- “There's power in stories, though. That's all history is: The best tales. The ones that last. Might as well be mine.”
- See also: Varric (short story)
The Tethras family was once part of the Noble caste in Orzammar, until Varric's father was caught fixing Provings. Such was the disgrace and danger to the family that the household had no choice but to leave for the surface. Unlike his brother, Varric was born in Kirkwall and has no feeling of loyalty or love towards Orzammar, his knowledge of which is largely second-hand. He is a merchant prince among the surface dwarves.
Varric is a rogue from House Tethras. He is the youngest son of the Tethras family while his older brother is the head and runs the family business. On the outside, he is seen as the idle younger brother who spends his time in taverns telling wild stories while people buy him drinks. His real job is to maintain a "spy network" with contacts to deal with various troubles that come along with being in a family that is part of the Dwarven Merchants Guild.
Signature weapon Edit
Varric has a signature crossbow named Bianca. Bianca has a carved wood stock and brass embellishments, as well as a retractable bayonet that slides out of a slot in the front. As such, Varric is the only companion who cannot equip different weapons. When asked about the story behind how Bianca got her name, he replies that it involves a girl and a promise, and that it is the one story that he can never tell. He has put the story to song, but will not sing it, instead humming the tune during battle.
If Hawke lets Varric keep the lyrium shard during the latter's companion quest, Haunted, Varric will use the shard to upgrade Bianca with three more rune slots. On the other hand, if Hawke gives the shard to Sandal, not only will Varric feel a little dizzy, suggesting that he cannot master the shard, but also the boy will turn the shard into a Primeval Lyrium Rune, which increases attack speed.Bianca was made by a Carta dwarf named Gerav and was the only repeating crossbow constructed by him that actually worked, as far as the Merchants Guild knows anyway.
Dragon Age II Edit
Varric first meets Hawke a year after they arrive in Kirkwall, in the streets of Hightown, after the former's brother, Bartrand, rejected Hawke's request to join his expedition into the Deep Roads. The future Champion is pick-pocketed by a thief whom Varric shoots and pins to a wall using Bianca. Returning Hawke's money, Varric, having heard of Hawke's reputation for skill, competence and reliability, offers them a place on the excavation as an investor. Tagging along to help Hawke gain the necessary money, Varric requests that Hawke speak to him privately in The Hanged Man in Lowtown later. At the Hanged Man, Varric tells Hawke the excavation doesn't have a suitable route to the Deep Roads and requests Hawke get one from a Grey Warden Varric has found in the city.
Right from the start he will criticize his brother, mentioning that describing Bartrand as "hard to take" by Worthy after Hawke's diplomatic choice is an understatement.
Once Hawke's affairs are in order, Varric will accompany both Bartrand and Hawke in The Deep Roads Expedition. They encountered a Primeval Thaig with a Lyrium Idol with in. Bartrand, enamored by the idol, locks both Hawke and Varric in the room where the idol was found and makes off with idol, leaving the other two for dead. Varric is livid over this betrayal and swears to find and kill Bartrand. Hawke and Varric managed to escape the Deep Roads and the treasures they found in their expedition made the two of them extremely wealthy.
Bartrand vanished after the Deep Roads expedition, and Varric had to divert his attention from searching for his wayward brother to keeping the now-abandoned family business from falling apart.
Varric now occupies his brother's seat in the Dwarven Merchants Guild – technically. He rarely attends Guild meetings and is hardly ever seen actually occupying the chair in their hall that belongs to House Tethras. He prefers to run the Tethras financial empire from his suite at the Hanged Man. When Hawke visits Varric, they have a short discussion about Hawke's plans for the future.
In the quest Night Terrors of Act 2 after you saved Feynriel in Act 1 from the Circle, he will ultimately give in to his pride over Hawke, even if they are friends, when Hawke steals Feynriel from the demon of pride - unless Merrill or Fenris is in the party, in which case the pride demon will tempt one of them instead. Afterward he will make amends in the quest Varric's Apology.
Eventually, Varric's spy network discovered Bartrand has returned to Kirkwall and is staying in a mansion in Hightown. Varric enlists Hawke's aid in paying Bartrand a visit, starting the quest Family Matter. Yet when they arrived at the mansion, Varric discovers that Bartrand's guards have turned crazed and hostile. After plowing through all the enemies, Hawke and Varric discover Hugin, the last surviving servant of the household. He tells a tragic story. After Bartrand left Varric and Hawke to die in the abandoned thaig, he started hearing voices, claiming the lyrium idol was ‘singing’ to him. Even after selling it, Bartrand could still hear the idol and was eventually driven mad by it. He tortures the servants by cutting pieces off them to help them 'hear the song'. Bartrand also feeds the guards lyrium, which makes them go insane. Hugin begs Varric and Hawke to give a quick and merciful death to anything still alive in Bartrand’s study. Varric and Hawke's party proceed to fight off Bartrand and his remaining crazed guards. Once Bartrand is defeated, Varric tries to talk to him, but it becomes clear that Bartrand is crazy - he recognizes his brother and requests he help him find the idol again before talking to someone or something in his head. Hawke can encourage Varric to kill Bartrand or spare him as his descent into madness is punishment enough.
If brought along in the mission All That Remains, Varric will personally take care of Gascard DuPuis after his betrayal and Hawke's threat to kill him by shooting a bolt through his throat; commenting that Hawke would have killed him anyway.
If Hawke is romantically involved with one of their companions, Varric will express some concerns over the danger involving Hawke's love interest the next time they visit him in the Hanged Man.
Three years after the Qunari attack, Hawke encounters Varric listening to Anders tell old tales of his time as a Grey Warden over drinks. When Anders leaves to let Varric attend to his company, Hawke will question Varric if there is any news that they should be aware of. Varric informs Hawke of the power vacuum created by the viscount's demise which could lead to another crisis. Varric tells Hawke he hopes they are ready for it and that he'll be keeping Bianca close.
Varric eventually reveals he has been trying to sell Bartrand's Estate to a minor noble in Rivain but there have been strange occurrences that lead people to believe that the mansion is haunted. Varric believes that the disturbances are caused by the idol Bartrand brought back from the Deep Roads and requests Hawke's aid in investigating the mansion. When they arrive at the estate, they discover that it is rife with apparitions, strange voices, and moving objects and have to fight off Shades and an Ethereal Golem. After the battle, Varric finds a fragment of the lyrium idol. Varric will covet the idol fragment and will want to keep it, claiming it's the only thing that will let him understand what happened to Bartrand. Hawke will then have the option to let Varric keep it or get rid of it. If Varric is encouraged to get rid of it, he lets Hawke have the piece. Varric suggests Hawke give it to Sandal who may be able to make some use of it.
During The Last Straw, Varric will side with Hawke regardless of whether the player supports the mages or the templars.At the end of the game Varric states that he along with Hawke and the companions disappeared into the wilderness, saying that by chance all of the companions, including Bethany and Carver, were forced to leave Hawke, all of them taking off for their own quests. The exception to this, as told by Varric, is Hawke's love interest who is implied to still be with him/her at present.
Friendship and rivalry Edit
- See the approval page for more information.
Varric likes to talk and likes telling exaggerated stories of Hawke's heroism. Solving problems and gaining advantage through diplomacy, outright lies, and even blackmail will impress him, while straightforward violence and thuggery leaves him cold. He also responds well to joking, flirting and sarcasm and to mild greed. Beneath his silver tongue, however, he's a goodhearted person and will appreciate Hawkes who look out for their families and are kind to dwarves.
To earn rivalry with Varric, choose aggressive responses that glorify violence and combat, and show a lack of interest in his stories, his friendship, and your place in Kirkwall.
Dragon Age: The Silent Grove Edit
Varric accompanies Isabela and King Alistair to Antiva City where they infiltrate the headquarters of the Antivan Crows. Varric disarms the traps inside before the trio are confronted by Prince Claudio Valisti. Back at a brothel, Varric discusses what is to come next with Alistair.
After escaping Velabanchel, Varric once again discusses Alistair's intentions. He accompanies his companions into the Tellari swamps, where they are attacked by a high dragon, before being met by Yavana, who calms the beast.After speaking with Yavana, the trio are attacked by Claudio Valisti and his men. Alistair allows himself to be dragged away in exchange for Varric and Isabela's lives. The pair return to the Silent Grove and Varric convinces Yavana to help with Alistair's rescue. The witch places a mysterious enchantment on Varric and Isabela, and merely says that the two will "play their part" when Varric asks what she will gain from the bargain. Varric then storms Valisti's camp alongside Isabela, rescuing Alistair.
Dragon Age: Those Who Speak Edit
Varric along with Alistair and Isabela continue their quest in finding magister Aurelian Titus: the master of Claudio Valisti. They go to a ball in Qarinus where Titus is expected to show up. Varric there has a friend; magister Maevaris Tilani, who is the widow of Varric's cousin, Thorold. She helps Varric and his companions by asking Lord Devon to keep Isabela's ship off the registry.
When Titus finally showed up in the ball, Alistair revealed his identity to him and then an all out brawl started while Titus escaped leaving behind his minions. Varric also fought alongside Maevaris. When the brawl finished Isabela managed to capture one of Titus' men alive whom they took back to the pirate ship. Varric interrogated the minion and tricked him into revealing to Varric that Titus is in Seheron.
However when the ship was sailing towards the magister's stronghold, two Qunari dreadnoughts showed up. After a short fight, Alistair, Varric and Isabela along with the crew were captured and sent to a Qunari war camp named Akhaaz. Alistair and Varric were held in the same locked room and after three weeks a Qunari guard came and ordered them to follow him to the Arishok. They eventually found out that Sten is the new Arishok and they were captured because Sten considered it foolishness that Alistair tried to follow Titus into his lair; to which Varric agreed.
When Isabela managed to escape from her cell, she freed Alistair and Varric before she went to free her crew as well. Alistair and Varric then fought their way out of the prison, only to encounter Sten at the exit holding a giant maul. After a brief discussion, Sten attacked them and since Varric didn't have his Bianca with him to assist effectively, the fight ended in a duel between Alistair and Sten. Varric then tried to go back and find another way out but as soon as he opened the door to enter the prison again, he found a large number of Qunari guards waiting. He cunningly told them that their Arishok is in an honorable duel with Alistair so both Varric and the guards started watching the duel instead.When Alistair defeated Sten, he refused to kill him and instead invited him to help him in his quest against their mutual enemy, Magister Titus. Sten agreed to the invitation of the King of Ferelden so Isabela got back her pirate ship and her crew. Along with Alistair and Varric, they all started sailing to Titius' stronghold in Seheron accompanied by two Qunari dreadnoughts and Sten.
Dragon Age: Until We Sleep Edit
The Qunari assault Ath Velanis at the command of their new Arishok, led by Alistair and Isabela as they confront Aurelian Titus. Meanwhile Varric infiltrates the fortress undetected and searches for Maric Theirin. While there he liberates Maevaris Tilani who had been taken prisoner and tortured by Titus. She directs him to the laboratory, where he finds King Maric hooked up to the Magrallen: a nefarious device that siphons his blood for blood magic. Varric attempts to release Maric by shooting one of his bolts into the Magrallen but the instability causes the contraption to pull him and his other companions into the Fade.When Varric awakens, he finds himself awaken to a female dwarf named Bianca greeting him at his bedroom door. She tells him she found a captain willing to cross the guild and sail them both away. Apparently both Bianca and Varric were on the run from the "Guild" and that she was the designer of Varric's signature crossbow, which at the time wasn't named yet and was meant to make them both rich. It is insinuated that Bianca and Varric never were able to escape and knowing that, he realized that the Bianca he was talking to was just an illusion of the Fade. Knowing that the Bianca spirit wasn't the real one that he loved and lost so long ago, Varric was able to walk away. Varric journeyed through the Fade to find Maevaris, Isabela, and Alistair, all of whom were being tempted by the illusions of the Fade. They rejoined King Maric in the Fade and together resolved to kill Aurelian Titus. Varric rejoins Alistair and Isabela to attack Titus and distract him long enough to allow Maevaris and Maric to kill him. After escaping the Fade, Varric reawakens in the laboratory and is present when Alistair shatters the Magrallen, killing Maric. Afterwards Isabela asked Varric if Alistair had made the right decision, to which he replied he didn't know.
Dragon Age: Inquisition Edit
Varric is brought to the Temple of Sacred Ashes to enlighten Divine Justinia V on Hawke. But when an explosion at the temple kills thousands and creates the Breach, Varric assists the Chantry forces and later joins the Inquisition.
After Corypheus' attack on Haven forces the Inquisition to move to Skyhold, Varric informs the Inquisitor and their advisers that he knows someone who can help them. His contact is in fact Hawke. This gets him into a confrontation with Cassandra, who was angry that he knew Hawke's whereabouts the whole time.
Red Lyrium Fragment Kept by Varric: Varric had the Mining caste construct a vault in Kirkwall and kept the red lyrium fragment locked away in it. Varric has been having a few alchemists study it but is particularly careful to make sure that exposure to it is limited. Varric claims he wanted to discover if it is possible to remove the red lyrium's adverse effect of madness yet so far has found no success.
The Inquisitor encounters Bianca talking with Varric at Skyhold, discussing a possible lead on Corypheus's source of Red Lyrium. She informs the Inquisitor that the location of Bartrand's Folly (Valammar) has been leaked, and that there are humans carting it out by the handful. It is revealed by Varric that her knowledge of the thaig came from him, after he sent letters to her after Bartrand's expedition.
The Inquisitor joins the duo on a mission to seal off the entrance in Valammar. At the end of the mission, the Inquisitor or Varric will come to the conclusion that it was Bianca who leaked the location of the thaig, which will result in a confrontation between the three. She reveals that she went into the ruins herself to study the lyrium after receiving Varric's letter. If Bartrand was kept alive during the events of Dragon Age 2, she will mention him as one of the reasons for going into the ruins, saying she was doing him a favour. If Varric was allowed to keep the fragment of the Lyrium idol in Dragon Age 2, that can also be used as a justification as she says that she was trying to help him study it.
According to her research, Red Lyrium is corrupted with the Blight. This proves lyrium to be alive, as the Blight can only taint living things. This research led her to Larius/Janeka, whom she met while seeking a Grey Warden Mage. When talking to Varric after the mission, there is now the option to ask him more about Bianca.Varric will invite the Inquisitor to a game of Wicked Grace so that it would improve the camaraderie among the members of the Inquisition.
Act 1A Business Discussion Questions and Answers The Deep Roads Expedition
Act 2Plans for the Future An Update Family Matter A Story Being Told/A Rumor Making the Rounds Varric's Apology Friendly Concern The Tethras Signet Ring (gift)
Act 3The Storm and what Came Before It A Small Problem Haunted Closure An Anniversary
Mark of the AssassinLiterary Theft
Initial statistics Edit
Dragon Age IIEdit
Talent trees Edit
|Available talent trees||Initially selected talents|
Requires: Varric Tethras
Damage: 5 + 5.38 * LVL physical damage
see Bianca Upgrades
Dragon Age: InquisitionEdit
|Ability trees||Initially selected abilities|
Varric specific gear Edit
- See also: Companion armor
Upgrades to Varric's Tailored Leather Duster can be found in the following locations:
- Act 1 – Inscribed Leather Harness
Companion armor upgrade
Extra rune slot – available from the Apparel Shop in Lowtown. Extra rune slot.
- Act 2 – Coat Lining with Concealed Pockets
Companion armor upgrade
+(0.5 * ATK(LVL)) attack – available from Shady Merchandise at the Docks. Increases attack (scales with Hawke's level).
- Act 2 – Silverite-Reinforced Buckles
Companion armor upgrade
Extra rune slot – obtained during his personal quest Family Matter. Extra rune slot.
- Act 3 – Drakeskin Leg Straps
Companion armor upgrade
Extra rune slot – found during the quest Finding Nathaniel. Extra rune slot.
Requires: Varric Tethras
Damage: 5 + 5.38 * LVL physical damage
see Bianca Upgrades – Varric's signature crossbow
Eye of the Bearded Dragon
+8% critical chance
+34% healing to this character
+6% attack speed
Immunity to stun
Improves with level-up – requires Rogue Item Pack DLC
Turquoise Ring of the Archon
+2% critical chance
Bonus to evade traps
+2% chance to stealth when hit – requires Legacy DLC
The Refined Gentleman's Sash
+1 to all attributes
+3-4% critical chance
+7-10% critical damage
+5-9% damage resistance
+5-9% magic resistance
Improves with level up – requires Rogue Item Pack II DLC
The True Author's Token
+(8 + 0.2 * LVL)% critical damage
+(3.2 + 0.04 * LVL)% physical damage
Bonus to disarm traps – requires Mark of the Assassin DLC
- Main article: Varric Tethras/Approval
Dragon Age IIEdit
In Dragon Age II, Varric generally gains friendship points when you do what is right instead of what is legal, while avoiding needless bloodshed. He will also approve if you demand payment from people before helping them. Deferring to Varric when the option arises will also gain friendship with the dwarf. Gaining rivalry with Varric generally involves being aggressive to everyone and refusing to help those in need. Refusing payment after helping someone can also result in rivalry points with Varric.
Dragon Age InquisitionEdit
Gaining approval with Varric in Inquisition follows generally the same vein as gaining friendship with him did in Dragon Age II. Varric will generally approve of selfless acts, far more so than in Dragon Age II and likes when the Inquisitor acts humble instead of haughty. He will also approve at the occasional joke made by the Inquisitor. Any red lyrium found and destroyed while out adventuring will also net approval with Varric.
- Main article: Varric Tethras/Dialogue
Dragon Age II Edit
- "'I don't like this'? That's right up there with, 'What could possibly go wrong?'"
- "There's a recipe to a good hero, Hawke. It's like alchemy. One part down-to-earth, one part selfless nobility, two parts crazy, and you season liberally with wild falsehoods. You let that percolate through a good audience for a while, and when it's done, you've got your hero."
- "Once more I am falsely accused of whatever it is that I am accused of. Falsely."
- "Hawke, I'm a businessman. Now and then, I shoot people."
- "You should know by now that I love the sound of my own voice, Hawke."
- "Shows what you know. I would definitely bring this up just to gossip. I didn't. But I would."
- (Regarding his brother) "I swear I am going to find that son of a bitch - sorry, Mother - and I will kill him!"
Dragon Age: Inquisition Edit
- "If this is all just the Maker winding us up, I hope there's a damn good punchline coming."
- "Varric Tethras: rogue, storyteller and, occasionally, unwelcome tagalong."
- "Bianca? She's one of a kind. There's a hidden shop in Kirkwall called the Black Emporium. I found her in a barrel labeled 'swag.' The owner sold her to me for a ham sandwich and a pair yellow ruffled pants."
- (regarding Bianca, the crossbow) "I bought a salvaged ship and found her locked in a dragonbone-reinforced chest in the hold. I broke three dozen lockpicks and blunted nine saws opening that trunk, but it was worth it."
- (Regarding Spymasters) "The truly great ones can keep their distance. They don't get attached to their people. Me? I always wind up babysitting my informants and worrying about their families."
- (During The Abyssal High Dragon Quest) "Baiting a dragon. On purpose. Right. Should have stayed home today.
- "Oh it's been great. Murderous Wardens, Archdemon attacks, plenty of blood mages, and crazy templars. Just like home."
- "Heroes are everywhere. I've seen that. But a hole in the sky? That's beyond heroes. We're going to need a miracle."
Codex entries Edit
- Mary Kirby wrote Varric for Dragon Age II and Dragon Age: Inquisition.
- Varric's excessive chest hair has become something of a running joke with developers and fans on the BioWare social forum. It is also something of a running gag in-game, especially with Isabela.
- According to Varric himself, he is a compulsive liar.
- In Dragon Age: Inquisition while traveling along the Storm Coast, Varric mentions that he cannot swim.
- Varric was originally written as a sleazy and untrustworthy character. Later the writers wanted to add a companion who would stand up for Hawke with all the opposing personalities in the party, and Varric eased into the place.
- Varric in Dragon Age II is always calling companions by nicknames, calling Merrill "Daisy", Isabela "Rivaini", Bethany "Sunshine", Fenris "Broody", Carver "Junior", Anders "Blondie", Sebastian "Choir-Boy", and Tallis "Shivs". He never comes up with one for Aveline, however—a fact she comments on if they are both in the party together. He suggests "Red", but she responds in the negative, stating that it is "too common". Varric also gives no nickname to Hawke.
- Varric continues with the nicknaming tradition in Dragon Age: Inquisition. Vivienne is "Iron Lady", Iron Bull is "Tiny", Cassandra is "Seeker", Cole is "Kid", Leliana is "Nightingale", Cullen is "Curly", Josephine is "Ruffles", Solas is "Chuckles", Blackwall is "Hero", Dorian is "Sparkler", and Sera is "Buttercup". The Inquisitor does not receive an official nickname, although Varric does occasionally refer to him/her as "Your Inquisitorialness."
- Though he is not a romance option, he can be flirted with by a female Hawke and by the Inquisitor.
- Regarding romance, according to David Gaider, they almost did "slip something in there." They talked about having the interrogation end with Varric meeting back up with Hawke and explaining that he'd told them everything, in which case Hawke would say "Everything?" and Varric would respond "Don't worry. I skipped the part about us..."
- Due to Varric's role in the game's storyline, he is the only companion in Dragon Age II who cannot have crisis points and leave the group.
- It is subtly revealed that Varric uses his spy network to keep watch and help out the other party members. An early companion quest in Act 2 reveals that he keeps the Darktown thugs from attacking Anders's clinic (Anders will question this in a party banter), and inter-party banter with Merrill shows that he pays off the Lowtown gangs to leave her alone if she walks around Lowtown at night; he also pays the gardeners in Hightown to keep quiet about Merrill picking flowers from the nobles' gardens.
- When asked about the origin of the name of his crossbow, Bianca, Varric will reply, "Mirabelle was taken." This is a reference to the black powder firearm Mirabelle from BioWare's Jade Empire.
- He is described as "The Storyteller" in promotional materials for Inquisition.
- Varric recommends the book "The Pursuit of Knowledge" by Brother Genitivi to Hawke.
- One of the books written by Varric is titled Hard in Hightown: Siege Harder, a sequel to Hard in Hightown. His chapters of Hard in Hightown can be found throughout Inquisition. He also pinned the story of Hawke in the aptly named Tale of the Champion. Darktown's Deal, a treatise of the complex situation between Orzammar, the surface dwarves and the Carta, is also authored by him. Another is a romance serial, Swords and Shields of which Cassandra is secretly a fan.
- During the Mark of the Assassin DLC, party banter with Hawke will reveal that he was actually hoping to intercept Hawke and their sibling before they talked to Bartrand.
- Mary Kirby describes him as "beef bourguignon.".
- Varric's greatest fear is to become like his parents.
- When asked about Bianca (the crossbow) in Inquisition, Varric can give several different explanations as to how he acquired it, but with a high enough approval he will indirectly mention Bianca (the Dwarf) on the second dialogue option given.
- ↑ Varric's father, Andvar Tethras, was exiled during Kind Endrin Aeducan's second year of reign, which was at 8:98 Blessed and died 5 years later, in 9:3 Dragon, when Varric was 2. This means that Varric was born in either 9:0 or 9:1 Dragon.
- ↑ Mary Kirby. "Let's talk about Varric's chest hair!" . The BioWare Forum.
- ↑ Mary Kirby. "Varric Tethras: Chest Hair & Dwarven Goodness 2.0" . The BioWare Forum.
- ↑ Mary Kirby. "The Bianca Thread" . The BioWare Forum.
- ↑ "Varric Tethras: Chest Hair & Dwarven Goodness 3.0" . The BioWare Forum.
- ↑ Game Informer. August 23, 2013. Kimberley Wallace. "Creating Dragon Age Party Members" Retrieved on August 23, 2013.
- ↑ Tumblr - You never told us about the DA3 spoilers you got from David Gaider
- ↑ Dragon Age. Twitter.
- ↑ Kirby, Mary Twitter. Posted on March 11, 2014
- "Dragon Age Faces of Thedas: Varric", interview by Green Ronin with Mary Kirby about Varric, including a character sheet
- Dragon Age Inquisition Character Kits #2
- Varric Tethras Character Guide