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Leo Varniak

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Leo Varniak

Leo Zaital
Date of birth487 AV (aged 36)
Place of birthSyliras
TitleChampion of Ivak
Gnosis marks

Leo Varniak (real name Leo Zaital) is a Human Reimancer and a member of the Azenth born and living in the city of Syliras. He is the current champion of Ivak, being the only living, direct descendant of the god and Queen Kova. He spearheaded the efforts to liberate Ivak from his cage in Wind Reach, thus ending his 500 year long imprisonment that started with the Valterrian. He facilitated the ascension of Glav Navik and Akvin Kultra to godhood, but he is also responsible for the apotheosis of the goddess Ssena because of his actions. The massively destructive Djed storm of 512 AV is therefore his involuntary doing.


Physical description

Physically, Leo is quite unremarkable, with dark eyes, straight black hair almost reaching his eyes and regular features. His body is of average height and is moderately fit from years of travel and survival. He usually wears a serious, somber expression, perhaps magnified by the dark rings under his eyes, betraying his insomniatic nature. His body temperature is higher than the average person, as he lives in a constant near-feverish state that is the consequence of mild overgiving. He shaves whenever possible, but tends to rarely comb his hair.


Early life

The Varniak family used to know a ceramic workshop in Syliras, and Leo grew up wanting to be a potter himself. Allistir, the owner and Leo's supposed father, had married his mother Lina, a ceramic artist working for him; Leo was the only offspring of their union, though he never resembled Allistir at all. Allistir regularly beat his wife and mistreated his son, drinking his nights away at the local tavern and abusing the rest of his family. One day, Lina told Leo that the main reason for Allistir's hate was because he saw everything about his adoptive brother Alvias in him - a wizard and a priest of the fire god Ivak - and he suspected Alvias was Leo's real father. A mysterious man, Alvias had left the household for parts unknown, but he had returned temporarily around the time Leo was conceived.

When Allistir found a letter from Alvias that Lina had been hiding, he went into a mad rage and strangled her to death in front of Leo. As he was about to finish the boy, something unlocked within Leo and he discovered he was able to wield the power of fire. He burned Allistir alive and the whole house to ashes with him. Years later, Leo found confirmation that Alvias was indeed his father and a priest of the Azenth, Ivak's faction. Leo has since followed on his father's footsteps, becoming a member of the Syliran triad and embarking on a quest to destroy Rhysol's agents in the city as well as to free the god of fire from his prison.

Azenth involvement

Leo started being involved with the Azenth (Ivak's faction) following a letter from his real father, Alvias. A chain of events led him to seek the help of the Syliran priest, Glav Navik, secretly a son of the slain god of peace, Sylir. Glav encouraged Leo to seek out other faithful and form a Triad to restore Ivak's presence in Syliras. Glav's other goal - to ascend to godhood and take his father's place in the pantheon - was only possible through Ivak's liberation from his unknown prison; hence, the priest made the suggestion to a skeptic Leo that this should be their long-term goal.

As Leo recruited Sondra and Terminus Norin to the cause, becoming leader of the Triad and gaining a second gnosis mark from Ivak, he became aware of the menace that had exterminated the last Triad in the city: a powerful Druvin called Raven, the Black Hand.

The Black Hand

After consolidating the Azenth's position in Syliras and running a raid on a temple of Rhysol in the wilderness, Leo chanced upon the nest of the Black Hand by accident. The front was a newly opened night club in which illegal fights were held involving young children drugged with a stimulant called Enliven. A collaboration of Rhysol and Vayt threatened to spread this emotion-altering drug through the entire city. Leo and a fellow human, Murdoch, stirred a fight in the establishment, but were ultimately captured by the Black Hand. Down in her dungeons, Leo somehow had a vision of being transported to Ivak's prison, where he was entrusted with the god's blade, Ivlir. Materializing the dagger from nothing, Leo struck the Black Hand in the heart and killed her. The death of a Druvin is no small matter, however. An explosion of dark energy ensued, from which Leo was protected through the intervention of a fellow mysterious prisoner who shielded him with his body. Leo never knew that this prisoner, now horribly mutated, was his father Alvias. The creature left with the goddess Yshul, who had apparently brokered the meeting with Ivak. Leo was left with blackened hands, but otherwise healthy. He and Murdoch escaped the place and made sure it could no longer spread its evil.

The quest for Ivak

Meanwhile, Glav had been running investigations of his own. He'd discovered something strange: the humans called Inarta were unable to retain any information on the god Ivak. They simply forgot all about him within bells. Finding this highly suspicious - and also fearing Rhysol's vengeance following the death of the Black Hand - Glav organized an expedition via ship to Wind Reach. Leo, now motivated to free Ivak, joined the expedition, as did Syliras' Magecrafter Akvin Kultra. However, Vayt's agent had infiltrated the ship and began poisoning the crew, threatening to leave the ship stranded in the middle of the ocean. Leo found Vayt's agent and launched an emotional attack on her that caused her to commit suicide. He also had a run-in with the goddess of murder, Krysus, who had come for one of Glav's other bodyguards, Ulric. Ultimately, the decimated crew managed to dock and Glav's party was able to climb their way to Wind Reach.

Ivak's liberation

Research showed that the entranceway to Ivak's prison could only be in the Underground Forest, a network of tunnels beneath Wind Reach. In this endeavor he received crucial help from Taln, a brave Dek. Together they explored the place and passed the tests laid out in front of them. At some point Leo had to choose among six people who wished to accompany him to Ivak's prison; each person represented by a statue. Some of these people, Leo already knew (such as Glav and Akvin); the others, he didn't, but he accepted all help anyways. Unfortunately, a blindfolded lady in the party of six happened to be Mileena Vos, the Voice (champion) of Rhysol. Leo and Taln walked into a lake and were turned into pure Djed. They joined Mizahar itself for months, being one with the water, the fire, the wind and the earth, until they finally reached Ivak's fiery prison. Here, battle broke out as the Voice revealed herself. Ivak's liberation unlocked a massive rush of Djed, which Glav, Akvin and the Voice used to ascend to godhood. A terrible battle ensued. Two in the party of helpers died, one being king Sultros of the Isur and the other being Alvias himself. Leo barely had the time to recognize him before he was killed by the Voice. Taln was also killed by the former Voice, now goddess of fear, Ssena and resurrected by Akvin as a Velispar. In the end, everyone's combined efforts managed to force Ssena into retreat, saving Ivak's life.

After the storm

Ivak's liberation brought about a terrible Djed storm that struck Mizahar on the first day of Spring in 512 AV. Leo is currently working on helping Mizahar recover and weakening Rhysol and Ssena's position. The latter is now his fiercest enemy and the one he has sworn to destroy.

Relevant threads

Information threads
heightCharacter SheetLeo Varniak's character sheet
heightStoryteller SecretsLeo Varniak's Storyteller Secrets
Major roleplayed threads
heightAshes to Ashes, Dust to DustAcquisition of first gnosis mark from Ivak.
heightA Burning WithinDiscovery of his Azenth origins.
heightFire Walk with UsThe Syliran triad of the Azenth is rebuilt.
heightRoll the dice and watch them burnLeo and Murdoch vs. the Black Hand, a Druvin.
heightFire dreamsIvak is liberated from his prison.