False Demilich
Level 26 Solo Blaster
XP 45000

A pile of dust and bones rises into the air, shaping into a roughly humanoid form; a skull atop the form—set with rubies for eyes and pointed diamonds for teeth—slowly scans all those before it.

Trap: This jewel-studded skull is often placed within the center of a treasure vault, disguised as part of its riches. When a creature steps within 5 squares of the false demilich, it rises into the air and starts draining souls into its soul gems.Perception     DC 25: The character spots the jewel-studded skull.Religion     DC 31: The character knows of demiliches: an animated skull festooned with costly gems, which gleam wickedly with the light of trapped souls. Despite the implication of its name, a demilich is more deadly than a normal lich.Arcana     DC 34: The character recognizes the skull as a false demilich, understanding that it make use of a demilich’s soul gems.Thievery     DC 34: The character recognizes the skull as a false demilich, understanding that it make use of a demilich’s soul gems.Initiative +13TriggerWhen a creature moves within 5 squares of the false demilich, it rolls initiative and attacks.AttackStandard Action      Ranged 5
Target: One creature, preferentially targeting an arcane, primal, martial, or divine character (in that order), or any character that last caused it damage.Attack: +25 vs. FortitudeHit: The target is dazed and restrained (save ends both). First Failed Saving Throw: The target is instead stunned and restrained (save ends both). Second Failed Saving Throw: The target dies, their physical body collapses in a mass of corruption and molders away, and its soul is trapped in one of the false demilich’s soul gems until the false demilich is destroyed; see also the “Fate of Drained Souls” sidebar.Special The false demilich’s six soul gems can each hold the soul of one of its victims. When the false demilich is destroyed, each soul gem must succeed on a saving throw or be destroyed as well (along with the soul it contains). Crushing a surviving soul gem after the false demilich is destroyed releases the soul to a material body within 2 squares, if one is available to receive it (a simulacrum, a clone, or a soulless body of some sort), or else the soul is released into the Shadowfell. Surviving gems can be recovered: the two jewels set into the eye sockets (5,000 gp rubies), and its soul gems, 6 pointed (marquis cut) diamonds set as teeth in the jaw (each diamond worth 500 gp).Countermeasures     A character might attack the false demilich (AC 33, other defenses 32; hp 50), but only certain specific actions will affect it, as follows:
     A martial character using a vorpal weapon or a sword drawn from a sapphire scabbard, a paladin using a +4 or better magic weapon, or any character using a holy avenger can attack the false demilich and inflict damage as normal on a successful hit.
     A rogue using a gem (including astral diamonds) as a sling stone inflicts 1 damage per 10,000 gp value of the stone on a successful hit. On a hit, the gem shatters. On a miss, the gem must succeed on a saving throw, also shattering on failure.
     Successful use of the following items or powers do not cause damage as normal but instead inflict 5 damage to the false demilich: warlock’s eyebite, cleric’s sacred word, an item or power with the thunder keyword, or an item or power with both the divine and radiant keywords.
     Successful use of a cleric’s command or purify, a wizard’s confusion, or a ring of forgetful touch will cause the false demilich to sink down without attacking. It can still be triggered again as normal.

Published in Dragon Magazine 371, page(s) 66.