The Eye of Vecna
Description:It appears to be nothing more than a small withered pebble or clot. It radiates a powerful aura of magic, if it is checked for. No indication of the type of magic can be discerned. The Eye's powers can be learned only by trial and error, although it will reverse its capabilities once it has successfully dominated its owner. The Eye is thoroughly and irredeemably evil, but it does not radiate evil if this is checked.
The Eye and Hand of Vecna can be used only after it is set in the empty eye socket of a humanoid creature. Once this happens, the Eye can be commanded to function. The powers must be learned by guesswork or research if the person hopes to use these. At the same time, the Eye begins to exert its influence over its owner. Once placed, the Eye cannot be removed by magical means.
The great danger of the Eye is that it will eventually dominate its owner, first forcing its victim to obey the Eye's will and finally convincing the person that he is Vecna.
The Eye has many powers, fragments of the abilities once possessed by Vecna . These are listed below. Those powers under "Constant Abilities" are revealed as soon as any situation arises where they would have an effect. The character does not have to command these to function. The other powers must be discovered by invoking the ability.
Clairvoyance - at will
Eyebite - 3 times per day (6r, absolute charm favored)
Glasse - 3 times per day (20r 6'' stone)
Domination - once per day (-2 on save)
Stoneskin - once per day (10+d4 24h)
The Hand of Vecna
Description:This artifact was once the left hand of the powerful arch-lich, Vecna. Like the Eye, it is hardly imposing or fearsome in appearance. It resembles nothing so more than a black, withered hand, mummified and claw-like. It radiates powerful, unidentifiable magic. There is no indication of good or evil -- although it is thoroughly evil.
To be used, the Hand must be placed on the stump of the left arm. It instantly grafts into place and thereafter cannot be removed by any magical means short (including wish spells). Even the gods are loathe to interfere with the impious magic of Vecna. Once attached, the Hand functions normally, although it always remains black and withered. As with the Eye, the powers of the Hand must be discovered through trial and error. Each use runs the risk of domination. If this happens, the Hand reveals its true powers (but it is now in control of the character).
The Hand of Vecna is even more powerful than the Eye. Only a few of its powers are constant. The majority are activated by simple gestures; no verbal or material components are needed. Thus, all uses of the Hand have no modifier to the initiative.
Under "Invoked Abilities," the Hand gesture needed is listed with each power. These occur whenever the motion is made, regardless of intention or ignorance; likewise, use of these abilities is prevented by bodily paralysis.
Immunity to magic missiles
19 STR in left hand
Withering touch - causes 2d6 damage to plants and plant-based creatures.
Light, at will - point index finger
Hypnotic pattern, 3 times a day - point two fingers (30' cube)
Color spray, 5 times a day - point 3 fingers
Cone of cold, 3 times a day - point 4 fingers (20d4+20)
Disintegrate 1 time, a day - point 5 fingers
Cause light wounds, at will - touch with 1 finger
Cause serious wounds, 5 times a day - touch with 2 fingers
Remove fear, at will - touch with 3 fingers
Animate dead (one corpse), 3 times a day - touch with 4 fingers
Instant death, no saving throw, 3 times a day - touch with entire hand
Extinguish all fires, normal and magical, at will - make fist
Time stop, 1 time a day - palm out (d3r)
Teleport without error - snap fingers
Monster summoning IV, 3 times day - wiggle fingers
Animate object, 3 times day - wave hand (20r 20 cuibic ')
The Resonating Powers
Description: One great secret of the Eye and the Hand is the existance of additional powers when the two artifacts are brought together. So little is known of this because it has almost never happened, no more than twice in the history of Grund. Of those two instances, few records remain.
When the same individual has both the Eye and the Hand in place, the following powers are gained:
Protection from Good
80% magic resistance
ESP, at will
Control temperature, 10' radius (make cold only), 3 times a day
Using either the Eye or the Hand is not without great risk. The fierce energy that powers the artifacts is strong enough to force the possessor to act against his or her own will. The artifact first dominates the character and eventually imposes its personality completely over that of its owner.
Each time one of the invoked powers of either artifact is used, the individual must roll a successful saving throw vs. spells (with a -2 penalty, -6 if both artifacts are possessed) to resist domination. Even elves and half-elves are subject to this attack - their normal abilities to resist charms do them no good in this case.
If the domination is successful, the artifact assumes control of the individual. The artifacts are evil and do all they can to further the cause of evil and self-aggrandizement, especially at the expense of others. While in command, the artifact has full knowledge and control over all the character's normal abilities. It, of
course, has complete control over its own powers.
The artifacts have the following goals:
· Acquire more magical power - the Eye and Hand lust after magical spells and devices, even if they are useless to the individual. The rights of prior owners are not important.
· Acquire temporal power - a dominated individual will seek to establish his own empire. This will probably start small, but no deed is too heinous to reach this goal.
· Revenge on Kas - if anything of Kas (Vecna's former lieutenant) is known to exist, the artifacts seek to find and destroy it. This includes any and all descendents of Kas, and the sword of Kas, naturally.
· Return of Vecna - the artifacts know Vecna lives (in some fashion) and can be returned. They force the owner to begin gathering the materials and spells needed to bring Vecna back to Grund.
· Destruction of good - if nothing else, the artifacts attempt to cause whatever harm possible, preferably wherever the blow to faith and friendship will be most keenly felt.
Within these guidelines, the dominated character works as subtly as possible. It is even possible for the character to be unaware of the domination (i.e. the artifacts may not even assert their control immediately.) The domination lasts until the individual can successfully break it, as per guidelines of the spell.
Each time a person breaks free from the domination, he is weakened by the effort. His Wisdom decreases by 2 points upon overcoming the domination effect. This loss cannot be restored by any means short of divine intervention, and, as with all things associated with Vecna, even the gods are loathe to interfere. Once a character's Wisdom is reduced to 3 , the artifact exerts complete control over him; escape is no longer possible. Although the mind of the character is reduced to that of pap, the artifact endows its victim with a Wisdom of 15.
Along with the Wisdom comes a change in the character's personality. The victim's habits, attitudes, even mannerisms change to approximate those of the ancient arch-lich, Vecna. The dominated person engages in intense scholarly research, avoids sunlight (although this has no adverse effect), devises and sets into motion the most arcane cruelties in the name of magical science, and actively seeks out and destroys any potential threat or competition to his own power. The person denies he is anyone other
than Vecna, although the artifacts continue in their efforts to restore their true master.
The Sword of Kas
Description:The sword is a huge weapon, fashioned along the lines of a two-handed sword. The blade is six feet long, while the hilt adds another two feet to the overall length. Any normal sword made to such proportions would be virtually unmanageable by a human. (The magical endowments of the Sword of Kas allow it to be handled by any warrior with grace and ease, albeit with two hands, as per a magic two-handed sword.)
The blade itself is in the flame or water style, the edge of its blade ripples with iridescent undulations. A vein of magically hardened gold forms the center spine. The hilt is wrapped in red leather, flecked with gold. The guards are fashioned from polished pieces of unicorn horn. The pommel is a leering, bearded face, designed so it forms a small basket at the bottom of the hilt.
Much like a standard intelligent sword, this weapon communicates telepathically with its owner. Aside from a committed desire to destroy Vecna and his artifacts, the Sword of Kas displays no personality.
The Sword of Kas was fashioned during the height of Vecna's power in unlife. Seeing that his empire was growing too vast, Lord Vecna chose one of his faithful, Kas, to serve as his right hand. To mark the symbol of Kas' office, the Whispered One fashioned a sword and filled it with power.
Eventually, Kas grew tired of his role as an underling. His pride and power grew until he believed he could rule in Lord Vecna's place. Urged on by his sword (as a thing of Vecna's, it held a small part of his ambitions), Kas led an assault on the Spidered Throne. Only then did Kas discover that Vecna had built safeguards into the powerful weapon. Designed by his own hand, the sword was powerless against Vecna, its maker.
Although Kas was able to destroy Vecna's body in the battle, the warrior was also annihilated. The warrior confronted Vecna at the top his tower, while the Arch-Lich was conducting a Power Ritual. Thus, while he could not use the sword to slay Vecna, he was able to grieviously injure him with his other weapons, and thus disrupt Vecna's concentration, leading to a disuption of the Power Ritual and a massive explosion. A one mile-radius area of Gos was devestated. Of the original tower, only the Sword of Kas and the Eye and Hand remained. However, in death, Kas imparted his rage and hatred of Vecna to the sword - his contribution to the artifact's personality.
Vecna used this opportunity to form a new body at his phlactery, and instill among the people of the Cortalish Empire that he was indeed alive, and a god. After four decades of increasing worship, he ascended to demigod status, but remained in Arik and again became Emperor of the Cortalish Empire. His sponsor was Bane, though the relationship bvetween the two was always a wary and suspicious one. Vecna used magic means to locate the dust of Kas' body, and had him resurrected and placed in his extraplanar prison, Citadel Cavitius. He had two reasons for this; first he did not want someone else ever resurrecting Kas, and second, he wished his treacherous lieutenant to live an eternity in his extra-planar hell. Vecna located the buried Sword he had fashioned, but decided he could never trust another lieutenant with such
an item, and so decided to hide it forever. To destroy it would take too much effort. In his never ending search for his Hand and Eye (which were magically hidden from him, some speculate by his nominal master, Bane, though he always came very close to it) he Imprisoned it beneath in the village of Osnabrolt -- yet over the years, the artifact, driven by Vecna's own ambition and fueled by the thirst for revenge, broke the enchantment. When the Intrepid Paragon entered the abandoned Great Hall of Osnabrolt, the Sword acted, breaking at last the confines of the earth. It fell into the possession of Khoresh, and swiftly began altering his personality to match its own.
The Sword of Kas can be used by any of the warrior class. So powerful are the enchantments on it, however, that when first touched it causes 2d20 points of damage. Thereafter the sword can be handled normally by that individual. Although evil, the Sword of Kas makes no distinction according to alignment - all warriors who handle it are eventually changed from one degree to another.
If the character is not killed by initial contact with the sword, he remains its sole possessor until he is slain or freely gives it over to another person. The Sword of Kas is not a fickle weapon, as it functions for anyone who holds it. However, individuals are not likely to give it away, since one of the detriments of the weapon is that it makes its owner possessive, forcing the same loyalty that it gives.
The other major problem with the sword is its hatred of Vecna. Normally this animosity lies dormant until the owner becomes aroused against Vecna in some way. That emotion triggers a reaction in the sword. Slowly it begins to feed the hatred with secret suggestions and urgings. Using it powers, the sword attempts to lead the characters to Vecna (or his artifacts) so the Whispered One's final destruction can be wrought.
Unfortunately for its possessor, the Sword of Kas cannot use its powers against Vecna or his artifacts. The sword has no knowledge of its own limitations.
The Sword of Kas has both constant and invoked powers. Both sets of powers are in effect only while the sword is gripped. The sword never reveals the existence of the constant abilities. With the exception of the Defender power (which must be discovered by trial and error). , the constant abilities automatically come into effect whenever the situation arises. Of the invoked abilities, those powers marked with an asterix (*) are revealed to the sword's owner as soon as he holds the sword. Those powers not
marked must either be learned by trial and error or are called upon when the sword
Double damage to outer plane creatures while on the Prime
Immune to fear
immune to magic missiles
immune to charm and hold
pollutes holy water within 30' radius
doubles all experience for wielder, as long as satiated each day
Shield 3 times per day (1 hour)
Fire Giant Strength (+4 bonus to THAC0, +10 to damage), lasts one turn, 3 times per day.
Paralyze on contact (-4 on save) 3 times per day (3d4r)
Plane shift, once per day (up to 8 people linked together)
As noted above, the Sword of Kas has several limitations on its powers. It temporarily loses all powers when within 60 feet of Vecna or his two artifacts. Nor do its powers function to protect against attacks from Vecna at any range. The wielder is not immune to Vecna's magic missiles, the sword does not provide its Defender abilities against his attacks, etc.
The sword also seeks to control the owner, forcing the person to seek out and destroy Vecna or anything related to him, until this grows to a violent obsession. In this, it is the bane of the Cult of Vecna. This control is handled like that of other intelligent weapons, except 1d10 is added to the sword's personality score each time a check is made when the matter of pursuing/attacking Vecna is involved. The Sword of Kas has an Intelligence equal to 19 and an Ego of 20. Once the sword seizes control of a person, the possession cannot be broken by any means short of a wish.
A more immediate problem for the sword's possessor is its insatiable demand for blood. The Sword of Kas revels in violence and destruction. If not sated with fresh blood each day, the sword immediately attempts to control its master. If successful, it forces the character to kill something - whatever is available, even other compatriots. If the wielder wins the personality struggle, he can hold the sword in check for the day, but suffers a temporary -1 to Charisma, which is regained after a day without struggle with the sword. Such subtractions are cumulative for multiple days without blood, so eventually the sword will take over.
Like all artifacts, the sword slowly corrupts and influences its owner. While the Sword of Kas does not directly change a person to evil alignment, it gradually causes him to become possessive and greedy. As a result, the wielder's actions may indicate an alignment change.
The wielder will not voluntarily give up the sword for any reason. Attempts by others to even touch the weapon are viewed with hostile suspicion and can even result in violence. Eventually the wielder becomes paranoid that everyone is after the Sword of Kas. This obsession becomes such that the wielder finds it impossible to cooperate with anyone, even old companions. Either he must live a cursed and lonely existence for the sword must be separated from him.
The Sword of Kas can only be destroyed by hammering it into a plowshare with the Mace of St. Cuthbert, Tyr's avatar sent during the Second Cortlaish War to fight the then-demigod Vecna. This is in the deepest treasure vaults of the Temple of Tyr in Dunthrane, where it is the personal responsibility of High Patriarch Stephen Menote.