Vecna is the evil god of the undead, necromancy, and secrets. He is called the Lord of Secrets, or the Maimed God. He rules that which is not meant to be known and that which people wish to keep secret. Evil spellcasters and conspirators pay him homage.
Vecna’s holy symbol is an eye in a severed left hand. Occasionally a porcelain mask, shattered above the left eye, is used to represent the Lord of Secrets.
There are no real collections of Vecnan teachings. However, copies of the Book of Vile Darkness are highly prized by his followers for Vecna’s role in that work’s development.
Vecna commands his followers to:
- Never reveal all you know.
- Find the seed of darkness in your heart and nourish it; find it in others and exploit it to your advantage.
- Oppose the followers of all other deities so that Vecna alone can rule the world.
The worship of Vecna, like that of most evil gods, is outlawed in both Deveneria and the Free Kingdoms. During the height of the Devenerian Empire’s power, the good churches of the empire were particularly vigilant in rooting out and destroying cults dedicated to the Maimed God. Secrecy is at the heart of everything for followers of Vecna, so hiding in the shadows fits their nature. Many clerics of the good pantheon, and those who serve the Raven Queen, worry that in the current age of uncertainty the cult of Vecna could be growing unobserved.
Little is known of Vecna’s true origins, as they have been lost and distorted over the centuries by the passage of time and the Maimed God’s own secretive nature. It is known that Vecna was born as a human, and learned magic in his early desire for power. Soon he was experimenting in dark and forbidden magics, including necromancy. Eventually he created a powerful ritual, which he used on himself, to sacrifice his mortal life and become the first lich.
One of the consistent elements of the various stories of Vecna’s origins are his betrayal by Kas, a vampire who was Vecna’s most trusted lieutenant. Vecna had created a powerful weapon, called the Sword of Kas, for his servant, and it is said that it contains a portion of his consciousness. That eventually led Kas to a great lust for power, and he attacked Vecna with the sword. Vecna’s hand and eye were severed, and are the only remnants of his original pyhsical form said to have survived the battle.
Over the centuries, Vecna suffered setbacks and defeats, yet always returned and managed to obtain more power. Eventually he became a demigod, and then a true deity. Today he is believed to wander the planes, with no known home, avoiding the watchful eyes of his many enemies and plotting for the day when he can eliminate them and seize the ultimate power he seeks.
Vecna has few allies and countless enemies. Vecna’s chief foes are Orcus, the demon Prince of Undeath, and the Raven Queen (though he would rather she rule the dead than Orcus). His hatred for Kas is legendary, and is said to still burn as brightly as it did on the day of his betrayal. Among the other gods, Ioun is Vecna’s antithesis, as she seeks to share with all the world the knowledge that he would keep secret.