It was released theatrically at a number of film festivals before being released on VHS by Extra Video.
A grandfather tells his grandson a bedtime story about the ancient Narts.
There is a very respected Nart named Saynag-Aldar who lives in a castle on a hill, and he has a beautiful daughter named Agunda who has eyes for no-one but herself. In a nearby village lives a shepherd named Atsamaz who was given a magic pipe by a god. Though he loves Agunda, only the pipe's music shows his love.
One day, Saynag-Aldar decides that he has had enough, and vows to find a husband for his daughter. He proclaims a contest to see who among the Narts is the most fit, with the gods in heaven deciding the winner. The famous bogatyr Soslan is among the challengers.
The first part of the contest is marksmanship: challengers must hit the bull's-eye with an arrow while riding on a horse. None of them manage to do it, until Atsamaz. However, Soslan comes last, ridding very slowly and mockingly, and shooting backwards, but still his arrow pierces Atsamaz's arrow in half. The gods proclaim Soslan the winner.
The second contest involves dexterity. Atsamaz manages to dance on the edge of a large bowl without spilling any of the liquid inside. However, Soslan dances on the tops of a number of knives which he throws onto a wooden board, and the gods proclaim him the winner.
The third contest involves strength. Soslan lifts up and throws a huge boulder to Atsamaz across a deep chasm. Atsamaz manages to catch it and throw it back, but is unable to throw it all the way back to Soslan. The gods proclaim Soslan the winner. As Soslan basks in his glory, he boasts that no-one in the world is stronger than him. Agunda, who realizes that she doesn't want to marry such a braggart, asks her father to make him prove this. Saynad-Aldar agrees, and sends Soslan away to travel the world and search for anyone who is his match. He makes Atsamaz accompany him, so that he may back up his account.
Before they leave, Agunda hears the music of Atsamaz's pipe, and follows its sound. As he plays, animals stop to listen and flowers emerge from the snow. They meet, and he tells her that the music is for her. Agunda asks Atsamaz to give her his pipe as a symbol of his love, but he refuses, explaining that it is a present from the gods. When she tells him that this means he doesn't love her, Atsamaz breaks the pipe in anger and storms away. Agunda regrets her words, gathers up the pieces of the pipe, and goes back to the castle. As Atsamaz gets ready to throw himself off a cliff, Soslan catches up with him and reminds him that he must accompany him on his journey.
They venture out into the proud tribes that surround the lands of the Narts, and defeat all whom they come across. Finally, they come across a burial site for fallen Narts, where gods are said to grant wishes. Atsamaz suggests that they should leave an offering, but Soslan declines, saying that they have not helped him, and that he will give them 100 deer if they will find him a worthy adversary. Unknown to Soslan, the gods hear his wish.
They transport the two of them to a faraway land, where gigantic man-eating cyclops live. Soslan walks up to one of them, named Uaig, and challenges him. Uaig laughs at them, and asks Soslan to try to pull out one of the hairs on the bottom of his leg. When Soslan is unable to do this, he sends them to a cave where they may find a "more worthy adversary". As they come into the cave, they are grabbed by Uaig's mother. While Soslan tries to challenge her as well, Atsamaz says "let this day bring you fortune, part of my mother". Upon hearing this, she lets them down and says that they are her guests for the day. She hides them in her dress. When Uaig comes into the cave, she feeds him a broth and puts him to sleep, and then transports Soslan and Atsamaz back to their homeland.
However, Uaig sees them go, and follows them. He comes to the valley of the Narts and causes destruction; nobody is able to stop him. A god comes to Agunda, rejoins the broken pieces of the pipe, and tells her to give the pipe to Atsamaz. She does this, and Atsamaz begins to play his melody. The song disorients Uaig, and allows Soslan to shoot an arrow which goes straight through his one eye, causing him to crumble. Soslan proudly declares victory, but there is silence in the valley; all around him are the dead and the dying.
Finally, after the Narts rebuild, Agunda is wed to Atsamaz. Soslan concedes that there is a power which is stronger than him: love.1998—Moscow "Zolotaya rybka" (golden fish) festival: Grand Prix of the international jury
1999—"Orlyonok" Festival of Visual Arts: Grand Prix
1999—Kecskemét International Festival of Animated Feature Films: 2nd Prize
1999—4th Open Russian Festival of Animated Film: Special Jury Prize
1999—Kiev International Festival of Animation: Diplom "Grok"
2000—Moscow "Golden Vityaz" Festival: Golden Vityaz in the category Best Animated Film
2000—Gatchina Festival of Literature and Film: Prize for Best Film About Love