Book of Mauthereign
Excerpt from the Book of Mauthereign, taken from the Pilgrim of Vecna
In the beginning, there was learning, and Vecna was a paragon among the learned. A student of magic, Vecna was a benevolent teacher who gave his time and his knowledge to his students. Working with Kas, his apprentice, Vecna ministered to the needs of commoners and scholars alike. And yet the people asked for more. They cried out for a leader, a visionary presence who would help lead them against their tyrannical leaders and draconian gods. Out of humility, Vecna initially refused. After time, though, he came to understand their suffering and could not stand idly by.
Vecna taught the people to stand up against tyranny. He advised them to march in peaceful displays- nonviolent protests that showed the rulers of the land that their oppression would be resisted. However, the rulers quelled the protests, arresting and torturing the followers and imprisoning Vecna. Those who supported Vecna were rounded up and made into examples, their heads staked upon rusted pikes along the roads.
Vecna’s enemies tried to pry his secrets from him; they sought the names of his allies. They starved Vecna and imprisoned him alone in a filthy cell, but Vecna remained resolute. He never gave up hope that justice, reason, and compassion would triumph. And yet these hope were slowly eroded by the passing of time. Then, in an attempt to acquire Vecna’s secrets and learn the name of his allies, these enemies of free though turned to Kas- Vecna’s most trusted ally – who willingly answered the inquisitors’ questions. He surrendered the secrets of Vecna to the enemy, betraying our Lord and all his friends.
Vecna survived eleven years without food and water, kept alive by his passion and mental clarity. No, I do not lie! His flesh stretched taut to the bone, growing sallow and sunken. When the torturers grew angry at his determination, they maimed him, severing his hand and cutting out his eye.
Yet Vecna lived on for us! His soul remained rooted to his dying body out of the hope of salvation. But this was not to be. When starvation and inhumanity did not kill our lord, the defilers decided that his time was at an end.
They cut Vecna limb from limb and scattered the parts of his body throughout the world. We did not abide this desecration. Time and again, we attempted to assemble his parts, but the powers of darkness thwarted our every attempt, and it was only through the purest magic that we finally succeeded.
Vecna rose up and smote ruin upon the usurpers and the pretenders. They squealed in cowardice before us. Yet Vecna has mercy even for cowards and tyrants. Under Vecna’s rule, the transgressors were banished, and a peace settled over the land. But alas, it was not to last.
Vecna’s enemies plotted and schemed, discontent with their lot, generous as it was. He could have killed them! But he did not, instead granting them their own dominions where they could rule. However, this was not enough.
Gathering their powers, these exiles returned in a slavering mob of savagery. They trampled Vecna’s idyllic domain, slaughtering the people and mutilating the land. They cornered Vecna in his meditation chamber, and though he pleaded with them to see reason – to look with open eyes and see the wonder his rule had brought to the world – they destroyed, scattering his parts across the planes.
The miscreants too credit for his achievements, and they used Vecna’s secrets to ascend to godhood in a corrupt apotheosis. Now, these immortal swine have renewed their reign of oppression, crushing the spirits of the people under the heel of repugnancy and false religions.
Yet we have not forgotten. The time for benevolent demonstration is over. Vecna’s legacy demands true rebellion. These deities have massacred every belief we hold dear. They have banished our lord and despoiled his name. the only way to show them the nature of their evil is to commit our own acts of unspeakable villainy. Then they will see their own evil reflected in our actions.
When you slay a peasant, it is Bahamut’s evil. When you maim an innocent blacksmith, it is Pelor who wields the knife. We commit these acts as a demonstration of Vecna’s goodness. We perform these debasements as proof of the degeneration of the gods. When we reassemble our lord’s missing parts, our Vecna will return to rule us, and his rule will be good. All that has happened is part of a mysterious and grand design leading to a bright future of unity and peace. Only through our lord can this be achieved, and thought you may not understand now, you soon will.
Our souls are dead and we are empty. When he was violated by the usurpers, so too were we violated. When he was betrayed by Kas, so too were we betrayed. Know that all we do is done for a good that is to come. In the world on the horizon, all that you have lost will be returned to you a thousandfold.