Vecna is a human who was trained in sorcery by his mother, and lived in the Shelmar Valley on the continent Draconista. His mother was executed by the government of the Valley region, tried as a witch and burned, because of the strict anti-magic nature of the current ruling party, and the rather public flaunting of those regulations she conducted.

Vecna, in a rage, left the Valley, hunting for someone to complete his education, and intending to hone his talents until he could become an unstoppable force that could rid the Valley of elitist, classist, anti-magic zealots.

Over a period of many decades, Vecna found a way to reach the eighteenth Novaki, the last of the great powers who created magic itself. He studied under this entity, convincing it somehow to allow him to learn from it.

After learning all he was capable of learning from the last Novaki, Vecna spent years researching and carefully laying plans to become immortal, the next step in his master plan. Once he had done so, he took his own life and was transformed into a Lich.

Once this was done, Vecna began to amass an army of the undead, as well as the fringe elements of the society of the lands surrounding the Valley. He stormed the Shelmar Valley region, slaughtering the ruling class, though the people he was slaying were the children or even the children’s children of the ones who had killed his mother. He ruthlessly cut down any military or guard forces who stood in the way, and was nearly slain in the battle over the capital, where the Clerics of the Light stood together in the mightiest Circle of Power ever amassed and struck him down with radiant magic. Vecna’s forces won the day, but Vecna himself had to crawl away to nurse his wounds in secret, tended to by only his most loyal compatriots and creations.

When Vecna was restored, he re-entered the city, loosely held by his soldiers, and slew everyone within the walls, crucifying the clerics and government officials and butchering the rest.

Once Vecna secured his hold on the Valley, he once again began to hatch long-lived plans. Upon hearing of the exploration of a new continent, named Aithar, he created a business organization dubbed the Shelmar Valley Company, which he began to use for industrial purposes. Funding the Company directly out of the Valley’s government tax pool, as well as his own amassed riches, Vecna began to lay out trade agreements with nations who desperately needed it, despite their reluctance to deal with the Butcher of the Valley. Furthermore, the SVC began to fund expeditions to the new world, in order to found settlements and create trade lines back to Draconista.

Another goal of the SVC became the location of magical artifacts and knowledge from the new world, as Vecna felt he had exhausted his sources in the known world.

Hundreds of years later, Vecna’s SVC and the Shadow Valley Empire had both grown to immense wealth and power, and the Eternal Emperor, shrouded in darkness, whose face most had never seen, commanded his vast armies to march. The Empire spread like a plague, taking over the entirety of the continent, putting all under the thumb of the Emperor’s Spider Throne.

During the battles over the last nations of Draconista, Vecna installed one of his favored servants, the vampire lord Kas, as his right hand. Kas became instrumental in the management of the Empire, its economy, and its forces, as Vecna’s hungry eyes began to focus more and more on the happenings in the growing nations of Aithar, to the west, where his Company and his followers had long since lost sway. He fashioned Kas a magical sword, imbuing it with his own essence, to ensure that none could contest him.

Over the next few centuries, into the Second Age of Aithar across the sea, the Spider Throne slowly marched imperial armies all over Draconista, until almost none remained. The elves fled Draconista, those who remained, as well as migrations en masse of many other nations and peoples who had given up the fight. It seemed as though the Emperor’s iron fist had firmly taken hold of the continent, when Tiamat struck a deal with the chromatic dragons of Draconista, many of them ancient as the land itself, its namesakes. They became the Imperial Dragons, a mockery of the empire of mortals run by the lich. They burst forth from the shadows, the seas, the caverns, the mountains, and the forests and tore down Vecna’s fortresses, his armies, and his cities. And in the turmoil, Vecna’s lieutenant, the first among his servants, the vampire lord Has, took up the Sword of Kas and slew his master, in turn dying himself.

The Imperial dragons continued to destroy Vecna’s empire and the remains of Draconista, until they created a systemic shortage of population to control, of livestock, and of food. Once this situation was realized, Tiamat and her ranking subordinates began planning for the First Invasion of Aithar.