Seragrimm the Just: Lawful Good Lich

Gary Gygax's original D&D world, where Dungeons & Dragons came to life in the greatest show on Oerth!
The Book-House: Find Greyhawk products.

Moderators: Cthulhudrew, OldDawg

User avatar
Icarus
Ogre
Posts: 206
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 10:31 pm
Gender: male
Location: Cape May
Contact:

Seragrimm the Just: Lawful Good Lich

Post by Icarus » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:52 pm

So … in another post, I showed off some of my Greyhawk Adventure Trading Cards
And I found an interesting thing:
Seagrimm the Just.
He's a lich … And he's Lawful Good.
ImageImage
So, the biggest thing, obviously, is that there's canon lore for a LG lich, which is something that is rare to the extreme.
Thus, the question becomes: How does one become a lich, and retain (or regain) their alignment?
What do you guys think of this NPC?
Where do you think his lands would be that he rules?
What do you think it would be like to live in?
"And he did fly,... and he was seen on the wings of the wind."
My online Gallery of Artwork. Take a look at my illustrations!

User avatar
willpell
Black Dragon
Posts: 3130
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:10 pm
Gender: male

Re: Seragrimm the Just: Lawful Good Lich

Post by willpell » Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:37 pm

I like the idea of a Good Lich, but I'm somewhat unconvinced by the lore of this particular individual. The desire for a king to keep ruling his kingdom shouldn't be enough to overcome mortality, or else the majority of rulers would be eternal and there probably wouldn't even be such a concept as a succession system, which would change the lives of princes and viziers and such immensely. Forgotten Realms does the concept of good liches, particularly elven ones, a fair bit better IMO. It would make for an interesting setting; my Whiteleaf world has an entire nation ruled by liches, although they're probably Neutral rather than Good (but still not generally Evil).

User avatar
Dread Delgath
Fire Giant
Posts: 1229
Joined: Mon May 26, 2008 10:09 pm
Location: "The Good Life"

Re: Seragrimm the Just: Lawful Good Lich

Post by Dread Delgath » Sun Aug 19, 2018 1:15 am

I forgot about this, and I have this set. I never paid much attention to this particular card, and was unfamiliar with this character - at the time I believed it must've been a NPC from a Greyhawk product that I did not have, possibly available only through the RPGA. Although I liked the artwork - it was conducive to the imagination.

If, however, this is a stand-alone card, I would not assume that it sets a 'precedence' for the existence of Lawful Good liches. Actually, my 1e & 2e lore is fuzzy, but I do recall that undead - especially those powerful enough as liches or vampires, gain their undead state through the Negative Energy Plane - totally inimical to life and life forces.

This would suggest that in the liches' own best interest, the laws that govern the convergence of Negative Plane energy animating one's own undead form must be obeyed by wiping out anything from the positive energy plane, or anything that possesses its own life-force in the Prime Material.

A Lawful Good lich would, it seems, be working towards goals that would cancel it's own means of keeping his undead form intact and 'powered' up. This is not to say that the negative energy plane must be worshipped, but using the energy forms a conduit of power and pathological actions that insists that this conduit of actions as it were be followed, or the conduit will be diminished or broken - ending the liches' 'unlife'.

But looking at the source, one wonders a few things; if the basic assumption of how planar energy works within the milieu of AD&D (although this card is from the 2e era, most of 2e's assumptions were drawn from heavily described passages of 1e lore - Manual of the Planes, the DMG, Deities & Demi-Gods, etc.) is set, why did the author(s) ignore it, or were they even aware of this planar physiology?

Why then does this character exist? Who contributed to the card set's content, and who edited it? Is it from a contributor's personal Greyhawk based campaign? Was this contributor playing AD&D during the 1st edition days? Perhaps the contributor was aware of the lore, but ignored it in order to put forth an interesting campaign NPC? Likewise for the editor: was the editor aware of the odd nature of this NPC, and how it might not really fit with official 1e-cum-2e lore? Was this a character contributed all in the name of fun and gas? Was the description based on the artist's work alone, with no concern of how this NPC would actually fit into the World of Greyhawk at large?
My D&D 5th edition Dakan Mar Campaign setting Conspectus and Campaign Rules here at The Piazza Forums, a Fool's Errand WIP.

User avatar
Big Mac
Giant Space Hamster
Posts: 23578
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 3:52 pm
Gender: male
Location: London UK
Contact:

Re: Seragrimm the Just: Lawful Good Lich

Post by Big Mac » Sun Aug 19, 2018 2:27 am

Icarus wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:52 pm
So … in another post, I showed off some of my Greyhawk Adventure Trading Cards
And I found an interesting thing:
Seagrimm the Just.
He's a lich … And he's Lawful Good.
ImageImage
So, the biggest thing, obviously, is that there's canon lore for a LG lich, which is something that is rare to the extreme.
Spelljammer has the same thing in SJR1 Lost Ships only the monster entry there (pages 87-88) calls it a "Lich, Arch".

There is also an NPC Archlich, in an adventure called "I Must Go Up to the Stars Again" (pages 7-8), called Sharanger Szeltune, who comes from Greyhawk's Blackmoor civilisation. She is Chaotic Good, rather than Lawful Good.
Icarus wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:52 pm
Thus, the question becomes: How does one become a lich, and retain (or regain) their alignment?
The Archlich monster entry has two sections that cover this. Here is the first paragraph:
Lich, Arch: SJA1 Lost Ships wrote:Archliches are a very rare form of undead. They are transformed human spellcasters of good alignment who have deliberately and carefully accomplished their own transformation in to undeath. These caring individuals do so to serve a cause or protect a loved being or place, and devote their undeath to the furtherance of their purpose.
That sounds very much like Seagrimm's desire to continue to "keep his land peaceful and safe from evil" to me.

The start of the "Ecology" section has the actual "rules" for this:
Lich, Arch: SJA1 Lost Ships wrote:To become an archlich, a living spellcaster must create a magical item of some sort. By tradition, for most wizards, this item is a miniature spellbook into which they put the nine spells they seek to carry forever into undeath.

A potion must be created and enchanted with the spells animate dead, chill touch, contingency, pass without trace, permanency, teleport, trap the soul and wrathform. The would-be archlich drinks the potion while touching the chosen magical item, which must be anointed with at least one drop of the would-be archlich's blood.

A single, secret spell is then cast, and the being either dies (07% chance) or enters undeath (87% chance), collapsing into a death-like slumber that lasts 4-16 turns. When the being awakes, it will be an archlich forevermore.
So if Seragrimm is an archlich (rather than a regular lich) I would say that his Staff of the Magi, Medallion of Thought Projection or Robe of the Eyes would be the magic item that takes the place of a phylactery. (I certainly don't see a phylactery mentioned in Seragrimm's description.)
Icarus wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:52 pm
What do you guys think of this NPC?
I think he is awesome.

I'm already wondering how Seragrim and Sharanger Szeltune might somehow be linked together (to explain how both of them might have gained access to the secret spell).
Icarus wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:52 pm
Where do you think his lands would be that he rules?
No idea, but I'd be tempted to make this secret spell into something found in and around the area of Blackmoor and put this castle somewhere
Icarus wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:52 pm
What do you think it would be like to live in?
My guess is that there would be a kingdom or city state that previously had times when things went bad and the place was ruled by cruel leaders. I'm thinking that Seragrimm was some sort of hero that took the country/kingdom/whatever and brought it out of a poor condition and that he earned the love of his people.

I'm guessing that he believed (rightly or wrongly) that his lands would fall back to evil without him being there to oversee the lords and ladies, knights and other folk who had local control of parts of his lands and that he chose to stick around (instead of passing onto the afterlife).

So turning this around, I would say that there would be generations of lords, ladies, knights, etc who would be born and die serving a ruler that their parents served before them.

You would have a lot of the culture that you get in a benevolent monarchy...but without the idea of the ruler eventually dying and passing the throne to a son or daughter. (That means you also loose the idea of a son or daughter marrying into another royal family or the idea of there being a conflict between the various people who are third, fourth or further down the line for the throne. Instead it is Seragrimm all the way.) Who knows. Perhaps Seragrimm's sons and daughters got killed (or he didn't have any children) and he decided that he had noone to pass his responsibilities onto.
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
Please join The Piazza's Facebook group, The Piazza's Facebook page and The Piazza's Google + community and follow The Piazza's Twitter feed so that you can stay in touch.
Spelljammer 3E Conversion Project - Spelljammer Wiki - The Spelljammer Image Group.
Moderator of the Spelljammer forum. My moderator voice is green.

User avatar
Big Mac
Giant Space Hamster
Posts: 23578
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 3:52 pm
Gender: male
Location: London UK
Contact:

Re: Seragrimm the Just: Lawful Good Lich

Post by Big Mac » Sun Aug 19, 2018 2:49 am

willpell wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:37 pm
I like the idea of a Good Lich, but I'm somewhat unconvinced by the lore of this particular individual. The desire for a king to keep ruling his kingdom shouldn't be enough to overcome mortality, or else the majority of rulers would be eternal and there probably wouldn't even be such a concept as a succession system, which would change the lives of princes and viziers and such immensely.
The desire isn't enough on it's own. Seragrimm is a 20th level Wizard. Not every king is a spellcaster and not every spellcasting king has that much power.
Dread Delgath wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 1:15 am
A Lawful Good lich would, it seems, be working towards goals that would cancel it's own means of keeping his undead form intact and 'powered' up. This is not to say that the negative energy plane must be worshipped, but using the energy forms a conduit of power and pathological actions that insists that this conduit of actions as it were be followed, or the conduit will be diminished or broken - ending the liches' 'unlife'.
Later editions of D&D took this concept and came up with the idea of "deathless", as creatures that worked in a similar way to undead, but that were not saturated with Negative Plane energy.
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
Please join The Piazza's Facebook group, The Piazza's Facebook page and The Piazza's Google + community and follow The Piazza's Twitter feed so that you can stay in touch.
Spelljammer 3E Conversion Project - Spelljammer Wiki - The Spelljammer Image Group.
Moderator of the Spelljammer forum. My moderator voice is green.

User avatar
brassdragon
Orc
Posts: 30
Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2017 5:39 pm
Gender: male

Re: Seragrimm the Just: Lawful Good Lich

Post by brassdragon » Sun Aug 19, 2018 4:00 am

I notice that the card is potentially ambiguous as to whether he's still the ruler "direct[ing] the actions of his officials" with magic, or more of an advisor to the throne "watching over those who rule his lands". I'm fascinated by the idea of a kingdom ruled by a LG lich, but I think it's breaking my imagination -- when I think about how Seragrimm's lands should look, I keep coming up with dystopias of one sort of another!

About the only thing I can feel certain of is that a lich is going to think about the long term more than pretty much anyone else. Generations of his subjects will grow up knowing him as an ever-reliable source of direction and advice -- would he accept that, or try to nudge them away from dependence on him?

ripvanwormer
Black Dragon
Posts: 3282
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2009 7:14 pm
Gender: male

Re: Seragrimm the Just: Lawful Good Lich

Post by ripvanwormer » Sun Aug 19, 2018 5:24 am

Dread Delgath wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 1:15 am
This would suggest that in the liches' own best interest, the laws that govern the convergence of Negative Plane energy animating one's own undead form must be obeyed by wiping out anything from the positive energy plane, or anything that possesses its own life-force in the Prime Material.
The Negative Energy Plane isn't sentient and doesn't care what anyone does with its energy. Not all undead are evil and they certainly aren't required to wipe out "anything from the positive energy plane or anything that possesses its own life-force." Ghosts, for example, can be of any alignment. Both 2nd and 3rd edition had archliches in the Spelljammer and Forgotten Realms settings (as Big Mac mentioned) and baelnorns (good-aligned elven liches). There are a number of baelnorns in the Forgotten Realms, but there's at least one on Oerth too (see Dungeon #77).
brassdragon wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 4:00 am
I notice that the card is potentially ambiguous as to whether he's still the ruler "direct[ing] the actions of his officials" with magic, or more of an advisor to the throne "watching over those who rule his lands".
This is a good point. The card does not say the lich rules any lands, it says he "watches over those who rule its lands." I imagine him hidden away deep below the castle or in a sealed-off tower, waiting for his descendants to come to it with questions.

This could be in any land that might have had a lawful good mage ruling it sometime in the past. Seragrimm wasn't necessarily the ruler of an entire nation, either; it could be a relatively minor barony or canton in Furyondy, Keoland, Veluna, Perrenland, Nyrond, Tenh, Duchy or County of Urnst, Geoff, Sterich, etc.

If he has more of an advisory role to living descendants, though, he could easily advise the leader of some canonical major nation that hasn't had all of its past rulers named in canon. Not Keoland then, but Nyrond perhaps.
Big Mac wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 2:27 am
You would have a lot of the culture that you get in a benevolent monarchy...but without the idea of the ruler eventually dying and passing the throne to a son or daughter.
Seragrimm did die (which is why he's a lich now), and I imagine he did pass the throne to his son or daughter, continuing to watch over them from the shadows. I imagine his descendants know he's watching over them and directing their actions, but no one else does. The people in general think his spirit has long since passed on to the Outer Planes.

Another possibility is that not even his descendants know what he currently is. They know that they can contact their revered ancestor in times of need through a shrine in the family mausoleum, but assume they're contacting his spirit in the Outer Planes rather than a lich physically dwelling in the crypt.

User avatar
Icarus
Ogre
Posts: 206
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 10:31 pm
Gender: male
Location: Cape May
Contact:

Re: Seragrimm the Just: Lawful Good Lich

Post by Icarus » Sun Aug 19, 2018 6:17 pm

First, I'd like to thank you all for an interesting thread, and an incredible discussion.
You've all made some really great points!

I'd like to make clear that while this is a precedent in GH, as far as I know, I'm not at all saying that these are common, or that there should be any more than one or two, at most. This is rare in the extreme - which is probably the reason I'm fascinated by it. It's almost like the Tarrasque!

The first thing I'd like to do is discuss a point that's come up which I didn't even think about:
Seragrimm's descendants, and how the land is ruled.
He actually has another card associated with him, who's his emissary (or at least one of, if he has many).
ImageImage
So, while this doesn't get rid of the possibility of descendants - which I think would be interesting if one (or more) descendants also helped rule the lands - it definitely helps clarify how the ruling is done.
Big Mac wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 2:27 am
Spelljammer has the same thing in SJR1 Lost Ships only the monster entry there (pages 87-88) calls it a "Lich, Arch".
Icarus wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:52 pm
Thus, the question becomes: How does one become a lich and retain (or regain) their alignment?
The Archlich monster entry has two sections that cover this.
Here is the first paragraph:...
Thank you SO much for this! This is kind of precisely the thing I was looking for!
SJR1 came out in 1990, and so, less than a year later in 1991, it wouldn't be surprising that they used the same particular type of lich. This very much addresses most al of the concerns raised above about the designer/editor of the card not knowing, or ignoring, game rules at the time. I think that it's clear that it was intentional, in order to use the most recently developed rules.
And because it's cool! :P
So if Seragrimm is an archlich (rather than a regular lich) I would say that his Staff of the Magi, Medallion of Thought Projection or Robe of the Eyes would be the magic item that takes the place of a phylactery. (I certainly don't see a phylactery mentioned in Seragrimm's description.)
The only thing in this part of the conversation is that you forgot to mention is in the entry is actually says archliches don't have a phylactery and the magic item replaces it. I was wondering why you said the staff, medallion, or robe would replace it.

All of your information definitely change the whole conversation. In my mind, I don't think there's any question that while he is a lich, he's specifically an archlich.
"And he did fly,... and he was seen on the wings of the wind."
My online Gallery of Artwork. Take a look at my illustrations!

User avatar
Cthulhudrew
Green Dragon
Posts: 4139
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 2:13 pm
Gender: male
Location: Long Beach, CA

Re: Seragrimm the Just: Lawful Good Lich

Post by Cthulhudrew » Sun Aug 19, 2018 10:57 pm

3E (and notably, Eberron) introduced undead that were actually associated with the Positive Energy Plane rather than the Negative. I believe these are the "Deathless" that BM indicated above, though I'd have to go back to the source material to be sure.
Moderator of the Mystara and Greyhawk forums. My moderator voice is gray-green.
Image

ripvanwormer
Black Dragon
Posts: 3282
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2009 7:14 pm
Gender: male

Re: Seragrimm the Just: Lawful Good Lich

Post by ripvanwormer » Mon Aug 20, 2018 4:50 am

Cthulhudrew wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 10:57 pm
3E (and notably, Eberron) introduced undead that were actually associated with the Positive Energy Plane rather than the Negative. I believe these are the "Deathless" that BM indicated above, though I'd have to go back to the source material to be sure.
It is, yes. I could see reinterpreting Seragrimm (and other archliches, baelnorns, other forms of good or non-evil undead) as deathless in campaigns that make use of that creature type. The primary non-Eberron source is the Book of Exalted Deeds.

User avatar
Icarus
Ogre
Posts: 206
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 10:31 pm
Gender: male
Location: Cape May
Contact:

Re: Seragrimm the Just: Lawful Good Lich

Post by Icarus » Mon Aug 20, 2018 2:27 pm

... shocking development ...
It's funny, sometimes, how we all make presumptions based on what we think we know and/or remember.
Out of sheer boredom this morning, I looked in the 2nd Edition Mounstrous Manual, to compare the "Lich, arch" to a standard lich, to see if having the True Name of a lich gave someone power over it.
Much to my surprise, the stat block said "Alignment: any".
And in the "Habitat/Society" section, it had this to say:
2nd Edition Monstrous Manual wrote:In rare cases, liches of a most unusual nature can be found which are of any alignment.
It would seem that the regular lich entry was written in 1989, and then, in 1990 someone decided to put some statistics to the "rare and unusual" lich that can be of a Good alignment (the above mentioned “Archlich”). Following that, in 1991, they made a trading card exemplifying one of said rare liches.
So, I would say, for my money, there's rare liches that can be of any alignment, and they are called "Archliches".
Last edited by Icarus on Mon Aug 20, 2018 5:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"And he did fly,... and he was seen on the wings of the wind."
My online Gallery of Artwork. Take a look at my illustrations!

User avatar
Dread Delgath
Fire Giant
Posts: 1229
Joined: Mon May 26, 2008 10:09 pm
Location: "The Good Life"

Re: Seragrimm the Just: Lawful Good Lich

Post by Dread Delgath » Mon Aug 20, 2018 4:23 pm

Huh. How 'bout that. :lol:

It's been a long time since I've read my 2nd edition books. They did change so much stuff from 1e, and I am still a 1e dog so I guess the 'good' aligned archlich doesn't resonate with me as much.

I wouldn't disallow it, but I'd want to read up on the pertinent sources before using one in my (alleged) 1e games. ;)
My D&D 5th edition Dakan Mar Campaign setting Conspectus and Campaign Rules here at The Piazza Forums, a Fool's Errand WIP.

User avatar
Icarus
Ogre
Posts: 206
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 10:31 pm
Gender: male
Location: Cape May
Contact:

Re: Seragrimm the Just: Lawful Good Lich

Post by Icarus » Mon Aug 20, 2018 6:51 pm

Dread Delgath wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 4:23 pm
Huh. How 'bout that. :lol:
It's been a long time since I've read my 2nd edition books. They did change so much stuff from 1e, and I am still a 1e dog so I guess the 'good' aligned archlich doesn't resonate with me as much.
I wouldn't disallow it, but I'd want to read up on the pertinent sources before using one in my (alleged) 1e games. ;)
So ... doing a little research on 1st Edition liches.
There's only two sources I can find. The Monster Maual, and Len Lakofka's article "Blueprint For A Lich" in Dargon Magazine #26.
The latter of the two is only as canon as one wants it to be, since it's in a magazine rather than the "core rules".

At any rate ... the article refers to the first time a soon-to-be lich "dies" and its spirit goes into its phylactery item ... to come out into the newly-prepared body, the body itself has to *fail* a saving throw vs. possession.
Dragon Magazine #26, 'Bluprint for a Lich' wrote: ...the MU/Cleric must have his (or another’s) recently dead body within 90 feet of the jar. The body can be that of any recently killed creature, from a mouse to a kirin. The corpse must fail its saving throw versus magic to be possessed.
If the figure had … four or more hit dice, it gains one of the following saving throws, according to alignment: Good Lawful, Good Choatic, Good Neutral — normal saving throw as in life...
It lists better and better saving throw bonuses for a body that was some alignment of evil, with the best being the lich's own original body, regardless of alignment.
So, that's only really evidence of being able to become a lich in a previously good-aligned body, and that the alignment of the lich doesn't by a technical reading strictly have to be Good.
But, the catch is that it also lists components for the potion that does the transformation: and it includes the blood of two different infants killed by two different poisons, and the heart of a virgin killed by a third poison. And even if they didn't do the poisoning themselves, there's a pretty grey area where the use of stuff like that for Necromantic purposes is *probably* considered an evil act.

So, anyway, there you have it … a look at the only 1e sources for a lich that I know of.
I think that we can presume that the possibility of non-evil liches came sometime at the inception of 2e.
Last edited by Icarus on Thu Aug 23, 2018 6:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"And he did fly,... and he was seen on the wings of the wind."
My online Gallery of Artwork. Take a look at my illustrations!

ripvanwormer
Black Dragon
Posts: 3282
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2009 7:14 pm
Gender: male

Re: Seragrimm the Just: Lawful Good Lich

Post by ripvanwormer » Mon Aug 20, 2018 7:45 pm

Icarus wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 6:51 pm
So, anyway, there you have it … a look at the only 1e sources for a lich that I know of.
Another 1e source is Lords of Darkness, a Forgotten Realms accessory dealing with the undead. In that source (the chapter is credited to Ed Greenwood), the recipe for lichdom requires a quart of blood of an infant killed by wyvern venom, a quart of blood from a demihuman slain by a phase spider, and the intact heart of a humanoid killed by belladonna and arsenic. I suppose it's technically possible for a good-aligned character to use these ingredients if they just happen upon a stash of corpses slain by these specific methods by someone else (maybe they've interrupted an evil character's preparations for lichdom) but it's probably safer to assume that archliches have an alternative recipe.

User avatar
Big Mac
Giant Space Hamster
Posts: 23578
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 3:52 pm
Gender: male
Location: London UK
Contact:

Re: Seragrimm the Just: Lawful Good Lich

Post by Big Mac » Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:00 pm

There are some great posts in this topic now. Some of the information reminds me of Echohawk's Monster ENCyclopedia project.

He has already gone past "L" (he did lamia) but maybe he will do an article on the lich at some point in the future.
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
Please join The Piazza's Facebook group, The Piazza's Facebook page and The Piazza's Google + community and follow The Piazza's Twitter feed so that you can stay in touch.
Spelljammer 3E Conversion Project - Spelljammer Wiki - The Spelljammer Image Group.
Moderator of the Spelljammer forum. My moderator voice is green.

User avatar
Dread Delgath
Fire Giant
Posts: 1229
Joined: Mon May 26, 2008 10:09 pm
Location: "The Good Life"

Re: Seragrimm the Just: Lawful Good Lich

Post by Dread Delgath » Tue Aug 21, 2018 5:22 pm

For a Lawful Goodly aligned archlich, I'd just go with the 2e rules stated far above in the thread, but that Lords of Darkness info is interesting, and I have that on my shelf somewhere as well. But, that information assumes that the potential lich must do these awful, evil deeds to complete the formula.

I believe that the mind-set of a good aligned would find the criteria to be beyond the realm of what is acceptable for a good character (NPC).
My D&D 5th edition Dakan Mar Campaign setting Conspectus and Campaign Rules here at The Piazza Forums, a Fool's Errand WIP.

User avatar
Big Mac
Giant Space Hamster
Posts: 23578
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 3:52 pm
Gender: male
Location: London UK
Contact:

Re: Seragrimm the Just: Lawful Good Lich

Post by Big Mac » Tue Aug 21, 2018 5:37 pm

brassdragon wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 4:00 am
I notice that the card is potentially ambiguous as to whether he's still the ruler "direct[ing] the actions of his officials" with magic, or more of an advisor to the throne "watching over those who rule his lands". I'm fascinated by the idea of a kingdom ruled by a LG lich, but I think it's breaking my imagination -- when I think about how Seragrimm's lands should look, I keep coming up with dystopias of one sort of another!
You're right. It could be interpreted different ways.

I think I would interpret it as the king staying on the throne, but it would work just as well the other way.

I'm not sure that Seragrimm needs to tell everyone he is a lich. If regular people don't get to see him, and his kingdom is ruled fairly, his subjects may hear rumours but be uninterested in rocking the boat.
brassdragon wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 4:00 am
About the only thing I can feel certain of is that a lich is going to think about the long term more than pretty much anyone else. Generations of his subjects will grow up knowing him as an ever-reliable source of direction and advice -- would he accept that, or try to nudge them away from dependence on him?
Why would he be nudging his people away from him? Who would he be nudging them towards? Would he be carrying out some sort of search to find a future person who was good enough to take his place?
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
Please join The Piazza's Facebook group, The Piazza's Facebook page and The Piazza's Google + community and follow The Piazza's Twitter feed so that you can stay in touch.
Spelljammer 3E Conversion Project - Spelljammer Wiki - The Spelljammer Image Group.
Moderator of the Spelljammer forum. My moderator voice is green.

User avatar
brassdragon
Orc
Posts: 30
Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2017 5:39 pm
Gender: male

Re: Seragrimm the Just: Lawful Good Lich

Post by brassdragon » Wed Aug 22, 2018 1:41 am

Big Mac wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 5:37 pm
Why would he be nudging his people away from him? Who would he be nudging them towards? Would he be carrying out some sort of search to find a future person who was good enough to take his place?
I was starting from thinking about how an evil lich-king would rule, and imagining various nasty kinds of mind control being used on subordinates. That led to wondering whether Seragrimm would go the opposite direction and be concerned that his people could become overly dependent on his direction. So he'd be nudging them toward self-reliance.

But as I write that out, it occurs to me that I might be attributing a CG concern to a LG character. Seragrimm's understanding could well be that the best things he can do for the well-being of his people are lay down the right laws and give the right orders.

grodog
Orc
Posts: 39
Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 10:18 pm

Re: Seragrimm the Just: Lawful Good Lich

Post by grodog » Wed Aug 22, 2018 5:14 am

Nevermind ;)

Allan.
grodog
---
Allan Grohe
grodog@gmail.com
http://www.greyhawkonline.com/grodog/greyhawk.html

Editor and Project Manager, Black Blade Publishing
https://www.facebook.com/BlackBladePublishing/

User avatar
Digitalelf
Hobgoblin
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:09 pm
Gender: male
Location: United States

Re: Seragrimm the Just: Lawful Good Lich

Post by Digitalelf » Wed Aug 22, 2018 7:04 am

Dread Delgath wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 1:15 am
Was the description based on the artist's work alone, with no concern of how this NPC would actually fit into the World of Greyhawk at large?
This (and the companion card) was originally the cover art by Keith Parkinson to the D&D Expert (BECMI) module X13: Crown of Ancient Glory. The module featured no NPCs by the name of Seragrimm, or Drendar. It certainly didn't feature a 20th level lich!

It was an adventure for Character Levels 7 - 10

Here is the module's back page:
All is not well in the kingdom of Vestland.

Not only is the king dead and the holy Sonora Crown missing, but the heir to the kingdom was lost at birth and no one knows where to find him. As if this wasn't bad enough, the forces of the Ethengar Khanate, never on the best of terms with Vestland, are now massing on the borders, hoping to take advantage of Vestland's plight. To complete the rosy picture, traitors from within also threaten to speed the downfall of the High Kingdom.

Sounds like a job for you. You must find the heir to the kingdom and recover the Sonora Crown, the mystical device without which a king cannot be crowned. Standing in your way are traitors and spies from within and invaders without the kingdom of Vestland. Time is running out! Can you save Vestland from disaster?

This adventure is for use with the Dungeons & Dragons Basic, Expert, and Companion Rules by TSR, Inc. You must have these rule sets to play the adventure.
I'm surprised that no one from this forum mentioned this picture's origin yet... Considering this board's penchant for BCEMI. ;)

And for those whom have not viewed the OP's other thread...

The Collector Card sets had very few original art pieces. And most every "nice" color picture like this one, is from some other product. The subject of the cards almost always had NOTHING to do with the product the image originally came from.
-That One Digitalelf Fellow-

User avatar
Big Mac
Giant Space Hamster
Posts: 23578
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 3:52 pm
Gender: male
Location: London UK
Contact:

Re: Seragrimm the Just: Lawful Good Lich

Post by Big Mac » Wed Aug 22, 2018 8:22 am

ripvanwormer wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 5:24 am
Big Mac wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 2:27 am
You would have a lot of the culture that you get in a benevolent monarchy...but without the idea of the ruler eventually dying and passing the throne to a son or daughter.
Seragrimm did die (which is why he's a lich now), and I imagine he did pass the throne to his son or daughter, continuing to watch over them from the shadows. I imagine his descendants know he's watching over them and directing their actions, but no one else does. The people in general think his spirit has long since passed on to the Outer Planes.

Another possibility is that not even his descendants know what he currently is. They know that they can contact their revered ancestor in times of need through a shrine in the family mausoleum, but assume they're contacting his spirit in the Outer Planes rather than a lich physically dwelling in the crypt.
That's certainly a good way to do it.

I was more thinking that he might not have wanted to pass on the throne. Maybe he had a son or daughter who turned to evil or somesuch and took to lichdom as a trick to stay on the throne and await the arrival of a good descendant.
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
Please join The Piazza's Facebook group, The Piazza's Facebook page and The Piazza's Google + community and follow The Piazza's Twitter feed so that you can stay in touch.
Spelljammer 3E Conversion Project - Spelljammer Wiki - The Spelljammer Image Group.
Moderator of the Spelljammer forum. My moderator voice is green.

ripvanwormer
Black Dragon
Posts: 3282
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2009 7:14 pm
Gender: male

Re: Seragrimm the Just: Lawful Good Lich

Post by ripvanwormer » Wed Aug 22, 2018 6:26 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Wed Aug 22, 2018 8:22 am
I was more thinking that he might not have wanted to pass on the throne. Maybe he had a son or daughter who turned to evil or somesuch and took to lichdom as a trick to stay on the throne and await the arrival of a good descendant.
Drendar has called you for a mission. He says he's a servant of the true king, Seragrimm the Just of the House of Rax. For centuries the land has been ruled by the evil House of Naelax while Seragrimm awaited the arrival of a descendant who would be worthy of the throne. That descendant is you, brave adventurer (or an allied NPC). Your great-great-great-great grandfather Seragrimm wants you to overthrow mad king Ivid and take your rightful throne. Oh, Seragrimm is a lich, is that a problem?

User avatar
Big Mac
Giant Space Hamster
Posts: 23578
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 3:52 pm
Gender: male
Location: London UK
Contact:

Re: Seragrimm the Just: Lawful Good Lich

Post by Big Mac » Thu Aug 23, 2018 8:15 am

Icarus wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 6:17 pm
I'd like to make clear that while this is a precedent in GH, as far as I know, I'm not at all saying that these are common, or that there should be any more than one or two, at most. This is rare in the extreme - which is probably the reason I'm fascinated by it. It's almost like the Tarrasque!
If Seragrimm is an archlich, then that secret spell would be one of the controlling factors. A would-be archlich would probably need to track down another archlich to learn that. And it sounds to me, that it is a one-trick-pony spell, cast after drinking the poison and never needed again.
Icarus wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 6:17 pm
The first thing I'd like to do is discuss a point that's come up which I didn't even think about:
Seragrimm's descendants, and how the land is ruled.
He actually has another card associated with him, who's his emissary (or at least one of, if he has many).
ImageImage
So, while this doesn't get rid of the possibility of descendants - which I think would be interesting if one (or more) descendants also helped rule the lands - it definitely helps clarify how the ruling is done.
Wow! Drendar is awesome! I didn't realise there was more than one NPC in the same painting.

Has anyone seen an uncropped version of the picture? It would be nice to see if Seragrimm was surrounded by other minions.

Does anyone know who painted this? I'd love to know if it was painted for the trading cards or reused from another project.
Icarus wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 6:17 pm
Big Mac wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 2:27 am
Spelljammer has the same thing in SJR1 Lost Ships only the monster entry there (pages 87-88) calls it a "Lich, Arch".
Icarus wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:52 pm
Thus, the question becomes: How does one become a lich and retain (or regain) their alignment?
The Archlich monster entry has two sections that cover this.
Here is the first paragraph:...
Thank you SO much for this! This is kind of precisely the thing I was looking for!
SJR1 came out in 1990, and so, less than a year later in 1991, it wouldn't be surprising that they used the same particular type of lich. This very much addresses most al of the concerns raised above about the designer/editor of the card not knowing, or ignoring, game rules at the time. I think that it's clear that it was intentional, in order to use the most recently developed rules.
And because it's cool! :P
It's probably the same thing, but it wouldn't be the first time that two different D&D designers invented the same thing in different ways.

Perhaps there can be good liches (with phylacteries) and good archliches (without phylacteries).
Icarus wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 6:17 pm
Big Mac wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 2:27 am
So if Seragrimm is an archlich (rather than a regular lich) I would say that his Staff of the Magi, Medallion of Thought Projection or Robe of the Eyes would be the magic item that takes the place of a phylactery. (I certainly don't see a phylactery mentioned in Seragrimm's description.)
The only thing in this part of the conversation is that you forgot to mention is in the entry is actually says archliches don't have a phylactery and the magic item replaces it. I was wondering why you said the staff, medallion, or robe would replace it.

All of your information definitely change the whole conversation. In my mind, I don't think there's any question that while he is a lich, he's specifically an archlich.
Sorry I missed that bit out. I thought I had included all the relevant sections.

I remember reading something about the process for intelligent magic items involving a spellcaster putting their soul into the item. (I can't remember what edition it was meant to be.) If that is correct (and not myself or someone talking to me misunderstanding the rules) then putting a soul into a phylactery or a magic item...but not throwing away your body, would appear to be a parallel process.

I remember AuldDragon talking about many spell components having a real-world logic to them. It feels like the D&D designers have probably looked at some sort of real-world mythological process, as the basis for objects that can contain souls too. I wonder if he has any ideas on this.
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
Please join The Piazza's Facebook group, The Piazza's Facebook page and The Piazza's Google + community and follow The Piazza's Twitter feed so that you can stay in touch.
Spelljammer 3E Conversion Project - Spelljammer Wiki - The Spelljammer Image Group.
Moderator of the Spelljammer forum. My moderator voice is green.

agathokles
Red Dragon
Posts: 7157
Joined: Sat May 24, 2008 6:42 pm
Gender: male
Location: Milan, Italy
Contact:

Re: Seragrimm the Just: Lawful Good Lich

Post by agathokles » Thu Aug 23, 2018 8:47 am

Big Mac wrote:
Thu Aug 23, 2018 8:15 am
Wow! Drendar is awesome! I didn't realise there was more than one NPC in the same painting.

Has anyone seen an uncropped version of the picture? It would be nice to see if Seragrimm was surrounded by other minions.

Does anyone know who painted this? I'd love to know if it was painted for the trading cards or reused from another project.
The answer is in Digitalelf's post above:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:X13_ ... _Glory.jpg

GP

User avatar
Icarus
Ogre
Posts: 206
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 10:31 pm
Gender: male
Location: Cape May
Contact:

Re: Seragrimm the Just: Lawful Good Lich

Post by Icarus » Thu Aug 23, 2018 7:06 pm

Digitalelf wrote:
Wed Aug 22, 2018 7:04 am
This (and the companion card) was originally the cover art by Keith Parkinson to the D&D Expert (BECMI) module X13: Crown of Ancient Glory. The module featured no NPCs by the name of Seragrimm, or Drendar. It certainly didn't feature a 20th level lich!
I'm surprised that no one from this forum mentioned this picture's origin yet... Considering this board's penchant for BCEMI. ;)
Thanks SO much!!
I had been wondering this exact thing! Especially when I found Drendar, and realized that it was a larger piece!

For those interested, here's the entire cover of the piece that DigitalElf was referring to (image from Amazon):
Image
"And he did fly,... and he was seen on the wings of the wind."
My online Gallery of Artwork. Take a look at my illustrations!

Post Reply

Return to “Greyhawk”