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The Varangians were the subject of Anna Rykov’s anthropological studies in The Utgarda Trilogy.  But the Varangians actually did exist.  The Varangians were Viking traders who travelled down the rivers of Russia and Eastern Europe during the Middle Ages. The Viking protaginists depicted in Michael Crichton’s Eaters of the Dead, or in the movie The Thirteenth Warrior were most likely Varangians.