"A pity, she would have learned things that could make even and Orlesian blush."
Varian Mahariel is one of the legendary Heroes of Ferelden, veteran of the Fifth Blight, and a roguishly handsome Dalish Elf.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Biography
- 3 In-game
- 4 Post-game
- 5 Relationships
- 6 Miscellaneous
- 7 Links
- 8 Gallery
Standing at roughly 5'7, Varian is slightly taller than the average Elf. His light blond hair pairs nicely with his pale skin. His face bears the vallaslin of Andruil the hunter in a complimentary pale yellow.
It would be very easy for one to call Varian childish and arrogant. Though this initial assessment may not be entirely incorrect, these mask a deeper truth. In reality, Varian possesses a deep need for acceptance wherever he can find it, whether it be in the ancient traditions of the Dalish, the upbeat atmosphere of a tavern, or in his role as a Grey Warden.
Talents and Skills
As he would tell you very enthusiastically, Varian possesses an uncanny ability with a bow. Showing remarkable skill with maneuvers even trained arches would have difficulty with. On the artistic front, he shows quite a fondness for drawing, carrying a sketchbook with him wherever he goes.
Varian was born in 9:11 Dragon to parents Seris and Ariasa, of the Sabrae clan. Growing up, Varian dreamed of adventure. Often pretending he was a brave warrior from Arlathan, defending the ancient city from the evil Tevinter invaders. At the age of 6, Varian first encounter the young elf: Tamlen. The two became fast friends, both sharing a deep curiosity about their ancient ancestors, much to the amusement of their clans Keeper. Being Dalish, Varian had a natural distrust of the humans-or "shemlen" as was the slang term-blaming them for the destruction of Elvhenan and the loss of their immortality.
However, the young man's curiosity could not be satiated from mere stories of human culture.He wanted first hand experience. It was in human settlements that he honed his skills as a rogue and thief. Sneaking into villages in the dead of night, Varian would snoop through houses, shops, bakeries, and even a Chantry or two.
It was also the humans who were often victims of his juvenile pranks. As a teenager, he would often sneak into houses and move furniture around to confuse their residents. Though his favorite prank to play was on larger towns that held a Chantry chapel. While the Brothers and Sisters slept in their beds, reciting their Chants deep in their heads, the crafty elf would reach deep into his stash of stolen human memorabilia and make his mark upon the house of their false prophet. When the humans awoke the next morning, they would find that their blessed Andraste wore a pair of laciest, most expensive women's undergarments he could find.
The actions of the Hero of Ferelden during the Fifth Blight are already very well documented. What follows is a brief summary of important events.
Whilst on the hunt with his childhood friend: Tamlen, the two elves stumbled upon an ancient ruin following the directions of a group of three humans. Upon touching a strange and ancient mirror, Varian was stricken unconscious. While on the search for the missing Tamlen, the Grey Warden: Duncan discovered that Varian had been infected with The Taint. To stop himself from succumbing to The Taint, Varian chose to undertake The Joining, begrudgingly becoming a Grey Warden.
The Grey Wardens
Under the supervision of Alistar, Varian ventured into the Korcari WIlds to gather vials of Darkspawn blood in order to complete his Joining. Upon the completion of his joining, Varian and Alistar were ordered by King Cailan and Loghain Mac Tir to light the beacon atop the Tower of Ishal whilst their fellow Wardens battled the Darkspawn in the valley below. However, upon seeing the signal Loghain quit the field with his army and left Cailan and Duncan to die on the battlefield. The tower was quickly overrun by Darkspawn, who struck down Alistair and the new Warden.
Varian awoke within the hut of a Witch who identified herself simply as Flemeth. It was here he learned that he, Alistar Theirin, Nadjia Dechant, Leon Cousland, and Ohlena Amell were the only Wardens to survive the battle. Better yet, Loghain had betrayed them and made the case to Ferelden's nobility that the Wardens were to blame for the loss of the battle, outlawing the Order and placing a bounty on the survivors' heads.
The Witch of The Wilds: Flemeth, urged the Wardens to continue their battle to prevent the Blight. Offering up her daughter: Morrigan to join them on their quest.
The Burden of Leadership
As the party made their way to Lothering to gather supplies for their journey, Alistair was quick to make it clear he would rather not become the de facto leader of their group despite his seniority. While in Lothering, Varian and the Wardens were joined by a young Chantry sister by the name of Leliana who swept to their rescue whilst they were accosted by a mob of Loghain's men. Amused by their haphazard victory against their attackers, the party was joined by a Dwarven warrior named Feriah. Along with Leliana and Feriah, the party acquired Sten, a Qunari accused of murder whom Ohlena managed to free through the convincing of a local Chantry mother. Upon the recommendation of Alistair, the party left Lothering for his childhood home of Redcliffe.
The Arl of Redcliffe
En route to obtain the aid of Arl Eamon Guerrin, the party was urged by Bann Teagan to defend the village from the nightly attacks by the undead. The Wardens defeated the undead and reached Redcliffe Castle through an underground passage shown to them by Teagan. A prisoner within the castle dungeons: Jowan entreated the Wardens to save his pupil, the dying Arl's son: Connor. It was Connor's attempts to save his father that brought the undead and resulted in his possession.
Once the Wardens had defeated legions of the undead and the possessed Connor it was elected that Ohlena would travel to the Circle of Magi to seek their aid in performing a spell that would allow a mage to travel into the Fade and rid the boy of his demon.
Upon the urging of his friend, Morrigan, Varian returned to Flemeth's hut to obtain her grimoire. Upon learning the secret to Flemeth's immortality: that she possesses the bodies of her daughters upon her death, Varian set out to slay Flemeth to preserve Morrigan's life. In the end Flemeth was slain. This is said to have marked the beginning of Morrigan and Varian's complicated relationship.
Seeking to cure the dying Arl, Varian and the Wardens sought out the Urn of Andraste which was rumoured to hold powerful healing properties. Their quest brought them to the remote village of Haven. After defeating the crazed Revered Father Erik, the Wardens were pointed in the direction of a ruined temple situated within the Frostbacks.
While making the trek through the Frostbacks, the party encountered an exiled Avvar woman named Sigrid whom Varian persuaded to reluctantly guide them through the frigid mountain range.
After many challenges and trials, the Wardens acquired the ashes of Andraste and returned them to Arl Eamon. To thank Varian and the Wardens for their assistance, Eamon proposed a Landsmeet with the intention of placing Alistar-the bastard son of the King of Ferelden-upon the throne.
Next, the party traveled to Kinloch Hold. wherein they discovered the hold to be besieged by a group of abominations and Templars. Having offered to end the demon threat, the Wardens entered the Circle Tower with the intent to procure the Circle's help in their quest to stop the Blight. After protecting a group of mages who had survived assault of both demons and abominations, a mage: Wynne, elected to join the party.
During his time at the Circle, Varian and his friends entered the Fade itself, battled the corrupt Senior Enchanter Uldred, and recruited a group of mages to join their battle against the Darkspawn horde.
While venturing into the Brecilian Forest, the party found a Dalish clan who had been plagued by constant attacks by prowling werewolves. In an effort to aid his fellow Dalish, Varian elected to put an end to the werewolf threat by venturing into the forest and slaying the wolf spirit within.
However, having followed a group of retreating werewolves to their leader: The Lady of The Forest, Varian discovered the werewolves were the victims of a curse cast by the Keeper of the Dalish camp they sought to attack. Remembering how much trouble the contempt and disdain that Tamlen had held for humanity brought upon them, Varian came to the conclusion he must mediate the dispute, convincing Keeper Zathrian to break his curse and allowing the werewolves to depart.
After an unsuccessful attempt to recruit the Dwarven armies of Orzammar to their battle against the Blight, Varian and the Wardens were informed they must help choose a new king. Having made the choice to support Lord Pyral Harrowmont, the party was sent to put an end to a criminal Carta in Dust Town before venturing into the Deep Roads to rescue Paragon Branka and her Anvil of The Void.
With the help of Branka's estranged husband and fellow Paragon: Oghren, the Wardens rescued Branka and her Anvil within the Dead Trenches. However, upon discovering the disturbing truth of exactly how the Anvil created its Golems, Varian and company decided that the cost was too high and destroyed the weapon.
The party arrived at the Capital City of Denerim to answer the Landsmeet which will decide the future of Ferelden. Once Nadjia and Alistar had rescued Loghain's daughter: the Queen of Fereldan from her imprisonment, the Wardens arrived at Arl Eamon's estate to begin the Landsmeet.
Here, the Wardens and Loghain's argued to the Fereldan nobility why each of their causes was just. Loghain attempted to convince the court that the Wardens were to blame for the loss against the Darkspawn and the death of King Cailan.
However, with the court unable to reach a decision, it was that the result must be resolved through a trial by combat. Alistair offered himself to fight against the man who murdered his half-brother. Ultimately, the matter was resolved through Loghain's death. With Alistair having become King of Ferelden, another surviving Grey Warden from Orlais: Riordan, revealed to the new Wardens exactly why it must be a Grey Warden to slay the Archdemon which commands the Darkspawn hordes.
In the First Blight, it was learned that a Warden-as they are touched by the Darkspawn Taint-is the only creature which can kill an Archdemon. The soul of the Old God which the Taint had corrupted would travel into the body of the nearest tainted creature. It was then that Varian and his fellow Wardens learned that in order to stop the Fifth Blight, one of them must die.
The Battle of Denerim
Having learned that the Archdemon's hordes were sacking the city of Denerim, the Warden's armies made an about face and marched back to the city they had just left unprotected. To prepare for the battle against the Darkspawn, the travelling army made camp at Redcliffe.
Realising that tonight may very well be his last night to live, Varian ventured to his temporary quarters only to find his friend and lover, Morrigan, waiting for him. She explained to him that she had discovered a way in which none of them must die: to protect the lives of him and his friends, he must conceive a child which bears the Taint with her and the soul of the Archdemon will flee into it in the Warden's place. Though not entirely sure he believed in such an outlandish claim, Varian engaged in the Ritual with Morrigan. He would not discover the truth of Morrigan's words until the Archdemon was faced in battle.
After battling through a city filled with Darkspawn, the Wardens and their companions were able to summon the Archdemon to the tower of Fort Drakon. Ultimately it was Varian who struck the final blow against the corrupted Old God in a desperate attempt to save his friends. Much to his surprise the Archdemon fell as he-and his fellow Wardens-stood triumphant and alive.
Once the Blight had ended, Varian stayed with the Grey Wardens-now under the leadership of Ohlena Amell-for a time whilst continuing his search for Morrigan. Upon the outbreak of the Darkspawn Civil War between the forces of The Architect and The Mother, Varian advised Warden-Commander Amell of how she might proceed, though he mostly desired to keep out of the conflict. However, upon learning of the Architect's nature as an intelligent Darkspawn, and very much inspired by his outlandish head wear, Varian voiced his sneaking suspicion of the Darkspawn's true identity. Whatever his suspicion may have been, Varian supported Warden-Commander Amell's decision to spare the Architect, sharing her hope that perhaps a peace could be reached and another Blight prevented.
The Witch Hunt
A year after the end of the Fifth Blight, in 9:32 Dragon, word reached Varian Mahariel that a witch-woman was sighted in the Korcari Wilds. Upon the discovery that a fellow Dale: Ariane was attempting to reclaim a book that Morrigan had stolen from her clan, he offered to assist the woman and uncover why Morrigan was studying a mysterious Elven artifact: Eluvians.
His travels took him to the far corners of Ferelden, from the Circle Tower to the mysterious ruins where Tamlen had disappeared. Finally, his travels brought him to The Nest, the sight of which the Warden-Commander defeated The Mother. There he found Morrigan and a completed Eluvian mirror. It was here he discovered the outcome of the ritual: Varian had a son, unaware of his true nature and safely hidden from a reborn Flemeth. Though Morrigan issued a dire warning: change was coming to the world, and neither of them had the power to stop it.
In the end, Varian and Morrigan went together through the Eluvian. Varian wrote one final goodbye to his friends whom he left behind in Thedas explaining where he had gone and how he would never forget the time they spent together. Though he was eager to meet his son, he secretly hoped that he would return to them one day.
Varian, Morrigan, and Kieran lived for some time within the ancient Elven Crossroads. A place between The Fade and reality. Here, the family explored and uncovered many ancient Elven secrets, though they could not have known that they had barely scratched the surface of all there was to know. Over the next few years, the couple realized they must come to terms with the fact that one day, The Calling would take Varian and he must face it.
Remembering the curious case of Grand Enchanter Fiona, a former Warden who was cured of the taint. Along with the Architect's power to sever Darkspawn from the call of an Archdemon, Varian resolved that he must find a cure for The Calling. Saying goodbye to his wife and child, the former Warden returned to Thedas. Strangely enough, he discovered that he was not the only member of his former party to search for a cure. As Warden-Commander Amell departed from her lover: Leliana to set out on the very same quest.
A Cure for The Calling
Together, Varian Mahariel, Queen of Ferelden: Nadjia Dechant, Leon Cousland, and Warden-Commander: Ohlena Amell traveled to the West, to lands that had never known a Blight. It is unclear if they succeeded in their goal, but it is known that they returned to Ferelden some time after the rise of the Inquisition and the defeat of Corypheus.
The Dread Wolf Take You
After the disturbing revelation that Flemeth was, in fact, a vessel for the spirit of the Elven Goddess Mythal, Varian ventured to Skyhold: the seat of the Inquisition. Here he met with Inquisitor Adaar and his old friend Leliana. Though in her letters, Morrigan reminded him of the warning she gave him all those years ago.
With his wife's newfound wisdom from the Well of Sorrows, combined with their discoveries from The Crossroads, a disturbing picture began to form. If Mythal wandered Thedas in mortal form and his very own son possessed the soul of an Old God, surely it would not be unreasonable to entertain the thought that perhaps his gods were not only real; but potentially walked alongside him.
He could not shake this absurd thought as he explored the abandoned room of the Inquisition's Elven mage. The thought was particularly strong as he examined the frescoes along the wall.Though they were subtle, he could not help but notice the image of two howling wolves alongside the Inquisition's seal.
If you were to ask him, Varian would have a lot to say about King Alistair. Though he would probably start off with his nativity and innocence. Aside from Varian teases him about, secretly, he greatly respects the man who taught him what it means to be a Warden. In his opinion, Alistair's selfless dedication to ending the Blight and protecting his friends would be enough to write songs about. He just had to go and become a great king too, didn't he?
Overall, Varian's opinion of the crude Dwarven warrior was first that of pity, however it later evolved into respect. He admired his dedication to reuniting with his ex-wife and later hoped that he would make the right choice and return to his family post-Blight.
Shale frankly terrifies Varian. Her immense strength and nearly indestructible nature make Varian wonder how easy it would be for her to simply sit on him, killing him. Despite that, he feels very sorry for the amnesiac Shale. In fact, it was knowing her that ultimately pushed Varian to elect to destroy the Anvil of the Void.
Sten fascinates Varian. His strict adherence to the Qun along with his stoicism and strong moral compass might just be enough to make Varian consider converting. Despite his attempt to take control of the party, Varian knows he only wants what he thinks is best. For that, he'll always have a strange, if begrudging, respect for the hornless Qunari.
It took Varian quite some time to remember Wynne's name, simply thinking of her as the "old woman". However, the two grew somewhat close over their shared promiscuous nature. He was moved by her almost maternal concern over his relationship with Morrigan. It comforts him to know he and the "old woman" will always share a love of teasing the ever-innocent Alistair.
Naturally, Varian viewed the Antivan Crow with suspicion after he attempted to murder him and his friends. Though once he realized the similarities between himself and the new Elf rogue, Varian viewed him more as a friendly competition. Regardless of whether or not Zevran seeks to usurp his position as the handsome rogue, Varian knows-or hopes-that Zevran has his back and won't put an arrow in it.
Varian has always had a soft spot for the Orlesian bard, turned Chantry sister. Although frankly, he's not entirely sure how she became a Chantry sister. He didn't think the Chantry had room for spies, assassins, and self-proclaimed seductresses. Despite their differing worldviews, he and Leliana have grown quite close over their time together. Whenever he's able, he's always sure to bring up the new Divine's more "adventurous" exploits with Warden-Commander Amell.
Of course Varian's eye would be drawn to the mysterious Witch of The Wilds. Varian deeply admires her independence and self-reliance, though at times it can lead to the two large personalities clashing. One might liken the beginning of their relationship to two infatuated adolescents, trying to make it obvious that they don't "like" each other. Often times, Varian questions exactly how her choice of dress is supposed to protect her from anything, though he's not going to complain about it. During the year they were apart, he never removed the magical ring she gave him, hoping one day he would feel it's power alert him to her presence.
Despite his flirtatious and-attempted-suave nature towards pretty much everyone, Morrigan knows-at least he hopes-that he'll never abandon her. No matter how much she may try to make him.
Varian has come to the conclusion that Dog-or Barkspawn-is the very best friend he could have encountered on his travels.
- He once paid Morrigan all the money in his possession to trade outfits. Simply because he was curious as to how he would look.
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