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Varandas was a female Jaghut and captain of The Fourteen Undead Jaghut who first appeared in the Wastelands of Lether around the time of the Bonehunters' arrival in the Letherii Empire.[1][2][3][4][5]

In Dust of DreamsEdit

  • Encounter in the Lether Wastelands with Toc the Younger[7] - Varandas was mentioned in this section by name[8]
  • Eastward travel across the Lether Wastelands[9]

In The Crippled GodEdit

  • Encounter in the Lether Wastelands with Stormy[12] - Varandas was mentioned in this section by name[13]
  • Final obsequies at the Imass barrow in Kolanse[15] - Varandas was mentioned in this section by name[16]

In Forge of DarknessEdit

Many millennia in the past in the Jaghut Odhan of the Jaghut Realm - the ancient homeland of the Jaghut - Varandas was living in his ancestral tower keep. Varandas was described as being a male - tall, broad across the shoulders, and long-limbed. His tusks were stained black except for the tips which were a red-tinted amber. An old savage scar crossed his face and he wore a loin cloth that left little doubt as to his maleness.[17]

Varandas had once been a historian, but he had burned his books and writings on the 'Night of Dissension' when the Lord of Hate 'dissolved' Jaghut civilization.[18] Afterwards, Varandas lived alone, discouraging company. However, he revealed to Korya Delath, who - with Haut - visited Varandas' keep in the Jaghut Odhan, that his 'art' was soul-shifting. Varandas made small animate 'dolls' that were short-term traps for wandering souls. Varandas named two series of these dolls: one the "Bolead" - possibly related to the Boles of Mott Wood; and the other the "Nacht".[19]

Before encountering Varandas, while travelling with Korya, Haut, the brother of Hood, discovered on the Spar of Andii the brutally murdered body of Karish, Hood's wife.[20] Haut travelled back with Korya to the Jaghut Odhan, where they unexpectedly came upon Varandas, who Haut had thought was dead. In Varandas' keep Haut and Korya spent the night. During the night, Varandas and Haut discussed their concerns regarding the grief-stricken Hood. Varandas told Haut that the Jaghut were awaiting word from Hood before deciding what should be done about the situation. The next day, Varandas left for parts unknown.[21]

In Fall of LightEdit

Subsequent to the events chronicled in Forge of Darkness, Varandas, Burrugast and Haut paid a visit to Gothos, in his keep in the ruins of the city of Omtose Phellack. The three wore blackened "arcane" iron armour. The purpose of this particular meeting was to argue the pros and cons regarding the Jaghut joining the army of Hood, who had declared a war on death. At the end of the discussion, Varandas, Burrugast and Haut were not only sure that they had successfully met every argument Gothos might have had against Hood's goals, but were also sure that they were the obvious officers, "chosen and select", to serve in the army under the command of Hood.[22]

Leaving the meeting, Varandas encountered and had a conversation with Spingalle, at the end of which Varandas declined Spingalle's offer to turn Varandas into a female. Varandas told Spingalle that he was satisfied with his current gender and that he was not bothered by the occasional "misapprehension". Varandas and Spingalle had slept together in the past and Varandas admitted to her that he remained "eternally smitten" with her.[23]

Returning to the Jaghut Odhan encampment of Hood's army, Varandas, Burrugast and Haut shared with Hood the developments of their meeting with Gothos, assuring him that they, themselves - plus a number of other Jaghut - would march with him when the "time" arrived. Hood left upon an errand, leaving the three to mind his burning but heatless campfire. Varandas said something that triggered Burrugast and Haut - as well as himself - into laughter, which was loud and long - the sound reverberated throughout the entire camp.[24] Hood's army at this stage was made up of about one thousand individuals and was composed of the Jaghut plus a wide variety of other peoples and races.[25]

Hood ritually invoked a Long Night over the encampment in the Jaghut Odhan, thus stopping time there and enabling the passage of his army through a gate into the realm of the dead - where the army would, at last, be able to wage war on their avowed enemy, Death.[26][27][28] Surrounding Hood when the Long Night began was the core of his army, Hood's Fourteen, which included Varandas. The group of fourteen Jaghut proceeded to engage in one of their typically irreverent conversations. Varandas - as was not uncommon - was the first to laugh at one of the remarks which was made - laughter which was picked up quickly by the others. Hood and his army, presumably including Varandas, then left. According to Korya Delath, they had stepped outside of time and were as good as dead.[29]

QuotesEdit

Varandas: "We [the Fourteen Undead Jaghut] shall march east."
Gedoran: "Why east?"
Varandas: "Because I feel like it, lieutenant. Into the birth of the sun, the shadows on our trail, a new day ever ahead."
―remarks between the undead Varandas and Gedoran[src]
Haut: "I fear for Hood...What is to be done?"
Varandas: "We await Hood...all of us who choose to care. We await his word."
Haut: "And you?"
Varandas: "I will listen to Hood...and give him the openness of my judgement until I can weigh his words."
Haut: "That is honourable..."
―conversation between Varandas and Haut about the sorely bereaved Hood[src]
"Varandas was the first to laugh. In moments the others [of Hood's Fourteen] followed. Alas, only the Jaghut found their humour alive and well."
―Varandas leading the laughter of the Jaghut in Hood's army during the Long Night[src]
Arathan: "I am going with [Hood's army]!"
Korya: "I felt them leave..."
Arathan: "Leave? Leave where? They left...everything!"
Korya: "They stepped outside time...They're dead...Or as good as."
―remarks made by Arathan and Korya Delath while looking over the now deserted camp of Hood's army[src]

SpeculationsEdit

The fact that Varandas is definitely female in Dust of Dreams and The Crippled God while being definitely male in Forge of Darkness and Fall of Light is not explained in the books and has caused much puzzlement amongst readers. Hopefully, when the Kharkanas Trilogy's third book is finally published, this sex-change will be explained along with other mysteries left hanging at the end of Fall of Light.

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. Dust of Dreams, Chapter 13, US HC p.412-413
  2. Dust of Dreams, Chapter 17, US HC p.534/536
  3. Dust of Dreams, Chapter 24, US HC p.816
  4. The Crippled God, Chapter 6, US HC p.169-170
  5. The Crippled God, Epilogue 1, US HC p.899
  6. Dust of Dreams, Chapter 13, US HC p.412-415
  7. Dust of Dreams, Chapter 17, US HC p.534-537
  8. Dust of Dreams, Chapter 17, US HC p.534/536
  9. Dust of Dreams, Chapter 22, US HC p.723-724
  10. Dust of Dreams, Chapter 24, US HC p.815-816
  11. Dust of Dreams, Chapter 24, US HC p.816
  12. The Crippled God, Chapter 6, US HC p.168-170
  13. The Crippled God, Chapter 6, US HC p.169-170
  14. The Crippled God, Chapter 23, US HC p.761-762/766/780
  15. The Crippled God, Epilogue 1, US HC p.899-900
  16. The Crippled God, Epilogue 1, US HC p.899
  17. Forge of Darkness, Chapter 16, UK HC p.496
  18. Forge of Darkness, Chapter 3, UK HC p.59
  19. Forge of Darkness, Chapter 16, UK HC p.505
  20. Forge of Darkness, Chapter 8, US HC p.203-205/227-231
  21. Forge of Darkness, Chapter 16, US HC p.496-498
  22. Fall of Light, Chapter 6, US HC p.146-150
  23. Fall of Light, Chapter 13, UK HB p.402-403
  24. Fall of Light, Chapter 6, US HC p.157-161
  25. Fall of Light, Chapter 20, US HC p.661-662
  26. Fall of Light, Chapter 13, US HC p.394-395
  27. Fall of Light, Chapter 22, US HC p.698
  28. Fall of Light, Chapter 23, US HC p.702-704
  29. Fall of Light, Chapter 23, US HC p.715-718
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