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Vecna

"To Collect the Uncontainable"

Domain Knowledge, War, Secrets
Aliases The Undying King, The Arch-Lich, Master of Secrets, The Tovag Tyrant
Symbol Eye embedded in the palm of a hand
Alignment Neutral Evil

Vecna (mortal name unknown) is the Quelmar deity of knowledge and Secrets. Considered to be the most successful creature in all of time, Vecna was born a mortal of unknown race, before becoming one of the most feared and whispered names in the entire realm, even by other gods.

History[edit | edit source]

Mortality[edit | edit source]

In the early days of Quelmar, possibly around the time of the Plane Wars, a powerful mage by the name of Vecna used his dark magic to become a lich, and after achieving lichhood, used his invulnerability and even more powerful magic to ascend to godhood. Because of the age of the story, Vecna's mortal race has been theorized to be Rakshasa, Beastfolk, or Pterran. Religious depictions of the "Slit Eye" of Vecna heavily support it being one of these races.

Ascension[edit | edit source]

Vecna became the god of secrets, though the information surrounding his ascension is lost to history (or perhaps a very closely guarded secret for the god of secrets). However, what is known is that immediately before his ascension, he lost right eye, and his hand, which were cut off and separated from him. Vecna's power was then weakened because he was incomplete upon ascension. Some speculate this was the act of an opposing clergy, attempting to stop Vecna from ascending to a level of divine power that rivaled that of the Creator Gods.

Godhood[edit | edit source]

As a god, Vecna's underlying divine domain was "Secrets". Everyone in the realm has deep secrets, and the realm itself held secrets the other gods had placed. Vecna's clergy, originally made up of those he knew in life, were tasked with finding out the realm's secrets and documenting them in Vecna's "Tomes of Tongues". Under Vecna's watchful (only) eye, the clerics lurked all over the early realm, watching other mortals love, fight, hide, and deceive each other over millennia. Ultimately, even higher forces of intelligence emerged and those too fought and hid secrets that would be collected.

Vecnans and Dragons[edit | edit source]

Even in the BR era, the largest mystery of the realm continued to be the persistent disappearance of travelers going between Amusa to Isonhound or from Osugbo to Pteris. Vecna continued to send his own clerics on that path to get to the heart of the secrets, but even with omniscient god-like eyes on the realm, he could not pierce into the world that laid at the heart of the realm: later known as Kiston. Instead, his cultists would work together on the island to find a way to open an escape back to the rest of the realm, unknowingly also opening the door for the Chromatic Dragons of Tiamat.

Vecna and the Multiverse[edit | edit source]

Always keeping an eye the most shadowed corners of the realm, it wasn't long before Vecna realized that a version of his mortal form had somehow reappeared on the plane at some point during the PR era. Confused but seeking answers, Vecna had this "Edditional" of his former mortal self captured by his cult. After an intense and enlightening interrogation session, the mortal's body was destroyed and the body parts divided up. Each body part of this Vecna, who was just as powerful as the God's former mortal form, was dissected and taken away to a secret vault alongside the real Vecna's original Hand and Eye.

What that Edditional Vecna had discovered was a way to jump not between planes, but between entire realms. Using their new knowledge, Vecna's clergy moved their secret vault to another plane of existence known as The Adytum. A faction of the cult stayed behind to guard this vault, which lived on a demiplane only accessible via realm-jumping.

As Vecna began to pry into the secrets of the multiverse, the other creator gods (who presumably had working knowledge of other universes) banished him to his own imprisonment-plane, which was completely cut off from the rest of the multiverse. Vengeful and motivated to escape, Vecna worked in secret in his own demiplane of dread, ultimately realizing that he could "seed" an escape into every single plane of the multiverse--the Tovag Baragu. Draining power from a group of adventurers and liches who had discovered and infiltrated his demiplane, Vecna invented a Stonehenge-esque circle of portals and embedded them into the very fabric of reality itself, which spread out like a virus, placing a Tovag in every realm...in every plane...in every universe. His plan was to always ensure that no matter where the gods put him, he could find his escape portal out. Since escaping and resuming his position as god of secrets, he has continued his plans of harvesting the secrets of the realm from a distance, out of sight from the gods themselves.

Notable Actions and Interventions[edit | edit source]

"The North Wind blows cold on an empty night like this. 
Tiamat's bored with hell and thirsts for eternal bliss.  
If striking down the will of gods is your desire, 
Then it's just about time for one to retire."

The Cult of Vecna[edit | edit source]

Those who followed Vecna as a mortal were the original cultists of Vecna, and would empower him enough in his lich form to allow him to ascend to godhood. Once a god, the cult grew secretly in every population. The realms most secret organization, they were innumerous, and their worship swiftly grew Vecna to the ranks of the realm's most powerful gods. The cult often wore robes of purples and blacks.

Opening Kiston[edit | edit source]

Even in prehistoric times, Vecna has obsessed over learning about the secret center of the realm, where a hidden landmass laid. The area was protected by intense whirlpools, and led to a destination that even the gods themselves could not access.

As such, Vecna made it one of the first goals of his cult after ascension to sail out to the suicidal maelstroms and try to escape back with knowledge of what laid beyond. He gave his followers cryptic sayings, riddles, and secrets, leading them to journey to the center of the realm where no one has survived before. Only this time, with Vecna's guidance, several groups of Cultists survived the trip, only to be killed by the evil forces of Tiamat that resided on the other side. Two of the final cultists to make the trip, known only as Fermi and Promissa, would pass everything they knew about the hidden continent onto a group of shipwreck survivors known as The Venship. In turn, the Venship would figure out the puzzle of the island, and discover a way to unlock Kiston, bringing it to the material plane where Vecna could see it.

The Adytum[edit | edit source]

The job of the cultists was to gather secrets and store them in their headquarters, a plane of existence shrouded from the gods known as "The Adytum". They would gather secrets and also protect them, trying to kill anyone who proved to be a threat to the realm's biggest secrets.

The Adytum also contained Vecna's original Hand and Eye, as well as the artifacts forged from various edditional Vecnas. In addition, it was home to a powerful portal that could be used to teleport cultists to any time and any location. The portal was powered by a 20-sided gem known as "The Deitdoor Gem". Unfortunately, the cultists eventually were infiltrated, and the gem was stolen by a group known as Sick of this Shit.

Over the centuries, the cultists did their best to keep the Quelmar citizens from knowing what may be the biggest secret of the entire realm: The existence of Tovag Baragu, a portal gateway that forms the foundation for an interlinking web of portals that connect every realm, plane, and universe. To mortal minds, it is certain death to enter the Tovag, but perhaps Vecna himself only knows the secrets of traversing the many arches.

Behind the Screen[edit | edit source]

  • Vecna is a staple fantasy villain, appearing in innumerous realms over the years, making his first appearance in Greyhawk in 1976.
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