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Version 0.26: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.

Banishment refers to sending a monster or the player to the Abyss. Although it causes no damage, a trip to the Abyss is often fatal for low- to mid-level characters. There are numerous ways banishment can occur:

  • Certain monsters have the ability to banish the player via a LOS-range, beam-targeted spell. This can be resisted with high willpower.
  • Being hit by a branded weapon of distortion can cause banishment (5% chance). For the same reason, being hit by a chaos-branded weapon will occasionally cause banishment. Unwielding a weapon of distortion poses an even greater risk (25% chance).
  • Zot traps cause random magical effects and can occasionally cause banishment.
  • Lugonu worshipers can banish monsters via Lugonu's "Banishment" ability. Similar to the monster spell, this can also be resisted. Worshipers can also banish themselves via Lugonu's "Enter the Abyss" ability; this is meant for use in emergencies.
  • While the player is under penance, the wrath of Lugonu or Xom can result in banishment. Xom worshippers may also be sent there at random or if Xom becomes bored.

Banishing sends a monster and everything it's carrying to the Abyss (try not to banish monsters that are carrying items you want!). Note that you gain full experience for banishing monsters. While normal enemies are usually gone forever, banished uniques and monsters with high HD will be found wandering the Abyss[1]. Likewise, any artefacts banished to the Abyss will eventually generate there. Being banished while already in the Abyss will send you to a deeper level of the Abyss, where you'll find stronger monsters (but also better loot, possibly including the Abyssal Rune).

Willpower protects against the monster spell and Lugonu invocation only. It does not help resist any other means of banishment.

When leaving the Abyss after being banished, you will return to the Dungeon level, floor of Pandemonium, or Ziggurat level that you were formerly on. Note that this is different from leaving the Abyss after you voluntarily entered it with a portal; in that case, you will return through the same portal you entered (unless it was a portal in Pandemonium, in which case you'll return to the main Dungeon).

Monster Banishment

By Ranged Magic

The more powerful the spellcaster attempting to banish you, the more willpower you'll need to resist it. Generally, Will+++ should be enough to resist even ancient liches and Pan lords. Alternatively, you can avoid it by taking advantage of the limitations of the spell: Banishment can be cast at you from any range, but it requires a clear line of effect. Keeping a monster (friendly or hostile) between you and the caster will prevent it from attempting to banish you.

The following enemies cast Banishment:

By Branded Weapon Attack

These monsters may generate with a distortion- or chaos-branded weapon. A hit by a distortion weapon has a 5% chance of banishment, while a hit by a chaos weapon has roughly a 1% chance. Additionally, any monster listed below without a specific weapon type may spawn with a polearm and thus have the capability of a reaching distortion/chaos attack. Monsters are listed with the weapon's brand and percentage chance of it possessing such a weapon:

g Crazy Yiuf.png Crazy Yiuf (quarterstaff of chaos, 100% chance of possession)

@ Psyche.png Psyche (dagger of distortion, 25%; dagger of chaos, 75%)

K Sonja.png Sonja (dagger or short sword of distortion, 50%)

@ Donald.png Donald (distortion, 4%)

@ Frederick.png Frederick (distortion, 4%)

@ Margery.png Margery (distortion, 4%)

p Hell knight.png Hell knight (distortion, 4%)

i Spriggan defender.png Spriggan defender (distortion, 10%)

i The Enchantress.png The Enchantress (distortion, 25%)

Note that any other monster capable of wielding weapons can pick up a distortion weapon and use it. This can result in even lowly monsters such as goblins banishing you, albeit very rarely.

By Melee Attack

These monsters have a chaos-branded attack, which can (rarely) result in Banishment:

4 Chaos spawn.png Chaos spawn (also trails clouds of chaos)

t Apocalypse crab.png Apocalypse crab (can breathe clouds of chaos)

w Eldritch tentacle.png Eldritch tentacle

Additionally, some monsters have an innately distortion-branded attack:

v Spatial vortex.png Spatial vortex

v Spatial maelstrom.png Spatial maelstrom

Note that pandemonium lords and player ghosts can have chaos- or distortion-branded melee attacks.


  • Prior to 0.26, banishment didn't give full XP. Also, weapons of distortion had a 10% chance to banish the target, instead of 5%. Followers of Nemelex had a chance to banish themselves by drawing the Exile card.
  • Prior to 0.25, the player could be banished via a severe Translocations or Summoning miscast effect.
  • Prior to 0.19, all ogre magi could cast Banishment. Also, two cards, Damnation and Xom existed which both had a chance of banishing you.
  • Prior to 0.13, draconian shifters were able to banish you. Also, attempting to use a scroll of vorpalise weapon to make a temporary distortion brand permanent could also result in banishment.
  • Prior to 0.12, being banished while in the Abyss had no effect.
  • Prior to 0.11, self-banishment was a popular way to leave Ziggurat floors that you just couldn't clear.
  • Prior to 0.9, one of the possible outcomes of Hell's mystical force was banishment.
  • Prior to 0.8, there was a resistible player version of this spell which sent one target to the Abyss. It was a level 4 Translocations spell. Renouncing Lugonu, Makhleb or Vehumet could result in immediate banishment.


  1. (0.26.1)