouds. He came to say goodbye to Olga. After all, she is wooed by the old Matute, and not by the Cloud, the outgoing son, to fight with the noble boyar. The cloud wants to go to Siberia and, returning to Pskov rich, with furs and silver, ask Olga Tokmakov for the hands of Prince. The girl begs him to stay. She promises to beg her father to agree to their wedding. Tokmakov and Matuta are shown on the porch of the tower. The cloud quickly disappears, Olga hides and involuntarily hears the conversation led by her father and Matuta.
Tokmakov tells the future son-in-law family secret. He is not the father of Olga. She is the daughter of Vera Sheloga, the sister of Tokmakov’s wife, and her father is unknown. In the distance, bells are heard; This alarm calls Pskov on veche. Prince and Matuta hurriedly leave. Olga is shocked. “They don’t call for good,” she says thoughtfully, “then they bury my happiness.”
Night. Commercial area in Pskov. In the center - veche place. Crowds of people flock here from everywhere. A messenger from Novgorod reports that the city has fallen, and Grozny goes with Oprichnina to Pskov. Tokmakov is trying to calm the people and offers to meet the king with bread and salt. But here comes forward cloud. He calls on Pskov to defend the will and independence of his native city. Part of the people joins him and goes to the Pskov forests.
Large square in Pskov in front of the tower of Prince Tokmakov. On the square crowded people. Carry out and lay the tables, preparing, on the advice of Tokmakov, to meet Tsar Ivan with bread and salt and intoxicated braga. However, there is no joyful animation in these preparations. The people of Pskov are full of oppressive expectations. The royal procession is approaching the city. The area gradually becomes empty.
Olga and Vlasyevna appear on the porch of the tower. The princess is still under the impression of Tokmakov's inadvertently overheard words. She recalls with sadness as she went to the grave with her mother as a child, not suspecting that her own mother was lying next to her. Vlasyevna tries to calm the girl; True, with this confession the prince wanted to get rid of the objectionable fiancé, Matuta. But Olga does not want to listen to her. A strange feeling seizes her. With anxiety, she is waiting for the king to appear. Meanwhile, the royal squad is shown on the square. Ivan the Terrible himself appears surrounded by oprichnina on the square.
In the house Tokmakova take the king. Terrible annoyed and suspicious. He sees infidelity everywhere. Olga, Stesha, Vlasyevna and hay girls come out of the entrance hall. They carry trays of food. With her eyes downcast, Olga gives the king a cup of honey. But he suspiciously dismisses himself and demands that the owner of the house himself taste this honey first. Tokmakov drinks for the health of the king, and then, having cheered up, Tsar Ivan takes the treat. "Well, bring it to me now, too," he turns to Olga, "but not with a bow, only with a kiss." Olga looks up and directly, without fear, looks into the king's face. Grozny is struck by the extraordinary resemblance of a girl to Vera Sheloga. Olga's bright, open look conquers him. Terrible touched the girl kisses, gives her a ring and invites to stay in Moscow.
Left alone with Tokmakov, the king asked what was the name of Olga's mother. Tokmakov does not hide the truth. Olga is the daughter of Vera Sheloga, and “she covered the sin of her deceased mistress with the honor of her maiden, even though she was my bride,” he says to Grozny. Boyar Sheloga did not believe his wife and left to fight the Germans again, and Vera lost her mind from grief and died. Tokmakov’s story makes a big impression on Grozny: he recalled too many memories in the king’s soul. “May all murders be stopped,” he exclaims. - A lot of blood. We dull the swords of stone. Pskov God keeps! ”
In the dense forests of the Pskov region, the road to the Pechersky Monastery was laid. The sounds of hunting horns are heard - this is the approach of the royal hunt. Lightning flashes, thunder rumbles, a thunderstorm begins. It's getting dark. Singing comes from a distance. Girls go to the forest on a pilgrimage. A little distance from them is Olga; she is waiting for her fiance, and soon the Cloud catches up with her. Olga persuades him to return to Pskov, but he refuses outright.
He calls his beloved to share with him "a free and carefree life." Olga agree. Now, when she learned that Prince Tokmakov was not her father, nothing more connected her with Pskov. Suddenly Matuta appears from the forest, accompanied by servants. In an unequal fight, Cloud was injured. Serfs Matuty forcibly take with them Olga.
On the steep bank of the river Mededni there is a royal headquarters. Night. Everything is immersed in a dream, only Tsar Ivan cannot sleep. Meeting with Olga, hunting in the Pskov forests awakened the memory of the past. Meditation of the king violated the appearance of Prince Vyazemsky. Tsar's servants detained Matutu, who wanted to kidnap Olga. There is no limit to the tsar’s anger, but Matuta, trying to divert Grozny’s attention, says that he detained Olga during a meeting with the “disobedient will of the king” - the Cloud. Tsar orders lead Olga. She falls to the king at her feet and begs to protect her from Matuty’s encroachment, and to pardon Tuech.
With a gullible frankness, she tells the king how she was used to repeating the words of the prayer before a dream: “Lord, have mercy on my father and my sovereign!” The terrible was touched. Sudden noises and loud cries disturb their conversation. Outside, the voice of Clouds is heard. He came with a freeman to free Olga. Infuriated by this audacious attack, the king orders the freemen to be shot, and Tucha to be taken alive and brought to him. Olga wants to escape from the tent, but Grozny is holding her back. Volnitsa is shot. The wind brings to the ears of Olga the parting words of the Clouds. She runs out of the royal tent - and falls, struck by a stray bullet. Tsar's squad slowly brings the body of Olga and down on the carpet. Terrible in terrible agitation bends over her. He does not want to believe his eyes: Olga, his daughter, is dead!
The stakes are gradually filled with Pskovics, who mourn the death of Olga's Pskov woman. The wise words of the people sound, calling for an end to the bloody feud in the name of the highest goal - the unification of the Russian land.