1. #1

    A Story of a Party, 1 Gold and a Lich.

    Sorry to any moderators, I'm not quite sure but I believed this to be the correct place for my story!

    I've had a campaign running for nearly a year now, and one of the major side quests is finally unfolding and I wanted to share the story because it's been quite the ride and a lot of fun so far. I've kind of stuck with the name "1 Gold and a Lich" for some time, I hope you enjoy! You're more than welcome to use this story for your own campaigns, I just ask for some sort of credit. Thanks!

    Around level 4 or 5 the party had come across a small town that was quite known for its merchants, a hub connecting 4 major roads that spread equally across the world. While the town was quite small, the largest part of it was a circular style farmers market in the city center. Each day around 30 or 40 traveling merchants would set up their shop; selling various goods from herbs and potions, to weapons and even treasure maps. Although on this particular day one merchant only displayed a statue, a small stone statue of a human with its hands held out, holding a small brooch.

    One of the players, whom is brand new to Dungeons and Dragons; A Fighter by the name of Tulkas, was walking through ahead of the party and saw this statue and spoke to the hooded man that sat behind the small shelf that hung out the back of his wagon. "Ah Tulkas!" said the figure, "come, do you like?" he asked the fighter, although for some reason not extremely worried the man knew his name, he asked how much it was. "1 Gold, firm."

    He was told the price many times, and the man even offered to help him pin the brooch on him. It didn't take long for the Fighter to be convinced, after being told, "powers of great strength!" and "you won't regret it!" Upon handing over a single gold coin the man smiled, and finally lifted his head to look directly into Tulkas' eyes. An old man, grey skin and hair to match, eyes white and teeth black. "It won't attach to your clothing or armor," to which Tulkas learned that the brooch must be pinned directly into his skin. Tulkas pulled off his armor with assistance and the strange man pushed the needle of the brooch directly into Tulkas' breast. Only a pinch of pain, and not a single drop of blood as the inch long needle like pin drove into his flesh.

    Tulkas returned to the party after putting back on his armor, and told them about what he had purchased. Point back to an empty stall, not even tire or horse tracks left. Try as they might, the Brooch wouldn't move. Some of my veteran players sat back with muted microphones while this transaction went down, however a few whispers did happen behind the scenes. The party tried as they might but no information about the strange man, brooch or anything could be found. What magic was casted they discovered the Brooch allowed Tulkas to regenerate 1d4 hitpoints per round if he was at 0 hit points and always succeed his death saves.

    Months past, as the brooch came in handy for Tulkas. The promise of great strength was true to its word! For Tulkas was the master of death itself, and greatly abused his powers to swing his two handed hammer amidst the mightiest of foes. Until one day Tulkas awoke from a dream, a dream of a half-torn, half-created skeleton sitting on a throne of skulls, gems, and twisted metal. Weeks later another dream of him standing in a dark room, the skeleton's head atop a golden crown of gems, resting on its spine, pelvis and now its legs.

    For a while the dreams stopped, Tulkas grew so powerful he did not abuse his power over death for some time. But it wasn't long until he had to use it, and when he had the skies above filled with thunder and lightning as he rose off the ground once more. While the storm lasted all night, Tulkas had one more dream, of that same skeleton, sitting on top its throne, its flesh reforming from thin air as a censor burns in the background. A room filled with piles of treasure, but realizing the treasure of fallen adventurer's and their bodies left in the same position they had died. Its body continuing to form muscle, veins, flesh and finally eyes. Once a skeleton, now a horrible figure of an undead creature, opening its eyes looking directly at Tulkas as he woke up in a cold sweat.

    It was a few days before he told his party about what had happened; the sight of those eyes looking directly into him, through him, to his soul. While the party did notice an uprising of undead creatures, disturbed graves and even passing through a town that had an extraordinary defense and talk of an Undead army that strikes every night. It was then the party decided to find out what they could on the Lich.

    Weeks past as they learned what they could, through books and libraries, rumors and even the rambles of old men who said they've seen death itself. While almost everything they followed lead to dead ends, one thing they could not deny was the undead that now freely walked the land, crawled from graves, and the new burial ritual of most towns. Another few weeks had gone by when the party found a young Paladin that was on a quest to destroy the lich that had awoken, although the party was in a crunch for time and said they'd return in one week, which gave her time to prepare.

    During that week the party discovered more information about the Lich, a half-constructed portal to his realm and the quest began to find the arcane runes that were missing from it. On their way they found a temple of Kelemvor (God of the Dead, Balance of Life and Death) had been destroyed, the crypt below ransacked and seals that once held a protective ward destroyed. Seals that were designed to keep the dead, dead. The Warlock of the party was pulled out of the material plane of existence by his patron in the heat of battle, by The Raven Queen, and was told that the man who pleaded for their help, Garth the Cleric, was to die by the stroke of midnight. The warlock agreed to do as he was told, and returning from the crypt just minutes to midnight; The warlock killed Garth before he could repair the seals.

    The next morning the party arrived at the paladin's small town of Nei, in hopes of the Paladin woman may have clues to where any of these arcane runes would be. Finding her at a small Dwarven tavern, arguing with the barkeep; The party discovered that the Dwarves that owned the tavern held secret meetings in the carved out caverns down below the city, the city itself resting on the edge of Dwarven empires and a mess of political madness. Although the cavern below was discovered by a group of Goblins. Dug through by tunnels, unlike any type of goblin seen before; Kalissa pleaded that the party help her town. In return she gave the party a stack of rolled parchments written in primordial that detailed the nightmarish realm the Lich was banished to, the nightmares he controls, and a riddle yet unsolved.

    The party discovered the Dwarves had a legend of the Lich, that a portal was constructed to enter its realm and slay it after being banished by the gods from the material plane; And once defeated they broke the portal, and scattered each of the 100 arcane runes. But the portal they found was only missing 10, assuming the month that had past the Lich had been using his awoken undead to fetch them and rebuild the portal so he may enter back into this realm.

    While the party held four of them, they knew he could not return without them dying. Although his power was growing greater outside the portal; Massive storms covering most of the world, undead rising minutes after death, and mass hysteria of the dead rising. They opened the portal, and went inside to discover things impossible to imagine.

    A world of decay, a world of torture. A nightmare. And in the distance, the sight of a castle resting on top of a mounatin. Day after day inside this realm, their sanity slowly dropped as each abomination greater than the last as they finally reached the castle and vowed to slay the Lich inside, or die trying.

    And that's the story!

  2. #2
    Exceeded max characters in a post! I've continued on here with a few tid-bits of information on the brooch, and the Lich itself.

    The brooch is called; The Brooch of Life and Death.
    The brooch will not pin to anything but flesh. Once put on it can never be removed, without the touch of a Lich.
    Once stabbed into the skin, it will provide the wearer the ability to draw life from thin air as a bonus action, standing or unconscious. Returning 1d4 hit points, at a cost.

    Each time the Brooch was used the 1d4 rolled towards 100; at the time he reached 100 in rolls he awoke the Lich.

    The Lich is a fighter, rather than a spell caster. Weakening those with low sanity, his attacks deal bonus necrotic damage, and his movements are misty-step teleportation. One trait called;
    The Brooch of Life and Death - Any creature that has the brooch of Life and Death has advantage on all attacks against the Greater Lich. If the Greater Lich gets the brooch back his basic attacks heal him for the full amount. When the Greater Lich reaches 0 hit points its soul splits from its body and returns to the brooch of life and death, from there it awaits until it is healed once again. The lich can only be healed if the brooch is attached to someone. While attached to someone, or containing the Lich's soul, the brooch cannot be destroyed, removed, or cured of any curses.
    And his basic attacks a longsword, dealing of course bonus damage to cursed targets. Although one attack I'm quite fond of:
    The Greater Lich must move at least 10 straight feet in one direction towards a target. Melee Spell Attack: +12 to hit, reach 5ft., one creature. Hit: 17 (5d6) force damage and the target is incorporeal for 1 round. The target must succeed on a DC 18 Sanity saving throw, as their soul is pushed out of their body. Giving them and out of body experience, however the world around him is filled with horrors unimaginable by the human mind. Failing their save their next turn they are unable to take any action or movement. During their turn there is 1d4 Abomination creatures that each deal 1d6 physic damage to them before they are returned to their body at the end of the turn.

    And much more goodies, reactions, lair, and legendary actions.
    Last edited by Melborne; July 24th, 2019 at 09:01.

  3. #3
    Really a good read and a excellent story line I hope your player group is appreciating it as much as I did reading it.

  4. #4
    dulux-oz's Avatar
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    Really nice plot - I might end up using this (or something similar; inspired by; whatever). Well done!

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  5. #5
    I did something like that not nearly as elaborate are detailed with the Lich from the Princes of the Apocalypse Module after the stone monastery was destroyed in order to try and stop the adventures from attacking the Cult. They did not let the Lich in on this and in the end He held the Hero's responsible and as his phylactery was under the keep of the Knights of Samular and the Player Party just happened to be using that as a Base. So he was plotting Revenge for what the did to his home and lab while slowly converting anyone who stayed into the lower levels of the Keeps catacombs.

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