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Mezhan Kwaad

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MezhanKwaad-EOV1
Mezhan Kwaad
Biographical information
Homeworld

Koros-Strohna[1]

Died

26 ABY, Yavin 4[1]

Physical description
Species

Yuuzhan Vong[1]

Gender

Female[1]

Eye color

Green[1]

Chronological and political information
Era(s)

New Jedi Order era[1]

Affiliation
"She was, for all her virtues, perhaps insane."
―Nen Yim[src]

Mezhan Kwaad, known for her role in conducting experiments upon the captured Jedi apprentice Tahiri Veila in 26 ABY, was a Yuuzhan Vong shaper and the master of Nen Yim. A heretic among her species, Kwaad would often violate, albeit in secret, the laws that governed the shaper caste. By the time of the Yuuzhan Vong War, her skill had enabled her to attain the prestigious rank of a master shaper. Heresy, however, was not Kwaad's only transgression against the laws of her species; the shaper fell in love with a commander, Vua Rapuung, and started a forbidden affair with the warrior. When Rapuung ended the relationship due to religious reasons, an enraged Kwaad proclaimed her heresy to him, and openly denounced the existence of the Yuuzhan Vong gods. Paranoid that her secrets would be revealed, Kwaad used her talents to cause Rapuung's body to reject his warrior implants, bestowing upon him the greatest curse for the Yuuzhan Vong—the appearance of a Shamed One. With Rapuung's claims perceived as delusions, Kwaad was able to commit heresy without fear of discovery. She was soon tasked with a project to experiment upon a captured Jedi, Tahiri Veila, in order to discern the cause and source of the Force. As her assistant in the endeavor, Kwaad selected an adept, Nen Yim.

On the moon of Yavin 4, Kwaad and Yim began the process of converting the young Jedi apprentice's memories and personality to those of a Yuuzhan Vong, in tandem with their investigation into the Force. Suspicion, however, hounded Kwaad, and the commander of the base on Yavin 4, Tsaak Vootuh, soon entered into a plot with Yal Phaath, a senior shaper, in order to ascertain whether Yim and her master were committing heresy in their experiments on Veila. Indeed, Kwaad had been clandestinely defying the sacred shaping protocols throughout the project, and was subsequently discovered and arrested. Kwaad's journey into custody was interrupted by the reappearance of Vua Rapuung and his ally Anakin Solo, who pressured the master shaper into revealing her earlier actions against Rapuung. The master shaper attempted to escape, but was decapitated by Veila before she could flee. Among the various castes of the Yuuzhan Vong, Kwaad was remembered as an arch-heretic, and her domain was disgraced. Among the Shamed Ones, on the other hand, Kwaad entered into the epic cycle of the legend of Vua Rapuung, one of the central tenets of the heretical movement that arose following the events on Yavin 4.

BiographyEdit

Early life and affairEdit

"She was always nervous. Always doing things she shouldn't."
"Like having an affair with you."
―Vua Rapuung and Anakin Solo, talking of Mezhan Kwaad[src]

Born into Domain Kwaad, a leading shaper domain, Mezhan Kwaad possessed prodigious talent for the art of shaping, a form of biological science that enabled the Yuuzhan Vong to bio-engineer and create organisms that could serve the species. Unknown to her superiors, however, Kwaad was a practitioner of heresy; she had no patience for the strict laws that governed her caste. Orthodox shaping practice stated that all knowledge was possessed by Yun'o, the collective name for the Yuuzhan Vong gods, and that the deities were able to pass down this knowledge, when they saw fit, to the Supreme Overlord of the Yuuzhan Vong. This view—the only one tolerated—thus implied that if Yuuzhan Vong technology ever failed the species, the shapers had to petition the Supreme Overlord to ask the gods for new insights and methods. As seven of eight Yuuzhan Vong cortices were already full repositories of shaper lore, it was assumed that all the bio-technology remaining to be granted to the Yuuzhan Vong lay in the eighth cortex. At some point in her life, Kwaad came to believe that there were no gods distributing information and techniques to the Supreme Overlord, and that to survive, the Yuuzhan Vong would need to adapt the strict shaping protocols to suit their needs. As this viewpoint doubted the gods, it was considered heresy of the first order, punishable by death. Shapers of Domain Kwaad had often been known for their flirtations with heresy, and at least one, Yakun Kwaad, was discovered and executed in the final decades of the Yuuzhan Vong fleet's long approach to the promised galaxy, where Supreme Overlord Shimrra had declared that the wandering Yuuzhan Vong would find their rightful home.[1]

VuaRapuung

Vua Rapuung, Kwaad's onetime lover.

Around the time of the Yuuzhan Vong invasion of the galaxy, when Mezhan Kwaad was nearing the end of her youth, she fell in love with a commander of the warrior caste, Vua Rapuung. Unions between different castes were forbidden to the Yuuzhan Vong, perceived as insults to the gods, but while Kwaad dismissed this law due to her heretical beliefs, the guilt of defying Yun-Yuuzhan, the chief deity of the Yuuzhan Vong, disturbed Rapuung. Although the two were deeply in love, Rapuung gave up praying to Yun-Txiin and Yun-Q'aah, the lover gods, and realized that the affair would destroy them both, and thus broke it off. Kwaad revealed her heresy to her lover and proclaimed that belief in the gods was a superstition, telling Rapuung that so long as they were strong, they could do whatever they wished. The commander was not taken in by such words, and although he urged Kwaad to believe that he would never spread word of her heresy, the shaper grew fearful that her secret would become common knowledge. To neutralize Rapuung as a threat to her continued survival, Kwaad manipulated the commander's warrior implants and caused them to fail. A rejection of an implant was the mark of a Shamed One, the lowliest members of Yuuzhan Vong society, who were put to use carrying out menial chores for the superior castes, shunned by all others. Rapuung lost his rank, reputation and domain status, but suspected what had happened. For the rest of his life, Vua Rapuung would pursue his redemption, seeking to prove that Kwaad had artificially made him a Shamed One.[1]

At some point, Mezhan Kwaad conspired with the Fosh familiar Vergere and the deception sect priestess Ngaaluh to form a secret society that plotted to overthrow the Yuuzhan Vong religion and caste system.[2] Kwaad, who at some point had been escalated to the rank of Master Shaper, was one of several masters who, one year into the Yuuzhan Vong War, was selected to conduct experiments on captured Jedi. The Jedi Order, whose Praxeum was located on Yavin 4, one of the moons of Yavin Prime, was of particular interest to Supreme Overlord Shimrra and other high-ranking Yuuzhan Vong, and thus the shapers were tasked with determining the source of the Force, an enigmatic energy field the Jedi claimed to be able to influence. To aid her in her endeavor, Kwaad chose a shaper initiate from the worldship Baanu Kor, called Nen Yim, who had made an inspired choice of protocol to preserve a section of the ancient vessel's nervous system. Kwaad knew that the young shaper had carried out heresy during her work. Yim, now a shaper adept, accompanied her new master to Yavin 4, although Kwaad did not yet approach the young shaper on the subject of heresy. Also present aboard the fleet heading toward the moon was Vua Rapuung, as well as Master Shaper Yal Phaath, from a rival domain. In space over Yavin 4, the fleet commander, Tsaak Vootuh, discovered that members of the Peace Brigade, an organization collaborating with the Yuuzhan Vong, had already attacked the Praxeum. Most of the Jedi had escaped the moon, safe aboard the starships of Jedi-aligned smuggler Talon Karrde, whose forces remained in the Yavin system. Only one, a fourteen-year-old Jedi girl named Tahiri Veila, had been captured by the Brigade. Kwaad was the master entrusted with experimenting on the young Jedi, ostensibly to research the Force. However, the shaper had other plans. She would indeed discover the source of the Force, but in the process would also mold Veila into an extension of her will,[1] granting her a loyal and obedient protector and bringing her unparalleled glory.[3]

Jedi VeilaEdit

"Nothing could be worse than to be in Mezhan Kwaad's fingers."
―Vua Rapuung[src]

Once Commander Vootuh's forces had entered into a standoff with those of Karrde, the landing was prosecuted and the shapers were allowed to set foot on Yavin 4's jungle surface. Damuteks, Yuuzhan Vong compounds, were to be installed on the moon, over the site of the Great Temple. As the organic buildings unfolded themselves, Kwaad disembarked her transport and approached Nen Yim. Kwaad informed her adept why she had selected the young shaper to be her protégé. She encouraged Yim concerning their mission to shape the galaxy, and reminded the adept that not only did the Yuuzhan Vong need shapers who were willing to test the limits of convention, but also that Supreme Overlord Shimrra was observing events on Yavin 4 closely. The master then took her new protégé off to have her shaper hand attached; a painful process the master herself had once endured. Kwaad waited for her adept in the grotto of Yun-Ne'Shel, the goddess worshiped by the shaper caste, while Nen Yim had her wrist severed. When the shaper hand had been attached, Kwaad remained with her adept to give advice and reassurance. The master shaper also spoke of the joy they would find together in experimenting on Veila and bringing glory to their caste, the Yuuzhan Vong, and themselves.[1]

Mezhan Kwaad and Yim conducted an interrogation of Veila and learned, as expected, that when the Jedi used her powers, she believed she was drawing on an energy field produced by all living things—the Force. Master and adept set to work on mapping their captive's nervous system, in order to discover the biological source of Veila's ability to manipulate this energy field. As Humans were largely an unknown species to the Yuuzhan Vong, Veila's nervous system was a new frontier, and to explore it Kwaad used the protocol of Tsong and a provoker spineray. The spineray would invoke a painful reaction from a cluster of nerves in the Jedi's body, and with Veila incarcerated in a membrane bound section of a vivarium, Kwaad and Yim were safe to conduct their scientific investigation. Ordering the provoker spineray to target nerves selectively, they soon discovered that the Human's nervous system was composed of structures that had no physical counterpart in the Yuuzhan Vong. In manipulating the protocol of Tsong in this manner, Kwaad was once again flirting with heresy and, indeed, as she conferred with Nen Yim, Master Shaper Yal Phaath entered the chamber with his aide and confronted the two shapers.[1]

Phaath, a strict adherent to the protocols, failed to see how Kwaad believed that Humans existed outside the eight cortices of shaper lore, as Yun-Yuuzhan had theoretically created all life. He reminded Yim and, indirectly, her master, that to seek new knowledge, instead of petitioning the Supreme Overlord for it, was the stuff of heresy. The verbal sparring between the two masters continued, but as Phaath threatened his peer that he was watching her very closely, the four Yuuzhan Vong were suddenly assaulted by Veila through the Force. The Jedi manipulated the molecules in the vivarium's air, seeking to crush her captors, and Kwaad soon collapsed under the intensity of the high pressure. She was saved, along with the others, by Nen Yim, who used the device that controlled the provoker spineray to trigger a massive wave of pain in the Jedi, which caused Veila to faint. Kwaad took control, saving her specimen before the Jedi died from the pain, and explained the Jedi's theory of the Force to a skeptical Yal Phaath. The ancient master took his leave for the planet of Myrkr, where he was to oversee the shaping of vornskrs into creatures that could hunt Jedi. The news disturbed Mezhan Kwaad, as such a creature would pose a threat to Veila, once Kwaad had bent the young Jedi girl to her will. She was, however, eager to see the interfering master leave the system.[1] During Kwaad's experiments on Veila, the shaper was visited by her co-conspirators Ngaaluh and Vergere, who oversaw some of Kwaad's work on the young Jedi.[2]

TahiriInPain

Mezhan Kwaad's captive Jedi, Tahiri Veila, undergoing experimentation.

The project to map Tahiri Veila's neural pathways continued, and in the meanwhile Kwaad was pained by the approaching removal of her Vaa-tumor, a shaper implant that was grafted onto the brain matter to grant greater knowledge, but which eventually required excision. Until removed, the Vaa-tumor caused Kwaad constant pain, and thus Nen Yim carried out the experiments on Veila in the interim. When the adept informed Kwaad of the completion of the mapping of the nervous system, the master shaper decided it was time to broach the subject of the full-blown heresy they were about to embark upon. Kwaad knew that, having mapped the Human's nervous system, Yim had discovered that the physiology of Veila's species differed significantly from that of the Yuuzhan Vong, and that the protocol of Tsong could no longer aid their investigation into the Force. Such a revelation required the two shapers to move beyond the confines of the orthodox protocol and adapt the provoker spineray to suit their requirements. To her relief and satisfaction, Yim responded to Kwaad's careful probing and revealed that she was willing to circumvent the strictures of shaper law. The heretical master, however, warned Yim that she would not be betrayed by her adept; when the younger shaper vowed to place herself utterly in Kwaad's hands, the master took her protégé to visit Veila once again.[1]

Partners in heresyEdit

"We must proceed with caution."
―Mezhan Kwaad, to Adept Nen Yim[src]

Veila's entire personality was to be recreated with the end result that she would view herself as a Yuuzhan Vong warrior. The knowledge of the Yuuzhan Vong language was transplanted directly into the Jedi's brain; having completed this task, Kwaad spoke to the Jedi, warning her captive not to attempt any further harmful actions with the Force, under pain of torture. The master shaper continued in her scheme, retelling the story of Veila's life in a way that depicted the Sand People and Jedi who had raised her to be kidnappers. The real truth of Veila's past, Kwaad revealed, was that she was the Yuuzhan Vong warrior Riina Kwaad, brainwashed by the Jedi into believing their tales about her early life. The Jedi girl resisted the assertion, but Kwaad merely told Yim to begin further modifications. It was eventually planned that Veila would be molded both mentally and superficially into a Yuuzhan Vong, whom Kwaad could present to her peers and superiors,[1] and subsequently keep as her own.[3]

Veila's forehead was later scarred with the ritual markings of Domain Kwaad, but the Human's memories remained a consistent problem. If investigating the Jedi's ability to touch the Force had not been the chief purpose of the project, Kwaad would have wiped Veila's memory completely, but with it would have destroyed her captive's grasp of the Force. Thus, new memories had to be transplanted—memories that the Human's brain continually rejected. To formulate the sections of Veila's new personality, Kwaad and her adept manipulated the protocol of Qah, usually used when implanting memories into a Yuuzhan Vong brain. In a deeply heretical fashion, the protocol was adapted; if discovered, Kwaad and her adept would face execution. The process of creating new memories was not only risky, but also painstaking, as the Human brain differed enough that it was unclear which memories would graft and which would be rejected.[1] At some point, unknown to Nen Yim, Kwaad used her adept as a donor; real Yuuzhan Vong memories of childhood were required, and thus Yim's memories were implanted into Veila's brain.[4] In order to speed up the project, the provoker spineray was ordered to stimulate pain whenever Veila attempted to access her long-term memories, thus forcing the Jedi's true persona back into the recesses of her mind with the ultimate goal of eliminating it entirely.[1]

Kwaad's Vaa-tumor, however, continued to pain her. One night, as the master shaper went to the shaper damutek's succession pool to ponder her agony, she unknowingly encountered the young Jedi Anakin Solo, who had infiltrated the compound as a slave, guided by his ally, none other than Kwaad's former lover Vua Rapuung. In the darkness, and with Solo masquerading as a Shamed One, Kwaad forgave the unseen "Shamed One" his trespass, as the pain of her Vaa-tumor was so intense. Kwaad's suffering was so great, in fact, that her rival, Yal Phaath, used it in his scheme to investigate and expose the heresy he suspected in her. A shaper initiate, Tsun Q'el, was dispatched to the vivarium where Veila was kept and informed Nen Yim that he had been sent by Mezhan Kwaad, and that he too was a heretic. Q'el claimed that Kwaad was finally having her Vaa-tumor excised, and Yim was convinced by the initiate, revealing to Phaath's spy the heresy that was enabling herself and her master to experiment on Veila. For several days, Kwaad was kept away from Yim, Veila and the vivarium, while the deception took place. Called to a superfluous convocation by Yal Phaath, ostensibly in order to discuss procedure on the new worldship undergoing construction at the Yuuzhan Vong shipwomb at Sernpidal, Kwaad was forced to enter ritual seclusion, thus isolating her while Phaath's investigation took place.[1]

Kwaad's time away from the project made her irritable, and she demanded to see the results of Yim's work, questioning Veila on her past. To Kwaad's satisfaction, there was far less hesitation on the specimen's part as she referred to herself as Riina Kwaad and recounted her capture at the hands of the Jedi. Kwaad wished to see more; she ordered Yim to quiet the provoker spineray, allowing Veila to access her memory of the Force and utilize telekinesis to lift a stone from the ground, while Kwaad and her adept ensured that Veila's buried personality did not resurface. The experiment proved a success, and Kwaad and Yim set to work mapping the areas of the Human's brain that showed most activity during her use of the Force. As the two shapers discussed the puzzling results—which suggested that the Force did not have a specific biological source in the Jedi—Kwaad's Vaa-tumor pained her once again. Yim, who had thought the tumor already removed, voiced her confusion, and Kwaad soon realized that Tsun Q'el had been Yal Phaath's spy. Defeated and exhausted, she was then interrupted by Commander Tsaak Vootuh himself, with his personal guards. Kwaad and Yim were arrested on charges of heresy, and were escorted by Vootuh and his warriors, along with Veila, to the commander's personal shuttle.[1]

Revelation and deathEdit

"My master, Mezhan Kwaad, was slain by the Jeedai we were shaping."
"You did not shape the Jeedai well, I think."
―Nen Yim and Warmaster Tsavong Lah[src]

The master shaper, her adept, and Veila were already on the ramp of the shuttle, nearing departure, when a disturbance halted Vootuh and his guards. Vua Rapuung and Anakin Solo had launched the final stage of their rescue attempt, and charged the shuttle, attacking and killing several of the commander's bodyguards before being dropped by nang hul projectiles. Vootuh managed to stop Solo from continuing the fight by threatening to kill Veila with his amphistaff; Kwaad watched on, but as Solo tried to appeal to his friend's buried personality, she intervened. Vootuh silenced the shaper, and at that moment the critically wounded Vua Rapuung asked Solo to demand that Mezhan Kwaad reveal her actions. The master shaper's old lover was dying, and he wished to be redeemed before he passed away, by hearing Kwaad admit that it was she, not the gods, who had given him the appearance of a Shamed One. With the evidence of heresy already weighing against her, Kwaad nevertheless refused to grant Solo or Rapuung a response. Hul Rapuung, Vua's brother, and others in the assembled crowd, questioned why there was any harm in her replying to the question if the truth was to her favor. Vootuh threatened Domain Kwaad if the master shaper refused to give an answer, and Kwaad realized that she had been forced into a corner.[1]

She answered Rapuung's query, proclaiming that she had, as he suspected, caused his implants to fail, and that there were no gods. In the ensuing uproar, Kwaad manipulated her shaper hand and used the finger-spears hidden inside to impale Vootuh and his three guards fatally. Similarly, she incapacitated Solo and Rapuung with two more of the barbs. With her immediate enemies thus neutralized, Kwaad took out a potent nerve toxin, huun, and threatened the assembled Yuuzhan Vong to allow her safe departure. Announcing that she answered solely to Supreme Overlord Shimrra himself, the shaper attempted to make good her escape, ordering Yim to drag Solo and Rapuung into the shuttle. As Solo's lightsaber rose from the ground and arced toward her, manipulated by the Force, Kwaad overloaded the young Jedi's senses with pain from her finger-spear in an attempt to stop his concentration and his use of telekinesis. The master shaper failed to realize in time that it was in fact Veila who had used the Force to lift the blade. With a swift strike, Veila decapitated Mezhan Kwaad.[1]

LegacyEdit

"Before the treacherous Mezhan Kwaad can escape, she is slain by the infidels. They defend Vua Rapuung's honor at great risk to their own lives. They are alone on this world, surrounded by an army of mighty Yuuzhan Vong warriors who even now move in around them. Not even their superior powers—their Force—can possibly save them […]"
―Heretic Shamed One Vuurok I'pan, recounting the events on Yavin 4[src]

The greatest consequence of Mezhan Kwaad's actions on Yavin 4 was the emergence of a heretical movement among the Shamed Ones, which grew rapidly among the members of the caste.[1] The fact that Kwaad, not the gods, had Shamed Rapuung, was proof to some that the lowliest of the Yuuzhan Vong were being manipulated by their superiors. Many claimed that redemption from Shamed status could be found with the Jedi, as Vua Rapuung's alliance with Solo had enabled him to confront Kwaad and win back his honor.[5] On his arrival on the moon, Warmaster Tsavong Lah attempted to have this nascent heresy crushed.[1] Word escaped Yavin 4 nonetheless[5] and gave an impetus to the oppressed Shamed Ones to revolt against their masters. The legend of Vua Rapuung, in which Mezhan Kwaad played a significant role as the leading villain, became the guiding tenet of the Jeedai heresy, a movement that eventually grew so powerful that it drew higher caste members into its ranks,[6][7] and ultimately helped topple Supreme Overlord Shimrra and the Yuuzhan Vong Empire during the last battle of the war.[8]

Domain Phaath, as Mezhan Kwaad's rival Yal Phaath had intended, took over the project of investigating the Jedi, and Domain Kwaad was relegated to tending the ailing Koros-Strohna.[1] The master of the domain, Tjulan Kwaad, was deeply angered and embarrassed by his subordinate's heresy and felt that Mezhan and her adept had disgraced the Kwaad.[5] Indeed, Qelah Kwaad, Mezhan's domain sister, was often forced to live under the shadow of her late sibling's heresy, and make up for the master shaper's mistakes.[4]

Nen Yim survived the events in the Yuuzhan Vong compound, hiding among the Shamed Ones to preserve the new knowledge on the Jedi, and was later debriefed by Tsavong Lah when the warrior leader arrived on the moon.[5] Yim was spared from the customary sacrifice so that she could record the information on the Jedi in a qahsa, a memory storage organism. Thus, Kwaad's discoveries on the Force and the physiology of Jedi were not lost.[1] Kwaad's adept was also sent to tend to the Koros-Strohna, and aboard the dying vessel Baanu Miir she attempted to save the Yuuzhan Vong trapped there. Eventually, Yim came to the attention of Shimrra himself, after the young shaper gazed into the eighth cortex and saw the truth Kwaad had suspected—there was no knowledge held in reserve for the Yuuzhan Vong, and defeat was therefore inevitable against the constantly adapting New Republic forces. Shimrra escalated Yim to the rank of master, aware of her experience in heresy, and ordered her to create new technology with which to fight the New Republic.[5] In her adept, Kwaad's heresy lived on, and in the last year of the war Yim discovered the truth behind the Yuuzhan Vong's inability to touch the Force.[4]

For the young Tahiri Veila, the results of Kwaad's half-completed shaping were severe. Left with her Riina Kwaad alter-ego lurking in her psyche, Veila later suffered a mental breakdown in the penultimate year of the war,[6] and remained vulnerable even after she successfully integrated Riina Kwaad's ego into her own.[4] Veila too entered into the epic cycle of the Jeedai heresy as the "One-who-was-shaped," and the Shamed Ones honored her as a symbol of hope.[5][7][4] She continued to bear the scarring of Domain Kwaad on her brow as late as 40 ABY,[9] and maintained a high pain threshold due to the experimentation.[10]

Personality and traitsEdit

"She is ambitious, Mezhan Kwaad. She is spiteful. She made me appear Shamed, because she knew no one would credit my words then, that anything I said would be taken as the ravings of a lunatic."
"Why didn't she just kill you? Give you some poison or fatal disease?"
"She is more cruel than that. She would never give me the release of death when she could debase me instead."
―Vua Rapuung and Anakin Solo[src]

Mezhan Kwaad was driven by a belief in her heresy as intense as the fanaticism that guided the orthodoxy of the Yuuzhan Vong religion. The master shaper felt that the only way the Yuuzhan Vong could adapt and survive was to defy the protocols and make innovative advances; in this respect, Kwaad was seeking to improve the fortunes of her race. Indeed, as she claimed during her failed escape, she had no desire to harm any fellow members of her species, and stated that she had acted out of necessity to kill Commander Vootuh and his guards.[1]

The master shaper was not merely driven by pragmatism and altruism, however. Kwaad's desire to aid the Yuuzhan Vong was only one of the many factors that guided her actions. In the Jedi project, Kwaad saw glory chiefly for herself,[1] and much of her drive to shape Tahiri Veila came from her wish to possess a tame Force-wielder of her own.[3] The master shaper's heresy and ambition, which culminated to some extent in delusions of grandeur,[1][5] even led Nen Yim to confide later that Mezhan Kwaad may have been insane.[4]

In terms of her shaping ability, Kwaad was a talented and intelligent Yuuzhan Vong, who was able to adapt protocols in many ways to suit her purposes. The master shaper's long attempt to keep her heresy secret, however, rendered her paranoid and defensive, and she went about her work in secrecy. Kwaad's paranoia also led her to destroying the livelihood of her former lover, Vua Rapuung, when she believed him to be a risk to her survival. The shaper's actions in this regard were also guided by an element of spite; having been spurned by her lover, she chose not to kill Rapuung, but instead to force him to appear as a madman.[1]

Kwaad's cruelty in her manipulation of Rapuung was reflected in her work; Veila was fourteen when experimented on by the master shaper, and the heretic showed no compunction as she observed the effects her scientific investigation and subjugation of Veila's personality were having on the Jedi. Proud and confident in her work, Kwaad was nevertheless tricked twice by those around her; lured out by Yal Phaath, her heresy was uncovered, and when faced by the lightsaber telekinetically moving toward her, she did not think that it was her prize specimen who was using the Force. The master shaper's overconfidence and arrogance, shown in her declaration of heresy before her death, often concealed a more introspective side of her personality. Kwaad was captivated by the world of knowledge granted to her by her enhanced brain, and on occasions became mesmerized and placid when she spoke of it.[1]

Behind the scenesEdit

"Someone recently pointed out that I often have female characters who are intellectually repressed by their societies and often end up with artificial hands. I'd really hate for a Freudian to get hold of that."
―Gregory Keyes, discussing common threads in his novels[src]

Mezhan Kwaad is a leading Yuuzhan Vong character in the first of the novels in Gregory Keyes's Edge of Victory Duology.[1] The New Jedi Order: Edge of Victory I: Conquest allowed Keyes to explore extensively, as he intended, the structure of Yuuzhan Vong psychology and society, and introduce for the first time on page the shaper caste, as well as the Shamed Ones.[11] Although the narrative is never told from Kwaad's point of view, her character provides one portrayal of the hitherto concealed shapers, as well as acting as vehicle to introduce the concept of Yuuzhan Vong heresy,[1] which was later developed into a major plot point throughout The New Jedi Order series.[5][12][6][7][13][4][8]

Cover artist Terese Nielsen, who drew Mezhan Kwaad for the cover of Edge of Victory I: Conquest, stated that although she had enjoyed fashioning the art, she was mildly disappointed to discover that the master shaper's features had later been artificially colored to appear blue, without her knowledge.[14] Despite Mezhan Kwaad's role in Edge of Victory I: Conquest and in Tahiri Veila's character story, the master shaper did not receive an individual entry in The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, published in 2008.[15]

AppearancesEdit

SourcesEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

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