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    Canonfire :: View topic - Vecna
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    Vecna
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    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:47 am  
    Vecna

    Given all the recent Vecna talk, I gotta ask for the crib notes version of his history. Powerful wizard (necromancer?) becomes lich, becomes demi-god, slain by Kas, his eye and hand become artifacts, he's resurrected/returns and is put down again centuries later by (?). I'm not talking about recent, Vecna Lives or Die Vecna Die type stuff, just anything predating the year 581 CY.

    Is any/all of that correct, and chronological? People are engaging in a rather vociferous debate about where exactly his realm lay in aincent times, but to me that's sufficiently gray that each individual DM can make that determination (in my homebrew I'd say modern-day Bissel in the north, Rushmoors in the south, to the Lortmils in the east and down the Vale of the Mage/western Dim Forest/northern Oyt Wood in the west, but that's just me).

    If anyone has even a crude timeline of the major events of Vecna's life (and unlife), I'd love to see it. Just looking for sequential info, general years he was active, and how he was ultimately laid low - without having to wade through eight reference books to get there.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Thu Mar 03, 2005 10:52 am  

    As far as I know, there are no canon dates for Vecna prior to Vecna Lives. I think the best that can be done is to put things in rough chronological order - which happened before what (and maybe where) - but even that gets dicely, as you note. I think the debate is fueled by the unknown and trying to figure things out. Its part of what puts the "fun" in Greyhawk. Happy

    If I can wander off-topic, some people say Greyhawk is different than say the Realms because Greyhawk is not as detailed. I think that misses the point. Greyhawk is detailed but in a different fashion. IMO, Greyhawk is written with broad brush strokes than purposely do not tie up all the loose ends. If Greyhawk is different than other settings, I think a lot of that is Greyhawk's celebration of loose ends. The only matters tied up nice and pretty are those things necessary to be so tied up, because of the story or adventure or what-have-you. Everything else is left a loose end. And that is where, IMO, the fun starts. Happy

    If Greyhawk ever tied up and tied down all its half-facts, loose ends and mere mentions, I think it would not be half so interesting a setting. I think Greyhawk appeals to fans who want to think for themselves. The level of detail is, to me, not the issue; it is how the details are presented.
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    GVD
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    Thu Mar 03, 2005 11:05 am  

    Have to agree with you completely GVD. Has'nt EGG himself said or wrote several times in the past that alot of Greyhawk was'nt fleshed on purpose so as give each DM a chance to tailor it to themselves. Add and subtract as they will. Several of the modules (1e) were like that as they left loose ends and various adventure hooks. Vecna is a prime example of this. His history and exploits are well known but yet still shadowed by myth and comjecture. Will we ever know the complete truth of Vecna, his empire, his past? I hope not. Greyhawk is a true world of mystery to me. And sometimes the mystery does'nt need to be solved Happy .


    Maraudar
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    Thu Mar 03, 2005 1:19 pm  

    GVDammerung wrote:
    I think the best that can be done is to put things in rough chronological order - which happened before what (and maybe where)


    YES! That's exactly what I'm asking for. Rough chronological order for important Vecna occurances - anybody got anything? Or should I just pick up Vecna Lives and take from there?
    CF Admin

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    Thu Mar 03, 2005 2:53 pm  

    The GreyChronodex covers what you are looking for.

    Just do the Edit>Find>Vecna>Next

    Steven B. Wilson's GreyChronodex, hosted right here on Canonfire!

    Also, be sure to read his introduction in regards to Vecna related products.
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    Thu Mar 03, 2005 3:08 pm  

    Thanks, Abyss. That verifies there were two separate and distinct periods of 'rule' by Vecna, the second much shorter than the first. This makes sense to me. Neither mentions how he was laid low. I believe conventional wisdom holds that Kas betrayed and slew him the first time - is this where his hand and eye were separated from the rest of him? I guess the 1E DMG might have the answer, if I had access to it... No idea what happened to him second time around.
    CF Admin

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    Thu Mar 03, 2005 3:19 pm  

    Don't forget the Demi-Plane of Dread (Ravenloft) consumed him somewhere in there, too.
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    Thu Mar 03, 2005 6:13 pm  
    Vecna

    I've been scouring the published sources for info on Vecna also for an article on Kas (and the vampires descended from him) that I'm working on... I've put in a good bit of detail about Vecna's final days... but the rest I've left purposely ambiguous.
    Master Greytalker

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    Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:20 pm  

    Well there's a not-so-crude timeline here on Canonfire! that deals with the Hand and Eye of Vecna after they were separated from him. Perhaps you could check that out?

    Wink
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    Fri Mar 04, 2005 11:43 am  

    Here's what the Loremaster could dig up from the vaults of the Great Library on Vecna, The Whispered One, his early history and his betrayal by his own lieutenant Kas the Terrible.

    Quote:
    Many tales are told of the arch-lich Vecna.

    It is said that Vecna was one of the Planes' mightiest sorcerers, able to draw life from dust and send it back again, extinguish lives with a glance, and make the earth shudder beneath his touch. He was said to be so powerful that when the end of his life drew near, death refused to take him into its kingdom.

    And so Vecna died, yet lived on.

    Abandoned by death, Vecna became the master of a vast kingdom on a prime world called Oerth. Neither kind nor just, Lord Vecna's rule was one of great horror and suffering, and it is said his reach was so great that even the Powers of Oerth feared to cross him for fearing of drawing his eye.

    Yet, while Vecna's gaze traveled ever outward in search of new conquests, he failed to see his own end when it came for him... in the form of his lieutenant, Kas.

    As was fitting for Vecna's left hand servant, the arch-lich had fashioned a terrible weapon for his lieutenant as a symbol of his authority. Vecna made this weapon with such skill it is said that part of the sorcerer entered the blade, and it was this sliver of Vecna that gave the blade its life and
    its treacherous nature. Where once there was lifeless steel, there became thought, intent, and, perhaps most horrible of all, a voice.

    The sword whispered treacheries to the ambitious Kas, night upon night, month upon month, year upon year, until one night, the remains of Kas' discipline was seduced by the rippling edge of the blade. Convinced by his blade that he was Vecna's superior, Kas confronted his dread master upon his Dessicated Throne, and the two of them fought a terrible battle.

    During the battle, Kas was killed, but before he fell, his blade had dismembered his former master, scattering his remains so that no one may draw them together again. And so it has come to pass that pieces of Vecna have made their way across the Planes... one of these is the Eye of Vecna. It carries with it a bloody, violent history, so much so that many scholars refuse to speak of its treacheries, for fear the eye will come to them, seeking to add another victim to its bloody chronology.

    [...]

    The Eye's powers are said to shift with each new owner, but one thing is certain: no good ever comes from whoever has the misfortune to possess it. It is destined to betray its wearer at a critical moment, failing him when he needs its power the most.
    from http://www.gamejag.com/planescape/multiverse/stuff/eyes.htm


    Here's some great short fiction on the betrayal itself:
    http://www.canonfire.com/cf/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=29

    For an excellent short rundown of Vecna's ancient history check out Erik Mona's treatise Ancient History: Vecna's Realm on canonfire. Another great canonfire article delineates the path of The Hand and Eye of Vecna throughout Oerthian History.


    There's a Greyhawk Grimoires article in Dragon #225 which includes details on one of Vecna's spellbooks: Vecna's Ineffable Variorum. It's available online here. It also contains some tidbits of history and two spellbooks of other Greyhawk luminaries: Iggwilv and Acerak

    While I don't own Vecna Reborn the Domains of Dread HC has some info on the twin domains of Cavitius and Tovag, which together form the cluster called the Burning Peaks.

    The Background of Kas the Destroyer as he's called while Darklord of Tovag [1] notes that:

    Domains of Dread wrote:

    In truth however Kas survived the melee; he was hurled through a dimensional gate and imprisoned in Vecna's Citadel Cavitius on the Quasielemental Plane of Ash.[2] For centuries, the defeated Kas languished in therein great despair. During his confinement the might kas changed. As the negative Energies of the Citadel took their toll on his body he gradually became a vampire. after centuries of imprisonment, Kas found himself suddenly freed when the lich was defeated in his plan to seize control of Oerth [this would be the events in Vecna Lives!]. Kas joy at being released from his eternal confinement was quickly snuffed out, however upon finding himself held fast by a shapeless border of Mists.

    So Kas is free to wander out of Vecna's Citadel only to be bound in the neighbouring domain, when Vecna's demigod avatar is sucked into Ravenloft.

    On how Vecna became a demigod after his defeat at the hands of Kas, and how he got trapped in Ravenloft and his later bid for power theBlackJaw has it almost right on this thread: (scroll down to the 7th post)
    http://p222.ezboard.com/fokayyourturnfrm3.showMessage?topicID=425.topic
    (ignore DeathKnight references, Kas is a vampire. Also Vecna was a lich long time before the betrayal.)


    Footnotes:
    [1] Tovag is domain in the Realm of Dread. Incidently Tovag Baragu is the name of the ancient artifact-monument (think Stonehenge, planar/temporal nexus/gate) on Oerth featuring in Vecna Lives and Die Vecna Die.

    [2] The Plane of Ash, resultant from the meeting of Fire and Negative Energy, has fewer inhabitants than Dust and is bad as Fire. In fact a traveler can't breath here and the cinders drain a body's warmth at every turn. This place is an endless sea of cinder and ash. The Doomguard maintain the Crumbling Citadel. A powerful lich Vecna inhabits a huge stronghold here and it's said that once-living prisoners of Vecna are transformed into horrible undead monsters because the proximity of the fortress to the Negative Energy Plane.


    Last edited by Thanael on Mon Mar 07, 2005 6:17 am; edited 1 time in total
    CF Admin

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    Fri Mar 04, 2005 12:18 pm  

    Thanael, when you go, you go all out! hehe
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    Sat Mar 05, 2005 11:15 am  

    Happy

    *bows*

    I wrote this summary sometime ago on the dicefreaks boards, so I just had to copy/paste it.

    This topics seems to crop up regularly i remember a nice discussion on the WotC boards about Vecna not so long ago. The boards on realmsofevil also have some very interesting Vecna threads...
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Sun Mar 06, 2005 6:44 pm  

    Thank you Thanael, This is very helpful. I also posted for more information on Vecna, but only received a few replies (Which were very helpful) but nothing as in depth as this. IMC Iím trying to bring in the sword of Kas, and as much information about Kas and Vecna I can get is great. Smile
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Mon Mar 07, 2005 9:14 am  

    Something else you might wanna pick up is "Vecna: Hand of the Revanant", a graphic novel set in the days of his first empire. I don't think it's widely accepted as canon, but it makes some very interesting tie-ins, and is very entertaining. Should be a lot easier to pick up than Vecna Lives. :-)
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    Wed Mar 05, 2008 1:57 pm  

    Hi there,
    I guess someone thought about it before... but don't the Eye and Hand of Vecna be ALL what remains after his destruction at the hands of Kas ?
    So after this statement, we can postulate that Vecna reach the state of demi-lich ( he was powerful enough to do so ) and therefore, following the rules regarding such a creature, the Hand and Eye are the only remnants of his body. And being even more powerful as a demi-lich, he then attained godhood.
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    Adept Greytalker

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    Thu Mar 06, 2008 4:06 am  

    There' nothing that indicates Vecna ever became a demilich. Being a lich he could have reformed from his phylactery after Kas' Betrayal.

    I'd count him among the Hero- or Quasigods of Greyhawk even prior to his real ascension.
    Adept Greytalker

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    Thu Mar 06, 2008 4:20 am  

    Thanael wrote:
    On how Vecna became a demigod after his defeat at the hands of Kas, and how he got trapped in Ravenloft and his later bid for power theBlackJaw has it almost right on this thread: (scroll down to the 7th post)
    http://p222.ezboard.com/fokayyourturnfrm3.showMessage?topicID=425.topic
    (ignore DeathKnight references, Kas is a vampire. Also Vecna was a lich long time before the betrayal.)


    Gee, I wish I had quoted that thread here. Alas the link is dead now.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Thu Mar 06, 2008 5:52 am  

    Yes I know it was never mentioned and that's why I used "postulate". Since in GreyHawk, we have much latitude as DM to take and do what suit us best.

    However, if Vecna reformed from his phylactery, why his relics bear any power ? Since either the reformation process used another corpse or he reformed from his previous parts, having relics means that his power is divided. Not a thing he would likely want.

    And I agree with you regarding his status before his ascencion. I even consider him almost of demi-god status.
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