Alt-Magic Campaign Lore: Vecna the Whispered One

The Life and Undeath of Lord Vecna
as chronicled by Abraxas Silvermane, Psion of Mirrors

He was born centuries ago in the Vispanian city of Portentia (now no more than a ruin) near the Crescentian border. He was initially trained by his mother in the art of magic, before she was captured by Crescentian raiders who burned her as a witch. Vowing revenge, Vecna eventually assumed a mastery of the dark arts achieved by no mortal before or since. Some say this achievement was due to direct tutelage by Ocasta, believed to be the personification of arcane magic itself, and his worship of Orcus, Lord of the Undead, though recent evidence shows he may have had dealings with a much greater entity of unfathomable origins, with the worship of Orcus merely a front to hide his true lord’s goals.

His passion for necromancy knew no bounds and power was all he craved… power, and a mastery over death. He and Ocasta are said to have had a bitter falling out. (Perhaps she herself had learned of Vecna’s secret master, or perhaps she had merely learned of his darker nature)

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Nearly one thousand years after his birth, Vecna, now a lich and ruler of a great and terrible empire (which consumed modern day Vispania, Cairnwulf, Faythrok, and Kurgarath), laid siege to the city of Hespa in the Crescentian Wastelands, where the heart of the nomadic Black Hand criminal organization held court. Vecna had assembled an impressive army of orcs, arcane spellcasters, and undead that made all of Enochia shudder. His intent was to see Hespa fall and all of Crescentia along with it. (See also Jace Ibn Alhazred and the Book of Vile Darkness)

Legend has it that Vecna was nearly slain in this battle by a force of war clerics, led by Ocasta herself, channeling the power of the gods of light (Though knowing Ocasta perhaps a more sinister deity was involved). The clerics unleashed a great burst of divine radiance, which hit Vecna primarily on his left side. Vecna was rescued and brought to safety by one of his wizard generals, a half-fiend named Acererak (who would one day himself become a mighty demilich, styling himself as Acererak the Eternal).

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Soon after, Ocasta became a recluse, shaken by her failure to slay the lich. She would only resurface years later during the War of the Dragon Cult (For more information on the Dragon Cult, see the diaries and documentations on the Blood Brotherhood’s involvement in the Dragon War by Salazar Redmon. See also the writings of Kyrian Winfell regarding the return of the Dragon Cult in the jungles of Thule)

Vecna eventually recovered from his injuries, besieging Hespa a second, and bloodier time. On the verge of conquering the city, the officials of Hespa came before him to beg for mercy. They offered up the entire city and her wealth if only Vecna would spare the lives of her citizens. When Vecna was not satisfied, the officials offered their own lives. Vecna gave one of their number, Artau, and his family, over to his lieutenant, Kas, who spent the entire day torturing and murdering them before the other officials. Still unsatisfied, Vecna slaughtered all within the city, and had their heads stacked before the officials, with those of their family members prominent. Vecna then granted his mercy, granting the officials leave to depart, and promising them his protection for the rest of their lives. (They of course were destined to be made  undead once their lives were forfeit)

At his empire’s height, Vecna began his greatest and most profane ritual yet, the apotheosis that would allow him to ascend to godhood, just as the Dead Three did before him. (See the various biographies on Lords Bane, Bhaal and Myrkul in the forbidden wing of the great library at Waterdeep.) It was during this ritual that Kas, Vecna’s greatest lieutenant, committed his grand betrayal. He struck out at his lord, and in the following conflict Vecna was destroyed — with only his left hand and eye surviving his disintegration. Scholars speculate that their survival was somehow connected to the grievous wounds he had suffered in Hespa.

vecna hand eyeKas would eventually grant an elven knight the sword that slew Vecna, turning the warrior Vagnarok Lokigrim from one of the living to one of the undead. Kas was, in turn, slain by the combined might of Acererak and Vagnarok, as revenge for his betrayal against Vecna.

Legend states, that Vecna’s spirit remains, incorporeal, awaiting the time when one will sever their own hand, pluck out their own eye, and replace them with Vecna’s own. Then, and only then, may he take control of that person, and walk as a god among men once more.

GO UNTO SHARMAT CORONZHON AS ENEMY AE RONNOC ALTADOON THARIZDUN LKHAN AE AI…

Any who should read this might note that there is one more artifact of Vecna, the ring of Vecna. Its whereabouts are currently unknown….

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