The Rise of The Fallen
The Lord of Secrets
The Lord of Secrets, Lucius Vecna
God of Secrets, Darkness, Lies, Treachery, and Hidden Knowledge
Domains: Darkness, Knowledge, Strife, Trickery. Some priests choose the Undeath domain.
Symbol: If you think there’s a single symbolic representation of a god known for secrets and lies, you’re doing it wrong. Cults dedicated to Vecna don’t advertise their allegiance with a symbol that could be easily interpreted as belonging to this ambitious and treacherous deity. The most commonly recognized symbol for cultists of Vecna is a Faceless Mask, which stems from the use of these horrible magical devices on members of The Zargoni Conspiracy during The Hundred Years Chaos. Other symbols that have been associated with cults of Vecna over the years include left hands and eyes, a burning spiral, a one-eyed skull, an upside-down book, and other, even more cryptic signs. Weapons among his cultists tend towards the easily concealed, so daggers are preferred.
Lore: Lucius Vecna is one of the most active gods in the Pantheon, and the least trusted. It comes with the territory when one is the god of treachery, perhaps. Lucius Vecna became an Exarch of The Eternal Mentor during The Age of Empires. He was very effective at his duties, but was unsatisfied, as Tinel would not teach him the magic power he truly sought—the power to become a god in his own right. When The Patient One sought to woo him away from The Mentor, he promised he would teach Vecna what Tinel wouldn’t. Vecna agreed, jumping into The Patient One’s service for centuries before realizing that the “reformed” devil was never going to keep his word. When he realized this, he decided the time was ripe for a change.
No scholar can quite be sure how he managed it, but Vecna stole The Patient One’s place among The Nine Heroes. Some whisper that he killed The Patient One. Others claim The Patient One lives in agony as Vecna draw his life-force away piece by piece. Some claim that Vecna carved out The Patient One’s spark and left him an empty husk. However Vecna managed his theft, the other members of the Nine were not pleased with his ascension. While he was given a place at their table, his voice (and the voice of The Bloody One) was often ignored when the Nine met in council.
After The Grim Harvest forced the Gods to pull back almost exclusively from the Three Worlds, Vecna hatched a plan to usurp The White Lady’s place as ruler of the Nine. He hatched a complicated plot to destroy the empires of his rivals, hoping that the loss of their faithful would weaken the White Lady and the Eternal Mentor (and the other gods as well) to the point where they would have no choice but to accept him as their new ruler.
In short, he orchestrated The Hundred Years Chaos. He was the one who inspired the Shadar Kai to attempt to seize control of the River of Time. He raised The Army of Darkness in The Shadowed Hell and established The Zargoni Conspiracy in The Feywild. He led The Witch Lord to The Soulstone, which allowed the lich to gain an army of undead. He allied himself with The Bloody One to direct the monstrous humanoids of the world, then betrayed The Bloody One to The Great Beast to seal an alliance. The war he unleashed broke apart many of the old empires and nearly granted him his greatest desire.
But as he was a betrayer, so he was betrayed in turn. The Smiling One was his creation, crafted from some of the Shards of Jillian as part of a long-term plot that never came to fruition. The Smiling One revealed the depths of Vecna’s treachery to The Nine, who moved against him. Vecna was bound, and his left hand and left eye were struck from his body before he was cast down into The Shadowed Hell, which was then locked behind him. The Smiling One took his place among the Nine, and Vecna came to be numbered among The Seven.
Vecna plots his revenge, of course. His cults still worship him in dark places, and many have turned their attention to trying to free their god. Still, he’s lost much of the influence he once had, as he hasn’t had the millennia of practice his peers among The Seven have had in circumventing the locks on the Seven Hells. And as he was responsible for the disappearance of not one but two of the Seven, the others are not eager to assist him in any way. It’s claimed that his mummified hand and eye can be used to break the lock on his Hell, so his cultists search for these artifacts.
Holy Orders: The Cult of Vecna is divided into cells that work independently of each other and often work at cross-purposes. The Zargoni Conspiracy, the most infamous cabal of Vecna worshipers, had a series of tenets that generally sum up the philosophy of The Lord of Secrets:
- Knowledge is power. Accumulate and preserve knowledge in all its forms, and ruthlessly exploit what you know for the best benefit to yourself. Never reveal all that you know.
- There’s always another secret. Find the seed of darkness in your heart and nourish it; find the seed in others and exploit it to your advantage.
- Oppose the followers of all other deities so that Vecna alone can rule the universe.