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Varieties of Undead (III)

Started by Idriar
Post #136735

Likes Given: 206
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Faction & Race:
Aldmeri Dominion (Altmer)
On the Undead

Civilised Necromancy

The Undead Masters

Flawed Rites

Usually it is a big thing for a circle of necromancers when the leader or the oldest and wisest member proclaims that he is going to turn himself into a Lich. The other necromancers will feel quite euphoric to have such a brilliant and daring person amongst them, even if their fellow raiser doesn´t share his secrets. They will help the future Lich to achieve his goal for several reasons: Firstly the exploratory urge, then the pride of being one of the few circles with a Lich as member and of course the supposed advantages deriving from the might of a Lich.

Unfortunately both the hopes of the future Liches and of the circle are being disappointed. Despite their wisdom and might gathered during their lives not a single necromancer has ever found a proper way to become a Lich like Mannimarco.

The problems begins once the soul of the necromancer is casted into the phylactery. In this moment or only shortly after the necromancer dies. This is not a big surprise, as the name lich implies the death, which is actually wanted. The necromancer's heart stops beating, his skin turns pale, his flesh cold. You could compare this state to a vampire’s unlife without blood hunger or vampiric abilities. But like any other lich the necromancer will then start to rot. Of Mannimarco it is known that he also died, but that decay never attacked his body.

It is a shock for most Liches to witness themself beginning to rot. To stop that they will command their fellow necromancers or followers to conserve them in the way they would conserve a mummy, save for bandages. Liches rather prefer their fine ritual robes as last garment. Others try to conserve themselves. These usually end up as skeletal Liches. Atleast they don´t feel too much of the process as their senses die, too. This is the next problem. The Necromancer has to replace his own eyes and ears with magical aural and visual senses while his tactile and other senses fail more and more. This is described as a very numb state of being.

From now on the Liches looks like any other undead minion and begines to feel rather treated like on of them and no longer as the person they used to be. Their former fellow necromancers will start looking at the Liches with unease, then indifference. Finally they will be looking down on them, giving them commands as if they were their servants. Of course, the Liches will feel betrayed, and their anger and their shame will make them turn against their former circles sooner or later.

Soul Blur

In addition, most Liches will face another problem: Souls usually can only remain on Tamriel if they are bound to a living body, if trapped in a soul gem, if used in an enchanted weapon or item or if they return or stay in the form of ghosts. The phylacteries are non of these. Like souls used in field summoning the necromancer's soul will try to find a way to its afterlife. Like the corpses, the phylacteries are damaged by the emerging energies, but way slower. Only few Liches have vessels which can resist their souls. Without his phylacteries, however, a Lich is about to 'die' and the only way to repair a phylactery is to use other souls.

Once all soulgems of the circle are spent the Lich will begin to soultrap his former fellow necromancers, finally becoming hostile towards them. In the beginning the circle might try to resist, but with the Lich they usually lost their mightiest member. If they don´t want to die they have to flee, leaving their hideout to the Lich.

It has to be a dull existance. By repairing his phylactery with other souls, the Lich's own personality is blended with the ones of his victims, his memory is blurred and his identity worn away. He will start suffering from ghost insanity, will become confused, even more aggressive, creating a small undead army to trap any intruders of the hideout for their soul. Atleast if their souls are big enough. Lich tombs and hideouts can be teeming with small, but vicious critters, especially spiders and rats.

Some (actually very few) Liches have chosen their soul vessels wisely. Still the ones with intact phylacteries are aggressive no less, being disappointed and unhappy with their current state. It was not exactly what they wanted. These will either chase their circle away, too, or rule them with an iron fist. Though, atleast these can be talked to.

Strategies of Fighting a Lich

If you are after Liches, you should not face them alone, for you will also face their undead army and aggressive animals – or their circle. Many witchhunters – and necromancers trying to retake their hideouts or to steal the Liches' knowledge - end up as new souls in the mosaic of the repaired phylacteries. In this way they also contribute to the Liches' undead armies.

Being undead they are naturally weak to fire, burning like any other undead. But as said they are too mighty to be destroyed by a simple fire: Aslong their phylacteries remain intact they can not die. The gathered might of a whole necromancer's life is bound in them. Even if they fall they will rise again and again aslong they have their phylactery, comparable to an anchor that keeps their soul fixed to Nirn.

Your only hope is to find the phylacteries, destroying them. Any time a phylactery is destroyed the Lich will lose a great portion of his might. And only if the last phylactery is destroyed the Lich can be finally killed. Unfortunately a phylactery could be anything. Gladly most of the insane, broken-vessel Liches will keep them at very promiment position, somewhat displaying them as symbols of their might. The sane Liches however will hide their vessels or carry them attached to their bodies. In such cases it is best to split up: One group engages the Lich and distract him while the other group seeks the phylacteries.

Dacesco Fodiari
This post was last modified: March 20th 2014, 04:17 PM by Idriar

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