Seldom is the name of Vecna spoken except in a hushed voice. Vecna was, in his time, one of the mightiest of all wizards. Through dark magic and conquest, he forged a terrible empire. He began to fear death and take steps to prevent his end from ever coming about.
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The Hand of Vecna is a withered, blackened, mummified human hand. It is usually described as a left hand, with long, claw-like nails.
It is cold to the touch. The Eye of Vecna is a preserved human eye, variously encountered as a bloodshot human eye, or a hard, shrivelled red or black clump. When placed in an empty human eye socket, it becomes a golden eye with a slit pupil like that of a cat, and glows red or green in the darkness. In all cases, the Hand and Eye must replace a missing hand or eye, whereupon it immediately binds to the user and becomes a functioning body part.
Removing them afterward is difficult or impossible, and usually involves the wielder's death. The Hand and Eye of Vecna have appeared several times over the centuries, and the powers they see fit to grant each bearer vary considerably.
The Eye grants its user superior sight, including the ability to see through illusions, see through solid objects, see in complete darkness, and even see their own future. The Hand grants superhuman strength. Its deadly touch freezes creatures, and has the even greater power to instantly slay a creature or drain its life force with necromancy.
By means of various hand gestures, its user can cast a variety of deadly arcane spells. Possessing both artifacts has been achieved by perhaps no more than two or three individuals in all of history, so their full array of powers in combination are barely known. These individuals displayed additional powers including the ability to detect magic, resist magic, and summon powerful fiends.
Vecna's cult dedicate considerable time and energy into finding them. Those who possess one of his relics have been shown to be immune to Vecna's divine power. The Hand and Eye of Vecna possess a terrible curse. Gradually, they turn the user toward evil. Over time, the user begins to exhibit Vecna's personality, and many possessors began to believe that they were Vecna himself. Some believe the spirit of Vecna possesses the wielders of his relics, but it is certain that over time it corrupts them completely.
Like many powerful artifacts, others who see the Hand or Eye begin to covet it, making them risky to possess. The Eye of Vecna also shows its bearer terrible visions. Possessing both artifacts corrupts the wielder to an even greater extent. Rumoured ways to destroy the Eye include roasting in the flames of the oldest red dragon in Oerth  , encasing it in the volcanic glass of the Hellfurnaces and shattering it against the edge of space,  or wearing the eye and hurling oneself into the Rift of Pyradon .
It is said that the Hand can be destroyed by having one who has never experienced fear carry it to the Positive Material Plane and manually crush it into powder,  willingly fixing it to the purest person in the Free City of Greyhawk , fixing it to most corrupt person in the Free City of Greyhawk ,  severing it with a sword of a dead god,  or having it digested by the tarrasque .
Rumoured ways to destroy both at once include casting them into the Golden Forge at the heart of Oerth 's sun,  permanently destroying Vecna himself,  sending the spirit of all of Vecna's victims to rest,  or having both worn by the the purest person in Blackmoor ,  or if a creature wielding both artifacts is slain by the Sword of Kas. While the Hand and Eye are undoubtably the most potent of Vecna's relics, other mummified parts of his body or possessions exist, including his other eye and several fingers of his right hand.
Most of Vecna's original body is long lost, but surviving parts with magical efficacy include the scalp of Vecna , first digit of Vecna , second digit of Vecna , third Digit of Vecna , last digit of Vecna , right eye of Vecna , molar of Vecna , incisors of Vecna , foot of Vecna , heart of Vecna , and skin of Vecna. The bracers of Vecna are a pair of cursed arm bracers crafted by Vecna himself.
A false head of Vecna was constructed and once held by cult the Vecna. It resulted in the deaths of numerous adventurers. The Vecnan cultist Pacanan once possessed a false hand of Vecna. A false sword of Kas also existed, which causes its wielder to believe he is Kas. The Hand and Eye of Vecna were all that remained of the arch-lich Vecna after his betrayal at the hands of his trusted vampire lieutanant, Kas the Bloody-Handed. Using a sword crafted by Vecna himself , Kas manage to cut off Vecna's left hand and left eye before in turn being destroyed.
In time, the story of Vecna became legend, and a cult formed to worship him. The Hand and Eye of Vecna became sacred relics to those followers, imbued somehow with a fragment of the powerful arch-wizard's magic. They have appeared numerous times over the years, most notably influencing the history of their world of origin, Oerth. The Hand first appeared years after the destruction of Vecna , during the Insurrection of the Yaheetes.
It disappeared after the clan's leader Paddin the Vain was overthrown. The Hand was discovered by a fisherman named Gisel during the reign of Hamoch of Tyrus. Gisel who kept it for several decades until he was murdered by his own brother. It was in turn stolen from the brother by an outlaw named Mace , who overthrew the ruler of Tyrus and ruled for a hundred years before being assassinated by a Yemishite agent. According to The Chronicle of Secret Times , an ancient book written in the Suloise language, the Hand and Eye once briefly fell into the possession of the Neheli , a Suloise family who once came into conflict with Vecna himself and later settled in what is now Keoland in the western Flanaess.
That book documented several effects of the artifacts. The Eye of Vecna was used in the extermination of House Hyeric , the former ruling dynasty of the kingdom of Nyrond. The Hand later came into possession of the Paladin-King of Miro. He was unable to remove the Hand, which ultimately corrupted him and led to his own destruction. Between and CY, the warlord Halmadar the Cruel came into possession of both the Hand and Eye, only the second known person to ever achieve this.
In CY , Halmadar the Cruel escaped his tomb. Vecna himself destroyed Halmadar and attempted to recover his Hand and Eye, but his plans were foiled by adventurers , and the artifacts were lost for a time. They were later cast through the dimensional portal at Tovag Baragu and lost to some unknown outer plane.
Between and CY, he also acquired the Eye of Vecna, perhaps only the third or fourth person ever to do so. Quethos used the Hand to establish himself as leader of the Vecnan sect Disciples of Darkness after exposing the previous leader 's counterfeit Hand and Eye of Vecna as a fraud. That same year, both the Hand and Eye were reportedly in the possession of Morgan Ironwolf , a human adventurer of legendary stature and prodigous collector of artifacts. At one point, the demilich Acererak stole the Eye of Vecna, replacing one of his eye gems with it.
The eye granted him insight into the near future, exceptional perception and the ability to strike opponents with deadly energy. The current location of the Hand and Eye are unknown. The cult of Vecna make recovery of the relics a priority, storing them in secret lairs guarded by their most potent defenses and strongest members. Nevertheless, adventurers occasionally manage to locate and secure the artifacts.
In the world of Eberron, Hand of Vecna belonged to a Qabalrin necromancer, the first humanoid lich of Eberron. It is described as blackened, as if it has been burned, and the sole remains of an evil lich of great power who imbued his hand with power to survive even if he was destroyed.
The eye cannot be removed. Additionally, the user suffers a drawback when using the primary power of either item. The effects of artifacts in this book are chosen by the Dungeon Master. Different powers are invoked by ten of the sixteen possible combinations of four extended fingers, and one by touch. The Hand is described as blackened and mummified, while the Eye resembles an agate until it is used, whereupon it glows as a feral creature.
Wearing the Eye, or using a primary power of the Hand, turns the character Neutral Evil. The Hand and Eye's other abilities are chosen by the DM. This varies from earlier lore, where the Hand was well-established but the Eye was spoken of in hushed tones, speculated to be mythical, and of dubious veracity.
It grants its user 19 Strength, and gradually corrupts its user to evil. The user eventually comes to believe that they are Vecna. It cannot be removed without being chopped off. All who see the Hand covet it. Its other powers are chosen by the DM, but suggested powers include a broad set of offensive arcane spells. In the Book of Artifacts , which details both artifacts, the Hand is described as a claw-like left hand, while the Eye resembles a red clot which transforms into a golden slitted eye, reminiscent of its feline glow described in earlier editions.
The Hand grants 19 Strength, immunity to Magic Missile , instant death touch and various powers chosen randomly by DM , while the Eye now grants True Seeing and various minor abilities. The artifacts attempt to control the wearer to follow Vecna's will to summon him, now described as a demigod , to Oerth. This book introduces the idea that possessing both artifacts grants additional powers. Possessing both artifacts now grants several great powers, including magic resistance and the permanent ability to Detect Magic.
Using an invoked non-constant power on either artifact risks the artifact taking over the character, in which case the artifacts follow Vecna's agenda to raise an empire again, gain revenge on Kas , and return to Oerth. The user begins to act like Vecna and even believe that they are him. The adventure module Die Vecna Die!
It is otherwise similar to the rules in Vecna Lives! Wearing the Hand permanently reduces the wearer's Dexterity by 2, while the Eye reduces Charisma by 2. Once attached, they cannot be removed without killing the wearer. The wearer is pulled toward an evil alignment even if they don't use the item's powers.
The Hand grants a cold touch and ability score drain, while the eye grants True Seeing and darkvision. Possessing both allows the bearer to summon powerful fiends. They prefer arcane spellcasters, and the two artifacts seek to be re-united in one wielder. They reward the user for betraying a close friend, but penalize them for slaying undead. They are jealous of more powerful arcane spellcasters than their owner.
The Eye grants its wearer darkvision , improved knowledge of magic and superior insight. It shows its wearer terrible visions. The Hand is described as an icy cold left hand, and grants various offensive powers as well as superior ability at climbing. When the Hand and Eye feel they have achieved their objective, the host's body crumbles to dust. Vecna gains all the host's knowledge, and one day will send the Hand and Eye back out into the world. The Eye grants truesight and x-ray vision.
The Hand grants 20 Strength and deals a severe amount of cold damage.
Eye and Hand of Vecna
Vecna was a powerful Lich from the Greyhawk campaign of Gary Gygax. Vecna evolved from Lich into a near god. Ultimately he was betrayed by his own lieutenant Kas the Bloody Handed. Kas himself has an artifact named after him which is the Sword of Kas.
Eye and Hand of Vecna / Orb of Dragonkind – DMG 5e Preview Unlocked!
Originally from the World of Greyhawk campaign setting , Vecna was described as a powerful wizard who became a lich. Vecna's holy symbol is an eye in the palm of a left hand. Vecna's "right hand man" and then ultimately his betrayer is Kas the Bloody-Handed , a vampire whose sword, the Sword of Kas , is also an artifact. This information was further developed in 's Book of Artifacts. With the release of the adventure Vecna Lives! At the end of the adventure—presuming the players defeat Vecna—he is transported to the Ravenloft campaign setting.
The Fourth 5E DMG Preview Unlocked : Eye and Hand of Vecna, and Dragon Orb
The Eye of Vecna was a powerful and evil artifact that granted its wearer supernatural senses and access to powerful spells. The Eye was bloodshot and appeared to have been forcefully torn from its socket. In order to use its powers, the wielder needed to remove an eye and place the artifact into the empty socket. The item then magically grafted itself onto its wearer's head, assuming a golden coloration and a vertical pupil similar to a cat 's. Removing the Eye of Vecna invariably killed its wearer.