- "I am Grievous, warlord of the Kaleesh and Supreme Commander of the armies of the Confederacy. And I am not a droid!"
Grievous, born as Qymaen jai Sheelal, was the cyborg Supreme Commander of the Droid Army of the Confederacy Of Independent Systems for most of the Confederate Civil War. Grievous was originally a Kaleesh from the planet Kalee, where he lived his early life. During the Kaleesh conflict against the Huk, Qymaen jai Sheelal quickly learned the art of war, specializing in a slugthrower rifle. Quickly amassing a great number of Huk kills, he became a demigod among his people. He eventually met the female Kaleesh Ronderu lij Kummar, a master with the sword. The two became very close, and married. Ronderu later became pregnant and had a son, Vakhno Ivas Sheelal, but she was sadly killed at the hands of the Huk. Heartbroken, Qymaen jai Sheelal took on the name Grievous and turned all his anger and grief toward the Huk. Aided by his elite, he forced the Huk off Kalee and then swarmed their homeworld, conquering the Huk. The Huk turned to the Galactic Republic for help, and the Kaleesh were forced back to their own world by the Jedi and left to starve.
Desperate to help his people, Grievous took a job as an enforcer with the InterGalactic Banking Clan. After consulting with his ally, Confederate Head of State Count Jard Dooku, IGBC Chairman San Hill arranged for Dooku to meet with Grievous as a potential military leader in his Confederacy Of Independent Systems and agreed to join Dooku's Separatist Alliance.
However, after learning that the Huk had attacked Kalee, he headed home to gain vengeance. Unfortunately, a bomb was placed on Grievous's shuttle, Martyr by the Huk just prior to his meeting. The Kaleesh was critically injured, but lived, and Hill arranged for Grievous to be reconstructed as a cyborg
After being made Supreme Commander, Grievous proceeded to wreak havoc on the Republic for the rest of the Confederate War. The General was trained in the art of lightsaber combat by Dooku himself, who was also a former Jedi Master. Grievous was a quick study and eventually came to be recognized as a skilled duelist. Aided by his IG-100 MagnaGuards, Grievous killed many Jedi, and led the Confederacy to victory in many battles. Quickly gaining a reputation as a savage, merciless brute as well as a tactical genius, the cyborg struck fear into the hearts of many with his flagship, the ion cannon, armed Malevolence.
In 0 BJP, Grievous led the Confederate Navy in the Battle of Coruscant, an attack on the Republic's capital. Grievous killed several Jedi and took Supreme Chancellor Dantius Palpatine, leader of the Republic, hostage. However, before the General's flagship, Invisible Hand, could jump to hyperspace, the Republic Navy arrived, and the Chancellor was freed by the Jedi Knights Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, Luke Skywalker, and the turncoat Tol Skorr, whom was also successful in killing Dooku. Grievous fled to the Outer Rim world of Utapau and attempted to regain control of the war, though the Confederacy had been dealt a great blow with the loss of Dooku. Grievous was killed shortly after in the Battle of Utapau by Kenobi, and the Confederacy fell soon after.
Qymaen jai Sheelal was born in 52 BJP on Kalee, a world torn by famine and war. For generations, Kalee had been assaulted without respite by a technologically superior insectoid species, the Yam'rii (referred to by the Kaleesh as the "Huk" or "soulless bugs"), who coveted the reptilian Kaleesh as slaves. The conflict between the two species was known as the Huk War.
Sheelal's father, seeking a useful outlet for his son's anger, taught him how to handle a slugthrower rifle. The young Sheelal proved himself an excellent marksman with a mind as finely honed as any weapon. By eight years of age he had already become an expert sniper with more than forty Huk kills to his credit. By the age of twenty-two, he had slain so many Huk that the Kaleesh people considered Sheelal a demigod.
Sheelal's closest comrade was a fellow Kaleesh warrior and mercenary Ronderu lij Kummar. According to legend, his relationship with this wild and skilled swordswoman had its beginnings in a dream, in which Sheelal saw himself slaying a wild mumuu in the Kunbal jungle with Lig swords. So taken was he with this vision that he set out in his mumuu hunting mask to kill one in reality, but instead of finding a mumuu in the jungle, he saw Kummar. He realized that the slayer in his dream had not been himself, but the woman standing before him in a karabbac mask and wielding twin Lig swords. The two of them were, therefore, considered living manifestations of the cryptic Kaleesh parable Sheelal, or The Dreamer/The Dreamt One.
The bond of the two Kaleesh was very strong, and they became partners in war against the Huk. Kummar taught Sheelal to wield a sword, and in turn he introduced her to the Czerka Outland rifle. Both clad in masks, Kummar with her karabbac skull and Sheelal with his mumuu skull, inherited from his father, who had died fighting the Huk, became legends, twin demigods blessed by their ancestors. Together they mercilessly cut through the Huk invaders in countless campaigns, married, and had a son, Vakhno Ivas Sheelal.
However, in one engagement on the beaches of Kalee, the two of them were separated. Kummar died violently on the Huks' barbed shears, and her body vanished into the Jenuwaa Sea. Sheelal, unable even to retrieve her from the waters, was driven to despair and a horrible psychotic depression. Inconsolable, he set off on a dangerous journey across the ocean to Abesmi, an island-monolith far from the mainland. There, he beseeched the gods to raise her from her watery grave just so he might see her one final time, but the gods remained silent.
Sheelal did what he could to bury his grief. He ended up siring twenty nine other children with nine other wives, but none of them, spouse or child, seemed to be able to fill the void Kummar's death had left in him. Eventually, he realized that it was his destiny to mourn for her as long as he lived. With this realization, Qymaen jai Sheelal, adopted a name more appropriate to a being destined to grieve forever, and, even more terribly, who was determined that he would not do so alone. He would be Grievous, as well as heart-broken, for the rest of his life.
Becoming a cyborgEdit
In the service of San HillEdit
- "And judging from the cloak we found, you are a Kaleesh General, are you not?"
- ―San Hill, to Grievous
Gathering to his side a group of equally bloodthirsty Kaleesh elite, the Izvoshra, and adopting the title of khagan, Grievous became a warlord and managed to force the Huk from Kalee. But his bitterness did not end with that triumph, and he pushed them further back, storming their colony worlds. His attacks and mass destruction of entire Huk planets ensured Kaleesh victory until the Huks turned to the Galactic Republic for help. Jedi Knights, sent to stop the war, sided with the Huks, and hefty fines and embargoes came down upon the Kaleesh. Kalee ended up in poverty, and hundreds of thousands of Kaleesh starved and died.
The arrival of San Hill, Chairman of the InterGalactic Banking Clan, brought an opportunity to Grievous. Hill saw Grievous's potential as an IGBC "collections agent", and in exchange for his services, the Banking Clan offered to take on Kalee's massive debt, thus helping his people overcome the effects of the embargo. Grievous felt disgust at the notion of being a glorified leg-breaker for a soulless megacorporation, but he understood what the agreement would mean for his people, and besides, there was something in this innate warrior that needed to keep fighting, if not the Huk, then someone, somewhere. Eventually he agreed, taking command of the Clan's private army of droid enforcers.
The IGBC kept its promise, alleviating Kalee's deficit and resuscitating its trade. In exchange, Grievous became an extremely effective enforcer. It was through his efforts that the IGBC aggressively collected overdue credits from Ord Mantell and seized Phlut Design Systems when the company defaulted. But he found he missed the comforts of his former life, he wanted his old elite, the Izvoshra, but apart from himself, the Banking Clan would not hire Kaleesh. He would have to make do with droids, but, having no confidence in the IGBC's basic battle droids, he demanded more intelligent models to take the place of his elite. With Count Jard Dooku's permission, Hill consented and began production on the IG-100 MagnaGuards. Grievous, at first, was disgusted with the droids because they were completely mindless. He soon demanded they be reprogrammed to watch him in combat and learn how to fight like his old comrades in his elite Huk-killing team several years before.
The fall of MartyrEdit
Soon, however, Grievous learned that the Huk had vandalized sacred Kaleesh burial grounds on the colony worlds, and that the Republic had done nothing. This news reawakened his desire to act directly in defense of his people, so he abandoned his contract with the Banking Clan and returned to Kalee to avenge the desecration. San Hill was far from pleased. He considered ordering Grievous's assassination, but he feared the vengeance the Kaleesh would take if he survived. Instead, Hill convinced Grievous to meet with Count Dooku to join his Separatist cause.
He arranged for a meeting to take a place on Kalee, and on the day of the meeting, Grievous and his Izvoshra boarded his troop shuttle, Martyr. They set off to meet with the Count, unaware that the Huk had planted an ion bomb aboard. The resulting explosion sent the Martyr plunging into the Jenuwaa Sea. His body, hemorrhaging and in shock, was dragged from the water, and Dooku used the arcane heart stun technique to keep him from succumbing to cardiac arrest. Then, MagnaGuards dragged him to a nearby shuttle, where FX-series medical assistant droids worked to stabilize his condition en route to a hospital.
Personality and traitsEdit
- "Listen to me, Jedi. I do not care about your politics. I do not care about your Republic. I only live to see you die!"
Grievous was a cold, merciless being. Even as a Kaleesh warlord, he displayed no mercy toward his enemies, a notable example being his brutal counter-offensive against the Huk when they attempted to capture Kalee. Grievous fought boldly, pushing them back and showing no remorse for the slaughter he perpetrated. When the Jedi interfered, Grievous developed a great hatred for them, and the Republic in general. After his shuttle crash, Grievous was left feeling bitter and cheated, having been robbed a proper warrior's death. When he was offered to become a cyborg, he took the offer, as he had come to see flesh as weak. However, despite this viewpoint, he remained secretly humiliated by his resurrection as a cyborg. After the crash, Grievous also began to compare himself with the Jedi and became determined to equal them. To this end, he constantly submitted himself to improvements to boost himself up to their caliber. Although he initially took Jard Dooku's bestowing of the Supreme Commander of the Droid Armies title as an insult, Grievous came to highly respect the Count, considering him the Separatists' only necessary political leadership.
On the battlefield, Grievous was an excellent commander and an ingenious tactician, fighting hard to bring down the Republic. He had no qualms with sacrificing civilians to ensure his own survival and exploited the Jedi's compassion for the clone troopers under their command, exemplified during his attack on the Kaliida Shoals Medical Center. Indeed, he even took pleasure in attacking the planet Dorin and its Republic-loyal citizens, believing that they should suffer the consequences for staying loyal to the Republic. His acts of wanton destruction during the war caused him to become an avatar of terror in the eyes of the Republic populace. However, despite these traits, or rather, because of them, Grievous was arrogant. His hubris eventually led to his death at the hands of Obi-Wan Kenobi. In addition to his arrogance, Grievous was also accused of cowardice, as he frequently fled whenever the tide turned against him.
Though Grievous demonstrated incredible brutality and a singular lack of mercy or compassion toward his enemies, he was not entirely heartless and did show empathy. Grievous cared deeply for his people, especially Ronderu lij Kummar. The two were very close, and after her death, Grievous was left distraught and angry. His rage only intensified, and he became desperate to crush the Huk, if for no other reason than to honor her memory. Though he remarried, none of his wives could replace Kummar. Even after his reconstruction as a cyborg, Grievous was not completely emotionless. He even went so far as to display pity toward a Jedi, allowing B'ink Utrila, the Jedi in question, to score two minor hits on him before killing her. When he did, he took care not to mutilate her body. He also showed a certain amount of attachment to Gor, his pet roggwart, whom he doted on while housing at his lair on the third moon of Vassek. Grievous was visibly angered when Kit Fisto killed his roggwart, citing it as another crime for which the Jedi Order would pay dearly.
Grievous despised Nute Gunray, although the feeling was mutual. Their relationship had an extremely rocky start when Gunray, who was used to treating droids as utterly disposable and insignificant, treated Grievous as just another in a long line of command drones. Grievous, with his humiliation due to his resurrection as a cyborg, absolutely hated being referred to as a droid, often lapsing into a violent rage whenever referred to as such. The general saw Gunray as foolish, weak, and arrogant, and often secretly hoped that Dooku would give him leave to kill the Neimoidian. Gunray, in turn, continued to hold the view that Grievous was a servant droid, and even displayed the audacity to stand up to the General and question his orders, though he frequently backed down when the cyborg started resorting to death threats. Grievous also disliked Gunray's long-time associate Rune Haako and other Separatist leaders, considering them greedy and disgusting.
Although a natural rival with Asajj Ventress for Count Dooku's attention, Grievous shared a similar trait with her: a contempt for the mindless battle droids under his command. Finding them weak and stupid and going so far as to call them useless, they became frequent targets for his frustration, for which he was criticized by Dooku. Grievous made a rare exception for his IG-100 MagnaGuard bodyguards, whom he personally trained with and garbed in cloaks reminiscent of those found amongst his people.