|#1rumblebellyFeb 16, 2004 15:40:35||I'm trying to create a written tradion of Necromancy for my GH campaign. So, in thinking about this, I'd like to know who the famous and not-so-famous liches or other Necromancers of the Flanaess are, and what made them notorious. Also, what writings or other legacies did they leave behind for aspiring Necromancers to study?|
|#2zombiegleemaxFeb 16, 2004 16:35:26||Vecna became a deity. That's pretty major.|
Acererak achieved demi-lich status and created a nasty tomb that served as the killing field for many an adventurer.
Lyandrezed also made himself a pretty nasty dungeon but unlike Acererak seemingly invites visitors.
|#3zombiegleemaxFeb 16, 2004 16:37:55||in Return to the Tomb of Horrors Acererak is attempting to become 1 with the Plane of Negative Energy.|
Just a minor correction:
Lyandrezed is actually "Lyzandred" (the Mad). Supposedly the mentor of Zagyg himself.
|#4zombiegleemaxFeb 16, 2004 16:46:04||Never played "Return..." just the original. Nice to know they fleshed Acererak out a little (pun fully intended) and gave him a motivating factor other than just being crabby.|
As for my Lyzandred gaffe :embarrass
|#5zombiegleemaxFeb 16, 2004 17:19:31||There's also Xaene, the ex-court mage of Ivid V, who became a two-headed lich. He disappeared with Rauxes, though. |
|#6robbastardFeb 16, 2004 18:05:50||Don't forget Asberdies (sp?), who ruled the Yeomanry long ago. There's also Azalin, who left Oerth to rule a realm in Ravenloft.|
We also have Dahlvier, who rules Dahlvier's County, an autonomous realm in the Empire of Iuz; Drokkas, who resides in the Necropolis of Unaagh in the Bright Desert; & Lerrek, a priest of Erythnul from Iuz the Evil.
|#7cwslyclghFeb 16, 2004 19:20:23||there is the unamed lich just laying on a stone lege in the underdark in D2 decent to the depths of the earth.|
|#8zombiegleemaxFeb 16, 2004 19:28:46||That is the lich Asperdies. There is a write up of him and his crown and scepter. He had been banished from the Yeomanry ages ago and lives out his undying days in seclusion.|
|#9zombiegleemaxFeb 16, 2004 19:34:07||Why would a Lich, who is very powerful & highly intelligent, just lay around waiting to be looted? That makes no sense surely?|
|#10rumblebellyFeb 17, 2004 0:06:18||Thanks for the responses, guys. Could you do me a favor and list the source material you get these guys from, so I can look them up.|
Okay, so far we have:
Vecna: famed for the Eye and Hand artifacts, and ruling a rather large empire at some point in pre-history. Killed by his lieutenant Kas. He probably left behind some written works of necromancy, don't you think. I remember seeing an article in Dragon Magazine detailing some of Vecna's spells.
Azalin: carried off by the Mists of Ravenloft, but does anyone remember where and when in the Flanaess he came from? Did he have a chance to leave any writings?
Asperdies: detailed in decent into the depths of the earth (thanks, didn't know about this guy). Could he have left a written legacy?
Drokkas: who lives in the Bright Desert. Can I find him in Rary the Traitor? Does he have a written legacy?
Is Dahlvier found in Ius the Evil with Lerrek?
I would assume Xaene has a written legacy that might have been dispersed throughout the Great Kingdom before it fell. Detailed in Ivid the Undying or From the Ashes? Or both?
Acererak: tomb of horrors and return to the tomb of horrors. I don't remember if I own return or not. Hmm... And I don't remember if any of his spells were presented in the 1st one. Opinions on whether or not he has a written legacy?
I just read about Lyzandred today in the Lyzandred the Mad adventure. It doesn't seem likely that he left much of a written legacy to posterity, but some of his thoughts and philosophies might have been recorded by Zagyg.
I'm also interested in Liches or other powerful necromancers used in your personal campaigns, or that appear in the Oerth Journal or other semi-canon materials.
Thanks so much!
|#11zombiegleemaxFeb 17, 2004 6:24:56|
Originally posted by StevieS
Sounds like Gygax wrote the module...
|#12AeoliusFeb 17, 2004 9:33:12|
Originally posted by Rumblebelly
Within the Dramidj Ocean, in the region of the Pinnacles of Azor'alq, dwells Syliah, a sea hag demi-lich witch. Having recently learned the path followed by fiends of blasphemy, Syliah commands four coveys of hags - thirteen hags in all. The most powerful covey, an epic level trio who call their group a covyn, have learned the secrets of creating a hideous abomination known as the Eye of the Damned. The least powerful covey, three sea hag newcomers, reside upon a ghost ship captained by Scrimshaw, a spellstitched dread pirate bone creature.
To aid a daring assemblage of adventurers, the neutrally-aligned spectral hag known as Xaetra, having recently been slain by her sea hag granddaughter Tempest, now acts as patron to a lesser covey known as a clutch. During this time, Tempest was restored to life in the ritual of the blood magus.
|#13zombiegleemaxFeb 17, 2004 9:37:47||Well, Acererak does have some created spells in the "return to" mostly dealing with negative energy magic. I remember a spell by the name of Blackfire that was pretty decent. Also, an entire city has cropped up outside the tomb pledging worship to Acererak and they are led by some vampires. Really good mod that recieved Box Set treatment.|
Ref: Tomb of Horrors, Return to the Tomb of Horrors
Vecna is now also residing in Ravenloft and has a domain right next to Kas. Unfortunately the mod, "Vecna Reborn" is a horrible rendition of would could have been an awesome adventure. Thx for nothing Monte Cook.
Ref: Vecna Lives! Die, Vecna Die!, Vecna Reborn
Lyzandred (the Mad) as you have stated isn't very popular. Sean Reynolds is a writer I usually deem as excellent, but this one really blows.... I dunno what the heck he was thinking when he wrote this one.
Ref: The Crypt of Lyzandred the Mad
|#14rumblebellyFeb 17, 2004 10:21:38||Well, I would think a whole city would produce a living legacy of spells and other necromantic techniques that an aspiring necromancer could get a hold of.|
I checked, don't have Return to the Tomb of Horrors. I remember thinking I should buy it when it came out, and for some reason I just didn't.
Thanks, Aeolius for the write-up of the hag coveys. I might use it if my PCs ever make it to that side of the world.
|#15zombiegleemaxFeb 17, 2004 10:29:09||While Xaene did supposedly disappear with Rauxes, no one really knows for sure, so he could still be around somewhere. Also, Sargent hints in Ivid the Undying that the two-headed lich travelled quite a bit (like the time he went to Almor to meet Szefren), so it's possible some of his works are scattered around the Aerdi lands.|
One other tidbit is that many powerful folks teleported to Rauxes shortly after it was reported that Ivid was dead, and although most of them presumably disappeared with the city, several noteworthy individuals claim to have been there, and escaped. Drax the Invincible and Delglath are just two that I can think of off the top of my head. It's possible that someone came across a tome or artifact of Xaene's, then teleported out of the city with the loot.
source: Ivid the Undying
From the Ashes may have more information about Xaene, but I don't own it, so I can't say for sure.
|#16GreysonFeb 17, 2004 11:09:32||Has anyone mentioned Arinanin? Tilorop-b-Nan transformed Arinanan into the Oerth's first Lich in -5010 CY, according to Steve Wilson's The History of Oerth timeline in Oerth Journal #1.|
|#17acearFeb 17, 2004 11:17:51|
Originally posted by abysslin
I have the adventure right here next to me and well... Your not up-to-date.
The first thing you should know is that Die, Vecna, Die is a sort of triple threat adventure that is designed to end your 2ed game and leave you open to start a 3ed game.
The plot entails a romp through greyhawk, (Well starts in Greyhawk, You jump through a magic gate there thats part of a very large artifact) chasing Iuz in his mad dash for power to steal Vecna's Demigod power away from him. To do so, he has to traverse through an of world shrine to Vecna and steal one of the infamous artifacts the eye of Vecna. The players will also come upon the lesser known relics of Vecna and the Hand of Vecna. The will actually have to use them to get through the adventure.
The players arive to late to stop him, but they give chase through the gate into the shire into.....
Once there the players get there, it gecomes a bit of a hackfest which is a bit uncaracteristic for Ravenloft as the player have to use skill luck and guile as well as plenty of smackdown abilites to find the throne room of Vecna and witness Iuz's undoing.
Metagame side note.
In the the adventure "Vecna Lives", Vecna nearly pulled of taking full control of Oerth from the rest of the Gods. The players of the game frantically to stop him, but ultimately Iuz was the only God on the planet at the time and through a god like struggle in the skies, through Vecna into Ravenloft. (Don't ask about the other dieties that might have been on Oerth at the time, Who knows why St. Cuthbert or Beory didn't step in.)
That as a set back for Vecna, but being slow and calculating he fostered another plan. The adventure Vecna, Reborn was supposed to be a plot to escape Ravenloft by being reborn, but once again, it would seem that he was foiled again by adventurers. Die, Vecna Die reviels this to be just a ruse. To make sure that Iuz would be able to reach Vecna, he wanted to appear less than prepared for such an situation, to make it appear that he couldn't focus a plan to far in advance. Allowing the Mists of Ravenloft to bring Iuz right to him instead of trapping the old one in his own domain. That the Dark Powers of Ravenloft been prepared for such duplicity, Flanness would be a much better place indeed.
So Iuz finds out what Kas had to learn the hard way. Using the Sword of Kas will not bring Vecna down and Iuz it sucked up into Vecna. Vecna takes the opportunity and at that very moment, sunders his shackles in Ravenloft and in the split second of his apotheosis transports himself to where else but Sigil.
Since Gods may not enter Sigil, He enters just before he is one, but just afterwards he becomes a Greater God. The players pretty much have to follow in Vecna's wake, as this domain is destroyed. (More than likely, so is Kas's) Once in Sigil the players are asked to do something about it by representatives of the Lady of Pain.
At that point, players learn that they have to give Vecna the smack down and send him out of Sigil. Once that is complete a few meta game things happen.
Vecna, falls to Oerth, and on the way down Iuz breaks free of him. Iuz is still a Demi-God, but Vecna is a Lesser God. Even though he didn't succeed, he still comes out ahead.
The players are actually acknowledged by the Lady of Pain. (That will leave them scratching thier heads if they know anything about Planescape. They are also given a home in Sigil.
The Lady of Pain reorganizes the Planes. Some world and Demiplanes are destroyed Some worlds change. ect, ect. Much like a comicbook line going through a disaster to recon the story line, WOTC has given themselves a blank slate to handly how the planes work. The Great Wheel for the most part belongs to Greyhawk, Forgotton Realms has thier great tree and the two don't really mix ecept if you allow the Shadow Plane to connect in your games.
Sigil still exists, and is linked to the Great Wheel, but little is known if connect to all the places it once did. In many wasys Planescape was swollowed up by Greyhawk.
Anyways. Long story short it is a story with alot of detail, but pretty much railroads the characters, but then again it has alot of cinamatic feel to it. I have to say I really like it.
|#18zombiegleemaxFeb 17, 2004 11:37:00||Oh, I'm "quite up to date," as you say. Vecna Reborn was simply horrible. Decent storyline, horrid composition and execution.|
I could give a full review, but opinions would no doubt vary... it was written by Monte after all.
|#19grodogFeb 17, 2004 11:52:53||Here are all of the liches in Greyhawk ID'd in Jason Zavoda's index:|
I hope that helps :D
|#20zombiegleemaxFeb 17, 2004 12:14:54||In case you haven't seen it already, there is a big write up of Xaene on this very forum. Just click back to the index and you'll find it. I also seem to recall there was a fairly nice write up of Asberdies somewhere on the web. I am pretty sure it is at canonfire.com if you want to check it out. Happy hunting.|
|#21rumblebellyFeb 17, 2004 13:42:51||Thank you guys so much; it really helps. I almost think we should start the Great Lich Project and make-up spells, artifacts, legends, and/or tomes that various Liches and those aspiring to become liches have made up or inspired; or Liches that you have made up for your various campaigns.|
In my campaign world there (un)lives a dwarven lich by the name of Farin Stoneseer, cursed by Moradin to dwell forever in the Beautious Cones of the Baklarran and guard the Codex of the Infinite Planes from those who would seek to use it. IMC, historians mistakenly assume it was the Bakluni that destroyed the Suel Imperium in retaliation for the Invoked Devestation, but actually, it was Farin Stoneseer using the Codex who brought down the Rain of Colorless Fire as punishment for their crimes (enslavement and such) against dwarven kind. However, he couldn't stop using the book and eventually destroyed the Dwarven civilization that dwelled there, and for this Moradin made him a lich. The Codex was stolen once or twice, but Farin Stoneseer always managed to get it back and there it rests to this very day.
Farin's ancestor, a Sha'ir acquired the Codex from a Dao who stole it from the City of Brass and wanted to hide it from the Efreet.
|#22HalberkillFeb 17, 2004 15:50:59||There was also a write-up of the Suel Lich monster in either Dragon or LG Journal.|
|#23bdpenneyFeb 17, 2004 15:57:32||Speaking of which:|
Isn't there a dwarven cleric lich in TSR Jam. Its details the Pits of Azak Sil or some such.
Haven't paid it too much much mention.
Also, I believe that in the sourcebook The Marklands there's a lich mentioned (or implied) within Furyondy's own borders.
There is also a ultra-powerful lich mentioned in the Living Greyhawk Jourlnal's guide to Zeif and the Baklunish West.
|#24grodogFeb 17, 2004 23:43:50|
Originally posted by Rumblebelly
In that case you'll definitely want to check out Robert Mullin's article "Three Greyhawk Grimoires" in Dragon 225, which contains Vecna's Ineffable Variorum, Iggwilv’s Nethertome, and Acererak’s Libram (he followed this up in Dragon 241 with tomes from Keraptis, Slerotin, and the Mage of the Valley).
|#25auralynxFeb 18, 2004 0:31:03||Don't think it's ever been firmly settled (could be wrong, working from memory), but it's certainly possible that Kyuss became a lich somewhere along his route to becoming the demipower in the Greyhawk pantheon who's probably the least detailed given how often he's mentioned.|
|#26cwslyclghFeb 18, 2004 1:40:39||I thought Kyuss was a hero-deity or a quasideity... not a demigod.... but I agree that given his fascination with undead it seems at least possible that he became a lich someplace along the way.|
|#27acearFeb 18, 2004 8:29:41|
Originally posted by abysslin
Then why didn't you place Vecna on Oerth instead of Ravenloft?
|#28zombiegleemaxFeb 18, 2004 9:09:52||ahh, so that's what you meant. Probably cross-thoughts - IMC.|
|#29bdpenneyFeb 18, 2004 9:32:16||I know there's a lich in WGR1 Greyhawk Ruins. Can't think of particulars off the top of my head.|
The City of Greyhawk has some adventure cards, one of which has a lich in it.
|#30rumblebellyFeb 18, 2004 13:38:26|
Originally posted by grodog
Damn, damn, damn. I used to have that issue, then in a mad fit of spring cleaning because my wife and I moved into a smaller apartment I got rid of all my Dragon magazines. Not a day goes by that I don't kick myself for getting rid of those.
But these tomes are exactly what I had in mind when setting about to create some written legacies that modern day necromancers can study.
Do the CD Rom Dragon Archives have these issues in them?
|#31zombiegleemaxFeb 18, 2004 14:42:31|
Originally posted by Rumblebelly
AFAIK, the CD-ROM contains issues #1-250.
(Thank God, I still have both of them. :-)
|#32rotipherFeb 18, 2004 16:31:50||Even before Vecna got himself promoted, there was an ascended lich-god in the "Monster Mythology" supplement. I don't recall his name, and his plane of origin as a mortal wasn't specified, but he could be written into Oerth's history if you'd like to include him.|
|#33zombiegleemaxFeb 18, 2004 20:34:08||Oh yeah, Mellifleur. How can we forget him?|
|#34acearFeb 19, 2004 7:31:40||Should we count in Dragotha the Dracolich?|
|#35rumblebellyFeb 19, 2004 12:24:04||Where does this nasty little creature reside? Is there something akin to a Cult of the Dragon in Greyhawk?|
|#36cwslyclghFeb 19, 2004 13:59:33||Dragotha predates the forgotten realms and the cult of the dragon by some time... first being mentioned in module S2 White Plume Mountain... his lair is someplace north east of the Great Rift. not far from the mountian of the modules name (although Dragotha himself, nor his lair is not detailed in the module).|
|#37rumblebellyFeb 19, 2004 15:11:20|
Originally posted by Glorfinden
Do you know if the CD-ROM is still available?
|#38rumblebellyFeb 19, 2004 15:12:29|
Originally posted by cwslyclgh
I have this module, but I have to dig it out. Do you happen to have a page reference handy? If not, I'm sure I'll come across it.
|#39cwslyclghFeb 19, 2004 15:30:16||he is simply listed on the map, showing his domain.|
he is talked about slightly more in Return to White Plume Mountian... and I think that a designer made an adventure detailing his lair for the RPGA or something (although it is a 2e adventure).
the Dragotha'slair adventure can be downloaded >>>HERE<<<
|#40rotipherFeb 19, 2004 16:32:34||Was Dragotha positively identified as a *lich* dragon, in that Dragon magazine article that gave his statistics...? I could've sworn that he was described as an unique creature with abilities that outclassed the FR dracoliches. The original S2 map comment just called him an "undead dragon", not a draconic lich specifically.|
|#41rumblebellyFeb 19, 2004 23:35:52|
Originally posted by cwslyclgh
THanks for the link! I downloaded the adventure, though I haven't had a chance to look through it yet.
More liches or necromancers anyone?
|#42grodogFeb 20, 2004 0:39:42|
Originally posted by Rotipher
Yes, in addition to Bruce Cordell's version (the download on CF! linked to above), you'll also want to check out Dragon 134's article "Lords & Legends: Fabulous Riches and Hideous Death" by William Simpson, which details his version of Dragotha (who is rather different from the standard FR dracolich IIRC).
And, to rumblebelly's question about the Dragon archive CD, it's not sold retail by WotC anymore, though it does often turn up on eBay and you can certainly get it from online retailers, regular retailers, and OOP specialty places like www.nobleknight.com.
|#43rumblebellyFeb 22, 2004 10:34:00|
Originally posted by grodog
I couldn't find the CD on nobleknight.com, but I'll keep my eye out on ebay for the set.
I'm still open to history and stats for liches past, future or present that you have created for your own campaigns, or necromantic legacies of other sorts.
|#44rotipherFeb 22, 2004 11:46:14||If you're looking for dates for your history, Azalin -- real name Firan Darcalus Zal'honan -- ruled Knurl from 283 CY until 391 CY. In the last six decades of his rule, he conquered the Teesar Valley, the Flinty and Blemu Hills, the Ardi Forest and Innspa. Eventually he was lured into a trap by Nyrondese troops, under the command of the heir to a noble he'd had executed for sedition (along with his own son, Irik), and fled into the Mists of Ravenloft when his undead nature was exposed by a gypsy sorceress.|
Azalin's chief necromantic innovation as a mortal was in collecting the lifeforce of the dying and channeling it into the living, to heal or restore youth. He spent his entire unlife on Oerth in search of a way to truly resurrect his executed son -- an *arcane* way, as he scorned divine magic -- but never found it; once in Ravenloft, he was equally unsuccessful in trying to leave the demiplane, and was eventually cursed to fail in all his efforts to learn new magic.
If you're looking to trace specific Necromancy spells to a source, I'd suggest that Firan Zal'honan might've invented the Vampiric Touch spell. Other than that, between his preoccupation with rulership and conquest, and his final imprisonment in Ravenloft, Azalin never got the chance to make many breakthroughs.
|#45rumblebellyFeb 22, 2004 15:31:18|
Originally posted by Rotipher
These are exactly the kinds of things I was looking for! Thank you, Rotipher. I hope your example inspires others.
|#46rotipherFeb 23, 2004 12:19:00||Glad to be of help! Sorry I can't give you details on any *other* GH liches -- I'm really a RL buff, who checked out this thread simply because Azalin's name turned up on a word-search of the boards -- but if I *did* have GH products to consult, I'd have passed on their information too.|
|#47rumblebellyFeb 23, 2004 14:10:27||Quite alright. Every little bit helps, and some of the funnest games I've ever run have been in Ravenloft.|
|#48zombiegleemaxFeb 24, 2004 4:31:55||The lich Azalin, darklord of Darkon, was born Firan Darcalus Zal'honan in Common Year 231 to Earl Turalitan Zal'honan (of Knurl). He reigned as the Earl and Azal'Lan (wizard-king) of Knurl in the Bone Marches during his life and into his undeath. After agressively expanding the bounds of his fiefdom and renouncing fealty to the Malachite Throne, Azalin was drawn into Ravenloft in Common Year 391 while fleeing mercenary sent by the Nyrondese.|