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Written by: Cory

Venin / Dark Wielders in the Barrens with purple robes and a staff


The term Venin or Dark Wielders is often associated with folklore and myth. However, as the narrative unfolds, it becomes evident that these creatures are as real as the dragons and gryphons that inhabit the world. Venin or Dark Wielders are unique in their ability to draw power from the ground, a stark contrast to the traditional bond between a dragon or gryphon and their rider. This divergence in power source has profound implications, leading to a loss of soul and a corruption of blood. The Fables of the Barren, a collection of ancient and now forbidden tales, suggest that Venins are responsible for the creation of wyverns, a formidable species designed to rival dragons.

Venin share a collective conscious with the wyvern they create.

Venin CharactersBook in the Series
Jack BarloweIron Flame
Xaden RiorsonIron Flame

Types of dark wielders: ranks

According to a compendium by Captain Drake Cordella: Defeating a dark wielder begins with knowing where they rank in age and experience.

Types of dark wieldersAttributes
InitiatesReddish rings to their eyes that come and go depending on how often they drain
AsimsEyes fluctuate in degrees of red, and their veins distend when riled
SagesThose responsible for initiates-eyes are permanently red, their veins perpetually distended toward their temples, expanding with age
MavensTheir generals-have never been captured for examination.

Physical Appearance

The physical manifestation of a Venin is as haunting as their lore. Their faces are gaunt, marked by sharp cheekbones and thin lips. Their eyes, a striking bright red, are surrounded by distended red veins that spider across their skin, creating a chilling and unforgettable visage. Their hands, gnarled by the power they wield, are a testament to their unnatural existence. They are often seen wearing purple robes, a colour traditionally associated with power, ambition, and mystery.


According to Captain Lera Dorrell’s guide to vanquishing the venin: “It is somewhat fitting that the only weapon capable of killing a dark wielder is the same thing that drove them to soullessness…power.”

According to Xaden, the only thing that can kill a venin is what powers the wards. The alloy is a specific blend of materials.

Venin are formidable adversaries, but their power has its limitations. Upon crossing into Navarre, they become powerless due to the wards that make all other magic but their own impossible. These wards, a protective magical barrier, are designed to neutralize the threat posed by Venin and other magical entities. The material used to power these wards is the only known substance capable of killing a Venin, making it a crucial element in the defence against these creatures.

In both Fourth Wing and Iron Flame, Violet’s signet, pure power in the form of lightening is capable of killing the dark wielders as well as their wyvern. In Iron Flame, Andarna’s fire can also kill dark wielders.

Despite their formidable abilities, their weakness provides a glimmer of hope for those who stand against them.


Brennan mentions that something killed venin 600 years ago during the Great War and they are actively searching for that weapon.

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23 responses to “Venin”

  1. I think Naolin, Tairn’s previous rider, became a Venin and they were forced to kill him. Then they lied about Brennan and started the 2nd revolution 🙂

    1. I had a similar thought. I figured that maybe Brennan had become a venin and Naolin siphoned the power out of him, maybe channeling the power into the rune that burned Brennans hand, and maybe because that connection broke from the burn, Naolin ended up with the venin curse. It would match what Brennan said about Naolin not failing, but it cost him everything.

      1. Let’s face it. Brennan is venin and Naolin is alive, right?


    How does Jack Barlowe and Xaden stay in Navarre if the wards work again? And how did each of them become venin?

    1. The wards don’t kill them. They just cannot use their magic any more within them.

      1. Does that mean Xaden cannot use his Shadow magic?

        1. Spoiler comment (only read if you finished Iron Flame): I think he can still use his magic for now. Page 622, Iron Flame, he surrounds himself in the warmth of his shadows.

      2. But in the last chapter Xaden was still able to use his shadow powers to visit Jack. So he can still use his powers within the wards.

        1. Hi Mari, I think bonded venin can still use their dragon channelled powers within the wards. Dangerous right? Seems pretty scary all of a sudden. I believe they cannot wield any venin type powers within the wards (like create wyvern)

  3. Andarna’s fire didn’t kill a dark wielder. She blew fire on him and then bit his head off. It seems most likely that it was the decapitation that ended him, since other dragons have breathed lots of fire on venin already with no effect. And maybe it will turn out that Andarna’s fire is special. I just don’t think we have that evidence yet.

    1. Hi Elise. Let’s check the paragraph.
      “Andarna lands directly in front of him, then opens her mouth and breathes fire down upon him, roasting the dark wielder before she snaps her jaws down and rips his head straight off his body.”
      You are right, decapitating the dark wielder technically killed him but it’s the fact that she roasted the dark wielder that caught my eye. In Fourth Wing, the fire did nothing to them. Did not roast them or affect them in any way.
      I wonder if I’m reading too much into it, and it’s “roasted” with no effect, just to confuse before eating the venin, or “roasted” the venin as in, charred the thing, then also gracefully removed its head from its body. Ew!

    2. I have a feeling that Andarna is the key to killing them. I think that’s what the “weapon” was that won the war 600 years prior. It seems that Andarna made mention of being left behind, so hopefully that means that there are more of them hiding out somewhere. I had an awful thought that venin were turning Andarnas kind into becoming the wyvern, but hopefully that is not the case.

      1. I feel the same way. I do think Andarna IS the weapon. I feel the same way, this is what Brennan even said. We should create a full on theory for it!

  4. How do you become Venin. I feel like I missed that somewhere.

    1. Hi Karen, to become venin one just needs to “reach” for the ground and “steal” magic. They don’t need to be bonded necessarily, they just need to steal magic directly from the land.

    2. Becoming Venin is still confusing to me. Could anyone from Navarre put their hands on the ground to become Venin?

      1. I suppose so. It’s not very clear at the moment. But it looks like Jack managed to turn within the wards. Xaden sort of did it just before the wards were raised. But there is magic in the land because of the dragons there, so technically yeah, anyone could “reach”. I don’t think you just touch the ground, I think you need to really want to become venin. When Violet was burning out (imbuing the stone) she did say that she could feel the ground as being a source of energy and even she seemed tempted to reach.

  5. Question: didn’t the sage that forced xaden to turn utilize his powers within the wards? Or did he force xaden to turn before violet got the ward to work?

    I’m also very confused as to why xaden is turning now anyway?? 🙁

    1. The Sage (General) did it before the wards were up. And technically Xaden did turn just before the wards went up, that’s the idea.
      Xaden turned because he was near burn out and couldn’t keep the General venin at bay from killing him and killing Violet next. He wanted to save her at all cost. <3 I hope this helps.

  6. Hi there!
    Where does it talk about General Sorrengail being drained while pregnant with Violet? Is that why her body is so “fragile”.
    Thank you!

    1. Can Vennin change their features (hide the red veining) amd appear somewhat normal? Is Colonel Aetos the Vennin Sage (general) possibly or working closely with the Sage? He sends a first year assassin to kill violet during assessemnt in Iron Flame, who has red rimmed eyes and she thinks he is on drugs? Aetos is connected to Vennin it seems.

      1. i think they are using some of the serum somehow. Ot they know how to simply mask the eyes! But def they are masking.

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