What year CY is The Factol's Manifesto set in, Rip?
It's set in the 127th year of Factol Hashkar's reign, which equates to 587 CY.
It could be quite possible that Vecna did build Citadel Cavitius (esp since Kas was sent there after his betrayal), then it was seized by the Doomguard while Vecna's "will" was floating about the multiverse, then regained by Vecna once more.
Vecna probably didn't build Citadel Cavitius, but yes, I would assume he owned it at the time of Kas's banishment, and the Doomguard moved in later, probably around -14 CY (give or take).
We know Vecna probably didn't build Citadel Cavitius originally because The Inner Planes accessory said he didn't (page 112):
"The whole place looks like a giant skull, and it's as old as, well, it's older than Vecna, and that's old. Some tell tales that it's older than the Doomguard that originally lived here, built by some long-lost race of bloods who worshiped death in a way that even the Dustmen could never understand. There's even said to be places within Cavitius that Vecna was afraid to go, but that sounds like nothing but screed, if I've ever heard any."
Edit: Although I suppose it's conceivable that the "long-lost race of bloods who worshiped death" were Vecna's own cultists.
Last edited by rasgon on Sun Aug 30, 2009 7:02 pm; edited 1 time in total
As long as I'm at it, I might as well finally reply to some things Samwise said.
As for Vecna entering Sigil, that is covered in DVD, on page 122. Essentially, he "cheated": he was not a deity at the time he entered Sigil, his power in flux and his status changing as he went from demipower to lesser power. While his long planted agent Ely Cromlich was ready to turn the ruins of the Armory over to him, and while he quickly gained the allegiance of power player Authochon the Bellringer, neither was specifically named as directly related to setting up the circumstances to let Vecna take advantage of the loophole he had discovered. How many were unintentionally and incidentally related to such is an obvious concept for a DM to improvise wildly on, as secrets are an essential part of Vecna.
My mistake. The reason I had the impression was this section in Dragon #348 (page 31):
"In the months and years that followed, Cromlich secretly studied magic and--with the help of numerous powerful demons--laid powerful symbols of chaos and disruption within the walls of the Armory. When war came to Sigil, he acted to hasten the destruction of many of the city's more lawful factions by tainting the area around the Armory with chaotic energy, inciting riots, and open fighting with an incursion of demons. During this chaos, though, he was killed. His sacrifice proved sufficient, however, and when Vecna sought to enter Sigil, the city's fundamental wards barring deities were weakened enough to allow him entry. For Cromlich's work, the ascending god restored the half-fiend to life."
I interpreted this as meaning that his symbols of chaos and disruption had weakened the barrier. I think, in retrospect, that it means the death and chaos provoked by the symbols of chaos (in the form of the Faction War) weakened the barrier, perhaps because the Lady of Pain was distracted, being busy creating infinite time loops in order to toy with certain characters, or dealing with the Sigil Spell.
And Rip, once again, take note of Ely Cromlich. Your reference does not say by force, merely that he took it. Ely was at the Armory in Sigil for over a century as per The Factol's Manifesto. Where he was before that, say at Citadel Cavitius, giving it over to his master Vecna at the proper time, and making sure Vecna's prisoners were properly accounted for even after he left, is not specified.
Well, Dragon #348 says (page 30):
"While the Doomguard hold a redoubt on that sea of dead embers, they once controlled Vecna's nearby skull-shaped fortress Cavitius, but were driven from it when the Arch-Lich claimed it as his own. In their retreat, they were forced to abandon many of their dearest treasures and have since sought a chance to retake the tainted citadel. Thus, when a period of inactivity was reported, it was Ely Cromlich and a taskforce of the Doomguard's most skilled warriors who were ordered to infiltrate the fortress and recover what they could.
"None know what truly happened at Cavitius, but only Cromlich returned alive. In the wake of his later acts, some believe the half-fiend came face to face with Vecna himself and either sold his service to the demigod in return for his life or was destroyed--his spirit being replaced by something more inclined to Vecna's will. Either way, Ely Cromlich returned to Sigil serving a new master."
It's indeed possible (depending on how you interpret the "new master" part of the last line - perhaps he still considered Vecna to be "new" after centuries of service) that Ely had been in Cavitius before Vecna seized control of it, but it sounds like the Doomguard didn't go willingly. Ely might have betrayed the Doomguard to Vecna, though.
So anyway, Kas was banished around -358 CY, the same date when Vecna was cast insensate to the lower planes before the worship of his followers summoned him back. In the meantime, the prisoners were presumedly watched over by Vecna's remaining servitors until the Doomguard, newly formed in the wake of Sigil's Great Upheaval in approximately -14 CY (though they had existed as a loose gang before that), took residence. Perhaps Vecna's servitors accepted their presence (perhaps in only part of the city) but refused to leave or surrender their prisoners, and the Doomguard never bothered or were unable to press the matter. They may have been fascinated by the slow decay of Vecna's servants, believing they might witness some decay in their memory of or obedience to Vecna's original orders that justified their theories on the nature of entropy. Perhaps this was when Ely Cromlich originally became intrigued by Vecna's cult.
Here's an obscure reference of debatable use: the dracolich Ampathzeredes, who sought to become the heir of Vecna and was defeated by the Six from Shadow. This was mentioned briefly in Complete Champion.
It's not clear how or in what sense a dracolich sought to become Vecna's heir, whether it simply sought to resume Vecna's research, follow in Vecna's footsteps as an ascended god, or to actually recreate Vecna's legendary kingdom. It's possible that the creature had in its possession one of the artifacts of Vecna for a time, though I doubt it was able to actually graft anything of Vecna's to its body.
The only reason I really have the slightest concern in the matter is based on the (somewhat wild) speculation that the 580s CY was the absolute soonest Vecna could have made his move because he had been imprisoned beneath Castle Greyhawk with eight other demigods until 570. If this were true, he must not have had much time to prepare before that either. But even if we grant those unfounded speculations, there's no reason it couldn't have taken him centuries to create and array his objects of power, and locate his Hand and Eye.
A couple of additions to this thought.
Vecna Lives!, page 7, says "With his usual long patience, Vecna has been working on this plan for centuries." This would suggest he's been a demigod for centuries for sure, since I don't think he was able to work on the plan much as a bodiless shade. However, I would suggest Vecna reached divinity sometime after the internment of Halmadar the Cruel in 465 CY, since finally finding Halmadar (and the Hand and Eye in his possession) was what allowed Vecna to finally complete his mystic diagram. I think if Halmadar had been active at the same time as Vecna, Vecna would have claimed his lost organs much sooner. Perhaps Halmadar's reign and subsequent notoriety was what finally inspired a critical threshold of worshipers to propel Vecna to godhood, though. Perhaps Verlamis, as speculated earlier, encountered a sub-divine but still corporeal Vecna, unable at the time to leave Citadel Cavitius.
However, there's some canonical support for the idea that Vecna was one of the prisoners of Greyhawk. Die Vecna Die! says on page 5: "According to the lore of some recordkeepers, the cult enjoyed a resurgence almost twenty years ago, although it was stifled. About seven to ten years ago the faithful congregated once more."
Assuming the adventure takes place in 591, then about 20 years ago was 570, the time when Iuz was freed from beneath Castle Greyhawk. Seems like a pretty significant hint to me (but what stifled it?). Ten years ago was 581, when Vecna Lives! was set.
So, a question: why do you think the Vecna cult was stifled shortly after 571 or so? Did some entity find Vecna and imprison him in his Turim Varostak form, or did he simply order his cult to go underground so that no one would become suspicious as they hunted for his Eye and Hand? I think the latter is probably more likely, and fits better with Occam's razor, but an interesting story might be told with the former possibility.
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