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Varl

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The Varl are a race of powerful, horned and bearded giants, having twice the height and girth of Humans. They are warlike but also have a fondness for mead and brawling. Only male, Varl are unable to reproduce and increase their numbers.

In The Banner Saga, Varl characters appear as Heroes (combat units), NPCs and enemies (rarely).

Lore[edit | edit source]

The Varl are a cross-breed of man and animal, created by an impatient god who wove together a twisted version the original Loom-mother’s creations. Varl are horned giants who are strong and aggressive and have the reputation of being impeccable fighters. Respected as warriors, they can live to be a few hundred years old if their lives are not cut short by a fall in battle. Despite their warlike culture, they too cultivate families and are not without emotions, similar to their human counterparts, and tend to do a better job of sticking together than the humans. Their attitude towards their human allies is somewhat condescending, believing that they are the superior beings, particularly when it comes to strength and fighting.

Rivalries[edit | edit source]

The Dredge are their ancient rivals and are instantly hostile on-sight.

Varl Kings[edit | edit source]

The Varl usually live in small communities, spaced from each other, or alone. For this reason, they are prone to develop a restlessness when living in proximity of other varl or humans. However, they are known to gather in large cities or in armies, especially during times of War. In these cases, they are ruled by a king, who is typically publicly accepted (or 'elected') after displaying surpassing valor. The Kings of the Varl are:

  1. Einar
  2. Arnfinnr
  3. Skrymir
  4. Throstr
  5. Jorundr (current)

The capital of the Varl is Grofheim, with Einartoft coming in second.

Kendr[edit | edit source]

Varl who are close knit enough to be family refer to each other as kendr. Being kendr to a Varl King is the equivalent of being an heir in historic hereditary monarchies.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • A common joke that Varl themselves acknowledge is that their race shares common attributes with the Yox: They are large, slow, stubborn and horned!
  • Varl are strangely afraid of fire, supposedly because fire was involved in their 'making' process, which was apparently unpleasant.

Combat[edit | edit source]

In the battles of The Banner Saga, Varl appear as large units occupying a 2x2 block of tiles and having much higher stats compared to human units.

The Classes currently available for Varl units are:

In the multi-player game, Factions, players are limited to fielding up to two Varl in their team, regardless of class; no such restriction applies to the single-player game.

Media[edit | edit source]