|“||I don't care what you have to do. Burn all of Afriik if that's what it takes. In fact...yes...burn it all.||„|
|~ Vireka to his underling, Kanali|
Vireka is a white lion and the main antagonist of the first Iron Lyons novel, The Forges of Dawn, which debuted in September, 2014. He is a manipulative, diabolical, powerful, and feared animal, the leader of the Pale Ones, a large faction of lions and other animals that kill and enslave darker colored lions in an attempt to purge them from the world.
Vireka was born to Kudisan, the Lady of the Pale Ones and ruler before him. He had a younger brother born alongside him called Kirai, but because Kirai wasn't truly a white lion, Kudisan rejected him. She also used Kirai as a reason to reject her mate and husband, Okuthe, sending them both away. Kudisan fills Vireka will the same entitlement and discriminatory ideals common to most of their royal line and the lands in general: White lions are holy and deserve dominion over everything; darker lions are dirty and misbred and deserve only death and misery.
Vireka grows up with these ideals into a sadistic and vicious leader. He eventually ousts his mother and turns her into a hound, a large, unnatural monstrosity, as is tradition in the Pale One royal line. Later on, when he is some years into his reign, he takes a liking to and forcibly breeds a servant lioness called Anagamia, then discards her when she falls pregnant. He all but forgets about her, but then his brother Kirai reminds him that since she carries his only heir, he has to pay some attention to her and cannot kill the child, according to law. Angered, Vireka kills him in their stead.
Roughly a decade after this, one of his beast tamers captures and fugitive that had escaped from them some years ago, called Kamaria. Along with her, they take her pride, to make slaves and hounds out of them. However, a lioness called Uhuru—part of that pride, but able to avoid capture—follows Jesiza back to the Black Mountains, where the Pale Ones live at and around. They are able to capture her, however, and Vireka is notified that she has red fur and red eyes.
Just like the lioness prophesied to end the rule of the Pale Ones; a Red Queen.
Vireka takes an interest in her then, demanding she be brought before him and expressing an interest to marry and breed her. He intends on tormenting and breaking her first, leaving her in the pits with the hounds to do the job, but the Red Queen is able to take one of these hounds—an old friend of hers, called Tarute—for her own and escape. When he learns about it, Vireka saddles his own mount—his hound-ified mother Kudisan—and he pursues her with a pack of other Pales Ones. They chase her to the end of the continent, but instead of return to his confines, the Red Queen and her hound decide to jump over the edge and take their chances with the water.
Vireka returns to his home with nothing but a few charms and feathers his underlings were able to find washed up on shore. He is inactive for a while, but eventually learns that Uhuru had a sister called Oni. Not so red as she, but still a Red Queen all the same, and his amorous and cruel intentions transfer to her. She isn't with the pride though, having gotten away like her sister, and so Vireka commands his soldiers to go about the land and burn her out. It succeeds and Oni does come into his arms willingly in order to stop the burning, the white lion preparing both himself and her for marriage and ignoring the worries of his Guard Captain Kanali as well as the Prophets who all say that the Red Queen is coming.
He ignores it right up until it is too late and the thought dead Uhuru—now called Uru—stands before him on her stolen hound with an undead army at her back. A fierce skirmish ensues, Uru chasing Vireka as he runs for his ColdFyre with Nirnasha—the true owner and creator of the ColdFyre—but her side. He gets to his Fyre, but Nirnasha takes it away from him, since his blood is closests to it, leaving Vireka defenseless. However, as the Fyre flows back to him, Nirnasha is revealed to be Mobor, The Black Emperor, the most evil and hated lion in history.
Uru is reluctant to call him an ally now and as they argue, Vireka is able to take back his Fyre and killed Tarute with it. This, however, deeply wounds and angers Uru and her despair and anger create a new Fyre called HeartFyre. It is stronger than ColdFyre, searing the very flesh from Vireka's bones, spelling his end.
Vireka is a muscular white lion with a thick mane equally white in color. His right paw, however, is coated red, a color which extends to his shoulders and face in flecks. He has been ritually scarred on the face, his scar denoting his rank as a High Holy Lord, highest in the Pale One Ranks.
Vireka is an evil, nasty, ruthless, unscrupulous, deceptive, and uncaring individual who takes pleasure in the fear and agony of others. He is incredibly calculating, inconsiderate, confrontational, manipulative, deceitful, greedy, and malicious to both friend and foe. He is an arrogant, traitorous, contemptuous, materialistic, egotistical, aggressive, impatient, and covetous lion and his temper is very easy to provoke.
- ColdFyre Manipulation - Vireka was able to control the ColdFyre, an ancient and terrible magic made available to his line when his great-grandfather Kidane captured and married the Red Queen of that generation, Mjane. The ColdFyre is a blue flame that freezes solid anyone it touches and turns the area it burns, including the sky, grey.
- Wind Manipulation - By drawing blood from his arms and paws, Vireka could turn wind and the air around him into a blunt physical force and attack with it. This power isn't used in the book until the end, when Vireka flees from Uru.
- Transmogrification - Also a ability of his bloodline, Vireka was able to turn lions into hounds, monstrous mounts his forces could ride and use to easily force other, smaller prides into subjugation.