The Varagë are tall, titanic figures with bright eyes and bronzed skin. Great bright beards and long, light hair give the Varagë a strange look. They bear great resemblance to their southern cousins. But very little is the same about the Varagë and their distance relatives. For the Varagë are a pagan folk who rule as the Reliné once did. They are fierce warriors, cunning raiders, shrewd merchants, and exceptionally independent.
The Varagë are known as “The Children of the Storm” and have an uncanny ability to navigate the treacherous waters of the north. They are magnificent sailors and Varag Stormlords rival even the Mërën Windcallers and Seasingers of the south. As a result, Varagë reach is all encompassing, as they navigate the seas in large ships that cut through the water like a sword. Varagë warrior-princes are feared everywhere, for the Varagë understand fear like few others, bringing storm, fire, and terror whoever faces them. In battle, the Varagë conceal their faces behind masks of iron and silver, or behind aventails. Due to their reputation, Varagë are mercenaries in many nations.
As great mariners, the Varagë are masters of trade through their lower castes. Among the merchant castes of the west, Varag is becoming a lingua franca. The Varagë are most famous for their dealings in human flesh, selling captives to Laurëan nobles and buying laborers and pleasure slaves from the south. These slaves are sent to the homeland where they aid the Varagë in their primitive subsistence farming. The Varagë grow small amounts of wheat and raise cattle and a large variety of domesticated deer.
Varagë culture is pagan. practicing ancestor worship through ancient rituals. The most common is the sacrifice of blood to the sea, where sacrifices are taken to the sea-shore and are bled into the sea. Other, less violent sacrifices, are the sacrifices of food or wealth to the sea, where the Varagë go down to the low tide and lay their sacrifices on the shore, to be washed away on the tide. Their politics are often nothing like the autocratic stylings of the south. In the clans, the rank of “Kel” is a first amongst equals. In many places, this rank is elective and the Kel is held obligated to the lower castes via the Great Councils.
Varagë are sexually frank and care little about the personal lives of men and women. Polygamy is expected among men but some women have practiced this as well, leading to extremely complex webs of alliance and sexual relations. In their society, many petty kingdoms have female Kelan and the Varagë are famously egalitarian.
Their clothing is very distinctive, with long coats being worn at all times of the year. These are often buckskin and fur, but more often they are dyed cloth (usually blue, green, or red). These are worn with long, simple scarfs that display caste, clan, and occupation. Warriors wear red scarves, priests wear bright blue, farmers wear green, and sailors wear deep blue.