I've had my eye on the Archlich ED for some time now, and I've been trying to attach a character idea to it.
At the moment our current campaign has gone from Toril to Eberron, and the goal is to get to Athas (I won't get into huge details on it), so teh character would probably be from Athas or Eberron. So here's the question: What would make you become a Lich? What motivations would drive you to it and where would you hide your phylacterie?
I'm looking for pieces to build the character around here, I haven't even come up with a class yet because I'm hoping it will fall into place when I put the character together. Thanks for the help and input, and sorry if this is the wrong place.
As motivation goes pretty much anything that make you dabble in Necromancy to start;
-Thirst for power
- Obsession with the secrets of the afterlife.
-Want to call someone dear from the dead and things went horribly wrong.
-Seeking eternal Life.
-Been tricked into it somehow.
-Died a servant of high ranking and great value to Orcus, who deemed you whorty enough to come back under the form of a Lich.
There is a lot more.
As for the Phylactery, usually somewhere secret, unreachable by normal means, in an other plane, in a dull, looks like nothing place, who doesn't look suspicious at all.
But i think i've read somewhere that all the phylacteries where hidden in a Temple of Orcus in his Plane or something.
why would a person become a Lich...that's interesting. outside of the cliche' reasons like being powerhungry or similar, i can think of a few:
1."I will not die! i will not allow myself to die!"
the will to survive is present in everyone. in some people, it manifests as the fight or flight responce, but in others it is more severe than that. a person might be so scared of death that they would have the determination/willpower/courage to find the propper ritual and components, become a Lich, and be willing to face the social and emtional concequences of it, because they consider the inability to appear in public, or even private to almost anybody plus the eventual loss of the ability to feel anything worth the price of avoiding death. this kind of person may be any kind of personality. the main key is they're the kind of character who has a hyper-cautious personality (until they get used to the idea that as a Lich they need not worry about anything).
2. "you cannot kill me; I am immortal!"
someone who is both naturally talented and highly skilled is likely to be self-centered, narcissistic even, and that kind of person will beleive (at least partially) that he is a god, and the world is his playground. such a person might consider becoming a Lich as the manifestation of his godhood, or perhaps the avenue by which he may realise the immortality of which he beleives his birthright. this kind of person is going to not care what anyone thinks about him, as they are mere sidenotes to the melody of his neverending song.
other, less thorough ideas are things like someone who feels that as a defender of justice he must continue to fight so long as there is evil to fight, and so becoming a Lich is the easiest way to fight evil for the rest of eternity. another thought is that he has something he feels he must do (a specific quest) and he can't stop until he's completed it. if he thinks he's going to need a longer lifespan to fulfill it he might turn to Lichdom to fix the problem (on a side note, this kind of thing also works for any member of the revenant race, as they could simply have been so set on fulfilling their goal that even after they died they continue to strive for completing the goal)
where to hide the phylacterie...obviously its somewhere you don't want it to be found. the best place would be somewhere you can control who gains access. in order of security:
1.a suedo-plane, such as your own personal mini-realm of the astral sea or elemental chaos. obviously, most adventurers, even Liches, aren't going to have one of these. but they are easily manipulated so that the only entrance is through a planer portal, and then the Lich just has to keep the home circle's "address" a secret.
2. a random location within the elemental chaos or astral sea. this is easy to find, but hard to prepare so that the phylacterie is not just haphazardly freefloating in the middle of nowhere. this makes it hard to find, but easy to aquire once found, making it almost to protect from someone with a scrying ritual.
3. a random location within the wilderness. a hidden panel (or magic seal) in the side of a tree in the middle of a forrest work wonders for hiding something you aren't worried about finding again later. the only problem is it's still relatively easy to find if you know where to look. it can also be a problem if a group of lumberjacks come through...
4. a safe in your secret base. hard to get to, because it's behind all the defences of your base, in your most secure location. problem is if someone raids your secret base (or just has a bone to pick with you, no pun intended), they are highly likely to find the safe, and then either crack the safe or blow a hole in it.
5. a safe in your gase. same thing as the previous entry, except everyone who knows you knows that it's the seat of your power. the problem with this plan is that it's the first place people are going to look for it. this is the most classic place to hide it, and that's the problem.
6. Not a phylactorie. this is potentially the most effective technique, but you have to pull it off really well, and most of the time its really going to rely on chance and luck. this technique requires you to make your phylactorie something that seams like a simple good luck charm or trinket. from here you are going to have to give it away to someone, or sell it. there are two ways to do it. either make it into a valuable one-of-a-kind object, which will become a treasured item in some nobleman's collection, or you make it sound worthless so that it ends up trading hands more often than a sailor goes fishing. in either situation, it could live on for centuries as a family heirloom or a random good luck charm. while you would never know exactly where it was, it would always be relatively safe, as no-one would ever have a reason to break a lucky charm or priceless artifact. but if anyone found out it was your phylactorie, you would be far more vulnerable than any other person, and if someone where to be wearing the lucky charm when they died in a violent manner, it would be entirely possible for it to be broken accidently.
i hope this helps
^Lord V- good one, he's a tourist! I like it.
1. Researching a spell to extend the life of others without going into lichdom themselves, or some other form of noble research.
2. Complete Accident- He read the wrong words from a mysterious book, or spent too much time fighting the undead himself. His body was altered by the necrotic energy, and he became a lich.
3. If clerics (and thusly resurrections) are difficult to find in your games (probably not in ebberro, but in athas this would work), he lost histrue love to Death, and has sacrificed his humanity to research a way to raise her.
4. The character dies, and the spell thatbrings him back to life goes awry. This could be interference from Orcus or just the world rejecting a soul coming back. Even caster error!
5. -Fight Fire with Fire- His arch-rival/enemy becomes a lich in hopes of defeating your character. To combat this, your character takes up the mantle himself. "We get bulletproof vests, they get armor piercing rounds. We get semi-automatics, they get automatics. We have a guy in a mask..."
You could always hide the phylactory on your person or on a sworn ally. You could become a lich because you have nothing to loose and take greater risks or to reclaim your soul from a prior deal. Sure your patron won't won't be a happy bunny when the payment slips from his grasp and into a box but hey your a lich let him come!
phylactery locations (from easiest to hardest):
In a book in the largest library in the land.
In the top ball on a flagpole (it's called a truk). Make sure the flagpole flies high over some poewrful keep so you should have plenty of warning if enemies attack (sieges can last for years).
In an Armored Jar (which also houses a Brain-in-a-Jar) or inside an evil Warforged.
At the bottom of the deepest ocean or glacier.
Fed to a tarrasque in an indigestable container.
I have a non-evil Lich NPC in my world who embraced lichdom because he was a human wizard and a historian, and he felt his lifetime was too short. As a lich, he has become the ultimate historian, a dispassionate and objective observer of history, recording his observations and anonymously donating them to libraries all over the world.
As to where to hide your phylactery. As long as you continue to adventure, do not underestimate keeping the phylactery in the possession of someone you trust, such as an adventuring companion.
My personal favorite is phylacteries that either don't look like a phylactery, or also serve another purpose. Such as a magic amulet, or even a weapon, in the possession of someone else. Something people are not likely to want to destroy.
This, btw, is related to a long-standing theory I have regarding Vecna. Even before ascending to godhood, Vecna was a lich of unimaginable power. How was Kas able to permanently sever his hand and eye? The sword he used, remember, had been an invaluable artifact of power crafted by Vecna himself and gifted to Kas, whom Vecna trusted. Kas' betrayal was entirely unexpected. My theory is that the Sword of Kas IS Vecna's phylactery. Wouldn't do any good to destroy it now that he's a god, unless you used it to kill him first...
I made a Lich, once.
His mother was a rather weak spellcaster, his father a minor local merchant. He was orphaned at a young age, and eventually he was found by an elderly Wizard, and brought to learn the mysteries of the Weave alongside other talented youth of the land. He was smart, and likable, but feared death greatly. He eventually convinced one the Wizards of the school to help him learn more about the necromantic rituals of lichdom, but was then banished for seeking forbidden knowledge. Angered, he recruited other embittered Wizards, Sorcerors, and Lycanthropes, and sought out the secrets to immortality through lichdom. He eventually succeeded, and made several phylacteries, which he then hid in a variety of places. Then he got greedy, and overconfident, and decided to take over the world. But then J.K. Rowling sued me for copyright infringement.
I have always found the concept of a benignlich to be really appealing, after all, even the greatest heroes fall with time, what better way to safe guard the world than thorugh immortal lichdome? After obtaining immortallity, you could guard the world until some other great hero has arisen to take your place. In such circumstances, you migh not be the only lich. Perhaps there is an entire cabal of like minded arcanists, all subtly guiding and watching over the world...
As for your phylactery... why not hide it in plain sight? Instead of having it be an amulet or ring, why not have your soul reside in one of your rib bones? In the heat of battle, no one is going to think to check your person for your phylactery, after all what lich hides it in such an obvious place? Further, should you fall in battle, your allies can always pick it up and guard it until you can restore your body.
Not nessecarily, if you take a look in Arcane Power, you'll notice that all phylacteries have resist 20 to all damage.
Alright, on a more serious note, I have a Lich character I really want to play. I'm not sure how I'll be able to play it in game, but in esence, a Kobold Necromancer. Their ambition? A holy mission from Kurtulmak, to oversee and shepard Koboldkind into a brighter future, where Kobolds can stand tall, and not fear death around every corner(you know how adventurers are about slaughtering kobolds). They'd start with the party, about 12 years(or 25 to a human) old, and well aware of their own mortality. They would constantly seek dark, forbidden magics, and be in constant pursuit of a way to become a Lich. The kobold's main focus would be Necromancy, but would not above using other spells, so long as it can further their goals. They will bear a strange marking that only has meaning to kobolds, and if the party manages to succeed on certain checks, they can discern it has a certain religious significance, but beyond that, they don't recognize it's significance. Upon success of the Kobold's goal of becoming a Lich, the Kobold will then invest heavily in scrying tools and rituals, or whatever they can, and gain a strong desire to own land, the more remote or far away from civilazation, the better. The Kobold's share of the loot will simply appear to vanish, at least in the eyes of the party. If none in the party speak Draconic, the Kobold will write in it, and use spells to convey their words in Draconic, and if the party has a draconic speaker, they will be careful not to do any of this in sight or hearing of them.
The Kobold wilkl not give it's name, and if pressed for something to call them, will say "Ko." Eventually, once the party has gained the Kobold's trust, Ko will let them know their name, Kossyndra. And that SHE may need the parties help(I'm going to work with the DM on this one). She will reveal that her money has been going towards buying up land, that her symbol denotes her as a chosen of Kurtulmak, and that a gathering of her people has been called. Between her and a few other chosen, they've been buying empty land of little worth, in order to found a nation for their people. The gathering is to be a great many representatives of the tribes, who will then begin to live on those lands, build a city, and fortress, and establish roads to another nearby nation for trade. At this point, there will be cool opportunities for the party involving this new nation, where they can help it rise and prosper, or if they wanna be dicks, wreck it. Followers of Erathis would probably be stoked, though.
But yeah, the best part will be revealing the gender. They're going to realize all sorts of akward things later on in the adventure.
Well the D&D worlds have many ways of becoming immortal so the whole "cause i wanna live forever" is a bit weak. If a character is strong enough to become a lich, they are probably strong enough to attain other forms of immortality.
Necromancers and Liches tend to be crazy, but they also tend to be pragmatic. There must be a specific property of being a Lich that makes the process worth wild. Your character needs a reason to want to die, and a reason to not want to live. The reasons to not die can be clear and simple. What will make you character unique, is their reason to not want to live.
For example, Lord Voldemort was afraid to die and loose his power. Yet he did not want to live because he hated life. He was disguested by it, and was disguested that he was associated with life. So he became neither, alive or dead. He even went the extra mile and made multiple phylacteries.
>Your character isn't strong enough to become immortal, and made deals for the secrets of become a Lich. When you die, you want to come back to life, true life. You made the deal, activated the ritual, and took on the debt it requires. You can not live, or die, your "benefactors" wont let you until you have paid your debt them. When your debt is paid, you hope you will become truely alive. Until then you must suffer the stygma, the pain, and the hollowness of being a Lich. It is the price you pay for your deeds. Works well if your a warlock, as you already make pacts for your powers.
>You need to die. Purhaps you commited a crime, and are pursued by many powerful adventures, assassins and bounty hunters. Purhaps you are pursued by the party. Your death will serve justice, but you do not want to stay dead. You want to come back and start fresh. Becomeing a Lich is the logical answer. You make your preperations, and when the time comes you put on a good show. However your "death" only makes you stronger. It gives you a new chance at existance, and it enables justice. What you do after your "death" is up to you. Do you seek to undo your wickedness, or enchance it? In either case, after becoming a lich, you will need new and strong allies. Like the ones that put you to death...
I'm going to take a slightly more Good viewpoint on this, having been rather tempted by Archlich before....
1) You have realised that the power you are drawing into your body to cast certain spells has been having an effect on you. You have meditated, investigated and determined you have the capacity to use that power to renew your body, even regenerate new ones by maintaining your essence beyond your body's end. Why die, if it takes only a short, effortless ritual to ascend? No bargaining with a higher power, no endless evil unleashed, just the knowledge that your life can continue until you are bored of this world.
2) Perhaps you are looking to achieve a certain goal? You have worked hard all your life, tried every method, reached new heights of power, but your task remains unfinished. It is an unpalatable option, obviously, but you hand your phylactory over to the church, and receive their vow that they will shatter it once you can rest, your soul can finally rest.
3) The fight between the living and the undead is not a fair one. Great warriors have fought and slain the corruption, but all fall sooner or later. Their bodies may then be plundered by necromancers and worse. In learning to fight them you have uncovered many dusty tomes and secrets, with which you have punished the tainted ones. And then, one day, you found the secrets of lichdom, and discovered no new weakness in their form... only a new strength. You believe there are purer powers that could assist in this process, ones that would imbue you with immortality, yes, but one brimming over with life, a pure energy with which you could rot the vile forms of vampires and worse, containing all their evil energies to be unleashed upon their still living allies. The Good souls of your allies will remain pure, and you will have turned their greatest weapon against them, under the halo of divine powers.
Post Your Reply
Please login to post a reply.