- "Hahaha…Quite right. You’re a very kind soul. But, hey…Not everyone’s looking for compassion. If you’re seeking true peace, you shouldn’t have invited in a heretic."
Lich Arklow was an underling of the Demon of Gluttony and a former forest spirit of Held. Chased out of the forest, Lich began serving the new Demon of Gluttony and was incarnated as a death god. Becoming the manager of the Graveyard restaurant, Lich operated the establishment before it was shut down by Judge Gallerian Marlon.
Lich Arklow was originally an earthling from America in the Second Period, being the older brother of Michael Arklow, and childhood friends with Eater Sabella. Lich rose to prominence in America in the field of creating life, becoming the head researcher on cloning and superhuman races such as the Mask Clan and vampires. As a professor, Lich also instructed Behemo Barisol. Despite this, due to his caution over breaking new ground, Lich was soon becoming surpassed by his peers and students. As the Second Period began to collapse due to HERs contaminating the world, Lich's father and mother were killed in a HER terrorist attack.
Four years later, Lich met with Michael in the Chloe Cafe, a restaurant that they'd frequented in their youth; there, Michael tried to convince him to join the other scientists on the Climb One, one of several spaceships to be sent out to rebuild humanity. Although Lich repeatedly protested the idea, he later did come aboard the Climb One with 71 other scientists and their assistants, including Michael; in doing so, however, Lich unwittingly brought along the mask Seth Twiright, who had hitched a ride on the back of his head. Through Seth, who was himself a HER, Lich was infected with Malice.
Along with the other ships, the Climb One set off to travel to an inhabitable planet and repopulate it. As they lost contact with all their fellow spaceships, the crew of the Climb One realized they were the last inhabitants of Earth and decided to create a new species in the image of earthlings. After finding a new planet to inhabit, they set about constructing the new world and species. During this process, Lich caused the deaths of several of his fellow crewmembers while under Seth's influence, among them the marine biologist Catherine Derais, who had initially conspired with Lich to kill Rahab Barisol.
Thanks to Seth, the new species was also contaminated to have a possibility of developing HER Syndrome. The remaining crew, including Lich and Levia Barisol, proposed they reincarnate as gods into the world to guide the humans, unaware that several of them were already HERs. When their colleagues Held Yggdra and Luna Hazuki disagreed with the plan, Lich joined the ensuing fight and was killed along with everyone else when it caused the Climb One to crash, leaving behind only his spirit data.
Sometime after, Lich escaped; unable to become a god or a demon, he was allowed by Held to instead become a forest spirit, being one of the only spirits allowed to keep their memories of the Second Period. There they lived in Held's Forest along with the others made from the earthlings that had been killed due to Seth Twiright. As a spirit, they again befriended Eater.
During the EC 470's, Lich in their black rollam bird form encountered the soul of the Lucifenian Prince Arth Lucifen d'Autriche, following the death of himself and his parents, the King and Queen. After Lich took the soul, the deceased Arth begged them to put him back in his body, which Lich told him was impossible to do. Thinking of a prank, Lich instead "revived" Arth by transferring him into a mud doll made in his likeness, which the spirit would periodically work on to simulate aging. When Arth's mud body eventually gave out, Lich did not make him a new one, but told him to rule over the dead instead.
Because of their prank, Lich was banished from the forest by Held, with Eater following them. In January of EC 499, Lich attacked Michaela in their robin form. Lich and Eater eventually began living in Marlon's Column Forest, still retaining their animal forms. Around EC 505, Lich visited Held again, bickering with him and criticizing him for wiping the other spirits' memories. When they later saw a tree sapling near Held and deduced it to be Michaela, Lich began pecking at it before being chased off by a young nun, eventually recognizing the girl as Arth's daughter, Riliane Lucifen d'Autriche.
Later on, Lich returned to Column Forest, discussing with Eater how they'd be living there. As they talked, Ney Phutapie suddenly unleashed corpse soldiers on the forest, the offended Lich getting attacked by Ney. They then deduced that the corpse soldiers were Vlad's work, and, remembering that Eater was Vlad's cousin, decided to have the two reunite so that Eater could regain their memories. They were then shocked to find out that the Demon of Gluttony was not in fact Vlad, but Banica Conchita.
Lich and Eater eventually became subservient to Banica, residing with her within her red wine glass vessel as dormant spirits. Later on, they were incarnated as death gods and learned that she was searching for the Grave Yard. Lich eventually established the Graveyard restaurant with Eater in Levianta, USE during the EC 900s, working as its manager and storing his master's vessel within the establishment.
Over the years, the Graveyard restaurant continuously committed tax evasion. At some point, Lich had Arte begin working as the restaurant's waiter. After one of the customers revealed himself to be Dark Star Bureau Director Gallerian Marlon and had the restaurant shut down, Lich managed to avoid arrest. Later on during winter, Lich and Eater broke into the house of Gallerian with several undead soldiers in order to retrieve Banica and her vessel.
Breaking up the initial skirmish between the judge's butler and Eater, Lich introduced himself and Eater before asking Gallerian to return the Glass to them and release the restaurant's waitron. Chided for breaking up his house and manhandling his servant, Lich retorted he did the same thing when he had the Graveyard shut down, the two arguing about the ethics of Gallerian's collecting. After taking the glass, Lich was then sucked inside its world and told by Banica to serve Gallerian.
Once Lich was brought back to the outside world, displeased by Banica's whimsy, he declared that the glass was now owned by Gallerian and that he, Eater, and all of the undead soldiers were his servants, under two conditions: that Gallerian keep Ma from getting near the glass, and that he search for the Grave Yard. When Gallerian expressed unhappiness with the undead soldiers in light of the USE's fight with them, Lich denied that the undead soldiers fought by the USE had any connection to them, and suggested Gallerian dismiss the soldiers and just have Lich and Eater serve him.
After explaining their true nature to Gallerian, and admitting that the Waiter didn't need to be pardoned quickly now that they were working for them, Lich and Eater were admitted as members into PN. After the completion of Evil's Theater in EC 982, Lich transferred there to continue guarding the glass.
On one occasion when Ma visited the theater's director's office, Lich had a tense conversation with her and rejected her suggestion that he go out and visit his former acquaintances in the forest. Later on, he created mud bodies to house his master and the twins Arte and Pollo, giving them physical bodies. To this end, Lich lured people into Evil's Forest to be used as sacrifices.
One day, Lich created a new mud body for Arte after she gave her old one to Postman, whose own body was internally broken. Lich perished along with the other inhabitants of Evil's Theater when it was destroyed by Punishment in EC 999.
Lich later accompanied Banica at her illusory mansion in Gasto, Beelzenia, making a new body for Eater. When members of the Tasan Party arrived with a Black Box, Lich had Eater destroy the device. After Allen Avadonia and Nemesis Sudou arrived at the mansion, Lich was summoned by Banica to the dining hall and spoke with Nemesis and Allen; during this, Nemesis questioned if he wanted to rebuild humanity and Lich denied it, answering that he intended to continue serving Banica.
Later on, Lich entered Evil's Theater along with Banica, Allen and Nemesis. When the irregular twins Adam and Eve initiated a Re_birthday, Lich fled the theater with the servants in tow. Watching the fight between Allen, Nemesis and Ma unfold, he heard Michaela sing the Clockwork Lullaby. Asked about it by Arte and Pollo, Lich explained his relationship with Michaela before beginning to join in, with the rest of the Third Period souls, in singing the spell song to subdue Ma.
After Ma was defeated, Allen and Riliane created a gate with which the souls of the Third Period could move on to the Fourth Period; Lich stayed behind with his master Banica, as well as all the other souls that hadn't yet decided to cross over. Sometime later, he fell asleep in the Millennium Tree Forest and began to dream about his past in the Second Period, awakening before the gate afterwards. Knowing that the rest of the undecided souls were at the palace, Lich decided to go there. He then ran into Bruno Zero, who had incidentally been sent by Arth to find him. On the way to the palace, Lich told Bruno about his history with Arth.
After arriving at the former Lucifenian Royal Palace, Lich split from Bruno and went to the upper garden where he used to meet with Arth in the past. There he met with the king, and learned that Arth wanted his help in dealing with a group of dead soldiers called Outlaw formed at Retasan Fortress, as the souls inside the soldiers were still unable to move on. After Arth appealed to Lich's scientific interest, Lich agrees to help. Although initially planning to have Eater help him destroy the Outlaws, he learned that Eater, as well as Banica and the twins, were out at the moment.
The two were joined by allegedly Keel Freezis, whom Lich realized was actually Seth Twiright in disguise. In exchange for allowing "Keel" to tag along with him to Retasan, Lich learned from him that the rest of Banica's group had gone to the Grave Yard and may not be back for a while. As such, Lich decided to go without them. After Lich questioned Arth on what he planned to do from then on, he departed from the palace.
On the carriage ride to Retasan Fortress, Lich confronted "Keel" with his really being Seth, incensed at seeing his former "partner" again, and questioned him on his reasons for tagging along. After the tense ride, Lich and Seth arrived at Retasan, where the Outlaws were organized into a funeral procession complete with coffin, with Lich suspecting that someone was controlling them. Leaving the carriage, he and Seth followed the procession, seeing that the ruins of Retasan they were approaching had somehow taken the shape of the Conchita Mansion.
They entered the mansion and split up to find whoever it was that had imagined it into being; to that end, they soon found Ron Grapple in the head chamberlain's room. Ron, being the son of Aybee Cee, an inheritor of the Demon of Gluttony, was controlling the Outlaws to mourn Banica in a proper funeral to allegedly put her soul to rest and cure him of his curse to never die, which Arte and Pollo once put upon him. Knowing that Banica's corpse couldn't be in the coffin, as she'd already eaten it, Lich and Seth wondered who'd led him to believe all this.
Soon the two had their answer in the arrival of Amostia, a once-soulless Irregular Seth created who had gained a will of his own thanks to Sickle meddling with parallel worlds to save the Third Period. Lich, Seth, Ron, and Amostia moved into the dining room where the funeral was being held, discovering a gate leading to another world much like the one in the Millennium Tree Forest. Amostia admitted that the corpse in the coffin wasn't Banica's, and that he would release the Outlaws from their condition, although clarifying that he wouldn't be able to cure Ron of his curse.
With that the boy took the coffin, which actually contained Luna Hazuki's corpse, and prepared to go through the gate into a new world. Although Lich made to follow him, he was mocked by Seth as being too afraid to do so, as the seed of malice that had given him "courage" was by then missing. Nonetheless, Amostia disappeared with Luna's corpse and the Outlaws, except for Ron, were set free from their physical bodies. While Seth went ahead in the carriage, Lich walked back to Lucifenia on foot with Ron and the former Outlaws.
After Lich, Ron, and the souls approached the palace, Arth went to greet him while Mariam Phutapie led the released souls the rest of the way. Arth having already learned what happened from Seth, he informed Lich that Banica and the others had returned and were at the back gates of the palace, with Eater having brought along what appeared to be a giant mansion. Going to investigate, Lich and Ron discovered that Eater had brought the flying Evil's Theater from earlier.
While Ron at first refused to approach it, seeing Arte and Pollo playing at the entrance, Lich persuaded him to come with him. Arte and Pollo greeted the two, with Lich asking them to lift the curse on Ron; at the same time, he noticed that they were playing with the Demon of Gluttony, who'd somehow escaped Banica's stomach. Vlad directed Lich to find Banica in the theater's belfry in the highest floor.
As directed, Lich found his master in the belfry; discussing the theater with her, Lich learned that Banica intended to make the theater her new home. He also learned that, rather than stay in the Third Period or move on to the Fourth Period, she intended so go to a new world altogether using technology in the theater that had been provided by Seth. Although initially protesting, afraid to go to a new and unknown world, Lich was impressed by Banica's fearlessness and, out of respect for her, resolved to stay by her side despite the dangers.
Lich was thus instructed to create new bodies for her, Arte, Pollo, and Eater in anticipation of their journey. Afterwards, Lich accompanied Banica to the parallel world along with the rest of her servants, continuing to serve her. During the trip, the ship they were riding in malfunctioned and threatened to crash, only for all of them to survive the ordeal.
Personality and Traits
- "Silence! Enough with this ‘protector’ affectation. You are no longer a resident of this forest. You have no right to do such a thing."
"I suppose so…But then, in that case I also have no more obligation to obey anything you say.""
- ―Held and Lich[src]
Lich was a fainthearted and indecisive man whose nature was warped by malice. During his life in the Second Period Lich was meek, timid, and courteous, using polite speaking patterns with even his own family members. Fitting with this, Lich was cautious and unwilling to break into unknown territory, making him easily surpassed by his peers. This timid nature was also described by Seth as an inability to express himself well. Even after his infection with malice, Lich still presented himself as polite and elegant, dressed in a gentlemanly suit and top hat, and remained subservient to his master Banica's stronger personality. After his malice was gone, Lich returned to his timid self, but was able to be a little braver for the sake of his master.
Following being infected with malice, Lich became devious and more assertive of his own opinions. One of the few to retain their memories of the Second Period, Lich disapproved of the actions of his former colleagues during the creation of the world and sought to act against them as he thought best. He was particularly irreverent to Held, disapproving of his attempts to shield the other forest spirits, particularly Eater, from their own painful memories of the Third Period's creation. As part of this, Lich also wished to make his own race of human beings in competition with Behemo, although he willfully abandoned this ambition after joining in with Banica Conchita.
This willful deviance was sometimes outright maliciousness. As a spirit, Lich was known for being a troublemaker in the forest and would pull cruel "pranks", with many of those who knew him regarding him as bad news. He would also act outright cruelly, such as in attacking his own sibling Michaela when they wandered too far from the forest or to prevent them becoming the new Millennium Tree. He was similarly not above serving the cannibalistic Demon of Gluttony and employing violence to meet her ends, usually through Eater, as well as being somewhat coldhearted towards Banica's other underlings. Despite this, he was capable of carrying out civil partnerships like the one made with Gallerian.
Skills and Abilities
In the Second Period, Lich was an authority on artificial life and therefore renowned as a scientist, enough to be chosen to board the Climb One. Likewise, as a spirit, he was adept at the creation of artificial life, able to construct various mud dolls in perfect likeness of human beings, which would last some time before breaking down. Lich also knew the basics of Second Period technology, including the usage of a Black Box; as a forest spirit, he was able to similarly transfer souls into other vessels.
As a forest spirit, Lich was immortal, able to heal from any wound almost instantly while in Held's Forest. Similarly, he could freely transform into an animal, usually a black rollam bird. He was also, as mentioned, capable at performing magic. As a death god, Lich could pass as human, although giving off a cadaverous stench, and could communicate with other corpse soldiers. Aside from this, Lich was a capable manager, able to effectively run the Graveyard restaurant for years without a business permit and while committing tax evasion.
Banica Conchita: Lich's master. Fiercely loyal to her and interested in her methods of reanimation, Lich carried out Banica's will and was bent on protecting her and her vessel. Although sometimes irritated with her whimsical personality, Lich held Banica in genuinely high esteem and abandoned his own ambitions in favor of serving her, respecting her strength of character even after his own malice was gone.
Eater Sabella: Lich's friend and fellow spirit. Close childhood friends with Eater, the two accompanied each other everywhere; after becoming forest spirits, the two continued their friendship, with Lich hoping to bring back Eater's memories of the Second Period. After being incarnated as death gods, Lich continued to work closely with Eater.
Held Yggdra: Lich's former teacher in the Second Period, and later benefactor as a forest spirit. Disagreeing with Held's passive and kindhearted nature, which shielded the other forest spirits from their painful pasts, Lich rarely got along with Held and regularly defied his orders. This only worsened after he was kicked out of the forest, and they continued to bicker in later encounters. Similarly, Lich had the impression that Held disliked him in the Second Period.
Gallerian Marlon: Lich's eventual superior. After he shut down the Graveyard restaurant, Lich broke into his home and used violent means to retrieve the Glass, although still maintaining his polite demeanor. After being ordered by Banica to serve him, Lich became Gallerian's subordinate as well, joining his police force.
Michaela: Lich's younger brother in the Second Period and later, fellow spirit. Lich presumably had a good relationship with her in the Second Period when he knew her as his brother Michael. After Lich was infected with malice, however, their relationship became drastically poorer; this was even reflected in their relationship as spirits, with the two constantly bickering. Emblematic of this, Lich attempted to kill Michaela on two separate occasions under vague justifications and showed no interest in visiting her once she'd become the Millennium Tree.
Seth Twiright: A fellow earthling who infected Lich. Appearing to resent the fact that Seth was responsible for the murders that Lich enacted on the Climb One, particularly after his malice was gone, Lich didn't use polite speech with Seth in contrast to how he spoke to anyone else.
Arth Lucifen d'Autriche: An acquaintance of Lich's. Lich initially revived Arth and allowed him to live as a mud golem on a whim. He did not see fit to revive him in a second body after the old one perished, although he was shocked and pleasantly surprised when Arth was able to conceive children with his mud body.
Conceptualization and Origin
- In Western fantasy, a lich is a type of undead creature resulting from a wizard binding his soul to his body using phylactery to achieve immortal life.
- Lich is inspired by the concept of shinigami, gods or spirits that invite humans toward death in Japanese religion.
- His surname contains the characters for the word "crow", クロウ (kurou); his animal form as a spirit, the black rollam bird, is consistently depicted as a crow.
- Arklow is also the name of a town in Ireland, which curiously features a crow on its Coat of Arms.
- Lich's surname shares similarities with the name of the Arklay Mountains, which was a key location in Resident Evil, a franchise that heavily features zombies.
- While reflecting on Lich no longer being infected with HER, Seth speculates that someone "ate" his malice.