Does the Serpent really exist?

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Is there anything definitive saying he/she/it does or not? There are contradicting accounts. The Lady of Pain says "The Serpent's protege" The Deities and Demi-Gods's book suggests to the DM if he wants to make an uber deity he can include the Serpent as one.

What's your take? Is the Serpent an actual entity or not? Is it just a metaphor, when Vecna "Talks to the Serpent" it only means he has an unmatched mastery of magic (um, though it seems Rajaat was more powerful prior to Vecna's invasion of Sigil) not that some Serpent entity he actually talks to. If Vecna was successful in conquering the multiverse, and the Serpent really is a conscious entity then even for him his ultimate limit still is that he can not surpass the Serpent.

There's also the issue of a multiversal god of magic. On Toril there is Mystra and Shar, on Krynn (at least there used to be) the Three Moon Gods, on Greyhawk there are two gods of magic Wee-jas and Boccob. On Athas magic numerous forces serve as the source of magic. When a PC from one of the world's with a god of magic goes to the Phlogiston, or another plane, how does he power his/her spells?

What's the thing about Vecna called Iuz an idiot in Die Vecna Die? "You inherited your father's brains and scope of vision" Grattz and Iuz definititely aren't stupid, though it was really stupid of Iuz to assume those tablets weren't a trap, or to jump headfirst into Ravenloft without a way out. I think what he means is that he's stupid by Vecna's standards, since he's smarter than them.
I thought I had seen a definitive explanation of the Serpent somewhere but have to say, I cannot remember where.

Suspect it may have been an author interview that I read, likely linked from Canonfire or another GH site. Have to say, though, that it isn't something I have given too much though to. Think he/it was defined as magic personified so your over-god of magic theory has merit.

Sorry that's not much help. 
"The Serpent" is a phrase often used in real-life religions as reference to Satan/Lucifer/Asmodeus/The Devil. You know... the really bad, evil, destructive, power-hungry, deceptive dude. I don't have any of the 4th edition material and probably never will, so I don't know exactly what is being referenced. Earlier editions (2nd and 3rd) state that the Gods who reside in the Abyss and/or in Hell (infernal planes) are very respectful to Asmodeus, that he is the ultimate source of evil power anywhere. If there isn't a write-up of the archdevils in 4th edition, this might be what the evil gods are talking about when they 'talk to the serpent.'

Iuz was made a demigod in 2nd edition. However, he also made mistakes of judgement on a few occasions in some of the published material. Vecna could well have just been saying "That was really stupid of you. Did you leave your brain at home?" I mean, Iuz was tricked and trapped in the bottom of Castle Greyhawk for 70 years, and almost dies in the 3.5 edition Expedition to Greyhawk Ruins. Vecna is Neutral Evil while Gratzz and Iuz are Chaotic Evil, so Vecna is probably a little more organized in his thinking and/or less prone to impulsive actions. Then again, Gratzz and Iuz both have all their hands and eyes...

Many of the overlapping portfolios in Greyhawk are from different cultures, like Suel vs Oeridian, or Flan vs Suel. Wee Jas comes from one, Boccob from another. The same thing goes for Forgotten Realms, and real-world ancient religions (Thor/Hercules, Odin/Zeus, etc.) You could make one ultimate all-powerful god of magic if you wanted to, but you might have to rework some of your mythology/deities.
My take is that Vecna was a lich long ago whose hand and eye are now artifacts. I have no desire to make him a god; nor do I have anything to do with the Serpent at all.  The '83 set had plenty of gods with no need to add any more.
My take is that Vecna was a lich long ago whose hand and eye are now artifacts. I have no desire to make him a god; nor do I have anything to do with the Serpent at all.  The '83 set had plenty of gods with no need to add any more.

And yet, it was a sensible idea - the dude CRAVED for power, ULTIMATE power...

Vecna as a god? epic win idea. 
I always liked Vecna's progression from powerful yet mysterious lich to god. It makes sense given his enormous ambition and the fact that Greyhawk has a lot of powerful mortals who became deities.

As to Iuz, he has been a demigod at least since the '83 boxed set although he too historically began his life as a non-deity albeit as a cambion and so not your typical mortal. 
I wasn't looking for this, but I found it this morning by accident. Manual of the Planes, (september 2001 edition) under "Uber-Deities" on page 88... "For instance, the lesser deity Vecna reveres the force of magic, personifying it as an entity he calls the Serpent. Perhaps the Serpent is an uber-deity of unimaginable power."

I just happened to remember you posting this on here a long time ago, thought I'd add to it.

Well, i've used the Serpent in one of the campaigns I've mastered. I used it as the personification of Magic and the real father of Vecna. Vecna was the Final Boss of the Campaign, but The Serpent was behind everything he had done in the past

It would stand to reason then that The Serpent would be opposed to The Elder Elemental Eye (Tharizdun) insofar as it wouldn't want to have the Weave/itself destroyed along with the rest of the universe - raising the interesting prospect of Vecna being a potential ally of last resort against Tharizdun once the strings being pulled are all made visible to the relevant parties...


I may have to put this into my game!

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe." Albert Einstein

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