Huskgar's Red Reavers

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The Fall and Rise of Varian Huskgar

   Varian grew up much like any other human boy in the brutal Ghur wilderness.  Being the son of a chieftain did not exempt him from any of the hardships the other boys faced.  If anything, those hardships were intensified.  Varian’s father, Osmund, led the nomadic Red Wolves.  Under his leadership they enjoyed a relatively safe and prosperous existence.  Not that anyone in Ghur was ever truly safe.  Though vicious in battle, and not educated in any formal sense, Osmund was a wise and just leader.  With knowledge from those that came before him, and a keen sense of the wilds of Ghur, he kept the tribe constantly moving; following the migration of the gaur and oryx.  Always a step ahead of the myriad predators, Osmund and the Red Wolves even found room in their harsh existence for what passes as decency in Ghur.  That is to say they restrained themselves from instantly killing any outsider that crossed their path.

   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.  They 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? . . .

   Years have passed since Varian’s enterprise began.  Once his tribe had focused his course.  Now his ever increasing might is all that matters.  Once he honored the simple life of the nomad.  Now Varian’s ambition grows with each fleeting victory, the spoils of the last conquest never satisfying him for long.  His memory of the Red Wolves has become dull and foggy.  No longer simple flint wielding savages; his Red Reavers are armored champions who fear no mortal.  And though once, like his forbearers, he appealed to many gods, Varian now finds that his petitions are, almost, exclusively directed toward a select few: The Blood Wolf, The End Father, The Great Eye.  These gods are the ones with true power.  These gods are the ones who can supply him the strength he needs. . .
Additional paragraph tying the story into the Animosity II Campaign
   When the agent of The Undivided stepped out of the shadows Varian was truly startled.  It had been a lifetime since someone had gotten that close to him unnoticed.  Between his upbringing as both predator and prey, and the endowments he’d been bestowed, no mortal could best him so.  Then again, this emissary was no mere mortal; the taloned feet protruding from her dark robes made that abundantly clear.  Varian’s dirk was out in an instant.  The emissary paid no mind.  “Varian Huskgar” she intoned in a gravelly, yet somehow musical voice.  “Sheath your blade.  Spoils await those with the fortitude to take them.  Irkut Thousandeyes has been watching you.”  Varian flipped his dirk in the air, the tip plunging into the barrel he was using as a makeshift table.  He tilted his head and smirked, fire in his eyes.  This is what he’d been waiting for. . .