A Taste of Freedom

Lich (Xhaxh)

Location Driftwood
Suggested Level 12+
Previous Quest Shadow over Driftwood

A Taste of Freedom is a Quest in Divinity: Original Sin II.

You find a tortured Lich hungry to feed after being drained of his Source for a long time by Mordus. Will you help him or kill him?


Important NPCs

  • Desiccated Undead


A Taste of Freedom Objectives

  1. Find an ornate skull embedded in the wall, which seems to be missing one of its eyes.
  2. Find an unusual gem in Wrecker's Cave or lockpick the skull.
  3. Place the gem inside the skull to reveal a secret passageway with a hatch leading underground.
  4. Solve the puzzle underground.
  5. Set the lich free.
  6. Let him feed or kill him.
  7. Meet the lich and watch him reclaim his soul jar.


A Taste of Freedom Walkthrough

Beneath Mordus' house, a secret passage can be found by lockpicking a ornate skull hidden on the wall. If you look on your minimap, you will notice a path that's not visible in the world. If you head towards that direction, you will discover the skull.

You should complete this along with the quest Shadow over Driftwood. The skull can be lockpicked with Thievery 5, but you can also kill Mordus in the Wrecker's Cave to find a gem on his corpse that will open this lock.



















Solving the Pressure Plate Puzzle

Underground, you will find a locked door and a pressure plate puzzle. Facing the door, cast Spirit Vision to see the correct pattern. A series of symbols will appear.

Place vases or items (fish work fine; you should have plenty from Driftwood) from throughout the room on the plates in order to match the symbols with the pattern shown by Spirit Vision. You need to trigger five pressure plates to solve the puzzle, so even a full party will not be enough.

(To avoid spoiling the fun, the solution has been placed at the bottom of this page.)

After activating the correct plates, the door will permanently open.

To Free or Not to Free? And a battle with the Undead

Before exploring the next room, walk straight to the middle. Upon reaching the middle of the room, the Lich warns you that the "urns will shatter" and the "bones will... rise". Talk to the Lich before looting, as you will miss out on the Lich's reward if you don't speak to him first.

Speak to the Lich again and you will learn that Mordus has kept him here for a long time draining him of source. This also prompts a conversation regarding its release. Pressing the yellow button turns off the braziers' lighting. Pressing the green button releases the Lich, immediately begins the fight and spawns the undead within the vases. You can press it during battle as well. The Lich will assist you in the fight against the undead after it is freed. Pressing the red button begins the fight without releasing the Lich. Pressing the purple button unlocks the chest to right of the table.

Quest: A Taste of Freedom - Switch Panel

After defeating the undead, you can now free him to complete the quest and obtain a reward. He will offer you a skillbook of your choice. If you attempt to ask the Lich to teach you about Source, he will pout and give you a random skillbook instead.

After he leaves (assuming you spoke with him first), this will prompt a conversation among your party regarding the potential danger of a Lich escaping.

If you began the fight without talking to the Lich first, he will simply leave after the fight without giving you a reward, and the quest won't be updated. If one of the undead accidentally attacks the Lich, he will join the fight as if you didn't speak with him.

To Feed or Not to Feed?

Once you set him loose, you will encounter him again in Cloisterwood (at the bottom blue flag shown in the map below). This time, you will see him feasting on the remains of innocent dwarves, unable to satiate his hunger for replenishing his Source.

If you approach the Lich and end up attacking him, he will summon three dwarven skeletons to aid him. After you kill them, he will beg you once again to let him live. You can kill him right then and there to loot his body for some good loot and a unique staff, or agree to spare him so he can continue to feed. It is highly recommended to let him continue feeding, so you can earn more experience once you meet him a third time. Read on if you do.

If you allowed him to live, he will trudge around the bodies and start feeding. You can talk to him again at this point to sacrifice a Source Point so he won't have to feed on any more innocents. This will net you some experience and he will happily ask you to meet him again to retrieve his Soul Jar.

Note: If the Lich left after the first encounter because you ignored him, you will not be able to offer your own Source for him to feed on.

At this point, the available dialogue choices will vary based on your actions thus far, but they will all end the same way. You will meet him again for a third and final encounter, at the entrance to the ruins. (Shown as a blue flag at the top right of the map above.)


Note: Save at this point in time as you will likely be interested in fighting him after the quest for extra loot.

If you did not sacrifice your Source to him, he will be feeding on a young child and you will have to decide between letting him continue or killing him.

If you sacrificed your Source to him, he will be waiting at the altar without anybody dead, and he will ask for some of your blood to complete the ritual (this is safe; he only takes a small portion of your Vitality). You will have to pick a party member who isn't undead in order to give him your blood.

In any case, he will proceed to reveal his name at Xhaxh and spawn a chest called Xhaxh's Cache on the altar before him. You will receive some experience and the quest will close at this point. However...

If you attack him right after he spawns the chest, he will spawn four Parasitic Hearts this time around. Killing him is the utmost priority in this fight since the Parasitic Hearts deal relatively low damage compared to him. This time, you will kill him off for good and obtain a sizeable amount of experience for your troubles, as well as the unique Necromancer staff called the "Xhaxh's Staff of Parasitic Decay" and other powerful trinkets that you can loot his body, in addition to the chest he spawned earlier.


  • 13900XP once you have unlocked the skull and reveal the secret underground hatch.
  • 16200XP total for killing the 4 skeletons hidden in the vases.
  • Random skillbook or skillbook of your choice (Necromancy, Geomancy, Huntsman, Scoundrel, Warfare) upon freeing him, along with 2800XP.
  • 18750XP for killing all the dwarf skeletons on the 2nd encounter (this will not update or mark the quest as "Closed") OR let him live and sacrifice a source point to help him feed for 4175XP.
  • 22450XP if you choose to kill the Desiccated Undead on the 3rd encounter (killing him on the 2nd encounter gives no XP).
  • 11225XP for killing each parasitic heart on the 3rd encounter, for a total of 44900XP for all 4 kills. This goes towards your Villain count.
  • 4175XP and a chest with good loot upon completion of the quest.

Pressure Plate Solution

    • 09 Sep 2019 02:20  

      While you can kill him instantly by breaking/absorbing the jar as others have mentioned, you'll miss out on the Exp from the hearts. Another way to easily win the fight and get the hearts is to use Terrain Transmutation on the nearby lava (found on the southern side of the ruins, you only need to move it 3-4 times to get it to the altar) and teleport Xhaxh into the lava after the battle starts (you can position everyone on the high ground before you interrupt him with a ranged attack and block the vines with a summon). The hearts are easy to kill the usual way, they don't seem to be affected by the lava.

      • Anonymous

        23 Jul 2019 15:49  

        In third fight as soon as Xhaxh summons jar and chest teleport him far away. Then have a player in you squad absorb the soul in the jar. He dies. Easy. You get the chest items, loot, and xp.I have definitive edition on pc.

        • Anonymous

          15 Jul 2019 04:32  

          Had issues starting the fight right after he summons the chest and jar. Use teleport.. have it ready and him clicked.. you can do this way before... when he summons items... just teleport him behind you a bit and auto fight starts.

          • Anonymous

            10 Jul 2019 23:35  

            Dunno if anyone already did this but if you attack him at the 3rd encounter the moment he summon the chest and his jar you’ll start the fight before he picks it up... and I didn’t pay attention myself till I used whirlwind beside the alter and the jar broke it was instant death for him easiest way to kill him.

            • Anonymous

              04 Jul 2019 11:12  

              Where the 3rd fight should be I can approach him but his not kneeling at the altar like in the screenshot, he's standing there. When I hover my mouse over him with Lohse it shows a sword, with every other character though I get a conversation-bubble. It doesn't matter though with which character I approach him - the fight will immediately start and he'll summon his parasitic hearts. I have the Definitive Edition...

              • Anonymous

                17 Jun 2019 01:06  

                Just so you know, if have one character give him blood, and then immedietely attack him once the chest appears, then Xhaxh will have a dialogue with whoever did so. Whilst that happens, then have a character who can pickpocket (I did this with a character with thievery level 4), sneak behind and steal his soul jar which was in his pockets by now, then absorb his source, and he will die, completely evading the fight, and getting the loot as well. Easy.

                • Anonymous

                  16 Jun 2019 18:55  

                  During the 3rd fight, you can get Xhaxh's Cache, initiate the fight, and kill him in 1 turn by doing the following: 1) Have one character talk to Xhaxh (Desiccated Undead). The rest of your party will remark on the fact that he's eating a child. Pretend to be fine with this and let him live but DO NOT end the conversation yet. 2) Bring a second character which can deal piercing damage (sawtooth knife for example) within range of Xhaxh. 3) End the conversation from your first character and switch back to your piercer. 4) Wait until Xhaxh just finishes his summoning spell and IMMEDIATELY deal damage to him. Don't let him teleport or pick up his phylactery. Fight initiated. 5) Xhaxh will most likely teleport somewhere away from your party and cast some curses/cripples/shackles. 6) Destroy Xhaxh's Phylactery (Soul Jar) on the alter table. This kills him instantly. 7) CC the Parasitic Hearts with physical damage, they're nice and closely packed so Whirlwind, Battle Stomp and Battering Ram your way to victory.

                  • Anonymous

                    15 Jun 2019 07:23  

                    Another way to initialize the 3rd fight is to use the sawtooth knife skill right after the chest is spawned. The skill deals damage ignoring armor, similar to markaman's fang.

                    • Anonymous

                      18 May 2019 19:27  

                      The parasitic guys definitely do a*****load of damage, so you shouldn't ignore them to kill the boss for the 3rd encounter. They still keep fighting you after he dies.

                      • Anonymous

                        15 May 2019 15:02  

                        To clear up confusion on the 2nd and 3rd part of this quest, as I just did this today (PC Definitive Ed): 2nd encounter: when you choose to fight him, be sure to let him summon the dwarves first. Also, when you kill him, he won't be outright dead, just incapacitated, and you can talk to him again to let him go free. 3rd encounter: yes it is still possible to get both the cache and the fight, but it is very tight timing of a couple seconds. Basic attacks will not aggro him, but teleporting him from where he stands to the opposite side, where the parasitic hearts appear, will aggro him. Once you end the conversation with him to get the cache, he will "summon" the cache for a long time, about 4 or 5 seconds. Be sure to not aggro him during this time. You need to wait until you see the shrine/table change color (it will look cursed) which means the cache is spawning. You have enough time after the conversation to prepare just a couple buffs and to prepare the teleport for when you see the shrine change, if you're quick.

                        • Anonymous

                          28 Apr 2019 18:21  

                          It is a bit buggy on the Definitive Edition as on the 2nd encounter and you may need to re-Load your save before the fight. I had to reload the fight twice because after beating him and his oompa loopas, it wouldn't trigger. Same thing with the 3rd encounter. Sometimes even attacking him after he spawns the chest, he'll ignore you and leave as well. So your gonna have to Quick Save before you talk to him and try and him with a strong attack (He just ignores basics which is bull) and Quick Load if it doesn't work.

                          • Anonymous

                            28 Apr 2019 03:47  

                            " If you approach the Lich and end up attacking him, he will summon three dwarven skeletons to aid him. After you kill them, he will beg you once again to let him live." This doesn't seem to happen on Definitive Edition. He just keeps attacking. Ended up having to reload and just avoid fighting him on the second encounter.

                            • Anonymous

                              23 Apr 2019 23:48  

                              Not sure if this was changed in the Definitive Edition, but after giving him some of your blood. Attack him as soon as he spawned his cache & phylactery. If he grabs his phylactery, you won't be able to stop him from vanishing, even if you knock him down.

                              • Anonymous

                                14 Apr 2019 20:51  

                                As an alternative, I completed this quest in the first stage by defeating all the skeletons from the urns, then when I spoke to him and he asked me to free him, I force-attacked him instead. This automatically releases him and initiates combat, but it's pretty easy if you're prepped for the fight. You get his unique staff (not the parasitic decay version) and a couple of trinkets. Quest closes.

                                • Anonymous

                                  07 Apr 2019 14:59  

                                  This bug is an absolute nightmare, playing on Honourmode I don't have the option of creating saves and reloading where I please. How on earth can I get around this annoying bug!!

                                  • Anonymous

                                    13 Feb 2019 20:57  

                                    The skillbooks he gives (tested at level 12) are: Necromancy - Death Wish Geomancy - Worm Tremor Hunting - Marksman's Fang Rogue - Corrupted Blade Warrior - Provoke

                                    • Anonymous

                                      08 Feb 2019 15:17  


                                      • Anonymous

                                        05 Feb 2019 08:13  

                                        in the third encounter, you can teleport him after attacking, while he is talking to the guy guarding a demon. He will oneshot him

                                        • Anonymous

                                          23 Jan 2019 22:36  

                                          I didn't need to find him on 2nd encounter. I could just had to exhaust his dialogue options. Maybe the fact that I was Mystic helped.

                                          • Anonymous

                                            02 Jan 2019 04:16  

                                            the easiest way to kill him is to have one of your characters stab him after he spawns the chest but before he grabs his soul this will open dialogue with him where you can switch to one of your other characters hold control and break the soul jar killing him and spawning the hearts which are so easy to kill that i did it under-leveled by two levels

                                            • Anonymous

                                              30 Dec 2018 05:41  

                                              if you teleport the mage that is near the house right by the battle, he will aid you and pretty much beat the enemies on his own. Free XP..

                                              • Anonymous

                                                13 Dec 2018 20:49  

                                                The third encounter is extremely broken, if you use any level scale-up mod. I fought him at lvl 15 (he was 15 as well), and he was one-shotting one of my heroes through 1k vitality and 400 magic armor. Just a warning.

                                                • Anonymous

                                                  02 Dec 2018 09:16  

                                                  At the third encounter, if u grab the phylactery (see below, small time window) and the battle starts, u can attack that phylactery with anything to destroy it and instantly kill Xhaxh. All that's left is the four hearts. If u want to get the loots of Xhaxh, be sure to have NO ONE stand CLOSE to his body, as the hearts will use one skill to destroy Xhaxh's body, making his (valueable) loot vanish and the whole fight is for nothing but Exp.

                                                  • Anonymous

                                                    14 Nov 2018 18:29  

                                                    Definitive Edition- After giving him Source in part 2, my choices at the altar were: 1. Refuse to give him blood. This results in being forced to fight him and the 4 hearts. Note he can also summon another heart. 2. Give him blood. He spawns his chest and summons his phylactery. He takes the phylactery and then teleports out, yelling about being whole again. 3. Give him blood as above, but this time take the phylactery (there's a VERY short window to do this). Spawns the 4 hearts and you have the same fight as #1. 4. As #3, but instead of trying to just take it, you can teleport the phylactery away. The chest will already be spawned, and he'll complain about you touching it, but once it drops, so does he (I teleported it to a spot near the wall, farthest from the balcony, the key is to pick a spot FAST.) Unfortunately this still ends the quest in the log as if he'd just escaped with it, which seems an oversight.

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