Russian Empire, 1919. By a twist of fate, young idealist Osip Zadunaisky meets an infamous con artist and self-proclaimed Turkish subject Ibrahim Bender. A man of pure thought and aristocratic upbringing, Osip would never have associated with a cunning and unscrupulous swindler, but Bender comes up with an offer Osip cannot refuse. A precious royal relic, a diamond-encrusted golden scepter is hidden somewhere in town; Bender needs a partner on his mission to find it, and offers Osip a share of the profit from selling the treasure. And so begins their joint venture, wrought with comical and dangerous twists and turns, where they have to outsmart and outmaneuver officers of the White Guard as well as the local mafia, who also have their eyes on the scepter. As their quest unfolds, Osip is compelled to learn Bender’s tricks of the trade: charming flattery, delicate deception, soft intimidation… as well as brute force.