"There is little more I can teach you," said Father Damien. "You have become an exceptional Necromancer under my tutelage, and quite honestly your progression has been phenomenal. You were hardly even a novice when I first met you - barely capable of casting corrosion. The Seekers failed to harness your potential. Now, but a few years later, you are exceptionally skilled, and can seamlessly manipulate the dead to your will. There are stretches that we must cross before you can call yourself a true master, but this all lays merely in refining what you already know. The only portion of Necromancy unknown by you is perhaps the one you deigned to pursue initially: Lichdom." The man stood up and guided Alistair's eyes to a large parchment pinned to a board. On it was a symbol - like a glyph of sorts, a circular drawing with intricacies within it and surrounding it. It looked much like the symbol that Damien had tattooed to his back, something he'd demonstrated to Alistair before.
He traced over the symbol with his fingers and grinned. "This is the symbol I ascribe to Lichdom. It was drawn for me in variance by Ellasin herself, and while this symbol reveals nothing of Lichdom, it also reveals everything. Think of it as a projection of what a lich really is. In a way, this is almost an encrypted way of describing to mankind what separates them from a Lich." With his little 'wand' he'd always waved around to point Alistair's mind in particular directions, the Lich poked at the symbol of fire in the center of the circular drawing. Alistair readied his quill to draw notes.
"This is what you consider to be energy, or mana, while I consider this to be my heart. The heart of a Lich is a conduit, as you well know, and the 'blood' that flows within it is energy. If the heart is torn asunder, the energy flows outwards, and the Lich is consumed; they are lost to death, and no man can save them. Due to the energy becoming the life-blood of Liches, they are often more attuned to their connection to mana, and often find it easier to cast spells and expend energy. Additionally, due to their state of what is essentially immortality, many burning effects have minimal effects on Liches. Physical damage itself is not necessarily recorded in the same way - the conduit is our heart and our brain in many ways, and unless you can destroy that, you cannot truly kill us. Even if you were to lob off my arms and legs and carve into my chest, if you could not break through my conduit, I would survive. It would be difficult to weave myself back together, but possible. If not, my conduit - phylactery as some call it - could inhabit another body and use this as my vessel. However, I have never had to resort to this before."
Alistair marveled in how strong it seemed the Liches were. Ageless, more attuned to mana, and significantly harder to kill than others. Not to mention there were theories regarding enhancing their physical prowess as they did their minions. In exchange for actual life, one could become this thing - this powerful vampire of a creature that did not know even a decimal of the sufferings of regular mortals. Lichdom was admirable. Their lack of relying on their physical body made them the pinnacle of what a mage ought to be. The question was: how could Alistair emulate this possibility without losing his life? He had been obsessed with the idea of making liches alive, of incorporating their immortality and self-preserving biology into regular mortals. An immortal being who still hosted within them warm blood. How would he manage this?
He was lost in his thoughts, but when Damien raised new points he made sure to listen. The next idea was the concept of 'the body' as a Lich, something that had made Alistair highly curious.