I just read this question which made me discover the funny anecdote of The Head of Vecna (Note that apart from the hand and eye artifacts in the DMG, I had never heard of Vecna before).

Therefore I start reading a bit about this Vecna character, and learn that he became a god of secrets.

Now I'm currently preparing to run the Curse of Strahd adventure, and this started ringing a bell in my mind (Warning : CoS spoilers):

The Amber Temple was dedicated to a god of secrets, and its main hall contains a statue that represents "a faceless god of secrets" (translated from French) The parallel is strong, especially since the Head of Vecna story talks about the thirst for power destroying the adventurers...

Is there any official source that links this CoS element with the Head of Vecna anecdote or am I just linking two unrelated stories ?

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    \$\begingroup\$ I’m voting to close this question because designer intent questions are off topic. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 3, 2021 at 10:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm also close-voting. This question doesn't invite solutions to a specific problem and is unlikely to be useful for others. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lovell
    Jul 3, 2021 at 12:47

2 Answers 2



Searching online, I found several discussions of this same topic on reddit(here and here) and enworld (here). The main hint seems to be a tweet by Chris Perkins, the Lead Designer for CoS:

Matt C. @Kaosdevice

@ChrisPerkinsDnD Is Curse Of Strahd going to feature the "Nose of Vecna" adventure we've been hearing rumors about for the last two years?

Christopher Perkins @ChrisPerkinsDnD

I'm afraid not, but Vecna does appear in the adventure (although he's never mentioned by name, of course). #whaaaat

People seem to speculate that Vecna could be either the God of Secrets or the escaped vestige from the temple but the adventure does not actually ever specify so it really is just speculation (or left for DMs to decide)

  • \$\begingroup\$ Your google-fu is impressive, my search had only turned up that first reddit thread, which doesn't go into much detail \$\endgroup\$ Jul 17, 2019 at 13:33

I'm currently running this adventure.

I think the temple was originally to Horus but all of his followers died and it was taken over by Exethanter who redesigned some of the temple adding the cursed obsidian statues and possibly even the large one in the center. This is because the temple is a mixture of Egyptian imagery in amber, white and gold; and wizard imagery in obsidian that acts mainly as traps.

Long version:

Horus is some times depicted as a god of secrets, and there are some elements of his imagery in the temple. The amber golems have a very Egyptian appearance with hawk head and the original wizards wore these very bright white and gold robes which is heavily associated with the sun - another domain of Horus. He also fits the description of a good aligned god of secrets.

There are also signs in the temple that it's original decor has largely eroded away, including destroyed amber golems; and chipped white and gold paint.

My theor is that the good aligned wizards who built the temple originally were followers of Horus and the aesthetic was one mostly of white, gold, and amber, but all of the wizards were killed and the temple fell into ruin long before Strahd or Exethanter arrived.

Exethanter then would have found the temple which was now mostly obsidian and built his defenses to fit in with the temples. He summoned and bound the arcanaloth to protect the temple and built a large hollow statue for it to hide in. He also added two enchanted obsidian statues to collect souls for him to feed on. These statues may be based on no god or possibly some god that Exethanter follows, such as Vecna.

My personal thought is that Vecna is the escaped vestige who cursed the nothics, as the nothics are really the only reference to him in the whole module. The mourning glory is not the one to escape from that amber sarcophagus they escaped from a different one in the hidden level of the Amber Temple where all of the Adventurers League module takes place.

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