After his father's death, young John is forced to leave his home. Penniless but light of heart, he sets out to see the world. Having found refuge in a church one stormy night, John prevents two criminals from robbing the corpse of a man who is to be buried the following day. From that night on, a mysterious stranger accompanies the young man on his travels. One day, the two companions arrive at a court ruled by a heavy-hearted king. They are told that the king's beautiful daughter is heartless and cruel. Whoever wishes to marry her must answer three questions; whoever fails turns to stone. The princess, however, is under the spell of the evil Magnus, who lives in a mountain grotto and can metamorphose himself at will. Magnus refuses to release his hold on the princess, since he draws his strength from the life of her hapless suitors. Together with his companion, John braves Magnus and his cohorts in his attempt to woo the princess. He overcomes several ordeals with the help of his ...