Editable Codex
Liche, from Ultima VII manual.
First appearance: Ultima I
Last appearance: Ultima IX

Liches were once masters of the black arts who became so powerful, that they chose to continue their studies forever as undead wizards. This never-ending existence of evil, paired with enormous magic powers, make liches very dangerous. They usually have retained their personality, and have megalomaniacal plans. They are a constant threat, and have to be destroyed as fast as possible. Only the most powerful adventurers dare to attack a liche in its own domain.


Liches are usually found within their lairs, the places where they hold power, usually deep in the dungeons. They are sometimes seen directing legions of lesser undead, and occasionally in the company of daemons or balrons.

After first being seen in Ultima I, liches were absent until Ultima IV. From Ultima VII onwards, they were in every installment (apart from Ultima VIII). In Ultima I and IV, a liche manifested as a disembodied flying skull, although in later installments it appeared to master possession of a full body.



The Lich is an evil spellcaster who, through the necromantic arts, hath entered a state of living death in order to prolong an unholy reign on earth. Woe to the explorer who stumbles upon the lair of a lich, for the undead mage will guard its domain fiercely and attack without hesitation.

- from The First Age of Darkness (Ultima I)

This undead shade of a powerful wizard can still cast very powerful magic spells. The Lich is a most dangerous opponent under even favorable conditions

- from The History of Britannia (Ultima IV)

This is an extremely rare type of undead creature that is both dangerous and very difficult to destroy.

- from The Book of Fellowship (Ultima VII)

Occasionally, an extremely old and powerful wizard will choose not to suffer a natural death, but instead become a liche. In such cases, their bodies die, but their minds live on and animate the rotting corpse. Liches are in nearly all cases solitary, most being scholars who carry out magical research in secret. Anyone capable of becoming a liche must already be highly intelligent and a master of arcane knowledge. In most cases, a liche is also completely insane.

- from A Safe Passage Through Britannia (Ultima Underworld II)


According to myth, Unthar, an ancient mage, became consumed with pride in his magical powers and sought to use them to defy death forever. So was born, the tale goes, the first lich. No one has seen these mythic creatures of the undead and returned to tell it. Yet, the rumors persist of these lords of the deepest catacombs. Should half of the tales prove true, the lich is a horror that one's life should never witness.

- from Journal (Ultima IX)

Named liches[]

Horance the liche

  • In Ultima VII, the Avatar meets Horance in Skara Brae. The mage is possessed by a powerful liche, and wants to conquer Britannia with his hordes of undead. He practically controls every undead on the island. The liche was destroyed by the Avatar, thus freeing Horance from 200 years of spiritual torture.
  • In Ultima VII Part Two, Aram-Dol is an arch-liche who resides in the time of Serpent's Fang.


Ultima I liche