- "I love money. I love money more than the things it can buy. There's only one thing I love more than money. You know what that is? Other people's money!
- ―Marn Hierogryph
Marn "The Gryph" Hierogryph, a.k.a., Baron Hieromarn, Remulus Horne, Professor Gryphomarn, Bulgryph Mandrake, Baron Hyro Margryph, D.W. Gryphith, Haute-Marne-la-Gryphée, Godmarn Gryphindor, Dexter Gryph, and Marndalore the Magryphicent, was the most devious, conniving con artist in the Galaxy, who grew to intergalactic infamy near the time of the Jedi Civil War. Together with his unwitting apprentice, Zayne Carrick, and the warrior-girl Jarael—who was unable to hide her growing desire for him—Gryph ran hundreds of notable scams, making him one of the richest beings in history. No figure in history has since equaled his wealth in terms of power, influence, bling, and ladies.
- "Congratulations! It's a boy!" [pause] "Where's my watch? Where's my cufflinks? My comlink is gone!" [pants fall down] "Where's my belt buckle? My wallet was in my – where's my wallet? I'm starting to think this innocent little baby is actually a – where'd he go?"
- ―Doctor in delivery room at Gryph's birth
Gryph spent his first few months of life wisely. As a developing fetus in the womb, Gryph realized that his fingerprints had not yet formed, so on several occasions he sneaked out of the uterus and carried small amounts of cash out of high-security bank vaults and armored security trucks. On the day of his birth, Gryph had already forged several false birth certificates using a number of aliases. According to one such certificate, Gryph was the Supreme Chancellor of the Republic. His parents were Garl and Glomkettle Hierogryph, though his birth certificates claim royal heritage from several family lines.
In school, Gryph slept though most of his classes and scribbled his plans for galactic domination and Ponzi schemes in the margins of his notebook. When exam time came, he hacked into the school computer system to steal the answers. Then he blackmailed the headmaster into giving him a perfect attendance record. (His own fault, really. He should have known not to make a private holovid for his, wink wink, cabana boy.) Gryph's parents hired a tutor for him, but it wasn't long before Gryph got tired of him and framed him for racketeering. His parents had him sent offworld at that point, but it was all part of Gryph's master plan.
- "On this planet, you gotta make the money first. Then when you get the money, you get the power. Then when you get the power, then you get the Twi'lek ladies in their underpants."
- ―Marn Hierogryph
Gryph began his career in crime simply, hooking up with notable gangsters and crime lords of his time, including Davik Kang of the Exchange. Under the alias of Remulus Horne, he ran a fake "holo-thon," raising credits for a fictional charity of his, The Unhappy Baby Foundation. The holo-thon was pulled from the air by local authorities, but not before Gryph had earned over 350,000 credits and a recording contract on Coruscant.
He moved his base of operations to Taris, where he ran an extensive black market involving elaborate front organizations, each run by one of his alter egos. Griff Vao, the brother of Mission Vao, was one of Gryph's early protégés, but proved a poor con artist. One of his operations was the "fleek eel scam." Using the alias of Baron Hieromarn, he spread rumors that fleek eel would soon become an interstellar delicacy and selling investment opportunities. He then pocketed the money and claimed processing delays, quietly disappearing as fleek eel values tumbled.
Taris authorities were powerless to stop Gryph, and so some of the local Jedi took an interest in him. The most inept Padawan of the bunch, Zayne Carrick, took it upon himself to hunt down and arrest him. Gryph was at first amused, then annoyed by Zayne's constant attempts to capture him, but eventually, he came to see great potential in the young Jedi. Zayne bumbled his way through several more capture attempts, sometimes inadvertently disrupting one of Gryph's smuggling rings, including ryll and lum. Gryph decided it would be more profitable to work with Zayne than against him. When an attack by Mandalorians drove Gryph offworld, he arranged events so as to force Zayne to join forces with him. Gryph and Zayne, together with Jarael and her crazy old man mentor Gorman Vandrayk, escaped on the Last Resort.
Marn "The Gryph" Hierogryph was now a wanted man throughout the Republic, which pleased him greatly, as it enhanced his reputation with his contacts. He was, however, unimpressed with the credit value of the bounties placed on him and swore to make himself more noticeable to the authorities in the future. He experimented for a time on "calling cards," clues to leave for detectives and ambitious police officers: a picture of himself as the Evil One in a sabacc deck; an origami folded into the shape of his head; a white glove with a monogrammed letter G; and finally, a carefully typed letter stating "My name is Marn Hierogryph, and I am responsible for this crime. Were the dozens of clues I've left not enough for you? It's Marn Hierogryph. Please spell it correctly in any future correspondence with the media."
Gryph spent several weeks babysitting his new apprentice, Zayne, who was determined to clear his name after a series of murders had been blamed on him. Gryph was unable to convince Zayne a dangerous reputation was more valuable than his innocence, but Zayne wouldn't listen. Gryph helped out by writing a dramatic speech for Zayne to deliver to his former Jedi Masters to instill fear. This set into motion a series of events in which each one of the former Jedi Masters was driven into confrontation with Zayne and killed.
Gryph's main attention, however, was focused on his moneymaking operations. The Mandalorian Wars offered many such opportunities, stealing supplies from Republic military bases and Mandalorian encampments. During one operation, they found themselves in the middle of a Mandalorian assault, Jarael was captured, and their ship was hijacked by Rohlan Dyre. Thinking quickly, Gryph retook control of his ship and came up with a plan to infiltrate the Mandalorian prison and rescue Jarael... by wearing a Republic uniform and posing as Admiral Hierogryph of the cruiser Glomkettle. Everything went precisely according to plan, except Rohlan Dyre switched places with Demagol, but that's a situation too complicated to get into right now.
After retrieving Jarael and having Rohmagol join their crew, Gryph went on to retrieve some of his stashed funds on the banking world of Telerath in a private account under the false name of "Baron Hyro Margryph." Vandrayk posed as "Margryph" while taking audio cues from Gryph, and things devolved into madcap hilarity within minutes. Dob and Del Moomo, a pair of Ithorian bounty hunters, ambushed the party after their withdrawal, but failed to capture anyone.
Gryph had another gig set up selling fake masterpieces under the alias of "Hierogryphus Bosch." His artistic works were strange and grotesque and illustrated famous Jedi stories. They were popular among rich aristocrats who wanted to appear intellectual. However, Gryph and his crew became stuck on the planet of Serroco on the Mandalorian front, and his art career was put on hold. Within days, they were making a tidy profit running a restaurant to provide food for hungry Republic soldiers who were tired of standard rations. The cooking was left to Slyssk, a small-time Trandoshan thief that they'd picked up on Ralltiir. Zayne got distracted by some horrific Jedi vision of destruction and tried to convince Gryph to leave, but Gryph had the business sense to ignore him, and yadda yadda yadda, after a few more adventures, they ended up back on Taris. Unfortunately, Taris was under Mandalorian control at this point in the war, so Gryph was not as influential as he should have been. Rather than starting up his black market again, he hooked up with the Taris resistance. Zayne had some vague plan to track down Jedi Master Raana Tey; Gryph worked out the details and planned an attack on the Jedi Tower, using a computer, a comlink, and a very potent bomb provided by the Moomo brothers. When the plan went awry, Gryph set of the bomb and killed Tey. Still, a mere Jedi should have known better than to tangle with "The Gryph."
Feats of mad, roguish heroismEdit
- "You gotta love an elite killing force you can fool by putting on a hat."
- ―Marn Hierogryph
While working with the resistance, Gryph and Zayne encountered the Jedi Celeste Morne, who had been sent to spy on them and turn state's evidence. She had been surrounded by rakghouls and would certainly have died, if it weren't for the heroic rescue by Gryph. Grateful for his assistance, Morne allowed Gryph to become part of her scheme to retrieve a powerful artifact and split the profits 60/40. The Mandalorians had already dug up the so-called "Muur Talisman," because Mandalore, like all evil, militaristic dictators, had a propensity for seeking out artifacts with powers he could not possibly understand, so the group had to sneak into the camp and steal it. Gryph quickly acquired a set of Mandalorian armor to disguise himself. For years afterwards, Gryph passed unnoticed all throughout Mandalorian space, baffling their finest detectives and stirring fear in the hearts of the unwary.
While Zayne and Celeste Morne tagged along, Gryph fought his way through the rakghouls of the Undercity. He was determined to retrieve the artifact and sell it to whichever high-class museum would offer the highest bid. Unfortunately, before he could stop her, Celeste Morne grabbed the Talisman herself and became possessed by the spirit of an evil Sith Lord. Gryph rolled his eyes convinced the spirit to travel along with them for a while... which was an annoyance, because now Morne was always sneaking off and killing people when Gryph wasn't looking and turning them into rakghouls. Finally, exasperated with the whole artifact scheme, he shoved Celeste Morne and her evil Sith Lord possessor into a magic stasis box and let some new generation of suckers solve the problem. Then he nuked all the rakghouls from orbit, thus saving the galaxy.
More intergalactic operationsEdit
When the Republic learned of Gryph's heroic efforts saving battalions of troops at Serroco, they made him into a HoloNet star named "Benegryph Goodvalor." Captain Goodvalor began his broadcasting career taunting the Mandalorians and soon became the most admired individual in the Republic... except among Mandalorians, but nobody could understand what they were saying anyway, with all the apostrophes in their language. The Republic built statues, monuments, hospitals, libraries, and battery-operated sex aid shops in his honor.
He recorded a wildly successful rap album under the name of "Professor Griff," backed up by his posse of Zayne, Jarael, and Rohlan Dyre. Unfortunately, a series of controversial statements landed "Professor Griff" in hot water with the press, so Gryph engineered a scheme whereby he and Professor Griff appeared side by side on a talk show, proving they were completely different people, thus absolving him of any responsibility.
With his newfound wealth, Gryph traveled the galaxy, eventually stumbling upon a time machine. He then began traveling the past, present and future in search of fabulous wealth. He took the name "Gryph Tannen" for these excursions. Along the way, he kept running into Zayne Carrick's ancestors and tormenting them.
- "Now is the time! Now is the moment! Now is the occasion! Now is the instant! Now is our, uh... hang on, let me get my thesaurus. Era. Now is our era!"
- ―Gryph, campaigning
In his late middle age, Gryph began a wildly expensive and wildly successful campaign to become Supreme Chancellor. His first step was to spend two years inventing plausible controversies for the current Supreme Chancellor and leaking them out onto the HoloNet. By this point, he had quit broadcasting as the Hero of the Republic, so none of the attacks could be traced to him. He operated behind the scenes as his own campaign manager while making high-profile campaign stops in front of statues and mosaics of himself, usually with the sun or a bright light shining a halo over his head.
His won the election in a landslide after the previous chancellor had been voted out. One of his first acts was to distribute a hundred Medals of Honor to the heroes of the Mandalorian Wars. Then he declared that, because all of the honorees were dead, all of the medals would go into his burlap sack with a credit sign on it. He then declared that all of the silverware in his palace had disappeared, and he would need to increase taxes to replace it. The missing silverware became a common occurrence during his administration, but the people loved him anyway. Because he was Gryph, dammit. And of all the Gryphs in this great big galaxy of ours, Gryph was the Gryphiest.
- Star Wars: Knights in the Hood
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic: The Lost Sagas