10 Things to Find in a Lich’s Lair

Few types of undead strike as much fear into adventurers’ hearts as liches. Powerful spellcasters, evil and immortal they number among the most powerful of evil’s servants.

Some artwork copyright Paul Daly, used with permission.

Some artwork copyright Paul Daly, used with permission.

 

As befits their power, their lairs are often full of fabulous treasures. Among such treasures, however, are often found more mundane, but nevertheless interesting, trinkets and odds and ends. Use the table below, to generate the details of such trinkets

  1. This worn and ancient skull has had the top cut off and its eye sockets, mouth and nose blocked up with melted iron. A golden skull cap now tops the skull, which contains a flask worth of unholy water.
  2. A faded portrait, covered in grime, dust and cobwebs depicts the lich as it was in life. A blanket has been thrown over the portrait and its heavy, ornate frame.
  3. A great mass of jumbled bones completely fills a large niche cut into the floor. Several grinning skulls stare up from the macabre spectacle. The remains of literally dozens of individuals lie therein.
  4. The ceiling of this chamber has been painted jet black. Onto this has been daubed a star map of sorts. With extensive study, a knowledgeable PC can discover the map depicts a rare alignment of constellations that will not occur for another 300 years.
  5. Several potion vials sit on a dusty shelf. Over the years, their stoppers have rusted or shrunk and the potions within have slowly evaporated leaving behind a dried scum coating the bottom of the vial.
  6. Brightly polished steel shields cover one wall. All identifying marks have been scoured from their surfaces, which are almost as polished as a mirror.
  7. A strange, musty odour redolent of rotting flesh and moist earth hangs in the air. In certain deep or remote parts of the lich’s lair, the smell is almost overpowering.
  8. A pile of dusty manuscripts, portfolios and other books stand near the lich’s workspace. Obviously untouched for years—perhaps decades—the pile sags precariously to one side.
  9. An ornately carved stone sarcophagus holds the mouldering remains of the lich’s first love.The lich is reluctant to simply animate the remains; rather it has been researching a means to create an intelligent skeleton with a range of powers befitting the person’s life. Its research notes along with love poems and rambling tracts about how much the lich misses his love fill a large leather bound book standing on a lectern nearby.
  10. A small ornately carved iron box filled with rune-covered scraps of parchment lies behind a poorly hidden secret door. This is the lich’s decoy phylactery; its real phylactery is hidden elsewhere.

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This article will appear in GM’s Miscellany: 20 Things II, available in March 2017. For more, check out our Free Resources page.

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