- "Dey fight good, dem Kislevites. I fight wit’ ‘em last year when the Gryphon Legion ride south to the Wasteland looking for pay fighting, hey? Dey fight in the saddle, and dey look like dey born there. In fact, I don’ think I never seen one get off his horse. Maybe dey love ‘em a little too much, ifa ya know what I mean?"
- —Enzo Marcoclio, Tilean Mercenary[1a]
The Gryphon Legion forms the elite core of Kislevite military power, as well as a standing full-time company of experienced Winged Lancers. They draw exclusively from the Gospodar nobility and fletch their wings with Griffon feathers, hence their name. The regiment was founded in 1810 IC, as bodyguards to Tzar Gospodar IV. In 1817 IC, they were sent on an expedition into the Worlds Edge Mountains where their leader, Vladic Dostov, singlehandedly slew a Griffon, using its feathers to decorate his wings.[1b]
This heroism gave the regiment the status necessary to act independently, and since then, they have spent their time fighting as mercenaries, largely within the Empire. They are, however, sworn to answer the call of the Tzar or Tzarina, and they fought with notable bravery alongside the Ice Queen during major Chaos invasions.[1b]
Katarin would like to bring the Gryphon Legion more closely under her personal command but is having to work carefully due to the regiment’s long tradition of independence. On the other hand, the Legion has little political commitment to other nobles or locations in Kislev, which makes it an easier choice than regular rotas of winged lancers. The current commander, Tordimir Lubovasyn, is loyal to the Tzarina but does not want her meddling in his running of the Legion; he is not convinced she truly understands the needs of his soldiers. He has agreed to inform the Tzarina of all contracts undertaken by the Legion but has resisted asking for permission, even formally. Tordimir has an unimpeachable reputation for valour, and the Legion is fiercely loyal to him, so the Ice Queen treads carefully. She is, however, paying attention to lower-ranked officers in the Legion, looking for someone more accommodating to groom as Tordimir’s successor.[1b]