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 Blood FollowsEdit

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.[11]

In Memories of IceEdit

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.[12]

In Return of the Crimson GuardEdit

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."[13] 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."[14] 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.[15]

With a price on his head offered by both the Malazans and the Korelans,[16] 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."[17]

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.[18] Shen's death freed the Ascendant known as "Father Wind" who was killed by the Guard's chief assassin, Cowl.[19]

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.[20] Greymane later apologized to the new recruit Kyle for the death of his Wind God, saying it had not been his intent.[21]

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.[22] When Kyle was officially declared Stoop's killer, Greymane was unconvinced.[23]

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.[24] Despite his reticence to engage with his former comrades, he was soon given a captain's commission by Commander Shimmer.[25]

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.[26] 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."[27] 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.[28]

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.[29]

In Stonewielder Edit

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.[30]

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.[31]

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.[32] Afterwards, he was known as the Great Betrayer by the people of Korel.[33]

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.[34]

Spoiler warning: The following section contains significant plot details about Greymane.

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 attempt to disrupt their passage with floods, landslides, and sinkholes.[35]

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.[36]

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 he foresaw for himself.[37][38]

Greymane by Shadaan

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.[39][40]

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.[41]

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.[42]

In Dancer's LamentEdit

Greymane's life and reputation seemed to predate even the founding of the Malazan Empire as he was referenced during the time of King Chulalorn the Third's seige of Li Heng. The Hengan veteran Buell remarked that even Greymane himself could not stand against the man-beast Ryllandaras.[43]

Greymane's swordEdit

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."[44][45] (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.[46] 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.[47][48] 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.[49] 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.[50][51]

Significant plot details end here.


"Water 'n' me--we don't get along."
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 referencesEdit

  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. Blood Follows, Section 6
  12. Memories of Ice, Chapter 23, US SFBC p.853-854
  13. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 1, Chapter 2, UK PB p.88
  14. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 1, Chapter 2, UK PB p.89
  15. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 1, Chapter 4, UK PB p.147
  16. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 1, Chapter 1, UK PB p.11
  17. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 1, Chapter 1, UK PB p.10
  18. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 1 Chapter 1, UK PB p.16/18/20
  19. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 1 Chapter 1, UK PB p.23
  20. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 1 Chapter 1, UK PB p.88
  21. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 1, Chapter 4, UK PB p.147
  22. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 1, Chapter 4, UK PB p.192
  23. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 1, Chapter 4, UK PB p.195
  24. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 2 Chapter 2, UK PB p.289
  25. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 2 Chapter 4, UK PB p.367
  26. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 2 Chapter 6, UK PB p.467
  27. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 3 Chapter 2, UK PB p.611
  28. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 3 Chapter 2, UK PB p.619
  29. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 3 Chapter 4, UK PB p.674
  30. Stonewielder, Chapter 1, US HC p.66-71
  31. Stonewielder, Chapter 1, US HC p.66-71
  32. Stonewielder, Chapter 1, US HC p.69-70
  33. Stonewielder, Chapter 3, US HC p.167
  34. Stonewielder, Chapter 4, US HC p.189
  35. Stonewielder, Chapter 6, US HC p.308/313-316
  36. Stonewielder, Chapter 6, US HC p.408/416
  37. Stonewielder, Chapter 10, US HC p.486/518
  38. Stonewielder, Chapter 11, US HC p.542
  39. Stonewielder, Chapter 11, US HC p.542
  40. Stonewielder, Chapter 12, US HC p.576-578
  41. Stonewielder, Chapter 12, US HC p.576-578
  42. Stonewielder, Epilogue, US HC p.624-625
  43. Dancer's Lament, Chapter 12
  44. Stonewielder, Chapter 12, US HC p.576-577
  45. Stonewielder, Chapter 3, US HC p.136
  46. Stonewielder, Chapter 1, US HC p.69
  47. Stonewielder, Chapter 6, US HC p.315-316
  48. Stonewielder, Chapter 11, US HC p.574
  49. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 1 Chapter 1
  50. Stonewielder, Chapter 11, US HC p.574
  51. Stonewielder, Chapter 12, US HC p.578
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