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Viren is the former High Mage of Katolis and was King Harrow's closest adviser, before becoming a traitor to his kingdom. He is the father of Soren and Claudia, and ex-husband of Lissa, as well as a powerful dark mage who follows the advice of the Archmage Aaravos. While assumed dead by his enemies, he is very well alive, after Claudia resurrected him.[3]

Appearance

Viren Official.png

Viren is a tall, thin man with pale skin, brown hair, and gray eyes. He has a neat goatee that is dotted with gray. He usually wears an intense expression to all but his children. He dresses in mostly dark gray, black, and red robes and carries around a long silver staff with a purple gem embedded to it.

After years of practicing dark magic, Viren's appearance drastically changed. In his true form, his skin turned a pale gray, with purple-gray markings formed around his eyes, as well as partially appearing across his face. While his hair faded into a lighter color, now featuring a white portion in both head area and beard, his scleras have become entirely black. His true form is hidden away underneath a magic spell, disguising him to look like his human form. However, after stealing the light of the Sunfire Elves, he steps forwards to war in a form that is much closer to his true form. In this form, he has dark brown skin and his hair is also much darker.

Personality

Viren is an ambitious, intelligent man with a one-track mind and a means-to-an-end attitude. There is nothing he won't do to achieve his goals, at times relying on deception or exploiting other creatures for their magic. While King Harrow trusts him, other council members like Opeli do not, and he is quick to anger in the face of even the slightest doubt, criticism, or disagreement, and he usually responds to embarrassment with anger and a desire for revenge. He is a self-proclaimed pragmatist who is willing to do whatever it takes to save humanity, even if it includes collateral damage of a few for what he perceives to be the greater good.

Although Viren claims that he is seeking the betterment of humanity, he can also be amoral and callous underneath his charismatic and intellectual surface, as well as exhibiting a willingness to take advantage of others. He claims that even his most egregious actions are necessary.

While Viren claims he wants to risk as few lives as possible, this does not apply to the magical creatures he is willing to kill for his spells, and he is heedless of the potential consequences of this. He also hypocritically attempts to kill any human that stands in the way of his agenda, as shown when he initiated an attack of the leaders of other Human Kingdoms to force support for his war against Xadia. However, it should be noted that Viren only went through with this after being encouraged by Aaravos, who gave him the idea in the first place.

Despite his ruthlessness, Viren was once a caring father, husband, and people-person, and had a good relationship with his family. However, after the divorce with his wife Lissa, Viren was left heartbroken and failed to see why she was frightened of his use of dark magic. For all his faults, Viren does love his children, as he once saved Soren from a fatal disease and taught Claudia dark magic; he is proud of how skilled she is. However, Viren's relationship with his children eventually suffers, as he puts pressure on Claudia to choose between the Dragon Prince's egg and Soren's life, should the situation arise, as well as tricking Soren into agreeing to assassinate the princes for his benefit. Between them, Viren favors Claudia for being more intellectual and cunning (more closely resembling himself). He often belittles Soren for his goofy and laid-back personality and lack of academic rigor as compared to Claudia. Viren's parental style can put the siblings at odds, as Soren puts a lot of effort into gaining his love and respect, while Claudia believes he loves them unconditionally. In reality, he is using them to betray the royal family and does not seem to care that his toxic parenting is splitting them apart. To children other than his own, and especially young children, he often acts disrespectful and contemptuous.

Viren is unwilling to consider alternative perspectives, forcing his ideas on those around him. He tells his children that humans have to prevail at any cost and when he uses corrupted sun magic on the human soldiers against their consent. As a response to his cruel actions, various characters begin to oppose him, even Soren. He does not seem to mind sacrificing others in pursuit of his fight.

Viren is not without redeeming traits, though. When Aaravos asked what Viren intends to gain from all his crimes and treachery, he responded that he has no personal interest in power, spoils, or conquest, for he only wants "humanity to flourish, without a knife at its throat." He genuinely appears to believe that his actions are the best for both Katolis and humanity as a whole. He was also truly devoted to King Harrow. This shows that despite his actions, Viren's motivation is at least partly selfless. He is, however, willing to kill others, even sacrificing innocents, to gain support[4] as long as he sees them as enemies of humanity.[3] Upon having his deceitful strategies denied, his desperation caused him to seek help from Aaravos, an Archmage from the ancient past who was imprisoned by Avizandum for unknown reasons. Although Viren has suspicions of him, he found himself willing to blindly follow Aaravos's orders to complete his goals.

Although undeniably intelligent and resourceful, Viren doesn't always think things through; as noted by Harrow and Callum, his ideas may solve problems temporarily, but ultimately make things worse in the long run. He seems to be unaware or willfully blind to this fact, as he was unable to understand why Harrow refused to use his "creative solutions" when a group of assassins came to kill him, even after expressing that he feared more consequences if he resisted his death.

Viren seems to be blind to his shortcomings, and the unexpected consequences of his actions do not drive him to reconsider similar actions in the future. Even if they come at the expense of others, he still openly enjoys his successes, a dark tendency that was particularly evident when he became king, when he attempted to harvest Zym, as well as when he convinced Harrow to kill Avizandum, despite Harrow's initial disagreement.

Just as his daughter Claudia is possessed by fear over losing her family, Viren is possessed by his fear of the future, in which Azymondias could return for revenge, or that Ezran's rule could be disastrous due to his perceived youth and naivety. Because of his fear of letting elves and dragons exterminate and enslave humans with that idealism, he ordered Soren to assassinate the princes and intended to rule the kingdom to avoid those fears from coming true. This paranoia is expressed in a desire to subjugate the inhabitants of Xadia to protect humanity. As well as his wish to conquer Xadia, he intends to capture as many magical creatures as possible to use for dark magic, without concern for the potential results.

Viren openly shames those who reject his ideas and is interested in becoming strong at any cost. He shows no sympathy for his children upon failing their secret missions, nor for the kings and queens when they fail to support his invasion of Xadia. He also orders that the soldiers that refused to join his army in battle should be humiliated by wearing a "weak link" badge and be ostracized in society as cowards and traitors, regardless of what their real motives were or the desire for peace they may have had.

Viren is the High Mage of Katolis, and King Harrow's closest advisor. A master of dark magic, Viren knows that every problem can be solved with a "creative solution," and Viren's clever spells have saved the Human Kingdoms from disaster. Cunning, ambitious, and bold, Viren has a vision of a great future for humanity, and will go to any length to achieve it.

—Official Description[5]

Skills and Abilities

Magic Mastery

As the former High Mage of Katolis, Viren is an expert in magic, especially dark magic. When employing dark magic, Viren casts his spells by speaking backward. However, the more often he uses these spells, his body begins to change in appearance:

  • Fusing Spell - "Ecnesse ruoy esuf." ("Fuse your essence."): This spell infused the wisps with the essence of a Magma Titan's rock.
  • Illusion Spell - This spell allows Viren to conceal his true form. It uses the essence of Sunray Monarchs.
  • Path Opening Spell - "Gnittes txen rou ot htap eht laever dna em erofeb kram." ("Mark before me and reveal the path to our next setting."): Using the horn of the Fire Dragon Pyrrah, Viren used this spell to open a path through a lava river.
  • Silencing Spell - "Eciov eht laets." ("Steal the voice."): This spell was cast by Viren with the mummified paw of a Singing-Weasel. It allows Viren to silence people and take away their voices.
  • Smoky Assassins - "Snissassa yekoms niaga esir, nellaf fo hsa." ("Ash of fallen, rise again smoky assassins."): This spell, using the ashes of fallen Moonshadow Elf Assassins on a Shadowlife Candle, allows Viren to summon smoky afterimages of the once-alive elven assassins that follow his commands.
  • Soul Trapping Spell - "Erasaert ym si luos ruoy." ("Your soul is my treasure."): This spell was cast by Viren, who used it to seal Runaan within a small gold coin. This spell allows Viren to trap someone within an object and contain them within it. It is chanted in repetition to take effect.
  • Suffocating spell - "Htaerb eht laets." ("Steal the breath"): With the mummified paw of a Singing-Weasel, Viren cast this spell to steal someone's breath and suffocate them.
  • Tracking Spell - "Natit amgam eht kees." ("Seek the Magma Titan."): This spell was cast by Viren to track a Magma Titan using a piece of its rock body. The spell caused the wisps to be charged with energy then launched in the direction of the ingredient's origin.
  • Ultimate Weapon of Vengeance - "Etah fo nopaew a htiw efil niard ot, ssol dna evol fo tonk delgnat a tsiwt." ("Twist a tangled knot of love and loss, to drain life with a weapon of hate.)": Viren used this ancient spell to create the weapon to kill Avizandum and turns him into stone. The spell used the horn of a unicorn, the dying breath of Sarai and the blood of Harrow.

Sky Magic

Viren is also able to successfully perform sky magic with the aid of a Sky Primal Stone and later with the assistance of Aaravos:

  • "Aspiro Frigis": This spell was cast by Viren with the assistance of a Primal Stone to immobilize Avizandum in a wave of ice. It was also used to immobilize Tiadrin and Lain.

Corrupted Primal Magic

Initially, when Aaravos channeled his magic into him, Viren could perform the spells that Aaravos cast by projecting them through his staff. Eventually, through Aaravos's tutelage, and with the corruption of the sun staff, he learned how to cast corrupted primal magic onto others by himself without channeling.

Combatant

Although Viren prefers to use magic or manipulation to defeat his enemies, he is a capable close-range fighter, which was shown when he temporarily held his ground against Tiadrin and Lain, two elite elven warriors of the Dragonguard. He was also able to fight against many human guards at once, aided by the power of dark magic, though large numbers could overwhelm him.

Manipulation

After the assassination of King Harrow, Viren convinced the people of Katolis that the elves of Xadia are their true enemies, lied to Amaya that Gren would look for Callum and Ezran, and subtly told Soren and Claudia that they must do everything they can to take back the Dragon Prince's egg, including murdering the princes or sacrificing each other. He was a good storyteller and often used flattery and persuasion as a means of accomplishing his ends.

Tactical Skills

Due to his instincts, Viren has proven himself to be a good tactician as he anticipated what would happen during the final battle.

Breeding

Viren keeps a hidden terrarium in the Katolis castle filled with Sunray Monarch butterflies that he caught near Xadia's borders and has been keeping them in good condition ever since so he can use them to conceal his true appearance.[6]

Equipment

Relic Staff: Viren is not the first human to possess his mysterious relic staff. Originally gifted to Ziard by one of the "Great Ones",[7] it has been passed down through the Human Kingdoms since the land was divided into two, so long ago that its original owner has been lost to history. Strangely, the staff seems to be elven crafted. Viren uses the strange relic to amplify and strengthen his dark magic spells, but perhaps it holds greater secrets.[8] He can also use the staff to channel spells that Aaravos casts for him from the other side of the magic mirror.

Sky Primal Stone (formerly): At one point, Viren owned the Sky Primal Stone using it to cast sky magic until he gave it to Claudia.

Trivia

  • In Sanskrit, Viren's name means "leader of heroes", which is ironically unfitting as he is one of the main antagonists of the series.[9]
  • Viren used to go mud sledding with his children, although he dislikes dirty robes.[10]
  • The corrupted look Viren gets whenever he uses dark magic is his true form. Using dark magic so many times has corrupted him inside and out, forcing him to constantly use dark magic to create the cosmetic illusion that he is still normal.[11] One manner in which he accomplishes this is by draining the life force of butterflies called Sunray Monarchs.[12]
  • Viren's model used to have purple eyes before they were recolored, due to fearing it would be too close to Rayla's eyes. There is still one scene in the series where the different eye color can be spotted but is unrevealed which scene that is.[13]
  • Viren likes pancakes, King Harrow, his children, being appreciated, dark magic, problem-solving, puzzles, hot brown morning potions, and cheese. He dislikes showing weakness, Opeli, seagulls, weak cheese, and anyone who disagrees or can't keep up with him.[14]
  • Viren often forgets his own birthday due to his business. However, Soren, Claudia, and Harrow tend to prepare surprise parties for Viren and his closest acquaintances, which made him feel warm and cared for. He prefers the fanciest of desserts on his birthday: small, tart-sized dark magic crème brûlée, blow torched to perfection by Claudia, using a spell only she knows.[2]
  • As Aaravos was covering Viren's eye despite the process being painful, the membrane acts more like a magical contact lens.[15]

Appearances

Book One - Moon

Book Two - Sky

Book Three - Sun

Books

References

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