Garbed in the tattered finery of his lost faith, this monastic lich is a decomposing humanoid of indiscernable heritage. Standing as high as a human, his distinguishing features have skin wrapped about a thin skeletal frame. Held together by nothing more than smouldering malice and some long forgotten curse, the monastic lich's flesh falls off in stinking bits as he shudders in agonizing ecstasy. In the center of his chest is a ragged hole, as if his heart had been ripped from its body.
The upstairs and downstairs of the Monastery are functionally separate areas. The monastic liches carry different equipment in the two sections, with the ones upstairs being more damage resistant. This equipment is cursed, and will crumble if touched, but only after the lich has been destroyed. The downstairs variants always carry a ceremonial kris and blackened shield. Upstairs, they wield wickedly barbed leather whips or occasionally rusty claidhmores, and will drop their weapon for a better alternative. They wear black ora bracers and black visors, which cannot be looted. Both wear tattered robes with magical CvA. There is a bug that rarely leaves the robes on the ground, but they register as not present if you try to touch them.
The upstairs section has a higher generation rate, but includes spectral monks which are lower level. These have an occasional spell with a -30 TD pushdown and crowd rooms relatively quickly, making the upstairs slightly more dangerous. The monks will also emit a vile green energy, which heals themselves and nearby liches. The black ora bracers seem to provide protection from air damages but cannot be taken from searching.
Most of the time, the monastic liches use a warding spell for their attack, though they will sometimes cast Major Cold (907). When they do physically attack with a weapon, there is a chance their eyes will flash red, imparting a +45 AS boost without warning. If they successfully make contact with a physical attack, there is a warding roll with the chance of draining spirit. They will lose the ability to cast if either of their arms is sufficiently damaged. It will continue trying to cast regardless, though it is possible to get them to stop. If there are other hunters around who do not always defeat their warding attacks, there is a chance of ice patches forming in rooms which can knock you down. The PEER (verb) gives essentially total surveillance downstairs.
Any attacks made by a member of the Council of Light against a monastic lich will occasionally fail and result in roundtime. They are one of the few undead who are not immune to the spell Mind Jolt (706). They have a special maneuver where they unstun themselves.
A lich enters, muttering to itself. A monastic lich gestures arcanely. Suddenly, a rift appears in the air in front of you! Snorting and stamping, a lich thunders through the rift into the room! The ki-lin's horn glows brightly for a moment. A ki-lin directs its pent-up magical energies at [name]! CS: +84 - TD: +99 + CvA: +12 + d100: +97 - -5 == +99 Warded off! The ki-lin looks a little dubious about its situation. The ki-lin gallops down. (Note: Typo was in the original, not a copying error. These are GSIII statistics.)
They have a chance of hitting you with a spirit drain warding on weapon contact:
A monastic lich swings a ceremonial kris at you! AS: +215 vs DS: +150 with AvD: +33 + d100 roll: +45 = +143 ... and hits for 10 points of damage! Hit glances off your hip. As the lich's blow lands home, a flash of ethereal light flows from the lich to you! CS: +150 - TD: +161 + CvA: +6 + d100: +12 - -5 == +12 Warded off!
The monastic liches retain an ability that is essentially an open cast or mass effect version of the old sorcerer spell Forget. It will strip the prepared spells from anyone in the room, which can be avoided entirely be using the incant verb instead of cast. In spite of the messaging the effect at the moment cannot actually be warded off. The messaging on Forget (703) was "XXX blinks dazedly for a moment", "XXX blinks a few times and seems more aware now", and "You suddenly can't remember what you were thinking about a moment ago." It prevented spell preparation until it wore off.
A monastic lich glares about the room, his eyes glinting redly! CS: +150 - TD: +209 + CvA: -21 + d100: +84 - +5 == -1 Warded off! As the lich glares at you, your mind empties and your last thoughts escape you... CS: +150 - TD: +267 + CvA: +5 + d100: +100 - -5 == -7 Warded off! XXX blinks and looks about dazedly a moment.
The monastic liches have some subtle properties which are not obvious on the surface. While they will rarely summon a ki-lin when "under duress," they slowly self-heal to some extent in terms of hitpoints. This is reflected in certain messaging which they only do when in a vulnerable position. This makes it considerably more difficult to keep them near death. If the lich is excessively damaged and unable to help itself, it will actually attempt to self-destruct, most likely the maneuver where it reaches inside its own chest or possibly raising its arms skyward.
A monastic lich raises his skull and lifts his arms up and mutters something. A monastic lich puts his skeletal hand into the gaping hole in his chest!
The sacrifice will only work if they are left alone in the room. You will receive experience for the kill when they destroy themselves.
When they kill you they will sometimes defile your body:
The monastic lich screams in evil ecstasy! DEAD> A monastic lich cackles with glee while defiling your dead body! DEAD> A monastic lich glares with malevolent intent.
Behind the Scenes
The "long forgotten curse" was the Ritual of Black Eternity, a Level 30 Evil Cleric spell that involves making a phylactery. The spectral monks are likely the ones who failed the ritual. Monastic liches were exceedingly rare in Rolemaster, because monks were what we would call semi-arms Elemental users. Necromancy was far outside their realm of expertise. It is one of the numerous supposedly "impossible" aspects of The Broken Lands. These were likely monks of Cay (Kai), or else that pantheon in general, who guarded the hidden portal struggling with the hooded figures for centuries.
The works of Uthex Kathiasas were not undead. The ritual was more likely learned from the hooded figures, or the unholy texts confiscated from the Dark Shrine. Their story is intended to be tragic, because they ultimately succumbed to the very evil they were tasked to battle forever. They were most likely corrupted by exposure to dark knowledge from the Broken Lands. They might be an allusion to the monastic liches near Ylourgne from Clark Ashton Smith's Averoigne stories. The Misty Chamber itself probably refers to the Snake's Den from "Through the Gates of the Silver Key" by H.P. Lovecraft.
- Monastic lich on Play.net bestiary
- Interview with GM Kygar - Kulthea Chronicle, Volume I Issue V (Fall 1994)
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