The movie opens in the late 1200’s with guards pulling a crying woman through a crowd. She is crying that they all know her and that she is not a witch. She reaches a bridge where a knight, a priest and 2 other women wait for her. The priest tells her if she repents that she will be forgiven. The woman starts to say that she practiced witchcraft (to save her life). The priest asks if she has signed a contract with Lucifer. The second woman starts to protest that she only made a salve with pig fat and the third woman, a creepy old woman, tells the priest that he is going to burn in Hell. The priest says to hang them all, and the first woman starts to scream that he said she would be saved. The priest responds that he meant her soul. After the women are hung the guards lower the bodies in to the water and leave. The priest protests that he needs to read from the Book of Solomon over the bodies. The knight replies that they have been hung and drowned, and that was enough for him. The priest comes back at night and starts to pull up the bodies. He pulls up the first woman and reads over her. Nothing happens. He pulls up the old woman, and while he reads over her she screams and throws up on him before going still. He tries to pull up the second woman, but the body seems to be stuck. While pulling on the rope, he gets yanked into the river. He starts to scream and climb out of the river. He sees the woman when he reaches the bridge, and she is possessed. The demon/woman wraps a rope around the priests neck and throws him over the side of the bridge. She burns his book and leaves.
Next is during the Crusades in the mid 1300’s. In the desert, a group of crusaders is getting an“inspiring” speech from a priest. Behman (Nicolas Cage) and Felson (Ron Pearlman) are joking about how the person who kills the most men will drink for free that night. We see the men fighting side by side over the next 9 years, and becoming disenchanted with the crusades and all the killing. During a battle, the soldiers successfully ram open a gate and start killing people.... only to realize that they have just killed a group of women and children. Behman is horrified at this, and he and Felson tell the priest that they quit. The priest gets mad and starts to yell at him that he can not just leave, and he tells the priest to try to stop him.
A month later Behman and Felson walk along the coast and come upon a little farm with the animals running all over the place. They go into the house and find a couple that have died from the plague. They burn the house and move on towards the town. Felson tells Behman that they should avoid the town since they are deserters. Behman said that they must go in for horses. When they reach the town they see that everyone is starving and/or dying from the plague. They meet a man named Eckhart. He tells them the plague has been going on for 3 years and that he lost his two children and wife to it. He is surprised that the men have not heard of it. They cover and say that they have been traveling and are just now returning. While buying two horses from the livery, the owners son drops Behman’s bundle and his crusades sword falls out. The livery owner sees the sword and knows that he is a deserter. While Behman is telling Felson that they must leave, the guards show up to arrest them. The men fight and Behman and Felson surrender due to being out numbered.
On the way to the dungeon, they are stopped by Father Debelzaq. They follow him to the Cardinal's room where they see that him eminence is dying of the plague (he is horribly disfigured). He tells Behman and Felson that they have caught the witch who cast the plague on them and that they need them to transport her to the monastery for trial. Behman says that he no longer serves the church and a pissed off Cardinal sends the men to the dungeon. While in the dungeon the men chat about how they kill deserters, personal body odor and the quality of the dungeon. Behman looks across to another cell and sees a girl crawling around on her hands and knees. Felson says that must be the witch and Behman says that the church has special ways of getting people to confess to anything that they want them too. Behman wakes from a battle nightmare and sees that the girl has been beaten and is crying on the floor.
The next day the men tell Debelzaq that they will take them to the monastery if they promise the girl a fair trial and a full pardon for them. Later the men are going over the route and decide that they need a merchant to show them the best way to get there. They find Hagamar in the stock for swindling people with fake relics and for a pardon he agrees to lead the way. The men go to get the girl (who is suppose to be drugged), and she attacks them. They are surprised how strong she is. Felson hits her in the head and knocks her out. Behman, Felson, Eckhart, Hagamar and Debelzaq, head out with the witch locked in a cage/wagon.
While traveling, the witch tells Behman that she can tell he is kind, and that she only fought because Debelzaq hurts her and she is scared of him. Meanwhile, Debelzaq is telling Eckhart how the girl was found outside of the village speaking a language that they did not understand and that the plague started after she showed up. It also happened in three other towns where she went. Eckhart said that she did not come to his town before the plague came. Felson rides beside Behman and mentions that they are being followed. The men hide and catch the rider who is following them. It is Ky; the Cardinal’s altar boy. The Cardinal has died, and Ky wants to apprentice to Behman and become a knight like his father. Ky and Felson argue and sword fight. Ky shows some skill and Behman says he can come along.
When they stop for the night the men chat around the fire. When asked how they were recruited Behman says that a priest came to Felson’s village and offered absolution for service (2 years for adultery, 3 years for theft) and Felson said to sign him up for 10 years. They set up watch and Eckhart goes first. The priest goes to relieve him, and Eckhart says that it is not right what they are doing and wants to free the girl. As Eckhart starts to leave the girl begs him not to leave her alone with Debalzaq. Eckhart goes to sooth her (she reminds him of his daughter Milla) and the priest goes to stop him. The girl knocks out Eckhart, grabs the priest, stabs him through the hand with his own cross, steals the key and escapes. The men chase after her, and they all end up in a small village where everyone has the plague. They finally chase the girl into what seems to be a maze. The men split up, and Eckhart thinks he hears and sees his daughter calling to him. While he is chasing his daughter, the men realize that it is not a maze but a mass grave. Eckhart still running around after his daughter is accidently stabbed and killed by Ky. They find the girl, and she apologizes about escaping saying that she was just afraid of the priest. The priest claims that the girl is trying to turn them on each other by playing on their weaknesses.
The next day the group arrive at a bridge that they must cross. The bridge is old and rotting so they take all the horses across and pull the wagon by hand. Ky and Behman pull the wagon while Felson and the priest ease it across with a rope. The priests hands get hurt badly from the rope, and he drops it causing the wagon to go crashing across the bridge, dragging Felson with it. Ky and Behman are knocked over the side, and the girl grabs Ky to keep him from falling. Behman pulls himself back up and they all start pushing the wagon across the breaking bridge. They make it across to the forest just as the bridge breaks. Later Ky thanks the girl for saving him.
That night Behman wakes to find Hagamar sneaking off to kill the witch with a cross bow. Hagamar says that they can kill the girl and then just say that she died on the way; no one will know. Felson grabs the bow from behind and says that he will know. The witch howls from her cage and wolves start to circle the camp. The men all fight and kill the wolves. As soon as they are done, more wolves show up. Behman yells for everyone to run and takes off in the wagon. Hagamar falls behind and is eaten by wolves. Behman and the others comeback but they are too late. The next morning Behman stops the wagon and gets ready to kill the girl. The priest begs him not to, and that she needs to be tried by the monks. Felson tells him not to do it that the end is in sight : they have reached the monastery.
When they reach the monastery, there is no answer at the gate, so Ky climbs the wall and lets them in. The priest says that they are all in vespers, so the men head to the chapel. When they arrive they find everyone dead from the plague. The priest loses hope and says the only thing left to do is pray. Behman finds a monk who is still barely alive and is directed to a book on the altar. It is the book of Solomon. The men grab the book and go to preform the exorcism on the girl. The girl starts to hiss and yell at the priest and Debalzaq realise that this is not a demon but Lucifer. The girls face goes demon, and she melts the bars of her cage. She attacks the men and then flies off into the tower when the priest throws holy water on her.
The men prepare to go after the demon, and Behman tries to release Ky from his vow. When Ky refuses to leave Behman knights him. When Ky protests that he has not earned it, Felson tells him that he will. The men enter the tower and find a lot of dead monks tied to desks. They were making copies of the book of Solomon, to be sent out into the world. They then realize that the demon wanted to be brought to the monastery, and it only killed Eckhart and Hagamar because they tried to free it/kill it before it reached there. The demon then shows up and starts yelling that the book has been keeping it from taking over for centuries. Demons possess the dead monks, and they attack the men. The priest starts the exorcism and the men start to re-kill the monks by cutting off their heads. Felson gets stabbed in the back by a monk and dies. The demon comes up behind the priest and breaks his neck. When the demon tries to grab the book it burns its hand. Behman fights the demon and is about to die when Felson attacks the demon from behind telling Behman he will be buying the ale tonight. Behman is knocked aside and the demon traps Felson in a bear hug and burns him to ash. Behman then attacks the demon and pins it to the wall with knives. While he holds the demon to the wall, he yells for Ky to finish the exorcism. While Ky reads from the book, the demon starts to stab Behman with the tips of its wings. When Ky is done reading the demon burns up and turns to ash. Ky runs to a dying Behman and asks him what he should do. Behman looks over and sees the girl lying in the middle of the room. He tells Ky to protect the girl. He looks over at the girl and dies.
Ky is burying Felson, Debalzaq and Behman with the girl at his side. She says they gave so much, and she does not know what to say. Ky tells her to speak from the heart. She says that her name is Anna and that she will always be grateful to them. They get on their horses, and Anna asks Ky to tell her all about them. They ride off together with the book of Solomon in Ky’s saddle bag. Anna (in a voice over) says that the plague came to an end that day and that people would never know the truth about what happened.
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