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One of the ancient darkin, Varus Varus was a deadly killer who loved to torment his foes, driving them almost to insanity before delivering the killing arrow. He was imprisoned at the end of the Great Darkin War, but escaped centuries later in the remade flesh of two Ionia Crest icon Ionian hunters—they had unwittingly released him, cursed to bear the bow containing his bound essence. Varus now seeks out those who trapped him, in order to enact his brutal vengeance, but the mortal souls within still resist him every step of the way.

VarusSquare"You didn’t destroy us all. And that mistake will be your undoing."  Varus
Read Biography


Early Life[]

Varus was born in the ancient Shurima Crest icon Shuriman empire, where he was a paragon of loyalty and honor. Because of his dedication and skills in archery, Varus was appointed to be a temple warden and sent out to guard the temples of the eastern states. During the early stages of the Icathian Uprising, many of the outlying villages were attacked, including Varus's own homeland. Though the other wardens abandoned their posts to join the defense, Varus upheld his oaths and remained at his post, singlehandedly defending the temple. Knowing that his family had been killed during the attack, Varus was anguished and grieved the loss of his family as he fought off the invaders.


In the aftermath, Varus was found by emissaries of the Ascended Host kneeling in deep meditation and surrounded by corpses of his foes. Though successful in defending the temple, the event left Varus horribly traumatized by the event. Despite his unnerving and cold gaze, Varus was offered to join the Ascended as a reward for his noble sacrifice and dedication.

Even as an Ascended God-Warrior, Varus remained bitter and consumed with a vicious desire for vengeance against the Icathians because of what they did to his homeland and family. He continued to participate in the war and pushed back the rebelling Icathians and the horrors of the Void Crest icon Void that they unleashed. During this, he reveled in tormenting his enemies to the point of insanity, torturing them with arrows before painfully killing them. Even after Shurima's eventual victory over Icathia, Varus didn't fully comprehend it as his mind had become so twisted that all of the memories of his atrocities blurred together, leaving him as a withdrawn and heartless killer.

The Great Darkin War[]

Darkin Twilight of the Gods

Varus standing alongside his fellow Darkin, Aatrox Aatrox and Rhaast Rhaast.

After the sudden death of emperor Azir Azir, the Shuriman empire fell and the many Ascended, now calling themselves Sunborn, clashed with one another in bitter rivalries due to the lack of leadership. Their war would be so devastating that mortals began to call these beings the Darkin, an ancient Shuriman world most closely translated to The Fallen, and the Great Darkin War began.[2]

Varus, who's mind was still twisted beyond repair, couldn't fully comprehend the war happening and instead fully embraced his life as a killer as he was often sent off by his Darkin siblings to assassinate enemy commanders and obliterate entire armies. During the war, Varus fought alongside many of his fellow Darkin, who he considered his brothers and sisters in arms. It's implied that he was a member of a group of five Darkin who were exceptionally powerful and destined to bring ruin to the whole world. These Darkin included Aatrox Aatrox, Rhaast Rhaast, Naafiri Naafiri and an unknown fifth Darkin. At one point, Varus fought alongside his Darkin sister Valeeva, who shared the same desire for violent revenge against those that wronged them.[3]

The Celestial beings of Targon Crest icon Targon eventually intervened in the war and the LoR Non-Champion Non-Spell Indicator5 Aspect of War began gathering entire armies of mortals to fight back against the Darkin while Myisha, the Aspect of Twilight Aspect of Twilight, taught mortals how to magically imprison them within their own weapons.[4] After being cornered by a group of vastayan moon-stalkers and human mages serving a golden-armored warrior queen from Runeterra Crest icon Valoran, Varus was defeated and bound within his bow. The queen, knowing the risks of handling a Darkin weapon, still chose to wield it during the final days of the war, slowly succumbing to Varus's corruption and turning monstrous. Months later, the warrior queen travelled to the Ionia Crest icon First Lands with Varus in hand and gave a final command to her followers to seal her within a well beneath the mountain temple at Pallas, sacrificing herself and imprisoning Varus within the magical well.

Modern History[]

For centuries Varus remained hidden within the well, untouched and mostly forgotten. The people of Pallas remained as custodians to the temple, though largely forgetting the ancient history surrounding it but still being wary of the Darkin being imprisoned within.

Valmar and Kai[]

Varus HL pr01

Ionian hunters Valmar Valmar and Kai Kai fighting off invading Noxians.

At one point an Ionian hunter named Valmar Valmar was born in Pallas and grew up to be a skilled hunter alongside his lover Kai Kai. The two eventually travelled to Pallas to visit Valmar's family and, while at the sacred temple, faced the first wave of Noxus Crest icon Noxian invaders. Valmar and Kai fought back the invaders together to defend their homeland, leading to Kai getting mortally wounded. Now grief-stricken, Valmar began to hear whispers coming out of the forbidden well within the temple. Valmar succumbed to Varus's persuasion and carried Kai into the well with him, believing that the forbidden magic can restore his lover.[5]

As the two swam within the well of Pallas, Varus managed to break down and remake the mortal bodies of Valmar and Kai into a brand new body, repurposing their flesh and souls. Varus emerged out of the well as a unique creature with pale, inhuman beauty; a hybrid of human and Darkin.[6]


Soon after Varus climbed out of the well, he realized he could hear the voices of Valmar and Kai within his own mind as separate personalities. The two of them cried out in pain over their new existence, as Varus's imperfect hybrid form allowed the two hunters to remain conscious within his body, becoming a body for not one but three souls. Despite this, Varus reveled in his newfound freedom and immediately began slaughtering the invading Noxians within Pallas. During this, Valmar's hatred for Noxians was emphasized by Varus's cruelty as he supported Varus's slaughter. On the other hand, Kai began to lament his lover succumbing to Varus's influence. When Varus attempted to kill Ionians, Valmar began to struggle for control over Varus's body. Eventually, Kai and Valmar realized that their love for one another was strong enough to overcome Varus's hatred, allowing them to take full control for a time. While Valmar took control of the body, he confronted his mother and bid her farewell, believing that he was too dangerous to keep around the village and decided to travel out of Ionia.

The three constantly struggled for control, with Valmar and Kai constantly trying to quell Varus's cruelty. Varus on the other hand went on a vicious pursuit for vengeance against the world, seeking to reunite the rest of his Darkin siblings together and eventually silence the mortal voices within him.[7]

Search for Naafiri[]

Varus's quest to reunite the remaining Darkin eventually brought him back to Shurima, where he was guided by a crook-backed birdlike creature with a withered arm, most likely one of the Baccai. Here he sought out his Darkin sister Naafiri Naafiri, investigating noises coming from sunken ruins in the distance. Here he sensed the same magic used by the golden-armored queen who imprisoned him and found a group of graverobbers digging out the ruins with beasts of burden.

Varus quickly killed most of the excavators while the rest of them quickly fled as Valmar and Kai managed to convince Varus to spare them. Once within the ruins, Varus glanced past statues of other Ascended and magically inscribed flagstones in order to find his sister, only to find that the tomb was empty and realizing that Naafiri had already escaped.[8]

Recent events[]


While Varus continued his quest to reunite the Darkin, the three personalities within him learned to coexist as Valmar and Kai came to realize the humanity that remained within Varus. The two slowly prompted Varus to remember the honorable man he once was in the past, urging him to return to that and slowly redeeming his mind from his mad desire for vengeance. Now fully embracing the sum of his parts, Varus began to act as a singular being as his three personalities fought in unison. Though he continues to be bitter against the world that imprisoned him, he now fights with hope that he can return to the honorable man he once was.[9]

Xolaani Returns[]

After Xolaani Xolaani managed to possess a LoR Non-Champion Non-Spell Indicator3 new vessel in Ionia, Aatrox Aatrox rallied for the rest of the Darkin to join him in Icathia and destroy her.[10] Varus however didn't answer the call immediately and instead sought to gather a party of skilled warriors to aid him in hunting down Xolaani.


Varus facing off against Xolaani Xolaani alongside his hunting party in Icathia.

By travelling across the world, Varus met many individuals who he convinced to join him on his hunt, empowering their weapons with a fraction of his own Darkin magic. This party consisted of an LoR Non-Champion Non-Spell Indicator4 ambitious scientist from Zaun Crest icon Zaun who wanted to study the Darkin magic, a LoR Non-Champion Non-Spell Indicator1 sea monster hunter of the Buhru culture wishing to use it to hunt down leviathans, a disgruntled LoR Non-Champion Non-Spell Indicator5 archer of the Freljord Avarosan Avarosans seeking to destroy the Freljord Winters Claw Winter's Claw and finally a LoR Non-Champion Non-Spell Indicator2 member of the 03MT004-full Lunari cult who sought to end the war between the Lunari and the 03MT082-full Solari. The party travelled together to Icathia and finally faced off against Xolaani, though the outcome remains unknown.[9]


While imprisoned, Varus is trapped as a large, purple, organic bow with sharp spikes that almost resemble tree bark. The bow can produce a deep red and purple glow when firing arrows and can split apart horizontally.

His current physical form is a fusion of his Darkin essence mixed with a human body made from the repurposed bodies of Valmar Valmar and Kai Kai. Varus stands taller than the average mortal and has pale skin accompanied by dark purple growths across his forearms and the lower half of his body. Varus has pure white hair and eyes with a general face that is inhumanely beautiful to the point where it can be unsettling for mortals to look at him. He wears a red scarf that flows freely across his neck, a crown adorned with a red gem at its center and a leather strap covering the glowing purple wound in his heart, representative of the wound that nearly killed Kai.

It is unknown what Varus looked like in his Ascended form but it's possible that his current form somewhat resembles it.


As a mortal, Varus was a noble and honorable man willing to remain dedicated to his duties no matter what. Varus's loyalty to his sacred duty ran so deep that he refused to leave his post when the Icathians attacked his homeland and slaughtered his family, leaving him anguished and traumatized by the experience.

As an Ascended, Varus grew bitter and even more violently vengeful against others, especially the Icathians that killed his family. Varus enjoyed torturing his enemies to the point of insanity before killing them as a way to sate his desire for vengeance. He had committed so many atrocities that his mind began to break even further as the many atrocities he committed slowly began to blur together, leaving Varus to see himself as nothing but a cold-hearted killer.

After emerging out of the well of Pallas, Varus aimed his vengeance against the mortals that imprisoned him, wishing to destroy the entire world and reunite his Darkin siblings to do so. He completely disregarded mortal life, specifically humans, feeling disgusted by their frailty and bitter against the world that betrayed him.

Valmar and Kai remain within Varus's mind, acting as separate personalities that constantly fight for control. Kai is the more gentler of his personalities, often trying to convince Varus to be merciful and spare mortal lives. Valmar on the other hand is similar to Varus because of his deep hatred against Noxus Crest icon Noxians and desire for vengeance, but still clashes with him over Varus's indiscriminate slaughter. The two use their hope and love for one another as a means of overpowering Varus, gaining control of his body for short periods of time. While Varus initially wished to corrupt or silence their voices, Valmar and Kai have managed to appeal to Varus's humanity, reminding him of the noble man he once was and convincing him to seek redemption. Embracing the sum of his parts, Varus's personalities now act in unison as he now seeks a way to regain his humanity, questioning if he's truly worthy of redemption. Though he's still a merciless killer at times, he has shown to have a renewed sense of honor and has even opened himself up to alliances with other mortals.


  • Runeterra Crest icon Darkin Hybrid Physiology: Varus is a Darkin, originally one of the many Ascended God-Warriors of Shurima Crest icon Shurima now trapped within a weapon. Since taking up the vessels Valmar Valmar and Kai Kai, Varus emerged as a unique hybrid of Darkin and human, a Darkin unlike any other. The Darkin part of him grants Varus immense physical strength and access to some celestial magics.
    • Immortality: Because his consciousness is trapped within his indestructible bow, Varus is functionally immortal and immune to aging and dying as there is no known way to permanently kill him or destroy his bow.
    • Gestalt Consciousness: Because of his unique physiology, the consciousnesses of Valmar and Kai remain within Varus's mind as separate personalities. Though Varus is mainly in control of his body, Valmar and Kai are capable of communicating with Varus and can even take full control of his body for short periods of time. After being reminded of his humanity, Varus managed to embrace his separate personalities and the three began to act in unison as a singular being.
  • Corruption Manipulation: Corruption Manipulation: Varus can control a corruptive magic related to his Darkin abilities. The exact nature of this magic is unknown but it's most likely some form of celestial magic Varus retained from his time as an Ascended. Varus can use this corruption to immobilize and poison his enemies as well as empower his allies, granting them a fraction of his own power and enchanting their weapons. Varus is not limited to empowering humans as he can corrupt LoR Non-Champion Non-Spell Indicator3 plants and animals as well.
  • Hemomancy: Like most Darkin, Varus utilizes hemomancy to manipulate the flesh and blood of mortals for his own purposes. Varus utilized hemomancy to break down the bodies of Valmar and Kai, reconstructing them into his new form.
  • Bow Proficiency: Varus has been a talented archer since his life as a mortal, having been skilled enough to be appointed as a temple warden by the Shuriman empire. As a warden, Varus was skilled enough to defend the entire temple singlehandedly during the Icathian Uprising, becoming recognized and honored by the Ascended God-Warriors themselves.



Varus regards most of his fellow Darkin as his brothers and sisters at arms, having fought alongside and against them during the Great Darkin War. During this war, Varus was often sent out by his Darkin siblings to assassinate enemy generals and obliterate entire armies. At some point during the war, it's implied that Varus fought alongside four other Darkin that were notably powerful and destined to one day reunite and bring ruin to the world. These notable Darkin are Aatrox Aatrox, Rhaast Rhaast, Naafiri Naafiri and a currently unknown fifth Darkin.

After emerging from the well of Pallas, Varus focused on enacting brutal vengeance against the world by reuniting the rest of his Darkin siblings, especially the four others destined to unite with him. After his separate personalities appealed to the humanity lost within him, Varus instead focused on fighting for himself and to possibly regain his lost humanity rather than for the Darkin.


Valeeva was one of the Darkin present during the earliest days of the war. She and Varus regard each other as brother and sister, having fought side by side during the war and sharing a brutal desire for vengeance against others. After the Aspect of Twilight Aspect of Twilight killed several Darkin and learned to imprison the rest, Valeeva was one of the survivors but hasn't been seen by Varus since.

Naafiri Naafiri[]

When Varus emerged out of Pallas, one of his first missions lead him back to the deserts of Shurima Crest icon Shurima in search of Naafiri, who he deeply regards as his sister. While searching for her in a Shuriman tomb, he comes to realize that it has already been emptied, meaning Naafiri managed to escape before Varus's arrival.

Naafiri is one of the five Darkin destined to reunite with Varus in bringing the world to ruin. Though it's unclear whether or not the two have reunited since his search for her, Varus deeply respects Naafiri's sense of unity, seeing it as strength and wishing to apply the concept to the rest of his Darkin siblings to work together.

Aatrox Aatrox[]

Aatrox is one of the most respected of the Darkin and the first to be imprisoned during the Great Darkin War. It's implied that Varus fought alongside Aatrox at some point during the war, as he is one of the five Darkin destined to reunite and bring ruin to the world. Though the two share a desire the bring oblivion to the world, Varus wishes to do so out of pure revenge, an emotion Aatrox thinks is weak and unbecoming of him as he criticizes the hybrid form he has taken.

It's implied there was some 'memo' given to Varus by Aatrox which explained that Varus had to use two A's in his name, officially naming him "Vaarus." However, Varus thought the memo was absurd and refused to comply, angering and offending Aatrox.

Rhaast Rhaast[]


Xolaani Xolaani[]


Void Crest icon Icathia[]

As a mortal, Varus fought against an army of Icathian invaders during the war against Icathia, killing as many as he could to guard his post. The trauma from the incident remained with Varus even after his Ascension, developing a vengeance against the Icathians which caused him to kill their armies without remorse, shaping him into the cold-hearted killer that he would become.


Valmar Valmar[]

After becoming his vessel, Varus took advantage of Valmar's grief, urging him to embrace vengeance against the Noxus Crest icon Noxians that killed Kai. Thanks to Kai's influence, Valmar was able to resist Varus' temptations and together they tried to dissuade Varus from his path of vengeance, eventually succeeding in breaking through to him.

Kai Kai[]

When he became a vessel for Varus, Kai was initially horrified towards his new existence and wished to have remained dead, but resisted Varus' attempts to corrupt Valmar into falling to vengeance by reminding him of their love. Kai is the more merciful of the two voices and pleads for Varus to spare the lives of his enemies as well as knowing that Varus has the capability for redemption, and together with Valmar he succeeds in helping him realize his humanity.

Read More


Varus OriginalCentered

Ionia Crest icon


The Arrow of Retribution

By Graham McNeill

Starring Champion

Varus As We Fall

Ionia Crest icon

Music Video

As We Fall

By Unknown Author

Witness the incarnation of vengeance.

Varus Darkin A Legacy Of Pain

Shurima Crest icon

Short Story

Dark Kin

By Graham McNeill

Varus followed a river running through the desert. Its water was gritty, but drinkable. The new body he had wrought to bear his bow was beautiful, fast and strong, but it came with the weaknesses of flesh. It hungered. It thirsted.

Varus Heartlight cover 02

Ionia Crest icon



By Graham McNeill

Ionia. A land of magic. A land of balance. A land of light. But not always a land of peace. Just as there are creatures within Ionia who seek to upset its order, so too are there those who fight to preserve it; Arrows of Protection, hunters of monsters. Valmar and Kai are two such hunters. But not all monsters can be defeated with bow and steel. And not all darkness can be so easily banished by the light.

Varus Retribution cover

Ionia Crest icon



By Graham McNeill

Slayer Valmar, desperate to save the life of his beloved Kai, surrendered to an ancient spirit, one of the Darkin. The creature, true to its word, saved Kai's life... by taking it as its own. Valmar, Kai, and the Darkin fused into a single entity. A creature of rage, vengeance, and death. Varus lives.

Mentioned Champion

The Mageseeker Promo 01

Demacia Crest icon


The Mageseeker

By Digital Sun

In the kingdom of Demacia, the Mageseekers hold the power to oppress magic-using citizens in the name of public order–by inducting and indoctrinating them, locking them away, or driving them into hiding. Play as Sylas, a spell-stealing mage who has just broken free of his unjust captivity at the Mageseekers’ hands. Wielding the chains that once bound you, you must liberate your homeland from tyranny, one Mageseeker at a time.

Darkin To Slay Legends

Shurima Crest icon

Short Story • 25 Minute Read

Twilight of the Gods

By Graham McNeill

They came to a dead city in the mountain's shadow under cover of night.

Void The Fall Of Icathia

Void Crest icon

Short Story • 22 Minute Read

Where Icathia Once Stood

By Graham McNeill

My name is Axamuk Var-Choi Kohari Icath'or.

Alternate Universes

Ryze RyzeWhitebeardSkin

Runeterra Crest icon

Short Story

Journey to Thy Golden Mustache!


Talon The Stranger on the Road

Runeterra Crest icon

Short Story

The Stranger on the Road

By River Jaffe

The road from Tenacity to Progress was a flat, barren thing, unspooling across miles and miles of cactus country from one edge of the sky to the other.


Varus, The Arrow of Retribution Varus, The Arrow of Retribution
  • Varus means "bent outwards, bow-legged" in Latin, in contrast with valgus "bent inwards, knock-kneed";[11]
    • Ancient Romans used this adjective as a cognomen to describe persons with the anatomical deformity that bent their legs outwards like bows.
    • Humorously, the fact that his name is the term for a knee deformity and the fact that Varus is an archer could be a reference to the famous "Arrow to the Knee" meme of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
  • Varus is implied to be ambidextrous, as evidenced by having two skin arts that have him holding his bow in his left hand and the other two having it in his right.
    • However, Varus is most likely right eye dominant, since archers traditionally wield their bow according to their eye-dominance rather than their hand-dominance, due to the fact that he only holds his bow in his left hand in-game.
  • Varus is around 3496 years old as he Ascended during the Icathian uprising against Shurima.
  • The Pallas temple references the epithet Παλλάς, meaning "youth, girl", of Pre-Greek goddess Athena.[12]
    • Later Greek writers re-identified Pallas as a Titan killed by Athena, interpreting Pallas as "brandisher", from πάλλω pállō.
  • Kai is a common Navorian name with many variants, so Irelia's Irelia's deceased brother Kye is not the same Kai Kai living within Varus.[13]
Varus, The Arrow of Retribution (Outdated) Varus, The Arrow of Retribution (Outdated)
  • His namesake might be the infamous Roman general Publius Quinctilius Varus, who foolishly led three Roman legions to their demise during the Battle of Teutoburg Forest. While League of Legends' Varus defends his charge but loses everything to the Noxian invaders, to which he vows revenge.
  • Varus is in a state of transformation. He made a decision to sacrifice his humanity (in fact his very self) to gain the means to achieve revenge. The pants are the manifestation of the corruption overtaking him. He only has so much time before it will overtake him.[14]
  • His pale appearance is of a man whose life is slipping away or being drained. As far as his face, you could find people with many different appearances in all the respective regions of Valoran.[15]
  • The Owl insignia on his chest has been passed down through generations of "watchers".[16]
  • His lore bears some similarities with the blighted Archers from Samurai Jack.
  • The Talisman he has on his chest is a memento from his family.
  • His headdress is an ornament of his office.
  • Varus would be considered Lawful Neutral, or Lawful Anti-Noxian Invader.[17]

Change log[]

Character blurb


See also[]