Let there be Fire
Tall and muscular, Varidan has been trained from childhood on to be a swordsman and wear heavy armor with little discomfort and it shows. While his medium frame is nothing compared to some broad-shouldered fighters, he is well muscled and strong. His long hands are calloused from use of the sword or work. He moves in a strong stride, with the subconscious balance that comes with years and years of sword-training. Something that most people notice about him are his eyes - grey as the skies on a stormy day, and easily reflecting his mood, darkening with anger or brightening with laughter.
He has thick, slightly unruly black hair, that he usually ties back into a ponytail at the nape of his neck, but some of the dark locks easily escape that to fall free, no matter how hard he tries. Several silvery pale streaks mingled into it, they are physical marks of the breaking he underwent.
Varidan has a number of scars, remains of old injuries, none easily visible, most on his upper body or legs.
As part of his Ascension to the Rank of High Lord Commander, Varidan received a Mark of the Light, in his case it is a silvery depiction of the Battle-Lion on his upper left chest, above the heart. After his breaking the mark began to fade slowly, but is still visible.
Dedicated and faithful would be two good terms to describe Varidan, he is a strong willed man who has learned to know when to listen and when to act. He is a good leader, even though he often silently questions his own leadership skills, and beneath the hardened warrior lies a rather spiritual character.
Varidan is someone whose first impulse is to do what is right, no matter whether it is prudent or not. He easily reaches out to others to help, when he sees them struggle and has the good patience that would make him a superb trainer or mentor.
One of Varidan’s great strengths is his calm, it is trait his father trained into him from earliest childhood on, because when the Mountain gets angry and the ground shakes, panic will lead a man to the wrong actions, and calm, keeping one’s head is imperative to saving oneself and others. Said calm has helped Varidan often in his career, be it to stop and analyze the problem he was faced with, or to think ahead of his enemy and come with a plan. In that Varidan is a strategist. The few times where he flared up, his temper riled to a point of all restraints breaking were few and memorable. Most of the time he learned that keeping his temper would have been wiser.
Albeit being a warrior by choice, Varidan loves knowledge and a good philosophical read or treatise on a matter of the faith is something he genuinely enjoys. He has read a number of writings from other lands, because you cannot try to change the heathen if you do not know his name and you cannot deal with an enemy without understanding him.
Varidan used to have a focused, commanding presence attained through years of holding command over men. His recent radical changes in station have forced a change of demeanour on him as well, only to bring out his core more strongly: that of a calm, steady man, who knows who he is and who will help those who need help without hesitation. Varidan is always willing to listen, even to a suspected apostate, he will hear any case first, and then judge, not the other way round. His love for knowledge makes him a good listener.
Archery: average. Varidan is basically able to use bow and crossbow, but due to growing up in the Kingslayer’s dagger, his eyes were affected by the minerals there and his eyesight is less keen than that of other men.
Sword: Varidan’s weapon of choice, he prefers the one handed sword, or a bastard sword, and is very proficient with both.
Vardian is a solid fighter, but not as agile as many others are. He is more a “stand and deliver” sort of warrior, and has learned that with age he has to conserve his strength, not waste it on running around needlessly. His right leg is somewhat weaker than the left, a recent result of the injuries suffered during his “driving out” into Exile.
Varidan is a superior swordsman, preferring the great-sword over lighter blades. He is right-handed, though he often takes the blade with both hands. He is a skilled rider, though his long-range eyesight is slightly off and his aim with bow or crossbow is under average, especially when it comes to small targets. Through a life-long training since childhood Varidan is used to wearing heavy armor pieces and be scarcely hindered by them.
Hand to Hand: Good in hand to hand, if with a rough, direct style, prefers a dagger in close quarters.
Other weapons: Varidan has training a wide variety of weapons.
Riding: Proficient on horseback, but prefers fighting on foot.
Swimming: Swimmer with good endurance, high tolerance for cold water
Climbing: good for a human, but not as agile as other peoples.
Arcane Flora and Fauna: Varidan has a wide knowledge of creatures and plantlife arcane, or shadow-influenced, he is very proficient in analysing the traces/tracks he finds, and to read what kind of creature might be in the vicinity. He also knows where to find and how to identify a wide range of arcane plants, though he does not necessarily know any use constructive use for them, though he often knows what kind of evildoers might seek those, for what.
During his time with the Templar's Varidan received a good education, he is able to read and write several languages, do complex calculations (mainly pertaining warfare and related matters), and has a good if sometimes not accurate knowledge of the races of the world. Well read in spiritual and philosophical matters.
Blessing: Varidan underwent the Templar trial and the trial of the High Lord Commander, receiving both blessings. Hence he had a powerful, rather intense blessing.
Potentium: Varidan still carries the Dawnbreaker Potentium without knowing it.
Prayer of Cleansing: Varidán learned the Prayer of Cleansing as a Novice, during the Plague in Port-of-Storms. Having learned the skill under high pressure, and with the constant fear of the plague, he mastered the skill to a high degree.
The Barrier: Middle-strength. Varidán’s barriers were never the strongest, nor was he able to create a long-lasting barrier. Usually his barriers were spur-of-the-moment, to block short bursts of danger.
Through Ash and Fire: Highly proficient. Varidán was unusually skilled with this prayer, to a level that he made sure other Templars or Seekers did not realize how good he was with this. (Also the reason why the Seekers found it prudent to avoid a Trial by Fire for him.)
Blessing of Easement: Strong. Like the Prayer of Cleansing, the Prayer of Easement came easy for Varidan and he is able to use it very strongly.
I see no evil (Meditation): Varidán always had problems with the meditation and often came to no result, or mixed results. Unreliable at best.
Scrying: Unreliable at best. Varidán has no real talent in scyring and his results were rarely useful if it worked at all.
Penance: Middle to strong. Depends strongly on Varidáns focus and on his conviction that his opponent is truly evil. If he has doubts, the prayer fails or comes out weak.
Blessing Contramagica: Strong. Like with “Through Fire and Ash” it seems Varidan’s talents run in the direct contra to magical things.
The Fortelling: Never had a fortelling.
The breaking did not destroy Varidán’s talents but changed them deeply, Varidan does not yet know how deep these changes go, but many of his skills - if he tries to use them - come out with unpredictable results. For example a barrier not blocking magic, but bursting out in blue arcane flame. Varidan does not yet know how he sees his skills at this point but was forced to try and use them by situations he walked into.
Varidan was born the third son of a miner, in Coldshade Heights, a small hamlet in the Mountains. His family was not very poor nor well to do, but industriously scraping by.
1988 - The Calling
Varidan’s Calling came when he was only 9 - he had gone to the mines to wait for his father to come up again, on a particularly icy day before Darkness Falls Festival, when it happened, he felt a pain inside his heart, seeing a cold radiance above the dark mine entrance, it only lasted a second - but it left an unshakeable certainty, he had been called.
1989 - Day of Trials
Varidan underwent the three trials (Strength, Endurance and Soul) at Northstar fortress. By far the youngest candidate, he passed the tests well. “He does not have any training but he has the spirit.” Was the judgement of the Weapon’s Master in the end.
1989 - 1996 Training at Northstar fortress
1993 - Varidan’s training mainly centered in Northstar fortress he pushed himself hard to reach the skills demanded of him. Taking the tenet of the faith “The Light demands we aid those weaker than us.” to heart, he tried his best to help Kalwyr, a boy two years older and unhappy in training. After four years, things came down in a clash when Kalwyr failed in a field exercise in winter and Varidan forwent winning for helping Kaldwyr to at least finish the rough exercise. The Weapon’s Master confronted him about it after, telling him off and reminding him that a Templar must be able to sacrifice a man for the Cause. Tired and angered Varidan told him the truth, that Kalwyr was not here because he wanted to be a Templar nor had he been called - he was here because of his father’s useless pride. His angry speech and respectless demeanour earned Varidan a whipping of 15 lashes and three days in Deprivation - but those were for lacking form and respect. Kalwyr actually received help, after a long talk with Father Antonidas, the Head Priest of the Castle, he was allowed to leave Templar training and begin training as a healer.
1994 - Varidan spent one year training at Port of Storms fortress. During that summer a wave o Macarai fever decimated the city. Through a strange string of events, following the tracks of vanished Novice, Varidan stumbled across the true source of the plague and also across the ancient mystery of the legandary sword Dawnbreaker. In the aftermath he was discouraged to explore his link to the sword.
1996 - Varidan’s trials came seven years after entering training, like all trainees he was given the chance to refuse testing, many trainees only can do it at the second try, but none such came from Varidan, he entered and passed the trials at first try and was inducted into the Order of the Templars in Feast of Swords the same year.
1998 - Varidan learned that his younger brother Brán had the arcane talent. His family was was loath to let the Seekers take him, because they would hand him over to foreigners, the Dwarrow. Originally Varidan wanted to convince his family to follow the law, but after meeting Brán, he felt he could not. Thus he set out to try and teach Brán to control his abilities to the extent of not using them. When Bran grew older they tried the shackle, a method the Templars had applied in the past successfully. It also forced Varidan to delve deeper into the mysteries of his Blessing than he ever had before, but for a time they were successful.
2001 - Bran had a terrible outbreak of his powers and injured Varidan in the process, burning the shackle out. Horrified by what he had done, Bran asked Varidan to kill him, rather dead than to become a monster turning on his own family.Varidan would not hurt his little brother and after a long, painful talk, he escorted Bran out of Aquitaine and to the Dwarrow borders, where they said goodbye with a heavy heart.
2005-2009 - Commander of Storm Towers Fortress.
During his time as Commander of Storm Towers Varidan was confronted with the case of a Morrighan having hunted a dragon slayer illegally in Aquitaine and then having been tortured by Seekers and Templars just as illegally. Varidan stepped in, just as the Morrighan’s Dragon arrived, ready to burn the fortress. It took all of Varidan’s authority to get Breccan freed and sent on his way.
2009 - The Death of High Lord Commander
Death of High Lord Commander Calcuran. Shortly after his successor Tamarlaine Pendoran was announced, Varidan was sought out by the Novice Skylar. Skylar had been witness to Calcuran being murdered by Tamarlaine, desparate and not knowing to whom to turn he decided to trust Varidan, due to his reputation.
The confession of the trainee put Varidan to the hardest crisis of duty and faith he ever had. What should he do? He had no proof beyond the word of a scared novice, Tamarlaine Pendoran was a well respected man from an influential family, a man who commanded to loyalty of many. How could Varidane even think of challenging him on such flimsy proof?
On the other hand, how could he not? The truth will not come before you in shining armor or clothed in gold, it will stand before you ragged and bleeding, demanding you to act. The Codex Luminaris said, and Varidan never felt those words heavier than that night.
The very next morning Varidan walked into the inauguration of the new High Lord Commander, sword in hand, challenging Tamarlaine, casting forth the accusation of murder. Tamarlaine tried to cast doubts on Varidan first, to paint him in a darkish light, which might have been his first mistake, because it made others wonder why Tamarlaine tried to maneuver. Eventually the High Hall of the Templars demanded trial under the Light - trial by single combat.
Varidan knew he stood against the finest swordsman of the order, against THE Templar Paragon, and Trial under the Light meant they both would be fighting on even grounds, with equal weapons - long swords. No chances to play the advantages of ground or horse against his opponent. And it truly became the hardest duel of his life, a battle like none before - halfway through the duel Tamarlaine first displayed some odd skill, and by the end he was openly using dark magic - Varidan killed him with one stroke of his blade through the chest in the end. To this day Varidan will say that it was the Light’s strength that decided his victory, as he hardly knows how he stood through half of this fight.
After Tamarlaine’s quarters were searched documents were found revealing not only his guilt in the recent murder, but several more crimes. The same evening the High Hall of the Templars assembled to determine who should be raised to the place of High Lord Commander. No one was more shocked than the Varidan when they called him to the Trial of the High Lord Commander. Varidan at first believed it a mistake. He was only 32, too young for a High Lord Commander and there were those much more worthy… but the Call to the Trial of the High Lord is the same as the Call to Court to be Judged, even the words are the same and like the criminal cannot evade his sentence, the trial may not evaded either.
Varidan entered the trial and passed it, in spite of being essentially unprepared and injured from the preceding duel. The next day, two days late, he was raised to High Lord Commander.
2009-2019 - High Lord Commander of the Templars
Varidan spend most of his tenure as High Lord Commander fighting the influence of the Black Templars and of resurgent groups of Calderan Supremacists, seeking to overthrow the King of Aquitaine. While he had some initial successes in decimating the Black Order, ultimately the Black Order got the upper hand.
Thanks to the Black Order's intrigues Varidan finds himself accused in the murder of King Aedan, as well as charged with heresy. Before the trial can formally proceed, he is made an offer by the Seekers: he agrees to be pronounced guilty and exiled, and does not ask for a Trial of Fire, and in turn they will drop the charges against Prince Galahed, and send Galahed off the Siege Amaranth. Tp protect Prince Galahed Varidan agreed to the deal and was subjected to the Breaking and driven out of Aquitaine and into Exile. Most people - including the officials in Aquitaine - believe he died shortly after the passing the gate of exile. None of them know that he was rescued by a dwarrow and survived the ordeal.
Ever since he has called himself Varidán and usually will state that Virdáin of Coldshade Heights is dead.