Around 1460 (and presumably much earlier), a warlord wearing an iron mask had conquered parts of Persia and enslaved several people for the construction of the Pillar of Flesh. Officially, it was a testament to his might and an attempt at deifying himself, although in reality, his being a disguise for Pious Augustus, he created it as part of the Ancients' plans for dominion over Earth, deliberately choosing it at the Forbidden City for the monsters present.
At some point, he and some soldiers managed to defeat a soldier and lorded over him. However, the knight saw through the disguise, causing Pious Augustus to use the soldier as the foundation for the then-upcoming construction project for the Pillar of Flesh due to being impressed with his actually seeing through the disguise.
In 1460, the warlord's soldiers had captured several workers, including a Venician architect by the name of Roberto Bianchi, and forced them to work on the construction efforts, and in the case of Bianchi, survey the foundation to make sure that it was ready for construction. He then personally met with Bianchi shortly after the latter inspected the key areas of the foundation, and then congratulated him before telling them to resume construction, despite Bianchi specifically stating they can't build there because of it being infested with "demons and devils," even telling him that its occupants are the reason he specifically chose the construction site.
He then had various people thrown into the pillar basin, including Roberto Bianchi, whom he had used as "[Bianchi's] largest contribution to the project" as thanks for inspecting the pillar.
Presumably, Pious Augustus abandoned the use of the disguise after the construction of the pillar and used the disguise of Phillipe Augustine afterwards.
- When throwing the prisoners into basin in the ending of Robert Bianchi's chapter, the warlord (or rather, Pious Augustus as the warlord) says "I am the Scourge of God, appointed to chastise you, since no one knows the remedy for your iniquity except me. You are wicked, but I am more wicked than you. So be silent!" These are the exact same words that the real-life warlord Tamerlane Khan said just prior to sacking Damascus. Whether this was intended to imply that the warlord was Tamerlane Khan is unknown.