In Tibet, following the World War I, American Lamont Cranston (Alec Baldwin), succumbing to his dark instincts, sets himself up as a warlord and opium kingpin under the alias of ''Yin-Ko'' (said to mean "Dark Eagle" in Mandarin Chinese; "ying" means eagle, however it is unclear what "ko" means). He is abducted by servants of the Tulku (Brady Tsurutani, voiced by Barry Dennen), a holy man who exhibits otherworldly powers and knows Cranston's identity. He offers Cranston a chance to redeem himself and become a force for good. Cranston refuses but is silenced by the Kīla (Buddhism) (Frank Welker), a mystical, sentient, flying, four edged dagger. Ultimately, Cranston remains under the tutelage of the Tulku for seven years. In addition to undergoing rigorous physical training, he learns how to hypnotize others, read their minds, and bend their perceptions so that he cannot be seen, except for his shadow.