[Imagine this is all in old timey fantasy font... I don't know how to make it look like that in the grey box... I am sorry] In fantasy fiction, a lich is a type of undead creature. Often such a creature is the result of a transformation, as a powerful magician or king striving for eternal life uses spells or rituals to bind his intellect and soul to his phylactery and thereby achieve a form of immortality.
"i get to live forever and all i have to do is sacrafice my skin, social life, and hobbies and just sit in a cave for thousands of years waiting for dudes to cast fireball at? WHERE DO I SIGN"
- someone who is definitely very smart
"dyrrrr durrrrrrr" - a litch
a big dumb warrior, feeling about in the dark: "oh hey, what's this, bro?"
stupid rogue holds up a torch: "oh it's just a stupid vase, broheim."
*warrior tosses vase, immediately cowers from a loud screech from deep within the dungeon* "FOR FUCKS SAKE"
huge barbarian shoves the weakling lich over "whats the matter you big baby, going to cast a spell or something? liches get stitches haha" *stab*
deep dish peat moss
Liches ain't shit but bones and the trapped souls of really nerdy wizards
lich: *orders a pizza for delivery when he could make the same thing, even better, at home with just a few simple ingredients*
The earth is not stable: mountains rise, rivers shift, oceans evaporate. The lich knew this now. Now that an earthquake had thrown his throne into a crevice, which then filled with ocean water, which then filled with a slurry of volcanic ash. As the slurry hardened to cement all around him, the lich considered how long eternity truly was.
Ristalt the Lich left his phylactery room momentarily, to the dungeon library, to check a reference in his magic tomes before completing his research on a certain necromancer spell and sending the manuscript off to be published in The New Necromancer Journal. He knew the main rule of Liching, never leave your phylactery unprotected, but he really need to check the sources and his skeleton guards were not back from investigating a noise near the entrance. It was probably nothing but another tunnel collapse. The dungeon was over a thousand years old and it's very existence probably forgotten to the mortal world. "I'll be fine," he said to himself, before reaching for another dusty tome to carry back to his main chamber. Suddenly, all the books drop through his no more material form as he begins to fade into nothing. "Oh God Damnit, Really?"
There once was a Lich none-too-bright,
With the wit slightly less that a wight,
The problem you see
Is his phylactery
Was the shape and the size of a fleshlight
"A pleasure to see you again, Rev. Dogoode. Ahh and I see you brought your Necronauts here to banish me no doubt. You are foiled again, Arthur, for my phylactery is lost even to me."
The lich lord pauses to drink deeply from a crystal goblet. He shuffles his bony frame forward on his brass throne. Unearthly vapors coil around his head, climb up the wall, and drizzle down to the base of his thrown. If you looked long into those vapors, you would see figures turning and turning and if you tarried even longer, you would join them.
Arms akimbo, hands just above his knees, the lich leans forward in a mockery of friendly indulgence, "You see, Arthur, I bonded my soul to a hole in the universe, an object so fleeting that no man can ever find it again. I think you know to what I'm referring, but if the thought has not yet trickled through that sluggish mind of yours, then allow me to explain: I have made my phylactery from the cool gun of a GI Joe! Search all you please, Dogoode, but the game is mine."
After 640 years of undeath, I'd seen many great changes in the land of the living. While I rarely took much interest, the invention of the nuclear bomb promised destruction that even my spells couldn't come close to matching. While the business in Korea concluded without affecting me personally, the continued drive between the two superpowers of the Living World to wage proxy war and sabotage each other seems unrelenting. Tensions were high, businessmen wore crisply pressed suits and buildings that would have been impossible in my era sprang up seemingly overnight.
That gave me a thought. These grand structures... surely the deep foundations could survive anything? I'd learned the hard way just having a historic structure held little to no protection, and the cathedrals - perhaps the longest standing structures I've seen - were obviously a no-go for anything related to me. But these buildings, surely, would stand forever? Reinforced by man in their constant efforts in commerce, maintained from top to bottom.
I'd selected a deep foundation in one of these grand forums of world trade to place my phylactery. Even if a nuclear attack blasted away the superstructure, my enthralled foreman advised me, the foundation would remain intact. The structure used reinforced concrete and steel, he said, and that not even the alchemist's-fire level of heat in modern man's aviation fuel could melt these steel beams. My immortality was finally assured.
It's a Lich girl,
And he's gone too far
And you know you can't resurrect him anyway
I don't know why he used an empty jar of honey
I don't know why he used a old jar of honey
He's a lich girl, and he's gone too far
You can't reincarnate him anyway
Pay money but he used a lame soul jar,
A lame soul jar
When you're a fresh lich, things seem a bit scary at first, but you soon get over it. You have potential, you have moxie, you're gonna haunt some underground caves, acquire loot from fallen adventurers, gain fame and stature and boss around everyone. Fresh Lich Dude, CEO (Cavebound Executive Overlord). That's gonna be you.
And then reality starts to kick in over centuries. Your immortal beloved decided not to take part in the immortality ritual and found happiness with someone else, followed by a splendid natural death. You find that cave trolls are dumb as rocks, goblins are smart but annoying as hell to deal with for long durations, and dire wolves seem more interested in trying to yank off your arm bones than they are in being your loyal minions. And none of them listen to you, anyway, no matter how much gold and how many rubies you flaunt.
And then, eventually, even they all die off. You're all alone, except for the occasional dalliances with succubi that go nowhere. You have no soul for them to steal, and it doesn't matter how good the sex might be, since you don't feel shit except anxiety that your bone might break in two. Oh sure, it's impossible, you're a goddamn immortal lich. But the universe is just...so big. So empty. So cold. So full of unspoken impossibilities that, in an infinite expanse of time and space, could become possible.
You try to get philosophical. At least you have domain over this cave, and no one can take that from you. You are the cave, and it is you, and that's as true as A=A (you think). Except the adventurers don't come. Living humans are too busy doing everything but coming to try and destroy you. Oh sure, a few tried. They succumbed to exposure, to starvation, to sickness, to being torn apart by dire wolves long before they ever tried to cast a fireball at you.
And finally, jaded bitterness sets in. The lich gig doesn't work out. No one cares that you get up at 6:00 AM and bath in the magma pools to keep trim, that you spend hours getting your appearance just right, and that you spend even more hours polishing your throne and spell staff so they gleam luminously. And so, you give up. You put away the robe and the staff, quit swimming in the magma pools, and just stop being lichy.
And now, today, you're still around. Immortality, remember? It's all you can really do these days to sit on your throne in your underwear, channel surfing through basic cable for syndicated TV show reruns, watching the occasional lich cat video on your smartbone. The odd explorer comes by; you just look at them, gesture over your bony shoulder at the broom closet where you keep the few treasures you have left, and just ignore them.
Who sheds a tear for the failed lich that has given up?
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