D&D: An Adventurer’s Guide To Kas, the Bloody-Handed
The most trusted lieutenant of Vecna, right up until he killed him, Kas the Bloody-Handed is an imposing figure indeed.
The Archlich Vecna may be one of the setting’s most memorable villains. Powerful, utterly evil, and dangerous, one has to wonder, what would it take to betray this despotic lich? The answer lies in the bloodied hands of Kas the Destroyer. Also known as Kas the Bloody-Handed. Kas is an example of just how far the pure-hearted can fall when they succumb to the temptations of evil.
Vampire. Knight. Slayer of gods. This was Kas the Bloody-Handed.
Kas the Bloody-Handed Early Life
Kas began life as a human. A paladin of Tycheron, a region now known as the Dyyvers on Oerth. Little else is known about his earliest days before running into the archlich. Some say he had already forsaken his oaths. That he had a lust for battle and blood that could not be quenched. Others say it was Vecna himself who turned Kas. All that is known is that the story of Kas the Bloody-Handed begins in earnest in his service to Vecna.
Kas the Bloody-Handed proved himself in service to the arch-lich. He aided Vecna in his quest to conquer much of Oerth. Vecna established an ever growing empire that swept from the northwestern shores of the Azure Sea to the Crystalmists mountains. Kas is said to have helped subdue Ulek, the Grand March, and Geoff.
As Vecna’s physical form weakened, Kas became his instrument of rule. Though Vecna’s power never waned, the lich was focused on godhood, and left the affairs of his kingdoms to Kas.
In the absence of Vecna, Kas pronounced his lord’s judgements. He presided over the Council in Vecna’s name, and led his armies across Oerth. And for a time, he served loyally.
The Vampire Known As Kas
At some point, Vecna rewarded Kas for his loyal service. He made the loathsome man a dark figure, gifted with the power of undeath. Kas’ transformation imbued him with fell power, as he became a greater vampire. But even this was not enough of a gift. Vecna forged for Kas a sword of great evil: the Sword of Kas. An artifact powerful enough to be Vecna’s will in the world.
Ironically enough, the sword would be the instrument of Vecna’s destruction. Kas sat in his master’s stead, doing the hard work of maintaining the empire. And the sword saw all. It watched as Kas grew in prowess, and sought to tempt its master into greater power still.
Whispering sweetly venomous flatteries, the sword made Kas realize he was the true ruler of these lands. After all, what did Vecna do? He was a name. A power, yes, but an idle one. An absent one.
Kas the Dark Lord
It didn’t take much for the sword to seduce Kas. And in time, emboldened by the sword’s sweet voice, Kas struck at his lord. No one living remains who saw the battle. But the results were catastrophic. Vecna’s dark tower crumbled into the dust as the two titans of evil fought. All that remained were the sword and Vecna’s left hand and eye, cut out from their master by the Sword of Kas.
This great betrayal destroyed Vecna, for a time. It also saw Kas get swept into the mists of Ravenloft. There he became a Dark Lord of Ravenloft. He was imprisoned in the land known as Tovag. There he ruled with a twisted sense of honor, challenging those who seem powerful. But his thirst for blood was ever unquenched. There he remains. Imprisoned, battling, and tormented.