Trade Article: The Way of the Warrior — a personal tale, by Elowan of Wind

Preface | Introduction | The beginning ... | Thy education ... | The Flower of Britannia | Black magic ... | Training up — as a beginner; as a novice; as an adept; as a master | Virtue Shield | The Noto killer | Some days it doesn't pay ... | I lose my Shield ... | A tale of two thieves | A tale of etiquette | The Lich — revisited | Elowan's Guide to Dungeon Delving

he tunnel leading to Wind is dark and dank and my footspteps echo loudly off the cold stone walls. Suddenly I hear something in the distance.


I'd recognize that insane cackle anywhere. And here he comes now — Larry the Lich; I can tell by his limp — the limp I bestowed upon him a few years back with mine war axe. He tends to drag his left foot a little as a consequence. Otherwise it is almost impossible to tell him from his foul brothers: Cecil, Lothar, Douglas, and Bill. Yes Bill. Don't ask — I didn't name him. This foul quintet are the 'official' greeters of the magical City of Wind. The city fathers didn't plan it that way, it just happened in the natural course of things. Who said that the Great God OSI does not have a sense of humor? Not I surely.

In any event, one of these foul creatures is likely to be waiting for the traveler to the fabled city. And woe be onto the unwary or unprepared. A lich can make short work of thee, especially if thine magic resistance is low. Their Flame Strike is nothing to sneeze at and occasionally their foul touch will poison their victim. They are a formidable foe; not as potent as a Lich Lord but bad enough by any measure.

Larry is a bully. In point of fact they all are but Larry has been a thorn in mine side from the early days as I have mentioned previously. He seems to take special delight in trying to toast me whenever he can. But that's gotten tougher of late. Still he persists. They're not too bright are liches, despite their high mana and powerful spells and the arcane skills that made them what they are. They did it to themselves you see in an unholy attempt at achieving immortality. In this they succeeded but not in the way they had planned. Something went amiss in the thinking department. Not that I care overmuch. I'm glad that they're dumb in point of fact.

And what is the point of that maniacal laughter? Is that supposed to chill the victims bones? Come to think of it — it once did when I was callow and inexperienced. Now it just serves to announce their coming. Not that anyone would need that particular warning because of their smell. They stink to the high heavens of decaying flesh; which flesh is forever dropping off their rotten carcasses and getting underfoot. I don't know how many of mine outer garments Theila has had to burn after I've spent a day Lich Liquidating. The smell just won't come out as she is forever reminding me.

The shuffling gait of Larry the Lich is louder now as he draws nearer. I'm hidden and whilst he cannot see me, I can see him clearly enough even though mine eyes have started to water from his foul stench. In a moment he's going to get a surprise — an unpleasant one. He soon draws abreast of mine position. The reek is almost overpowering and I have to swallow hard.

I highly recommend that thee go lich hunting when thou hath a cold or an allergy — much less wear and tear on thine nose.

As he passes me I spring out at him, weapon poised. "Surprise! You shit!" Whack! He screams and gets off a Flame Strike. Surprise again as it bounces off my Magic Reflect and burns through his tattered robes. But that doesn't hurt him much. Whack again! That's what's hurting him. Muahaha Larry! How do you like my silver hammerpick of Power? I didn't think so! Whack! And he's down. I love their death rattle. Three hits. Need to get the pick repaired; it usually only takes two.

I open his pack and hide again beside his body. What do we have here? A crystal ball! Garbage! Useless! Why do they have these things? They don't know how to use them else Larry would have scried me standing in the tunnel ready to hammer him. Stupid! I throw it aside. Magical staff of some sort. I can feel a mild tingling run up my arm as I grab it and toss it into my backpack. I'll check it later. Probably something worthless as well like Magical Staff of Cake Cutting with 32 charges. Terrific! However, sometimes they turn out to be ID staffs and some have fireball or lightning charges. Not very powerful but I use them to whack mongbats in the Park just for grins and giggles. Saves mana and reagents. What else does he have in here? Couple of scrolls. Gate Travel. Nice! Poison Field. Not so nice; useless around here. I'll give it to one of the wandering mages for some karma points. And some gold — 146. What a cheapskate, Larry!


The gods be praised! Here comes Lothar or Cecil or whomever! Come hither you walking garbage heap! I've got something for you. It will leave an impression on you. I guarantee it. I am nothing if not generous.

I get mail from time to time asking for advice on dealing with liches. What I have to say can be applied to undead in general — even onto Lich Lords though they need special treatment which I'll discuss anon.

To tackle a lich thou will need several things. A relatively high magic resist helps, though thou shouldst be alright at 30 providing thee doth not forget to cast Magic Reflection. High Hiding can be a life-saver and not just when dealing with the undead. I would not venture anywhere either without at least 5 Greater Heals at hand (see also Elowan's Basic Adventurers Backpack).

A fast silver weapon is a must. Silver does double damage against the undead which a lich most assuredly is. If thou art proficient of Swords, I'd recommend a silver katana. I'm a Grandmaster in Mace — so for me it is a hammer pick. These weapons are very fast and that's the key. A silver halberd or bardiche may cause more damage per whack but over a few minutes the overall damage caused by a katana or hammerpick will be much greater. A weapon of Might is good enough, especially if it is surpassingly accurate, but if thee can afford one that's both accurate and of Force or greater, so much the better. The accuracy bonus really adds into the damage since thou will hardly ever miss.

I've never been able to figure out why it is that magic using monsters do not suffer from spell interruption like we mere mortals. Another example of the wry humor of OSI no doubt. Regardless, don't stop pounding until thy foe is paste at thy feet. A fast weapon helps get thine licks in before the creature can do for you with it is spells.

Prepare thyself before attacking the lich. Cast Magic Reflection before entering the teleporter to Wind and then cast Reactive Armour only when thou hath caught sight of the fell creature since that spell is not persistent. That means that thou wilt enter unarmed. Thy hands must be free in case Larry or his minions are taking a lunch break and Delbert the Daemon is spelling them at the landing pad. A hasty retreat via Recall may be in order. Thou didst remember to place two Recall scrolls within the top level of thy pack did thee not?

Do not equip thy shield when thou doth attack the lich! Firstly, it is much faster to unequip a weapon than both a weapon and a shield. More importantly, thou must keep one hand free to quaff a greater healing potion as may be needed. And in a timely manner. If thine health drops to half — quaff a potion forthwith or even two! Wait not, even the lich be almost dead! As Yogi the Bard once said: 'It ain't over 'til it is over' and if the lich gets off a Flame Strike when thou art at half health, it may well be over — for you. Heal thyself immediately that thou hath put him down! That should be one of thine cardinal rules. There's time enough to count thy gains after thou art at full health and not before.

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