During the 1200s, young Marco Polo, joins his father Niccolò and his uncle Matteo, who recently returned from China, and prepares to visit the Pope who summoned them. The Pope entrusts the Polo family with a trade mission to China and with a personal message of peace for China's Emperor Kublai Khan.
Unknown to all of them is the fact that the peaceful Kublai Khan is facing a treasonous dissension among his Mongol war chieftains, led by his war-loving son. His son wants the throne for himself and desires to destroy all Chinese subjects, in favor of his Mongol ones. He also wants to invade Europe and avail himself of slaves, territory and spoils of war. In Venice, the Polos board a ship for the Holy Lands, presently occupied by the Crusaders.