With the knowledge that Nicodemus shares the spectral traits of the rest of his Ghost Council, we can make an informed plan to assassinate him. The battle will not be easy, and it is possible that he has layers of defenses that we are unaware of, but an attempt must be made, nonetheless—and soon. The Obscurati is close to restoring Borne’s memory by bringing him into Methia. Once they accomplish that, there is little else they would need to complete before bringing the colossus to the ritual site and performing the rite that changes our world.
Any engagement with the Obscurati’s mastermind should keep in mind his main methods of offense—useful knowledge even if the goal is merely survival:
- He favors a powerful psionic technique that he calls thoughtseize; it allows him momentary control of a target’s mind, and leaves them immobilized for a few seconds afterward.
- His current body has the power to drain a living target’s life force by touch, inflicting a general malaise that is similar to the deleterious symptoms found in those resurrected by the raise dead ritual. With each touch, the condition grows worse. Coupled with his monastic training and his host body’s incredible strength, close combat is extremely risky.
- He is currently equipped with a bandolier of wands with unknown ability, though they likely amplify his moderate skill at wizardry and give him access to spells he wouldn’t otherwise be able to cast.
- He also has a dimensional lockstone on him which prevents teleportation in a 40’ radius around him.
- The source of his innate skill at necromancy is unknown, but it binds the Ghost Council to him; they reform around him even if destroyed, but they cannot stray more than three miles from his person. He has sometimes been witnessed with faceless spirits hovering around him to bolster his concentration on spells, take hits for him, and otherwise boost his capabilities. These accompanying spectres act like wizard familiars: they cannot be harmed if they remain near him, and in many ways are like a part of his own body.
To defeat Nicodemus, we must address his known defenses in turn:
- First we must deal with his living host. The body he wears possesses extreme regenerative ability; as this property appears similar to trollish healing, the use of fire or acid is advised—or the use of stagnating magics like the wizard spell, rotting doom. Alternatively, the possessing spirit should be affected by things that would normally only harm undead creatures—such as holy water.
- Once his host is either terminated or knocked unconscious, we will need a method to keep his spirit body from teleporting away—though this may not be a concern thanks to the dimensional lockstone that Nic is currently carrying with him. Of course, even without teleportation, he might fly away, but there are a plethora of items and abilities that might prevent this, including earthbind lodestones.
- Against his manifested ghost form, nonmagic weapons will be fully useless. Inflicting damage via cold or poison is inefficient against Ghost Council members, though curiously they have no inherent resistance against necrotic energy. The most reliable method of attack is still radiant magic, as this bypasses their bodies’ insubstantial qualities… though there are other workarounds.
Even after defeating his host body, grounding his spirt form, and then defeating him again, there is still a high likelihood that he will simply reform in a matter of days, due to his inexhaustible willpower and his perception that he has ‘unfinished business’ in this world. This will be the hardest hurdle to overcome, but feasible options are as follows:
- Avoid fully destroying Nic in his spirit form, then trap him by permanent means, such as the primal prison ritual.
- Destroy him within the city of Methia so that magical rejuvenation is impossible. If the Arc of Reida is currently manifesting a magical zone, it will need to be broken before the final blow is dealt.
- Use one of Macbannin’s curses to prevent Nic’s soul from ever returning to this world. From what he spoke of it, the spell requires Macbannin to sacrifice his life, and it only works if the target is destroyed in the next 24 hours.
- One final method exists, risky beyond measure, but perhaps worth mentioning… Allow the Obscurati to complete their ritual before assassinating Nicodemus. With his work in this world complete, he should not rejuvenate when destroyed—but then the question becomes whether or not the ritual’s effects can be undone.