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Vecna, also known as the Whispered One, the Undying King, and the Lord of the Rotted Tower, was a powerful, mortal-born archlich who achieved godhood.
The plot of Chapter 3 was based around the Briarwoods' attempt to complete a ritual for Vecna in the Ziggurat beneath Whitestone. For a while, it seemed that Vox Machina managed to stop this ritual in time.
However, in Chapter 8, Delilah Briarwood returned with a cult known as the Remnants, who worshipped Vecna and sought to resurrect him. Delilah made a second, more successful attempt at her ritual for Vecna, and it became apparent that her first was more successful than it had seemed.
Vecna was resurrected and ascended to godhood through a ritual of seeding in "Race to the Tower" (1x102). He was the most powerful enemy Vox Machina ever faced, but Keyleth successfully banished him from the Prime Material Plane in "Vecna, the Ascended" (1x114).
Appearance EditVecna appeared as a gaunt husk of a man with weathered skin pulled taught against his skeletal frame. He wore tattered velvet robes with gold trim and adorned himself with lavish gems, baubles and other jewelry. Vecna's smile was unnerving to say the least, stretched wide and full of rotted, yellow teeth. His right eye was a pale blue and appeared normal (for an undead corpse), while his left was just an empty socket constantly streaming sickly green magical energy upwards.
Vecna was arrogant, egotistical, and ambitious. From the beginning of his attempted ascension he maintained a confident and condescending veneer, believing he had already won. Vecna treated those beneath him as insignificant mortals or pests too unimportant to worry about. Despite this, he proved he could be cold, calculating and ruthless when it suited him, able to manipulate people's greatest fears to his own benefit and enjoy it. He sought to "play with the toys" left by other gods beyond the Divine Gate and reshape the world, his Exandria, to his liking.
Upon cheating death, Vecna began searching for ways to turn himself into a god, but his ritual was thwarted and he himself was slain six hundred years before the time of Vox Machina. Vecna was later considered a lesser deity or "patron saint" of dark, coveted secrets, and this belief and worship lent him new power.
"Echoes of the Past" (1x38) Edit
When Vox Machina interrogated Riskel Daxio after disrupting the Briarwoods' ritual, Riskel revealed that he would be reborn, that he is the blood of Vecna, and that other parts of Vecna are "everywhere". Although he did not know the purpose of the Sphere of Annihilation beneath Whitestone, Riskel explained that his deal with Vecna would provide him "power through not knowing", and the fact that Vecna kept his followers in the dark meant that he trusted them.
Riskel also explained that the Briarwoods' ritual was part of the same effort that had been attempted before, implying that this was another attempt to turn Vecna into a god. Since Riskel wasn't present for the Briarwoods' attempt, he wasn't sure if it was successful or not.
While searching the former house of General Krieg, Vox Machina kept a cautious eye out for any references to Vecna. Pike took the time to look for religious iconography that might be related to Vecna, and when they found a series of busts depicting J'mon Sa Ord, Vex suspected they might be related to the "god of secrets" since Riskel Daxio was planning to flee to Ank'Harel. Suspicions were further aroused when they found a humanoid skull with a gem in one of the sockets, but their worries subsided slightly when it was seen that the gem was in the right eye socket.
"Return to Vasselheim" (1x43) Edit
Vex, still on the look out for signs after the Chroma Conclave attacked, asked Osysa if she knew anything about Vecna. Osysa reacted violently at the mention of his name, stating that he was one of the few forces capable of limiting her sight. After Percy told her of the attempted ritual beneath Whitestone she scried to the location and revealed that the Ziggurats were originally built as temples for Ioun, but were taken and corrupted by Vecna and his followers.
"Unfinished Business" (1x100) EditAfter receiving information from Scanlan and Lionel of a second Ziggurat within the Smouldercrown mountain range, in the deserts of Marquet, Vox Machina set out to investigate and defeat the cult that had taken residence there.
Upon reaching the heart of the Ziggurat, where the pyramid's Orb of Annihilation was located, Vox Machina found the cult and its leader...who turned out to be the supposedly deceased Lady Delilah Briarwood. After a fierce battle with the aid of her cultists, Delilah retreated by traveling through the Orb to the Shadowfell beyond.
Pike cast "Speak with Dead" on one of the deceased cultists. The cultist revealed that one can only pass safely through the Orb using specially crafted stones, one of which Delilah carried. The cultist revealed that his group was one of the Remnants, who serve "the Undying King": Vecna. When asked how Delilah was able to return, the cultist simply replied, "I know not the means, but she is a powerful necromancer." Vox Machina speculated that she was able to avert her death with some kind of preventative spell that she had prepared before the fight in Whitestone. As the spell faded, the party was left to contemplate the cultist's last words: "His return is nigh. The Whispered One will come."
"Race to the Tower" (1x102) Edit
"The Fear of Isolation" (1x105) Edit
Vecna makes a brief, non-corporeal appearance in this episode where he launches a surprise attack on Sprigg's house, wounding the Gnome. It is implied that Vecna has some connection to Sprigg, but that connection (as of now) remains unknown.
"The Endless Atheneeum" (1x106) Edit
"The Ominous March" (1x109) Edit
"Dark Dealings" (1x112) Edit
"Vecna, the Ascended" (1x114) EditVecna, using his undead Earth Titan thrall, laid siege to Vasselheim. As the Dawn City fought to defend itself, Vecna battled with Vox Machina atop the Tower of Entropis. Vecna used his magic to shatter the tower and levitate the remains, forcing Vox Machina to fight among the floating "islands".
After a fierce battle, Vecna was weakened enough that three wounds appeared on his body: one in his shoulder, one in his chest, and one on the side of his head. Though the Raven Queen's trammel shattered upon attempting to thrust it into the lich-god, Grog succeeded in fusing the remaining two trammels into Vecna. Keyleth then read the ritual from the Tome of Isolation, and Vecna's divine form was forced out of the Prime Material Plane to a plane beyond the Divine Gate: permanently sealed away.
Commandments of the Whispered One Edit
Known Followers Edit
Character Information Edit
- The Hand of Vecna granted Vecna many benefits while he was attuned to it. These included:
- Strength score increased to 20 (unless it was already higher than 20)
- Melee spell attacks cast with and melee weapon attacks made using the Hand of Vecna deal an extra 2d8 cold damage.
- The Hand had a number of charges (exact number unknown) that enabled Vecna to cast spells with it. These included:
- Finger of Death
Wizard Spells Edit
As a deity, Vecna had the ability to cast high level spells more often than any mortal wizard could hope to achieve. Notably, he had three 9th-level spell slots, whereas the maximum for player characters is one.
- Fire Bolt
Notable Items Edit
- "I can help you." (Vecna's first words to Delilah Briarwood)
- "I can give you the secret to bring your love back to life...but then you owe me. You're mine." (Vecna offering the Rites of Vampirism in exchange for the service of the Briarwoods)
- "Don't worry: if you love her that much, I'll send her to you." (to Pike)
- "No... No! Too long... TOO LONG!!" (final words before being banished)
- Because Vecna is a licensed character, he is never mentioned in the Tal'Dorei campaign guide by name (along with all the deities). Instead, he is referred to exclusively by his most popular title, "The Whispered One".
- Vecna was added to the list of "Betrayer Gods" in the Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, effectively giving him a "promotion." (This makes sense in-universe in light of the events of Campaign 1.)
- This is also not unprecedented, as Vecna was one of the 20 original core deities of the Dawn War Pantheon.
- The Ritual of Isolation did not kill or destroy Vecna, but rather it forced his divine form to another plane on the opposite side of the Divine Gate. It is unknown which of the Outer Planes that Vecna was banished to, but it is assumed to have been one of the planes of the Betrayer Gods. Based on Vecna's alignment (Neutral Evil), it was likely Carceri, The Gray Waste, or Gehenna. In any case, he has not yet established a home plane, "instead wandering in search of powerful artifacts and secrets to further his unknowable ends."
- The miniature used for Vecna on the battle map was a conversion of the Warhammer End Times model for the Great Necromancer Nagash, a curious fact considering the various similarities between the two characters, both being powerful necromancers that achieved lichdom and godhood
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 27.
- ↑ See "Echoes of the Past" (1x38) at 0:49:24.
- ↑ See "Denouement" (1x35), part 1, at 0:36:55.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Matthew Mercer stated that Vecna is beyond the boundaries of a "typical level 20 wizard". (source)
- ↑ See "What Lies Beneath the Surface" (1x81).
- ↑ See "Vecna, the Ascended" (1x114) at 26:20. Matt states that Vecna's spell save DC is 26
- ↑ See "Vecna, the Ascended" (1x114) at 3:13:13.
- ↑ See "Vecna, the Ascended" (1x114) at 5:27:30.
- ↑ See "Denouement" (1x35), part 1, at 0:55:18.
- ↑ See "Echoes of the Past" (1x38) from 0:16:50 through 0:19:55.
- ↑ See "Echoes of the Past" (1x38) from 0:22:15 through 0:27:31.
- ↑ See "Echoes of the Past" (1x38) at 0:25:55.
- ↑ See "Echoes of the Past" (1x38) at 02:22:58.
- ↑ See "Echoes of the Past" (1x38) at 02:25:30.
- ↑ See "Echoes of the Past" (1x38) at 02:28:46.
- ↑ See "Return to Vasselheim" (1x43) from 33:20 through 36:35.
- ↑ See "The Endless Atheneeum" (1x106) at 2:24:55.
- ↑ It is unclear if Delilah and Sylas Briarwood genuinely worshipped Vecna, or if they were simply bound to his service to pay the debt Delilah mentioned. See "Denouement" (1x35), part 1, from 0:49:40 through 0:51:30.
- ↑ See "A Musician's Nostalgia" (1x37) at 4:14:20.
- ↑ See "Echoes of the Past" (1x38) from 16:50 through 19:55.
- ↑ See "Reunions" (1x33), part 1, at 02:01:45.
- ↑ See "Vecna, the Ascended" (1x114) at 3:22:58.
- ↑ See "Race to the Tower" (1x102) at 3:52:14. Vecna casts Fire Bolt.
- ↑ See "Race to the Tower" (1x102) at 3:50:38.
- ↑ See "Vecna, the Ascended" (1x114) at 59:12. Vecna casts Dispel Magic.
- ↑ See "Race to the Tower" (1x102) at 3:12:22. Vecna casts Fireball.
- ↑ See "Vecna, the Ascended" (1x114) at 4:31:11. Vecna casts Banishment.
- ↑ See "Vecna, the Ascended" (1x114) at 4:38:07. Vecna casts Polymorph.
- ↑ See "Vecna, the Ascended" (1x114) at 5:12:08. Vecna casts Dominate Person.
- ↑ See "Race to the Tower" (1x102) at 2:41:27. Vecna casts Hold Monster at a higher level.
- ↑ Matthew Mercer clarified that the spell used at the start of the fight in "Race to the Tower" (1x102) was the equivalent of a Hold Monster spell. (source)
- ↑ See "Vecna, the Ascended" (1x114) at 3:17:41. Vecna casts Telekinesis.
- ↑ See "Vecna, the Ascended" (1x114) at 3:55:10. Vecna casts Circle of Death.
- ↑ See "Race to the Tower" (1x102) at 3:33:18. Vecna casts Disintegrate.
- ↑ See "Race to the Tower" (1x102) at 3:55:07.
- ↑ See "Vecna, the Ascended" (1x114) at 2:30:17. Vecna casts Forcecage.
- ↑ See "Vecna, the Ascended" (1x114) at 1:22:58. Vecna casts Feeblemind.
- ↑ See "Vecna, the Ascended" (1x114) at 39:17. Vecna banishes Grog to a labyrinth, consistent with Maze.
- ↑ See "Vecna, the Ascended" (1x114) at 23:22. Vecna casts Meteor Swarm.
- ↑ See "Race to the Tower" (1x102) at 3:15:22. Vecna casts Power Word Kill.
- ↑ See "The Final Ascent" (1x113) at 4:47:08. Gilmore describes the spell Gate.
- ↑ See "Race to the Tower" (1x102) at 3:15:00.
- ↑ See "Race to the Tower" (1x102) at 4:12:16.
- ↑ See "Vecna, the Ascended" (1x114) at 5:27:30.
- ↑ See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 29.
- ↑ The Eye of Vecna (source).
- ↑ Fan art of Vecna, by Stephen Oakley (source). Used with permission.
- ↑ Fan art of Vecna, by Callum Lyall (source). Used with permission.
- ↑ Fan art of Vecna, by DJ Crumrine (source). Used with permission.
- ↑ Fan art of Vecna's Banishment, by Elaine Tipping (source). Used with permission.