Season of the Witch

Set in the 14th century, three women accused of witchcraft are hanged by a priest. The priest performs a ritual to prevent the bodies from coming back to life. While successfully completing the ritual for two of the bodies, the third takes on a demonic appearance and kills the priest. Meanwhile, Teutonic Knights Behmen of Bleiruck (Cage) and Felson (Perlman) are engaged in a (fictional) crusade, taking part in several different battles throughout the 1330s, eventually taking part in the Smyrniote crusades. After witnessing the massacre of civilians during the 1344 capture of Smyrna, the two knights choose to desert the Order and the crusade and return to Germany.

While traveling through Styria, they encounter the grotesque sight of people infected with the Black Death and soon discover that the Holy Roman Empire has been swept by the plague. Upon entering the medieval town of Marburg, the two try to conceal their identity as deserters, but are revealed as knights by the crest on Behmen's sword, and he and Felson are arrested. They are taken to Cardinal D'Ambroise, who is infected with the plague. The Cardinal asks the knights to escort an alleged witch suspected of causing the plague, to a remote monastery where an elite group of monks reside, capable of determining if the girl is truly a witch. If she is found guilty, the monks know a sacred ritual that can cancel her powers, and stop the plague that is devastating Europe. The two knights agree under the condition that she will be given a fair trial and that the charges of desertion against them are dropped. The Cardinal agrees, and they set out accompanied by a priest Debelzeq, Kay of Wollenbarth, a young altar boy who wants to become a knight like his deceased father, Eckhart, a knight whose family were killed by the plague, and the well-traveled swindler Hagamar who is serving as their guide to the monastery in return for a pardon. The witch, a young girl later identified as Anna, shows hatred towards Debelzeq and forms a bond with Behmen.

 

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