Afghanistan. A young boy gets anxious to go to an annual competition of horseback riders that requires both equestrian and fighting skills. The riders face off in a closed ring, a kind of sport that would have had its origins centuries earlier in the nomadic peoples of this region and Central Asia. (Afghanistan lies at one end of the ancient Silk Routes to China.) As the boy travels toward the meet, he is befriended by a mysterious stranger, a man who may symbolize more than just an ordinary person, based on what lies in store for the young lad.