Liches and the Like

In the story thus far, readers have seen “liches” mentioned. What, they might be asking, are those? A lich is an undead spellcaster, possibly a priest but more likely a wizard. There are rumors of psionic liches as well, but lets not get ahead of ourselves. At any rate, liches are vile, disgusting, horrific, and tragic figures who crave knowledge above all else, and are perfectly content to do the most atrocious things to achieve it. If left alone, they don’t pose much of a threat. But if they are provoked, things can get very ugly, and fast.

The largest cabal of these terrifying creatures was the Diosian Lodge. It has fallen into disarray now, and at the time of this story there were only half a dozen or so of the original members still clinging to a loose confederation for their common goals. One of the liches broke from the group early on, and used its power to aide the first king of Slothjemia in securing his place as an independent ruler. As a thank-you, this lich was granted the right to exist, smack in the middle of Slothjemia’s biggest city. It has shifted from evil to neutral, and while still a long way from being a noble hero, it has at least stopped dabbling in dark arts. For now, it is mainly interested in oil painting, mostly landscapes and still life. For anyone interested, it is not very good. But nobody is ever going to tell it that.

Vampires are an ever persistent presence, especially in the cities of the realm. Unlike the Lich of Slothenburg, however, these monsters are rooted out with gleeful zeal. Adventurers love a challenge, and few things get the blood flowing like a good old-fashioned vampire hunt in the perpetual darkness beneath the wooden causeways of the Coreland towns. Despite several attempts by some very clever vampires to fit into society unnoticed, they are always uncovered for what they really are, and dealt with accordingly.

There are a handful of free-willed undead that have settled into pleasant enough existences in Slothjemia. Many of these are invaluable sources of information for people on quests, or as advisors for those seeking to destroy similar creatures elsewhere in the world. Those that pose a threat to the living are driven out of the kingdom, or more likely, annihilated, either by law enforcement, the military, or thrill-seeking adventurers. And any undead that are not free-willed, such as are used by the remnants of the Diosian Lodge as soldiers, are attacked on sight. Necromancy is not a deeply appreciated skillset in Slothjemia. Anyone seeking to expand their knowledge in that most profane of arcane arts is well-advised to try oil painting instead.