- Piter De Vries
Piter De Vries from "
The Dune Encyclopedia"] Piter De Vries is a fictional characterfrom the "Dune" universe created by Frank Herbert. He is featured in "Dune", the original novel in the science fictionseries, as well as the " Prelude to Dune" prequel series by Brian Herbertand Kevin J. Anderson.
De Vries was a
Mentatin the service of Baron Vladimir Harkonnen. This Mentat was a particular favorite of the Baron because the Tleilaxu had shown him to be an amoral sadist, making him an ideal candidate for the Baron's torturer.
De Vries' loyalty to his master was unusual in that he continued to serve the Baron with great enthusiasm, even though his Mentat abilities and great intelligence confirmed his suspicions that his master planned to eventually kill him. As he says in "Dune":
In "Dune", it is established that De Vries pioneered a type of toxin called "
residual poison", which remained in the body for years and required an antidote to be administered regularly. One such fatal poison was used by the Harkonnens on Thufir Hawat(the House Atreides Mentat), in order to keep the Mentat's allegiance as the only provider of the antidote (in the 1984 movie version, it is shown that Hawat has to milk a gruesome captive cat for the antidote every day). The poison was in fact administered without Hawat's knowledge as a way to kill him (an otherwise daunting task, as Hawat was a master assassin) should the need arise. Hawat's "loyalty" came from his desire to wreak his vengeance on the Imperium.
De Vries is generally regarded as architect of the plan to destroy the Harkonnen's long-time enemy,
House Atreides, while returning the Baron's stewardship over Arrakis. He died on Arrakis shortly after House Harkonnen's troops and Imperial Sardaukarhad captured Duke Leto Atreides. Leto had been given a false tooth containing a poisonous gas by Wellington Yueh, the Suk doctor who betrayed House Atreides. When the tooth was crushed, the intended victim—the Baron Harkonnen—escaped but De Vries was not so lucky.
"Prelude to Dune"
In "", it is revealed that the Reverend Mother
Gaius Helen Mohiamsecretly killed the original Piter De Vries after the Mentat discovered the Harkonnen heritage of Lady Jessicaand her newly born son Paul and attempted to kidnap and ransom the infant. Mohiam effectively preserved this secret by murdering De Vries and arranging for his corpse to be shipped home to Giedi Prime. An enraged Baron was left with no choice but to order a duplicate from the Bene Tleilax, who would become the Mentat De Vries featured in Herbert's original novel "Dune".
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