How would you kill an unkillable being made of magic?
By - Hubris_Valric
If he's unkillable then he can't be killed.
You as the author just make it so he is able to be killed.
However, it does sound similar to a Lich, in which case if you destroy the Phylactory you kill the Lich. If your antagonist is made of flesh, shouldn't you be able to just destroy the flesh? Similarly, if you create a mechanism that saps the magical energy from other things, then it would de-animate.
What exactly is “made of magic” in your world? Is it being comprised solely of magical energy? Is it being comprised of interacting spells?
Okay, so to be more specific, he is flesh given life because magic was too concentrated and released. In my world, magic is not something that you can control completely and it is more of a dangerous reaction after being compressed. The effects vary when it occurs as a natural event, such as object gaining the ability to think. When a person controls it, the desired effect can be gained by concentrating it in a certain region. It is not omnipotent so you can’t bring the dead back to life, but it can give life to things that have never had one before. When I say “made of magic”, I mean more that he is a natural magic compression that is released, given life and flesh and is continuously compressing and releasing magic that he cannot control. He is not created by a curse or spell so he is quiet literally a natural entity of random magic releases.
So what happens if they just destroy the vessel? Does it reform or would it cause an adverse reaction that is worse than just keeping the vessel?
The vessel mostly refuses death, so for example, if an arm is torn off, it can just pick it up, place it back and any damage is repaired. It can’t regenerate, but as long as a part exists then it can just heal using the materials it is in contact with.
Perhaps you can tear him up. A part here, a part there, a part waaaay over there staining the wall ;)
I take it if he goes long enough without his head he would die. If your entity works that way, protagonist(s) can rip it's heart out and make sure he won't retrieve it. (heart is much more dramatic than head)
Is that a Kung Fu Panda 2 quote? I’m quite sure it is.. “A part of you here, a part of you there, and a part of you wayyyy over there staining the wall. >:)”
Yep, from Lord Shen
I know you dont wanna seal him up, but it seems the best thing you can do is tear him apart and have people take the pieces to different parts of the world. Maybe drop the head and torso into a volcano
So what if the vessel is incinerated?
Here's what I posted to circlejerk while thinking it was this post...
Do black holes exist? I know you said die instead of sealing, but I don't think he'd be able to get out.
Would his personality die if his brain was turned to pudding, or would it grow back in its original shape?
You said made of magic, so is there something even worse than him that will eat all of his magic to leave nothing left?
How about suicide?
Can those parts be consumed?
Yes, but based on how his healing works, let’s just say it can lead to some “off putting” results. (It’s pretty disgusting)
If he can be damaged at all, then he can be destroyed. Any process with sufficient energy can reduce his body to base materials, which would probably nullify any regenerative properties.
Make something that negates his healing, hydra style. Then the protagonists collect said item and force him to be vulnerable, just for a moment, and exploit that moment to kill him before the vessel knows what’s happening
Sounds to me what would kill him is essentially a void. Think explosive decompression in a Sci-Fi movie. Literally, he would get torn asunder and his bits flung across the void....
That's what they did in the magicians.
Love that show/books.
That just makes me think how funny it would be to see several smaller versions of him come back like a star-fish.
If matter is involved, like flesh, every single thing that destroys the flesh should work on that construct too. What about, non in specific order?
- being teleported in the vacuum of space
- being teleported 5000 m and wait for the gravity
- being teleported in the depth of the ocean
- a wood chipper
I was thinking along the same lines. If said being is made through compression or concentration then it would seem that rapid decompression would potentially be an answer. AKA teleported into space (provided there is no magic in space)
My answer would be one of two things: either create something, or someone, which can drain the character of magic to containable levels or death, or lay some kind of geas upon it so that it gains wisdom and kindness and begins to mature.
Given this, you might consider a sort of magic draining, like a vampire, or maybe a ritual to diffuse and store him in something that would prevent him retaining his "self", like another life form.
if magic is a "thing" and can be depleted when using it unlike a catalyst, you could try to cast spells using not the MC's energy but the villain's - just drain him dry into nonexistence. If what gives him existence is "a ball of compressed magic" make the magic "not compressed" and boom - he ceases to exist.
If there are spells like "mana drain" or the like that suck out someones magic then a couple uses would probably do the trick, although in that case it wouldn't be a serious problem now would it >:\]
And also: "Purifcation! Purification!"
Can you siphon the magic outta him?
You are the author. Change the adjective "unkillable" to "almost unkillable" and there you go.
Also, does magic in your world have no limitation, price or bane? Because that's the most likely candidate.
Magic is generally unpredictable and the only price is what happens when you use magic so it is generally a gamble.
I'm not sure how important it is, but I wouldn't make the death of the villain an important point, if this is the case with magic.
The fact that it's unpredictable and that there are no recognizable rules and limitations makes it so that the reader cannot understand, predict or appreciate a scene that revolves around its workings, by definition.
If the reader is supposed to appreciate the death of the villain, there better be some clear stakes and some planting that pays off.
Even if it's predictable, it doesn't matter! Because it's not important that you surprise us with the what but with the how. Think Star Wars or Lord of the Rings: we know what kills the bad guys, but at the climactic scene something happens that makes the way we get there surprising and meaningful.
Bro if the magic is unpredictable then have the magic kill him. Who could have predicted it?
op could also have a plot-related change in which this character goes from unkillable to almost unkillable. maybe the hero needs to create a weakness
example: they need a dragon’s magic to create the weakness so they have to go befriend a dragon to then ask for a gift from them—the gift is either the dragon tells them what the weakness is, if you want there to be one that they just don’t know about, or to create a weakness in the villain that the hero can then use; that’s a kind of random example but it could be something like that within the plot
If he's made of magic, can you "undo" the spells that he is made from, for example by lifting curses? Would this cause him to disintegrate?
In d&d terms, throw that boy in an antimagic field
Or teleport him 1 million years into the future when the planet is already dead.
Back in 3rd edition you could destroy a Prismatic Wall by hitting it with a specific set of spells in order to destroy various colors (cone of cold, gust of wind, disintegrate, pass wall, magic missile, daylight, dispel magic). Something like that could be applied here as well.
That's what I was thinking
1. Establish rules of magic.
2. Use loophole against the "unkillable" being
Whatever decision you make, the solution should be based on the theme of the story you're trying to tell. This is why a lot of anime stories use "the power of friendship" to defeat powerful villains. This is why other stories isolate the MC from their friends and allow them to find their own strength to show the theme of "the power within".
Maybe you could also give the being a weakness or a source of power you could destroy so they become powerless and killable.
I agree with this thought completely! You don't want to create a "loophole" that feels cheap or too convenient. The best way to do this in your climactic moment is to have your hero/protagonist triumph over the antagonist in a way that demonstrates and proves your theme in some meaningful way...
What has your hero learned about themselves or their world in the lead up to facing your antagonist? Others have offered lots of different ways to kill a magical creature, but I encourage you to consider your theme and the arc of your protagonist to find the most symbolic and resonant option for defeating him! If this unkillable creature is a more minor antagonist along the way then the hero needs to learn something meaningful when he defeats him to face the bigger and badder enemy later!
I agree, what is the lesson the hero learns? How do they overcome this challenge, uaing the abilities they have gained and improved over the course of the story? And then how do they use this knowledge to then apply it towards defeating this villain?
* Lure or force him into a place that's like a magical dead-zone where magic doesn't work at all, he'll fade out of existence
* Lure or force him into a place that's infused with too much magic, he might get overloaded and self-destruct
* Go back in time to undo the events that lead to his creation
* Make a deal with a deity in charge of reality who can wipe him from existence
* Or alternatively, a hero can somehow borrow or steal the powers of said deity, to alter reality and undo the villain from existence
* The heroes somehow create their own 'unkillable' being made of magic, who fights and defeats the villain
* A 'nuclear' option - maybe the heroes can find a way to permanently cancel all the magic in the world
I like the second to last option here, because there's potential for the two beings to be locked in permanent conflict because neither can die. I got a similar thing with two dragons in my story/worldbuilding project
If he needs to die, why would you make him an unkillable being? Wouldn't it be better to make him a near godlike being but still capable of dying? You can't kill something that cannot be killed.
Thinking the same thing. Why set up your villain like this? It's one thing if the hero believe the villain can't die. The hero doesn't have to know all.
Trap the character in a place he will effectively be removed from the stories timeframe. Trapped underground or entombed and thrown into the ocean. Does not undo a key trait of the character
Drop him in a volcano.
That explodes to send him to space..
Is that a...
Damn right you are...
Already have two JoJo references.
Made of magic? Delete the magic.
Nul the magic.
Drain the magic.
Repossess the magic?
What is the source?
Unless you're going all, "Simon Hawke," you need a way for the evil to lose
If your story needs to do something impossible in the story, rethink it.
I mean, to kill someone unkillable is an oxymoron.
1) how does death work in your setting?
If you think about it, most settings use a death-mechanic based around the soul going from "inside" the body to somewhere else when a character dies.
that is, in itself, very much a (soul) sealing mechanic.
2) change whatever nature of that character makes him unkillable.
or rather, make the MC´s change it.
a Lich-typ character has some kind of phylactary, and is unkillable until one distroys that Item.
same goes for enchantments, curses etc.
3) why is he immortal in the first place?
if he´s made of magic, negate his "matter" with whatever antimagic exist.
or create a magic setup that allows the MC´s to feed his magical body into some kind of spell, as in, to consume his essence with that spell.
or change whatever balances the structure of that magic body into disorder, aka, "conterspell" him like some magic phenomena, so he breaks down like a building that lost its fundament.
A lot of it depends on what you, the author, have established in the story.
Without knowing how your setting or systems work, I can only spitball. You need him specifically dead, not just gone away, but he's made of magic so death isn't an option. That means you need to beat him the way you'd beat a spell.
\-Counterspell. (In most settings this only works as the spell is being cast. Maybe the villain is unkillable because he's a spell that is constantly being cast, and therefore doesn't end?)
\-Dispel magic. (But if you establish that it's an immortality spell and dispel magic exists, then why hasn't anyone thought to try it before?)
\-Wrest the magic away and *use* it, aka. the Titan A.E. solution.
\-Modify the spell - some sort of metamagic? - in such a way that it ends.
\-Destroy whatever is keeping the magic active or anchored.
\-Disperse the magic; let it expand over a huge area without getting any stronger, so it loses any intelligence or will that it once had and goes away like a regular spell would.
\-Go back in time to before he got the magic effect and either kill him then or stop the spell from being cast.
But the most important answer is that you, as the author, can give him literally any weakness you want.
The eye of Magnus in Skyrim is your answer
Tried that but I lost it. Psyjics took the thing away after I fooled around with it too much.
If he's made of magic, can't some of the characters use the magic he's made out of to do something, preferably something good? Like turn it into a shitton of power to accomplish some important plot point?
Satan is unkillable. God does away with him by throwing him in a bottomless pit. Just do something like that. A black hole or something that never stops pulling and crushing that is inescapable.
Could they be drained of magic? Like make a recursive spell that uses their magic as a source.
If their will to live is keeping them alive then you can break that, the spell could trap them in a time loop of pain until they just decide to end their own life.
I mean me personally, I would just never create a character that overly powerful in the first place.
But if you really did write yourself into that corner, I'm sure you can have the characters discover a super secret forbidden technique or something that can bypass the villain's OP magic.
Anti-Magic (Think Asta from Black Clover), use a portal/gate to rip it in half, a very old curse, or anything honestly. That’s the beauty of you being the God of your world. You can make anything and everything happen.
Use a leafblower
Force him to watch all episodes of iCarly. This will kill him for sure.
Exceptional and ancient magical weapons also often seem to do the trick
Something removes all magic from the world. Kills the bad guy, maybe also comes with a significant sacrifice for the good guys (maybe one of the hero's friends is also made of magic, or maybe the hero was born with a special magical trait that will no longer exist)
Find or create a weapon or creature that can feed off magic. Since the antagonist is the most powerful magical being in your world it seems, it would have the biggest magical signiture of sorts or magical signal in all the land. So the plan could be to get the being or whatever to focus its attention on the villain and it would be destroyed kind of like how a black hole sucks in everything only this is a black hole that sucks in magic.
However, you can have it so that since they are both so powerful all the dark energy in the villain is so intense and powerful that it would implode once it gets devoured by the magic eater. Thus both would get destroyed. You could say that the magic eater was asleep for thousands of years deep beneath the earth because the ancients placed a powerful spell on it or something since it was devouring all the witches and wizards in the land.
It would have destroyed the whole world. But the heroe(s) have to go find it and wake it up so it can defeat the new villain who became powerful once the monster was alseep because there was nothing to stand in his way.
Very serious and macabre answer:
Start by capturing/incapacitating the creature. Then take some sort of magic wire or needle and unravel him like a sweater by a thread. Of course the material could be healed if he escaped, but just keep going. Pull it apart in a thousand different directions, until its just a mutilated mass of fleshy bloody strands all pinned and magically held in place. Then sever each one dip it in an special wax made from the fatty seeds of a carnivorous plant that eats magical creatures. Once you made these long slender tallow candles, burn them and recite its name backwards in a low chant until their completely burned away.
The creature may heal from the pile of ash remaining, but it will be a small version of itself incapable of much. The ritual can be performed repeatedly to burn more and more of it away. Eventually there will be nothing left.
TLDR: flay it and turn it into antimagic candles.
If he can't physically die, kill his soul or break his mind to the point were he shares the same IQ as a puddle of moss
If the protagonist has a stronger "will" than the villain, the protagonist can use the villain as a massive power source to destroy everything the villain built. Great way for an interesting sacrifice play at the end of the story. Even works to bring the hero back after a fakeout death, but with the same kind of composition that the villain used to have.
Either way, there's no following up the story after this if you use my ideas.
Maybe introduce an ancient powerful
Witch in your chatacter,
She and only she knows to reverse the spell through which this being was created.
I think when Doomsday came back the second time Superman & Co.solved this problem by dropping him off at the end of time. "Nothing survives entropy" or something like that.
You could try some variation of that. Otherwise I'm not sure how you kill something that is "unkillable." That seems like an inherent contradiction. You could instead make him hard to kill but for...the one creative idea that can kill him.
Well... he might not technically be dead, but reducing his body to a moist heap of very small jiggly bits of flesh would probably slow him down a bit...
That said, if he's a magical being, then hitting him with either anti-magic, magic nullification, or a zone of zero magical energy and *then* killing his corporeal form, would probably do it.
You don't have to kill it. You find a way to contain it. Like a prison without walls. Great cartoon episode in d&d
Sealed him up under a rock for years!
Give you a hook for a sequel too😂
You turn it into a limitless source of power by tapping it in a siphon which drains it into a device you can draw from
Bind his powers and use a killing curse and/or potion.. Maybe one of his own???
Besides everyone has a weak spot find his
Trap him in some magical container and drop him in the bottom of the ocean. Classic.
This seems similar to the Poppy War series, where shamans go insane and have to be locked in a stone prison which contains them forever and disconnects them from the source of their power. They don't die, they are just trapped in stone for eternity. Maybe something like that?
Then he kills himself. A small seed of change implanted in the fabric of his magic. A twist of noble magic, at his toe perhaps. It grows and gnaws at him driving the creature further insane. Eventually the seed grows and threatens to consume his magical essence and replace it with something else, something good. Driven mad by it, he starts to chew.
Transform his mind/identity until he's essentially no longer the same person (thinking of Moana)
What if he is dispersed, with many people gaining the powers he used to hold?
He gets an additional charge of magic and overloads maybe?
The mythological trope is that such a character decides to just leave. Another dimension or place, or whatever it's not important. They may leave a note or may not but usually immortality is a bummer.
The Sandman graphic novel used this quite well.
Try to destroy Magic itself. It adds a unfortunate consequence for trying to save the world from a worse fate.
I would suggest thinking back on how this antagonist acquired such power and state of being to be almost unstoppable. How did they become that way? That process may be key to reversing or halting the magical protection they have. The only other suggestion I have is to do a Mother 3 and go back in time to when they were more vulnerable and kill them then. Hope this helps.
Hmm... maybe since he is made of magic, just sap all the magic out of him and destroy the human part of him with an explosion?
If he is magic energy, well, think about real energy. Maybe don't kill it, maybe two him in a magic battery. Or perhaps force him to waste energy to the point he is depleted. More classic solutions could be a dispel or someone absorbing his magic. Also if your magic is chaotic as you say find a way to force him to do something very risky and he just explodes
Stab him with antimagic sword
Cast a powerful spell using his magical energy as a power source. Perhaps he could be sealed or otherwise trapped first in a place where he would be the only source of magical power.
Life is only an emergent property of various non-living molecules coming together. If you were to reduce them to their non-living components, they physically could not continue to live. You may not be able to kill him, but you could un-alive him...
I have a very similar character in one of my stories. Their body will absolutely refuse to die as long as his spark of life has something to cling on to. You can grind him to mincemeat, and if there is one intact cell in there, he can live. Anything below a cell, however, isn't technically alive, meaning that he will die if he is atomized.
Well, why can't they die through most means? For example, if they heal super fast, stick them into a volcano or acid bath and overwhelm them with damage.
If it's something more abstract, like being a deity or the embodiment of something, kill them on a conceptual or symbolic level. For example destroy their temples, their followers, kill the idea of them. Divert their worship to something else, for example taking a grim avatar of famine and twisting it into the idea of a freedom from hunger or desires, and like that take an enemy and make them into a more neutral figure.
Age him extremely?
Anime 101, what you can't kill, you seal. Make up some way to trap him forever.
The classic approach to me would be to create a trap that's simple enough but requires some scheming in both sides. So in the end he will fall into the trap himself.
Wouldn't counterspell just...dismiss him?
What if you remove the magic from an area and lure him into it? His own magic dissipates and he becomes mortal/dies/becomes killable.
Figure out a way to completely absorb his magic. Give excuses like his core is entirely magical so if you absorb his magic then he'll die
I would 'transform' or 'transmute' him into something else.
I have an un-killable character. I use him to power things. Like... God and Death got together and went 'THIS GUY' and scratched their heads and decided that he could be an infinite power source for other things. That his power of immortality could make him a battery.
It's simple, just have your characters end magic itself.
Deside what makes him unkillable. If it’s a certain type of energy, kill him with the reverse. If he used some Doo-Dad to make himself that way, then the Doo-Dad should be able to undo it. Or, if all else fails and he specifically can’t be killed by natural forces, have his hubris kill him (so suicide/accidental suicide). Having his magic consume him is a classic trope, but the messaging is always powerful.
Eat him. Less literally, if he's made of pure magic energy, siphon and expend that energy. Think of him as an angry balloon man full of gasoline, and use him as fuel until there's nothing left.
Is there an artifact or rock type that negates or attenuates magic? Trap him there. Is there a non-malevolent creature that feeds off magic and would keep him weakened and imprisoned? He doesn’t have to die if he’s too weak to be a threat. Plus there’s room for a sequel!
Well you can make him immortal as long as he's Somewhere of as long as he has something, like an amulet. For example in Greek mythology the giant Alcyoneus was immortal as long as he was in his native land and Hercules defeated him by dragging him out of its native land. 0
I always find it most believable when some kind of blowback or backfiring of the beings own magic kills them off. Like they themselves are the only one who has the kind of power it would take to finally take them out, and also there’s the karmic justice of the thing.
Depends on what's the rules of your world's magic. Also is the antagonist hard to kill or immortal, because that's something to account for as well
What if you explain the story of the antagonist. Like a chapter of this character or something like that. You can explain why is he that powerful or something that make he/she vulnerable. Or where is this power from and how you can destroy it. Also you can explain why is he/she that bad.
There is already a chapter explaining his origin but to give you context, he is more mad with a warped view of life due to the pain he has experienced and continues to experience. Both are due to his own physiology and how people treated him.
Another possibility is make the protagonists find out about a substance from its world, that has its nature, and therefore, is able to kill it
No, really, just find a way to end magic, period, then the threat would be neutralized.
For a less permanent and profound option, simply "turn it off , then back on again". As ridiculous as these solutions sound, the Forgotten Realms had the Spellplague, as one example of the latter.
Just trap him and set up the sequel
why kill? why not locking him away somewhere? or perhaps wiping his abilities / skills? Transfer him into a time loop? etc
Paralyse him with a neurotoxin and drop him in an active volcano. Who cares if he lives…he can’t escape hell.
How about a complex and dangerous ritual which would strip away the underlying magic that created/sustains him? From a technical standpoint the ritual might create lower density areas of magic close to the villain, causing his higher density of magic to be drawn in, then the lower density area relocates to some distant spot and releases the magic harmlessly. The ritual could be used in a rapid fire sort of scenario to quickly drain him and end him or it could require the protagonist/s to go to different ancient/important sites to have the adequate focus or somesuch necessary for performing the ritual. With the latter, the villain could destroy these sites as the ritual inevitably draws him to them.
Figure out how to yank the plug on all magic. It’ll be fun.
If he is composed entirely of magic or his magic makes him unkillable then find a way to neutralize the magic. A zone that automatically cancels magic even active spells.
Just do an ass pull, friendship empathy spell. Works every time.
Perhaps punching him so hard that he turns into paste would work as well.
What are his specific criteria for immortality? Why can't he normally die? If it's something like he's made of magic then maybe find something else made of magic to use against him. Maybe make/find a material that neutralizes the magic and makes him vulnerable, or have one specific weakness ala Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson. If he has some bargain that causes it find some loophole. It doesn't matter what it is, but everything can have a weakness if you want it to. Readers know that threats have to be overcome somehow, and as long as it's set up before hand it should be fine. Be creative and have fun!!
Turn him.into a mouse or something? An immortal mouse
So I have seen where they are unkillable because anytime anyone finds out how to kill them they would kill the person thus killing off a source of information for killing them. So you could use a summoning spell to bring back the person(s) in spirit form to get the information.
I have seen where it is time sensitive such as there's only a certain time of year or century etc. where they are weakest able to be killed.
There's the kill the body but the soul doesn't die so instead trap the soul (or energy/spirit/etc) and then put it in a place hard to find, example would be teleporting it at the event horizon of a black hole and have it kept at the event horizon never going in but also never being able to leave. (I know you said no sealing but I always think of this as an interesting idea)
Destroy them with light/good magic , even more powerful dark magic ( can add a new villain ) , a special drink/plant that can take away his magic
A person or being is made of many parts. While you may not be able to kill the physical part, you may be able to kill the spiritual part.
There is a popular philosophical puzzle people like to discuss every now and then. If an unstoppable object strikes an immovable object, what would happen? A variation of that is what happens when an unstoppable object strikes another unstoppable object speeding towards it.
There are many types of death. You can kill the body. You can kill the spirit. You can kill the mind. How dangerous is a tank with no one to drive it or fire the cannon.
Without knowing exactly the nature of your unkillable enemy, it is hard to conjecture. Does he die and resurrect? IF so you could kill him repeatedly in an endless time loop. Fire him into the sun. Put him in a situation where he can't reconstitute himself. You said he was unkillable, not indestructible. Turn his body to paste and freeze him. Get creative.
He can be affected by magic. Kill him by disrupting his magic.
Trap them in a bottle
How about incapsulate him or capture him in a small magic object and then destroy the object?
Destroy all magic. Extreme. But could be an interesting dramatic story point.
if he’s powerful and a little off his rocker maybe he could get tricked into destroying himself
If somwthing is unkillable i dont think you can "kill" it
Either negate magic or apply fields that invert it.
Get a god or God to kill him, or use a God-Killer, or an Non-existence Blade.
Hmmmmm, give him a characteristic flaw that brings his own demise, maybe the antagonist has a need for something and won’t give up until it causes their death
Destroy Magic entirely, since you kinda wrote yourself into a corner with being "unkillable"
This is literally the point of creating an Achilles heel. An impervious antagonist has one tiny weak spot that can be exploited. In Achilles it was his heel that could be shot with an arrow. The Death Star had a small exhaust port.
You could always try to go more of a simulacrum route, where if they destroy that they destroy the magical creature.
If magic is a gamble, then maybe the antagonist himself tries too hard to push for power that he can’t obtain and the consequences kill him.
Or just write Asta into your story and beat him down with a big ole anti-magic sword ya know.
Science's number one solution: black holes. He's not getting outta there, alive or dead. Close to the singularity, the space moves so quickly he wouldn't have time to warp out probably.
If this isn't viable, perhaps try using some kind of magic-absortion magic, or even soul-affecting magic.
Well you could always have a girl who dropped out of assassin school do a cool jump after she wordlessly bypasses his henchmen then stab him with a dagger.
Also; if he’s so powerful, so magic, so unkillable, most stories would need some sort of magic cool flaming sword with a kickass name. Why not do the utter opposite? Nothing can hurt or beat him except plain old unmagic wood. You can even have him destroying forests for that exact reason. Protagonist can have a child give them their wooden sword to ‘protect them’ as kids do, make one or two references of it, time gif the big fight and boom. Grabs the sword, slays the bad guy, saves the world.
You say he cannot regenerate? But if the parts exist he can attach it back on?
What about non magical means then?
Drained of blood, for instance?
Or remove heart/brain and destroy it?
Or simply destroy him from within - poison?
Or blow him up? Drowning?
Maybe he is only unkillable within magical means and something simple could kill him because in the end he is really humanoid and made of flesh?
He is made of magic? Great, let's get that out of him. Are there anti-magic zones, creatures that eat magic or artefacts capable of absorbing magic? Use that.
Check out the Mistborn series for a good example of this? Era 1.
Is eternal imprisonment an option?
You mentioned he's slightly insane already, which would seem to imply that his mind can sustain and react to certain kinds of trauma without perfect healing of any kind. So with that in mind (ha), what about personality death? He's still physically alive, but his mind and consciousness are gone, making him effectively dead.
So three thoughts:
1. How does magic work in your world? What is it? Is there an entity or force that negates magic? Can a non-believer just deny it’s existence? Can the supernatural entity that provides magic just go “huh-uh” and turn his magic, and his existence, off?
2. Paradoxes. The whole “Can god make a rock so heavy he couldn’t lift it?” Sort of thing. He gets tricked into putting to absolutes against each other.
3. He becomes corporal on a dare and a big rock falls on him. Just something completely pointless and random and unworthy of so great an entity. Really foreground your contempt for this guy.
Destroy the magic.
Have the hero take it away from the world. Kill it's source, it's god, it's manifestation, however he/she/they do it.
If the being is made of magic, and magic is magiced away from the world he will not exist.
And the world will forever be Just. Like. This. One...how will the world survive?
Could it be that the protagonist finds a way to create a field of no magic and thus killing it because it can’t exist within the field? Or maybe you want to go with a darker end where the protagonist absorbs the antagonists magic and in the process both are destroyed?
- just find a bigger more powerful weapon that will kill him hard enough that it works.
- chop him into little bits, and spread those bits to the four corners of the earth.
- absorb his power. eat him and incorporate him into yourself.
- transmogrify him into a normal housefly with no powers. swat the fly.
- teleport him into the sun
- send him through a time portal to the distant, distant future. out of sight, out of mind.
- domesticate him. use him as an unkillable housepet.
- Become god and rewrite the nature of reality such that he is easily killable.
- destroy his mind. torture him. break him so completely there is nothing left of the person he once was, just a frightened, confused, husk. his body may live on, but he is no longer within it.
- create an being of equal but opposite power, so when they come in contact, they cancel each other out, leaving nothing.
What if they’re not killed, but are trapped or confined and locked away.
I’m thinking of like naruto-style sealing ninjutsu bc I have no shame, but you could come up with a cool way that your protagonist discovered a means to trap the antagonist with the same magic that they’re made of or something like that!
That way you also don’t have to go take backsies on the antagonist not being able to die
have the gods step in or god, as it upsets the balance of the world but your protagonist has to ask so the god/s can give him a job next book that he jas to do as a return favor for killing him
Like any good magician, an author needs to bury some coins early in the act for the big reveal at the end.
What its purpose? maybe you dont have to kill It, but make him belive that he has completed His goal. If he want to dstroy the world make him see a ilusión of the world ending and thats It. what would happend if he gets His goal? He would disapear? Or he would seek another goal?
in doubt trhow them into space
How about a disease? Let hin contract something which will slowly bring his demise?
Kind of how they did it in the war of worlds.
Or let someone of the protagonists get himself inflicted and the consumed to transmit the disease.
Cant believe i scrolled so far to see if it has been already mentioned.
So it's not the same as yours, but in my world, there have been multiple attempts to do away with the antagonist, who is a God of destruction and corruption that rules over a realm of Demons. Every time they try to fight him, they have to summon him, weaken him, and seal him back in his realm because their powers are never strong enough to truly do away with him.
The solution is that the only ones that can kill a God, is another God. Cue protagonist being ripped from our world by another God (not allowed to interfere with the villain or they already would have) and in short terms, protagonist is now a God.
Is there something like that you could do? You say he's made of magic, maybe there could be a sacrificial element where your protagonist also has to become something similar in order to finally defeat them?
One method I liked in a book I read involved a LOT of setup- like it started in book one all the way through to the end. I’m talking about the Song of the Lioness series, so SPOILERS ahead- on my phone, and markup doesn’t always work for me.
Anyway, the MC finds a sword created by the antagonist. She spends the entire series attempting to bend this magic sword to her will, because it has its own will- kind of like the One Ring in Lord of the Rings. A character without being a character. She kills the antagonist once, but he finds a way to resurrect himself, becoming even more powerful. In the end, he tries to call the sword to him, dragging her forward; she releases the sword, instead of trying to force it to stay with her, and it drives itself through his chest, killing him.
I think using the antagonist’s own power against them is a cool method- they may be all powerful, or perhaps the most powerful being in the universe, but that just means they’re potentially their own greatest weakness.
Could magic wear out or be weakend somehow?
Can he have actually on weekness of special gun or magic, or time, or whtever else.
A stronger opoinent might appear?
Cane he destroy himself for some reason? :D
Do they have Gods or specifically Gods of Magic that could be convinced/tricked into intervention?
If not you should consider a psychopomp angle. With a creature like this resisting death as an aberration or random mutation of the ambient magic being askew… maybe the protagonist can convince some kind of Reaper or the Valkyrie or any of the other millions of Ferryman type archetypes.
Plant the seed that this antagonist is throwing off the natural order or that your Main Character gets wrapped up in the psychopomp community.
In a part of the story, it says “there is a god or there are gods. To tell you the truth, there were gods. They have long since been lost by this world and have left their little toy with their little pets behind. All that is left of them is their mistakes and their failures.” This is to avoid anything overly divine and focus more on “what if there was?” and not “what if there is?”
I’d say that leaves plenty of room for a juicy conceptualization of “left behind mechanics” of the Absentee Gods.
Because Death is still a thing for creatures that aren’t this big Unkillable Manifestation of Magic— there are still feasibly the immortal creatures that shuttle souls/creatures from the mortal plane to elsewhere.
Think of what Valkyrie would do without fear of Odin’s gaze, what the Ferryman’s role becomes without Hades keeping a ledger of souls heading for the Underworld, there are countless variations you could homebrew here. Your main character could run into one getting drunk at the bar or strike up a conversation on the battlefield after someone shows up to take the souls of the dead away.
Definitely want to leave the legwork to you since you have the best grasp on your world and characters, but just thought I’d offer the idea/perspective.
I would say concentrate on protection of yourself
Do you have some kind of anti magic force? A sort of counter spell or magic disrupter? If he’s made of magic this minor inconvenience should do him in
You may get inspired by Tolkien and expell him from that world/universe. I would try to come with ideas but it's hard when I know nothing about him.
Since it can not be killed, could you trap it in such away it could never escape. It won't be dead but you could write it out of a story.
Loopholes. Find or make a inherent flaw or any circumscribed law within your system that can be used both against you main cast and antagonist.
Hmm... maybe you can Make it killable, then kill it...if it is unkillable for some reason...reversing that condition might make it killable. For example, suppose it's a spirit who is unkillable only because it has no attachment with this world, trick the spirit into coming in contact with this world, like making it like pizza....and then kill it
power of friendship obviously
I urge you to think about this unkillable antagonist's character. What is his arc? What does his death mean? What has his life meant? These questions can lead you to an emotionally and thematically satisfying conclusion for him. For instance, some have mentioned Liches. One of the thematic beauties of the Lich is that for these creatures that have clung to life and the pursuit of power, looking down on the material plane as something to be pitied and spited, their life now becomes encapsulated in a literal material, often insignificant object. It's a direct response to their desire for greatness, that their life should be held in such a tiny thing, so easily damaged and destroyed. In mocking life, life mocks them back, and their visage is forever that of death, which they sought to avoid. Not to mention, but the phylactery is almost always tied to something emotionally significant or meaningful in their life.
I can point to other stories, as well. The satisfying ones always connect back to characters. Brief, but well known examples: Gollum dies after finally getting the ring which he has sought so long, destroying it and himself; Voldemort dies by his own power, proving himself to be his own worst enemy and the sower of his own destruction; Thanos is snapped out of existence after having done the same to many others, after having become the life-killer in his pursuit to protect life... note his posture at the end is the same one he adopts from part I when he sits in final repose after his long quest is over... he finds an odd peace in both endings; Vader turns his evil powers to good, when he had been sent to turn his son's good powers to evil. even examples such as Scar in the Lion King are great... Scar is literally eaten by the Hyenas he duped into following him, a tyrannical despot devoured by his own crazed followers. Even villains who don't seem to necessarily have character do better by themed endings. Such as the Alien from the series of the same name. It gets blasted out into space in the first two movies. Why is this so satisfying? Because it came from space in the first place.
Find your villain's theme and you'll find his ending.
You need to answer this yourself. I'm not saying that to be dismissive, but its your story, and your magic rules. We dont know your rules as well as you do.
If you say your villain cant die, then he cant die. He can only be contained or rendered impotent.
If instead you just mean he's really hard to kill, then YOU need to look for a loophole in the magic system YOU created that can lead to his demise. Anyone can tell you some ideas for villain downfalls, but in a fantasy universe the specifics are something only someone intimately familiar with the magic system can decide.
Thanks. Just listening to ideas to get the gears in my head working again after studying film theory and reading prescribed school books killed my imagination and desire to continue with this story.
You're the author. Make him vincible instead of invincible. Problem solved. Unless his invincibility is a key plot point, in which case you need a maguffin.
Some sort of anti magic weapon? Or a nullifying magic?
There's a manga that might be of some use here: Tensei Shitara Dai Nana Ouji Dattanode, Kimamani Majutsu O Kiwamemasu. Basically there's immortal beings of pure magic in that world. Can't kill them with magic... BUT: enough magic attacks can stress them, you just need an insane amount of magical power. The mc of the series can be likened to Ainz Ooal Gown in a sense. So... basically death by stress is how he manages to defeat those.
While that's just an example, you could alternatively make their immortality a non-issue by taking their ability to cause harm. Say chop-chop to the limbs?
Corrupt the flow of mana to kill em
Make a bigger bad guy capture and drain em like a battery to fuel a catastrophic spell
TO SPACE F*ER!
The main characters don't kill him someone else does. Show his mangled corpse hanging on a sword with a letter.
Banishment magic, sending him to another dimension forever (preferably a void without anything in it, & pray he can't use some of the magic he's made out of to return...)
Self-disintigration. He discovers self is an illusion, and that there is no true will, and the magic which produces his psyche and form simply dissipates from the shock. Similarly, but magic itself is an illusion, ergo not real: he collapses, along with all magic in the universe. (Or, maybe that's it...the hero has to destroy magic itself.)
Obviously, the delivery of this truth is something bourn out of interaction / conflict with the protagonist. Something like learned nihilism, buddhist self-denial, a revelation of sovereign divine will, brahmic pantheism or mystic panentheism.
I like those sorts of philosophical ends of characters. The dwemer in elder scrolls are a good example. The theory for their disappearance is that they artificially achieved the conditions for CHIM but their reliance on logic and reason prevented them from the dual-thinking required to retain a sense of self with the knowledge that the self and all the world is an illusion. So they zero-summed out of existence as a result, instead of becoming gods like Tiber Septim and other figures of chimic apotheosis.
It’s made of magic?
Occam's Razor: He's unkillable, so don't kill him. Make him into something else.
If he's made of magic, let someone absorb him as raw magical energy or make him an energy source for a machine (which doesn't kill him, it just repurposes his body into an energy form which prevents him from interacting with the world like a person). He's now not around anymore in a meaningful way which makes him functionally dead.
Explore what exactly makes them unkillable, then figure out what scenarios their "unkillable" status actually covers.
Once you have that figured out, think outside the box and explore what their unkillable status does not cover.
There's many ways to neutralize an entity.
made of magic sounds a lot like made of energy, maybe tricking him into using too much of his power to the point where he dies
Perhaps he could be killed by cutting him off from the source of his power?
Reduced to dust, if it can grow back from that you could try and store the dust in different places I guess. Which has some similarities to sealing but at the same time he really is virtually dead and just dust.
Cut off his source to magic somehow, he won't be able to get more energy and will essentially choke to death except for his entire existence.
Corrupt his energy, he will become fully insane as his mind and body break apart and twist around painfully.
Get something more powerful than their magic to destroy them.
Those are some idea frameworks you could build on to make it fit your setting.
Banish him from this realm/plane into another that offers no way back. Essentially: trap him in 'hell'.
For everyone in this realm, his dead. He may not be really dead, but that wouldn't make any difference, right?
How to banish him to another plane? More magic. Pact with devil. Lure him by another character's sacrifice...idk, many ways to do so.
What if you had the antagonist’s soul/life-force placed into an object, like a vase. Then you could have the vase shattered, shattering the soul in the process.
Hope that helped. Good luck!
Is this an r/writingcirclejerk post?
I didn't read all of your sub comments. But one of the problems is that this thing doesn't seem to have any human flaws. No emotions and insecurities to exploit.
Assuming it's basically a hovering body of magic, obviously that magic needs to channeled to viable containers and compartments. Breaking such a dense magical entity into smaller, more manageable parts.
Change the goal from killing to containment or something else.
What we know so far:
-slightly insane...perhaps trickable or forgetful?
-unkillable by *most* means
It sounds as if you need something **big** to kill him like a supernova or a god's intervention, or something...that is a bit out of reach of your current world's major organizations (including governments, corporations, etc.).
So...this implies that we must rely on something big.
You'll need something that'll break up, digest, consume, dissipate/separate/spread out, or destroy the magic that sustains him, AND THEN if he has a self sustaining body, you have to break that as well. In other words, you have to undo his "pseudo-immortality"/"source-of-power", and if that doesn't kill him directly, then you have to kill him directly as well.
Let's focus on the undoing of their immortality. You'll need to get something big to do it. You'll need to have introduced or soon introduce something big into the story that *can* take away his "pseudo-immortality"/"source-of-power". You need a thing or entity that will break his ability to stop being powerful. This can come in a few forms, such as...
-Another being that does what he does, whether it is permanent or temporary. Get a character to become as powerful as they are, even if temporarily so that they can defeat him.
-A deity or powerful side character with a great amount of power. If the mortals can't do it, get a god or something. Perhaps the god can take away his powers, or defeat him.
-A McGuffin/item of interest to the plot. If he has to die for the sake of the plot moving forward, make something that can do it. Give it a prophecy if you like or introduce it as a mysterious object. For example: an object that converts magical energy to heat; stick this object in the mouth of your bad guy, and watch him bellow a column of fire to the sky until he runs out of the magical energy holding him together. Another example would be one that separates the magical energy holding him together into a million tiny pieces that are a million miles apart, spreading them into the aether and space and the planet and whatever.
-A consuming thing/entity. Sacrifice the bitch. Something that *consumes* magical energy/sources. Let him get cocky, and then trick him into getting sacrificed for something of equivalent or lesser value.
-Have him accidentally kill himself. Reflect his ability back onto him and then bingo-bongo. The only thing that could destroy such a power is said power itself, but it would never harm itself...unless someone took a mirror and reflected his own lazer back at him, or opened a portal that led to the back of his head at just the right time. etc.
-Change the power itself via technicality. Perhaps he is only so powerful when he is in one piece. What happens when you separate the medium/vessel/body into two pieces? do they grow each other back? In other words, what happens when you cut him in half and his healing factor kicks in after a while? if you cut his head off, does most of the power still reside in his body, unable to be used until a new head is grown? And what of the head? Does it grow a new body? What happens when you separate limbs and such from the body? Do they also retain some of the power that was flowing through the bad guy?
Congratulations. Something else holds his power like a hungering god, or a wish, or something else. The power he has is now *separate* from him. Perhaps contained. Perhaps eaten. Perhaps transmuted. Perhaps transformed. You did it!
Remove them from the source of their power or trap them somewhere or virtually lobotomize them. There is always a way to defeat a foe.
Since 'Sealed Evil in a Can' never works, I suggest changing the immortals state to something harmless.
So he may still be an immortal demigod like being, but his intelligence has been reduced to a chicken.
Separate his soul from his magical form. He will be killed without dying so to speak. If there's a curse that will only stop when he's dead then just say the body dies without a soul. He can't be killed like a normal being, instead needing to have his essence of life removed directly, instead of the soul leaving due to its host failing.
Create a magic nul zone? That's the only logical way I can think of
Make him so powerful that he can no longer contain or thrive on the magic and the magic will make him implode and the magic returns to their original sources instead of being contained within him.
Balance it out with him being so power hungry and powerful at one point where it seems he is on his way to becoming one of the lost deities in your lore. He will believe himself omnipotent but to contain that much magic is not possible to sustain, hence why the gods/deities are all gone.
Ties it all together nicely with the backstory of the lost gods that used to exist that went down the same path, they became to powerful and could not contain the magic within themselves.
Some of them were probably good and tried to use their magic for good, it doesn't matter in the end. The result will always be the same. Gods cannot exist in your world because they cannot sustain their power and the magic returns to where they drew it from.
He will cease to exist because he is simply magic at the core, where as other powerful beings might still exist in a different dimension, they might have reached enlightenment when they imploded and left the realm of the living for a higher purpose.
He cannot, as he is pure magic and not a human, creature or other vessel who gained extremely powerful magical abilities.
Trap him in a magical construct (amulet, ring, lexicon, book, scroll, etc.)