Fictional Character
Videssos Cycle
Videssos Series
Appearance(s): The Legion of Videssos;
Swords of the Legion
Type of Appearance: Direct POV
Nationality: Khamorth
Cause of Death: Stabbed to death
Occupation: Outlaw
Relatives: Kodoman (twin brother)
Military Branch: Varatesh's Outlaws
Political Office(s): Royal Khagan of Pardraya (disputed)

Varatesh was a Khamorth outlaw and for a short time nominally Royal Khagan of Pardraya

He was originally a noble in a real clan, but killed his brother Kodoman in an argument (according to his own account his brother drew knife first, but this was never ascertained). As a result he was banished from his clan and became an outlaw, becoming involved in a string of nasty incidents, word of which he was never able to outrun. An outcast, he formed a "clan" of outlaws that existed in mockery of the true Khamorth clans. 

By the time of the arrival of the Videssian embassy on the steppe Varatesh was a servant of Avshar; it is suspected that sorcery played a role in Varatesh's subservience as he never really knew how Avshar came to be giving him orders. He often expressed exasperation at the stupidity and boorishness of his followers, and successfully killed one of them when he was challenged. 

When the Videssian embassy arrived in Pardraya, Varatesh was sent by Avshar to kidnap Viridovix with the help of a gas that induced a deep enchanted sleep on those who breath it in, but Viridovix escaped before he can be taken back to Avshar.

Varatesh suffered Avshar's rebuke, and witnessed Avshar remove his mantlings, revealing his skeletal face. Varatesh whimpered in fear at this revelation. 

Varatesh fought in the battle between the outlaws and the Khamorth's allied clans. Avshar's sorcery defeated the allies, and Varatesh became Royal Khagan, with all Khamorth clans formally paying him obedience and tribute. In the aftermath of the battle Varatesh oversaw the blinding of the majority of the prisoners, with fifty of them left with only one eye so they could guide the others across the steppe. 

Varatesh was wracked with guilt over the treatment of the prisoners, and participated in the battle against the Arshaum, who march into Pardraya on their way to Yezd

The outlaws were broken by a rain of frogs conjured by the Arshaum shamans, and Varatesh himself was slain by Batbaian, the son of Targitaus of the Wolves. His last words were that his brother attacked him first in the fight that led to his banishment.

Varatesh was a canny leader and a skilled warrior. He was noted as having an air different from that of his followers, and was not cruel for cruelty's sake as were so many of the outlaws.