Liches are powerful undead enemies found in the northern regions and in dungeons. It is the most powerful undead in Oblivion, relying on magic instead of using a bow or melee weapons like other undead. A Lich can be summoned by a Master-level conjurer. They walk with heavy steps when idle and float around rather slowly when alerted. Liches usually carry a staff leveled to the Hero. They can summon other undead such as skeletons and zombies. Even lower level Liches have high resistance to magical attacks.
Liches are the result of mages who, by seeking immortality, subject their soul and body to black magics. Liches, although capable of slowly rotting away, lose none of their former minds, and can still think sharply and cast powerful spells as they did in life. During a quest in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, it is mentioned that as part of the process of becoming a lich, requires some life force to be transferred back to their bodies. The Dragon Priests of Skyrim achieved this by demanding that their servants gave them energy after their deaths, with the exception of Hevnoraak, who got some life force back by transferring blood to his body.
Liches are members of their own Lich faction instead of the standard Undead faction. The disposition modifiers for the factions ensure that Liches will not fight other undead and, conversely, that other undead will not fight Liches.
The primary difference between the Lich faction and the standard Undead faction is the relationship to Necromancers and Vampires: standard Undead will happily cohabitate with Necromancers and Vampires, but Liches hate them and will immediately attack (in these cases the faction modifiers ensure that members of the Necromancers cult and Vampire faction also attack Liches).
One other implication of the special Lich faction is that Liches do not like each other. If two Liches spawn near each other in a dungeon, they are very likely to start fighting each other.
Liches are notoriously difficult to deal with in battle. They have high health, frequently employ devastating magic, are capable of summoning a leveled undead to aid them, and possess staves which are often problematic.
As with all conjuring enemies, it is recommended that the summon is ignored and the Lich attacked directly, since killing the summon will only prompt the Lich to summon another. They will often try to put distance between themselves and the player, as they have no exclusively close-range attacks. This can be used to the player's advantage, if they are somewhat decent with any form of melee combat. If the player is NOT talented in close range, a bow is usable, though it will consume a large amount of arrows. If magic is to be used, Fire is recommended. Liches have a natural weakness to said element, as do most undead. Liches are immune to Frost, and have a 25% resistance to all forms of magic, thus making Fire the only reliably effective element presented in the game.
It is always a good idea to keep a few Healing Potions or Healing Magic handy while dealing with Liches as, due to their high health, a battle can drag on if the player is relatively low level.
It seems that, if the Lich is disarmed by removing its staff, it will be unable to move, and Magicka regeneration seems to be stunted until they can reclaim the staff. With this in mind, if a player disarms a Lich and takes its staff before the Lich can reclaim it, the Lich will be effectively incapacitated, save for an occasional spell every now and then, allowing the player to combat any nearby enemies without worrying about the Lich itself.
- Miscarcand (the overlord of an Ayleid ruin, the King of Miscarcand, will be fought)
- Where Spirits Have Lease
- Lich of Lost Boy Cavern (does not appear in the Journal)
- Secrets of the Ayleids (if chosen to be fought)
- Affairs of a Wizard (a necromancer who is attempting to become a lich is encountered)
Liches have two known variants:
- Lich (stronger)
- Nether Lich (weaker)
- King of Miscarcand – The wizard overlord of the ruins of Miscarcand.
- Erandur-Vangaril – Lich of Lost Boy Cavern – An interesting Lich, which has two souls fused within and intellects combined to create a formidable opponent.
- Lorgren Benirus – Where Spirits Have Lease – A selfish necromancer who was hated by the people of Anvil.
- Arielle Jurard – Introduced in the Fighter's Stronghold official plug-in.
- The Elder Scrolls: Arena
- The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall
- The Elder Scrolls III: Tribunal
- The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
- The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion Mobile
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Mentioned only)
- The Elder Scrolls Online
|Creatures (The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion)|
|Animals||Bear • Boar • Deer • Dog • Horse • Mountain Lion • Mudcrab • Rat • Sheep • Slaughterfish • Unicorn • Wolf|
|Creatures||Goblin • Imp • Land Dreugh • Minotaur • Ogre • Spriggan • Troll • Will-o-the-Wisp|
|Daedra||Clannfear • Daedroth • Flame Atronach • Frost Atronach • Scamp • Spider Daedra • Storm Atronach • Xivilai|
|Undead||Ghost • Lich • Skeleton • Wraith • Zombie|
|Shivering Isles||Baliwog • Elytra • Flesh Atronach • Gatekeeper • Gnarl • Grummite • Hunger • Scalon • Shambles • Skinned Hound|