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Not to be confused with Varick.

“There's power in stories, though. That's all history is: The best tales. The ones that last. Might as well be mine.”

Varric Tethras (born 9:1 Dragon[2]) is a surface dwarf and member of House Tethras. He is a companion of Hawke in Dragon Age II and a companion of the Inquisitor in Dragon Age: Inquisition.


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. Varric's mother, Lady Ilsa found the shame of the family's exile too much to bear and turned to liquor and smoke for comfort. With his older brother Bartrand busy building the family's wealth, it was Varric who took responsibility for his mother. He took pains to keep Ilsa's addiction hidden so as to avoid the public scandal this would bring and cared for her during bouts of illness. Varric thus displayed both the shrewdness and compassion that would mark him in life. Unlike his older 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.[3]

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

Varric battle

Varric holding Bianca

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.[4] 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.[5] He has put the story to song, but will not sing it, instead humming the tune during battle.

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age II.

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.

During Legacy is is revealed that 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 Carta and the Merchants Guild knew.

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: Until We Sleep.

It is revealed that Varric's sweetheart, Bianca Davri redesigned Bianca and actually made it work. The couple also had plans to profit from the design, however their plans never materialized as the two drifted apart.


Dragon Age II

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age II.

Act 1

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.

Act 2

Varric DA2 choices - DA Keep

The relationship choices with Hawke in Dragon Age Keep

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. If Anders is brought along, he can have Bartrand return to himself for only a short time, in which Bartrand begs Varric to kill him before he does anything else that could possibly destroy House Tethras. 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.

Act 3

Varric DA2 quest - DA Keep

The choices for the Haunted quest in Dragon Age Keep

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.

Varric red lyrium - DA Keep

The choice for giving Varric the red lyrium or not in Dragon Age Keep

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 them at present.


Varric left Kirkwall with the Champion at the end of the game; however, he later returned. Cassandra Pentaghast, a Seeker of the Chantry, travels there to interrogate him on the Chantry's behalf, believing that Hawke is the only hope of stopping the war between the mages and the Chantry. He tells her the Champion's story in full, though he exaggerates on some details. At the end of the interrogation, Varric informs Cassandra that he does not know where Hawke is, though he very much doubts that the Champion is dead. Cassandra thanks him and allows him to leave.

Dragon Age: The Silent Grove

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: The Silent Grove.

BioWare canon
The plot follows BioWare's own canon, meaning that Alistair is king of Ferelden in the comic's story.

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].

Varric assists in the infiltration of Velabanchel prison, opening the gates. However, he inadvertently alerts the Antivan Crows, causing a huge battle to ensue.

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

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: Those Who Speak.

BioWare canon
The plot follows BioWare's own canon, meaning that Alistair is king of Ferelden in the comic's story.

Varric and Tilani after the brawl

Varric and Tilani after the brawl ended

Varric, Alistair and Isabela continue their quest in finding Magister Aurelian Titus: Claudio Valisti's master. 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

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: Until We Sleep.

BioWare canon
The plot follows BioWare's own canon, meaning that Alistair is king of Ferelden in the comic's story.

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 being greeted at his bedroom door by a female dwarf named Bianca. She tells him that she found a captain willing to cross the guild and sail them both away. Apparently both Bianca and Varric were planning to escape and also sell the crossbow design in order to enrich themselves. However Varric immediately recognizes that Bianca is merely an illusion of the Fade, telling the illusion that they could not make their relationship work and despite her pleas, a tearful Varric exits his dream and enters the raw Fade.

Dragon Age: Inquisition

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: Inquisition.

Varric tarot

Varric tarot card

Varric is brought to the Temple of Sacred Ashes by Cassandra to provide Divine Justinia V with information on Hawke. When an explosion at the temple kills thousands and creates the Breach, Varric decides to remain to assist the Chantry forces. He later joins the Inquisition.

If the Red Lyrium Fragment was kept...

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.

After the Elder One is revealed to be Corypheus, and after his attack on Haven forces the Inquisition to move to Skyhold, Varric informs the Inquisitor and their advisers that he knows someone who might be able to help. This contact is none other than Hawke. This gets him into a confrontation with Cassandra, angry that he'd lied about not knowing Hawke's whereabouts.

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 has been leaked, and that there are humans carting red lyrium out by the handful through the Valammar entrance. It is revealed by Varric that her knowledge of the thaig came from him; he sent her letters after the Deep Roads Expedition.

Varric DAI quest - DA Keep

The quest choices in Dragon Age Keep

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 II, 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, 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.

If his approval is high enough, Varric will invite the Inquisitor to a game of Wicked Grace to improve the camaraderie among the members of the Inquisition.

During this time period a hack writer is distributing horrendous sequels to Varric's Hard in Hightown book series, and attempts to frame Varric for several crimes. If the Inquisitor supports the investigation they find out that the hack writer is Worthy, who is captured.

The investigation spans into several war table operations. (See Quests below).


This section contains spoilers for:

Two years after Corypheus' defeat, Varric has funded numerous reconstruction projects in Kirkwall, which got the harbor and businesses running again. When Varric complained that the lack of a viscount was interfering with his reconstruction operations, the nobles voted Varric in as the new Viscount of Kirkwall since they thought his complaining was "volunteering". As the nobles feared the responsibility, considering the fates of their past leaders, but couldn't leave the throne vacant out of concern that it could facilitate a foreign invasion, this contributed to them foisting the crown on Varric. Under his rule, Kirkwall finally resumed its place as the major trade hub in the Free Marches. He continues to ignore all mail from the Dwarven Merchants' Guild and the Prince of Starkhaven. He also wrote a book about the Inquisition called All This Shit Is Weird, from which Cassandra reads excerpts out loud during the credits of the Trespasser DLC.

If the Inquisitor is friends with Varric...

Varric returns to the Winter Palace accompanied by his seneschal, Bran Cavin, to support his friend the Inquisitor since the Inquisition is being put on trial by the Exalted Council (a council of representatives from the Chantry, Orlais, and Ferelden who are wary of the Inquisition's influence). Varric gifts the Inquisitor the title of Comte/Comtesse and holdings in Kirkwall as well as the key to the city (which also controls one of the giant chain nets of Kirkwall's harbor) - much to the displeasure of Bran, as these gifts are granted without the proper protocol. Varric continues to adventure with the Inquisitor as they uncover a Qunari conspiracy in the midst of the Exalted Council's negotiations with the Inquisition.

If the Inquisitor is an elf:
Provided that Lavellan clan has survived the events of Inquisition, Varric brokers an alliance with the new Wycome council, giving the clan valuable political influence.
If the Inquisitor is a Qunari:
Varric hires the surviving members of the Valo-Kas to support the Kirkwall City Guard much to Aveline's annoyance and reside in Kirkwall.
If the Inquisitor is a dwarf:
Varric gets the Inquisitor a seat in the Dwarven Merchants' Guild.

Dragon Age: Knight Errant

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: Knight Errant.

BioWare canon
The plot follows BioWare's own canon, meaning it may not follow some of the player's choices in the games.

Varric invites Ser Aaron, a renowned Fereldan knight, to his coronation celebration. Varric himself goes to greet him in Kirkwall's port, and gives Ser Aaron a tour around the city before the celebration starts. Varric takes special interest in Ser Aaron's elven squire, Vaea.


Varric talking to Ser Aaron

Varric secures invitations for Ser Aaron and Vaea to attend Prince Sebastian Vael's birthday party in Starkhaven, as a way to facilitate Vaea's attempt to break Marius and Tessa Forsythia out of jail. Though he has officially left the Inquisition, Varric says that he doesn't turn his back on his friends. He also accompanies them to Starkhaven and provides Vaea with a map of Sebastian's keep. Upon arriving in Starkhaven, they are graciously greeted by Sebastian. During the celebration, Varric attempts to keep the peace between Ser Aaron and Professor Cedric Marquette, who each accuse each other of being thieves and almost come to blows. Eventually, Varric takes Ser Aaron on a walk outside to clear his head. On their return to the party, Varric once again comes to Ser Aaron's defense, praising his years of service to the kings of Ferelden. Though Professor Marquette is not appeased, Seneschal Granger declares Ser Aaron above reproach. However, he accuses Vaea of being responsible for the thefts, and Varric once again tries to defuse the situation before Granger is called away to investigate a disturbance.

Varric and Charter later meet up with Ser Aaron and Vaea, when they are leaving Starkhaven, and they learn that red lyrium may have already reached Tevinter.

Dragon Age: Tevinter Nights

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: Tevinter Nights.

BioWare canon
The plot follows BioWare's own canon, meaning it may not follow some of the player's choices in the games.

Varric performs several tasks for the Inquisition: he receives the scholars' report of their expedition into the true nature of the elven pantheon, finds work for Vadis and Irian Cestes after they foil one of the Fen'Harel cultists' plan, and calls in a few favors to have a Carta assassin attend Charter's elite spy meeting.

Dragon Age: The Missing

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: The Missing.

BioWare canon
The plot follows BioWare's own canon, meaning it may not follow some of the player's choices in the games.

Note: Dragon Age: The Missing directly leads into the events of Dragon Age: The Veilguard[6]

Varric and Lace Harding are tasked with finding Solas by Charter and the Inquisitor. Varric is also tasked with forming a small team for that purpose; an idea that Varric balks at, since all his previous teams ended in betrayal. Varric, concerned about Harding’s propensity to see the best in people, and worried for her family, offers her a chance to back out of their dangerous mission, but she is determined to find Solas.

Varric and Harding first head to the Deep Roads near Marnas Pell following rumors of mysterious abductions. While underground, they meet a pair of Grey Wardens, Evka Ivo and Antoine, who are also investigating the disappearances and looking for two other Wardens. After finding the corpses of their comrades, the group is attacked by deepstalkers and an ogre–the cause of the abductions. Further exploration leads them to Solas' hideout in the Deep Roads, where they find an invitation to the home of Lady Crysanthus in Vyrantium. As they leave the hideout, they find the corpse of a deepstalker killed by two blades, which leads them to assume, correctly, that they are being followed by the Venatori. The group leaves the Deep Roads, with Varric and Harding heading for Vyrantium.

Varric and Harding sneak into Vyrantium through the sewers, as the city is under siege by the Antaam. After breaking into Lady Crysanthus' home, they find that she had been turned to stone by Solas. Before they can investigate further, they encounter Andarateia Cantori and Viago De Riva, two Antivan Crows hired to kill Lady Crysanthus. They tell Varric and Harding that she was a spymaster for the Venatori. Interrogating the valet reveals Solas' and the Venatori's target: the crucious stone, an elven magical artifact said to have the power to bring down Tevinter and hidden in Arlathan Forest. Their investigation is interrupted when Lord Crysanthus and the Venatori attack. They escape the mansion, accidentally setting fire to it, though the Venatori are still on their tail. Varric and Harding leave for Arlathan Forest while Teia and Viago go inform the Crows that the Venatori are planning a concerted move against Tevinter.

In Arlathan, Varric and Harding encounter a group called the Veil Jumpers led by Strife and Irelin. After the dwarves tell them of their plan to retrieve the crucious stone to keep it from Solas and the Venatori, the Veil Jumpers offer them their help. Together, they successfully navigate the treacherous magical forest together, overcoming a gauntlet where spirits trade places with the living, a place where time runs out of order, and then a place where up is down and down is up. At one point, Varric is attacked by a pack of leopards and is pushed out of the way of a pouncing attack by a Venatori. Finally, the group has to defeat a Varterral. Despite all this, they are unable to retrieve the crucious stone, which Solas has already taken. He left a note for Varric in its place, telling him that the stone was never in danger of falling into Venatori hands and that he would do his best to limit the damages that his actions will cause. Varric tells the Veil Jumpers that Solas is Fen'Harel before departing.

Varric and Harding head to Minrathous and meet up with the private investigator Neve Gallus. She tells them what she's heard: that Solas has been stealing artifacts throughout the city, attacked Venatori sites, and freed a group of elven slaves. They track down some of the freed slaves to look for more information but only learn that Solas is planning to leave the city via the canals. They also realize that they inadvertently led their Venatori stalkers to the elves, and that the Venatori have planned an ambush to recapture their former captives while Solas escapes. Between continuing their pursuit of Solas and helping the slaves, Varric and Harding feel like the latter is the correct choice. After defeating the Venatori ambush, Varric and Harding leave Neve and a group called the Shadow Dragons to help the former slaves remain free. They conclude that Solas knows them too well and that they should look for people Solas doesn't know if they want any chance at finding him.


Dragon Age II

Varric Tarot Card

Varric tarot card after the Wicked Grace scene

Act 1

A Business Discussion A Business Discussion
Questions and Answers Questions and Answers
The Deep Roads Expedition The Deep Roads Expedition

Act 2

Plans for the Future Plans for the Future
An Update An Update
Family Matter Family Matter
A Story Being Told/A Rumor Making the Rounds A Story Being Told/A Rumor Making the Rounds
Varric's Apology Varric's Apology
Friendly Concern Friendly Concern
The Tethras Signet Ring The Tethras Signet Ring (gift)

Act 3

The Storm and what Came Before It The Storm and what Came Before It
A Small Problem A Small Problem
Haunted Haunted
Closure Closure
An Anniversary An Anniversary

Mark of the Assassin

Literary Theft Literary Theft

Dragon Age: Inquisition

Seeing Red Seeing Red
Well, Shit Well, Shit
Hard in Hightown 3: Varric's Revenge Hard in Hightown 3: Varric's Revenge (war table)
The Search for the Hack Writer The Search for the Hack Writer (war table)
Hard in Hightown: Unsavory Parallels Hard in Hightown: Unsavory Parallels (war table)
Hard in Hightown: Trouble in Skyhold Hard in Hightown: Trouble in Skyhold (war table)
Revenge of the Merchants Guild Revenge of the Merchants Guild (war table)
Hard in Hightown: A Dagger in the Back Hard in Hightown: A Dagger in the Back (war table)
Hard in Hightown: A Worthy Dwarf Hard in Hightown: A Worthy Dwarf (war table)
Hard in Hightown: No Dwarf Less Worthy Hard in Hightown: No Dwarf Less Worthy (war table)


Main article: Varric Tethras/Approval

Dragon Age II

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 Inquisition

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.

Varric generally approves of the Inquisition's actions, so many choices you make won't have a big effect on his approval so long as you don't go out of your way to let innocent people suffer. However, there are three instances that will yield DAIApproval Varric Greatly Approves:

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: Inquisition.

If Varric's disapproval rating gets too high, the next time the Inquisitor talks to him he will express his disapproval of the Inquisitor's methods.


Signet Ring Signet Ring - purchased at Trinkets Emporium for 8Gold 77Silver 30Bronze (available during Act 2 only).


Dragon Age II

Initial talents

Available talent trees Initially selected talents
Bianca Bianca Pinning Shot Pinning Shot
Sabotage Sabotage Miasmic Flask Miasmic Flask
Subterfuge Subterfuge
Specialist Specialist Speed Speed
Scoundrel Scoundrel
Marksman Marksman (specialization)

Initial equipment

DA2 Varric's Tailored Leather Duster - (companion armor)

Varric's armor

Weapons Bianca Bianca
Armor Varric armor Varric's Tailored Leather Duster

Armor upgrades

See also: Companion armor
Varric armor

Upgrades to Varric's armor, Varric's Tailored Leather Duster, can be found at the following locations:

Inscribed Leather Harness Inscribed Leather Harness (Act 1) – available from the Apparel Shop in Lowtown. Extra rune slot.
Coat Lining with Concealed Pockets Coat Lining with Concealed Pockets (Act 2) – available from Shady Merchandise at the Docks. Increases attack (scales with Hawke's level).
Silverite-Reinforced Buckles Silverite-Reinforced Buckles (Act 2) – obtained during his personal quest Family Matter. Extra rune slot.
Drakeskin Leg Straps Drakeskin Leg Straps (Act 3) – found during the quest Finding Nathaniel. Extra rune slot.
Note: During the Act 3 quest Haunted, the armor may change to Varric's Armored Leather Duster. Name aside, the change is trivial: it maintains the same appearance and armor modifier.

Restricted accessories

Eye of the Bearded Dragon Eye of the Bearded Dragon – requires Rogue Item Pack DLC
Turquoise Ring of the Archon Turquoise Ring of the Archon – requires Legacy DLC
The Refined Gentleman's Sash The Refined Gentleman's Sash – requires Rogue Item Pack II DLC
The True Author's Token The True Author's Token – requires Mark of the Assassin DLC

Dragon Age: Inquisition

Initial talents


Varric tarot card after Here Lies the Abyss

Ability trees Initially selected abilities
Double Daggers Double Daggers
Archery Archery Long Shot Long Shot
Sabotage Sabotage Caltrops Caltrops
Subterfuge Subterfuge
Artificer Artificer (specialization)

Initial equipment

Varric Armor Variation

Armor variations for Varric. Note: Sturdy, superior & refined armors of the same type are visually identical.

Weapons Bianca Bianca
Armor Scout Coat (Varric) Scout Coat (Varric)

Restricted accessories

Amulet of Power Amulet of Power (2)


Dragon Age II

Main article: Varric Tethras/Dialogue (Dragon Age II)
Varric concept art

Concept art of Varric for Dragon Age II

  • "'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

Main article: Varric Tethras/Dialogue (Inquisition)
Varric WOT2

Concept art of Varric from Dragon Age: The World of Thedas Volume 2

  • "You know what I think? If Hawke had been at the temple, s/he'd be dead too. You people have done enough to her/him."
  • "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 of 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."


Varric has a penchant for giving people nicknames. In Dragon Age II he calls Merrill "Daisy", Isabela "Rivaini", Bethany "Sunshine", Fenris "Elf" or "broody elf",[7] 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 does not nickname Hawke until Mark of the Assassin, where they can receive a nickname depending on their current personality. A Diplomatic/Helpful Hawke is "Waffles", a Sarcastic/Charming Hawke is "Chuckles", and an Aggressive/Direct Hawke is "Killer".

BioWare canon
The plot follows BioWare's own canon, meaning it may not follow some of the player's choices in the games.

The nickname "Waffles" is used again in the official cookbook.

Varric continues with the nicknaming tradition in Dragon Age: Inquisition. Vivienne is "Iron Lady", Iron Bull is "Tiny", Cole is "Kid", Cullen is "Curly", Josephine is "Ruffles", Solas is "Chuckles", Blackwall is "Hero", Dorian is "Sparkler", Sera is "Buttercup", Shaper Valta is "Scribbles" and Lt. Renn is called "Grisly". Varric calls both Hands of the Divine by their established titles: Cassandra is "Seeker", and Leliana is "Nightingale". The Inquisitor does not receive an official nickname, although Varric does occasionally refer to them as "Your Inquisitorialness". During Here Lies the Abyss he refers to Nightmare as "Smiley".

In Dragon Age: Knight Errant, Varric's nickname for Vaea is "Fingers"[8] and his nickname for Ser Aaron is "Muscles."[9]

Literary works

Varric is also an accomplished author renowned throughout Thedas. Most of his stories concern themselves with outcasts and tragic mistakes. His editor is part of the Coterie of Kirkwall and feared for her preciseness in grammatical areas. His publisher seems to withhold informations from him, as Varric was unaware of the success of his work among the Orlesian nobility before attending a party at the Winter Palace. Critics among the Chantry decry his work as smutty and pulpish.[10]

Works include:

  • The Dasher's Men, published in 9:18 Dragon, features the feud between two Carta clans, with a pair of casteless brothers caught in the middle. It is his first published work and the least-known. It's also the only one of his novels to feature a dwarven hero.[11]
  • The Viper's Nest, published in 9:23 Dragon, a story about an elven courtier that gets in the friction between the Kalna and Ascendant families in the Dwarven Merchants Guild, as well as the several connections the guild maintains to various assassin guilds.[11]
  • Hard in Hightown, published in 9:33 Dragon, his breakthrough work. It features the clash between a secretive group of agents of the Divine with a mysterious organization known as the Executors over a mysterious artifact, with a weary member of the Kirkwall City Guard, Donnen Brennokovic, caught between the fronts. Chapters were published irregularly, due to the unrest in Kirkwall at the time. Hard in Hightown has been the best-selling book in five nations since 9:36 Dragon, eventually outselling Brother Genitivi's Travels of a Chantry Scholar to become the widest-read book in Thedas outside of Tevinter. A sequel, named Hard in Hightown 2: Siege Harder, is currently in the making.
    • Despite common perceptions, 'Hard in Hightown 3: The Re-Punchening' has not been authored by him, but by a rival dwarf named Worthy.
Champion of Kirkwall book cover

Cover of The Tale of the Champion

  • Swords & Shields, first published between 9:31-9:37 Dragon, a romance series about a guard-captain that falls in love with a Templar knight-captain. Though Varric considers it the worst of his books, the series still has its fans.[12]
  • The Tale of the Champion, no publication date given (but likely post 9:37 Dragon), the story about the rise of his close friend Hawke and their involvement in the Kirkwall Rebellion.[13]
  • Tales of the Inquisition's Agents, published between 9:41-9:44 Dragon, a story about the adventures of the various agents of the Inquisition.[14]
  • All This Shit is Weird, published in 9:44 Dragon, telling the story of the Herald of Andraste and the adventures of the Inquisition.[15]

Among the works he has not finished is The Mercenary’s Price, which he wrote during the time his mother was suffering from a liver ailment to read to her at her bed and then burned after she passed away in 9:26.[11] Another is a planned political thriller at the Orlesian court inspired by the peace talks at the Winter Palace and the personality of Vivienne.[16]

Codex entries

Codex entry: Varric Tethras Codex entry: Varric Tethras
Codex entry: Varric - After the Deep Roads Codex entry: Varric - After the Deep Roads
Codex entry: Varric - The Last Three Years Codex entry: Varric - The Last Three Years
Codex entry: Chest of Unanswered Invitations Codex entry: Chest of Unanswered Invitations
Codex entry: Darktown's Deal Codex entry: Darktown's Deal
Codex entry: Varric Tethras Codex entry: Varric Tethras
Codex entry: Varric and the Last Few Years Codex entry: Varric and the Last Few Years
Codex entry: Hard in Hightown: Chapter One Codex entry: Hard in Hightown: Chapter One
Codex entry: Hard in Hightown: Chapter Two Codex entry: Hard in Hightown: Chapter Two
Codex entry: Hard in Hightown: Chapter Three Codex entry: Hard in Hightown: Chapter Three
Codex entry: Hard in Hightown: Chapter Four Codex entry: Hard in Hightown: Chapter Four
Codex entry: Hard in Hightown: Chapter Five Codex entry: Hard in Hightown: Chapter Five
Codex entry: Hard in Hightown: Chapter Six Codex entry: Hard in Hightown: Chapter Six
Codex entry: Hard in Hightown: Chapter Seven Codex entry: Hard in Hightown: Chapter Seven
Codex entry: Hard in Hightown: Chapter Eight Codex entry: Hard in Hightown: Chapter Eight
Codex entry: Hard in Hightown: Chapter Nine Codex entry: Hard in Hightown: Chapter Nine
Codex entry: Hard in Hightown: Chapter Ten Codex entry: Hard in Hightown: Chapter Ten
Codex entry: Hard in Hightown: Chapter Eleven Codex entry: Hard in Hightown: Chapter Eleven
Codex entry: Hard in Hightown: Chapter Twelve Codex entry: Hard in Hightown: Chapter Twelve
Codex entry: Hard in Hightown: Chapter Thirteen Codex entry: Hard in Hightown: Chapter Thirteen
Codex entry: Hard in Hightown: Chapter Fourteen Codex entry: Hard in Hightown: Chapter Fourteen
Codex entry: Hard in Hightown: Chapter Fifteen Codex entry: Hard in Hightown: Chapter Fifteen
Codex entry: Hard in Hightown: Chapter Sixteen Codex entry: Hard in Hightown: Chapter Sixteen
Codex entry: Hard in Hightown: Chapter Seventeen Codex entry: Hard in Hightown: Chapter Seventeen
Codex entry: Hard in Hightown: Chapter Eighteen Codex entry: Hard in Hightown: Chapter Eighteen
Codex entry: Hard in Hightown: Chapter ??? Codex entry: Hard in Hightown: Chapter ???

Note texts

Paper Dog Paper Dog
Tales of the Inquisition's Agents: Book I Tales of the Inquisition's Agents: Book I
Tavern Notices Tavern Notices


  • Mary Kirby wrote Varric for Dragon Age II and Dragon Age: Inquisition. He 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.[17]
  • Though he is not a romance option, he can be flirted with by a female Hawke and, to a lesser extent, by the Inquisitor. 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..."[18]


Varric Tethras - HoDA

Tier progression of Varric in Heroes of Dragon Age

  • Hard in Hightown was turned into a real book by Mary Kirby and lists Varric as the first author.[19]
  • Varric's excessive chest hair has become something of a running joke with developers and fans on the BioWare social forum.[20] It is also something of a running gag in-game, especially with Isabela.
  • According to Varric himself, he is a compulsive liar, and cannot swim.[21]
  • Varric's greatest fear is to become like his parents.
  • Varric loves sweets[22] and pastries in general, one of his favorites being cinnamon rolls.[23] Devon, the cookbook narrator, mentions that they met with Varric for a food consultation and described Varric's love for pastries as "that if one were to leave a dish of fresh pastries on a windowsill, he is likely to be found lurking close by."[24]
  • 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. This is also the case in Dragon Age: Inquisition; Varric, Solas, and Cassandra will never leave no matter how low their opinion of the Inquisitor becomes.
  • 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.
  • Varric recommends the book "The Pursuit of Knowledge" by Brother Genitivi to Hawke.
  • He is described as "The Storyteller" in promotional materials for Dragon Age: Inquisition.[25]
  • 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."[26] She also asserts that if he were a Harry Potter character, he would be sorted into Hufflepuff.[27]
  • A reference to Varric can be found after completion of Mass Effect: Andromeda, another BioWare game. An email can be read from one "V. Tethras", saying "A great story, Pathfinder. I'm going to write a book about this."
  • Mary Kirby has stated that Varric's necklace was inherited from his father.[28]

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age II.

  • According to David Gaider, the unreleased expansion for Dragon Age II would have ended with Varric's death from red lyrium poisoning after confronting Corypheus. The expansion was scrapped to give Dragon Age: Inquisition more time for development.[29][30]



  1. Mentioned in dialogue by Varric Tethras to the Dog in the Act 3 of Dragon Age II.
  2. As calculated by comparing the dates found in Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 131 and Codex entry: Bartrand Tethras.
  3. BWF Mary Kirby (August 11, 2010). "Let's talk about Varric's chest hair!" . The BioWare Forum. (offline).
  4. BWF Mary Kirby (October 28, 2010). "The Bianca Thread" . The BioWare Forum. (offline).
  5. When asked about Bianca (the crossbow) in Dragon Age: 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.
  6. Dark Horse (January 25, 2023). "Dragon Age: The Missing #1" Dark Horse.
  7. See Talk Page.
  8. Dragon Age: Knight Errant, #1
  9. Dragon Age: Knight Errant, #3
  10. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 2, p. 135
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 2, p. 159
  12. Such as Aveline, Cassandra Pentaghast, and Marius.
  13. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 2, p. 160
  14. Note: Tales of the Inquisition's Agents: Book I
  15. As related by Cassandra during the end credits sequence of Trespasser.
  16. Dialogue between Vivienne and Varric
  17. Kimberley Wallace (August 23, 2013). "Creating Dragon Age Party Members" Game Informer. Retrieved on Agust 23, 2013.
  18. Tumblr icon aicosu (August 8, 2011). "You never told us about the DA3 spoilers you got from David G!" . Tumblr.
  19. Amazon Book listing
  20. BWF "Varric Tethras: Chest Hair & Dwarven Goodness 3.0" . The BioWare Forum. (offline).
  21. He mentions this fact in the Storm Coast and in the Deep Roads (Trespasser) after the location has been submerged.
  22. Dragon Age: The Official Cookbook: Tastes of Thedas, p. 159
  23. Dragon Age: The Official Cookbook: Tastes of Thedas, p. 135
  24. Dragon Age: The Official Cookbook: Tastes of Thedas, p. 143
  25. Twitter icon Dragon Age (June 19, 2014). "Varric: The Storyteller. Get a quick introduction to this handsome rogue here" . Twitter.
  26. Twitter icon Mary Kirby (March 11, 2014). "Varric is a beef bourguignon. Cassandra, I believe, was determined to be an extremely crusty baguette." . Twitter.
  27. Twitter icon Mary Kirby (April 27, 2018). "If Varric went to Hogwarts, he would 200% be a Hufflepuff. He's pretty much attending to make sure all his friends pay their dorm fees on time and eat their vegetables." . Twitter.
  28. Twitter icon Mary Kirby (July 1, 2018). "I have always assumed it was one of the things left to him by his father." . Twitter.
  29. Fergus Halliday (February 28, 2016). "Cancelled Dragon Age 2 Expansion Revealed" Press Start.
  30. Robert Purchese (July 4, 2024). "If Dragon Age: Veilguard does kill Varric, it will be long overdue" Eurogamer.

External links