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|“||You didn't destroy us all. And that mistake will be your undoing.||„|
|“||This is my flesh now. Valmar offered it willingly in return for your life. Your time will come, Kai. But the Flames of our vengeance will consume a multitude of souls before yours.||„|
|~ Varus taunts Kai in Varus: Retribution|
Varus, also known as the Arrow of Retribution or The Darkin Bow, is a villainous playable character in the multiplayer online battle arena game League of Legends.
Once a deadly killer, Varus was imprisoned within a sentient Darkin bow in Ionia at the end of the Darkin War. Centuries later, Varus was accidentally released by human hunters Valmar and Kai, and through dark magic fused their three essences together so he could be free to walk Runeterra, vying for control against the two mortal spirits.
The ninety-seventh champion added to the game, Varus was released on May 8, 2012, and is most commonly played in the bot lane.
He is voiced by Gavin Hammon, who also voiced Kenny in Telltale's The Walking Dead, The Tweedles in The Wolf Among Us, Armand Bouchart in Assassin's Creed: Bloodlines, the Black Knight in Sonic and the Black Knight, and Nightshade in Skylanders: Trap Team.
In the ancient Shuriman empire, Varus was one of the most talented archers of his time. Appointed temple warden of the eastern states, Varus was dutiful in upholding his oath to not leave his post, even as the Icathian rebellion attacked his own homeland. When Varus had defended the temple, he knew that his home and family must have fallen to the unleashed forces of the Void, and swore vengeance against Icathia.
The Ascended and Darkin Warrior
When the Ascended arrived to check on the temple, they saw Varus meditating over his slain enemies, and though his cold demeanor disturbed them, the god-warriors offered him a place among their ranks in recognition of his talents and sacrifice. As an Ascended, Varus continued the fight against the Void monsters, but over time the atrocities took a toll on the archer's mind, hardening him into a merciless killer who could not even remember the conflicts that he had helped end. With the fall of Shurima, Varus joined the most dangerous and power hungry of his brethren, who would become known and feared across Runeterra as the Darkin.
As a Darkin, Varus enjoyed tormenting his foes to the brink of insanity, assassinating them with his crystalline bow to decimate the mortal armies. But when Varus encountered human mages and vastayan moon-stalkers, he was shocked when they imprisoned him within his own weapon, turning the weapon into a being corrupted by the sentience of the fallen god-warrior. Varus screamed, but it was for naught, as he was to be trapped there for all eternity.
In hopes of weaponizing the Darkin's magic against them, a warrior queen of Valoran offered to take up Varus' bow in an act of self-sacrifice, knowing full well it would corrupt and later kill her. In the final days of the war, the Darkin were defeated, with others of Varus' brethren (such as Aatrox and Rhaast) being sealed in their weapons as well. After the end of the war, the queen brought Varus to a mountain temple in the First Lands (which would later become Ionia), and had herself buried alive with the bow in a lightless well near the village of Pallas, where the Darkin would be imprisoned for centuries to come.
During the invasion of Ionia, two beast hunters known as Valmar and Kai were attacked by Noxian forces. Kai was mortally wounded by the invaders, and desperate to save his life, Valmar carried Kai to the well in hopes of using it's magic to save him.
Unfortunately, the call of the well's magic was a trick, as both hunters were dragged in by Varus, who unraveled them both to craft a new body for himself. The Darkin was now free from his imprisonment, now a hybrid creature of human and Darkin for Varus to possess.
But Varus was not alone, and while one mortal soul would have been easy for him to dominate, two was far for difficult, and thus the spirits of Varus, Valmar, and Kai are trapped in an endless state of flux. Varus hopes to silence them soon enough so he can continue his spree of killing and vengeance, but the mortals make it difficult every step of the way.
In game, Varus is both a marksman and artillery-type character, dealing sustained damage to enemies from a great distance with his bow. Varus' passive, Living Vengeance, helps Varus attack faster after he kills or helps kill an enemy. Varus can use Piercing Arrow to charge a powerful shot's damage and range, Blighted Quiver to power up Piercing Arrow and deal Blight to enemies with other attacks, and Hail of Arrows to deal damage and temporarily corrupt an area of the ground to slow enemies. Varus' ultimate, Chain of Corruption, fires a tendril of corruption that can immobilize enemy champions and spread to others.
An ancient, malevolent force, Varus is a cold and merciless killer who seeks to destroy everything in his wake. As evident from his title, Varus is extremely vengeful, joining the Ascended in the Icathian war simply to get revenge for his home, and currently seeking vengeance on the world that imprisoned him. After his time corrupted by the Void, Varus also got a sense of bloodlust from all the countless atrocities, no longer recognizing who he was getting revenge on and simply killing people for the fun of it, showcasing a sadistic side to the Darkin as well. Varus was dutiful to his oaths as a temple guardian, but as a Darkin this sense of duty has devolved into an egotistical justification of his own killings. Varus doesn't care about human life and he certainly doesn't care about his human hosts, and he will silence them the first chance he gets.
- Because he became an Ascended during the Icathian rebellion, Varus is around 3496 years old.
- Varus' design was inspired by Hayao Miyazaki's Princess Mononoke.
- Varus' quote "Beware a man with nothing to lose" is also an Italian proverb.
- Varus was completely different in his early lore, being a mortal human instead of a Darkin. He was a bowman tasked with guarding an ancient pit of corruption, but the forces of Noxus invaded Ionia and slaughtered the civilians in his village. Varus chose to stay and guard the pit since he had to stay alive when facing the upcoming Noxian war machine and make sure the corruption remained contained. After finding that the entire village was slain, especially Varus' family, he was filled with grief and hatred. To get vengeance against Noxus for their atrocity, Varus absorbed the corruption and turned into his current self, and began using his newfound power to attack the Noxians.
- The retcon to Varus' lore was met with negative reception from most fans, as it completely replaced his backstory and the meaning of his character, especially since he remained completely unchanged in the game (his voicelines, animations and motif of revenge were made with the context of the original).