The Lich

Welcome to a new column for all you myth, folklore and conspiracy fanatics! Around the Campfire will bring you some juicy tales that are usually only shared on AM frequency stations or… well… around the campfire. ❤

Looking through legends and lore to kick us off, I stumbled upon something I had nearly forgotten about. To me, sometimes the best lore are ones that sneak up on you having almost been forgotten them. And this week’s?

→ The Lich ←

The lich is a mythological creature meaning ‘corpse’. Yes, yes… I know. You’re going to say: But Fae, those are “zombies”. But no. In this case, it’s different.

So. what makes a lich different from any other member of the undead? Well first, technically speaking a lich is not a ghost, but rather a physical entity. Though it’s relatively a newcomer in the ghost encyclopedia, it’s never-the-less very popular. It rose to prominence when the role-playing game ’Dungeons & Dragons’ used the lich as an undead character.

Second, a lich is supposed to be the body of a dead sorcerer who, through a ritual called ‘Ritual of Endless Night’ lives on, after his mortal body has perished. More specifically, the wizard can save his soul inside a physical object, which is known as a ‘phylactery’. As long the phylactery remains intact, the lich cannot be killed, as seen in The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, starring Nicholas Cage.

On this token, it appears Voldemort was a Lich.

Lichs are often mistaken as Zombies, but unlike Zombies they don’t feed on humans and has fully functioning minds. Lichs are said to be either cadaverous with a desiccated body or completely skeletal. They are often depicted as holding power over other obtrusive undead folklore creatures, using them as soldiers and servants, as seen in Army of Darkness, starring Bruce Campbell.

The lich became a staple of gaming throughout the 70′s and 80′s, with Vecna, the lich-lord of Greyhawk (from ’Dungeons & Dragons’) ranking among the most popular. Around 2000’s the Lich was again brought out of obscurity by two more games ‘World of Warcraft’ and ‘Arthas, the Lich-King’.

However, with all this talk about it coming from an RP gaming thing, there have also been reports of people having actual experiences with this thing… and seeing or various phylactery items. So, beware! After all, isn’t there some truth to each and every story?