A dracolich (draconic: dracolych) is an undead dragon that possesses certain abilities of a lich.

Most evil dragons spend their lifetimes coveting and amassing wealth, but when the end draws near, some come to realize that all the wealth in the world cannot forestall death. Faced with this truth, most dragons vent their frustration on the countryside, ravaging the world before their passing. Yet some seek a greater solution to the problem and decide instead to linger on, hoarding life as they once hoarded gold. These foul wyrms attract the attention of dark powers, and through the blackest of necromantic rituals are transformed into undead.

A dracolich resembles a normal, living dragon at first, but as time goes by, it ages and begins to partially decompose, eventually coming to resemble a corpse.

Despite its wretched appearance, a dracolich is a very powerful opponent, due in part to the minions and weapons they tend to possess. Evil chromatic dragons like black, blue and red dragons usually become dracoliches, because of the evil magic involved in their creation; however, rumors spread about other kinds of dragons submitting to the process as well.

Dracoliches are created from evil dragons through powerful necromantic magics. Essentially, it involves the dragon dying and then taking over its own corpse. It also gains a vessel called a phylactery, or soul jar, in which its spirit is stored. The soul continues to exist even after the destruction of the body, and can only be killed by the destruction of the phylactery itself.

The Dracolychi of Aventus

The island continent of Aventus is ruled by dracoliches.

The ten dracoliches that live on the islands rule and act without reprisal. The first three dracolychi were Jupiter and his brothers, Mars and Quirinus (who died in the 1st century NS). The rest range anywhere from one to three thousand years old.

Long ago, most dracoliches were all ancient or older when they underwent the transformation, but when a coup against Jupiter rose and ultimately failed, Jupiter destroyed all other dracoliches that were older than 800 years in life, except for his brothers. Later, the gold great wyrm Sol Invictus came and appealed to Jupiter. He alone has been the only ancient dragon allowed the transformation since the coup.

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