Kas the Bloody-Handed
|Homeland||Unknown; later Tovag|
|Setting||World of Greyhawk/Ravenloft|
In the World of Greyhawk campaign setting for the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, Kas the Bloody-Handed was the most trusted lieutenant of the despotic lich Vecna, and wielder of the Sword of Kas.
Kas the Betrayer
After many years of loyal service to Vecna, Kas eventually betrayed his master. It is said that the sword itself whispered to Kas, convincing him to slay his master and usurp his power. The battle destroyed Vecna's Rotting Tower, and cost the lich his left hand and eye. Kas himself was flung across the multiverse to Vecna's Citadel Cavitius on the Quasielemental Plane of Ash. The time he spent so close to the Negative Energy Plane changed him into a vampire, and he decided he would be called "Kas the Destroyer."
The first edition of Dungeon Master's Guide does not specifically state that Kas severed Vecna's hand and eye, only that they, and the Sword of Kas, were the only objects that survived the battle. Vecna: Hand of the Revenant depicts the lich losing his left hand and eye to destructive magic casts by priests of Pholtus (presumably to be restored at a future point in the story). Numerous third edition sources state with certainty that Vecna's hand and eye were severed by Kas's blade. Sources are also not in complete agreement as to when or how Kas became a vampire, as some state he gained his dark gift before his betrayal, while others state that he gained it after.
When Vecna was defeated during his bid for control of Oerth, Kas was freed from his centuries of imprisonment, only to find himself facing a shapeless wall of mist. When it cleared, he was master of the domain of Tovag, across the Burning Peaks from Vecna's domain of Cavitius. Kas waged an endless war of attrition with Vecna's forces in the hopes of retrieving the Sword of Kas from Vecna's citadel, where he erroneously believed Vecna held it.
The Burning Peaks cluster did not appear in the 3rd Edition Ravenloft Campaign Setting, because White Wolf Game Studio did not license characters that are explicitly tied to other D&D campaign settings.
When Vecna escaped from Cavitius, both realms were destroyed (explaining, in-fiction, their absence from 3rd edition). Kas was caught up in the destruction and very nearly obliterated; he survives only as a vestige, a soul outside time and space whose powers can be used by binders.
The Sword of Kas
Kas is known to have authored Legendry of Great Arms and Fabulous Heroes.
The False Kas
In the adventure Die, Vecna, Die!, a death knight calling himself "Kas the Bloody-Handed" serves Vecna in the deity's palace in Ravenloft. This death knight is not the true Kas, though he believes himself to be, and his real name is not given. This False Kas seeks to redeem himself for "his" betrayal of Vecna centuries ago.
- Gygax, Gary. Dungeon Masters Guide (TSR, 1979).
- Henson, Dale, and Doug Stewart, eds. Encyclopedia Magica Vol 4. (TSR, 1995).
- Holian, Gary, Erik Mona, Sean K Reynolds, and Frederick Weining. Living Greyhawk Gazetteer (Wizards of the Coast, 2000).
- Mona, Erik. "Ancient History: Vecna's Realm."