As the party walks past a graveyard near [town name] a chill overwhelms the party and they each get goosebumps. Looking into the graveyard, a Lich is hunched over, groaning as he sits down on an ornamental throne.
The Lich puts its heads in its hands and lets out an overly dramatic sigh, slightly looking up to see if the party will notice. As they enter the cemetery they can see other undead roaming the grounds, carrying flowers and other decorative items from one open grave to another.
DM’s Note: The lich is not here to be attacked. If the party attempts to attack immediately, treat it like real combat, but when they’re inevitably TPK’d, have them wake up outside the local tavern or something, as if they all passed out. You could also have the lich laugh and say “that’s cute, but I’m not interested in fighting today.” A lich is CR21, so, let’s get real about how tough your party truly is.
Approaching the Lich, he will introduce himself as Rich. Rich the Lich had grand dreams of raising an undead army and overtaking portions of the Realm, so he came to an area that had “well-decorated” individuals. “Turns out they didn’t mean from the war, they literally meant decorating,” Rich groans again and scratches his head. “I raised all of them, but all they want to do is decorate their graves more! How was I supposed to know this town consistently wins ‘Best Looking Town’?”
Two undead walk by carrying some ribbons with flowers strung to them, jabbering at each other as they go.
“Can…” he looks sheepishly at the party, “can you toughen them up? Prepare them to fight?” He folds his hands together, pleading with the party. “PLEASE, I beg of you! I’m supposed to destroy the next town over tomorrow night, but at this rate it will never happen.”
Son of a Lich
The party will likely try to dissuade Rich from leveling the next town over (or maybe they won’t) and if so, he will think on it for a moment. As the undead shuffle about in the background, Rich looks up with an idea.
“I know! YOU can train them, or else…well, you know.” If the party protests at all, he makes a rune shape in the air with an extended finger, whispers something at one member of the party, and casts Finger of Death (7d8+30 necrotic unless they hit a DC20 CON save). “I don’t want to make this a thing, so just help me out and I’ll let you all go.”
At this point the party can go their own route for training the undead in the cemetery, but if they’re having trouble, Rich can suggest the following:
- Sword combat: Treat this like standard combat against the undead, but substract 5 from all undead rolls. If the party defeats the undead, Rich will roll his eyes and raise them again. After a few rounds of this, he’ll call for the party to stop and try something different.
- Explosives Toss: The party must toss a lit explosive to the undead so they can improve their throwing distance. Once the undead have the explosive, they will likely place it at their feet or hang on to it, blowing themselves up instead of throwing it. Same as before, Rich will raise them again.
- Wind Sprints: Rich will give you a magical piece of chalk to draw marks of “Turn Undead” which can be placed 30 feet apart from each other. They will have to grapple an undead onto the first symbol, which will then force the undead away from the symbol. When they reach the second they turn 180 degrees and do the same but in the opposite direction. Rich only wants the fastest, so the party will have to keep the times on fleeing.
“This is useless!” Rich yells. “If this army of undead is going to be useless from a Realm domination standpoint, I’ve got the perfect idea for repurposing them. As a mere mortal I always wanted to open my own potion shop, and since the one in town burned down (definitely not my fault), maybe I should finally open ‘The Fillactery’.”
The undead look up at the name of the potion shop, groan, and roll their eyes (some pop out of their heads).
“We’ll work on rebuilding the structure, but I need you to fetch me the following inventory so I can get started.”
From here it’s up to the DM as to what the party should acquire for Rich. It could be vials, pre-made potions, etc, really just anything that seems fun for the party. You could combine the fetch portion with some other woodland encounters, maybe some Goblins that don’t want to part with the potion supplies they looted immediately after the fire.
The party could also just disappear at this point if they’d like. If they assist in opening Rich’s dream store, he is elated and offers each member of the party one potion of their choosing, anything they want. No strings attached on the potions, and a 20% discount if they ever come back, as payment for their assistance.