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BigfordWorks Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
“A rock crystal vessel recovered during archeological excavations of the royal palace of Hittite City of Ugarit under King Ammurapi, which fell to the so-called “Sea Peoples” in 1180 B.C. Our staff reports that the invaders struck so quickly that there was no time to raise the alarm to the surrounding cities. Apparently, their navy and landing armies where quite large.”

“Your staff?”

“Those currently in our organization who were there at the time.”

“This complete surprise attack is undoubtedly why the Sorcerer was interrupted during his work. Apparently, this unknown magician had completed most of the horrendous ritual acts needed to configure his Phylactery except offering up his blood to it, then dying.”

“So, what does this one do...?”

“A lich is a spellcaster who seeks to gain immortality and greater magical ability through bonding their spirit to a physical object. By constructing a receptacle and storing one's soul within it via dark rituals, that spellcaster can live forever as an undead creature. This renders him immortal by means of the endless ability to regenerate new bodies from the Phylactery. Since a lich's soul is tied to its Phylactery, destroying its body will not kill it. Rather, its soul will return to the Phylactery, and its body will be recreated by the vessel. As a side effect you will also gain dominion over most undead creatures excepting only the most powerful undead.”

“Unlike most other forms of undead creatures, the Lich retains all sense of self it had prior to transformation. Memories, personality, and any skills and abilities you possessed in life.”

“And the other thing?”

“This, like Lot# 3 This is a composite set. The bark paper is an Akkadian translation of the same spell that creates the Phylactery. It is included should you wish to derive more details of the item and its nature. Or should you choose to create more Phylacterys yourself.”

“I can make more?”

“With this spell yes. Though this is highly advanced and deeply depraved magic. We do not recommend attempts by the unskilled. We will provide a translation for review should you wish to make a commitment to this item. But again, the rites involved are quite horrific and obscene to perform.”

“I’d have to die again, wouldn’t I?”

“Yes, it’s the final stage of the formation/bonding spell.”

“What do you mean by “Horrendous acts”?”

“This form of necromancy is among the most loathsome forms of magic. Requiring the deaths of many infants, unspeakable ingredients and acts of personal horror. It is surprising this specimen exists since the Hittites had lethally strong provisions against black magic. And this sorcerer was performing these horrors within the palace itself.”

“It looks alive in there.”

“It is. But dormant. Just as with Lot# 12 it has been learned that the magic can be successfully interrupted and altered. In this case this particular Phylactery can be used by anyone, not just the long dead sorcerer. The interior has, as a result of the spells semi-completion, created a blank “uterine” environment within the vessel. It only requires a single drop of blood from the donor to complete the spell and seal the bond to the Phylactery. Then your suicide.”

“How?”

“Any means, gunshot, poison, anything.”

“the details are contained within the spell.  Should your body be destroyed after bonding with the Phylactery, which is a VERY difficult thing to do, The Lich is capable of sustaining tremendous physical damage, is immune to disease, poison, fatigue and all other biological weaknesses that affect only the living. The only known weaknesses being intense fire, modern explosives and silver, should you be successfully destroyed you would instantly wake as the blank being expelled by the Phylactery.”

“A “blank”?”

“Yes, an embryonic form resulting in an adult living body in eight to ten days. Then it is a simple matter of enduring the maturation period. The rapid growth is said to be painful but endurable. During this period of regeneration, you and the Phylactery are vulnerable. Which is another reason Lich’s take extreme measures to keep their Phylactery in a secure place.”
“Another reason to protect it? What’s the first?”

“Phylacterys are also incredibly resilient, but CAN be destroyed. Especially by modern means. If one destroys a Phylactery, they permanently destroy the lich with it. Thus, the only way to permanently destroy a lich is to destroy its Phylactery. No amount of destruction dealt to the Lich itself will suffice.  Therefore, the lich will generally be extremely protective of the priceless item. As a lich you will sense if your Phylactery is being threatened or attacked in some way. When a Phylactery is “in duress” it will call out to its lich who feels a sensation of pain and fear.”

“So, what’s it like?”

“The rebirth? At first your life force will simply manifest as a growth in the Phylactery wall. You will form very much in this environment like a bird in an egg. As your “fetus” grows it will be expelled from the Phylactery to enlarge, grow bone and sinew, even return any scars you may have received in life. A perfect copy of your body. Again, it is said to be a painful comatose state. A dream-like awareness but conscious pain during reformation.”

“There is however a risk. Addiction to your abilities.”

“What kind of abilities?”

“As stated: Control over other undead creatures. It appears your undead nature will naturally draw you to your own kind. Excessive use of your power will alter you physically. These alterations are irreversible.”

“What kind or alterations?”

“A Lich who fully embraces their powers and uses them frequently will themselves become more emaciated, sallow and gaunt. Eventually gaining the appearance of a reanimated corpse themselves. For some, obsessed merely with their power this is not an issue. However, in modern times a Lich in advanced stages of physical degradation is shall we say, “unable to move in polite society?”

“How do I make sure that I don’t change?”

“One must simply resist using one’s power. Though it is akin to fighting an all-consuming desire.  It is reported to be a crushing loneliness. All Lichs over time find the company of the living unsatisfying.”

INSPIRATION: Fantasy undead creature/ 1920’s/30’s pulp fiction.
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