At some point, he became a disciple of the philosopher Surak when he first began to preach his way of peace and logic. He accompanied his mentor to ShiKahr with fellow student Skamandros and desired to change his name to an S-name in honor of Surak but had not found one appropriate for himself. After arriving at the gates of ShiKahr, they were detained by the security force but were freed from being imprisoned by an engineer from the Vulcan Space Initiative called Karatek. The T'Kehr had invoked them as being his guest friends and were escorted to his home where they were given fire and water as well as a temporary place to rest as part of the custom. He ate at Karetek's home where he told him and his wife T'Vysse of his name and his desire to change it at some point. After resting, he helped in Surak's presentation to the VSI about re-purposing their Great Ships to serve as generation ships designed to take a number of their people to another world in case the homeworld was destroyed in the fires of war.
Varen agreed to follow his mentor and Karatek on a pilgrimage to Mount Seleya in order to confer with the two groups of Adepts there to enlist their aid in Surak's project. They began to make their way across Vulcan's Forge in order to meet the network of facilities attached to the VSI before reaching the mountain itself. Along the way, they encountered a ruin medical research base that had been raided by the Te-Vikram Brotherhood. After exploring it, they discovered two survivors; a young boy called Kovar and a girl of Varen's age called Tu'Pari. Though he never said so, he was attracted to her but did not say anything about the subject. Taking on the two survivors with them, the group moved to another facility where Varen learnt that Karatek had accepted the two orphans into his house. Varen also bore witness to Tu'Pari taking on a new name in honor of Surak since she had completed her kahs-wan.
Continuing the pilgrimage, they discovered a spring of water and attempted to scout it in order for it to full their own water reserves. However, they were ambushed by a group of te-Vikram raiders. Surak attempted to negotiate a peaceful settlement with the head priest but he simply drew his knife and attempted to kill Surak. Before the blade connected with his mentor, Varen jumped into the path of the weapon and received a fatal injury. After the raiders were killed by Karatek who used a blaster concealed on his person, they tended to the dying Varen. Sarissa attempted to quench his thirst before he died but he informed them to save their supply of it. Surak, however, noted that since the spring was nearby, then logically they could refill their supply and gave what they had to Varen before his body died. Surak, however, did manage to save his katra within his mind and planned to intern it at Mount Seleya, in the Hall of Ancient Thought. Varen's body was buried at the spring and his gear was stripped by Skamandros.
When the group arrived at Seleya and climbed its thousand steps, they encountered the Adepts that lived within the temple. Though the priestess of Seleya attempted to turn Surak back on the account that he brought trouble where ever he went, Surak informed her that he carried a katra for internment in the hall. Shown to an Urn of Memory, Surak placed Varen's katra in the receptacle in order for him to ponder the rest of his existence now that he had been taken home. (TOS - Vulcan's Soul novel: Exodus)