Or to speak in the plural, liches. Why? Because there’s never just one lich.
In Old English the word lich (also spelled lych) means corpse. There’s nothing supernatural about it, nothing past the typical superstitions about the dead at that point in time, but now Lich has taken on an entirely new meaning. A Lich, as a proper noun, means a mortal who has used evil magic to extend his life far past his life expectancy. The spells and rituals transform the lich from a living creature to a member of the undead.
Imagine, if you will, a zombie standing before you. It looks like any of the other shambling corpses, but it’s well dressed, and its clothes seem to be free of the gore acquired by the other monsters. You shoot it in the head, its brains blowing out the back of its skull in a great bloody spray, but the zombie doesn’t fall. Instead, it smiles, starts to laugh, and it whispers a few words. Lightning blasts forth from its fingertips, cutting through you like a knife. The shambling monsters turn towards you, towards the smell of cooked meat, and the last thing you hear is the lich’s cruel laugh rising high into the night sky.
So, yeah, there’s that fun bit. And, about the ‘shooting it in the head and it not dying’ thing, that’s simple to explain. You see, a Lich’s soul is no longer attached to its body. It just possesses whatever corpse is closest to the lich’s phylactery.
Phylactery, it’s a big word, but you know what I’m talking about. Even I you’ve never played a single session of D&D. I know you know what I’m talking about, and you’ll know it to with the very next sentence. A phylactery is an object, often magical, that the person becoming a lich attaches a portion of its soul too, so that when a lich’s host body is destroyed their full soul can return to it to recuperate.
Know what I’m talking about now?
It sounds like Voldemort’s Horcruxes right?
And, the One Ring, forged by Sauron who poured all of his malice and hatred into the ring to give it the power to extend the bearers life. Gollum lived well past the life expectancy of the river folk, and Bilbo lived more than a hundred and eleven years. That’s quite a long time for a hobbit who isn’t supposed to grow past sixty years of age.
You see, you knew what I was talking about, and if you don’t I have one more example for you.
This guy even has it in his name. He is the Lich King, the corpse king, lord of all that is undead and unholy, and leader of the Undead Scourge. He is a lich that started out as a shaman named Ner’zhul, but lichdom was forced on him by the demons of the Burning Legion. His soul was bound to three magical items: the runeblade Frostmourne, a full plate armor set known as the Plate of the Damned, and the Helm of Domination which converted Ner’zhul’s vast natural magical powers into telepathic magic, allowing his will to extend its reach to every undead in the world of Azeroth.
And, I could go on for hours about the Lich King, but that’s talking a bit too much about Blizzard’s game and not mine. So, how am I going to incorporate a lich into my game? It should be obvious. I’m going to create a lich to play antagonist to my player characters, and the funny thing is, I’ve already started to set this up.
In the city my PCs are currently adventuring under there is a place on the map called The Lich’s Palace. I just haven’t decided how this is going to work with the rest of the game.
And, as with CM Puck, the Lich is going to have to wait a little while before I think about his adventure
That’s all from me. Later kids.