The Chain Veil is an ancient and powerful artifact that was hidden within the ancient catacombs of the Onakke at Shandalar. The Chain Veil is made of burnished gold and is exquisitely crafted, so fine it appears to have the texture of silk. When worn, it covers the face to mask the wearer’s soul from those who would take it.
“Your veil’s curse won’t stop me, deathmage. I have taken down countless night hunters and this dark plane is not big enough for you to hide.”
—Garruk Wildspeaker, to Liliana Vess
The planeswalker Liliana Vess retrieved the Chain Veil from the catacombs at Shandalar, as instructed by the demon Kothophed. Wearing it over her face she was able to enhance her power, destroy Kothophed and Griselbrand, and pass the demon curse to Garruk Wildspeaker. She appeared to be too strong to be killed or demonized herself. However, as the Veil took hold of her she seemed to become possessed by its eldritch spirits. The spirits keep begging her to release herself to them.
On Innistrad, Liliana tried to exorcise the spirits from the veil, with help from the geistmage Dierk and a witchbane orb loaned from Olivia Voldaren. She failed. While drawing upon the Chain Veil, Liliana was able to temporarily harm the Titan Emrakul herself, although it drained Liliana greatly. During the confrontation, the spirits of the Veil urged her to flee numerous times and referred to Emrakul as the “World-Ender” and the “World-Creator”, implying greater knowledge about the Eldrazi.
Liliana used the Veil again on Dominaria, in her ancestral home, to break the lich spell that had kept her brother Josu Vess undead and bound to her creditor demon Belzenlok.
Lilianna used the Chain Veil intensively during the War of the Spark and at one point the Onakke spirits emerged from the Veil itself to protect her. Jace noted that the spirits had never operated this way before. He speculated that Bolas’ hold over Liliana allowed her to release the true power of the Veil. Liliana used the Veil’s powers to drain Eternals and used the energy of their unholy resurrections to heal her severe wounds, brought upon by Jace, Teferi, Jaya and Vivien.
After the War of the Spark, Liliana returned to her home on Dominaria and used the Veil against a powerful djinn named Zahid. Just before she subdued Zahid, Ugin had appeared to Liliana through the Spirit-Gem and encouraged her to choose a better path in her journey ahead. Later, while holding the Spirit-Gem in one hand and the Chain Veil in the other, the Spirit-Gem began to glow, and as it disappeared, Liliana dropped the Veil and gave it up. Using his shield magic, Teyo Verada transported the Veil back to Ravnica where it was used as proof of Liliana’s death. Teyo placed the Veil into a puzzle box for safekeeping by Niv-Mizzet.
In Dungeons & Dragons
The Chain Veil is a powerful artifact created to turn someone into a vessel for the resurrection of the long-dead Onakke. It kills its users if they’re not strong enough. Others may be turned into a demon.
- Properties. When wearing the Chain Veil, you gain +1 bonus to AC.
- Master of Necromancy. When wearing the Chain Veil, every spell that you cast that deals damage will have it divided evenly between necrotic and its original damage, rounding up for the fist type. Additionally, you get a 12th-level spell slot that you can use to cast a spell you know at a higher level. Any saving throw against the effects of such spell is rolled with disadvantage. Once you have used this feature, you can’t use it again until you get a long rest.
- Onakke Spirits Within. Every time you try to remove the Chain Veil or after you’ve been wearing it for 24 hours, you make a Death saving throw. If you succeed, you can take it off. If you fail, you can’t for the next 24 hours. If you die because of this check, you turn into an Onakke demon.
- Other properties. The Chain Veil has the following random properties: 1 minor and 1 major beneficial properties and 1 minor and 1 major detrimental properties.
- Destroying the Chain Veil. This artifact can only be destroyed by an Onakke high priest dedicated to a good deity. For this, he needs to cast a miracle spell in hallowed ground.
Necromancers use the vast energy reservoirs of Mabar and Irian, negative and positive planes, respectively. In the case of the Chain Veil, it’s only the first one that imbues its power (we can totally think of the Onakkes as native beings of the Endless Night). And as it was crafted from the quintessence of the plane of death itself, the Veil represents and magnifies the hunger that consumes both light and life. When the Veil is inside the boundaries of a manifest zone linked to Mabar and this plane is coterminous, the area uses that plane’s universal properties (Necrotic Power, Radiant Void, Eternal Shadows and the Hunger of Mabar). You can find more about Mabar and its properties in Exploring Eberron, available in the DM’s Guild.
How would you prepare to defeat the villain wearing the Chain Veil? What would your character use it for? Share your ideas now and keep yourself from becoming an Onakke demon!