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In the early Middle Ages the Russian steppes are dominated by Tartars who allow only Vikings to pass through from their northern sites. The alliance is disrupted, however, when the Viking chieftain, Oleg, refuses to join Togrul the Tartar in warring against the Slavs. Oleg kills Togrul and takes his daughter, Samia, as hostage. Togrul's brother, Burandai, the new Tartar chief, retaliates by capturing Oleg's wife, Helga, drugging her, and then leaving her to the lust of his men. An exchange of prisoners is proposed, but Samia has fallen in love with Oleg's younger brother, Eric, and no longer wishes to return to her people. Furthermore, Helga is unable to face her shame and leaps to her death from a fortress tower. Oleg and Eric then quarrel over Samia's fate, but their argument is interrupted by the arrival of the Tartars. In the bloody battle between the two tribes, both Oleg and Burandai are killed, and the Viking fortress is burned to the ground. Eric and Samia escape and take refuge on a ship, which carries them to the safety of the far North.