Age: Old. Very nearly as old as the Aspects.
Status: Undead, eternal
Alignment: Lawful good
Personality: Warm, compassionate, sympathetic - a truly old soul in a literally ancient body. She is patient, kind, and wise, and happy to offer her wisdom to any seeker. She is a great pacifist and avoids conflict wherever possible. She never, ever advocates the loss of life, but will do what she must if it means the preservation of life as a whole. Despite having witnessed the many major mistakes of the mortal races, she is still quite comfortable among them, even if they are not comfortable among her. Variastrasza believes that it is very rare for anybody to be truly beyond redemption, and she is eager to believe the best in others. However, she is not naïve. She recognizes that the most logical way to purge the world of evil is to simply kill it. It is not something she is happy about, but she recognizes that some sacrifices must be made for the good of the whole.
Though she still has the personality of a red dragon, she is very well aware of her condition and what it means for her. Being undead, she can no longer embrace the same powers as her living kin – she knows she no longer belongs to them. As a result, she does not actively seek out the company of other dragons, but welcomes it when it is available. She does occasionally express remorse about no longer belonging to the flight properly, but she doesn’t linger on it. She does still wholly respect Alexstrasza and would certainly act if called upon, but she doesn’t hold out hope for it.
Likes: Cold weather, peace and quiet, people that don't immediately go "OH SHIT SCOURGE KILL IT" when they see her.
Dislikes: Death, violence, necromancy, unfair judgment.
Appearance: Variastrasza is a great leviathan with a huge body and a massive wingspan. Dragons never stop growing from when they are born to the day they die, and as she is ancient – truly ancient – her size reflects it enormously. It gets hard at times for her to find places to hang out at simply because of this size, and she has long outgrown the days of sharp turns and tight circles. She truly epitomizes the word ‘leviathan.’
But she’s undead, so it’d be unfair to describe her actual anatomy without pointing this out. She’s not long-dead, so she hasn’t experienced an exceptionally advanced form of decay. She is not a walking (or flying) skeleton. She resembles something like a Bloodbathed Frostbrood Vanquisher, except significantly larger and with a little flesh, tendons, and ligaments. Her bones are a reddish black from the magic used to reanimate her, and what skin she’s got left is a dull crimson – there are no longer any scales. Her talons, horns, spikes, and teeth are all inky black.
The way her spikes and horns and all that are set up makes her look extremely.. prickly. They run the length of her spine, from the center of her forehead to the tip of her tail, which is barbed – long, sharp barbs. She has a number of small spikes running along her lower jaw that progressively grow in size as they near the back of her head, facing slightly outward to frame the back of her skull in a pretty impressive fan of violent ouchies. The claws at the ends of her wing 'fingers' are perfectly capable of gouging out eyes.
Strengths: Extremely tolerant to extreme climates of all kinds. Does not need to eat or sleep or breathe, which obviously gives her a great deal of survivability. She is generally very hardy, she can take quite a beating before she's had enough. She is very open-minded and patient. Variastrasza also usually has a huge size advantage over foes.
Weaknesses: Holy magic is the biggest - as with all undead, she is greatly affected by the power of the Light. Because of her size, she isn't particularly agile - she maneuvers almost as terribly as a jumbo jet. Similarly, her size lends itself to clumsiness.. It just gets difficult for her to watch where she puts her feet or how much room she has to swing her tail around.
History: It was when the world was relatively young and the dragonflights new that Variastrasza popped out of her shiny red egg at a roost occupied by the red dragonflight. The flight was small and shiny and brand spankin’ new, and every time an egg hatched, there was much joy to be had by all present - such was the case with Variastrasza, who was groomed and raised to epitomize all that the red dragonflight stood for.
Right from the start, Variastrasza proved to be a bit of a diplomat. When the mortal races sprung forth from the loins of the world, Varia was there to watch them grow and find their place in it. She studied their habits and how they solved problems nature posed to them. She watched these fledgling races grow and evolve and split into separate tribes, or separate races altogether. She witnessed the natural extinction of races, as well, and the wars between tribes. Though Varia was always quick to impress upon these young mortals the importance of cooperating with their neighbors, they often chose the path of war rather than one of diplomatic negotiation. It pained the dragon to see them fight, but it was not her place to interfere with small-scale squabbles.
Variastrasza was already rather old at the time of the War of the Ancients. By that point in her life, she had contributed much to the flight in the forms of wisdom, grace, protection, and production - Varia was not only one of the Reds' finest guardians, but a broodmother in her own right. Her maternal instinct was incredibly strong and extended not only to her own young, but to all of the flight's younglings; when danger arose in the form of War of the Ancients, Variastrasza was among the first to rise and protect the flight from the Burning Legion - and later, Neltharion. The red dragonflight suffered massive losses, including loss in the form of unhatched eggs - something Varia, to this day, deeply regrets not being able to better prevent. After the Sundering, she rarely roosted again; she, like many others of her flight, dedicated time to hunting down the mad black dragons that constantly threatened the existance not only of the red dragonflight, but of life itself.
When the Demon Soul fell into the hands of the Dragonmaw Clan, the Red Dragonflight suffered hardest. Variastrasza was luckily spared from the fate that befell many of her kin; she evaded capture and enslavement well enough to stay with the scattered remnants of her flight. Those free of mind frequently fell victim to attacks by the black dragonflight, and so Varia made a point of seeking out as many reds as she could to stick together: safety in numbers. Wherever a stranded or wounded red was found, Varia swept in to take them away to safety. Being as ancient and wise as she was, Varia's presence provided some comfort and safety to younger lost and confused drakes. In the time before Alexstrasza was freed from Grim Batol, Varia played the part of guardian for a fairly sized group of reds.
When Alexstrasza was freed and Deathwing was chased off, Varia spent a short time standing guard outside Grim Batol. She removed herself and retreated to a common roost the red dragonflight occupied about 8 years later, deciding that there was no longer a desperate need for her presence there. About six years after that - year 20 or so - she laid her final clutch of eggs at this roost she occupied as a guardian.
When the young from those eggs were old enough to care for themselves with the support of the other dragons at the roost, Variastrasza flew to the frozen north to join a good chunk of the dragonflight in Northrend, just in time to join the Nexus War as it begun. She was not a major player; she mostly just protected Wyrmrest Temple and the surrounding dragonshrines from attack from the blues, but she participated nonetheless. Though it pained her to do so, she struck down as many blues as she had - as soon as they went to war with the mortals, they invoked the wrath of her claws. It was in this time that Varia, herself, met her longcoming demise. It was not, however, at the teeth and claws of the blue dragonflight.
Nay, she provoked the wrath of frost wyrms, newly risen from the skeletons littering the Dragonblight. Her crime was simply that she existed - one moment she was flying about, and the next she was ambushed by at least three of 'em. They did not manage to bring her down before she shook them off, but they wounded her pretty gravely. She sought refuge and recovery at the ruby dragonshrine only to find it under siege from the Scourge - and it was not far from here that she was struck down by the reanimated body of one of her own flight. One of the attacking emberwyrms gave chase and landed the killing blow on poor, ancient old Variastrasza in the far north of the Dragonblight.
Scourge reanimators discovered her body just a couple days later and decided to make use of it. A group of 'em used some super special necromancy on the fallen red, raising her as an emberwyrm herself. She, too, was sent briefly to antagonize the red flight at their shrine - hilarious irony, plain and simple, that Lich King had him a sense of humor - before retreating her back to Icecrown to offer gutsy adventurers a white-hot alternative to freezing ice breath. Varia patrolled the skies as Icecrown's equivalent of the Fel Reaver or the Whale Shark; she lit ablaze anyone dumb enough to AFK in the middle of the glacier and had a ton of fun having sorority parties with Sindragosa and her friends, gossipping about what a terrible lover Malygos was and about how much better off the world would be if the Lich King ruled it. Etc.
She was rather fortunate, despite many, many attacks, to have survived long enough to witness - feel, really, she didn't see it - the death of Arthas. Now the question I'm sure you're wondering is this: how is she freed? Well.. You remember those intense minutes between the helm popped of Arthas' head and was put on Bolvar's? During that time, who d'you reckon was actually controlling the Scourge? Exactly. That moment was just long enough for Varia's true, sweet, light-hearted little self to be like fuck that and by the time the Scourge had a new master, she was already flying far, far away with massive metaphorical concrete walls protecting her will from the grabby mental hands of the new Lich King. Etc.
Since then, she's kind of just been hanging around wherever she feels like, chillin'. She'll kill black dragons on occasion, Twilight ones too, but is part of no war effort since she isn't welcome. lulz.
Powers: As you might expect, Variastrasza cannot properly command the regenerative properties of life anymore, since she isn't alive herself. The biggest and most predictable trick she knows is necromancy, a craft that she loathes with a passion and refuses to use unless it's a matter of saving the world from certain doom. She is capable of pretty impressive amounts of necromancy, but there is roughly a 99.9% chance you will never see her do it because she loathes it so. The point is, however, she can do it.
She cannot heal flesh wounds or promote growth of anything. She can tend to deeper wounds - wounds of the soul. The deepest of hurts are the ones that scar a person's soul, be those injuries from deep emotional hurts or magical attack. Variastrasza is adept at soothing and mending the soul. She can also maim it if she wanted, but she doesn't want to do that, either. That is beneath her. The soul is a sacred thing to be protected, not destroyed. As far as she is concerned, it is her job to protect it.
When someone dies within a certain range of her, she is acutely aware of it, and she can guide their soul to the afterlife – be it to the ancestral hunting grounds of the tauren, the battlefields of the orcs, or the sanctuary of the Light for those races devout to it. She can also temporarily store souls within her being, for safekeeping if she desires.
She is good with fire and shadow magic.
Shapeshifting: Everyone knows dragons do it. Variastrasza did it. She can still do it, and she does it often. She is perfectly at ease walking among mortals, no matter if they know she's a dragon or not. Typical of a red dragon, her preferred form is that of a high elf, but she will take another shape if necessary.
Because she is undead in her dragon form, she winds up being undead in whatever mortal form she takes, but she is careful to never really look it - for the most part, her forms simply seem pale and a bit dull in the eyes and hair. They're cool to the touch and tend to breathe vveeeeeerrrrryyyy sloooooowwwllllyyy if they do at all.
-Yes, Zirinax's mother.