- "Gold washes clean easily enough - no matter how bloody or how rotten the fingers that have handled it."
- —Lietpold the Black[1a]
Lietpold the Black, known by more colorful titles such as Lietpold the Bloody, the Butcher, the Liar, Turncoat, Thrice-Cursed and even the Coin-Bought Prince as he is known by former allies and tavern balladeers alike, is a notorious Dogs of War mercenary commander and warrior whose actions have earned him not only a petty kingdom within the dangerous frontiers of the Border Princes, but also a place in popular folklore for his exploits of bloodshed and treachery. As a man, Lietpold's flaws are both many and infamous - he is vain, arrogant, vicious, paranoid, false and cruel to name but a few. But even those he has wronged or betrayed would concede both his skill-at-arms and scorn of danger, as well as his innate mastery of battlefield tactics, the combination of which has led him to victory on battlefields as far apart as the scorching Estalian Plain and the frigid steppe of northern Kislev.[1a][1b]
If there is one factor that has governed Lietpold's life and career as a mercenary above even vanity and pride, it is his avarice - for gold has always been his one true master. As such there have been times when he and his forces have turned upon one employer mercilessly when an enemy made him a better offer, and other occasions when the chance to plunder a foe's baggage train while leaving allies still fighting, or to fall upon a defenceless settlement amidst a wider war without orders and uncaring of its allegiance, has been taken without a second thought.[1a][1b]
Such behavior wins a commander few long term allies and even fewer friends, even among those who live and die in the sell-sword's trade. As such, Lietpold's forces often comprise the worst scum and battlefield detritus the Old World has to offer - wanted men, murderers and renegades willing to follow even so ill reputed a general as he, as there are few others, even among the Free Companies of the Empire that would take such malcontents and villains in. Over the years the list of Lietpold's enemies (many former paymasters included) has grown long, and no hall or house in the Empire has proven safe, forcing him to usurp the petty kingdom of Raven Barrow in the Border Princes over the Black Mountains to the south of the Empire. For dozens of years he ruled, as bloody-handed a tyrant as the Border Princes had ever seen, his hubris swelling to the point where he began to claim to be bastard-blood to Karl Franz and demanded fealty from the lands around him. All this however burned to ash in his mouth when Tamurkhan's host came from the east and swept away Lietpold's kingdom like the tide crumbles a castle made of sand. Defeated and driven before the Chaos horde, Lietpold and what remained of his army fled through Black Fire Pass and to the lands of the Empire beyond, bringing warning of the horrors to come.[1b]
- Gore Prow: It is said by some that Gore Prow was plundered from an ancient Barrow in the Border Princes and others whisper it was given in payment to Lietpold by a dark master for a fell deed done. This black-bladed sword burns and smoulders when it spills blood and darts in its wielder's hand like shadowed lightning.[1b]