Variks the Loyal
Variks, once again an extremely interesting character that comes to us with the House of Wolves DLC. I will cover the fall of House Judgment, how Variks came to join the Queen and whether we can trust Variks or not. My like/dislike for Variks has been a rollercoaster, at first I was super excited to have a Fallen vendor in the Reef, then I read his grimorie cards and realized he was no great warrior but a pathetic coward but now after reading more I respect Variks and is a extremely interesting and humanized character.
Variks, is from the House Judgment and was a scribe. As the name suggests, House of Judgment implies some sort of law and ruling over other Fallen houses and the Skolas Defeat Grimoire card reinforces this , quote
“House Judgment once kept codes of dignity and law?”.
Variks also says that House Judgment was the quote “closest thing to peace the Fallen ever know”. They acted like political advisors to the Fallen to calm any hostilities and prevent civil war. In essences, almost a government to the Fallen. However, the Darkness came, with the darkness came the collapse, the Fallen were hit just as hard as all other races. In fact, probably even worst, an event called the Whirlwind completely devastated the Fallen, House Judgment was almost completely destroyed and consequently lost political control over the Fallen Houses quote
“Whirlwind ripped away the past. All honor lost, all hope. Judgment not enough. Cannot keep Wolves from Kings, Scar from Winter. Fell to fighting. Fell to hate”
Variks the loyal grimiore card.
It was not instant mayhem following Whirlwind and the Fallen houses did come together for a brief moment, which was actually at Twilight gap. The Fallen aimed to take the last Earth city, though they did not attack Earth out of hate or to conquer but to simply survive, House of Wolves was meant to join the battle at Twilight gap, but the Queen of the Reef stopped them from assisting, which is what I cover in the Reef War series.
It was the failure at Twilight gap that really separated the Fallen. This was the last time the houses were seen working together and of course House of Wolves eventually fell into a civil war. Skolas admits that the Fallen should not have fought each other following Twilight gap and should of continued to work together
“We were fools, o children of the Whirlwind. We fought each other when we most needed unity.”
That is from ghost fragment: Fallen 3 card. Skolas reinforces that they came to Earth to survive, they hoped that the Traveler would also protect them. Quote
“Remember the hope that brought us here. Remember the age before the Whirlwind, when ether ran free, when we ruled ourselves and our futures as kings. We wanted more than glimmer and glints and here always. Always remember that we came to this star in hope. And remember that we were denied! Remember the City of the Death of Children, the City That Docks, which claimed for itself the Great Machine that might have saved us. Remember the City that even now sends its ghouls to murder our Primes, starve our ether, and leave our young to die gasping. Curse that City and its name. The curse is just.”
Skolas refers to the Traveler as the Great Machine and sees it unjust that one race claim the Traveler for themselves. Once again, if you believe that guardians are in fact evil, this paragraph is pretty condemning, referring to guardians as Ghouls, murdering their Primes, starving them of ether, letting their young to die. And technically he is correct we are Ghouls, we are resurrected ancient dead, resurrected by the travelers ghosts.
Following the failure at Twilight gap and the Queen opposing the House of Wolves, Variks appears to be the only survivor of the House Judgment, there was no more House of Judgment to regulate the Houses. So the House of Wolves, fought amongst themselves for title of Kell, fallen killing fallen. The Fallen are now only seen as scavengers, they have no home, no where is safe, fighting amongst themselves, fighting with everyone else.
Variks joins with Skolas out of survival and becomes his scribe. So why did Variks betray Skolas, when the Fallen was struggling? Skolas was pretty much being smashed by the Queen during the Reef Wars, the Queen had all these crazy weapons that she was using, the first was the Harbingers, was sounds like a giant lazy beam and so destroyed small planet-like asteroids with it, the next was the Carybdis, which was a gravity weapon and had the ability to fling asteroids. Skolas had been sending his captains and barons to do most of the work during the reef wars, after the Queen unleashed Carybdis and took out yet another Captain, Skolas had to head to the front line himself. Skolas planned to attack a military fortress known as Cybelle, and this was his last hope. Variks basically predicted that Skolas was going to fail and the Queen was too cunning and powerful, also it is hinted at the Variks did not agree with Skolas’s style of leadership, he did not agree with how Skolas came to leadership, he did not agree with Fallen killing Fallen, he did not agree with the quote “New tactics. Detonations. Blasts in civilian areas” Variks grimiore card. So Variks contacted Prince Uldren’s crows and told them Skolas’s plan. Skolas, without knowing went to Cybelle to capture the fortress and basically everyone was waiting for him. And he was captured.
Following the failure at Cybelle, the Queens Paladins find Variks quote
“hiding, cowering. Nowhere else to go. No one else to be. I become Variks, the Loyal. House Judgement envoy to Queen of Awoken.”
At some point, post joining the Queen, Variks chops his own arms off! Normally, Captains are demoted to Dregs by having the arms chopped off by their Kell or higher in command, so Skolas actually demoted his Captain Peekis to a dreg after failing at Eos Clash. In the Skolas Defeat grimoire card, Variks says
“The Awoken are twinned to powers that terrify Variks. He’d dock himself again before he’d let the Queen’s witches near him, the witches who raised Petra.”
Variks knows that he betrayed his own people and was so guilt ridden that he removed his own arms, also he was given replacement robotic arms, this is quite symbolic too, because Dregs can actually regrow their limbs and they are usually given that opportunity have proving their worth in battle. To me, this seems like Variks can never truly prove himself to the Fallen, he can never truly grow his limbs back and rise within Fallen ranks, his betrayal was too great and that is why he has robotic arms instead.
You begin to understand that Variks did what he had to do, to survive, to keep his House alive, everything he did was in hope that the Fallen culture could return
“The unfairness of it makes him want to roar. Why does everyone else have this patronage? Why do the Hive have gods and the Vex have sprawling time-bent minds and the Cabal have reinforcements? Why do the Awoken whisper to the stars and listen for the whisper back, the voices from the Jovians, the song in the dark? Why do the Guardians get the Great Machine’s blessing, was it like that before the Whirlwind, were there Fallen heroes crowned in Ghosts who strode the battlefield fearless and full of Light? Why do they tell stories about reclaiming the lost glory of humanity, and no stories about the lost glory of Variks’ people”
Without dought, Variks is not trust worthy and given the opportunity would betray the Queen. Quote
“Variks (to himself): Goes after Winter. Devils, Kings. Seeks power. Kings deny him. Kell of Kings hides well. Perhaps he will take back the Great Machine. Perhaps I chose the wrong side. It is not too late—“ the ruling house.
And, I hope he does, I think it would be awesome to see humanity to fall again and for guardians to be the minority and have to scavenge and work really hard for average weapons, oh wait, that is what Destiny is already like…
Variks has “dreg strength” and dreg’s are dangerous, they are desperate and have nothing to lose and everything to gain.