"I am Grey. I stand between the candle and the star. We are Grey. We stand between the darkness and the light."

Grey Council greeting

The Grey Council is the ruling body of the Minbari Federation.


Before the formation of the council, Castes would compete for dominance over one another by seeing which of their leaders were willing to sacrifice their lives to the Starfire Wheel. The Grey Council was founded by Valen during the First Shadow War and was composed of nine members, each given the honorific title Satai. To strike a balance between the castes, Valen called forth three from the Warrior Caste, three from the Religious Caste and three from the Worker Caste.[1] By tradition, the Grey Council lived apart from Minbari society, rarely leaving their customized Sharlin class warcruiser, the Valen'Tha. [2]

Upsetting the BalanceEdit

In 2259, the Grey Council elected to oust Delenn from their number, partly because she had rejected the role of leader and partly because she had undergone a transformation against their warnings. Rather than replace her with a member of the Religious Caste, they chose to bring in Alyt Neroon of the Star Riders Clan and a member of the Warrior Caste, giving that Caste a majority in the Council and upsetting the balance it had provided.

Breaking the CouncilEdit

"If the Council has lost its way, if it will not lead, if we have abandoned our covenant with Valen . . . then the Council should be broken, as was prophesied."


Valen foretold that the Council would be broken during the Second Shadow War. That event occurred in 2260, after the War had begun in full. The Grey Council had repeatedly chosen not to intervene in any of the wars or conflicts that were threatening the galaxy during the previous two years. Delenn confronted the Council about their actions, accusing them of breaking their covenant with Valen. She seized the leadership staff and snapped it in two, declaring the Council disbanded. Five of the nine members, all of whom were religious and worker, chose to follow her and the Council was broken, as was prophesied.


In 2261, members of the Warrior Caste, eager for a power grab, started a civil war which claimed lives of their fellow Minbari. That slaughter led Delenn to offer Shakiri, leader of the rebelling warriors, the surrender of the religious at an ancient gathering facility in the city of Varenni on Minbar. The facility was home to the Starfire Wheel, a powerful device used by the ancients to help determine which caste was suitable to rule.

When Shakiri arrived, Delenn challenged him to adhere to the rule set down by the ancients, whom Shakiri, at least on the surface, showed admiration for. The rule was that the leader of each caste was to enter the circle, and the caste of the one who stayed within long enough to be consumed by the beam would be allowed to rule. While Delenn stood undaunted in the face of certain death, Shakiri entered warily, showing more fear than he would have wished to let on.

As the beam's intensity grew and Delenn weakened, another warrior, Neroon, entered the wheel to rescue Delenn from the beam's power. By this time, Shakiri had fled the wheel's fury, cowering in pain from the burns he had sustained. Neroon, conversely, reveled in the wheel's fire and actually experienced a conversion to the religious caste. At that moment, he called on his fellow caste members to end the war, to listen to Delenn and heed her wisdom. Seconds later, Neroon was vaporized.

This is pertinent to the Grey Council as it leads to how the council was reorganized. Delenn reformed the council into one of five workers, two religious, and two warriors, so that the workers would, at last, have a stake in building Minbar's future. For generations, the squabbles of the religious and warrior castes decided Minbar's fate, with the workers riding the coattails of those whose intentions were most advantageous. With the reformation of the Council, Delenn had issued a challenge to the workers to "rule wisely."

The nine members of the council stand in circle, their backs to the darkness and their face to the light, so as to stand in "the Grey". The center light, once reserved in Valen's name, is now reserved in Neroon's name for "the One who is to come", in honor of Neroon's sacrifice to save his people.

Very little is known of Grey Council Leaders, as the Minbari are extremely secretive of such things. The only known undisputed leader since Valen was Dukhat. Delenn was chosen to lead the council, but she (unprecedentedly) declined so as to tend to her duties in the Shadow War.

Known Members of Original CouncilEdit

  • Kodroni: of the Religious Caste.
  • Coplann: of the Warrior Caste.
  • Delenn: of the Religious Caste. (Only member to ever turn down the calling of Leadership.)
  • Dukhat: of the Religious Caste. (Chosen One and Leader.)
  • Jenimer: of the Religious Caste. (Chosen One and Leader; Appointed in January 2259.)
  • Morann: of the Warrior Caste.
  • Neroon: of the Warrior Caste. (Replaced Delenn, thus violating the balance between the castes.)
  • Rathenn: of the Religious Caste.

Known Members of the Reformed CouncilEdit


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