CLIMATE/TERRAIN: The East
FREQUENCY: Very Rare
ORGANIZATION: Solitary or Enclave
ACTIVITY CYCLE: Night
INTELLIGENCE: Supra-genius (19-20)
ALIGNMENT: Any evil
NO. APPEARING: 1 (or 2-4)
ARMOR CLASS: 0
MOVEMENT: 5 walk, 15 (hover maneuverability A)
HIT DICE: 15+
NO. OF ATTACKS: 1
DAMAGE/ATTACK: 1d10 or by weapon +3
SPECIAL ATTACKS: See below
SPECIAL DEFENSES: +1 or better magical weapon to hit
MAGIC RESISTANCE: Nil
SIZE: M (6' tall)
MORALE: Fanatic (17-18)
XP VALUE: 11,000
The so-called Salt Liches of the East are rarely found outside of the Plain of Sorrow and the isles of Aellonia. Legend has it that they were an ancient order of magicians that was founded during the Pillar Age and that they owe their origins to the city of Byblos when it was still an island and the Plain of Sorrow was still a shallow sea.
If myth can be believed, many of this order (who history has called the Aidic Magi, the Serpentine Order, or the Asocrians) gathered together on the island of Sintarra in the Sword Age and made of it a haven for wizards, where ultimate authority was portioned out according to mental acuity. Sintarra, itself perhaps only a myth, represents the ultimate end of all wizardly enclaves: it supposedly consumed itself in the petty struggles of vain mages and vanished from Arunia forever.
Those of the Aidic Order left behind became cruel and withdrawn, insistent upon controlling the city-states of Aellonia and the kingdoms of Llernea, Old Lllynder, and Byblos. Ancient Aellonian texts describe the fear of Aidics as so great that their symbols were stricken from the monuments they had once helped to raise and the Byblian Republic expelled all the Serpentine Magi in a great edict.
As their numbers dwindled, the Aidic Order sought ever to preserve itself so that they could one day recover the glory that had been theres before the vanishing of Sintarra. The final end of these Classical Era efforts was finally found in the golden breath of Khewed: the adoption of Lichdom.
Unlike the continental Liches of the north, the salt-liches of the Aidic Order have been preserved in brine and nitre and spent centuries in seaside caverns. They are an ancient brood, with access to spells not seen since the Classical Era in Arunia.
One side effect of the Aidic preservation process is that their slumber is longer and more difficult to penetrate that that of other liches. Every several decades they must enter a sleep of 1d10x10 years to replenish their life-energy. If an Aidic lich refuses to enter its slumber, it loses 1 hp for each month of activity until it drops to 0 and is forced into a catatonia. It must then spend 10 years for each lost hit point in sleep before it may awaken.
Aidic Liches all share a single type of phylactery, which is the legendary serpent-collar that they wear. These are powerfully enchanted magical items that appear as a double-headed serpent coiled around their necks made of bronze with chips of tourmaline as eyes. The collars can be hacked apart, but if they come into contact with anyone but an Aidic wizard, they will spring to life as fully formed and venomous double-headed snakes of bronze.
Though they are stick-thin and often twined with strips of red cloth, Aidic Liches may move with great speed. They are rated as having a hover movement, but they cannot rise more than a half inch from any surface. This does allow them, however, to surprise their foes with great bursts of speed.
All Aidic wrappings are magical in some way or another, and most of these liches are in possession of numerous powerful magical items. Staves from ancient Byblos and wands from the forgotten North are common.
In combat, Aidic Liches are fearsome foes indeed. They do not radiate a fear aura like Aquilian liches. Rather, when roused to anger they can cause the very air around them to become suckingly, parchingly dry. This affects an area of some 50' in diameter. Moisture is drawn out of all objects in that region, causing leather to crackle and become useless after 1d6 rounds, cloth to become brittle, and all living beings to suffer a -1 penalty on all combat related rolls.
Their very touch drains moisture from the living, dealing 1d10 points of damage. In addition, the victim must save vs. spell or find a limb or extremity touched in this way withered as though by a Staff of Withering.
The Aidic Liches retain all the former power of their living spellcasting might, and none were less than 12th level upon assuming their undying forms. Additionally, their command of Classical Era magic is augmented by the knowledge of a some Elder Magic (which cannot be dispelled or saved against) though the particulars of this knowledge are left to the DMs discretion.