Death Channel

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Version 0.28: This article is up to date for the latest stable release of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.
Death channel.png Death Channel
Level 6
School1 Necromancy
Source(s) Book of Decay
Book of Unlife
Casting noise 5
Spell noise 0
Power Cap 200
Hated By Elyvilon
The Shining One
Flags Helpful, Selfench, Utility
Binds the souls of living, demonic and holy creatures slain by the caster and their allies, causing their spectres to remain and fight for the caster. When the channel expires the spectres will fade away.

Death Channel is a level 6 Necromancy spell that, while active, raises natural, holy, and demonic monsters slain by the caster into a state of temporary undead slavery as spectral things. The type of spectral thing depends upon what is killed, but its stats will be similar to that of the creature slain, and it will always have draining-branded attacks. Creatures affected by this spell still generate corpses as normal.

Spectral things are not permanent pets, so will not follow the caster up and down stairs. Increasing your spell power will increase the duration of the spell, but has no effect on the duration of the spectral things themselves. However, spectres will vanish once the spell ends. Recasting the spell will extend the spell, but not affect the spectres on the field.


  • Death Channel and Animate Dead function similarly, in that they raise up undead allies for you. Zombies tend to have more hitpoints, less AC, and are of zombie intelligence; spectral things retain their original intelligence and have draining attacks. Animate Dead requires corpses to drop and a turn mid-combat to cast, while DChan automatically and always creates a valid spectre on kill.
    • However, there's little reason not to use both at the same time, as Death Channel doesn't disrupt corpses in any way.
  • Death Channel does not work with Kikubaquudgha's Corpse Delivery. It is also incompatible with Yredelemnul's automatic reaping.


  • Prior to 0.28, Death Channel did not work on holy or demonic creatures, nor creatures that did not leave a corpse.
  • Prior to 0.26, Death Channel had a summon duration of 6 (or ~170 turns) instead of 5, and the spectres did not time out once the spell ended.
  • Prior to 0.16, the spectral summons would take stairs with you.
  • Prior to 0.15, Death Channel had a duration half as long.

See Also