→The Fall and Rise of Varian Huskgar
As a young man Varian showed himself to be gifted in both the ways of the wild and the ways of war; although no more so than his elder brother Tormund. In fact, the two were remarkably similar. However, where Tormund saw leadership as a mighty responsibility, Varian saw it as a birthright. Tormund knew that he would one day need to don the mantle of leadership, to ensure the survival of his people for another generation, and he welcomed the burden. Varian, however, was ambitious, and his ambition drove him to want more than the second son of a tribal chieftain could traditionally expect.
By the time Varian had reached his twentieth season he had gained a reputation as a risk taker, albeit a successful one. By slaying menacing beasts of the realm, and prosecuting daring raids on rival tribes, Varian attracted a following of similarly ambitious and fearless warriors. Over time Varian became obsessed with the idea of fame and riches beyond the veldt in which his tribe dwelled. On the eve of the coronation of his brother, as chieftain, Varian announced that he would take the self-proclaimed mightiest warriors of the tribe and venture out to bring true riches back to Red Wolves. Whilst the proclamation did not quite bring the tribe to bloodshed it was not well received by Osmund or Tormund.
The tribe could ill afford to lose so many capable hands. Implacable, the next morning Varian and his comrades set out to earn their fame and bring prosperity back to the tribe.
Though noble in essence, the expedition proved far more arduous than Varian had anticipated. The life of a nomad in the veldt was grueling, but at least he knew what to expect. The world outside the veldt was something else entirely. Unable to cope using the tools he had, Varian sought the tools he needed, though they did not come cheaply. At first the cost was toil and hazard. This was a simple thing. But as the required tools became more exotic, Varian found that his morals were the most valuable currency. Eventually his descent brought him into contact with a group of fanged Duardin who promised pitch black armor, of a most impressive aspect, in exchange for the slaughter and enslavement of the clerics at a nearby Order of the Dove temple. Reluctantly, Varian undertook the commission; after all, he owed his own people prosperity, did he not? . . .