Variks, the Loyal
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Variks, the Loyal is a Fallen Scribe and former Warden of the Prison of Elders. He belongs to the House of Judgment, and has no loyalty to any members of the House of Wolves or any of the Kells. He is one of the few Fallen who has remained loyal after the Wolf Rebellion to the Queen of the Reef, acting as one of her advisors. In Destiny Variks sold Fallen-themed items to Guardians. Variks uses a modified servitor called the Warden to guard the Prison and communicate to Guardians. Variks later fled the Prison after a talk with Fikrul, the Fanatic and attempted to rally the Fallen as a new Kell of Kells representing House Judgment.
His bid for Kell of Kells ultimately failed with the House of Judgment's dissolvement, and Variks briefly joined Eramis and her House of Salvation on Europa. When she gained the powers of Stasis, however, Variks defected out of fear of her affiliation with the Darkness that caused the Whirlwind. He now cooperates with the Vanguard to dismantle Eramis' Fallen empire and evacuate his likeminded Eliksni to the House of Light, in exchange for amnesty from the Reef.
Variks is exceptionally old, even for the Eliksni. He's a former member of the House of Judgement since before the Whirlwind, and survived Judgement's destruction during it. He personally witnessed the Traveler (or what his kind call the Great Machine), abandoning the Eliksni. After the House of Judgement fell to ruin, he travelled with many Houses, forming many alliances, advising Kells and worshiping Primes before eventually seeking refuge within the House of Wolves.
While with the House of Wolves, Variks befriended its Archon Priest, Fikrul. The two conspired to hide the Wolves' Prime Servitor, Kaliks Prime after reaching Sol. Later, Fikrul betrayed Variks, and they separated on bitter terms. Ending with Fikrull telling Variks to "Hold still" only to dock his arms.  
The Reef Wars
Variks witnessed the Uprising on Cybele under Skolas. Unable to abide the attack on civilians, he contacted the crows and helped put an end to the uprising, with Skolas being captured (It's likely that Variks already hated Skolas, as he claims he is responsible for the removal of his arms). From that day, Variks served the Queen, in an effort to keep the House of Judgment and its ancient traditions alive in the face of increasing degradation under the rule of the Kells.
The Wolf Rebellion
Hunting the Wolves
After the Queen provided aid to a Guardian of the Last City in finding the Black Garden, the Vanguard was granted access to the Vestian Outpost. Variks was introduced to the Guardian there, and he asked them to put a good word for him to Petra Venj. Soon after, the House of Wolves members who had proclaimed loyalty to the Queen rebelled following the breakout of many Wolf nobles from the Prison of Elders. Variks learned from his sources among the Fallen that Skolas was supposedly in charge of the rebellion. Meeting with the Queen and Petra, Variks informed them of his findings. Petra believed Skolas return was impossible, but Variks noted it mattered little if it was really him, as the Wolves feared the name Skolas and would rise against the Queen for him. He was then ordered by the Queen to continue questioning his contacts to find information on Skolas' possible whereabouts. They tracked him to Venus, where Skolas sought to bring the House of Winter under his control. Working with Petra and the Guardian, Variks provided information for them as they tracked the Kell. When they overheard him making a speech to the House of Winter, Variks translated his words and learned that Skolas had proclaimed himself Kell of Kells. He explained to the others that it was an old prophecy that one Fallen would lead all the Houses to victory as Kell of Kells, and speculated that Skolas either saw himself as a prophet or had gone mad. Skolas escaped Venus, and managed to bring a sizeable portion of the House of Winter under his control.
To track Skolas and the Wolves' movements, Variks and Petra had the Guardian bring him shiplinks carried by Vandals on Venus. Variks was unable to locate Skolas with the shiplinks, but was able to track The Silent Fang to Earth. Variks once again provided advice to the Guardian over the comms, noting that the House of Devils had also intercepted the Wolves' communications and had laid traps to prepare for the Wolves. The Guardian located the Silent Fang, and when their commander insulted them Variks began to provide a translation of the insult before thinking better of it.
With the Devils denied to Skolas, Variks and the others turned their attention to ensuring the would be Kell of Kells did not forge an alliance with the House of Kings. Having learned of a meeting between Barons of both Houses in the Cosmodrome, Variks and Petra once again served as guides for the Guardian. However, the Wolves used their High Servitors to jam their communication signals. Variks recognized the trick and bypassed it, allowing him to continue communicating with the Guardian. As he directed them to destroy the High Servitors, Variks explained some of his history to the Guardian, including how he was disgusted by Skolas' brutality. He also informed them he liked working with them and Petra. Once the Servitors were destroyed, Petra rejoined them on the comms, and Variks noted that the Kings would be able to detect the Wolves as well. However, he warned the Guardian that the Kings would not care that they were attempting to stop Skolas from taking them over and that they should kill them all just the same. Although the Guardian was successful in stopping the meeting and killing the Barons, Variks was left to wonder about Skolas' chances of succeeding in becoming Kell of Kells and capturing the Traveler. He considered that he may have chosen the wrong side and if it was too late to rejoin the Wolves, but Petra interrupted his thoughts with a report that the Wolves were infiltrating Vex networks on Venus. When the Guardian returned from Earth having eliminated the Barons, Variks rewarded them with a Royal Amethyst from the Queen's vaults and told them of the Wolves' return to Venus.
Ending the Rebellion
As the Guardian headed to Venus, Variks was questioned by Petra about if there were any more Fallen Houses that Skolas could attempt to recruit. He dismissed the House of Exile, declaring they followed no Kell or Archon, and Petra suggested the House of Rain from the prophecies of the Kell of Kells. Variks explained to her that the House of Rain was destroyed in the Whirlwind and that only he kept their prophecies alive. He also noted that Skolas was the first to have declared themselves Kell of Kells, and that House Judgment was the closest to peace the Fallen had ever known. Petra joked that maybe that meant Variks was the Kell of Kells, but he became distracted by new reports of Skolas appearing on Venus. They discovered that Skolas' forces had breached the Vault of Glass, and Variks panicked when he realized that they were attempting to tap into the Oracles and quickly directed the Guardian to destroy them. Although the Guardian was successful, Variks and Petra both agreed that they needed to end their hunt for Skolas quickly before he gained access to Vex technology that could end them all.
They tracked Skolas to The Citadel, a massive Vex fortress at the heart of the Ishtar Sink. As the Guardian raced to stop him, Variks and Petra speculated on what Skolas wanted with Vex technology. Variks believed that with Vex weapons, Skolas might believe he could force the prophecy of him being the Kell of Kells to be true. When the Guardian ascended the Citadel, Variks commented that he had stood with Skolas for most of the Reef Wars, but now it felt right to be the Guardian and Petra to stand in judgment of Skolas. They discovered that Skolas was using the Vex warp gates at the top of the Citadel to pull the entire House of Wolves through time to him, granting him an army of near infinite size should he succeed. Variks translated Skolas' boast of having stolen the secrets of time and space and that the House of Wolves would reign forever, but the Guardian managed to defeat the Kell and Petra captured him for the Reef.
As Skolas was transported to the Prison of Elders, Variks went to his quarters to reflect on the Wolf Rebellion. He carved an amethyst with a dull shock dagger while listening to pre-Whirlwind music. Variks thought he should be pleased with the capture of Skolas due to the threat his madness represented, but was not, and instead felt like an ashamed Dreg for betraying his people. However, he knew that working for Queen Mara was the only way to keep himself alive and that he would betray Skolas again and again if it meant his survival.
When the Guardian returned to the Reef, Variks was pleased to have worked with them on passing judgment upon Skolas. He granted them a Treasure Key to the Prison of Elders and invited them to challenge his prisoners within for rewards.
The Taken War
The House of Wolves reemerged from hiding, rallying under Keldar and the rebuilt Orbiks Prime, the Wolves' previous god. Orbiks Prime attempted to reassemble the House on Mars, directing its servants to seize Cabal outposts already weakened by the Taken invasion. However, thanks to intel provided by Variks, the Loyal, the Guardians hunted down Keldar and Orbiks, destroying the Prime Servitor and killing their Archon, leaving the Wolves broken and leaderless; this time, for good.
Upon reflection of the events, Variks agreed with Skolas that only the Kells of Kell can unite all the Houses. Variks was then given control of the Crows once Uldren Sov was believed be dead and utilised the Crows to help find the real, Kell of Kells in order to save the Fallen from extinction.
Master of Crows
Variks, using the Crows, observed the SIVA Crisis in the Plaguelands on Earth. One of his agents brought him an image of Sepiks Prime reborn as Sepiks Perfected by the Devil Splicers using SIVA. Variks noted this was the result of a Golden Age project using the technological advancements the Traveler provided humanity, and complimented the young Crow on her good work. He instructed her to speak with the other Crows and learn more of the Devil Splicers' plans. Once she left, Variks allowed himself to feel the full horror of what the Splicers had done to Sepiks. He contemplated once more if he could have stopped his people from using such dangerous technology had he remained among them and found a better way to survive, and resolved to find a way to prevent his people from falling any further.
Months later, during The Dawning, Variks intercepted chatter about an impending alliance between the weakened Devil Splicers and the leaderless crew of the mercenary Taniks, the Scarred. He discovered that the Devils Splicers used SIVA to resurrect their infamous leader as Taniks Perfected to cement their alliance. Variks relayed his findings to the Vanguard, leading to a Strike that ended the resurrected Taniks and once again left the Splicers and Taniks's crew leaderless and in a severely weakened state.
During the opening of the Red War, Variks was in the Prison of Elders and was forced to watch as the Red Legion cut a swath into the Solar System. He sent warnings to Petra of the situation, and tried to send a warning to The Last City, but was unable to do so due to the Red Legion knocking out the communication capabilities of the City. He also sent a warning to the Fallen hoping to save what was left of his people. He was able to dial sensors to see into the city due to the Cabal knocking out the defensive capabilities of the City after the destruction of the Tower. Variks watched in horror as the Traveler was trapped within the Traveler Cage, and the Guardians fell. 
After the Red War
Variks had been tasked with intergrating a new group of Fallen that Petra, Cayde-6, and five of his associates had been bringing into the Prison. They had the markings of the Scorned Barons, led by Variks's heretical former friend, Fikrul. He had all of the Barons, except for Fikrul, locked in cells and cryopods. Variks had heard from Cayde that he'd shot Fikrul dead through the chest.
In an effort to reunite his people in light of the Traveler's apparent neglect of them after awakening, Variks contracted the help of a bounty hunter named Groks to make contact with Craask, the Kell of Kings. Variks believed that Craask would understand his mission alongside the rest of the Kings, who previously ended the Edge Wars with the House of Judgement before the Whirlwind. However, Groks divulged that Craask had been killed by Fikrul and an Awoken man, and that the House of Kings has gone into hiding in the European Dead Zone of Earth. Alarmed, Variks contacted Cayde-6 to meet in person within the territory of the Spider in the Tangled Shore. Wearing a cloak devoid of the Judgement sigil to avoid aggression from others hosted by the Spider, Variks met Cayde in a gambling hall, explaining that Fikrul had been seen alive. When the Exo doubted him, Variks presented examples of Fallen cheating death in the past, inadvertently mentioning Taniks, the Scarred, angering Cayde. Variks apologized and asked to be taken to the Tower to speak with Commander Zavala, offering a rare hand cannon in return. Cayde agreed, and returned to the Tower with Variks.
When Variks met with Zavala, he offered to exchange information for assistance to the Reef. Zavala told Variks that he already offered to help the Reef in the past, which was turned down by Petra. Undeterred, Variks explained that he had much to say to the Vanguard Commander.
Some time later, Variks dreamt of being in Unknown Space, in which a voice, potentially a member of the Nine, told Variks that he had failed, that the Traveler was a dark mirror, and that Unknown Space was a place where everything died and began anew. Whether this means Variks had visited Unknown Space before then is unknown.
The Mad Prince & Heretic Archon
Variks was awoken from his dream by an alarm and Petra informing him over comms that Cayde-6 had returned to the Prison, requesting that two cells be readied for intake. Believing that Cayde had returned with Fikrul, Variks consumed a large amount of Ether for strength and moved to the maximum security wing to prepare two cryo-cells. He watched as Petra shoved a weak Fikrul into one of the cells as Cayde arrived with a humanoid with a bagged head. Cayde removed the bag and tossed the humanoid into the other cell, revealing that the humanoid is none other than Uldren Sov. A confused Variks questioned Petra, who replied that Uldren seemed to have gone mad, and that no one else should be allowed into the cellblock from there out. As Petra and Cayde left, Variks reopened Uldren's cell and approached him reassuringly. He was immediately alarmed by the sound of exploding Servitors; investigating, Variks discovered that the Servitors that were extracting Ether from Fikrul had been destroyed, due to a mutation in Fikrul's Ether.
As Variks and Petra were the only ones allowed in the cellblock, menial duties such as meal distribution and waste disposal fell to Variks personally, leaving him little time to dedicate towards his goal of reuniting the Eliksni.
Judgement & Loyalty Wavering
Variks had been contemplating on what to do, with the imprisonment of Uldren as well as his talks with the delusional Prince, and the Scorn Archon Fikrul. He was beginning to doubt himself and the plans that his Kell, Queen Mara Sov, had left for him and the few she had trusted to have knowledge on the plan. His dream before Cayde brought Uldren and Fikrul to the prison gnawing at his mind, sending more doubt into his head. It wasn't until days later did he make a decision.
Day of Prison Break & Disappearance
His decision made, Variks did his usual routines which he deemed his last as Warden of the Prison. On the day of the Prison Break, he ran simulations on the security systems and made adjustments based on the simulations results. He did everything he normally did, except he had one last talk with his Servitor. He also had a conversation with Fikrul and Uldren the day of the Prison Break. At the end of the day the Prison Break occurred, the Warden had sent a message through the speakers announcing a malfunction in the security system and began a shutdown and reboot, which resulted in the all the prison cells and cryopods opening. As the prison cells opened, Variks made his way through the secret passage way that Petra and Cayde used to smuggle in Fikrul and Uldren into the Prison, and recorded two messages to be sent through the prison's relay. The first message he recorded with his synth voice device deactivated to talk in High Speak, in order to give commands to those Eliksni who would answer the call of House Judgement. The second message he recorded was spoken with his synth device activated about the whispers he hears from all those around him, of his insulting titles, and how he will become the Kell of House Judgement, an envoy for the Eliksni. He boarded a ship full of the prison's ether supply and accompanied by a Vandal wearing colors of the House of Wolves. Petra and the Awoken have no indication as to his location after the Prison Break.
Following that, he has declared himself as the prophesied Kell of Kells and fled beyond Awoken territory much to the chagrin of the Hidden, having demanded the arrest of the wayward Eliksni but her demand was shot down by Petra Venj, claiming jurisdiction over him.
Almost a year later, the Hidden would discover that Variks may have been spotted on Niflheim with a Fallen faction led by former House of Devils loyalist Eramis, the Shipstealer, though it was unclear as to whether he was working with or imprisoned by her.
He became an uneasy ally of Eramis, before she became obsessed with the power of Darkness. He sent an transmission to the Guardian to come to Europa to fight the House of Salvation. He was captured by Eramis and was halfway frozen.
Personality and Traits
Variks wishes to see the Fallen restored to lawful, peaceful rule. He harbors some lingering jealousy for the other races, especially humanity, as the Traveler had chosen them for its patronage and left the Fallen with nothing, not even memories of former glory. But, despite this opaque behavior towards the Guardians, Variks respects them by this reciprocal ethic of honor, bravery and sacrifice which he would revise for his brethren.
While serving under the Queen, Variks was known for speaking in rather broken English, "accented" with clicks and growls. According to The Spider, this was largely an act, put on by Variks to disarm his human and Awoken collaborators and cause them to underestimate him.
In Beyond Light, it is revealed that all Variks wanted was another chance for the Eliksni to live in peace and was willing to work with a former bitter enemy, Eramis, to achieve it. Further, while he regrets the role he played in Cayde-6's death, he believed he had to make a hard decision for his people. Although he dared to hope that Eramis would lead the Eliksni to a brighter future, he was ultimately disappointed and saddened that she allowed her hatred to poison her good intentions and gain power from the Darkness. Though the Guardians would remain angry with Variks for his role in the Scorn Breakout and Cayde's death, they agreed to aid him in combating the greater threat. Variks continues to worry for his kind as he aids refugee Fallen who wish to escape from Eramis and is happy that some would find safety in the House of Light. He continues to hold onto the hope that Riis-Reborn would be the new home it was meant to be for the Fallen and that one day, the Eliksni could live peacefully with the Guardians.
Prison of Elders Rewards
Rotates Weekly based around the lockout period.
Vestian Outpost Quotes
Prison of Elders Quotes
After Introducing an Enemy
After Round is Complete
When sending a Heavy Ammo crate or Scorch Cannon
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Announcing Important Objective
After Important Objective
Introducing Generic Bosses
After each Round
End of Prison of Elders
Shadow Thief Quotes
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Lost to Light Quotes (Daily Heroic only)
Beyond Light Quotes
List of Appearances