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Purifying a Phylactery


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

Dark Archive

So, there are allot of rules around liches and their phylactery. But I love flavor. Let me explain what's going on then move from there.

There is this old artifact in my world called the Sky Stone. Well, that's it's name now. It has the ability to block fiends from entering a place. Very powerful. It was lost in a war and found by a lich, inactive. She, not wanting it used but unwilling to brake it, made it her phylactery.

The heroes now have it and are unwilling to brake it because this artifact can insure the safety of an entire city IF they can extract the lich's soul from the stone. And I, the GM, don't have the heart to tell them they can't do this. And, as the GM, I can make this happen, but I am currently lacking the creative juices to find a way to purify the artifact.

So I have come to ask the help of wiser GMs then I for advice. Assuming a lich can be killed, permanently, if the phylactery is stripped of the soul in it (making it no longer a phylactery), how might this be possible? Please be creative!


The sin must be cleansed by a noble sacrifice in the name of an innocent.

Vague requirements like that are handy. It could an NPC losing money, all the way to a PC death.


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Don't kill the lich. Take it out with Trap the Soul or Temporal Stasis... Hide the trapped lich away in a safe space. Use artifact to protect city. (They might also want to take steps to ensure that they are warned if/when the lich is released...)


Put a Helm of Opposite Alignment on the Lich?


Azten wrote:
Put a Helm of Opposite Alignment on the Lich?

I don't think that works - doesn't it count as mind-affecting - which undead are immune to...


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Funnily enough it does not say it is mind-effecting. The DC 15 Will save is problematic though.


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Does the party currently have the ability to face and defat the lich in combat?

If they did(and aren't playing PFS), I would probably BS an artifact/ritual(found in the town) that allows them to convert the lich's bound soul into a demi-plane they must then fight through and Purify before the Lich revives(as the demi-plane would run at a different speed from the real world).

Then, depending on how far they get, change the lich's disposition towards them/alignment, possibly even letting the PC's leave them there as a guardian for the city.


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How about a lost ritual/ relic or what not that can take care of this, if it is recovered from The Tower of Dread©, for added struggle maybe a place is needed to put the lich's soul when it is removed, so either another phylactery must be made or a soulless but still living vessel must be found.


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You could use osirian soul jars and just shove it in one.

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic-items/wondrous-items/wondrous-items/h-l/jars- spirit/

This seems like the lich wasnt smart.


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Kunzite wrote:

So, there are allot of rules around liches and their phylactery. But I love flavor. Let me explain what's going on then move from there.

There is this old artifact in my world called the Sky Stone. Well, that's it's name now. It has the ability to block fiends from entering a place. Very powerful. It was lost in a war and found by a lich, inactive. She, not wanting it used but unwilling to brake it, made it her phylactery.

The heroes now have it and are unwilling to brake it because this artifact can insure the safety of an entire city IF they can extract the lich's soul from the stone. And I, the GM, don't have the heart to tell them they can't do this. And, as the GM, I can make this happen, but I am currently lacking the creative juices to find a way to purify the artifact.

So I have come to ask the help of wiser GMs then I for advice. Assuming a lich can be killed, permanently, if the phylactery is stripped of the soul in it (making it no longer a phylactery), how might this be possible? Please be creative!

There really isn't that many rules for Lich Phylacteries, so it's pretty open. The only hard facts are the requirements for creating one, as well as the idea that their soul is stored within the object. So, the world is your oyster in every other respect.

That being said, they don't have to extract his soul (which as you said wasn't possible), but they could just destroy it. How? Well, the more "fun" way to do it would be via the Astral Projection spell (Lesser version is much more palatable for lower levels), which would allow them to have their bodies on the same plane as the Soul that inhabits the object. From there, they can destroy the soul directly (which is most likely done via the Lich's spirit), thereby ridding the soul from the object (and therefore it becomes purified). The encounter becomes a lot more difficult, since a single 3rd level spell (Dispel Magic) can take a PC directly out of the fight (multiple PCs if using Greater), or the destruction of a silver cord (probably via Rod of Cancelling and so on) can outright kill a PC, but if they're well-prepared, won't be major issues.

Dark Archive

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M1k31 wrote:

Does the party currently have the ability to face and defat the lich in combat?

If they did(and aren't playing PFS), I would probably BS an artifact/ritual(found in the town) that allows them to convert the lich's bound soul into a demi-plane they must then fight through and Purify before the Lich revives(as the demi-plane would run at a different speed from the real world).

Then, depending on how far they get, change the lich's disposition towards them/alignment, possibly even letting the PC's leave them there as a guardian for the city.

The lich has combated them and they won, but mostly because the lich was testing them. No, this isn't PFS, but my own brew. They are a powerful lv 10 team with one mythic lv. I worry very little about thrown really challenging things at them.

This sounds like a fun way to do this. I'll set this in my back pocket.

Dark Archive

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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Kunzite wrote:

So, there are allot of rules around liches and their phylactery. But I love flavor. Let me explain what's going on then move from there.

There is this old artifact in my world called the Sky Stone. Well, that's it's name now. It has the ability to block fiends from entering a place. Very powerful. It was lost in a war and found by a lich, inactive. She, not wanting it used but unwilling to brake it, made it her phylactery.

The heroes now have it and are unwilling to brake it because this artifact can insure the safety of an entire city IF they can extract the lich's soul from the stone. And I, the GM, don't have the heart to tell them they can't do this. And, as the GM, I can make this happen, but I am currently lacking the creative juices to find a way to purify the artifact.

So I have come to ask the help of wiser GMs then I for advice. Assuming a lich can be killed, permanently, if the phylactery is stripped of the soul in it (making it no longer a phylactery), how might this be possible? Please be creative!

There really isn't that many rules for Lich Phylacteries, so it's pretty open. The only hard facts are the requirements for creating one, as well as the idea that their soul is stored within the object. So, the world is your oyster in every other respect.

That being said, they don't have to extract his soul (which as you said wasn't possible), but they could just destroy it. How? Well, the more "fun" way to do it would be via the Astral Projection spell (Lesser version is much more palatable for lower levels), which would allow them to have their bodies on the same plane as the Soul that inhabits the object. From there, they can destroy the soul directly (which is most likely done via the Lich's spirit), thereby ridding the soul from the object (and therefore it becomes purified). The encounter becomes a lot more difficult, since a single 3rd level spell (Dispel Magic) can take a PC...

Alrght, this is building on an idea someone else presented that I rally liked. And being on another plane is always a fun way to work those creative writing skills I use in no other way.

So, because I am still a new-ish gm as are my players, how would one be prepared for this trip? how to you passively prepare for dispel magic?

Dark Archive

Halek wrote:

You could use osirian soul jars and just shove it in one.

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic-items/wondrous-items/wondrous-items/h-l/jars- spirit/

This seems like the lich wasnt smart.

The one successful lich before her has been stripped of her magic and is now is held captive in the dungeons of a city for closing in on 600 years because the people didn't know how to kill her. Well, still don't. This kind of undeath is very new to this world. So, she has gone unchallenged for a very long time.

I'll look into this item though!


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Kunzite wrote:

Alrght, this is building on an idea someone else presented that I rally liked. And being on another plane is always a fun way to work those creative writing skills I use in no other way.

So, because I am still a new-ish gm as are my players, how would one be prepared for this trip? how to you passively prepare for dispel magic?

As I've stated, Lesser Astral Projection would put you on the same plane as the Lich's spirit. There might be other effects that do this, but this is perhaps the most common way to do it without having to jump through a whole lot of hoops (unless you want them to).

Ring of Counterspells would work against the Lich's attempt to dispel PCs out of the fight. It's 4,000 gold, and if you store Greater Dispel Magic in there, you'll be protected from the first time the Lich attempts to throw you out of the fight. It's a one time use before you have to restock the spell though.

Lesser Globe of Invulnerability would help against countering the Lich simply using basic Dispel Magic. Greater Dispel would still affect them though.

If the Lich was smart, he'd use Anti-Magic Field and basically make the PCs unable to fight them, but I'd advise against this except as a last resort in an attempt to make the Lich survive and return to fight later down the road, as well as give the PCs an actual fighting chance at stopping said Lich in the Astral Plane.

Spellbane would be an excellent counter, as it lets you select spells that cannot be cast whatsoever, which would include the Dispel Magic family, but as that's a 9th level spell, I can't realistically see the party using it (or the Lich for that matter).

Silver Crusade

Have you considered purifying the stone by purifying the lich? It'll be near impossible, but redeem the lich and have it sacrifice itself to purify its phylactery.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Doot

Dark Archive

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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:


As I've stated, Lesser Astral Projection would put you on the same plane as the Lich's spirit. There might be other effects that do this, but this is perhaps the most common way to do it without having to jump through a whole lot of hoops (unless you want them to).

Ring of Counterspells would work against the Lich's attempt to dispel PCs out of the fight. It's 4,000 gold, and if you store Greater Dispel Magic in there, you'll be protected from the first time the Lich attempts to throw you out of the fight. It's a one time use before you have to restock the spell though.

Lesser Globe of Invulnerability would help against countering the Lich simply using basic Dispel Magic. Greater Dispel would still affect them though.

If the Lich was smart, he'd use Anti-Magic Field and basically make the PCs unable to fight them, but I'd advise against this except as a last resort in an attempt to make the Lich survive and return to fight later down the road, as well as give the PCs an actual fighting chance at stopping said Lich in the Astral Plane.

Spellbane would be an excellent counter, as it lets you select spells that cannot be cast whatsoever, which would include the Dispel Magic family, but as that's a 9th level spell, I can't realistically see the party using it (or the Lich for that matter).

This is very helpful! Thank you! I could make a magic item that works for that last bit, if it's needed at all.

Lilith, the lich, is smart, but she has never been contested as this form of undeath is new to my world, so that level of protection is most likely not something she is thinking about. Besides, the next they fight her I will be happy to put this BBG to rest.

Dark Archive

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Val'bryn2 wrote:
Have you considered purifying the stone by purifying the lich? It'll be near impossible, but redeem the lich and have it sacrifice itself to purify its phylactery.

Did not think of this. While making it an option for them, I don't think it's a possibility as Lilith, the lich, is 200 years into her new, corrupted nature. BUT, in saying that, they made friends with a dimi lich they much be able to put to rest by doing this. Oh man... his insanity, though mostly harmless, needs to be put to rest...


Put the star stone in a giant vat of holy water. Post watchers to make sure the liches body is destroyed each time it tries to reform.


I'd go about this a different way....

Give the lich a reason to live... a long ago girl friend. A good game of chess...

Then resurrect him.


Just trapping the soul should be good enough then take the osirian spirit jars toss them into a chest and send it to the astral plane via secret chest.


What level is the party and what class are they?

Shadow Lodge

A thought - why did the lich become a lich in the first place? What terrible things did she have to do to become undead? If you or your players like the idea of redeeming a terrible villain, that way they could get a lot of back story by convincing their undead nemesis that this wasn't worth it.

Then everyone would either get an arch-lich dedicated to defending your setting from fiendish incursions, magically tied to the artifact that stops them from teleporting or shifting in; or a remorseful lich who's willing to find a way to purify her own phylactery and die for good.

It doesn't have to be anything like suicide, mind you: the lich could just warn everyone not to step into this room for another couple thousand years, then she falls to bits, leaving her demilich behind.


Halek wrote:
Just trapping the soul should be good enough then take the osirian spirit jars toss them into a chest and send it to the astral plane via secret chest.

My approach: Trap the soul into something that can take immersion in lava and will not float in lava. It should not look valuable. Ideal is slightly heavier than the lava.

Find a big volcano with a lot of lava flowing out of it. Cast it in the lava. It's going to come to rest somewhere under the lava. It's deep enough it can't be scried, nobody knows where it's at--a secret known by zero people can't leak.

Dark Archive

Halek wrote:
What level is the party and what class are they?

Over all lv is 10 with one or two mythic lvs

Swashbuckler with a lv of bard
Illusions Wizard
Stone cleric
Fighter, assassin, sorcerer
Paladin

Also, this is my own homebrew. Things that would normally be found in the magic item rich world of the Pathfinder world is not so easy to get their hands on. I did this intentionally as I have had players brake my world with items like this. All the same, I will look into the Osirian Spirit Jar.

Dark Archive

The Shifty Mongoose wrote:

A thought - why did the lich become a lich in the first place? What terrible things did she have to do to become undead? If you or your players like the idea of redeeming a terrible villain, that way they could get a lot of back story by convincing their undead nemesis that this wasn't worth it.

Then everyone would either get an arch-lich dedicated to defending your setting from fiendish incursions, magically tied to the artifact that stops them from teleporting or shifting in; or a remorseful lich who's willing to find a way to purify her own phylactery and die for good.

It doesn't have to be anything like suicide, mind you: the lich could just warn everyone not to step into this room for another couple thousand years, then she falls to bits, leaving her demilich behind.

Oh man, if this was possible. I LOVE a good redemption story!

She has a back story already. She was already a high lv wizard when she was subjected to a one night stand with the child of a dimi god. When she became pregnant, she sought out the father in all of her magical abilities and demanded he be active in the child's life. So, being alive for well over 2000 years, he thought 100 year, max, would be all he had to give attention to the child. So, sure.

She gave birth to a teifling, which means he will live longer then her by a long shot. So, she began the long quest to make her life long. Not willing to trade her soul to a devil (one way of becoming immortal), she discovered her own way of becoming immortal. Now hell bent on on her relationship with her good for nothing son and the father, her goal was to get him to live forever as well. As you can imagine, this was NOT what the father wanted, but was told to lay low till he was called by his master, which means he can't go and off the now lich.

By the way, the heroes killed her son. Oops. She is all kinds of hell bent of making the heroes pay for what they did and she started by razing the home town of two of the heroes. She has threatened the life of another PC's brother (most likely how only living relative) and the unborn child of another PC. So, the heroes have all reason to take her out quickly. The stone cleric, the voice of reason, is the one that really wants to save the Sky Stone, and everyone sees the value of that.

Dark Archive

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Loren Pechtel wrote:

My approach: Trap the soul into something that can take immersion in lava and will not float in lava. It should not look valuable. Ideal is slightly heavier than the lava.

Find a big volcano with a lot of lava flowing out of it. Cast it in the lava. It's going to come to rest somewhere under the lava. It's deep enough it can't be scried, nobody knows where it's at--a secret known by zero people can't leak.

This is a volcano near by, but that would sentence the lich to recreation in the flames of the magma. This is torture. Between the paladin and cleric, I think they might pass on that option.

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