Vecna
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Vecna is an almost mythical figure of history, known by many names and titles by different cultures: The Arch-Lich, the Chained God, the Maimed God, Master of the Spider Throne, the Whispered One, the Dying King, the Lord of the Rotted Tower, the Undying King

Vecna was one of the eight Lich-Lords of Alokkair and his most powerful apprentice. Vecna is usually described as a powerful magician resembling a desiccated corpse missing his left hand and eye. A constant theme in the adventures in which the character appears is Vecna's never-ending quest for power, ending, should he succeed, with Vecna as the only deity in existence.

History


Vecna was born as a human, two-thousand years ago as a member of the untouchable caste in the city of Atharavon. He was initially trained by his mother, Mazzel, in the art of magic, before she was executed by the government of Atharavon for practicing witchcraft. 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 the Serpent-Lord; believed to be the personification of arcane magic itself.

Nearly one thousand years after his birth, Vecna, now a lich and ruler of a great and terrible empire (in the Barrens, centered near Dragon Sound), laid siege to the city of Atharavon with an army of arcane spellcasters and undead. Legend has it that Vecna was nearly slain in this battle by clerics channeling the power of Ator, the god of light. The clerics unleashed a great burst of light, which hit Vecna primarily on his left side. Vecna was rescued and brought to safety by one of his wizard generals; Acererak (who would one day himself become a mighty demilich).

Vecna eventually recovered. On the verge of conquering Atharavon, the officials of the city 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 the officials and thier families, over to his lieutenant, Kas, who spent weeks torturing and murdering them. But the city was saved. Vecna returned to his holdings in the Barrens,

At his empire's height, Vecna was betrayed and destroyed by his most trusted lieutenant, a vampire called Kas the Bloody-Handed, using a magical sword that Vecna himself had crafted for him, now known as the Sword of Kas. Only his left hand and his eye survived the battle, perhaps because of the previous events in Atharavon.

At some point in his history, Vecna penned a tome known as Ordinary Necromancy. He is also rumored to have made significant additions to the Book of Vile Darkness.

Although not actually penned by him, the Book of Keeping is heavily linked with the cult of Vecna, as the cultists have the only known copies that are free of the intentional errors introduced into the book by the fiends that wrote the volume as a trap for would-be summoners.

Dogma


Scriptures Being a secretive cult, there are no real collections of Vecnan teachings. However, copies of the Book of Vile Darkness are highly prized by the cult for Vecna's role in that work's development. The Open Grave book offers the "Scroll of Mauthereign", which offers a twisted version of Vecna's history and tells his followers that committing evil acts is a holy and righteous act.

Followers


Vecna's cult is very secretive, and cells have been uncovered, at various points in history, in Diamond Lake, Redmark, and Sarkosa. Temples to Vecna have also been reported in the scattered sites, the oldest and most important is the site of Tovag Baragu; located in the northern hills of the Barrens.

Hierarchy


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Each position in Vecna's cult is named for a certain body part. At the top is Vecna himself, followed by the Voice of Vecna, which can only be filled by Vecna's manifestation.

Next is the Heart of Vecna, the high priest of the cult. The last known Heart of Vecna was Malcinex of Sarkosa, who was slain centurions ago. Immediately below the Heart of Vecna are two creatures known as the Hand and the Eye. The Eye of Vecna creature appears as a slender humanoid with an eyeball for a head, whereas the Hand of Vecna appears as a stocky humanoid with a huge left hand where its head should be. Individual congregations are known as organs. Each organ is led by a Thought of Vecna. Lesser priests are known as Memories of Vecna.

Lay members of the cult consist of the Teeth, Fingers, Blood, and Spawn of Vecna. The Teeth of Vecna are made up of wizards, and specialize in arcane spellcasting and crafting magical items for the cult. The Fingers of Vecna consist mainly of thieves, who engage in various forms of subterfuge. The Blood of Vecna are mainly warriors charged with protection and enforcement of the cult and its goals. The Spawn of Vecna are the lowest in the cult hierarchy, and consist of the common people who honor the Lich Lord.

Other Vecna organizations


Other Vecnan organizations are known to exist outside of the mainstream cult, and some may have similar or identical names. Relations between these groups and the mainstream cult may vary. Known examples are the Eyes of Vecna (a cult of undeath consisting mainly of rogues), the Fingers of Vecna (Vecna's personal guard), and the Ebon Triad (a heretical cult seeking to merge Akhmahra, Karaash, and Nestor into a single super-deity).