Hungary 1609, and Maria, a young peasant girl, is an accomplished seamstress who dreams of a more prosperous life, away from the constant threat of war, famine and disease. Then an old woman arrives at the cottage and informs Maria that she has been chosen by Countess Elizabeth Bathory to sew a series of elaborate gowns. Entranced by the nobility, Maria dreams of receiving lavish attention and being invited into Countess Bathory's inner circle on arriving at the castle she suspects she is in terrible danger. Servants are beaten and then disappear, the Countess herself is prone to fits of rage, and there are screams in the middle of the night. As Maria explores the castle and unravels its inner secrets, she finds herself a prisoner, as well as an unwilling pawn in Countess Bathory's murderous plot to retain both her power and beauty.