Greymane, also spelled Graymane,[4] originally called "Orjin Samarr"[5] and later known as "Stonewielder",[6] was a former commander in the Malazan military during the Korelri Campaign who had been disgraced and cast out.

He was described as a huge man, with broad shoulders, trunk-like legs, a flattened nose, heavy mouth, deeply set grey-blue eyes, long, grey hair and skin with a dark-berry hue.[7][8] His massive chest was "covered in a pelt of grey hair" while "black hair covered his thick arms."[9]

Greymane's age was unknown, but he was suspected to be quite old. He healed uncommonly well and had the energy and strength of a much younger man. He was originally from the island of Geni, southeast of Quon Tali, where he was the son of a fisherman. When the Stormriders took his father he swore off the sea and joined the Malazan army.[10]

In Memories of Ice[edit | edit source]

Kallor bragged to the Warlord Caladan Brood that he had not faced defeat in a hundred thousand years. Brood countered by saying the High King had chosen his opponents well and asked him if he had ever faced an opponent such as Anomander Rake, Dassem Ultor, the Seguleh First, or Greymane.[11]

In House of Chains[edit | edit source]

On the march to face the Army of the Apocalypse at Raraku, the soldiers of the Malaz 14th Army discussed potential strategy. Sergeant Moak said he heard that Greymane might be recalled from the Korelri campaign to reinforce them.[12]

Another soldier of the 14th Army, Lieutenant Ranal, took it upon himself to reorganise the 8th Legion in the fashion of Greymane. Captain Keneb grumbled about the arrangement considering that Greymane's circumstances had been completely different. The famed commander's choice had been driven by the need for self-contained fighting units serving in a protracted war over a huge territory with no defined fronts. Nevertheless, Fist Gamet chose to maintain the changes.[13]

In The Bonehunters[edit | edit source]

Noto Boil and Ganoes Paran discussed Noto's army career, which had started for the healer with the Korelri Campaign in Theft under Greymane. Noto said that he had tutored in the army under Ipshank before the man became infamous, and he had also met Manask. Noto told Paran that both Manask and Ipshank had remained loyal to Greymane to the last. Paran noted Noto's talent for consorting with the famous and the infamous.[14]

In Return of the Crimson Guard[edit | edit source]

When Greymane joined the Malazan Army his familiarity with the waters north of Korel made him an asset to lead the planned invasion. He was successful at first, but the long stalemate drove him "to try something no one had ever tried."[15] The end result was that Greymane and other commanders were ordered arrested, the Korelri were incensed like never before, and "a lot of people got killed that didn't have to."[16] Of all the Malazan renegades, he was the only one who was not caught, which he attributed to the strength of his cowardice and subsequent flight.[17]

With a price on his head offered by both the Malazans and the Korelans,[18] he joined the Crimson Guard, where he attained the rank of Lieutenant. Although not one of the Guard's true elite, he was the "nearest thing to it."[19]

Greymane was with the Guard's Second Company when they besieged the warlock Shen's fortress atop the Spur in Bael. He led a squad that ended the siege by breaking into the Spur's central staircase and confronting Shen directly. Greymane killed Shen with a two-handed sword that could appear and disappear at will and whose use left him covered in a layer of ice with icicles hanging from his mail skirt.[20] Shen's death freed the Ascendant known as "Father Wind" who was killed by the Guard's chief assassin, Cowl.[21]

With the end of the Crimson Guard Diaspora the Guard's disparate groups began returning to Fortress Haven on Stratem. During Second Company's ocean crossing their ship was surrounded by Stormriders who offered their salute. Greymane noted he could not be the intended recipient because he had told them to stop that years ago.[22] Greymane later apologized to the new recruit Kyle for the death of his Wind God, saying it had not been his intent.[23]

At Fortress Haven Kyle witnessed Skinner and Cowl's murder of fellow Guard Stoop and fled. He ran into Greymane, who allowed him to escape promising to investigate Kyle's claims against the two Guard leaders.[24] When Kyle was officially declared Stoop's killer, Greymane was unconvinced.[25]

The gathered Guard then invaded Unta, the Malazan imperial capital. Greymane chose to stay with the Guard's ships holding the harbour for their eventual withdrawal.[26] Despite his reticence to engage with his former comrades, he was soon given a captain's commission by Commander Shimmer.[27]

The Guard next met the Malazan forces near Li Heng at what would become known as the Battle of the Plains. Greymane, Smoky, and Ogilvy went to Shimmer regarding their suspicions about Skinner and Cowl's role in Stoop's murder.[28] When K'azz returned during the battle confirming the pair's treason, Greymane set off to challenge Skinner saying, "I go now to do what should've been done some time ago."[29] Greymane fought Skinner in a ferocious duel, but was unable to break through the man's enchanted armour and was struck down by Skinner's poisoned blade.[30]

After the battle Kyle and the Lost brothers reunited with a recuperating Greymane in the nearby Great Sanctuary of Burn. They promised to assist Greymane, now a former Guardsman himself and still wanted by the Malazans, in escaping from the encircling Imperial forces.[31]

In Stonewielder[edit | edit source]

Kyle and Greymane by Shadaan

After leaving the Guard, Greymane unsuccessfully tried to run a fighting academy in Delanss under his given name Orjin Samarr with the help of Kyle and the Lost brothers. Unable to leverage his reputation, he could not attract students and the Lost brothers soon departed due to disagreements over teaching methods. Run-ins with the city's criminal element and with Stormguards hunting him for his actions on Korel resulted in Greymane and Kyle's flight by ship.[32]

Their ship was intercepted by a fleet of Malazan men-of-war delivering a proclamation from new Malazan Emperor Mallick Rel. Greymane was appointed as High Fist and put in charge of the land operations of the Malazan Expeditionary Force. He was to return to the Lands of Fist to bring his former command, the now renegade 6th Army army, back to the Malazan fold. Faced with the alternative of continuing a life on the run, Greymane accepted and made Kyle his Adjunct.[33]

Greymane revealed to Kyle that his original failure on Korel occurred when he decided to try talking to the Stormriders. He had waited at the edge of the Ocean of Storms until several had approached him. Then he learned that the Stormriders viewed themselves as the injured party, claiming the peoples of Korel were denying them access to their own territory and preventing them from their ancient obligation. As a gift for allowing them to speak, they presented Greymane with an ancient blade they had found at the bottom of the Cut. When his actions were discovered, Malazan Governor Hemel 'Et Kelal and several minor officers court-martialed him.[34] Afterwards, he was known as the Great Betrayer by the people of Korel.[35]

Among Greymane's officers in the new Korel expedition was Divisional Fist Rillish Jal Keth, another Korelri Campaign veteran and one who had a history with Greymane. Rillish had been a young lieutenant who had sat in judgement of Greymane during his court martial and had decided against him for political reasons. Greymane treated him with seeming disdain and disrespect through much of the campaign.[36]

The Expeditionary Force's naval fleet under Admirals Nok and Swirl broke the Marese blockade before conducting a marine assault on the Skolati port at Aamil. Once the city was secured Greymane sent Fist Rillish and Kyle ahead with an advance force of the 4th Army towards the border with Rool while he followed with the rest of the army a week later. Greymane spent the journey walking amidst his troops. Their journey was opposed by the Lady, Fist's patron goddess, but Greymane's sword deflected the worst of her attempts to disrupt their passage with floods, landslides, and sinkholes.[37]

The invasion ground to a halt at the bridge below the Roolian fortress at Three Sisters. Greymane's mood became dark, he lost weight, and he became withdrawn and sullen, snapping at his officers. When an opening appeared in the bridge's defenses, Greymane himself led the attack.[38]

Marching on to Banith, Greymane established a garrison and pointedly left Rillish and Kyle behind while he took the rest of the army to face Overlord Yeull 'ul Taith on Korelri. Both men felt betrayed, but it was later revealed that Greymane acted out of necessity and compassion. Rillish was left behind on the request of the priest Ipshank in order to aid in the destruction of a physical fragment of the Lady. Kyle was left behind to prevent him from suffering the same fate Greymane foresaw for himself.[39][40]

Greymane by Shadaan

While the rest of the army distracted the Roolians and 6th Army renegades on Korelri, Greymane instructed the mage Devaleth to transport him by Warren to the Stormwall. He asked that Devaleth convey his apologies to Kyle and Rillish then proceeded to destroy the wall that shielded the continent from the Stormriders. Plunging his sword into the ground he became trapped as the wall was ruptured by earthquakes and collapsed, and the sea came rushing over.[41][42]

It was revealed that on the previous mission when he had set out to conquer Korel, he had not done this same task due to the enormous cost in terms of life that would have to be borne by the people. In the end, he decided many would die but at least the centuries of deaths in the name of the Lady would be over. As Greymane drowned, he felt hands take hold of him.[43]

Sailors passing over The Hole on Ring Wall later noticed an armoured giant of man clasping a grey sword lying in repose hundreds of feet below the water's surface. They claimed it was a guardian laying ready in case of the Lady's return.[44]

Greymane's sword[edit | edit source]

Greymane possessed a two-handed great sword seemingly carved from rough dull grey stone that Cherghem called "an artefact unique in all existence, but for one other."[45][46] (The other likely being Burn's Hammer in the hands of Caladan Brood.) Discovered at the bottom of the Ocean of Storms, it was given to Greymane by the Stormriders as a gift when he approached them in peace during the Malazan Korelri Campaign.[47] The sword directly channeled the warren of D'riss, the Warren of Earth and the Path of Stone. It could shield the bearer from earth based magical attacks and release the power of the land against the bearer's opponents.[48][49] The sword could appear and disappear in the hand of the user at will and seemed to radiate cold, often leaving its bearer frosted in ice.[50] The sword earned Greymane the name Stonewielder from the indigenous population of Fist, who correctly predicted that he would use it to bring down the ancient Stormwall.[51][52]

In Blood Follows[edit | edit source]

In the Theftian city of Lamentable Moll, Greymane was known as the Imperial Fist who had led the Malazan invasion force against Theft. Watch Sergeant Guld heard Greymane had been murdered by his own troops.[53]

In Dancer's Lament[edit | edit source]

Greymane's life and reputation apparently predated the founding of the Malazan Empire as his name was mentioned during the time of King Chulalorn the Third's siege of Li Heng. A Hengan veteran scout, Buell, remarked to Li Heng city mage, Silk, that even Greymane himself would have little chance against the man-beast, Ryllandaras.[54]

In Kellanved's Reach[edit | edit source]

In the early days of the formation of the Malazan Empire, a young Greymane was still using his birth name, Orjin Samarr. Orjin left Geni as soon as possible and sailed to Quon Tali to make a living utilizing the fighting and swordplay for which he had an aptitude. Orjin realized that he and his reputation were attracting followers. This group of followers developed into a mercenary force, but Orjin thought it was actually more like a "warband such as the chieftains of ancient times used to lead". At this time, Orjin was very broad in physical build, with a blunt face with thick brows, and - most noticeably - a thick, long mane of prematurely grey hair.[55]

At one point, Orjin and his troop of heavy infantry signed with the Queen of Nom Purge[56] and joined a Nom Purge expeditionary force commanded by High General Elath Lallind. The goal of this expeditionary force was the invasion of the rich northern provinces of their ancient enemies, the twin cities of Quon and Tali - with whom they waged almost continuous war. The night before a decisive battle with the Quon Talians, there was a planning meeting which including Orjin Samarr. Nearly all of the attendees were optimistic, but Orjin announced he was uneasy about the "deep wooded valleys" which flanked the intended battlefield. Orjin thought his band should check these woods for any trace of the enemy. Baron Ghenst Terrall, however, assured the company that his "own personal scouts" had found nothing of concern. This statement satisfied the others, but not Orjin - who still had doubts.[57]

Orjin Samarr's inner circle of lieutenants,[58][59] and self-appointed bodyguards[60] - who would be involved in the upcoming battle were:


Orjin was right to have been uneasy. In the midst of the battle the next day, additional Quon Tali forces emerged from the woods. This caused wide-spread panic among the Purge forces, many of whom broke and fled the field of battle - including the mounted Ghenst Terrall. Orjin stopped the Baron and asked him about these Quon Talian forces. The Baron - reacting to having been caught having given false information - galloped off, leaving Orjin horrified and stunned.[62] Orjin then disengaged his troop from the chaotic melee. Having decided the best place for the Purge forces to rally would be Two-River Fort, Orjin led his troop northward - at a fast pace - towards the fort.[63]

Orjin and his several hundred mercenaries arrived at Two-River Fort and were allowed inside by Prevost Jeral. Under the command of the Prevost, Purge regulars had been garrisoned at the fort.[64] After discussing the situation with Jeral, Orjin informed the Prevost he outranked her - because his mercenary troop was signed to the Queen of Nom Purge. Fortunately, Orjin and the Prevost had a similar mindset and they agreed upon a tentative plan to deal with the following Quon Talian forces, who would have to get to Nom Purge via Two-River Pass. The agreed upon basic plan would require the help and support of the locals - who were referred to as hill-folk of the hill tribes. Orjin, his chief lieutenants, and Jeral met with members of these hill-folk and got their cooperation. The Prevost then gathered her regulars and left the fort to further coordinate with the hill-folk up in the highest parts of the pass. Orjin and his troop stayed at the fort - which was the final fortress between the pass and Purge territory. Thus, the Quon Talian army would have to encounter the fort on their way north.[65][66]

As foreseen, the Quon Talians arrived and proceeded along Two-River Pass to Two-River Fort. The thirty thousand strong Quon Talian Legion was led by Commander Renquill - who stopped at the fort where he and Orjin exchanged barbed remarks. Renquill, having left a group of soldiers to stay and starve out the fort's defenders, continued onward with the Legion. Renquill, however, was caught unprepared by a surprise attack upon the Legion's baggage train. Renquill and the Legion had to backtrack to deal with the catastrophic situation engineered by the combined Purge allies. The fort's defenders took advantage of the confusion to slip away and to clamber up the pass's eastern slope to rejoin the Prevost; the rest of the Purge forces; as well as the hill-folk who were led by their 'hetman', Petel.[67]

Although delayed, Renquill and the Quon Talian Legion continued northward to besiege the important Purge city of Purage.[68] Due to activities by Orjin and his allies, involving the city of Quon, Renquill's Legion was recalled - forcing Renquill to abandon the siege and return to the south. Orjin, among his forces, became known at this time as "Greymane".[69][70] Hereafter, Renquill "dedicated himself" to hunting down Orjin and his troops - declared 'outlaws' by the merchants of Quon.[71]

Orjin and his allies ended up in an endless cat-and mouse-chase up and down the mountain range - which was traversed by Two-River Pass. They kept ahead of the Quon Talians only due to their hill-folk guides' knowledge of the territory.[72] Renquill was grimly determined to catch the fugitives, especially Orjin. The allies eventually neared the end of their resources. As the situation became dire, Yune spoke up - the old shaman said there was a drastic solution that could be considered. Unfortunately, this solution involved a spy in their midst who had been remaining hidden.[73]

This spy was an agent of Kellanved of Malaz Island, and the others were horrified by the idea of assistance from that source. However, Orhan said, "perhaps we cannot be so choosy". Lacking another alternative, it was agreed the spy would arrange for multiple ships to meet Orjin's group at the west coast shore. Until then, the troop needed to survive for three or four days more, and somehow make their way to the shore of the heavily guarded coast. A secret underground route to the shore - known only to the local hill tribes - seemed to offer a solution.[74][75]

Thus, Orjin and his group headed to the west coast via caverns formed by an underground river. In one cavern an undead K'Chain Che'Malle was encountered. Luckily, Yune knew what the creature was and that dispatching it would require its dismemberment. Jeral suggested that everyone should attack the creature all at the same time to overpower it. This decided upon, the progress disabling the K'Chain slowly took place. Orhan delivered a mighty blow directly upon the thing's skull - knocking it off its feet. The others then dismembered it. The group then continued on their way.[76]

Finally, Orjin and the others - led by the hill-folk - reached the coast. There they were met by ships far out at sea, which upon being signaled by Arkady, sent launches to the shore. These launches brought Orjin and his 'host' to vessels converted into troop-carriers. Orjin boarded one of the vessels and met its captain, Admiral Choss. Jeral, at Orjin's side, told the admiral that Orjin was "Commander Greymane". To which Choss replied, "Welcome to service with Malaz, Greymane".[77]

Quotes[edit | edit source]

"Water 'n' me--we don't get along."
―Greymane[src]
Greymane: "That Rider saluted you."
Kyle: "Or he was saluting you."
Greymane: "No. I told them to cut that out long ago."
―Greymane and Kyle viewing Stormriders[src]

Notes and references[edit | edit source]

  1. Stonewielder, Prologue
  2. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 1, Chapter 1, UK PB p.11
  3. Stonewielder, Chapter 3, US HC p.167
  4. Memories of Ice, Chapter 23, UK MMPB p.1009
  5. Stonewielder, Prologue
  6. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 1, Chapter 1, UK PB p.11
  7. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 1, Chapter 1, UK PB p.10/16
  8. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 2, Chapter 4, UK PB p.366
  9. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 1 Chapter 2, UK PB p.50
  10. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 1, Chapter 2, UK PB p.88
  11. Memories of Ice, Chapter 23, US SFBC p.853-854
  12. House of Chains, Chapter 22, US SFBC p.714
  13. House of Chains, Chapter 22, US SFBC p.725-726
  14. The Bonehunters, Chapter 20, US SFBC p.773
  15. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 1, Chapter 2, UK PB p.88
  16. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 1, Chapter 2, UK PB p.89
  17. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 1, Chapter 4, UK PB p.147
  18. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 1, Chapter 1, UK PB p.11
  19. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 1, Chapter 1, UK PB p.10
  20. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 1 Chapter 1, UK PB p.16/18/20
  21. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 1 Chapter 1, UK PB p.23
  22. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 1 Chapter 1, UK PB p.88
  23. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 1, Chapter 4, UK PB p.147
  24. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 1, Chapter 4, UK PB p.192
  25. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 1, Chapter 4, UK PB p.195
  26. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 2 Chapter 2, UK PB p.289
  27. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 2 Chapter 4, UK PB p.367
  28. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 2 Chapter 6, UK PB p.467
  29. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 3 Chapter 2, UK PB p.611
  30. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 3 Chapter 2, UK PB p.619
  31. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 3 Chapter 4, UK PB p.674
  32. Stonewielder, Chapter 1, US HC p.66-71
  33. Stonewielder, Chapter 1, US HC p.66-71
  34. Stonewielder, Chapter 1, US HC p.69-70
  35. Stonewielder, Chapter 3, US HC p.167
  36. Stonewielder, Chapter 4, US HC p.189
  37. Stonewielder, Chapter 6, US HC p.308/313-316
  38. Stonewielder, Chapter 6, US HC p.408/416
  39. Stonewielder, Chapter 10, US HC p.486/518
  40. Stonewielder, Chapter 11, US HC p.542
  41. Stonewielder, Chapter 11, US HC p.542
  42. Stonewielder, Chapter 12, US HC p.576-578
  43. Stonewielder, Chapter 12, US HC p.576-578
  44. Stonewielder, Epilogue, US HC p.624-625
  45. Stonewielder, Chapter 12, US HC p.576-577
  46. Stonewielder, Chapter 3, US HC p.136
  47. Stonewielder, Chapter 1, US HC p.69
  48. Stonewielder, Chapter 6, US HC p.315-316
  49. Stonewielder, Chapter 11, US HC p.574
  50. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 1 Chapter 1
  51. Stonewielder, Chapter 11, US HC p.574
  52. Stonewielder, Chapter 12, US HC p.578
  53. Blood Follows, Section 6
  54. Dancer's Lament, Chapter 12, US HC p.222
  55. Kellanved's Reach, Chapter 1, US TPB p.6-8
  56. Kellanved's Reach, Chapter 1, US TPB p.11
  57. Kellanved's Reach, Chapter 1, US TPB p.6-8
  58. Kellanved's Reach, Dramatis Personae
  59. Kellanved's Reach, Chapter 1, US TPB p.8
  60. Kellanved's Reach, Chapter 4, US TPB p.62
  61. Kellanved's Reach, Chapter 6, US TPB p.100
  62. Kellanved's Reach, Chapter 1, US TPB p.8-11
  63. Kellanved's Reach, Chapter 1, US TPB p.11
  64. Kellanved's Reach, Chapter 4, US TPB p.62
  65. Kellanved's Reach, Chapter 4, US TPB p.62-65
  66. Kellanved's Reach, Chapter 6, US TPB p.99-100
  67. Kellanved's Reach, Chapter 6, US TPB p.99-106
  68. Kellanved's Reach, Chapter 8, US TPB p.122
  69. Kellanved's Reach, Chapter 8, US TPB p.230-133
  70. Kellanved's Reach, Chapter 12, US TPB p.183
  71. Kellanved's Reach, Chapter 12, US TPB p.181-182
  72. Kellanved's Reach, Chapter 12, US TPB p.183
  73. Kellanved's Reach, Chapter 12, US TPB p.191-192
  74. Kellanved's Reach, Chapter 16, US TPB p.243-247
  75. Kellanved's Reach, Chapter 19, US TPB p.292-295
  76. Kellanved's Reach, Chapter 21, US TPB p.313-317
  77. Kellanved's Reach, Chapter 21, US TPB p.318
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