- The Return and Rise of Vecna
With the introduction of Stranger Things to another Dungeons & Dragons– related character, everyone can talk about Vecna. The show’s depiction of the deity creates a Freddy Krueger-like being who invades the minds of those who have suffered great trauma and sacrifices them for his own selfish ends. As frightening as this entity is, it is not the real Vena.
While torturing others through their dreams is definitely something he would do if he could, D&D’s Vecna is very different from his Netflix counterpart. While both are jaded narcissists who have great delusions of grandeur, Vecna’s original story is far more complicated than a boy born with supernatural powers.
Vecna was not born as an all-powerful evil god of secrets and death. No, he was born as a normal human in the city of Fleeth, a small town located on the eastern continent of Oerik. A young Vecna is known to have trained under the tutelage of his mother in the arts of magic, a subject feared by many within the walls of Fleeth. As such, upon discovery, Vecna’s mother was executed for her practice of “witchcraft”.
Angry and scared, Vecna flees, swearing revenge on the city that took his mother away from him. Here is where there is a bit of confusion as to what Vecna did next. There is a theory that he trained under Mok’slyk the Serpent, an entity believed to be the very personification of magic, due to Vecna’s supposed relationship with the Elder Brothers – a group including Mok’slyk is part. Other sources state that he was afraid of his own mortality and sought out the Demon Lord Orcus to learn the secrets of undeath. Regardless of his ways, Vecna returned 1,000 years later for revenge.
Vecna The Ark Lich
Vecna would return to Fleeth in the form of a lich, bringing with him a terrible army of the undead and ransacking the city. It was said that the newly created Lich was nearly killed as a group of priests cast a powerful spell that badly damaged his left side. It was only through the intervention of the demi-demon Acererak that Vecna survived this attack. However, it wasn’t the kindness in Acererak’s heart that drove him to save the Lich.
In reality, the half-demon had staged the attack, hoping that by saving his master, Acererak would gain favor and come one step closer to obtaining Vecna’s secrets. Upon learning of Acererak’s deception, Vecna became paranoid. He jealously guarded his secrets, refusing to let anyone in on his knowledge. It was this greed for secrecy, along with his ever-increasing power, that led many to believe that Vecna was some kind of god.
These fanatics served as the basis for the Occluded Empire. All over Oerith, sects of this new cult have sprung up, extending the reach of Vecna’s influence with minimal effort from the lich itself. Over time, Vecna extended its control to the northwest, conquering a substantial portion near the Azure Sea. At the rate he was going, he would take full control of Oerith. It would have been if he hadn’t been betrayed.
It was Vecna’s most trusted lieutenant who did the deed. A vampire by the name of Kas the Bloody-Handed. It’s unknown why he did this, but many believe it was his sword, a weapon made by Vecna himself, that seduced Kas with the idea of usurping the power of the lich for his own. . Whatever the reason, the only thing left of Vecna after the battle was her left arm and eye, her latent magic transforming the two into magical objects of tremendous power.
The Return and Rise of Vecna
Like any good lich, Vecna didn’t stay “dead” for long. He continued as a spirit, extending his influence and corrupting those who were weak willed. It took several centuries, but Vecna managed to amass enough followers to achieve demigod status of magic and secrets. Despite his new status, Vecna was unhappy. He wanted more power than he had. He yearned for the power of a true deity.
The newly created demigod made several attempts to access true godhood, with one attempt resulting in Vecna being banished to a demiplane. However, that was not the end of Vecna’s machinations. Even in the realm of Cavitius, the demigod has plotted and plotted, formulating what may be his greatest plan.
Over the centuries, Vecna began to siphon the essence of another demigod named Iuz, rising to the level of a greater god. Now a true deity, Vecna has set her sights on Sigil, the heart of the multiverse. With her newfound power, Vecna became the first deity to break through Sigil’s defenses, an action that caused great disruption within the multiverse.
Foiled once again
Vecna was at its peak. He had unchallenged control over Sigil, a feat no other had accomplished, and the literal multiverse at his fingertips. He was in a position where he could rewrite or even destroy the world, and all worlds, at any time. At this point in its history, Vecna was the greatest threat, and like any great threat in the universe Gary Gygax built, it was up to a ragtag group of adventurers to deal with.
With the help of Lady Pain, patroness and protector of Sigil, a party of adventurers entered Sigil and confronted Vecna. Despite his power, the Divine Lich was defeated by their hands, with Iuz’s essence stripped from him as he fled. He barely managed to retain enough power to remain a lesser deity. To this day, Vecna continues to wander the realms, planning her next plan to regain her lost power.
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