Vardas is held to be a Paragon of Vigilance. In 34BE the Highborn Assembly of the Virtuous recognised him as both an Exemplar, and a Paragon, a decision upheld by the Synod during their first general assembly.


The majority of what is known about Vardas has been passed down in the form of stories, whose authorship is attributed to Vardas' staunch companion and friend, Ion. Ion started to accompany Vardas on his adventures after Vardas tracked down, and eliminated, the sinister cult that had abducted Ion.

Very few of the stories told of Vardas go into his youth and upbringing. Accounts agree that he was one of the earliest of the 'true' Varushkans, mingling the blood and the strengths of both the Vard and the Ushka. He grew up to become an excellent hunter and tracker with a keen eye for the small signs that detailed the movements of his prey. In later life, he joined a Warden fellowship and employed his skills in the active pursuit of larger, more intelligent, prey - criminals, cultists and monsters.

The majority of stories about Vardas are structurally similar; he becomes aware of a threat or mystery, and then bends his exceptional mind and skills to tracking down and dealing with those responsible. The answer to the threat and mystery often hinges on Vardas noting something inconsequential that subsequently becomes instrumental in revealing a guilty party, giving him a strong reputation for vigilance and attention to details.

Many of Vardas’ stories also relate to his ongoing conflicts with Mikkal, an anarchy cultist. The circumstances of Vardas’ death are unclear. They are tied up with the eventual fate of Mikkal, and fact and story have become inextricably intertwined. The most popular version of events (see below) is held to be unlikely, however it was sufficient for the priests of Bastion to recognise that Vardas was not only an Exemplar, but a true Paragon of Vigilance.

Following Vardas' demise, or ascension, his disciple, Ion, proceeded to spread the stories of his heroic deeds, vigilance and the lessons he had learned about identifying, tracking and disposing of monsters and other threats far and wide. Ion's own adventures in this time are worthy of note, and he was held up as a possible Exemplar of Vigilance. However, this did not receive recognition by the Synod. The consensus was that Ion would mostly likely be an Exemplar, or even a Paragon, in his next life.


  • Vardas is claimed to have demonstrated the sign of benevolence by distinction of the sheer number of monsters, criminals, saboteurs and villains he dispatched and thus removed as threats to the world.
  • Vardas has been held up as an inspiration to many. Although he really only had one “sidekick” in the form of Ion, there are many who had admitted to being inspired by Vardas’ deeds and sought to emulate them, especially in identifying and eliminating Mikkalites.
  • It is claimed that Vardas attained liberation and became a Paragon. There have been no past life visions attributed to him. It is even claimed, in one version of Vardas’ final encounter with Mikkal the Firestarter that Vardas even attained ascension, though some hold that account to be apocryphal.
  • Vardas did undertake a pilgrimage to Bastion, though this was primarily in pursuit of Mikkal who had sought to steal some true liao. For his vigilance, Vardas was rewarded with a true liao vision, but there is no record of what he saw.
  • Vardas is held to have demonstrated the sign of salvation by dint of having rescued many from peril and encouraged them to be more vigilant in the future, and thus prevent evil beings from being able to threaten them again.
  • Vardas’ legacy is said to be a holy site where he confronted Mikkal for the last time, and potentially achieved ascension, leaving behind an enduring aura of vigilance. However, the precise location of this act was lost following Nicovar’s madness.
  • No miracles are attributed to Vardas, nor has any proven link been made to a former incarnation, but neither of these have been disproven either.

As the last of his followers fell to my sword, I looked up to see Vardas aiming an arrow at Mikkal’s heart.

“You have nowhere left to hide,” he said, “Nowhere left to run. It is over.”

Mikkal lifted his arms displaying empty palms. His expression was rueful, but the dark malevolent fire that danced in his eyes was undimmed. “Perhaps it is,” he said, “My followers dead. Every hideaway exposed. Every plot and scheme foiled. Perhaps this truly is the end.”

I started to advance on him. Vardas would have wanted me to bind him and search him thoroughly for any hidden surprises. Mikkal glanced at me. His lowered the fingers on his upraised left hand, leaving only the index one to indicate that I should come no closer. I hesitated.

“Except…” he went on, “there is one thing that has nagged at me for some time. Why did you not kill me at the Blackened Stump when you had the chance? You caught me completely unawares. That riddle has vexed me for quite some time, but I think I now have the answer.”

I glanced at Vardas questioningly, for I had often wondered the same thing. Vardas’ jawline tensed, but he said nothing. The bowstring tensed even further at the arrow sighted on Mikkal.

The oily, self-satisfied smile that I had grown to loath crept over Mikkal’s face. “It is because you lack faith, isn’t it? You are not certain, as those zealots of Bastion are, that the path of chaos that I walk will condemn me to the Labyrinth for eternity. For if I die, and am reborn, I shall be where you cannot follow. Where you cannot thwart me.”

He flourished with his right hand and suddenly a small bottle appeared within it.

“NO!” shouted Vardas, loosing the arrow which buried itself in Mikkal’s shoulder, but seconds too late for Mikkal had already emptied the bottle down his throat. The self-styled Firestarter slumped to his knees, as Vardas and I sprinted over to him. Already his lips were discolouring and his skin paling.

“And so…” he coughed, blood splattering my tunic, “I escape you once again.” And he died.

Vardas unleashed oaths and curses upon the air before sinking into silence. I did not know what to say. How many generations would it be before Mikkal returned? Only now did I understand why Vardas feared to put his mortal enemy beyond reach.

Heavily, Vardas rose to his feet and looked at me. “Kill me,” he said.

I was stunned, and immediately began to protest, but he would none of it. “You must. You above all others understand what he is, what he is capable of. I must pursue him into the Labyrinth and somehow, though I don’t yet know how, prevent his escape. The longer we delay the harder it shall be for me to find him.”

“You don’t know that!” I said, “You don’t know what truly lies beyond life.”

“Perhaps not,” Vardas said, “but I do know that I must do all that is within my power to protect the world from Mikkal, in this life or any other. I can entrust this generation to you now. You are ready.”

With that, he handed me his bow. As I nocked the arrow and raised it, he nodded with the grim determination I recognised and loved in him.

Yet, as I drew back to shoot, something incredible happened. As I looked at Vardas, I could see, not one, but a dozen – maybe more – people looking back at me. The aura of confusion and rebellion that Vardas and I had battled since entering Mikkal’s lair vanished, and, before my eyes, Vardas faded away, leaving behind his clothes and satchel.

To this day, I cannot adequately describe the sensation of being in the presence of a true ascension. Yet I take reassurance from the truth that the Labyrinth of Ages is now under the watchful guardianship of Vardas the Paragon of Vigilance.