Born into a family that is already engaged in a blood feud with another noble house, Otto is sent to live with monks, but is reclaimed at age 12 by his militant, but loving father. The gentle-natured boy is kidnapped and mutilated by the rival family. Pauline, his captors daughter, helps him escape. His father allows him to return to the monks who place him under the emperor's protection. His silver hand is a replacement for the one Otto lost while in captivity, but his injury does not prevent him from maturing wisely and marrying Pauline.