The boy who would come to be named Ghost was with a group of Viking colonizers who planned to exterminate the local population. Their dragon ship was somehow destroyed with the passengers brutally killed, leaving Ghost as the traumatized sole survivor. A native woman finds Ghost in the wreckage and adopts him as her own son.
In his dreams Ghost recalls the Vikings massacring some Indians. Ghost tried to stop his father from killing an infant, and refused to kill anyone. His father then beat him cruelly, disowning him.
The truth of his dream can be seen by the scars on his back.
Years later, Ghost remains tormented by his dreams, which along with his different appearance, interfere with his ability to fully assimilate into the community. He has feelings for a young woman from an allied tribe named Starfire, the daughter of Pathfinder, a man searching for a worthy successor.
Later, while hunting and gathering with the group, a young girl from Ghost's tribe wanders off, encounters a Viking and is attacked. She escapes back to the village, but is followed by the Vikings. They raze the village and slaughter nearly everyone, except a few men whom they want to murder individually in "duels." Ghost arrives back at the village too late. The Vikings decide to make Ghost duel; he maims his opponent and escapes. Injured during the pursuit, he hides in a cave where he is found by a hunting party from Pathfinder's tribe. They bring him home, and the warriors discuss taking the initiative against the Viking invaders. Ghost, however, warns them that their wood and stone weapons are no match for the Vikings' metal armour and blades. He demonstrates this by using his sword to easily cut a bow in half. Ghost advises the villagers that their only chance of survival is to flee, and he departs to take on the Vikings alone. Pathfinder instructs his people which route to take.
Ghost finds that he has been covertly followed by a mute admirer. In an abandoned village, they set a series of traps. Starfire, meanwhile, has chosen to leave the tribe and finds Ghost and his colleague. The three use traps and deception to pick off Vikings one by one, looting armor and weapons. Pathfinder, like his daughter, also finds Ghost and joins the fight. When his tribe realizes Pathfinder is missing, a group decides to go back and fight. Unfortunately, they arrive just as Ghost's group is springing their largest trap. The war party hurries down a slope and falls into a huge pit with stakes at the bottom.
Eventually, the mute is killed, and Pathfinder, Ghost and Starfire are captured. Ghost is recognized as the son of a Viking and is able to speak their language. The Vikings torture Pathfinder but he refuses to reveal his tribe's location, so they kill him. The Vikings next threaten to torture Starfire if Ghost will not betray the location of other villages, so Ghost agrees to help the Vikings. Starfire is furious that he would betray the Indians.
First Ghost leads them to the most recently abandoned campsite. He covertly picks up an abandoned doll, then promises to lead the Vikings in pursuit of the tribe. When they come to a crossroads, he plants the doll as evidence of the path.
When they come to a large lake, he points out the mountain path, but several Vikings dismiss that and insist on crossing the ice. The weight of the men, armor and horses quickly breaks through the ice. The mountain path is the only choice.
Ghost leads them on the mountain, which becomes a dangerous cliffside path. He insists that everyone be tied together to reduce the risk of men falling off the high cliff, and the Vikings do as he says. Clever Ghost then creates a domino effect so the entire string of Vikings falls over the cliff, all tied together. However, the Viking leader saves himself. After unsuccessfully dueling on the mountainside with the Viking leader, Ghost shouts to start an avalanche. He eventually shoves the invader off the edge of the cliff, ending his life.
Ghost returns to Starfire with Pathfinder's necklace, thus making Starfire the new Pathfinder after her father. Ghost assumes his position as the Coast Watcher, bravest of their tribe.