The Nellist was a combine-reaper used by the Human settlers of the planet Leritor as a habitat and means of living. The Nellist farmed plains to the north of the plains farmed by another combine-reaper, the Gevion. As she would break the Settlement Pact among the settlers and the native Sauvax species by going earer than 100 kilometers of the coastal line, the Nellist avoided that.

A Dark Side Adept known as Profex Rynalla intended to raid both a Sauvax village (or kuuvan) and combine-reaper to recruit slaves, also hoping to incite a war among the Sauvax and the settlers. Rynalla and her minions would leave behind Sauvax weapons in the attacked combine-reaper, so that other Human settlers would blame the Sauvax; and her mere use of blaster technology when attacking the kuuvan would lead the Sauvax to blame the Humans because Rynalla's presence in Leritor was a well-kept secret.

Rynalla sent her freighter, loaded with Klatooinian soldiers, to attack the Nellist. Ship-mounted blasters damaged the Nellist until the harvester stopped, and then the Nellist exploded due to secondary damage or sabotage. Rynalla's forces kidnapped the stronger members of the Nellist crew to use them as slaves; the weaker and older people were killed in situ, using the traditional gruush spears of the Sauvax. Several gruushes were left behind as a false lead, although a careful analysis would point the blaster damage and the fact that the attack came from the west, an unlikely approach for an eastern-inhabiting Sauvax force.

Rynalla's camp was near the position of the attack, suggesting that the Nellist was chosen because it was nearby.

As Rynalla intended, other Human settlers believed that the Sauvax had attacked the Nellist, and were suddenly fearful of the locals. The Sauvax, however, were unaware of the attack to the Nellist, and if asked would consider it ridiculous: Sauvax weapons could not damage the hull of a combine-reaper, and combine-reapers have always been careful to not enter in Sauvax lands.