- 2 Chapter Posts
Wed Sep 6th, 2017 @ 8:59pm
Varidan of Coldshade Heights
Name Varidan of Coldshade Heights
Position Exile (Aquitaine)
|Date of Birth||21.11.3509|
|Other Titles||Fmr. High Lord Commander of the Knights Templar, Aquitaine|
|Aliases / Nicknames||Virdaín - this is the name under which Varidan was known when he still was a Templar, he left that name behind when he was Exiled. Inside Aquitaine, and by many people not aware of his fate this name is still used.
Varidan: Ever since the breaking Virdaín has resumed to the use of his childhood nickname: Varidan. It serves as a clean break between what is gone and done with and what is now and thus helps him deal with the violent change in his life.
|Craft / Trade||Since his Exile Varidan has taken to wandering, surviving by his skill of the sword, and by the knowledge he still has of the land. Taking the advice of the man who helped him escape, he turned to hunting and finding rare materials for the dwarven traders, it is a risky, dangerous business but one that supports him for the time being and allows him to travel without attracting too much attention.
Planned: Varidan will become a member of Cymeria’s High Guard, the Morrighan.
Home & Residence
|Estate / Hold / Farm||Stormhold Caer (Planned/Future)|
|Region / Province||Harkania March|
|Country of Residence||Cymeria|
|Town / Village||Duskhallow|
|Residence / Lodging||None. As Varidan was recently exiled, he has no homeland or other home to speak of.
Future: Morrighan quarters within Stormholm Caer.
|Original Birthplace||Varidan was born in a small hamlet in the Mountains of the Kingslayer’s Dagger called Coldshade Heights. The hamlet, along with Coldshade Dale, Coldshade Woods and Coldshade Dens, lay in the shadow of the mighty Coldfrost Peak.
The house of Varidan’s parents, the place where he was born, was a typical miner’s home, a small solid house, built from the same grey stones that dominate the surroundings.
|Height||6’3 - tall but not irregularly so for his people.|
|Weight||172 lbs - Varidan attained hard muscles due to wearing armor for most of his life.|
|Hair||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.|
|Eyes||Grey like the skies of the autumn day when he was born.|
|Build / Stature||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.|
|Marks / Scars||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.
|Style||He is usually is clean-shaven, with a short stubble when he has had no chance to shave. With the simple and often ascetic living of the Templars, Varidan is still in top shape, albeit he is approaching his middle years.|
|Character Looks Like||Boromir as drawn my Margali Villneuve in the "Blood of Numenor" TGC.|
|Personality Traits||-Calm under pressure
-Able to keep control of a situation
-To keep his head and see the patterns of events
-Good strategist and observer
-Patient and focused
-Can come across as cold
-Can tend to over-analyze a problem
-Can underestimate the motivation of people at times
-Tends to believe in many a legend or myth about the arcane races.
|Personality||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, especially the Aeld, 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.
|Mannerisms||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.|
|Education||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.|
|Languages||Saesneg - taught to all Templars, Varidan augmented his training by reading as many Aeldish books he could get his hand son.
Luminar - mother tongue
Vanir - fairly well
Drukar - fairly fluent
Heniaith: Learned from various books, not always correct, due to the quality of the texts
|Dexterity & Mobility||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.|
|Expertise||Varidan is a skilled horseman, a solid swimmer and reasonably agile in rough grounds. He is not the fastest of runners but his endurance holds out all the longer.|
Combat & Weapons
|Training & Skills||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.|
|Weapons||Like all Templars Varidan is primarily a swordsman, using an one-and-a-half hand blade, the very same blade that was placed in his hands upon his induction into the order. The blade endures to this day and bears the name "fallen star."
While Templar swords are fairly similar, they have two distinctive details that set them apart. Each blade is made for its specific wielder, adjusted to height, strength and fighting style. The second is a personal detail - often something from their home that is worked into the hilt, a reminder where they came from.
In Varidan’s case it was a stone - a small precious stone he found during his sixth year as a novice when helping younger novices to escape a cave-in. Climbing into the hole, he helped them out, freeing those who had been trapped under rocks. While doing this he find a small, shining stone, a jewel, which he handed in upon returning to the fortress. It was a small (fingernail size) star sapphire, which was kept and worked into the hilt of his blade. Some say it is a blessed stone and has protected Varidan from harm in the past.
Varidan usually carries an assortment of daggers, as a thrown blade can dip the favors between life and dead in close quarters combat.
The sword was broken when Virdaín was broken, it’s shambles cast into the melting pit anew. The gemstone, the shard, survived the breaking and through Surane’s interference found it’s way back into Varidan’s hands.
Since then Varidan has used whatever weapon came into his hands.
Arcane Skills & Abilities
|Arcane Source||Arcane Gift|
|Arcane Title||Fallen Templar|
|Affinity / Nature||Formerly Arcane Gift - The Blessing
Now: Arcane Talent (post-breaking of the Blessing)
Varidan possesses a gemstone - a shard - which he found in his youth. The stone seemed to react to his Blessing, and the use of his powers. After the breaking the Shard still reacts to his powers, though the exact link needs yet to be determined.
Varidan is not aware that the blue gemstone is a shard of the Talisman.
|Arcane Abilities||The Blessing
Like all Templars Varidan received the Blessing through the trials. The skills he received from the Blessing were almost entirely defensive in nature - something that seemed to contradict his otherwise strong talent. His main skills were: The Barrier, The Prayer of Cleansing, the Prayer of Easement, and Light of Steel. Varidan never able to use the Call of Penance, or the Blessing Contramagica. His meditations and scryings were were only sometimes successful.
Now: Arcane Talent
In the 5th Year of the Thunder Eagle Varidan was cast from the Order and sentenced to the Breaking, thereby losing his Blessing and the Power bestowed through it. Ever since he has become growingly aware that there is another power inside him, something that was somehow sealed away by the Blessing. Varidan is still exploring the full nature of this power, but he swiftly learned that some of his training can be applied to it.
|Arcane Defenses||Fallen Star - Varidan's sword Fallen Star contains a shard, which has at times reacts to Varidan's mind or situation. The sword broke as he was broken, but the Shard remains in his possession, reacting stronger than ever to the now unconstrained powers of it’s wearer.|
|Weaknesses / Limitations||Varidan hast yet do truly learn to handle his powers, or to fully accept that he is indeed arcanely gifted. While he working through all this, he is still apllying some of his old training to his changed powers - to very varied success. None of his skills can be taken as reliable in this moment.|
|Spouse, Mate or Partner||None. Varidan never met someone he truly felt that close to, and also believed that his duties to the Order precluded such deep commitments.|
|Father||Barian, a miner in the Silver-mines on Coldshade Heights, hard working and honest Barian was an example to his son without even trying. He also was the only one who truly believed that Varidan had been called - because nothing else could explain what had happened that day. When he heard of Varidan being raised to High Lord Commander he could scarcely believe it, and was incredibly proud of his son. He was murdered shortly before Varidan's banishment, as a message to his son. Vardian received the message from a dying Templar in Cymeria - while he did not show nor tell anyone what it meant, it was the first warning of his impending breaking.|
|Mother||Kailea, a warm-hearted, hard-working woman who raised a brood of seven in the rough lands of Coldshade Heights. She died nine years ago after suffering from the White Fever during the winter. She was glad that she was able to see all her children for one last time.|
|Brother(s)||Talnar - 39 and a respected miner in the silver mines at Coldshade Heights, married and with several children. Talnar has been very careful with his choices ever since Varidan’s rise began, because he knows that others might try to use him to curry favor. By focusing on his work and on finally getting Light’s Mercy Shaft finally to the fifth deep, he has evaded the attentions of those in power well.
Eran - 45 and scribe at the Mining Office in Snowblaze Heights. Injured in a severe mining accident, he was not able to return to the mines because one of his legs remained stiff. His education in the School of Light received as a child and his knowledge enabled him to earn a place at the Mining Office, recording the new finds and mining progressions. He is married, with children and a very respected citizen of Snowblaze Heights.
Bran - 35 and not living in Aquitaine any longer. Bran manifested the Arcane Talent as a child and his father rather called for Varidan, a brother Bran had never seen before, than entrusting the case to the Seekers. Varidan truly tried to help his brother - they tried everything, isolation, the shackle… it worked for a time. The shackle allowed Bran control and the feeling that someone could hinder his outbreaks. Until at the age of 21 he had a terrible episode and gravely injured Varidan. He also realized that without training he would die. After a long and painful talk between the brothers Varidan brought him secretly to the Cymerian borders, wishing him well.Today Bran is a scholar with the Theurgy, and something of an expert on Aquitaine. While it is known that he has a brother in Aquitaine who did not condemn him, no one even guesses that said brother is the High Lord Commander of the Templars.
|Sister(s)||Eileen - 48 and Varidan’s oldest sibling, to her he will always be the little brother, High Lord Commander or not. Eileen married a Templar and lives in Aquitaine City as a trader of inks. While very happy, she sometimes regrets that her husband will never relax around his brother in law.
Suraine: 37 Once an unmarried scholar at a Seeker Monastery. Like her brother, suraine felt the calling young and entered a Seeker Monastery to become a scholar. She was later consecrated into the Seeker order and had a part in the fall of her brother.
Veila: 29, youngest child of the family, married in Coldshade Heights with a mining foreman, she takes care of her father. She never knew her older brother as a child but after meeting him when their mother died, they exchange letters regularly. Compassionate and warmhearted she senses that Varidan does not want to lose his tenuous link to the family and tries to keep him inside by telling him about the goings on.
|Other Family||Varidan has a broad assortment of nephews, nieces, cousins and so forth, few that he knows personally.|
|Family Relationships||Varidan’s relationship to his family was one of trust and warmth, even as his path differed vastly from that of his parents. He was especially close to his father, a miner, who taught him many practical things and who believed in his calling unconditionally, allowing and encouraging Varidan to take the trials of a Novice and become a Templar. Varidan loved his father and was shocked and hurt when he learned of his murder. With all the recent upheaval in his life he had little time to grieve.
Varidan’s relationship to his siblings varied, but was overall positive (see their list for details), and he even has a partial understanding for his sister Surane turning on him.
Note: Since his banishment all contact to his family in Aquitaine has ceased.
|Varidan’s family on the whole was like many common families in Aquitaine, industrious if somewhat poor, faithful if not exactly deeply spiritual and overall a warmhearted family. As miners they had lived in the shadow of the Kingslayer’s Dagger for generations, some of them getting split up, as they went to different mines, but mostly returning home to the cold heart of mountains sooner or later.
Varidan and Surane were the first children in generations to have a calling, Brán the first in five generations to have the arcane talent. Both resurging in one generation did certainly surprise the family, even if it did not surprise the Seekers.
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.
518 - 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.
519 - 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.
519 - 526 Training at Northstar fortress
523 - 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.
524 - 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.
526 - 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.
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 abilties to the extend 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.
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 Cymerian borders, where they said goodbye with a heavy heart.
Commander of Storm Towers Fortress, fighting the long defense against the Aquilonian Siege that only came to an end after the Aquilonians were defeated in D’hassa.
540 - 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.
540 - 550 - 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.
Upon his return from D'hassa Varidan found out that King Aedan had been murdered and he himself was charged with Betrayal of the Templar Order, aiding the Arcane and willingly allowing the murder of Templar through Arcane creatures. The trial had already been held in absentia and had been sentenced guilty, with Prince Galahed named as an accomplice. The new King of Aquitaine -Romar - feigned deepest regrets about the unrest in Templar ranks and insisted that Inquisition review the case and carry out the judgement, which led to a deal between the Varidan and the Head Inquisitor of the case, behind Romar's back. Varidan would accept the charges laid out against him and be sentenced to Breaking and Exile, without challenging and the trial or calling for the Trial by Fire. In return the Inquisition would recognize Galahed as misled but not a willing accomplice and change his sentence to temporary exile, but not term him cast from the Light.
The judgement was carried out in November of the fifth year of the Thunder Eagle and Exile followed within days after.
Friends & Foes
|Family of the Heart||Prince Galahed - Since Varidan saved the young Prince from an attack by dark powers years ago, he first became a mentor and later a confidante of the younger man. They became friends and allies. In his trial Varidan was given the choice to either oppose his sentence, and see Galahed sentenced by association, or accept his Exile quietly, and have Galahed's life guaranteed in the process. He chose the latter.|
|Allies & Friends||Mikhael Stormdanovich - during the events at the ceremony in D'hassa, Varidan met the Cymerian High Lord and was, to his own surprise, deeply impressed by the other man and respects him highly. The Meeting called up again the long debated doubt in Varidan, that all Aeld were evil by nature. Varidan respects Mikhael and believes him to be a good and honorable man.
Vasya Stormdanovich: Varidan met Vasya during the ceremonies in D'hassa, where the young boy asked him about the events ten years ago. At the end of the conversation Vasya revealed that he could see colours around Varidan. Varidan believes that he was witness to the manifestation or calling of Vasya's innate arcane powers. In spite of his faith, or training, Varidan does not believe the boy evil and would protect him, should it ever be needed.
|Adversaries & Foes||King Romar - the new King of Aquitaine and one of the reasons for Varidan's banishment. Varidan despises the man for letting the Black Order use him and for his murder of King Aedan.
The Black Order - much of Varidan's life has been dedicated to fight the Black Templar order. Having been partially successful, they finally were the hand behind his fall and Exile from his homeland. While Varidan knows that he will not be able to fight them directly anytime soon, he is more than willing to cross their plans whenever he can.