Demiliches are formed when a lich, through carelessness or by accident, loses its phylactery. As years pass, the lich’s body crumbles to dust, leaving only the skull as the seat of its necromantic power. The lich enters a sort of torpor, its mind left wandering the planes in search of ever greater mysteries. The lich gradually loses the ability to cast spells and its magic items slowly subsume into its new form. Negative energy concentrates around the skull, causing some of its bones and teeth to petrify with power and turn into blight crystals. The resulting lich skull, embedded with arcane gemstones and suffused with palpably powerful magic, forms a creature called a demilich.
Despite its near-constant state of inactivity, a demilich grows restless from time to time, especially when living creatures draw near. Only then does the demilich’s hunger for life stir once more, causing it to lash out with terrifying bursts of power in attempts to consume vital energy. Unlike an ordinary lich, should the demilich’s skull be destroyed, its bond to the world is permanently severed, although some theorize that even then it is not truly slain. Rather, some think that once the demilich is destroyed, its foul and tormented mind is finally free to wander the planes and find new ways to enact its will. For the short-lived common folk of the Material Plane, this is good enough, though eons later a demilich may reappear in the region it once inhabited with a new—and even more insidious—agenda.
DEMILICH CREATURE 15
RARE NE TINY UNDEAD
Perception +19; darkvision, true seeing
Languages Abyssal, Aklo, Common, Draconic, Elf, Infernal, Necril, Undercommon
Skills Acrobatics +25, Arcana +32, Deception +26, Occultism +30, Religion +21, Stealth +25
Str –3, Dex +4, Con +0, Int +7, Wis –2, Cha +5
Items demilich eye gem (2)
Torpor Typically, a demilich is inert when encountered and doesn’t take actions until its contingency reaction has been triggered (see below).
AC 38; Fort +23, Ref +27, Will +23; +1 status to all saves vs. positive
HP 220, negative healing; Immunities disease, paralyzed, poison, polymorph, unconscious; Resistances cold 5, electricity 5, fire 5, physical 5 (except bludgeoning)
Telekinetic Whirlwind (arcane, aura, evocation) 20 feet. Telekinetic whirlwind activates when the demilich ends torpor. Loose debris in the area whip up into a whirling storm. This obscures vision, making any creature in the area concealed, and causes creatures in its area (except the demilich) to treat all creatures as concealed. Any creature other than the demilich that enters or begins its turn in the aura takes 2d12 bludgeoning damage.
Contingency [reaction] A demilich has one permanent 8th-level contingency spell in effect with one of its arcane innate spells of 5th level or lower as the companion spell—typically dimension door. Trigger While the lich is in torpor, a creature disturbs the demilich’s remains, touches its treasure, or casts a spell that would affect the demilich. Effect The demilich ends torpor, rolls initiative, and gains the effect of its contingency’s companion spell. The contingency resets after 24 hours.
Countermeasures [free-action] Trigger The demilich’s turn begins. Effect The demilich casts blink, fly, spell turning, or true seeing on itself. It usually chooses spell turning unless it already has that spell in effect.
Speed fly 30 feet
Melee [one-action] jaws +27 (reach 0 feet, finesse, magical), Damage 1d4–3 piercing plus 6d6 negative
Arcane Innate Spells DC 40, attack +30; 9th wail of the banshee; 7th spell turning (at will); 4th blink (at will), dimension door (at will), telekinetic maneuver (at will); Cantrips (8th) mage hand, telekinetic projectile; Constant (6th) true seeing
Demilich Eye Gems (arcane) A demilich has gemstone eyes that glow when the demilich is active. Each eye contains an 8th-level spell that targets one creature (usually one eye has maze and the other polar ray). The demilich can Activate an eye. This uses the number of spellcasting actions the spell requires, and also requires command and envision components. When the demilich casts a spell from a gemstone eye, that eye stops glowing for 1d4 rounds, during which time that eye’s spell can’t be used. Occasionally, one or both of the two demilich eye gems can be harvested from a destroyed demilich as magic items (see below).
Devour Soul [one-action] (arcane, necromancy, negative) Requirements A soul has been trapped in one of the demilich’s blight quartz gems (see Trap Soul) for 24 hours. Effect The demilich consumes the soul. The soul is utterly destroyed, and the demilich regains HP equal to double the creature’s level.
Mental Magic A demilich can replace all material and somatic components for casting spells with verbal components, and can replace all Interact components for activating magic items with envision components.
Staff Gems A demilich long ago absorbed the spells from a staff into gemstone nodules embedded in its skull, with larger nodules representing higher-level spells. It can cast any of the spells as though it were Activating the staff, and regains 1 charge per 4 hours spent in torpor, to a maximum of 8 charges. A typical demilich has the spells from a greater staff of necromancy, but it could have spells from another staff of 8th level or lower instead.
Trap Soul [one-action] command Frequency once per day per gem; Effect Ten blight quartz gemstones on the demilich’s skull can trap the souls of the living. The Activated gem casts bind soul. This bind soul can target and affect a dying creature instead of a corpse. The dying creature can attempt a DC 38 Fortitude save; if it succeeds, it doesn’t die and its soul is not trapped but it’s enervated 2 (or is unaffected entirely on a critical success). When the soul of a creature gets trapped, the creature’s body swiftly turns to dust.
The gemstones work like the black sapphires used in bind soul, except that they can hold creatures of up to 17th level and have a value of 200 gp apiece. The demilich can Devour a Soul it has trapped.
DEMILICH EYE GEM ITEM 15
Price 3,000 gp (can’t be crafted)
Usage held in 1 hand; Bulk —
This glowing gem is harvested from a demilich and has an 8th-level spell magically bonded to it. This item has the traits of the spell it contains.
Activate command, Interact Frequency once per day; Effect The gem casts the 8th-level spell it contains. This activation uses the same number of actions as Casting the Spell. Once the spell is cast, the gem’s glow fades, but returns 24 hours later, when the spell can be used once again.
Craft Requirements Demilich eye gems can’t be crafted.