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The Lich King of World of Warcraft
A lich is an extremely powerful form of undead creature. A lich is one who has chosen to continue an unending existence in undeath by depositing their life force into a Phylactery. Liches tend to have strong magical powers, as the rituals required to attain lichdom are very demanding and considered an act of horrific evil. By attaining lichdom and cheating death, a lich may continue their studies and power-grabbing forever.

The Phylactery

Araj the Summoner's phylactery
Anyone who intends to become a lich must create a phylactery, which is a magical sealed vessel that contains the lich's own life essence. The phylactery is typically a sealed vessel that contains strips of paper with magical phrases inscribed upon them, but it can also be a ring, and amulet, or even a small piece of the lich's body. Once the lich has separated their life essence from their physical body, they continue on in undeath forever. Young liches may appear similar to how they did in life, but a lich's undead body will tend to decay over time, becoming pale and gaunt like a corpse. Very old liches have usually continued their magical studies and may have hundreds of years of knowledge and experience. A lich may be "killed," but will rise again after a period of time if their phylactery is not destroyed. Destroying the lich's phylactery is the only way to permanently destroy a lich.

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