Kassoon

No Prep Module: The Hand of Vecna for D&D or RPGs

This adventure can be can be easily customized to a party of any size or level, or run as a level 6 adventure for 5 players. It can work as a small side adventure in an existing campaign, as a standalone one-shot, or the start of a new adventure. Use the links to the tools in their relevant section to customize the adventure to your party.

Hand of Vecna

Background

A vizier named Cecily Crawford has usurped the throne, using a cult of Vecna to consolidate her power and silence opponents. Now she seeks the Hand of Vecna and has started hiring adventurers to find it, promising vast rewards in return. This has made competition especially heated between adventuring groups that want to claim the reward for themselves, and one group seeks the hand to resurrect their lost loved member, no matter the consequences. The hand is rumored to be found in an ancient tomb along the river in the Lantan Hills.

The rocky bluffs part to reveal an expansive clearing: an arching bridge of old and crumbling wood that spans across a natural abyss. Cat statuettes cloaked in brown dew perch on the corners of the bridge, their faces marred, while a merchant caravan prepares to cross nearby. The road comes to a mossy causeway that stretches across a lake to a burial site. The nearby hamlet of Rotheshaw has a sinister reputation among the countryside, it's surrounded by no walls with mostly Half-Orc and Halfling residents.

Adventure Hooks

  • Rumors of an evil vizier that has usurped the throne and plans to summon a great evil.
  • After a dark omen all cure spells function as inflict spells.
  • The party finds a job posting by the vizier to recover an artifact.

Rotheshaw has a sinister reputation among the countryside, known for its energetic horses and its lush farmland. The hamlet is surrounded by no walls, with mostly Half-Orc and Halfling residents.

A Flood of Beer

The PCs are at a tavern looking for jobs or leads when a bad batch of brew starts erupting and overflowing, causing the cellar to fill with beer. A halfling tinkerer named Joser with a sack full of tools offers to help, dumping out an elaborate assortment of strange tools. Any PC that uses a tool gets a +2 to their roll, but must describe the strange tool and how it functions.

Joser Nimblefingers, Male Halfling

Description: He is a pot bellied western man with a big hulking figure and broad shoulders. He likes to wear darkened spectacles and heavy clothing, no matter the weather. He sports a flattop hair cut. His eyes are likewise hazel.

Personality: He has a good heart but also a terrible temper. He will forgive often but not before yelling and berating someone for whatever they have done wrong. He never wears the same outfit twice, unless he absolutely has to.

History: Joser was raised in a hard working conservative environment. Like his father and his brother before him, after school he went straight into learning to become a Barkeep. He spent several years traveling with his friend, before both settled down to enjoy the fruits of their adventures.

Motivation:He'd like to take his coworkers down a peg.

Voice: Sensual and smooth

The cellar fills up with 2 ft. of liquid per turn, and requires a successful DC 15 Dexterity check with either thieves' tools or the tinkers' tools. Characters will drown after being submerged for 1+Constitution bonus minutes (min 1), so keep that in mind in case things get truly out of hand.

Quest Posting

If the PCs look into the posting by the vizier for the artifact, they can meet with Daar Orexijandilin and learn where the artifact is believed to be, or where other adventurers have been searching. She has no details about the artifact, only that the vizier wants it and if the PCs are particularly suspicious she will simply emphasize the rewards (which can be as large as necessary to entice the PCs, 10,000+ gp, several magic items, etc).

Daar Orexijandilin, Female Dragonborn

Description: Wearing a closed helm and plate, one would not know what she was had she not made sure her armor was more form fitting than normal. Outside of the suit she wears a lot of dark rich colors, with gold accents. She has moderate length gold crest. Her gold eyes have a joyful gleam in them most of the time.

Personality: While she is on the job, she is grim and serious. She understands how dangerous the world is and the need to stay safe. She is harsh and unforgiving.

History: Daar was born with her mother's beautiful face. She was taken as a slave by a traveling circus and forced to perform She has been a successful dealer in antiques buying low and selling high.

Motivation:She will attempt to ambush and attack anyone she thinks she can take on alone and try to knock them out with non-lethal damage. If successful, she will try to sell them to her slave-trader contact.

Voice: Speaks fast with a slight lisp

When the PCs are ready, they can travel to the tomb by the large river. The journey takes 1 day and they see an eternal whirlwind has existed there for hundreds of years. Also, there's a forest of trees made of bone, and the wildlife is all undead.

Navigation DC 10, Foraging DC 15. The temperature is 11°C (51°F) at day 6°C (435°F) at night. The weather is heavy wind. Disadvantage on sight/hearing checks, and ranged weapon attack rolls. Extinguishes open flames, disperses fog, and makes flight impossible.

Vecna's Vault

Dungeon Map

Dungeon Info

Type: Lightning Lair
Noises: Footsteps ahead
Air: Clear but cold
Odors: Dank or moldy
Enemy Patrol: 4 Illusionist (CR 3: Volo's Guide to Monsters p. 214) [Hard, 2,800 XP rewarded] [Customize]
Chance of Encounter Per Rest: 30%

Room Contents

You can also generate different descriptions using the Description Generator

1

This 25-foot-square chamber is in anarchy. Crumpled shields and blunted swords set around the chamber suggests a guard might have once been stationed here, while a faint forge stands beside the entrance. This immense chamber is a place of chilly, brooding blackness.

2

Thick, sweltering fog whirls around the chamber. Several furnishings decorate this chamber, made entirely of human bones. Across the chamber, three humanoid feet stick out from a pile of rubble. An opening at the northern end of the chamber continues into a tunnel, from which a sweltering wind moans.

There are 1 Ringlerun (CR 5: The Wild Beyond the Witchlight pg 227), 1 K'Tulah (CR 2: Candlekeep Mysteries pg 64) [Medium, 2,250 XP rewarded] [Customize] that are not hostile here.

In the north passage is an unlocked door.

3

Fluttering torches illuminate this spacious chamber, which features two cots. A steel stove is built into the south wall. In the center of this chamber stands a great brown desk. Nearby a tasseled rope hangs from a hole in the ceiling. Cut into the wall is a small but strong-looking door of iron plates, about five feet tall and four feet wide. Thick rivets stud its surface, and a tarnished silver rune glints on the door’s rusted face. Farther away, a sole door leads from the north wall. A lit hallway to the east contains a set of iron doors, through which you hear a droning buzz.

There are 1 Frontline Medic (CR 1/4: Guildmasters Guide to Ravnica), 1 Rakdos Performer, Blade Juggler (CR 1: Guildmasters Guide to Ravnica), 1 Doppelganger (CR 3: Monster Manual p. 82) [Easy, 950 XP rewarded] [Customize] here.

In the east passage is an unlocked door.

In the north passage (green) is a large metal gate that's electrified, shocking anyone that touches it.

4

A river passes over a steep slab of bedrock in front of a short passage. The cave beyond is long and low, with an uneven ceiling about 60 feet high. A heavy book lies open on a pentagram, with a map and a parchment next to it. Radiant light spills in through a pair of dirt-encrusted windows, revealing piles of hay with pitchforks sticking out of them.

There are 1 Anarch (CR 1/4: Guildmasters Guide to Ravnica), 2 Swashbuckler (CR 3: Volo's Guide to Monsters p. 217) [Easy, 1,450 XP rewarded] [Customize] here.

In the east passage is a locked door (DC 15). Key could be found on a nearby creature or furniture.

5

The wood floor is smothered beneath a thick mat. Soiled cloths have been tossed in one corner. A lit hallway to the south contains a set of iron doors, through which you hear organ music. The west end of the chamber ends at an iron door.

In this chamber is Brown Mold (Frigid temperature. DC 12 Con, 4d10 cold damage, half on save. Immune to fire, causes it to expand. Destroyed by cold)

6

This chamber glimmers with a soft phosphorescence. The north end of this room has collapsed, exposing the room beyond.

Within this chamber is poisonous gas (deals 1d6 poison damage per minute of exposure).

In the north passage is an unlocked door.

In the south passage (green) is a large metal gate that's electrified, shocking anyone that touches it.

7

A dangerous-looking clockwork construct rests in the center, resembling a skeletal iron statue without a head. The air here is stifling and smells of well-oiled wood. Three mephits are sitting around a table, playing dice for copper pieces. There is a banded door in the west wall and a smaller unbanded door in the south wall. The door to the north is sheathed in bronze.

Across a 15 ft gap, they find 220 sp, and 70 gp [Customize]

In the north passage is an unlocked door.

8

Water trickles through cracks in the ceiling, flowing down the north wall and adding to a large puddle on the floor. The walls here are lined with bronze hooks, upon which hang a brown top hat and cloak with cowl. Hanging from an iron rod bolted to the eastern wall are dank, ten-foot-square satin curtains. Five paintings made of bones and festooned with decorative skulls surround a table, resting atop which is a gilded bowl-shaped vessel. Behind the chamber, the hallway turns back to rough amber and turns to the west.

In this chamber is a trap. This trap is activated when a creature touches its surface, which teleports the creature to a new location.

Effect: Targets any creature that touches it, DC 10 WIS save or be teleported to another location

Trigger: touch trigger, activates when surface is touched by a creature.

Countermeasures: A spell or other effect that can sense the presence of magic, such as detect magic, reveals an aura of divination magic around the surface. A successful dispel magic (DC 10) cast on the surface destroys the trap.

[Customize]

In the east passage is an unlocked door.

9

Light slips into this chamber through small holes in the walls. In the middle of the room is a table with statues sitting at it. Scattered about the floor is the wreckage of half a dozen shelves and paintings. A lit hallway to the west contains a set of iron doors, through which you hear running water. Two doors exit the chamber to the east and north.

There are 4 Horncaller (CR 1: Guildmasters Guide to Ravnica), 2 Archer (CR 3: Volo's Guide to Monsters p. 210) [Medium, 2,200 XP rewarded] [Customize] here.

In the east passage is a stuck door (DC 15).

In the north passage (green) is a large metal gate that's electrified, shocking anyone that touches it.

10

This chamber is 35-feet square, rising to a 40-foot-tall flat ceiling. Words engraved on the arches above have been scratched out.

An object in this chamber gives directions (true or false).

In the east passage is an unlocked door.

In the south passage (green) is a large metal gate that's electrified, shocking anyone that touches it.

11

You come to a dark landing 40 feet wide and 40 feet long. Heavy dirt is peppered across the rocky floor, while blunted axes and empty armor stands line the walls. Rubble is littered throughout much of this modest chamber, caused by the partial collapse of the ceiling. The mouth of a side room leads into blackness beyond. Farther away, a separate door leads from the south wall.

There are 1 Rakdos Lampooner (CR 2: Guildmasters Guide to Ravnica), 1 Bone Knight (CR 5: Eberron: Rising from the Last War) [Medium, 2,250 XP rewarded] [Customize] here.

12

As a brief tremor shakes the chamber, massive beams groan under the weight of the ceiling. The great arched shutters along the south wall is enveloped by thick blue draperies, their golden tassels glinting in the light of two candelabras sitting atop brief tables about the chamber. A gate of rough-hewn timber blocks a small passage to the west. Hallways lead off to the east and the south.

There are 1 Emerald Order Cult Leader (CR 8: Tome of Beasts p. 421) [Medium, 3,900 XP rewarded] [Customize] here.

In the east passage is an unlocked door.

13

Three cracked windows allow precious little light to enter, and between them are two empty helmets. Against the far wall are all manner of surgical tools and rags, as well as bloodstained cloth. Mended crossbows, helmets, and suits of armor are spread all about. Behind the chamber, the corridor turns back to rough amber and turns to the south. The mouth of a side hall leads into blackness beyond. Farther away, a lone door leads from the east wall.

If the chamber is searched, they find 400 cp, 5000 sp, 2200 gp, 100 pp,

25 gp valuables (175 gp total): 4 Cloth-of-gold vestments, Black velvet mask stitched with silver thread, and 2 Small gold bracelet [Customize]

There's a showdown with the competing party, you can run this as a skill challenge where their motivations to resurrect their party member are revealed and resolved, and they team up to confront the vizier about the suspicious artifact. If the skill challenge is failed, the other party will refuse to team up and leave to find the hand on their own.

There is an extinguished brazier on an elevated platform about 50 feet up. When the brazier is lit, it shuts off the electricity running through the metal gate and lifts it into the ceiling at the green passage.

In the south passage (green) is a large metal gate that's electrified, shocking anyone that touches it.

14

This room contains a square table surrounded by chairs and shelves of bottles. The walls were once draped with tile mosaics, but they have been defiled by graffiti. Tiny fragments of tile litter the floor. A shaft of light pours light into the chamber, its brightness looking like a solid pillar in the thick, verdant plant life. A dark archway leads out through the north wall.

If the chamber is searched, they find 1100 cp, 8000 sp, 1500 gp, 130 pp,

25 gp valuables (75 gp total): Silver ewer, Black velvet mask stitched with silver thread, and Small gold bracelet [Customize]

In the north passage is a stuck door (DC 15).

15

This chamber is made of old wood that stresses underfoot, creaking and groaning. At each end of the chamber, floating in the blackness, is a human skeleton clad in the rusted armor and tattered livery of a castle guard. A tall, moist wardrobe, its gray doors painted with demons, stands on the north wall. A short flight of stairs leads up to a narrow, iron-bound door. A slick human skull is fixed to the center of the door by a bronze spike.

16

Brilliant light filters in through the dank stained glass window in the west wall.

In the north passage (green) is a large metal gate that's electrified, shocking anyone that touches it.

17

Beneath an unlit lantern hanging from the ceiling, a larger L-shaped table is affixed with restraints and discolored with old blood. A cloaked figure is draped over, and a black mace lies on the floor near its feet. The chamber is spread with the remains of old yuan-ti warriors.

There are 1 Noble (CR 1/8: Monster Manual p. 348), 1 Master Thief (CR 5: Volo's Guide to Monsters p. 216) [Easy, 1,825 XP rewarded] [Customize] here.

18

A comfortable bed is tucked against one wall, while a short table rests under a mirror against the other. A crisply made bed stands at the front of the west wall, with brief tables off to either side. A door stands closed to the east.

In this chamber is a trap. A pedestal with a button labeled 'Do Not Press' (or similar) sits in the center of the area. Creatures that push the button trigger the trap which causes the stairs to fold in and create a perfectly smooth slide. Creatures on the stairs will fall and slide rapidly to the bottom.

Effect: Targets all creatures on it, steep stairs become a slick slide, causing targets to fall and take 25 (4d10) damage and be knocked prone

Trigger: button, a button labeled 'Do Not Press' (or similar) activates the trap when pushed.

Countermeasures: A successful DC 15 Dexterity check using thieves' tools disarms the trap, removing the trigger from the button and allowing it to be pressed as many times as you want. Unsuccessfully attempting to modify the button triggers the trap. Alternatively a creature may be able to build up the incredible willpower necessary to resist the temptation to push it.

A web spell or similar can stop creatures from falling down the surface. A set of climbing tools can be used to safely scale the slide. [Customize]

19

This domed passageway has been plundered. Against the far wall are all manner of surgical tools and cots, as well as knives. The gate to the west and east are sheathed in bronze. A door stands closed to the east.

In this chamber is a trap. This trap activates when a ruby or other valuable item is pried from a statue or other surface, that causes a camouflaged net to fall on any creature caught below.

Effect: Targets all creatures within a 10 ft. square area, DC 15 STR save or become restrained and take 21 (4d10) poison damage, half on save

Trigger: removal trigger, activates when a gem or other valuable item is removed.

Countermeasures: A successful DC 15 Intelligence (Investigation) check allows a character to find a wire attached to the item which triggers the trap when pulled. A successful DC 20 Dexterity check using thieves' tools disables the trip wire harmlessly. A character without thieves' tools can attempt this check with disadvantage using any edged weapon or edged tool. On a failed check, the trap triggers.

[Customize]

20

Six long amber tables are set with steel and glass laboratory equipment in this chamber. A large sarcophagus sits in the middle of the chamber.

The Hand of Vecna can be found inside the sarcophagus. To attune to the hand, you must lop off your left hand at the wrist and the press the artifact against the stump. The hand grafts itself to your arm and becomes a functioning appendage. If the hand is ever removed, you die.

The Vizier

Upon leaving, the vizier confronts the parties with a large contingent of guards and cultists, demanding that they turn over the hand. If the PCs refuse, combat is inevitable. Each turn during combat on initiative count 20 a whirlwind targets a path across the map with a 20 ft line (try to target it through large groups), and after each combatant turn (like a legendary action) it moves 20 ft along its path. Any creatures it passes through take 2d10 bludgeoning damage and are thrown 10 ft in a random direction.

3 Scorchbringer Guard, 1 Rezmir (Cecily, the vizier), 1 Kalashtar, 1 Bol'bara [Deadly, 3,950 XP rewarded] [Customize]

The other party will fight the additional guards while the PCs deal with the vizier and her personal guards, so you may want to describe the other combat taking place.

If the hand is turned over, the vizier uses it to solidify her rule over the kingdom and eventually launches wars against neighboring kingdoms, which could lead into a campaign about the various wars and trying to get the hand back from the vizier. If the vizier is defeated, the PCs will need to decide what to do with the hand. The hand can only be truly destroyed by being attached to a creature that is slain by the Sword of Kas, and Vecna will try to corrupt anyone that has it in their possession, which could lead into a campaign about trying to destroy it while resisting its influence.

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