Stel was a male human criminal who came to be known as the Butcher of Brentaal IV after he committed atrocities at some point during the waning decades of the Galactic Republic. For years, he managed to escape the authorities, until the Republic was replaced by the Galactic Empire at the end of the Clone Wars. However, when the new government finally caught him, they did not arrest him but instead hired him to capture rebels for them. Stel's first target was to be a Lasat named Davin.
- "The things I did, sometimes I can't even believe it was me. But that was a long time ago. I'm better now. Sort of."
- ―Stel, to Milo and Lina Graf
In a dubious story he told on at least one occasion to attract sympathy, Stel claimed to have grown up in his uncle's repair shop on the Outer Rim planet of Lothal before attending an academy. What is certain is that he grew up in the last decades of the Galactic Republic. He came to despise the members of the Republic's Senate and the Jedi, a group of warrior monks who used the Force to maintain peace, judging both groups for their arrogance.
At one point, Stel committed atrocities on Brentaal IV, a planet located in the the galaxy's Core Worlds, which owed him the sinister moniker of "the Butcher of Brentaal IV." Despite the huge price the senators put on his head, the killer managed to stay on the run, escaping the authorities for years.
Becoming an Imperial agentEdit
- "You're working for the Empire. But you're a killer."
"Exactly. I was just the kind of person they were after. Someone who could do the things even their troopers couldn't."
- ―Lina Graf and Stel
At the conclusion of the the Clone Wars, a pangalactic conflict that raged on for three years, the Republic was transformed into the fascist First Galactic Empire. When the Empire's stormtroopers finally flushed him out, Stel was surprised to find that they had not come to arrest him, but to offer him a job with the new government. As it turned out, the Empire had a much more ruthless set of values than the Republic of old, and was looking for individuals like Stel to perform acts even its loyal troopers would not do.
The first mission the Imperials gave Stel was to help them capture Davin, a Lasat insurgent. The Butcher managed to track his quarry to Lothal, in the Outer Rim Territories, and then called in the stormtroopers who came to apprehend the rebel. However, Stel head that the orders had been changed and that Davin was not going to face trial in Lothal's Capital City, but would be shipped to Noctu by the bounty hunter Shalla Mondatha. Suspecting that something odd was going on with the new orders, the Butcher told the troopers to lock him up right along with the Lasat, as if he too were a prisoner. That way, Stel hoped to capture not only Davin but also anyone who might be trying to help him escape.
Showdown aboard the Moveable FeastEdit
- "You'll pay for this. Little brats, you'll both pay. The Empire is greater than you, greater than me, greater than everything. They'll rule this galaxy for a thousand years."
- ―Stel, to Lina Graf
In the brig of Mondatha's ship, the Moveable Feast, Stel met Milo and Lina Graf, two resourceful children wanted by the Empire. Presenting a likeable, if overly talkative facade, the criminal told the siblings that Davin, who had been stunned to go into his cell after a brief struggle, was in fact the dreaded Butcher of Brentaal IV. A short while later, the children were freed by their droid CR-8R, but they cautiously refused to let either Stel or Davin out.
While the children were away exploring the ship, the Lasat managed to exit his cell. When the Graf siblings came back, Stel was told that the ship had been overrun by swarms of cyborg spider that had incapacitated Mondatha and fried all the systems. Stel then convinced the Grafs that Davin was out to kill them—which was made all the more easy by the fact that the children had never had a chance to even speak with the Lasat, whom they found scary. Having gained the Grafs' trust, the criminal told them to each get into a cell to protect themselves, while also freeing him. Armed with a stun baton provided by Lina, Stel would wait to ambush Davin. When the Lasat finally arrived, Shel stunned him as the children had expected, but also did the same to CR-8R. Seeing this, the siblings finally understood who he really was. Endulging in gloating, the Butcher of Brentaal IV told the children and story, and how Davin had in fact been sent to rescue them. The criminal then took Lina and CR-8R to the bridge so they could fix the ship's malfunctioning navigation computer. The Butcher left Milo and Davin behind, an oversight that would lead to his undoing.
Once the Moveable Feast arrived at Noctu, Stel had to prevent Lina from communicating with her friends aboard the Sunburst, who had come to the Grafs' and Davin's rescue. To the criminal's delight, an Imperial shuttle had also been lying in wait, and it came to attack the Sunburst. As Lina strode to the door to flee, Stel was surprised to see Milo and Davin enter the bridge. The Butcher and his Lasat nemesis then engaged in a brief struggle, leading to Davin being stunned once again. However, the Grafs were able to back Stel to an unseen hole in the deck that had been chewed by cyborg spiders. The Butcher of Brentaal IV fell to his defeat, crying out as he vanished from sight.
Personality and traitsEdit
- "I used to hate the old Republic. All those stuffy, know-it-all senators and pompous Jedi, going around thinking they were better than everyone else. It's not like that with the Empire."
- ―Stel, to Lina Graf
Stel was a pale and skinny male human with green eyes and a shock of flame-red hair stranding upright on his head. He had a dark triangular marking above either eyebrow. Despite what his frail and somewhat comical appareance would lead one to assume, he was brutal and ruthless. In fact, Stel was known to feign stupidity and clumsiness.
Although he admittedly felt "[urges] to do something bad," Stel was content to act on his drives in the service of what he deemed a greater cause. He was truly supportive of the Empire's aggressive policies, and was convinced the fascist government would reign for a thousand years.
- Adventures in Wild Space: The Dark (First appearance)