The Warlord was with Chang Kai Shek's nationalists during the Chinese Civil War before working for HYDRA. He then exterminated the Mnnzz' Guthir tribe of the Savage Land, except for their Princess, Xantia. Warlord then stole their land, and in the process made an enemy of the Princess. He set up a base of operations in a prehistoric temple complex built by the Eternals.
The Warlord was organizing a Martial Arts Tournament in the Savage Land. Xantia had become a problem, so he sent HYDRA operatives to ambush her. She killed them all, and discovered about the tournament. Meanwhile, his recruiter approached the Guvnor and Dragonfly. They, and various other great fighters, took part in the pre-qualifying rounds, before travelling to the Savage Land.
The Warlord greeted the contestants and revealed that the tournament would be to the death. He laid on entertainment for the competitors. That night, his operation came under attack from SHIELD. Unbeknownst to them all, SHIELD had been supplied information regarding genetically engineered "super-poppies" (synthetic opium derivative) by the Mandarin and Shinobi Shaw, who wanted the Warlord operation destroyed for their own reasons. Xantia seized her chance and killed the Warlord, and SHIELD torched the fields of opium.