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Varithos Valtieri
Title
Lord Listener of the Talons of Dusk
Death Knight Discipline
Unholy Combat
Alignment
Lawful Evil
Affiliations
The Talons of Dusk, The Order of the Silver Hand (before death)
Gender
Male
Height
5'9" (hunched), 6'1" (straight)
Weight
180 lbs
Age
29 (on death)


AppearanceEdit

Long platinum hair flows roughly over the face of this Forsaken Death Knight, almost totally covering the azure glow of his undead eyes and the pale, sickening color of his dead flesh. He stands between 5'9" and 6'1", depending on his posture. He walks with a slight limp, but it doesn't seem to hinder his speed or mobility, even when bearing the weight of his dark and heavy plate armor.


When dressed for combat, he is never without his large runeblade, sheathed on his back at all times. However, it is not his only weapon. He will oftentimes be seen with two smaller runeblades hanging on the sides of his hips. If one looks carefully, it would seem like these weapons are those of the Lordaeron Paladins', corrupted and twisted for his own purpose.


In cities, however, he takes great care to be inconspicuous. He can be seen dressed as a pauper, with tattered clothes and begging for money, as if he was a different person. A few critters or pets always follow him closely when in towns, with Varithos dropping a few bits of food here and there to feed them.


There are, however, rare occassions wherein he will discard this disguise in favor of a more fitting garb. While he still hides his face with a mask, during these times he can be seen in a dark purple robe, covering his armor, carrying a walking stick that looks like a Vrykul's petrified spine and skull. On his side will hang an old, tattered libram, with the symbol of Lordaeron barely visible.


PersonalityEdit

Varithos tends to have a very unpredictable yet very calculating demeanor. To the unfamiliar, he would immediately be dismissed as schizophrenic, with his sudden mood swings alluding to what seems to be constantly changing personalities. Even in undeath, however, there is a sense of justice and nobility that appears from time to time, and even with his current "profession", the big picture points towards the fact that he is doing nothing more but continuing the work he started in life.


He is not interested in glory, or fame. He does not associate himself with the great wars and conflicts of the age. Varithos prefers to be the low-key soldier in the shadows, working for those who have been overlooked by the leaders and heroes that are busy fighting the enemy, and themselves.

HistoryEdit

(Warning, history is a long wall of text that might crit you if you decide to read. :D Advanced disclaimer: The idea behind the guild "The Talons of Dusk" was inspired and loosely based on the organization in the Oblivion game called The Dark Brotherhood. This could very well be a history of the guild, but seeing as how this ties in very closely to Varithos, I'm going to leave it here.)


From justice, to vengeanceEdit

Varithos Valtieri was once a Human Paladin of Lordaeron. In life, he had served under the watchful eye of his superiors, serving the law and bringing righteousness wherever he is sent. He was virtuous, never one to overstep the law's boundaries, and very dedicated to his profession. With the second war over, most of the paladins were mostly relegated to patrolling duties, and keeping the peace. Because he was new, this was the only thing he did for a period of time.


The eldest of two children, Varithos and his younger sister, Sythis, worked hard and diligently to take care of their old parents. While Varithos worked as a Paladin, Sythis remained by their parents' side in the farm where they lived. All went well, until an unscrupulous nobleman began to inquire about buying their land. He had tried everything, offered a fair amount of money, offered to trade a bigger piece of land, and even suggested marrying Sythis to ensure they would get their dues.


Varithos' parents refused, for the land was precious and sentimental to them. In the end, the nobleman hired thugs to harass his family, destroy their property, poison their crops, and even mutilated their one and only cow. With Varithos away to tend to his duties, their family was left at the mercy of the local guards. Still, they endured, and refused to give in.


Finally, the unthinkable. When Sythis was out selling their crop, the nobleman's thugs brutally murdered their parents and stole the deed to their land. News finally reached Varithos, and he arrived home to face the tragedy. Charges were filed, and the nobleman was brought to trial. But because of his money and connections to the nobility, despite witnesses and evidence linking him to the crime, he was acquitted of all charges. With the title of the land in his possession, he wasted no time taking what was his and driving away Varithos and Sythis from their home.


Sythis was broken. Varithos appealed to his superiors to aid him in pursuing the case further. Sadly, nothing happened. A few letters here and there led to nowhere, and Varithos realized that, for all the valor and power of the Order, the corruption of the nobility cannot easily be undone.


Varithos began doubting the very system he was fighting to preserve. A few nights after the verdict was passed, Sythis began to tell Varithos that she had begun hearing whispers in her mind, asking for the death of the nobleman. At first, Varithos thought her to be insane, and would try to calm her down during her fits of rage. But soon, he felt like there was something more to this. He began plotting how to dispatch the corrupt noble. In his mind, he knew he risked losing his connection to the Light, but he had come to a decision that without bringing justice to the unjust, then his being a paladin was without purpose. If he should lose his powers, then he knew the cause he fought for was not a fair one.


On a moonless night, he unfolded his plan. He stealthily made his way inside the nobleman's manor, and crept up to his bedside as he slept. He raised his massive hammer in the air, and prayed to the Light for forgiveness. He was at the precipice of losing his powers, but there was no turning back. He nudged the bed with his foot, and as the nobleman stirred from his sleep, Varithos grinned, and swung downward, crushing the nobleman's head, barely making a sound. Blood, bone and brain splattered all over the place. Varithos' grin turned into a frown, as he though his powers gone. He prayed to the Light, seeing if it was still in him. And strangely, the Light answered back. Perhaps, he thought, what he did was right.


Varithos arrived home to find Sythis, fast asleep and smiling. He did not know yet, but the murder of the nobleman was about to change his life forever.


The next morning, news of the nobleman's murder was abound. Varithos walked around the town first with uncertainty, but after the day passed without any sign of the murder being traced to him, he felt peace, that justice, nay, vengeance, set things right.


The birth of the Talons of DuskEdit

A few days after the nobleman's murder, Sythis again began hearing whispers in her mind. This time, these "voices", were louder, and more plentiful. It began driving her to the brink of madness, for she could not get rid of them. When asked by Varithos to concentrate, and try to understand them, she slowly and painfully understood what they were asking for. Justice, vengeance, peace.


Sythis realized that the first voice she heard inside her mind was in fact, her brother's. Varithos' subconscious plea for justice was heard by Sythis, and when he acted upon it, the voice went away. Through powers unknown, and reasons even more unfathomable, Sythis was beginning to hear the pleas of those who have experienced the injustice and corruption of the system. The voices began to resonate through her mind, and Sythis was slowly slipping into madness. To aid his sister, Varithos began to find these people who prayed for vengeance, and dealt with their problems the same way he did with the nobleman.


For every prayer answered, Sythis began to hear less voices, only to be replaced with even more. And soon, Varithos found himself regularly answering these pleas, whether it was a simple child asking for her little dolly back stolen by the mayor's daughter, to the virgin priestess raped by a gang of nobles' sons, Varithos was the harbinger of justice to those that have been forsaken by it.


He "listened" to her sister's words everyday, but soon, it was proving too much, too many for him to handle alone. A trusted and close Elven paladin, one of the few at the time, Vandrael Solwrath, was one of the first whom Varithos spoke to about the voices. Soon, Varithos found his right hand man, and when Vandrael suggested that he could bring other Elves and Men into the fold, The Talons of Dusk was born.


Under the leadership of Varithos, "The Listener", he would give the orders to Vandrael, who would "Speak" to the first group of Talons, "The Black Claw". Comprised of a thug, a ranger, a spy and a knight, the Black Claw would eventually be the leaders of their respective divisions, performing different duties for different situations. Simple jobs, like thievery and beatings, would require the Thugs, silent killings would need the Assassins, the destruction of property or groups of people would require the Slayers, and high profile murders meant to send messages would call for Executioners.


But even with the Black Claw, the voices continued to rise. With the amount of corruption in the Alliance's kingdoms, more manpower was needed. Eventually, Varithos and Vandrael brought in more people. But unlike them, these newer Talons had mouths to feed, families to raise, and could not perform their duties out of righteousness alone, like Varithos did.


Because of this, The Talons began to ask for payment for their services, and rituals and rites were put in place to organize their operations better. Their agents began disseminating rumors through the populace, whispers of an organization that would bring justice to the oppressed, and incapable. People got wind of these rumors, and began to act on them. Upon praying to Sythis, who had now been known in the underground as "The Night Mother", Varithos would order Vandrael, who would then appear to the petitioners, accept their payment, and give the orders to the Black Claw and their minions.


For years, the Talons grew and operated silently, under the shadows, barely heard, and even ignored, by the kingdoms. It was perfect, in fact, while nobody would admit or even consider, the short period of peace and safety could be attributed in part to them. Varithos felt that at last, justice was truly served, unhindered by the corruption of Man.


The Prince's betrayal, and the fall of the TalonsEdit

News of the plague of the north began to trickle down even within the Talons' dens. Unfaltered, Varithos continued to lead the Talons in their own brand of justice. They did not want any part of the war, and was supposed to weather the storm.


But when news of King Terenas' murder at the hands of Prince Arthas reached Varithos, a sense of responsibility unfelt for the last few years returned. King Terenas was one of the few nobles he had truly respected, and when Uther the Lightbringer called for paladins to escort his urn, Varithos felt compelled to do this last service for the king.


Sythis, whose powers had already grown, sensed an impending doom for her beloved brother. She implored him not to go, but Varithos insisted, and left Vandrael temporarily in charge of the Talons.


Varithos arrived and joined Uther's entourage. But just as they were about to reach their destination, Arthas and his Scourge appeared, slaying every single paladin that stood before him. Varithos stood firm, and prepared to face the fallen prince on the battlefield. Fate, however, was a cruel mistress, and he was felled, not by Arthas, but by a large group of ghouls who mauled him from all directions. He struggled and fought with every last ounce of breath and power, but it was to no avail. The waves of ghouls just kept coming, and the last thing he saw before fading into death was Uther being slain by the sword of the fallen prince.


Varithos Valtieri was dead. The moment his life left him, Sythis felt his passing and began to despair. Vandrael, having only the slightest understanding of Sythis' words, could not fully understand her orders, and soon, the voices began to fill her mind and drive her mad. The Elven paladin tried to run the organization as best as he could, but not long after, news of the Scourge reaching Silvermoon City forced him to leave the Talons in the care of one of his trusted Black Claw.


Vandrael too, seemed to have been lost, in defense of his city. Losing both their leaders, the Black Claw decided to go into hiding. They disbanded and vanished from plain sight. The Black Claw tried to bring their Night Mother along, but in her madness, she was incoherent and barely recognizable. They decided to leave Sythis, and whatever power watching over her, to fend for herself.


Finally succumbing to insanity, Sythis, The Night Mother, blindly began searching for her lost brother. But upon reaching a Scourge overrun Brill, she was felled as well.


The Talons of Dusk were no more.


Or so it seemed.


Rise of the Fallen Knight, and the rebirth of the TalonsEdit

Waking up from a long stupor, Vandrael Solwrath found himself in the laboratories of the Undercity. While he did not die from Silvermoon's assault, his body was mangled that, after finally being put back together by the Forsaken's Apothecaries, he could very well pass as an undead.


It was there he learned that he had mindlessly wandered south back into Lordaeron when they were beaten, and through a Forsaken, who happened to be a Black Claw member in life, found out about Sythis' fate.


Feeling guilt for leaving behind the precious sister that was entrusted to him, Vandrael regained his strength and began searching for Sythis. After months of searching, he found her, an undead woman that had been freed from the Lich King's hold.


But rather than bring her to her own kind, Vandrael felt that, if her powers were discovered, that she might be lost forever in the clutches of the Apothecaries. Instead, he hid her in an abandoned house in Deathknell. Everyday he watched over her, tried to calm her down and piece together her shattered mind. Slowly, it worked, and as soon as she could speak, she uttered four spine chiling words.


"My brother is coming..."


Vandrael did not doubt her this time. Through his devotion to their cause, he began rallying back the few Talons he could find. Soon, he himself recieved whispers in his mind that he though Varithos was not capable of. He was being given orders even before the Listener arrived.


Soon, when the preparations were finished, Sythis gave the order to assemble the Talons to prepare for their leader's return.


And on yet another moonless night, like when the first corrupt noble was slain, the few Talons that were found stood in front of Sythis' shack. The sound of hooves and the grunting of a horse, whose throat must have been mangled, were heard. Through the fog of the night, a figure's shadow weaved through. Clad in dark armor, Vandrael could feel that his person was not the same Listener they had come to know. The Light had abandoned him, replaced by something more sinister, and perhaps, more suited to their cause.


Varithos Valtieri had returned. And he knew, that there was a lot of work to be done.


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