Vecna Rebooted and Greyhawk

Author: DHBoggs /

 Having spent most of my life working as an archaeologist and now as a public historian, I suppose it is not surprising that I would be drawn to puzzles involving the ancient past - even when that past is entirely fictional.

The age of Vecna in the history of Greyhawk is just such a fiction with just such a puzzle swirling about the ancient lich, but I honestly had not thought much about Vecna specifically until recently, beyond reading the research others had done.

This Vecna Timeline on Canonfire, for example, covers the character fairly thoroughly - at least to the extent needed for generating backstory in a Greyhawk or Blackmoor campaign. 

But casually watching this Bob World Builder Video brings up a whole new level of curiosity.  The basic idea put forward in the video is that Vecna has played a pivotal role in the stories put out by the owners of the D&D IP each time the game has undergone a revision or edition change. 

 The video further highlights that of Jorphdan - another Youtuber - who points out that WotC products going back several years have been seeding mysterious obelisks that were finally revealed to be part of a plan by Vecna to alter history. To quote from a sidebar in Icewind Dale "“These obelisks could alter reality on a grand scale, sending a region or an entire world back to an earlier time, effectively erasing part of history."

Just last month, we got this tidbit from Chris Perkins "...super excited to let people know that our Vecna adventure is going really really well and you'll get to visit a number of cool places and worlds in the course of this adventure." Vecna, Planescape & What’s Next w/ Christopher Perkins | D&D Beyond, April 14 2023

Of course I have no knowledge of what WotC is doing, but it would seem particularly strange for a Vecna adventure involving world hoping to exclude the one world most closely associated with the lich.

One intriguing possibility I mentioned on Canonfire last October is that WotC is planning to bring back Greyhawk - sort of - by recasting the setting into the distant past and thus avoiding any concerns they may have with lets say, politically incorrect aspects of the published material.   It would further have the advantage of not angering Greyhawk fans any more than they already are, by mucking up the large pool of fan material for the current age.

Regardless of how one feels about WotC right now, a detailed empire of Vecna in ancient Greyhawk is surely an appealing idea and if WotC doesn't take that path, perhaps someone else will.  Could Vecna's goal be to remake history by not giving Kas his famous sword or killing him early or...? Well there are lots of possibilities.

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Game Archaeologist/Anthropologist, Scholar, Historic Preservation Analyst, and a rural American father of three.
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