Voltan the Dark One is the devil's agent and the evil brother of Hawk the Slayer.
The wicked Voltan kills his own father when the latter refuses to turn over the magic of the "last elven mindstone". Before the old man dies, he bequeaths a great sword with a pommel shaped like a human hand to his other son, Hawk. The hand comes to life and grasps the mindstone. The sword is now imbued with magical powers and can respond to Hawk's mental commands. Hawk then vows to avenge his father by killing Voltan.
Voltan's evil touches the whole countryside. Some time later, a man named Ranulf arrives at a remote convent. Ranulf tells the nuns that he survived Voltan's attack on his people, which resulted in the brutal deaths of women and children. Ranulf was seriously injured in the attack. The nuns nurse him back to health, but his hand cannot be saved. Voltan appears at the convent and kidnaps the Abbess, demanding a large sum of gold as a ransom. The High Abbot sends Ranulf to find someone who might help.