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A Varangian

The Varangians (Old Norse: Væringjar, Greek: Varangoi) were guards stationed in Constantinople and Derinkuyu. They were the Byzantine equivalent of Italian Seekers, and fought with halberds and spears.

Varangians also wielded pistols once they were disarmed in combat, or when the Assassin Ezio Auditore da Firenze fled to an inaccessible position.


  • Historically, the Varangians hailed from Scandinavia, parts of Russia, and England, and consisted primarily of Norse and Anglo-Saxon recruits. From the 9th to 14th century, they served as the personal guard of the Byzantine Emperor, functioning similarly to the personal guard of the Ottoman Sultan, the Janissaries.
    • Their name comes from Old Norse compound væringi, from vár "pledge" and gengi "companion", i.e. "a sworn person" or "a foreigner who has taken service with a new lord by a treaty of fealty to him, or protégé."
  • Historically the Varangians were famous for wielding axes, and actually more resemble the in-game Almogavars, and vice-versa.
  • Looting or stealing from Varangians would give Ezio smoke screen or smoke decoy bombs should his tactical or diversionary pouches be empty.
  • Varangians wear szyszak style helmets, however, this is historically inappropriate as this type of helmet was used by the Polish winged hussars in the 17th century.
  • Varangians wear lamellar armor which is appropriate for the Byzantine context.
  • Historically, Varangian equipment would likely have been along the lines of their Scandinavian heritage - large round shields, axes, swords and the famous Daneaxe.