Author Topic: Cult of Vecna - Roleplay Resources  (Read 15002 times)

DM Macabre

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Cult of Vecna - Roleplay Resources
« on: March 03, 2009, 11:56:53 AM »
The Cult of Vecna

Priests of Vecna are rare, primarily due to the stringent requirements needed to qualify. However, the priests have a large degree of freedom in their activities. Their most
important duty is to recover the Eye and the Hand of Vecna, so these can be returned to their god.
Beyond this, the priests are expected to collect and study strange magical items, destroy or weaken any threat to Vecna, and restore his empire for the day when he returns.
Yearly they must sacrifice large quantities of magical items to Vecna.

Requirements: must be dual-or multi-classed mage/priest
Domains: Evil, Knowledge, Magic
Alignment: LE, LN, NE
Favored Weapons: dagger, darts, mace, staff

Although the number of Vecna’s worshipers are few and their activities secret, the Cult of Vecna is a potentially powerful force. In Greyhawk the cult has been held in check by the more active spurned Cult of Iuz, but that group has suffered a series of setbacks, so that the cult of Vecna could spread.
Their aim is to constantly ready to increase their power, and that of their god, in a major way.

The cult is rigidly organized into a hierarchy of evil. Each cultist has a specific position and role, based upon his abilities and importance. Ostensibly, those of lesser position must defer in all matters to anyone of greater rank: the true matter is somewhat different, for the Cult of Vecna is very lawful evil in outlook. Thus all members seek to find some advantage over their superiors-while also keeping their underlings in line. Secrets and blackmail are commonplace within the cult. Each hierarchy of the cult is identified with a particular body part. Some positions are unique, either to a single priest, character, or monster. Some positions are open only to priests, while others are available to any character class.

The Voice of Vecna
This is the highest position within the cult's hierarchy, short of Vecna himself. There is only one who can claim to be the Voice, and that is Vecna’s chosen representative.

The Heart of Vecna
Her Most Enigmatic Excellency, the Sublime Mortal Mistress/Master of the Whispered One, the Heart of Vecna is the high priestess/priest of the cult. Through her or his, the commands of the Whispered One are transmitted to the faithful. The Heart always wears a blood-red robe with no decorations on it.

The Thought of Vecna
After the Heart comes the Thought of Vecna. The Thought of Vecna lead the Organ, the name for congregations of worshipers. dependent on region some also refer to themselves as Clutch instead of Organ. Since the cult is small, there is seldom more than one Organ to a city or area. The Thought will wear robes emblazoned with a pattern of lightning bolts, signifying the devastating power of thought. Within the Organ, there are several priests, but only one Thought. Traditionally, the highest level priest of the Organ is the Thought of Vecna. All lesser priests are subservient to him. The followers do not contest the Thought’s position, but, since they are evil, lesser priests have been known to blackmail their superiors, particularly with the threat of exposure. This is a dangerous business, since the Thought of Vecna may simply annihilate the challenger.
*The Great Thought" is an honorary role bestowed upon exceptional devotes of the cult.

The Arm of Vecna
The Arm is a unique and very influential position within the cult. This position serves as the commander and general of soldiers, guardians and spies. The Arm is responsible for organizing military missions and maintaining security of the temple. Covert operations such as assassinations and kidnapping also fall under the Arms responsibility which grants this position authority over the Memories, Teeth, Fingers, Bloods and the Spawn alike.

The Fang of Vecna
Honorific title bestowed upon vampiric members of the cult. Serves as an advisor to the Thought offering counsel and holds rank as the second in command within an Organ. Often reserved for accomplished servants and defenders of the Organ. Can serve as the leader of an Organ when an appropriate Thought is unavailable or not capable to lead.

The Memories of Vecna
The lesser priests of a given Organ are known as the Memories of Vecna, for it is through them that the day-to-day existence of the cult is assured. Thus they guarantee that his name will never be forgotten. The number of Memories under a Thought depends on the size and importance of that Organ. However, there is only one lesser priest of 5th level or greater in a given Organ. The Memories wear robes decorated with abstract designs.
Although Memories are, by the law of the cult, bound in obedience to the Thought, they are always looking for ways to advance their own power. Deceit, betrayal, blackmail, and assassination are all practices the priests use against one and another. To survive, successful priests use their powers to gather secrets, act as spies for their
higher-ups, and ruthlessly deal with their enemies.
While these activities would make priesthood in the cult seem murderously short, the lawful nature of the cult requires that an evil deeds be subtly done. Once such machinations are exposed, the perpetrator is at best disgraced and more often eliminated by a clerical tribunal. Indeed the threat of exposure to the clerical courts is used by superiors to keep the lesser priests in line.

The Teeth of Vecna
Of the lay members of the cult, none have higher status than the mages and specialist wizards. These followers are known as the Teeth of Vecna, for their fearsome bite - the magical spells they carry. Typically attaining higher levels in wizardry than the dualclass priesthood, the mages are still considered inleriors. They lack the total commitment of the Heart, Thoughts, and Memories. They are called upon to create any special devices and spells that might be needed by the cult.

The Fingers of Vecna
As the Master of Secrets, Vecna's second-most important group of laymen are thieves, known as the Fingers of Vecna. The thieves are responsible for carrying out many of the special missions of the cult. They are responsible for gathering many of the secrets the cult uses. When on a mission for the cult, the thieves dye their fingers red, so their victim will know who sent them.

The Blood of Vecna
The third group of laymen are the fighters. These characters are the Blood of Vecna. Most are highly dedicated to the cause of the cult, ready to die of it if they must. Their deaths, they are assured, will hasten the coming of Vecna. When that day comes, the faithful of his cult will be rewarded with dominion over all the non-believers. Like the Fingers, the Blood of Vecna mark themselves when on missions for the cult. In their case, they smear red dye over their faces, a symbol of their willingness to die for the cult.

The Spawn of Vecna
The least of the cultists are the common folk, those evil and corrupt citizens and peasants who have joined in hopes of sharing in the coming glory. Although lacking in special abilities, the adulation of these people is necessary for Vecna to gain power. Viewed as his helpless children, these common folk must be protected from all harm -  unless Vecna orders otherwise. In many ways they are isolated and protected from the evil practices of the priesthood, since there is no greater crime than attacking even the smallest portion of Lord Vecna’s power.

Edit: Added "The Arm of Vecna" source is the module; per Vecna Reborn and Die, Vecna Die. DM Stygian Witch

Edit: Added "The Fang of Vecna" this position was created through player initiative and story progression. DM Stygian Witch

Edit: Added the honorary title, "The Great Thought" per Die, Vecna Die p157. DM Stygian Witch
« Last Edit: May 07, 2019, 08:45:21 AM by DM Stygian Witch »

DM Macabre

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Re: Cult of Vecna - Roleplay Resources
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2009, 08:15:19 AM »

Vecna is the demigod of secrets and magic. He is one of the most infamous and feared creatures in existence. Born centuries ago on the distant world of Oerth, he was a student of the darkest arts and practitioner of the most vile forms of magic. In time, he became master of a great empire based on fear and horror. Exactly where this nation was located on Oerth or where the dark tower from which it was ruled stood, however, is a much debated topic among the sages on that world.
The evil of Vecna was said to have been limitless. In fact, legends claim that he actually bred whole villages of people just to supply bodies for his experiments. Other stories say that his power stripped whole sections of Oerth of all life, creating regions like the deadly Bright Desert. Whether or not these tales are true, it cannot be doubted that Vecna's dark and sinister armies spread death and destruction across whole continents.
When Vecna grew old, he used his magical powers to ward off the final coming of death. In time, however, even his great talents were unable to stay the hand of finality. Exactly what process he used is unknown, but somehow the darkest of mortals transformed himself into the deadliest of liches.
As Vecna continued to amass power and spread evil, a powerful warrior named Kas rose to become his chief lieutenant. Known as Kas the Bloody-Handed, he pronounced Vecna's judgments and exercised power second only to the lien himself. To reward his lieutenant for this devotion and service, Vecna forged the powerful Sword of Kas. With this weapon in hand, none could stand against the evil warrior.
For a time, the darkness that shrouded Oerth grew even more terrible under the might of these two sinister beings. In time, however, Kas was tempted by the power of his great weapon, and he turned on his master. After a great battle that decimated the dark tower of Vecna, both combatants were destroyed. All that remained were the Sword of Kas and the Hand and Eye of Vecna.

As a creature of absolute darkness, Vecna became revered by those who would do evil. Over time, the worship and prayers of these people empowered the lingering remains of his spirit, and Vecna became a demigod. Even godhood, however, was not enough to satisfy the cravings of the Whispered One. Working through his avatar, Vecna sought to regain his empire and, using the power that would thus be his, elevate himself to the status of greater god.

He thought nothing could hold him back at the time; after all, what force would dare to challenge the great and immortal Vecna? Of course, Vecna did not realize the strength of the Dark Powers and the tenacity of the Mists. When they claimed his fortress, Citadel Cavitius, he found himself pulled along with it and thus became a prisoner of the mists.

Vecna is wild with fury. He does not only send his cultists to find his hand and eye, the very most aim, but also to find out secrets of the dread realms themselves. Anything they can find out about the realm, the dark powers or the mists, anything that could free Vecna is useful to him. Thus followers of Vecna seek to acquire a great amount of forbidden lore.

Vecna, like any demigod, is able to grant his priests spells of up to 5th level. He does this as a reward for faithful prayer and devotion to his unholy cause. This ability is not limited by the confines of the Demiplane, so Vecna's priests on Oerth receive their spells just as if their god were not a prisoner of the Mists.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2009, 08:23:07 AM by DM Macabre »