Abyssal Knight

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Version 0.28: This article is up to date for the latest stable release of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.
The Abyssal Knight is a fighter serving Lugonu the Unformed, ruler of the Abyss. They are granted some power over the Abyss, and must spread death and disorder in return. They are sent from the Abyss into the Dungeon to spread corruption and chaos, starting with a simple weapon of their choice and leather armour.

Abyssal Knights are warriors sent from the Abyss by Lugonu, the god of corruption and chaos. Their purpose is to spread bloodshed and disorder in the Dungeon, and must do so unflaggingly to earn Lugonu's favour.

Preferred Races

Hill Orc, Merfolk, Draconian, Troll, Demonspawn, and Palentonga are the recommended races if you pick an Abyssal Knight Background.

Racial Restrictions

Demigods cannot be Abyssal Knights, as they cannot worship Lugonu (or any other god).

Starting Equipment

Some species may receive different items based on their unique restrictions.

Starting Skills and Stats

These are adjusted by your species' aptitudes.

Choosing Abyssal Knight adds 5 to your starting Strength and Dexterity, and adds 2 to your starting Intelligence.

Abyssal Knights start with 38 piety.


Abyssal Knights start their game in the the Abyss with enough piety to use Lugonu's Depart the Abyss ability. There is no benefit to wandering the Abyss before leaving; there's nothing to be gained. That being said, the piety cost of this ability is somewhat high. There will always be an exit located near your starting area, but don't risk fighting anything found here at level 1.

Abyssal Knights begin with melee-oriented skills, supplemented by Lugonu's invocations (as they are earned). These powers include a blink-like ability, banishment of enemies, corruption of levels, and easy travel to and from the Abyss. These are mainly defensive abilities, and help an otherwise melee character out of tight spots. Of course, your Abyssal Knight is free to branch into ranged combat or magic should you wish to, and doing so eventually is strongly advised. Lugonu does not have any stringent requirements, and awards piety for all kills, making it easy to play an Abyssal Knight in any way you like.

Serving Lugonu has the advantage of making the abyssal rune easier to acquire; the rune is generated earlier for Lugonu worshippers and they can escape the Abyss much more easily than anyone else. Getting banished to the Abyss is also not the death sentence for Abyssal Knights that it is for low-level characters of other backgrounds. Also, the corruption ability makes it easy to disrupt well-guarded vaults, making it very useful when coupled with Apportation for grabbing runes without actually fighting its guardians.

See also IonFrigate's guide to Abyssal Knights and Pacra's Abyssal Knight guide.


  • Prior to 0.28, abyssal knights started with +4 Str, +4 Int, and +4 Dex.
  • Prior to 0.16, abyssal stairs could not appear in the Abyssal Knight starting abyss.
  • Prior to 0.15, abyssal knights started with +2, +2 weapons instead of +1.
  • Prior to 0.14, abyssal knights started with 20 gold.
  • This background was added in 0.8, but it was essentially available in earlier versions by selecting a Chaos Knight of Lugonu. Chaos Knights can only be of Xom after this update.
Warriors FighterGladiatorMonkHunterBrigand
Zealots BerserkerAbyssal KnightChaos KnightCinder Acolyte
Warrior-mages EnchanterTransmuterArcane MarksmanWarper
Mages Hedge WizardConjurerSummonerNecromancerFire ElementalistIce ElementalistAir ElementalistEarth ElementalistVenom Mage
Adventurers ArtificerWandererDelver