The Eye of Vecna

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%   The Eye of Vecna  
Base item eyeball
When carried
When used (none)
When invoked
  • uses death magic on all monsters in sight
  • kills you if used at -10 luck or lower
  • -3 penalty to luck regardless of outcome
    -7 alignment record penalty if lawful
    -3 alignment record penalty if neutral or chaotic
Base price 50000 zm
Weight 1

The Eye of Vecna is an artifact that appears in EvilHack. It is unaligned, and its base item is the disembodied eyeball of Vecna.


The Eye of Vecna is only generated upon killing Vecna in a way that would normally leave a corpse, i.e. any method minus disintegration, digesting or stoning - if killed in such a manner, he will either drop this artifact or The Hand of Vecna, with an equal probability of each. Since Vecna is always generated in his Domain, the Eye cannot be wished for and will always revert to its base item if left in bones.


When carried, The Eye of Vecna confers cold resistance, ESP, astral vision, and half spell damage. Invoking the Eye of Vecna has different effects based on your current luck: If your luck is -10 or lower, the Eye of Vecna turns its magic upon you, which is an instadeath regardless of magic resistance or death resistance. Otherwise, the Eye casts death magic upon all monsters in your line of sight, significantly reducing the HP of monsters that do not resist it, and has a 320 chance of killing affected monsters outright unless they have magic resistance. Regardless of the outcome of invoking the Hand, it will reduce your luck by 3, abuse wisdom, and inflicts a penalty to alignment record: -7 if you are lawful, none if you are unaligned, and a -3 alignment penalty otherwise.

It is possible to eat The Eye of Vecna, but doing so will inflict 250–399 damage if cursed, and 150–199 otherwise. The Eye of Vecna can also be sacrificed on an altar for maximum value. The Eye of Vecna can be combined with Angelslayer at a forge to create The Sword of Annihilation.


The Eye of Vecna appears in SLASH 6, an ancestor variant to SLASH'EM - here, killing Vecna produces either the Hand of Vecna or the Eye of Vecna, with an equal chance of each. The Eye of Vecna confers ESP, cold resistance, and half spell damage while carried, and invoking it turns its icy gaze on all monsters within the character's line of sight, reducing their health to a fraction of its current amount. Just like the Hand, the Eye's invocation effect applies a −3 penalty to both Luck and alignment record, and attempting to invoke it with a Luck of −9 or less would kill the character instantly.

Though the Eye of Vecna does not appear in SLASH'EM or any of its derived variants, there are still a few references to it within the data of those variants, and the somewhat similar Eye of the Beholder is obtainable in those games.


Vecna is an original creation of Dungeons & Dragons, where he originally was a background figure that became popular enough to feature as a major antagonist. He is named for fantasy author Jack Vance, who among other achievements developed the "fire-and-forget" magic system that would come to be used in D&D and many other fantasy works. Vecna is first mentioned in Eldritch Wizardry, the third supplement to the original Dungeons & Dragons game co-developed by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson, with the supplement authored by Gygax and Brian Blume - the supplement introduces the Hand of Vecna and Eye of Vecna, artifacts which are the only remnants of the long-destroyed evil lich.

While no details of the artifacts were ever revealed to Gygax, the descriptions of the artifacts in the 2nd Edition Dungeon Master's Guide of 1989 further expanded on Vecna's history; the release of the 1990 adventure Vecna Lives! would finally have him debut in person. Though the exact details vary, most versions of Vecna's history state that the fight between him and his most trusted lieutenant Kas left Kas flung across the planes of the multiverse, with Vecna himself seemingly destroyed in whole save for a disemboded left hand and eye - even after eventually resurrecting, Vecna is always depicted with these parts missing from his form.

The left hand and eye of Vecna are high-valued and very dangerous magical artifacts that bestow incredible supernatural strength and spellcasting power upon their users, and provided even more benefits when used together. Such power naturally came at a terrible cost: using either one requires the removal of the corresponding body part to affix the artifact in its place, and the fragments of Vecna's will left within each one would turn its wearer towards evil while corrupting and decaying their body. Removing the affixed artifact(s) would invariably result in death, and both artifacts could only be destroyed permanently if a being that wore both artifacts was slain by the Sword of Kas. The Hand and Eye are considered classic Dungeons & Dragons artifacts that best exemplify the temptations of power and how they can easily tear apart an adventuring party.


The Eye of Vecna looks around with its icy gaze!
You invoked the Eye of Vecna.
The Eye of Vecna turns on you!
The Eye killed you upon invoking it.
The Eye of Vecna annihilates <the monster>!
A monster was instantly killed by the invoked Eye.
<The monster> <screams> in <agony/pain>!
A monster was damaged by the invoked Eye.
<The monster> trembles in <agony/pain>!
As above, but you are deaf.
<The monster> resists the Eye of Vecna's deadly gaze.
A monster resisted the magic of the invoked Eye.
You feel a burning deep inside your <stomach>!
You ate the Eye of Vecna.
You offer this evil abomination to <your god>...
You sacrificed The Eye of Vecna.

Encyclopedia entry

The Eye of Vecna and the Hand of Vecna were the only remnants
of the powerful lich Vecna, after he was betrayed and killed by
his lieutenant Kas. The two appendages were left with a
fragment of the lich's will and attempted to work his deeds
wherever they went.