Thank you all for yesterday’s comments on K is for Kitsune. I continue the A-Z today with;
L is for Lich
|Phylactery Lich, Art by Michael Komarck ©Wizards of the Coast|
A lich is a powerful undead necromancer, who prolongs their life through feeding off mortal victims. Feeding methods include via flesh or blood, though most commonly via psychic energy, also known as Qi or life force. This either kills the victim, leaving them as little more than a lifeless husk, or leaves them physically weak and ill.
Sometimes the feeding can create a link between the lich and their victim, making the mortal a thrall of the lich. This turns the victim into a zombie state, under their master’s command.
As liches grow in strength and age, they also possess the ability to raise the dead, though at a cost to their own life force.
Some liches have an extra level of power by being tied to the world via a soul jar – an object containing a portion of their soul – making them unkillable unless the soul jar is first destroyed.
As a last defence, when a lich’s soul jar is destroyed, the lich gains enhanced strength and telekinetic abilities for a short period of time, to give it a chance to defeat its attackers and create a new soul jar.
The following is from the record book of Ancile Associate Roxanne Whittmore, who has been working with the Order due to her close connection to a lich.
Narrated by: Roxanne Whittmore, West Midlands Unit Associate, 2013
Transcribed by: Wynnifred Mayweather, West Midlands Unit Scholar, 2013.
[Author’s notes: This is an actual scene from my current WiP, the book that spawned the whole idea for the Ancile series and A-Z.]
When I reached Catherine’s office, I found the door ajar, and was just about to knock, when I heard a male voice coming from within.
Making sure I wasn’t interrupting anything, I peered through the crack in the door. Sprawled on the couch was a guy who looked like a male model. His blond hair was swept back off his face, and bright blue eyes shone out from under long lashes. He was shirtless, but clothed from the waist down, and the expression on his face was utter bliss.
Realising I must have stumbled in on an intimate moment between Catherine and a male friend, I took a step back. Something compelled me to keep watching; I knew it was a huge invasion of privacy, but, hello, hot naked guy! The look on his face was of such unadulterated euphoria that I was transfixed and rooted to the spot.
A sigh escaped his lips, and Catherine appeared wearing only lingerie. She slinked along the sofa towards him, feline and sinuous, moving as though she weighed nothing at all. Her eyes shone brightly with desire, longing and hunger. Her red lips parted, and she inclined her head towards his.
I held my breath, waiting for their mouths to meet, but the moment never came. Instead, hovering just inches above his face, Catherine locked her hands on his cheeks, opened her lips wider and sucked. Silver gossamer threads flowed from his mouth to hers, and as they did, a change rippled over both of them. His skin started to age; the colour drained away and the smooth planes of his forehead wrinkled. Jowls and liver spots appeared, as crow’s feet extended. His lustrous blond hair thinned and became laced with grey. As Catherine continued to suck, soon the white overtook the blond, before it all fell away and left him balding.
In contrast, Catherine’s skin was plumping, tightening and firming. The few blemishes she had vanished; her eyes and hair became brighter and glossier. The years faded away from her, and Catherine metamorphosed from a woman in her forties to one in her thirties. I tore my gaze from her youthful face and looked back at the man. His skin had become sallow and paper thin, no longer tanned like when I’d first seen him, but deathly grey. His body was withered, little more than a skeleton. My heart hammered as I tried to process what I was seeing; none of it made sense.
Closing her lush red lips, Catherine let go of the man’s head and it fell backwards. That’s when the sickening truth hit me. The light from his eyes was gone; he was nothing more than a shrivelled corpse. What had Catherine done? Had she fed on him somehow? Had she taken his life-force to replenish her own?
My body felt numb. I looked at this woman who I’d idolised since I was fourteen - this heiress who I’d based all my future career plans on; this role model I’d aspired to be like. I looked at her, so perfectly youthful, and I felt sick. The bile rose up and hit the back of my throat; burnt and seared it with the betrayal of her actions.
For an instant her face changed; the mask of beauty faded away and all I saw was a decayed, ravaged skull.
Check back on Monday 15th for M is for Marie Laveau, and if you're interested please check out my personal blog's entry L isfor Lost Girl.