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?

If you did not fight the Magisters and their hounds at the west gate of Driftwood, you will find them dead after releasing the Lich (found in DE).

Once you set him loose, you will encounter him again in Cloisterwood (at the bottom blue flag shown in the map below X:224 Y:192). 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 X: 260 Y: 255.)


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. In order to initiate combat here, you must cast a spell on him or some other hostile attack action right after he spawns the chest -- there will be no further dialog or opportunity to attack him, because he teleports away after the cutscene. 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.

If you Attack him before he picks up his Soul Jar, Combat starts, with him Cursing you, but his Soul Jar can be destroyed, which has only 5 Hp, with any attack or skill and kill him,  with a 2 characters while he still talks. All loot and exp are still the same as the other way.


  • 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. (Reduced to 3750 per parasitic heart in DE)
  • 4175XP and a chest with good loot upon completion of the quest.

Pressure Plate Solution

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    • Anonymous

      14 Jun 2021 00:46  

      I play with only 2 undead characters... This doesn't bode well for getting the chest and killing him directly after. What I had to do is go back to the ship. Talk to the Lizard Lady that offers companions for a small fee of 2800. I hired any character, she gave me a human girl. Used her to sacrifice blood. Immediately talked to her and hit option 1 to get rid of her so that my LONE WOLF would activate again. However, that made me lose some abilities that I cannot memorize during combat now that I hit him before he ported away. If you have the skills you need memorized first (clear your abilities and use the ones you absolutely need) and you can smack the Phylactery and slowly kill the Hearts. This is the fix to the 2 Undead Character Lone Wolf scenario.

      • Anonymous

        06 May 2021 00:33  

        Don’t hold high hopes this getting answered but I’ve gotten to the second encounter and it won’t let me offer source after fighting the skeletons he teleports away after i spare him.

        • Anonymous

          28 Nov 2020 22:07  

          There seem to be an alternate ending to this quest. If you speak to the lich in the basement, promise to free it yet you press the red button instead of the green so the fight begins with the lich still attached, and it frees itself during the battle (from an aoe for instance), it will fight the skeletons alongside you and will be tagged as neutral but the fight won't end when they're all destroyed ; the lich will attack you instead. Killing it will trigger the party dialogue you normally get after it has run away BUT the quest will end and the log will say "we killed the lich". Probably a bug I suppose, but apart from the inappropriate dialogue, there's nothing out of place here. Tested on DE PC.

          • Anonymous

            07 Nov 2020 13:27  

            anyone knows how to progress this quest if i can't find the lich after the first encounter? or where do i find him? he's nowhere near the area in cloisterwood.

            • Anonymous

              24 Sep 2020 22:20  

              cheesed him with lava that hannag spawned, teleported him in there and moved the lava with terrain transmutation, also works for everything else, ty hannag

              • Anonymous

                18 Sep 2020 15:33  

                2nd time I did this quest, when getting to the room where the Lich is held. I decided to see what would happen if I attacked the vases after talking to him but not choosing to release him. Fight ensued with the Skeletons, right near the end of that the Lich got caught in an AOE by me and he ended up joining the fight as a neutral to both me and the skeletons though he didn't attempt to attack my party, just the remaining skeletons.

                Though after last skeleton fell, fight was still classed as ongoing. Ended up killing him right there and the quest updated to indicate it was over, even though I then got the party conversation as if we'd let him go. Looted him and the skeletons, ran outside to check he hadn't killed the Magisters at the west entrance to the town and he hadn't. Quest in archives show as me killing him.

                This is on Definitive Edition on PS4

                • Anonymous

                  06 Aug 2020 10:44  

                  since a certains squirrel kept messing with the plates, i had my main stand on the side and placed a treasure chest instead

                  • 29 Jul 2020 07:06  

                    One thing I kind of just randomly thought of was: "what if I target the phylactery before he picks it up?"

                    I kind of randomly decided to do this after I attacked him right after he spawned the chest and before he picked up his Phylactery. Since it has a lot less health than him and has no armour, I one-shot it and therefore one-shot him.

                    He Insta died after I destroyed it, and just left the 4 parasitic hearts. It's kind of cheese, but I figured it was fine since I already beat him once the normal way.

                    Hope this is helpful for others!

                    • Anonymous

                      15 Jul 2020 00:30  

                      2nd encounter is bugged. I think normal and logical way is that u must choose to fight him or to feed him source. After u fed him he will dissapear and wont kill a child when u'll meet him 3rd time. If u'll fight then upon beating him dialog should auto pop up in which u can spare or kill him. Sparing him will result in 3rd encounter and he'll be feasting on a child. But his knockout in battle with sceleton dwarfs can end in a bug, when sometimes this dialog wont pop up but u still can click on him and initiate the same chat like before battle and sacrifice 1sp which will make him teleport (if u choose options to fight him again u'll be stuck forever kicking his body). 2 times out 4 this dialog glitched for me (no auto pop up) and these were the times when he was knocked down and turned into chicken (these were conditions for triggering the glitch for me). If u proceed with feeding him (after he was defeat and dialog glitched) then he will appear by the altar without child but he will be aggro to your character whom initited previous fight. U can leverage this fact. Leave that char not far behind, start chat with lich, donate blood and after he spawns the chest make a flashy appearance to start a fight. This will get u max loot and xp (and no harm done to the kid :) ). If u have necro in ur party then grasp of the starved will make a short walk for him and spawned hearts (enemies didnt get a turn, 4ppl lvl 13 DE tactician, only peace of mind to act first).

                      • Anonymous

                        25 Jun 2020 04:27  

                        so, I vaguely remembered the attacking him right after the chest spawned in classic and tried it in definitive, he proceeded to oneshot my entire party minus thane who was finished off by the hearts. Didn't remember this fight being of particular note before, though I could be misremembering. Probably best to either let him go or fight him through the dialogue now I'm guessing (was playing honor mode, so will be a while before I can do it again).

                        • Anonymous

                          23 May 2020 10:11  

                          Third fight tip, his parasites aren't able climb up the vines or get on the ledge (I'm pretty sure). So when I fought him, he teleported himself up there, and I was able to fight him 2 v 1. But I could see teleporting him up there yourself and avoiding the parasites. (Because they hit hard, I was only lvl 11 when attempted.)

                          • Anonymous

                            19 May 2020 22:22  

                            Not sure if it bugged out or I did something wrong, but when I did this, something weird (bug?) happened during the second fight. First off, the fight did NOT end when I killed all four dwarf skeletons, and I was forced to kill the 'main' skeleton as well. Then, once he was 'dead', I could still talk to his corpse. I chose to sacrifice Source to it in this dead/undead state, and he teleported away. When I encountered him a third time, however, I wasn't given a dialogue option at all; combat started before he'd even loaded onto my screen, and there was no child for him to feast on. Thus, he did not spawn in the chest as he was supposed to.

                            • Anonymous

                              06 May 2020 15:01  

                              In the Third encounter (feeding on kid) have your party standing midway between the Lich and Jahan and have a tank with a jump spell (Phoenix Dive etc) start the encounter. Survive the initial attacks then immediately jump away and run towards Jahan. This should bring Jahan into the fight who DOES NOT ***** around - he'll run for a turn or two then cast chain lighting killing all the parasitic hearts AND the Lich in one shot. Delicious cheese.

                              • Anonymous

                                06 May 2020 08:17  

                                For the accept then aggro route on the 3rd encounter, if you have a character waiting to attack on the ledge, have the dialogue character approach from the opposite direction. Only the character(s) in the visible attack direction enter combat at first so you can buff and reposition with the dialogue character before they join the fight.

                                • Anonymous

                                  23 Apr 2020 03:11  

                                  Apparently Xhaxh murders Glenna on his way out too... I thought she left after I let her know Lohar sent me!

                                  • Anonymous

                                    19 Apr 2020 13:43  

                                    also in 3rd encounter, even if he picks up his phylactery, you can pickopcket him with thief, then drop it on ground and kill it. Inta death

                                    • Anonymous

                                      10 Apr 2020 21:23  

                                      In the third encounter when he spawns his phylactery if you time it just right you can destroy it with an attack just before he picks it up. You'll know you got it if you get the message for damaging his property before he just disappears and no additional enemies spawn. A good way to cheese the last fight and still get the loot :)

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