Hello everyone, hope you're doing well. So, Undeath is an outstanding mod in Skyrim - it gives the player a chance to take the step to become a undying master of magic in the form of a Lich which can have its appearance be decided by one's choices, and such lovely add-ons like Immersive Lichdom help make it a powerful and awe-inspiring form. But I feel that there should be something else for my fellow Liches. Who here remembers the Nether Liches from Oblivion?
A Nether Lich, as the ghostly form of a slain Lich, is one that attempts to regain its corporeal form - or obtain a new one in general - and despite being weakened in this state is still dangerous. Since TES Liches don't need their phylactery after the ritual completes itself, the Nether Lich is the form that makes them truly undying with their soul being bound to Nirn. And let's not forget, in Skyrim we see a powerful Necromancer rise from the dead as a spectral powerful similar to a Nether Lich emerging from a slain Lich. So why not have a chance for players killed in Lich form come back as a Nether Lich?
My idea for an Undeath add-on for anyone who are up to it and think this has potential is this. Once a player becomes a Lich and, if they have Immersive Lichdom, gain enough power, they should have the ability or perk option to rise from their broken body (be it limited only to their Lich Form or if either form they take would allow this to activate) as a Nether Lich, which could resemble either a ghostly form of their Lich form or Malkoran's Shade. A Nether Lich is weaker than their 'living' counterparts, so they could suffer a decrease in health and stamina and maybe suffer decreased magicka regeneration due to the need to regain energy for a resurrection. And of course, should the Nether Lich be slain, it would be treated as a death and this would be where you have the restart kick in. This form's purpose would be to give the player a chance at revenge against their killer or a chance to recover. The latter would let them regain their energy to either recreate/repair their body, use a fresh corpse as a vessel (with the option to change it into your old body with a perk or spell or keep it as is) or - taking inspiration from Oblivion's Erandur-Vangaril - find a mortal to corrupt and possess. This possession could take place in a separate cell and require fighting their soul in Nether Lich form. Should you succeed in making them yield, you gain control of their body. From here, one can either use the mortal's body, use a ritual to transform the body into a new Lich Form, or collect your remains, bring them to your lair, and reform your old self with a special ritual.
Repairing the body, since a Lich (like Dragon Priests) turns to ash upon death, could require either spending enough time as a Nether Lich to use a spell or ability to reform your body from the ashes, or - if able to - have some way to pick up the ashes and bring them back to where you performed the rtiual to become a Lich. From there, with a few reagents and a special tome in your lair you can activate, you could quicken the reformation of your original form and all of its items, health and stamina, and features.
Taking a slain NPC's body would require one of two spells found only on the Nether Lich's repertoire that both raises the NPC's body as well as puts you in control. Your magicka amount would stay the same as it was originally, but the health and stamina would fit the body, as would any racial bonuses. The same can be said for attempting to possess living NPCs - using the second of these unique spells that triggers the teleportation to the unique cell and, should the NPC submit, the control over the NPC as though it were the PC. Both conditions could give the player access to their spells as though it were their actual character, as well as access to their shouts, but the Lich form would be temporarily disabled until you either transform the current body or regain your original form.
Forgive me if the explanation is less than ideal, and some of this seems like a stretch - or wishful thinking for a mod add-on - but it's a concept that I always found interesting since learning about the Nether Lich. Thank you all for your time.