"Brothers in Arms"
Varus Soleptor is a business magnate operating primarily in the Bay Area. Despite being a Liberata, Varus has used his business acumen and moral flexibility to gain wealth and power comparable to Rafe McCawley and Karl von Bach. Unsurprisingly, this has also earned him his share of detractors who describe him as a "shifty robber baron." Foreseeing the Gulanite rush that would overtake the Bay Area, Varus spent nearly his entire fortune buying barren land that was rich in the mineral. This land eventually evolved into the community of Paradise, making him the richest man in the region. He founded a large umbrella corporation, Soleptor Enterprises, attracting numerous miners to his fold by encouraging individual profit instead of collective prosperity proposed by a political rival. Varus had all the land in Madera scanned and was delighted to hear that one of his neighbors, Waylon Ross, had Arktech in his field, a fact he did not tell Ross. Varus may have hired the Raiders to come to the Bay Area and force out his neighbors so he could get his hands on the Ark-Matrix. Varus hired Joshua Nolan and Irisa Nyira to recover a particularly valuable piece of Arktech, the Libera Nova Gem, claiming that it held a cultural significance to him. Though he offered them a lucrative reward, they instead decided to keep the gem for themselves, prompting Varus to place a bounty on their heads.