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(RefID: 0001D210)
Home City Imperial City, Market District
Store The Best Defense
Race Redguard Gender Male
Level 20 Class Smith
RefID 0001D210 BaseID 00015EAD
Available 8am-8pm every day
Training Trainer (Advanced)Heavy Armor (Advanced) Heavy Armor, Advanced
Other Repairs Repairs
Gold 1000 Mercantile Journeyman (60)
Sells Heavy Armor
Aegis of the Apocalypse
Other Information
Health 214 Magicka 102
Responsibility 100 Aggression 5
Faction(s) IC Citizens; IC - Best Defense; Chorrol Citizen

Varnado is a Redguard smith and joint owner of The Best Defense in the Market District of the Imperial City. He sells Heavy Armor and provides advanced training in using it. He also offers repair services. The unique Aegis of the Apocalypse can be purchased from him only.

He shares ownership with Light Armor specialist Maro Rufus, but because neither of them respects the other's preferences in armor, the atmosphere in The Best Defense is notoriously bad. As a result, Maro sleeps in the basement while Varnado sleeps in the living quarters above the shop. After waking up at 6am, he heads downstairs and eats a two-hour breakfast with Maro before unlocking the door for customers at 8am. He spends the next twelve hours offering his various services, until he closes up shop at 8pm and leaves. On all normal weekdays (Morndas to Fredas) he takes his dinner at The Feed Bag while chatting to the other merchants and traders. On Loredas and Sundas, he will take an evening stroll around the Green Emperor Way. He always returns to the shop and his bed at midnight.

During the day, he is equipped with a steel cuirass and wears a pair of laced leather pants and thick cowhide shoes. When he is asleep, he un-equips the cuirass and puts on a more comfortable dark green shirt. He carries the shop key and a small amount of gold.

When you approach him for the first time, it becomes apparent that he might not be the easiest person to work with: "I'm Varnado. I handle the Heavy Armor at 'The Best Defense'. I'm also an Advanced Trainer in Heavy Armor, so I know what I'm talking about." And if you ask him about the Imperial City, he will point you towards his partner with an insult: "You want Light Armor? Pah! Why wear fluffy flutter, when you can wear real armor? But if you MUST have Light Armor, talk to Maro Rufus. Idiot."

As an advanced trainer, Varnado can provide you with the necessary reference for the Heavy Armor Master Training quest. Once your heavy armor skill level reaches 70, speak to him, and choose the "training" option, which will trigger the quest and this dialogue: "The only one who can teach you anything more about Heavy Armor is Pranal. A master gladiator back in his day, he was. I think I heard that he'd retired, and was living out his days at the old Roxey Inn here in Cyrodiil. You might try there."

Maro will be scathing about his colleague: "Well, if you MUST have Heavy Armor, see Varnado. So heavy, so ugly... but it's your choice." Caught in the middle, Gin-Wulm can only sigh: "Varnado and Maro Rufus? They don't get along. I don't understand it. I just make the armor, and keep it in good shape."

Nonetheless, Varnado's armor has an excellent reputation among Imperial City residents. Viator Accius will point you in the shop's direction: "While you're in the Market District, see Rohssan's weapons at A Fighting Chance, and see Varnado and Maro Rufus at The Best Defense for armor." While others will note:

"Varnado at The Best Defense knows a lot about Heavy Armor."
"If I had a question about heavy armor, I'd probably ask Varnado at The Best Defense."

You may also witness citizens asking each other:

"Is there anyone in the city who knows more about heavy armor than Varnado?"
"Have you ever spoken with Varnado at The Best Defense?"

And responding:

"He's as good as you'll find in the city when it comes to heavy armor."
"If you want to learn about heavy armor, Varnado is the one to talk to."
"He'll train you in how to use heavy armor, if you can pay for his time."
"He knows a lot about it. Plus, he'll teach others how to use heavy armor."

Related QuestsEdit


  • Varnado is a member of the Chorrol Faction but will never travel to the town at any point in the game. He may have originally been intended to be a traveling NPC as an unused package called VarnadoVisitChorrol exists in the game data. This package would have caused him to travel to The Oak and Crosier on the 9th of each month.


  • In his greeting, Varnado mispronounces his own name as "Varnardo".
  • Varnado was supposed to pay a visit to the Temple of the One on Sundas from 8am to midday. However, this never happens since his package that compels to offer services is the second to load on the list and thus it will always override this schedule.