Varun is an imposing figure, and possesses a lean and hungry look brought about by his life in the Demon Wastes as a scout. He is tall and athletic in build, all muscle and sinew, and his bare flesh is a series of deliberate and accidental scarification detailing his battles, his tribe, his duties, and his purpose. His rugged face is marred by an intentional flame-shaped scar, and he wears his hair in an unkept series of dreadlocks.
Varun generally dresses for the road, well-worn hide armor and a thick hooded cloak complement sturdy leather boots, gloves, and a belt. He carries with him a pair of axes, one battle-axe strapped across his back and a handaxe strapped to his right leg. The only concession to sentiment he seems to have is a small golden locket necklace. Inside is a picture of a beautiful human woman in slightly outmoded Thrannish dress. He carries himself as a seasoned scout, quickly and lightly but with purpose and determination.
Varun, last surviving member of the Akhud tribe of the Gaash’kala of the Demon Wastes, has only one thing on his mind.
For as long as the region has been as volatile as it is, the Akhud have joined other tribes in protecting the Demon Wastes from the predations of it’s more vicious residents. Varun was born to a visiting human adventurer named Leah and an orcish father named Kor who enjoyed a brief tryst. His mother was not prepared to leave the adventuring life behind and so left as soon as her son was finished being weaned. Since that day, Varun had been raised by the tribe, tolerated and accepted if not precisely revered or respected.
Nevertheless, he underwent his passage into adulthood acceptably and, being deemed unfit for the duty of shaman or priests, was given to the Akhud’s company of scouts and hunters for training. It promised to be a nasty, brutish, short life, destined to be cut short by the first misstep. But somehow Varun always managed to scrape by. Somehow he always seemed to return from his patrols, victorious or at the very least, whole. Eventually the unthinkable happened, and out of recognition for his feats or perhaps simply his stubbornness, Varun, a lowly half-breed, became captain of the scouts of the Akhud.
So it was for twelve long seasons of toil, violence, horror, and survival. Varun was, if not comfortable with his life, at least busy enough to not wish for another one. But life is cruel, and if Varun has learned one thing it is that complacency is often death.
* * *
One evening, Varun returned from his patrol with his men to find that the Akhud’s village was set ablaze. Death and carnage was everywhere, and the blood of the Gaash’kala made the ground slick and turned the mud red. Searching amongst the ruins and the bodies of the young and infirm, the scouts came upon a great crater in the earth, the shattered bodies of the tribe’s warriors scattered about it.
There Varun saw the ruined form of his father, Kor. As he rushed to his side, the ranger realized that impossibly, his father yet breathed. In a panic, Varun fell to his knees and his father opened his eyes, stared at his son, and smiled.
“You live.” He said. “It is good. We may be avenged, yet.” and he grinned, even as the blood flowed freely from his wounds and his eyes unfocused.
“Father!” Varun shouted hoarsely. “Hold on, we will find an elder! We will…!”
“No, there is no one.” Impossibly, his father propped himself up on his shattered arms and stared, eye to eye, with his son. “You and your men are all that remain. We were betrayed from within, Varun. It was…Skraag…” At that, Kor clapped his hands to his son’s, grinned a feral grin, and let out one last war cry. Then his eyes closed for the last time.
Varun echoed his father’s death shout, and stood, looking at the trinket that Kor had left in his hand. It was a necklace, and inside was a picture of his mother, Leah. Varun fought back the moment of grief and looked up, to see his men had gathered around him.
“Burn these bodies.” He ordered. “We hunt for one of our own within the hour.”
* * *
Skraag was one of the tribe’s elders and a druid of some ability, and was in fact the druid that had presided over Varun’s rite of adulthood, so tracking him was not a simple matter, but Varun and his men were used to hunting far more bizarre prey and so kept on the traitor’s trail.
In the country of Aundair they caught up with him, and in the confrontation Skraag called down a meteor from the heavens from which demons spilled forth. Varun and his men were overwhelmed, and yet somehow Varun lived, forced to sound the retreat even as his men were torn limb from limb. As he recuperated in a human city, Varun realized the trail would grow cold by the time he could return to the hunt, and even if he did, the druid clearly had struck some manner of twisted bargain and was far beyond the ranger’s abilities.
But that night he slept fitfully, and he dreamed a powerful vision. In it, a fire shot across an image of Khorvaire, lighting it’s way from Varun’s location in Aundair to the kingdom of Thrane. As he watched, the image of Thrane burst with blood and Skraag’s taunting laughter could be heard. But then a silver light washed the blood away and a hand extended outward towards Varun, a hand of friendship and purpose.
It was then that Varun awoke. When he left the next day, it was with renewed purpose. Though he had never before had a vision, he was certain that the Kalok Shosh had spoken with him and shown him his path. He would find allies, and vengeance, in Thrane.
* * *
His travels led him to a small town owned seemingly in part by the Church of the Silver Flame and the human house of Vendalis. It would have done nothing to catch his attention accept that Varun impossibly caught Skraag’s trail entering and leaving the city, and so he followed.
When he came upon what seemed to be an ancient ruin and a docked airship, the ranger investigated, and soon came upon an adventuring party that had Skraag’s scent. After a brief confrontation, a meteor crashed down below them and demons poured forth, sending Varun and the adventurers off the airship and into the middle of combat. A narrow escape nearly cost the ranger his life, and upon further questioning it became apparent that Skraag was dead and that he had been possessed by some demonic presence. He also learned of Gaash’kala that had traveled to the area to combat demonic incursions and knew that this land is where the Kalok Shosh had led him.