Baron Ludwig von Hendriks
The jeolous cousin of the Grand Duke, the Black Eagle Baron has plotted for years to overthrow Stefen Karamekios and take the throne for himself. A companion of the Grand Duke since childhood, Ludwig followed him to Karameikos and quickly “earned” himself a near-autonomous Barony of his own for “loyal” service. The Grand Duke’s affection for this villainous kinsman is his one blind-spot. While he hears daily reports of the Black Barons depredations, he refuses to consider these reports as anything more than the jeoulous whispers of his cousin’s rivals, a weakness that the cunning Ludwig is all to eager to exploit with his frequent diplays of “loyalty” – including paying far more in “tax” and “tribute” (actually illegally obtained gold from his various raids) than is required by feudal law.
The Black Baron is said to be arrogant, oily and easily enraged. While cunning and deceitful he is easily distracted yet so prone to lies that he has come to believe some of his own falsehoods as fact. He is said to utterly hate and despise his “beloved” cousin and often enjoys personally torturing prisoners to have the misfortune to resemble to Grand Duke in some way. He is a consummate actor and politician, not above controlling others through blackmail, intrigue and even sheer brutality as neccessary. It is a measure of his political skill (and eager readiness to spill blood) that he is able to keep his humanoid troops – drawn from a great diversity or tribes) both disciplined and eager to obey his every command.