Lich, Hierophant (5e Creature)
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Medium undead, any evil alignment
Saving Throws Con +7, Int +5, Wis +9
Legendary Resistance (3/Day). If the lich fails a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead.
Levitate. As a bonus action, the lich can rise or descend vertically up to 20 feet and can remain suspended there. This trait works like the levitate spell, except there is no duration, and the lich doesn’t need to concentrate to continue levitating each round.
Rejuvenation. If it has a sacred vessel, a destroyed lich gains a new body in 1d10 days, regaining all its hit points and becoming active again. The new body appears within 5 feet of the vessel.
Turn Resistance. The lich has advantage on saving throws against any effect that turns undead.
Cantrips (at will): guidance, sacred flame, ray of frost, thaumaturgy
Unholy Smite. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 8 (2d6 + 1) bludgeoning plus 9 (2d8) necrotic damage. The target must succeed on a DC 17 Wisdom saving throw or be charmed for 1 minute. The charmed target must defend the lich. The target can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. An undead target that fails is charmed for 24 hours and can only repeat the saving throw once every 24 hours.
The lich can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature's turn. The lich regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.
Cantrip. The lich casts a cantrip.
These special liches are not the usual self-serving immortal wannabe wizards. Hierophant liches are usually those called to life by a divine power. Their life sustains itself off faith and their god as well as the occasional sacrifice. That being said, they are not always thereby liches of their own volition. Hierophant liches can be risen forcefully by a deity, their soul trapped within some sacred container by a deity's avatar. This fate can befall those who arouse a god's fancy. Because it is not always a willful transformation, hierophant liches can be repentant and are not as strong as true liches.
Servants of Mal Deos. The hierophant lich is always a follower of an evil entity that has some status as a level of deity. When the hierophant’s mortal lifetime would normally end, its dark master grants it additional life, so that it may continue to serve darkness. Usually, this gift is dispensed as part of the burial rites of the hierophant lich. The creature rises just as its body is about to be buried. In other cases, it leaves its tomb shortly after burial, or it stands up when the fires of its cremation are just starting to catch. Other times, the fallen body is preserved by some other means as their soul is stripped away to be hidden in a vessel as a hostage.
Reborn at the Altar. Each hierophant lich has a sacred vessel that protects its vile soul. So long as this altar, unholy relic, or other sacred object remains whole, the hierophant lich is never permanently slain. Avatars of gods will often keep this relic nearby to maintain control over unwilling hierophants.
Faithful Preservation. Liches usually sacrifice and capture souls to retain their immortality. Evil hierophant liches will usually do the same in the name of their dark god. But they need less of this, due to their faith and the god's power usually sustaining them in tandem.
Evil Bones. The breath of the dark gods imbues the bones of a hierophant lich with sinister properties. These remains can be made into wands and wards, but carry the possibility of a god's curse with them.
Undead Nature. A hierophant lich doesn’t require air, food, drink, or sleep.
A Hierophant Lich's Lair
A hierophant lich often dwells in an underground temple, a ruined cathedral in a lost city, or in the catacombs and tunnels deep beneath a famous tomb or monument. These may be in the wilderness or, in some cases, within a city largely unaware of the hierophant lich’s presence.
The hierophant lich can take a lair action to cause one of the following effects; the lich can’t use the same effect two rounds in a row: