Archliches were a type of lich that was good and noble, both in life and undeath. They could be of any type of spellcaster—including wizards, bards or clerics—and devoted their existence to whatever noble purpose motivated their transformation into lichdom.
Archliches appeared almost indistinguishable from normal liches with skeletal appearances and blank eye sockets containing only points of light. They retained all of the memories, personality, and abilities that they possessed in life—but, and further had a virtual eternity to hone their skills and to inevitably became very powerful. Unlike common liches, their bodies and minds did not continue to deteriorate with time.
Archliches strove to accomplish their noble goals, and would often seek to partner with goodly adventurers, particularly rangers, bards, and wizards. They have been known to make friends with the living, to engage in earthly pleasures like eating and smoking, and even to fall in love, but archliches were irrevocably undead and ultimately these showings of humanity were fleeting.
In general, archliches preferred to avoid combat. Like other powerful forms of undead (such as a vampire or mummy), an archlich had unnatural powers owing to its state. For example, they could put mortals in a paralyzed state of hibernation with a touch, making them seem dead to others. An archlich was capable of sustaining tremendous physical damage, and was immune to disease, poison, fatigue and other things that affected only the living. However, despite all these undead "gifts", an archlich (like a lich) counted its vast intellect, its supreme mastery of wizardry and limitless time to research and plan, as its greatest resources.
Archliches existed for the sole purpose of acheiving their noble goals, and as such, institutions normally dedicated to eradicating the undead—such as the church of Kelemvor—often sought to coax them into restful death rather than destroy them. This potentially included aiding an archlich in its goodly pursuits if it would persuade it to pass on.
Archliches did not create phylacteries as did normal liches, and instead used practical magical items that could serve as more than just a repository for their souls, typically taking the form of a small spellbook. The prospective archlich had to drink a special potion while holding the created item, at least partially covered in the spellcaster's blood, while a secret spell was cast. This rite carried a small chance (less than one in ten) of possibly killing the prospective archlich and ruining the process. Otherwise it put the drinker into a deathlike slumber for four to sixteen minutes. If the sleeper survived, they would wake up an archlich. The prospective archlich had to have a direct hand in the creation of their magic item, but work on the item, the brewing of the potion, and the casting of the spell, could all be performed by another—though the process would always result in death if the subject was unwilling.
- Lady Alathene Moonstar of Waterdeep
- Bandaerl Dumatheir.
- Ezzat the Archlich
- Renwick Caradoon
- Rhaugilath the Ageless
- Lady Saharel
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