The end of the XVIII century. The reign of Catherine II. In the deep Russian provinces, among the vast steppes of the Ural escaped convict Yemelyan Pugachev proclaimed himself Emperor Peter III of Russia. Under the banner of the Pretender embarked detachments of Cossacks, fugitive serfs, and many spirited people. In these troubled times in the God-forsaken Belogorsk young officer Pyotr Grinyov meets his first love - Masha, the daughter of Captain Mironov. Recklessly passionate love with each other did not want to notice the signs of impending trouble. They did not know that soon they will be an ordeal. They could not imagine how bizarre way their fates intertwined with the fate of the self-proclaimed king, and what an incredible effort will be worth it to save their lives and feelings in the bloody chaos of Russian riot.