|A Suel lich, as depicted in Dragon #339 (2006). Art by Steve Ellis.|
|First appearance||Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume Two (1995).|
The Suel lich is a terrible form of undead, an ancient mage who has cheated death by transforming his or her body into black energy and possessing the bodies of others.
Suel liches are no longer human and no longer have a place in the natural world. They are parasites who must periodically steal fresh bodies to inhabit. They may possess the body of any humanoid of their character level minus fifteen; less powerful bodies cannot sustain their spirits. Even then, their stolen corpuses age at three times the normal rate, withering until they fall apart. Every time the Suel lich's body exceeds its shortened lifespan, the spirit must find a new host within a few hours or dissipate into nothingness. This is also true if the creature dies in combat; gaining a level will also make it unsuitable for its previous host, forcing it to move as surely as its host's death will. For this reason, a Suel lich will normally have a servant or slave kept ready to inhabit right away.
Suel liches can dwell in any environment that humanoids can survive in, from the depths of the Underdark to other planes of existence.
Typical physical characteristics
After the possession, the host body retains its old appearance, but its skin becomes leathery and its eyes blaze with black flames. As time goes on, the body visibly withers, eventually becoming little more than a shriveled husk with its head entirely engulfed in black sorcerous fire.
The intentionally parasitic, life-destroying nature of the Suel lich is inherently evil, though it is not inherently lawful or chaotic. Suel liches can belong to any evil alignment.
Many Suel liches remember the language and customs of the ancient Suel Imperium, though they're perfectly capable of learning new languages and habits, and many do. They jump from host to host, questing for wealth, knowledge, and ruthlessly ignoring the needs and desires of those who get in their way. Suel liches customarily hide their true nature from others, as parasitic undead are normally not well thought of.
Few but the most well-versed in esoteric lore from the ancient Suel Imperium have heard of these creatures today.
Suel liches originated in a culture where the gods of the Suel pantheon were held preeminent, though they are not themselves necessarily pious or observant in the old ways.
Suel liches know the ancient Suloise language. As this language is essentially dead in modern times, they must learn others in order to pass among modern peoples. Their need for a continuous supply of new hosts prevents them from remaining entirely isolated from society as standard liches often are.
All Suel liches known today are survivors of the ancient Suel Imperium; the ritual of transformation evidently did not survive the Rain of Colorless Fire, and present-day Suel liches do not seem inclined to share it with others who might give away their existence or compete for hosts with them. The Suel liches, composed as they are of pure energy, were unharmed by the Rain of Colorless Fire, though their host bodies were not. Some managed to survive the cataclysm by finding new bodies beyond the Suel basin before their spirits dispersed into nothingness. They were able to use magic to aid them in this, as Suel liches no longer require material components for their spells.
Notable Suel liches
- Cook, Monte, and William W. Connors. The Inner Planes. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 1998. Page 79.
- Pickens, Jon, ed. Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume Two. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1995.