Nearly 13,000 years ago, a beast was loose upon the Earth. Some called the beast Tiamat, the mother of beasts. Others called it Kur, the first dragon. It spawned demons across the Mesopotamoan world. According to record, for many years, man was preyed upon like fish in a stream. But then, sometime around 12,000 B.C., a hero rose. A man named Hurin. He taught his people to band together, and fight the abomination. For years, Hurin and his people fought the beast. Until, one day, he devised a plan. He made something called the Iskakku, the great weapon. With the weapon, the beast and his army was defeated. It was as good as dead. Hurin was entrusted to kill the beast. After beating the beast back, Hurin suckled from it and he became its greatest protector. Hurin was then called the Great Traitor, which over time became the Gray Trader.
The Gray Trader was created by American Vampire writer Scott Snyder and artist Rafael Albuquerque, introduced in the final issue before the 2013 hiatus. He was described by Snyder as a man who is "a force that's been acting beneath the surface of the series, literally and figuratively, for a long time."