Emperor Garen Varana
Lawful Evil Male Tenerthor Elf
Level 4 Barbarian
Level 24 Fighter
Str 27 Dex 17 Con 60 Int 13 Wis 16 Cha 18 Hit Points: 395
The Black Scourge
Though he has lived for many years, Garen Varana's unusual ambition has kept him young and still a formidable warrior. His tale begins, centuries past, with the exile of his tribe from the Tenerthor Elf's, Palace of the Sun. Their exile, due to political insubordination, forced them to leave the homeland of the wild elves and flee to the barren wasteland of the Great Jarik Glacier. Life was difficult for the tribe and it was while Varana was still young that his family was slain during a raid by nomadic human ice-barbarians. Forced into adulthood at an early age, Varana learned the sword quickly and by necessity was forced to employ it many times against the barbarians of the glacier. Nearly forty years later he finally tired of the subsistence lifestyle he and his tribe survived by and so he left, alone, to finish crossing the glacier to the lands to its west. It was a difficult journey, but as he had already become a dangerous fighter with the blade and had learned to survive, he eventually found his way across the icy desert and into the lands of Kindertel - the homeland of the people known as Halflings.
It was in the lands of Kindertel that he heard of the glorious elfin civilization called Greentree. Unsure of how he, a Tenerthor Elf would be received in a nation of Lerether Elves, Garen elected to remain in the lands of Kindertel while he learned more of Greentree and it's peoples. Most of his time in Kindertel was spent in the northern lands where he assisted the Halflings in their battles against the barbarians as a mercenary. Once he his taste for barbarian bloodshed had been satisfied he traveled south to study various arts of hand-to-hand combat in Saloria, a small human nation just south of Kindertel. Hearing that a great war academy existed in human lands even further south he decided to travel southward still to the human kingdom called the Eastern Empire. Since there was no ships to travel upon to cross the vast Gulf of Yren, and being somewhat of an adventurer, Varana made the lengthy journey around the great waters of Yren.
It was several years before Varana's foot-travel brought him to the Eastern Empire. He had not traveled the entire time however. He spent time in the burnt Desert of Three Winds and further broadened his combat and survival skills with the nomads who lived there - sometimes doing battle with the Blank Paladins of Zhakrin when the god of death chose to send his servants to strike against the desert nomads of those lands. His travels also took him through the Spined Mountains where he earned a place of honor among the mountain giants that lived there by slaying the great snow drake called Eorg. His travels also brought him through the eastern edges of the Ki'kiri Jungles. It was during this fated part of his journey that he briefly entered within the burial tomb known as the Hall of Kings while seeking southward passage into the Eastern Empire. Barely escaping from the tomb and it's terrible powers he was forced to cross the Cruth mountains elsewhere before finally entering the Eastern Empire.
Life in the Eastern Empire was not easy either. In a land dominated by humankind, Varana was one of a kind with his elfin ancestry. His travels brought him to the Imperial Academy of War where, after easily conquering all tests set before him, he entered as an advanced student. There he learned courtly etiquette, the finest arts of strategy, and heraldry. His skill at arms continued to steadily grow and for a time he served at the academy as a teacher and master swordsman.
For a time he competed in the great Shieldmeet matches held by the Eastern Empire. His first attempt earned him high awards but not the Crown of Hammers - the greatest of awards. After a decade of training in the Peril Swamps and the Crescent Mountains he returned again to challenge Shieldmeet and was Champion of Shieldmeet. Removing his helm to accept the Crown of Hammers it was then learned that he, an elf, had won the high honors. There was no rule to prevent a non-human from participating in Shieldmeet, but there was not a time remembered that an elf had taken the Crown. The crowds at the closing ceremonies whispered, jeered, and hurled insults at the great elfin warrior. Varana, enraged, threw the crown to the earth and nearly cut it in two with his sword. Taken from the games in chains for drawing a weapon in the presence of the emperor he escaped that night and left the empire as a fugitive (having slain several guards to affect his escape).
Traveling west over the Cruth Mountains he sought the great Arms Arcadia of the United Kingdoms. Upon his arrival he was disappointed to learn that though there were many famed and skilled warriors at the honored academy, there were none who could decisively best him in combat. It was then that he decided to return to the nation of Greentree and begin to assert himself as the greatest elfin warrior of his time.
The return journey to Greentree was great and difficult but after several years he arrived. For several years he set about gaining his fame. At times when there was no trouble to quell he would draw upon the fortunes of his adventuring career to pay others to cause trouble for him to disperse. Thus his renown as a great and good warrior grew and reached the ears of the royal court of Queen Moriena Turramen. Invited to the court, Varana contrived to be challenged by the champion of the Queen. With the assistance of a few other warriors he drew the ire of the then champion, Rultheron, and at the ensuing contest of arms Varana easily defeated the champion and forced him to yield. Astounded by the skill which allowed Varana to so quickly best her Champion, the queen planned a great tourney to see indeed if there was any warrior worthy and able to challenge the skill of Varana. At the same time, Rultheron was caught in a secret and unapproved trice with a niece to Queen Moriena, and was sent away from court in disgrace. Finding no warrior who could best Varana in skill at arms, Queen Moriena offered him a position as her champion at arms. Varana accepted, on condition that he be given a command in the martial ranks of Greentree's armies. It was not long from there that he rose to become the greatest commander of all of Greentree's military resources.
With the ear of the royal court and the power over all of Greentree's forces, Varana's ambitions continued to grow. Certainly there were a few decades where he was satisfied with his position and influence, but slowly he began to search for ways to achieve more. Placing men of his choosing, loyal to him, in the commanding ranks of the armies he solidified his position and patiently bided his time.
It was then that the great Black Scourge of the Dark God began to spread across the northern face of Irendi, it's evil armies ravaged the Kingdom of Arend to Greentree's west and the great armies of Greentree were called to arms. The vast horde of the Dark God turned and headed south without entering into Greentree's western mountain passes or crossing it's river boarders, but Death had a different a future for Greentree than disease and rape at the mercy of the Dark God's evil forces.
In a surprise move, the Black Paladins of Zhakrin, under the leadership of Mantos Mathenwye, took control of the Kingdom of Arend and in the same sweeping gesture made war upon the Kingdom of Greentree by assassinating the Queen, Moriena.
Prince Pathos, eldest son of Queen Moriena, rose to power as King in the wake of his mother's death. Several voices on the All Lords Council voices concern that Pathos was not a capable leader and spoke in favor of his younger brother, Delavidus, taking the the throne, but Delavidus submitted to his brothers right to leadership.
Greentree's rule under Pathos was short and unhappy. The king was plagued by problems from the Black Paladins to the west, a surge of human refugees from the Kingdom of Arend, rising incursions of well equipped barbarians to the east, and trade with other nations was impossible with the forces of the Dark God at all quarters. Brigands wandered the country-side and rumor of the king's ineptitude spread through the great elfin Houses. Much of this dissent was funded by Varana, including the equipping of the barbarian hordes to the west. At the most opportune moment, while Pathos retreated from his troubles to a country mansion, Varana seized control of the government, held a mass execution of all in court who opposed him, and took military control of the countries seat of power. With the loyal might of the armies and the vote of many dissatisfied lords behind him, Varana threw the country into civil war that lasted for nearly three years and ended with the beheading of Pathos. The remainder of the royal family was executed with the exception of Delavidus who fled with his most powerful and dedicated supporters - vowing to return one day for vengeance.
Varana, having declared himself as Emperor of Greentree, began a systematic push southward through traditionally dwarven inhabited lands with the claim that it was Greentree's destiny to reamch from sea to sea - the Jarik Ocean to the Sea of Rains.
This accomplished, it is plain that Varana still hungers for more. Many fear now that with his popular dictatorship he plans to turn his sights upon Kindertel. Perhaps one day he will even contrive to send a great army across the Jarik Glacier and do battle with the homelands that his family was banished from.
Varana's ambitions are unmatched and some might even call him a megalomaniac. He is handsome and charismatic, a skilled politician, an opportunist, and favors decisive military action over passive diplomacy. He has made many enemies, however, on his way to the top, and it may be this very thing that eventually leads to his downfall. Many political historians fear what abyss the Nation of Greentree will sink to without the unifying leadership of Varana - or worse still what depths it may sink to at his hands while he still lives. Varana imagines himself without equal, and it may well be true.