Long ago, before dreams were shattered, Varich walked the northern lands. He was the bright and handsome son of Miesiac; known as the silver-haired, dark-eyed Moon; and Dazbóga the Sun, his proud mother, with golden braids coiling down to her feet and brilliant sapphire eyes.
To Find a Love EditNo one could tell Varich anything he did not want to hear. From one moment to the next he fought, he loved, and he laughed. Everyone was his friend, yet none caught his heart. Neither delicate tsarevna nor lithe youth was good enough. None could best him in magic or war. None could match him in courage or passion. His parents despaired. Meeting in twilight one evening, they decided that they had waited long enough. First the Moon spoke to his servants; the spirits of the lakes and mountains, commanding them to search for his son’s perfect match.
Winds whistled in the highest reaches, seeking their goal in rocky crevasses and deep caves. Russalka spread their cold, clear, icy fingers wide. Trees rustled and shook as leshii climbed high in their branches, leaf-green eyes peering through taiga forests and among silver birches for the one who would capture the heart of Varich. Days and months passed. Nowhere could they find someone so perfect.
Varich’s mother smiled. Dazbóga knew her son’s love could not be found easily by the spirits. The Inanimae, though loyal, were not clever enough. She turned to the sluagh, those who seek the shadows made by her glory and find treasure hidden within. She placed a geas upon them, commanding that they must search until the most perfect of all maidens could be brought to her son.
The Snow Maiden Edit
At first the sluagh despaired. Even the north wind, which travels to all places, could not find someone to satisfy Varich. How could the sluagh do better? Then the darkest and most crafty of them thought of a plan. In this day, the sluagh were clever with their hands; weaving and fashioning magical treasures was as much their pleasure then as secrets and rot later became. Charodei, the sluagh sorceress, swore she could fashion a perfect mate for him, far better than any they could find in truth. Though some feared Varich’s anger if he discovered their trickery, the rest feared more the anger of his mother, the Sun. Charodei lied to the Moon and Sun, telling them a beautiful maiden, tsarevna of Lisaia, a kingdom to the south, longed to be Varich’s bride. She boasted of the maiden’s talents: her skill at battle, the way she rode a horse, her magical abilities beyond compare.
The Sun and Moon told Charodei to bring her quickly so that their son might look upon her. The sorceress smiled and whispered her promise to bring the beautiful one within three days. Returning to her dark, shadowy chambers, she began. With long, spidery fingers she sculpted a perfect body of snow and ice. She lovingly crafted graceful curves, slender legs, and silky breasts. The snow maiden’s eyes were fashioned of the clearest amber; her hair of gold, spun into flowing filaments; and her lips and the crown of her breasts stained with blood taken from the sorceress’ very veins. Finally, all was ready, and to finish the spell, Charodei opened the breast of the ice beauty and placed within a ruby heart filled with the blood of mortals killed in the maiden’s making.
The Snow Maiden stirred and sighed. Wrapped in soft sable as black as the shadows sluagh love, she was presented to Varich. Midnight eyes studied her as she dropped her gaze from him shyly. He was delighted with her beauty, thrilled with her seeming perfection. Impulsively he gathered her into his arms, his heart taken in an instant. Eagerly she returned his embrace, seeking his body as she was made to do. Passionate kisses led to further explorations. Charodei, though, had forgotten one vital flaw. As their bodies grew heated, as sweet tongues lapped at secret places and their limbs wrapped about each other, the snow maiden began to melt. Her amber eyes called to Varich beseechingly. Child of the Sun as he was, he watched helplessly as her beauty dissolved into a pile of slush tinged with the crimson of Charodei’s blood. Varich’s perfect lady disappeared beneath him, leaving in the end only a tangle of golden threads, a cracked and broken ruby stained with blood, and the sable cloak in which she was wrapped. Varich cried out, his heart blackened and torn by the horror before him. Gathering a web of her golden hair in his hands, he vowed to never love another.
His parents were enraged. They began to search for Charodei, but like most sluagh, she knew how to slip into the most hidden and slimy places. Finally they called a three-fold curse upon her and all her kind: she might never make nor have perfection; she would never see the light of the sun or moon without fear; and all others would know here for the treacherous creature she is.
The Founding of a House Edit
Varich had no more heart to laugh; no more need for challenge or battle. He spent most of his time wandering through the bleakest parts of the Dreaming, speaking to no one. His hands were constantly busy, for as he wandered, his thoughts in darkness, he was fashioning a golden web from his lady’s hair. Creatures of nightmare came forth from his dreams, yet he did not see them. Nothingness filled his mind. Still his hands moved, twisting the golden threads into patterns of sunlight and shadow.
It was during this time that he met another wanderer in the Dreaming. A strange creature came to him: Marena, she of show-white skin, silvery tresses, and icy garnet gaze. Lifting his face to her cold, long-nailed hands, she looked deep into his despairing midnight eyes. “Dear child of the Vila, what has brought you so far away from your place in the Dreaming? Why have you come to me?” she asked.
Looking at her, Varich did not know who or what she might be; could she be a fae lady from some unknown house sent by his parents? In her austere beauty, she reminded him of the maiden who filled his thoughts. He smiled at her just a little, for he had nearly forgotten how, and answered, “My heart has already been destroyed. You can do no more to harm it. Do not seek to know me, my lady. For me, there is no hope.
At that, her lips curved into an answering smile, and Varich saw beyond her pretty words. He viewed her sharp teeth and the shrewd heat in her eyes. Her weird beauty lifted the darkness from his mind and, while he found himself caught, he realized what stood in his path: one of the dreaded Fomorians looked down at him with wide, unpitying eyes.
Now he knew what he had done. His despair had opened a doorway from the lady’s prison in the Dreaming. His eyes narrowed as he studied her. Marena hissed and called forth her dark Glamour. As the Fell closed in from all sides and the dark chimera from his own nightmares surrounded him, Varich reached for his sword, calling it to his hand. Hard and long he struggled, his sword slicing a bright path through the creatures on all sides. Sharp teeth tore at his legs as poisons fouled his blood. His magics failed him, and as his sight grew dim, he saw Marena smile. Icy darkness filled Varich, and he felt his heart reaching to meet it, yearning to end his pain.
Suddenly, a brilliant gleam breached the darkness. Varich felt the warmth of the sun in his hand. The tangled weaving of his lost snow-maiden’s golden hair was glowing. With the last of his strength, Varich threw his net upon the evil sorceress. The patterns wove around her, tying her hands, tangling in her hair, and burning her with the purity of Varich’s passion. Marena writhed in pain as she disappeared into the prison that was now her sanctuary, taking the golden net with her, for it burned its pattern onto her skin. As Varich lay dying, his parents came to him and poured living water into him to take the poisons from him. He told them of Marena, she whom they called Winter. He told them of his battle and the horrors he had faced. They brought him forth from the Dreaming to the high hills where the Vila dwell. There, they spoke with their brothers and sisters, asking for recognition for the valor of their son. And thus it was that House Varich came to be, born from the deeds and the courage of its founder. Many flocked to his banner, including those who valued bravery as well as those whose hearts could not be healed.
TodayEditThe son of both the Moon and the Sun, both Vila, Varich possesses dark golden hair like his mother and slanted, heavy-lidded eyes as black as the night ruled by his father. A rash youth born of contrasts and contrariness, he displays his mother's fiery heat in battle yet reflects his father's cool intellect in all things magical. Unfortunately, in the process of trying to find a worthy mate for their perfect son, his eager parents damaged his heart beyond repair, rendering him incapable of ever giving his love to another.
Varich has ruled his house for many centuries with an even hand and a just temperament, although he has never lost the darkness and pain he felt. He remembers everything and still yearns for his impossible love. He knows well who betrayed him and does not allow his hatred to cool with the centuries. For him, it was only yesterday, and the time spent in Arcadia did nothing to calm him.
Upon his return to the mortal world, he chose to take the body of a dancer in a professional theater group... an inspired choice, since he now gains Glamour from the patterns he helps to create on stage. He owns a fine Queen Anne-style mansion overlooking the bay in San Francisco. His greatest wish is to understand and conquer the pattern of the Endless Winter so that he may drive the Fomorians away when they arrive. Still, he fears what he sees in the pattern of the future.