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Ruslan and Ludmila

ruslan-and-ludmila.jpg Many, many years ago Tsar Vladimir of Kiev held a great feast to honor the marriage of his beautiful daughter Ludmila and the brave knight named Ruslan. Three were three jealous fellows Rogday, Farlaf and Ratmir who would like to see themselves as Ludmila’s husbands. The beautiful wedding ceremony lasted hours and when the feast was over, and new-weds were left on their own, a sudden light flashed through the sky shaking the ground and covering it with rain. A strange mist appeared from out of nowhere and Ludmila was gone. After his daughter’s disappearance, tsar Vladimir was furious with anger. He immediately cancelled the Ruslan and Ludmila’s marriage and offered his daughter’s hand to anyone who could find her and bring her home alive and well. Without hesitate all four competitors started packing up for their mission to find Ludmila. Ruslan, Rogday, Farlaf, and Ratmir went in four directions opposite from each other. Rogday thought, "I must murder the wicked kidnapper!" One day he thought he had found the one and chased him down. To his disappointment, he discovered later that it was the maiden’s kidnapper, but it was his rival Farlaf whom he pushed down to the ditch.

Farlaf could not believe his incredible luck the moment he met a wicked old witch named Naina right there in the ditch, who gave him an advice. She suggested that other knights would rescue the girl. The only thing that Farlaf should ever do is snatching Ludmila from the rival on their way back home. Meanwhile, the knight Ratmir was going south until he came across a mysterious kingdom inhabited only by beautiful and affectionate maidens. No one ever saw or heard from him ever since. After a long time, or maybe a short one, the other two competitors finally ran into each other. The jealous knight Rogday initiated the battle with Ruslan. The two were fighting for hours until Ruslan managed to throw Rogday off his horse into the depth of the Dnieper River waters. Ruslan was the only one left who was still engaged in an active search for his beloved Ludmila.

One day, the brave Russian knight found a cave where he met a good old wizard who said that he had become a wizard in order to win the love of one beautiful girl he fell in love with a long time ago in his country of Finland. With the power of his magic, he was finally successful and managed to win her love. What the young wizard did not realize then that she was not a kind girl. His beloved Naina was wicked and her spirit started affecting her look until she turned into an old ugly witch. Since that time, the Finnish wizard lived alone and never fell in love again. The wizard told Ruslan that the nasty old sorcerer named Chernomor was the one who kidnapped his beautiful bride. He said that Ruslan’s journey will not be easy, but there is a hope since he knew that the story will have a happy ending. Encouraged by the wizard’s words, Ruslan continued his journey. Soon he found an alive and talking giant head of human kind on his way! Every time the head was laughing, there was a powerful wind that was capable to tip Ruslan’s horse over. But the mighty knight Ruslan threw his spear into the head's mouth and was going to strike again with a sword that he discovered in the head’s possession. The head pleaded to the Russian knight to save it. It turned out that the talking head knew Ludmila's abductor very well since Chernomor was its brother. The wicked sorcerer had cut off his brother’s head in a dispute over the magic sword that Ruslan had just found. The head warned the mighty knight that all of his brother great power was concentrated in his long gray beard. “The only way to defeat Chernomor is to cut off his beard,” said the giant head.”Take this sword along. It will help you in your battle.” Ruslan left the head unharmed, instead he thanked it and rode directly to the Chenomor’s palace.

Meanwhile, Ludmila, who Chernomor abducted to make her his own wife, was very unhappy in captivity since she missed her beloved Ruslan. Chernomor put the princess in his beautiful palace with a great garden where she could walk anytime she wanted and enjoy exotic flowers and fairy birds.At one point, Ludmila found a magic hat that made her invisible to others if she wore it backwards. She started wearing the hat quite often so the old Chernomor would not know where she was. But the wicked old sorcerer was determined to win the princess heart and turned himself into an exact copy of Ruslan. When Ludmila realized that she had been terribly tricked, she passed out unconsciously. At an exact this moment, Ruslan arrived to the Chernomor’s palace for the final showdown. As soon as the wicked wizard spotted the Russian knight, he put the hat back on unconscious Ludmila to hide her from Ruslan. Then Chernomor attacked Ruslan. The wicked sorcerer used the magical power of his beard that would allow him to rise high up in the air and attack from there. But Ruslan managed to grab a hold of it and was hanging on it until finally he sliced off the Chenomor's beard with his magical shining sword. The two descended back to the bottom of the palace since Chernomor had lost all his powers with his long gray beard. As soon as the old wicked wizard was gone, Ruslan started searching and calling his beautiful bride.Suddenly, a chance swing of his sword dislodged Ludmila's hat, exposing the pretty maiden, who was still unconscious. Ruslan remembered the words of the Finnish wizard saying that Ludmila shell awake only when she was back in Kiev. On their way back, they met the giant head again, that was about to die now from the wounds that it got during the earlier battle with Ruslan. It died in peace a few minutes later knowing that justice was served and Chernomor had been now defeated. Ruslan and Ludmila rode to Kiev for three days and three nights, when on the fourth day Ruslan felt exhausted and decided to take a rest before proceeding on his journey back home.

While the knight was sleeping, the final cowardly rival Farlaf plunged his sword into Ruslan’s body that killed him. Farlaf then carried unconscious Ludmila back to Kiev himself and was greeted as a great hero by the tsar and the Russian people. But there was great sorrow by the time Farlaf came back since the city of Kiev was besieged by the enemy forces. As the battle for Kiev began, a mighty warrior was spotted in the distance fighting mercilessly with an enemy killing many of them with his magic sword. It was the mighty knight Ruslan, whose breathless body was discovered by the good wizard. He brought Ruslan back to life using his living and dead waters. The mighty Russian knight defeated all of the enemy warriors and saved the city of Kiev. Next, Ruslan rushed to see his beloved Ludmila, who by that time was still unconscious. Ruslan put a magic golden ring on her finger and the princess opened her eyes. The couple hug and kissed and they had been never seen apart.

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