- "Alone? No man is truly in his lonesome until he gets rid of either of his hand or the very mind he has. Besides, the saloons at Norden are always open."
- —Former Dark Angel Baller Brother, 'Captain' Morgan, an Immensely Infamous and Known Renegade Astartes
- "Regardless whether our pockets be full of air by ends of an incredibly painful task or lose a few limbs and brothers along the way, there better be bloody booze in my mug by the end of the day mate. "
- —Bolli Löderfson, A Notable Varangian
The Varyags are a collective of Renegade Adeptus Astartes of variable origin under the banner of a singular name. Despite claiming a variety of desires, all dependent on the Space Marine at hand and present, they are all on the same goal of rather barbaric actions to sustain their activities across the galaxy, most notable things such as the pillaging of Imperial Words when in the direst of circumstances. Despite being rather obscure in the contents of their creation, they have been estimated to have been formed in the 34th Millennium, establishing quite a presence in the grander scheme of the galactic battlefield among other contemporaries.
The Varyags are often employed by radical Inquisitors who are capable of paying the hefty fee for their services and clients of noble-blood who are on occasion capable of gifting gratuitous amounts for their labor. Numerous and frequent are tense encounters between brothers of their originating gene-seed, but dependent of the patron at hand, often, are only glares filled with hatred exchanged among them. Due to the feeage involved in their recruitment, many of their numbers are restrained to rather low percentages, but typically roundabout two-to-three hundred heads in their ranks.
Marines No More
With the failure to uphold the standards of the average Astartes, a sect of Space Wolves-former, manufactured with the aid of the children of the Gorgon a collective of Space Marines post the rebels hearing of the vicious assault on the Craftworld of Lugganath by the Emperor's Children, fearing their safety should they have walked alone. The then sons of Leman Russ left the relations between their brothers, sour, with opposing ideals ultimately resulting in their abandonment of the Chapter; in almost identical fashion is the rationale for the departure of the descendants of the late Ferrus Manus, seeking refuge among own of their own kind,while granting a manner of security from the horrors bloodthirsty or foolhardy enough to prey on an Adeptus Astartes.
After some matter of decades of the renunciation of their Chapters, with minute numbers of Space Wolves and Iron Hands intermingled with other rather shady Astartes of misty birth among the now nomads; the group of stranded rouges initially found themselves without a goal in the reaches of a strife-ridden galaxy. Much of their early periods in the late 34th to early 35th Millennium were spent scavenging the rich entrails of Space Hulks with what little, if at all, terminator suits they held in hopes of finding obscure and even fantastical artifacts, though proving rather dangerous, it ultimately helped to fund their activities with the selling of them. But such behavior came to an end with the idea of mercenary work to act as another variant of income by the wit of a now deceased and unnamed Astartes, then member of the Raven Guard.
Soon they set on a rather remote and arid planetoid of the outskirts of a desolate system in the Segmentum Tempestus; donning name after centuries of merely being pale shadows of their former lives as children of the Imperium, the now Varyags set shop and spread word of their presence in the black markets of the galaxy, catching eyes and ears of multiple future investors with morphed tales of their escapades as space hulk raiders and low-lifes. Through deception and immense contortion of truth, the varangians found themselves doused in numerous requests for their armaments to be placed at the whim of rather ominous clients, but the load of demands soon grew short once most caught a look at the rather hefty price of their employment. But despite this fee, it did not prevent more wealthy patrons to place them under their wing, seeing the Varyags enacting a number of lengthy tasks spanning multiple millennia at times in their years of activity.
Assignments and Misadventures
Crimson Vikings (000.M36 - 020.M36)
The Varyags saw themselves sired in their debut in the field as legitim mercenaries under reign of the very money that was in grasp of their anxious fingers by a backer only known to varangian gaze as, Johann, who held supposed ties to the Inquisition as a rather prestigious figure, to skeptical ear of the clan of renegades. Though regardless of whatever doubts they claimed when in presence of the vague Imperial, immediate were the actions on the planet of Ladoga once the Varyags heard of rumor of hefty compensation for the job at hand; By word of Johann in the abyssal reaches of the Hive World, abound and festering was a populace of genestealers drawing close to the usurpation of the surface plain the citizen resided.
Under patron-request, the varangians took weary motions to avoid news of such extermination spilling into the public consciousness, with a facet of Raven Guard gene-seed taking measure for paranoia to not spread. Across two decades the full force of the Varyags was taken onto Ladoga tediously shaving away at the mass of Tyranids they had grown accustomed to the slaying of in the expanse of space. Total Astartes number rounded at 200 of the 240 that had fled into the fray, the genestealer threat was temporarily staved and handsome was the pay from their client. Rapid was the noise of this escapade and minor interest was re-sparked in the varangian cause, with many taking wish to watch their deeds but still kept a rigid hand in giving away even a cent to the reaching space marines.
Daemons and Dungeons (070.M36 - 156.M37)
With rather fleeting fame at its drawl, the orphaned Astartes were claimed by another client by title of Duke Dover, with request for the pacification of a rather volatile realm on the very borders of Segmentum Tempestus. Though the measure of payment was rather insignificant in the eyes of the varangians, with few if virtually any patron capable of meeting their price standards, options had become restrained and with heavy reluctance and shallow pockets they had taken the task at hand. Upon the planet of Notrur Dam mass panic was as fragrant as the bolter rounds shot from the contracted space marines; months turned entire years with the seemingly rampant ravings of the frantic public descending further into madness with time.
The events grew so hectic the Varyags had to put a temporary halt to the suppression of citizen ire, but such a break from duty resulted in the demise of Duke Dover in the chaos between 090-091.M36. With the lack of a head looming over them, the Varangians in fiendish fashion took the opportunity to raid the vaults and chambers of the most plentiful of domains of Notrur in the ensuing disorder. With extended pillaging, the renegade cabal was witness to a series of daemonic spawning pools beneath the adobe of the late Patron Dover, post-discovery the varangians took to work eviscerating and banishing a multitude of warp denizens to claim their loot kept. Through barrage of bloodletters and poxwalkers quick was the slaying of the Chaos God's children and in reward, grand were the artifacts uncovered from their extermination with multiple Relic Weapons of immense prestige and worth piled well rest of what was taken.
Beyond 100.M37 Saw lengthened occupation of the ravaged world, with rather curious varangians scouring the desolate remains and flaying what remained of the demented population that attempted to strike. The losses of the Varyags were said to be non-existent during the operation, with rumor among them being that one a single was lost, though this claim has been heavily debated.
Ballad of Bolli Löderfson (300.M37 - 400.M37)
Debut among the Varyags came new-comer of Space Wolf origin, clad in panoply of grandiose pride that is the tactical dreadnought armor, Bolli Löderfson stood lively and brash among his varangian contemporaries as an astartes of known zeal and idiocy, with reputation morphed infamous for his lone misadventure in the Segmentum Ultima, slaying and ransacking all in sight and grasp. In the dwellings of an minor Ork Empire beginning to girth in size in the Badab system with every passing; with wit duller than a mallet, Bolli struck as swift as the very power-axe he wielded in court of the greenskin emperor that domineered and held reign of the bloating kingdom systemically battering in open air the very pillars that composed the xenos realm across decades while faltering numerous times to make his extractions as clean and inconspicuous as his very entrances, resulting in facing of a number of foes in his escape attempts.
In miraculous and blunt fashion the very Ork rule collapsed with the savage slaughter of every Ork Warboss attempting to claim it big by the bloody hand of Löderfson leading to immense infighting. By crusade's end, Bolli suffered the loss of his legs and arm, crudely replaced mid-strife with components of deceased cyborks by his own design while holding strong a Power klaw. The space wolf found his passage home after briefly traveling with a sect of pirates we had encountered post his ravaging of greenskin countryside, leaving the renegade Astartes to his disgruntled brethren after looting passing crafts and gifting his then companions the very ork fungus that had been festering on the space marine's back.
Ewail Titanicus and the Golden Space Hulk (349.M37 - 109.M38)
During the escapade of Bolli, the Varangians undertook a contract under Drukhari forces seeking expendables to make way for their assault upon the reach of an Imperial planet; though many Varyags were visibly displeased with the functioning of these specific type of xenos, with even more regarding the Dark Eldar to the vilest of entities to roam the galaxy, accepted without any manner of hesitation with the hearing of their technology and other enticing commodities should they be complicate. A 150 of the expanded roster of 340 were taken upon the Agri-World of Polska, dangerously intimate in reach to Sverige, home to the then active Chapter of the Imperialists. To avoid lengthened time on the planet to not draw the eyes of the zealous children of Dorn, they quickly lambasted the population with a variety of poorly displayed shock and awe tactics before resorting to modified meltacannons to make short work of the planet's defenses before making a hasty flee to allow the drukhari to take care of further actions in matter of days. Task fulfilled and reward in palm, the varangians briefly reveled in the mass of alien tech they had acquired before adapting and eventually selling a portion of it to radical inquisitors and other willing spenders.
Among that which remained untouched was a beacon of sorts held by a long standing and well respected member of the rebel clan by the name of Black Templar former, Ewail Titanicus. Curious as to what it led, Ewail and a small collective rounding in fifty, followed the senior varangian to seek where the tracer guided; what was found was a space hulk seemingly enthralled in a rather golden hue, shimmering in the void like a dazzling firefly, Titanicus in fascination with his minor cabal of space marines quickly made work of raiding the spatial anomaly, gaining and mounding large amounts of ancient relics and technology almost alien to what had been previously taken from previous expeditions with the entirety of the Varyag sect.
Danger arose quickly with the very same Dark Aeldari that had contracted Ewail and his brethren alerted to their presence in the space hulk with the spreading news of a giant yellowed obstruction floating about in space that they had planned to scour. What followed was a prolonged campaign of the full varangian force holding off the tides of Drukhari on Norden and space hulk as they continued to pillage and scavenge its entrails. The Varyag numbers, although minute, held mighty in the face of a larger foe as they were leader-ed by Ewail himself alongside several other astartes of notable wit for numerous centuries. By conflict's end the varyag population was reduced by a hundred, with Titanicus himself apart of the casualties, and a number more wounded but still thriving. Although ill-begotten the renegades had claimed back a portion their losses with the resources that had stolen from 'golden' space hulk that inevitably combusted with entry into the atmosphere of a planetoid, truly confirming the finality of the battle with lack of Upona proper goal to quarrel over.
- "Whether our bodies lay in the midst of red plains and bolter fire, always be always our souls in Norden, the varangian's Terra. "
- —Erik Loddi, Former Captain of the Gila Monsters First Company
Amid the reaches of an arid planetoid, the Varyags settled upon the face of a rather barren facet of the Segmentum Tempestus in hope of spitting a permanent home far from the sight of rather fiendish invaders, with many a boot aiding to establish a hold on the minute sphere it did not take long for the very air of a 'home' to flourish in for many of the defunct servants of the Imperium. With mounding activity, the scape over multiple millennia has morphed into a stay for the alone, with all that don't mar welcome into the adobes of the varangian living that are their huts and shacks of massive scale. Often ostracized Astartes of loyal chapters, in silent and incredibly few in number, take strolls and claim several more hours into Varyag saloons to soothe woes in liters of ale.
Among the rather sparse structures laid, trade is a gesture frequent in a sect of the varangian camp by the label of Offer and Doppler, where a majority if not all of their assignments are offered and taken by figures of a multitude of appearance and face. Rouge traders of repute are drawn to the very wares spittled about the area, with technology of immensely archaic craft and function open to all who are capable of ridding themselves of an entire arm and leg in order to claim such luxuries for themselves. But to the chagrin of the Varyags, much of their items sold are deflated in price by more charitable members of the space marine cabal whenever possible in secret, making much of the profit earned at the Offer and Doppler variable and at many times lower in outcome to what the artifacts are truly worth.
Beyond the savory gaze of merchants and grand mugs of the most intoxicating alcohol, stays the very land of Norden itself, resting stalwart in the background of all the festivities bearing rather exotic denizens and fruits of its own in the white tattered slopes of the domain. With barren earth, many bestial creatures prefer to reside deep in the ground to scavenge for their meals, with many at times forming minor and primitive communities to amass lesser, more feeble prey, to a pile of food for the more developing associates of the animistic confederation to briefly feast first before much larger components of the group dive in to consume a majority of the catch, leaving none to runts if they do not act quickly. But such is an anomaly among the less than intelligent entities of Norden, with many preferring to roam in packs to seek what little flora is atop the surface.
Despite the lax measure of weather upon the planetoid, with little ever in way of providing immensely wondering sights, even at the most dusk of periods, the very plants that thrive are virtually non-existent in breed with only a handful even known to the Astartes and visitors who frequent the outer-realms of Norden with weary eyes. Many of the few herbs that have decided to take root has relied on methods more akin to cacti in variant, birthing rather pointy appendages across the reach of their forms to flee would-be consumers from so much so as grazing the liquids stored from fleeting storms; though divergent a strand of the flora by the name of Jörmungandr, adopted the usage of a lethal poison in is fruit while claiming influence from other plants by sprinkling pricks around its body. Such poison is rumored to have the potency to leave dead an Astartes in its presence, with ear of bodies to prove such a claim; despite such lethality, many varangians take a gander at morphing it into immensely potent booze.
- "Why do you bastards weep over a busted bone or two. At least your alive. Mostly."
- —Erik Loddi Post Legging a Iron Hands Varangian upon Norden with a Bolter.
Of Caladus V, strides on the former Captain of the Gila Monsters First Company joining the renegade space marines post a night of heavy drinking and sobbing at a Varyag saloon before bisecting ties to any manner of Imperial organization, fabricating his new life as a mercenary in the void of space with hefty payment followed once an official varangian. Among his then compatriots of the Gila Monsters, the assumption has gone that Loddi has been killed prior to a mention of 'stress relief' and his lack of return to the Chapter; little came of the mourning with the assumed death of the captain with many Astartes, even the rather composed Geicos, labeling Erik as an effective but incessant ass of a captain while 'still' alive with Loddi himself having yet to know of such.
With eons, Erik has garnered a penchant for gambling and has groomed a grand measure pride and confidence in the very art of it, with the rebel space marine taking no time in implementing the very act from the table to the very battlefield. Those participating in the varangian's bet often trail themselves into a fatal and morbid play on their lives as Erik by virtually any manner of means will attempt to become victor of the bet he imposed; numerous reports have arisen of Loddi crippling fellow-renegades to gain rewards as feeble as odd looking rocks in the middle of full-scale conflicts, adding to the claim of his belligerent nature as a then Gila Monster.
- "You ever seen a termin'ator chug an entire tanker of bootleg Fenrisian Ale? You lot 're bout to now."
- —Bolli Greeting Rather Disturbed New Additions into the Varyags
Directly from the seed of The Wolf King, Leman Russ, harks to the battlefield in cumbersome and wailing tactical dreadnought armor. Conjoining into the varangians at the very genesis of the 37th Millennium after being lost for a total of decade in the reach of space while attempting to make his way to Fenris and confusing the planetoid of Norden and its then Space Wolves for the brethren still loyal to the Imperium; almost after two hours of laying on Norden in a saloon, Bolli had realized his grand mistake but ultimately decided to settle home after taking an immeasurable liking to the alcohol that resided at the varangian outpost, eventually becoming recognized a regular among the renegades with none questioning his lack of fee paying with notice to an almost vacancy of terminators in their ranks.
Despite the measure of recognition gifted to the wielder of the dreadnought panoply, with the passage of time the marine's ineptitude flared bright whenever glared upon by other more weary varyags whenever in presence. A notable mishap as was in a minor assignment which led to the devastation of an entire Hive City solely caused by Bolli's fiddling of Daemon Weapon when tasked to retrieve it from the clutch of a gang, how such occurred is left to the imagination but a grander mystery lies in the client who chose Löderfson to handle the job at present. Though with a dull wit, skilled is the former Child of Russ when placed in the heat of combat with skill most extreme with the usage of his Power Klaw and Lasblaster, putting even most of xenos origin to shame with proficiency.
- "The Black Templars are of a breed most profound in their madness but while my feeble blade and wrought mind lay not to the Chapter of mutant flaying fiends and Imperium as a whole, forever my sanctum stays within the gaze of the Emperor's light. I sadly cannot spit the same for my rather..'eccentric' brethren."
- —Ewail Prior to Being Questioned By An Imperialist Neophyte in a Rather Brief Interaction
Spawned from the very seed of Rogal Dorn, then Chaplain of a Black Templars Crusade Squadron, Ewail Tintanicus, made the scene circa 071.M36 as an Astartes lacking in particular in purpose with extended operations on 'tainted' Imperial Worlds with the immensely volatile and borderline khornate space marines of the Templars for several centuries; waned and pained of the bloodshed, Ewail caught ear from fleeting whispers of citizens of the existence of Norden and made quick haste to Varyags, forcibly becoming part of the renegade collective with hasty payment of a lesser Chapter's artifact he had stolen.
Though with rough entry, Titanicus was recognized as one of varanagians with century passing with the act of leading and accomplishing of a number of personal assignments in spades with many having preferred to gift over contracts to Ewail with a fragrant optimism that he would accomplish them. But with the reassurance of position, gnawed before his demise the aroma of his betrayal of his duty as an Angel of Death to the Imperium, a notion which Titanicus had bagged with him to the very grave upon the discovery and conflict of the 'Golden' Space Hulk. Though deceased, forever in memory is the legacy of Ewail set on Norden, with even a drink loosely named after the late Templar by the title of The Titan's Task in numerous varangian bars. As of recently, his body has been bored from varanagian hold, with current whereabouts and holder kept veiled from the band of mercenaries.
Rarely if ever exposed to beyond conversations and minute quarrels, those of the immaterium and those who serve it are less than favorable in Varyag view, with refusing to take jobs from note-worthy lackeys of Ruinous Powers due to memories of many renegade Astartes lacking any manner of fondness in previous encounters when part of a Chapter. Though with disdain for those spawned or bathed in the Warp, incredibly little manages to persuade a varangian to show arms to a cause, and the servants of Chaos often show much more coin to the measure of the wares the varangians are even capable of showing in order to have them bend to the heel of the Primordial Truth. On odd occasions, in droves, Heretic Astartes make their way to the Offer and Doppler on Norden to host auctions of untold depravity, with bidding wars said to last entire weeks until bolters decided the winner of the often human trophy at the stand, much to the Varyag's distaste.
Imperium of Man
Distance is kept lengthy whenever dealing directly with anyone linked to a major Imperial branch with exception of the most radical of Inquisitors who dare tempt the sanctity of their position with the mingling of the 'heretics' that are the varanagians to gain the most exotic of items from even more questionable means. Like several of those excommunicated from the reach of the Emperor's luminous grasp, death is a consistent notion creeping around every corner with every near-encounter with rather resentful progenitors of the Space Wolves and Iron Hands with an extreme ire brewed and kept in a mighty cauldron of anger for those who left the shade of the yet-come to Leman Russ and late Ferrus Manus. It is not a rare sight for those of recently or even long term members of the Varyags to speak little of their originating gene-seed outside of insults and heckling of its wielders, with a few but many preferring to dull the pain of abandonment with silence or large quantities of booze.
With numerous eons settled into the minds of many Varangians the very interaction and at times illicit intimacy with the alien has become almost second-hand to the mercenaries of Norden, little lays in the way for trade and tasks from the Varyags xenos cousins. Though unimpeded in intermingle of Xenos, sects of the varangian client base keep themselves at rather tense ties with every touch or breath spit and changed between the Astartes and those of less than human origin; many in the past have stripped themselves any manner of ties with them due to extended sessions with Xenos, forcing the Varyags to impose temporary bans on Norden when in the middle of operations with patrons with a less than favorable eyes towards the alien. An act which in turn has made many a but a ultimately a few a varangian to part ways the marine cabal who have had more than merely 'friendly' relationships with xenos across the millennium.
- Orks: Universally reviled by all variant of Varyag gene-seed due to their volatile and often idiotic nature making batter with them an impossibility; even among the most witful and kept of varangian minds who have attempted to make way for some fashion of immensely hair stranded ties have failed to without losing a limb or a life, only on the bluest of moons and the most green of suns have the Varyags accepted or even offered a task or assignment to a greenskin.
- Dark/Eldar: Though not intact or even on the most swell tides with entire craftworlds, small pockets of Aeldari with rather devious trains of thoughts, come to the varangian home-world to gawk or indulge at the escapades done by the often drunk Astartes on Norden. Among any other race, the number of marine and eldar spiked with the increasing Varyag activity across the galaxy, also resulting in more staunch faces to be of the utmost disdain at the very idea being brought more and more to the forefront with every century. To the Drukhari the feelings of growing affection were less than similar compared to their counterparts with all manner of bond spoiling from mutual apathy to full-blown hatred between the two factions post the events of the Golden Space Hulk.
- Necrons: The most the rebel Astartes and the mechanical abominations of the C'tan have exchanged is the heated fury from their weapons in the brief period of their awakening in the most recent of times in the growing violence of the galaxy at large; the closet the varangians had garnered to a legitimate interest in the recomposing race, is the measure of tech they possess lighting the eyes of numerous space marines when in first seen by a minor band of Varyags in a minute quarrel with the Necrons driving push for the most skilled of them to seek assignments with even a hint of necrodermis in its details.
- Tau/Tyranids: As of yet, the clan of space marines have still be witness to the blaster of a Tau Battlesuit or the maw of a Carnifex, but to those formerly of the Ultramarines prior to the events of the Battle of Macragge yearn to lay eyes once more on the ever-consuming horde as they pillage the galaxy as varanagians, bolter and flamers at arms for the confrontation.
Feel free to add your own
- " Oi, any of you blokes think Ewail is a tad up his arse about cleanin the weapons, bastard starts shoutin about 'm a heretic 'nd such. Bloody annoying."
- — Bolli Löderfson Post a Rather Volatile Morning With The Then Alive Titanicus
- "Place your bets on how long until Broderson realizes he is chugging down a guardsman's piss, mate should have never beat me at rock skipping. "
- —A Petty Erik Loddi on an Average Day
- "I swear on me lif-Erik's life that I ate raw an 'ntire Jörmungandr. With! The pricks on. "
- —Bolli's Failure to Woo Drukhari Females on Norden After The Event of the Golden Space Hulk
- "For the Ruinous and the Damned, please stop calling me 'Mistä Sinistä'. "
- — Sinastros Mistro, Former Varangian Patron