This article is about the mainline Lich model. For the variant used by the Banished, see Banished Lich.
The Deployment Platform T-56 Ground Support/Ultra Heavy, colloquially known as the Lich, is a Covenant matériel deployment vessel manufactured by Achoem Weapons. In keeping with the naming scheme of most Covenant vehicles, the Lich is named after a supernatural being.
The Covenant's largest airborne deployment platform, the Lich boasts heavy armament and is capable of mass deployments of up to forty soldiers. Because of this, UNSC encounters with Liches have almost always resulted in total destruction of the UNSC ground forces, resulting in a lack of available information on the craft. Like smaller Covenant dropships, the Lich is spaceworthy. It is also capable of traveling through slipspace, though presumably it cannot do so under its own power. Its shielding, at the very least, is strong enough to endure the radiation of slipspace while following in Mantle's Approach's wake.
Similar to the Type-44 and Type-52 Phantom dropships, the Lich sports a gravity lift on its ventral surface. It likewise has two large bay doors on either side of the hull and Type-52 plasma cannons are stationed at each doorway. The Lich's main gun seems to be an ultra-heavy focus cannon like that of the Scarab. Part of the craft's power core is exposed on an aft pylon.
Though the Covenant used the Lich during the Human-Covenant War, it remained rarely seen due to it usually being used by civilian and security roles. Moreover, the vehicle's great effectiveness often resulted in the annihilation of its human opponents. Thus, it remained poorly documented by the UNSC until the post-war period. Following the Great Schism the need for troop transports outweighed the supply.
Jul 'Mdama's Covenant deployed multiple Liches during their initial foray on the Forerunner shield world Requiem in July 2557. After the UNSC Infinity's Marine and Spartan complement disabled an array of Forerunner particle cannons, they were attacked by a Lich. The Lich quickly disabled a Mammoth's Magnetic Accelerator Cannon and dropped off troops supported by Phantoms dropping in Wraiths and Ghosts. Spartan John-117 and a team of SPARTAN-IVs boarded the craft and destroyed it by destroying its reactor, causing it to explode.
Later, when the Didact set course for Halo Installation 03, several Liches followed his vessel through slipspace. One of them was commandeered by SPARTAN-117 and his AI companion Cortana. Due to a rampant episode, Cortana allowed this Lich to crash into ONI's Ivanoff Station.
In February 2558, during the Requiem Campaign, Roland had Fireteam Crimson activate an alarm at "Apex" that summoned a Lich to the area. Needing a replacement power source for a Harvester at another location, Roland planned to have Crimson steal the Lich's power source. Aided by Fireteam Forest, Crimson defeated the troops deployed by the Lich until it took up position at a nearby cliffside to pepper the area with turret fire. Crimson was able to board the Lich and eliminate the crew. As Roland couldn't override the security locks, Crimson was sent to the engine core rather than the cockpit. Crimson removed the power core, causing the Lich's systems to run wild. Moments after Crimson jumped to safety, the Lich, energy flowing all over it, flew a short distance away and exploded. Crimson was subsequently able to use the Lich's power core to successfully restore power to the Harvester and use it to reach the artifact needed to free Infinity from Requiem.
On March 5, 2558, Vata 'Gajat's mercenary group attacked attacked the peace conference between the UNSC, the Swords of Sanghelios, and Jiralhanae Chieftain Lydus' pack. During the battle one of the mercenaries' Liches was destroyed by Spartan Sarah Palmer when she threw her helmet full of grenades into the Lich's gravity lift. By May 2558, a band of Kig-Yar pirates had collected numerous Liches in a black market base on Ven III.
On October 27th, the Swords of Sanghelios sent a Lich to rendezvous with UNSC Infinity in the Urs System. Fireteam Osiris used the ship to reach Sanghelios, and then inserted to Nuusra aboard a Phantom deployed by the Lich. Arbiter Thel 'Vadam used Liches among his aerial forces during his assault against Covenant forces in Sunaion, travelling aboard one with Osiris until it landed in the city.
By April 2559 the Banished utilized their own variants of the Lich as transports for their Banished outposts during the Second Ark Conflict. They were later employed by Pavium and Voridus following their release of the Flood from the ruins of High Charity.
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