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For the Warcraft III hero unit, see Lich (Warcraft III).
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A lich is a powerful undead sorcerer who possesses tremendous magical power. During his mortal life as the warchief of the orcish Horde of Draenor, Ner'zhul commanded a number of orcish warlocks and even some of Gul'dan's death knights. When these wicked sorcerers were captured by Kil'jaeden and the Burning Legion after the destruction of Draenor, they were transformed into twisted aberrations of their former selves. Ner'zhul became the Lich King at this time. The sorcerers' new, undead bodies, though immortal, were bound to the iron will of Ner'zhul. Since the liches showed unswerving loyalty to their master, Ner'zhul granted them control over the furious elements of the cold north. Now, the liches wield frost magic along with their own considerable necromantic spells.[1][2] Other liches are former humans and important members of the Cult of the Damned (Kel'Thuzad is one such example).

Service to the Scourge

A lich from Warcraft III.

Liches are among the most powerful spellcasters and allies of the undead Scourge, serving their master with evil intent and great power. Often, they command armies as generals, surrogates for the Lich King himself. They are deeply entwined with the cold power of the grave. As a rule, these creatures are power-hungry, devious, and vicious. They utilize their great intellect and dark powers not only to serve the Lich King, but also to defeat each other in subtle political machinations, gaining strength and renown from each opponent's death. A lich resembles a skeleton with a chill blue glow emanating from within its bones. Liches often dress in flowing robes. These creatures are fond of pageantry and deception; they will often dress in the robes of a king or priest and expect their followers to call them by powerful-sounding names. Sometimes, they claim extraordinary powers granted directly from Ner'zhul himself, acting as though Ner'zhul were a god and they were his chosen priests or prophets. Instead of walking on the ground as mortals do, liches float above it on frosty mist. A lich floats from 6 -12 inches above the ground. Liches cannot trigger pressure plates or similar traps, nor do they leave footprints. Most difficult terrain does not inhibit liches, and they can cross calm water and other liquids with this ability. This movement is otherwise similar to normal movement, so liches can still fall down pits, for instance.

Typically, the Lich King elevates only necromancers to lichdom, but rumors speak of the occasional mage or shaman who also attains this status. Some tales imply that a spellcaster with enough personal and magical strength can willingly turn himself into a lich, but these reports are unsubstantiated. Some powerful necromancers can temporarily transform themselves into a lich.[3][4][2]

Following the defeat of the Burning Legion at Mount Hyjal and the weakening of the Lich King's hold over the Scourge, a few liches, such as Ras Splinterspine and Morbent Fell, chose to serve the Burning Legion and sided with the dreadlord Balnazzar during the uprising of Sylvanas Windrunner.

A lesser type of lich may be known as a lichling, although lichlings may just be minions or spawn of liches. Many Highborne Lichlings — who are wraiths — can be found in Azshara.


Every lich has an object known as a phylactery. Liches bind their souls to a phylactery and then use the phylactery to generate a physical form; this process is why lich bodies look nothing like their mortal bodies, and also why you have to destroy a lich's phylactery to truly kill them.[5] As long as a lich's phylactery remains intact and undamaged, a destroyed lich can generate a new body and return to undeath.

Notable Liches

Name Role Allegiance Condition Magical Field
Combat [??+]  Kel'Thuzad Prime Servant of the Lich King and majordomo of King Arthas Scourge Killable* FrostFrost Ability creature cursed 03.pngShadow UnholyUnholy APB Warlock Demonology.pngDemonic
Combat [??+]  Lady Deathwhisper Supreme Overseer of the Cult of the Damned Scourge Killable* FrostFrost Ability creature cursed 03.pngShadow UnholyUnholy
Combat [??+]  Rage Winterchill Fought for Archimonde at Mount Hyjal Burning Legion Deceased FrostFrost UnholyUnholy APB Warlock Demonology.pngDemonic
WC3RoC logo 16x32.png Ras Splinterspine Fought against rebel undead during the siege of Lordaeron. Burning Legion Deceased* FrostFrost UnholyUnholy
WC3RoC logo 16x32.png Morbent Fell Fought the side of Balnazzar during the siege of Lordaeron. Burning Legion Deceased* FrostFrost UnholyUnholy
Combat [25+]  Morbent Fel Found in Dawning Woods Catacombs, Duskwood Independent Killable* UnholyUnholy
Combat [42]  Instructor Chillheart Teacher in Scholomance Scourge Killable FrostFrost Ability creature cursed 03.pngShadow
Combat [34+]  Scorn Scourge Invasion mob in the Scarlet Monastery, Tirisfal Glades Scourge Killable* FrostFrost Ability creature cursed 03.pngShadow
Combat [37+]  Amnennar the Coldbringer Rules Razorfen Downs, Barrens Scourge Killable* FrostFrost UnholyUnholy
Combat [62+]  Ras Frostwhisper Overseer of the Scholomance, Western Plaguelands Scourge Killable FrostFrost
Combat [60+]  Balzaphon Scourge Invasion mob in Stratholme, Eastern Plaguelands Scourge Killable* FrostFrost
Combat [61+]  Araj the Summoner Commands Scourge forces in Andorhal, Western Plaguelands Scourge Killable FrostFrost UnholyUnholy
Combat [69+]  Naberius Found in Chapel Yard, Netherstorm Himself Killable FrostFrost
Combat [72]  Lich-Lord Chillwinter Found in Talramas, Borean Tundra Scourge Killable* FrostFrost
Combat [72]  Tanathal Prisoner of Thassarian in the Wailing Ziggurat, Borean Tundra Scourge Deceased FrostFrost
Combat [73+]  Thel'zan the Duskbringer Found in Wintergarde Mausoleum, Dragonblight Scourge Killable FrostFrost
Combat [76]  Novos the Summoner Commands Scourge in Drak'Tharon Keep, Grizzly Hills Scourge Killable* FrostFrost Spell arcane blast.pngArcane
Combat [77]  Artruis the Heartless Commands Scourge at The Sundered Shard, Sholazar Basin Scourge Killable FrostFrost
Neutral [80]  Amal'thazad Death knight trainer in Acherus, Scarlet Enclave Knights of the Ebon Blade Active FrostFrost
Combat [80]  Master Summoner Zarod Oversees the assembling of constructs in the Fleshwerks, Icecrown Scourge Killable* FrostFrost Ability creature cursed 03.pngShadow
Combat [80]  Thexal Deathchill Wanders Corp'rethar: The Horror Gate, Icecrown Scourge Killable* FrostFrost Ability creature cursed 03.pngShadow
 Kirkessen the Zealous Led the Siege of the Sanguine against the Light's Hope Chapel Scourge Incorporeal

* Phylactery unaccounted for; defeat may be impermanent.

Other Liches

Abrakkar the Wretched, Ordin Frostbane, Kali'naj Dethknell, Din Frostfire, Naze the Eternal, Calis Wraithson, Coldreaver, Cho'Nammoth, Kryptikk Soulslayer, Rak Coldskull, Venim Iceblade, Alandil Lieng, Ra'Sal, Gunther Arcanus.

RPG Information

Artwork of a lich from Manual of Monsters.

The RPG Icon 16x36.png This section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft RPG and is considered non-canon.

"Lich" is an acquired template in the Warcraft RPG and World of Warcraft RPG.

Rogue Liches

The rogue liches walk Kalimdor with no intention of raising an army as when they were under the command of the Legion. Even a single undead draws attention; putting together a large group will surely get the local populace upset. Instead, these liches harbor a single, driving goal; revenge. They seek out those who helped bring about their downfall, first destroying all that they held dear and then bringing ultimate retribution upon the target. [6]

Human Liches

Human necromancers are the most likely candidates for liches. Chilling mist billows from this skeletal figure. It floats in a cloud of mist, and black robes flow from its evil form. These liches are evil, cunning and loyal to the Lich King. They serve as generals of armies and as advisors to other powerful members of the Scourge. These liches are somewhat inexperienced and probably new to undead existence, but they are filled with power and arrogance. Liches prefer to have hordes of undead minions surrounding them. These lesser undead creatures protect the lich while he casts spells from a distance. Liches have no qualms about fleeing if the situation warrants.[7]