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Version 0.31: This article is up to date for the latest stable release of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.
Kikubaaqudgha altar.png "Spread unending torment and darkness!"
Kikubaaqudgha is a terrible Demon-God, served by those who wish to indulge in the powers of death. An evil god, Kikubaaqudgha requires worshippers to cause the death and destruction of as many creatures as possible. In exchange, Kikubaaqudgha offers great assistance to the aspiring necromancer: a supply of useful bodies, knowledge of dark magic, and protection against necromantic backlash.

Kikubaaqudgha will enhance servants' necromantic prowess with gifts of Necromancy spells. Kikubaaqudgha will protect followers from the effects of necromantic miscasts, death curses, and may even shield them from unholy torment. Followers can unearth dying wretches as necromantic fodder, and may invoke torment. Kikubaaqudgha will eventually allow followers to either receive knowledge of the most forbidden necromantic magic, or to have their weapon imbued with pain.

Kikubaaqudgha likes it when you kill living beings, you destroy the undead, you kill demons, you kill holy beings and you destroy nonliving beings.

Kikubaaqudgha's powers are based on Necromancy instead of Invocations skill.


  • Djinn's unusual approach to magic renders them unable to worship Kikubaaqudgha.
  • Demigods may not worship Kikubaaqudgha (or any other deity).


  • You or your undead slaves killing living, nonliving, holy, undead, or demonic creatures. (Chance of +1 Piety, chance increases with the victim's HD, but decreases with your level.)


  • Inactivity: You lose 1 piety per 340 turns, on average (1/17 chance every 20 turns).
  • Abandonment. (Penance)

Given Abilities

Piety level -: "Purveyor of Pain"

  • No abilities.

Piety level *: "Scholar of Death"

  • Unearth Wretches: Creates 1d2 + (Necromancy * 5/27) (1-7) wretches, random Necromancy- and branch- dependent monsters. They are considered hostile, but are unable to act, have 1 HP, 0 willpower, do not give XP, and will die in 2-3 turns. These monsters can be used to raise the dead. (3 MP, 3-4 piety)

Piety level **: "Merchant of Misery"

  • You have a piety/160 chance to block Necromancy miscast effects. Spells that qualify for protection will have "Kikubaaqudgha supports the use of this spell." in the description.
  • Kikubaaqudgha will either completely protect you from mummy death curses or reduce their severity by 50%. Complete protection or 50% reduction are equally likely.

Piety level ***: "Artisan of Death"

  • No new abilities.

Piety level ****: "Dealer of Despair"

  • Protection From Torment: You sometimes take reduced damage from torment and agony; there is a piety/600 chance of taking no damage, and failing that, a piety/250 chance to reduce a random amount of damage (at least 1). The average damage is shown below.
Piety Unprotected Kiku Protection Kiku Protection & rN+++
80 50% 36.4% 34.3%
100 33.35% 30.85%
120 30.4% 27.5%
150 26.25% 23.9%
200 20% 16%

Piety level *****: "Black Sun"

  • Torment - Torment everything in your LOS, including yourself. (4 MP, 6-10 piety)

Piety level ******: "Lord of Darkness"

  • Once per game, you may choose to either:


Kikubaaqudgha grants a semi-random assortment of spells upon reaching 1* and 3* piety. Kikubaaqudgha will never grant spells your species cannot cast. The first set guarantees the player at least one spell to complement the Unearth Wretches ability.[1]

At 1* piety, Kiku will gift one of Animate Dead or Fugue of the Fallen, then three randomly selected low-level Necromancy spells:

At 3* piety, Kiku will gift four randomly selected mid-level Necromancy spells:


Kikubaaqudgha does not appreciate abandonment, and will call down fearful punishments on disloyal followers!

Kikubaaqudgha's wrath brings forth all the dread powers of necromancy. Victims are wracked with screams of torment, and find their health and powers drained. Further, Kikubaaqudgha's gifts become tainted: the dead rise again as foes, and those that attempt to use necromantic magic to fend off wrath will find it backfiring on them when least expected.

Kikubaaqudgha's wrath lasts for a relatively short duration.

When you abandon Kikubaaqudgha, all living, demonic or holy foes you slay will occasionally be reanimated as a zombie, spectre or simulacrum. This does not increment the penance counter. Additionally, the following actions will occasionally be taken:

  • Symbol of Torment is cast at your location, tormenting both you and susceptible foes around you.
  • A random stat between Strength, Intelligence or Dexterity is drained, with higher amounts of drain being more common at higher XP levels.
  • Drain the player for a significant portion of their max HP (resisted by negative energy resistance).
    • This can be extremely dangerous. Characters with no rN+ who are unfortunate enough to receive HP drain a few times in a row can reach even a single remaining HP point, which is a death sentence for any ex-worshipper.

Kiku may also punish you for casting Necromancy spells (5% probability). The spell succeeds, but you'll get a miscast effect anyways. This does not increment the penance counter.


Kikubaaqudgha offers three main features: a massive supply of undead allies, protection from torment and mummy death curses, and knowledge of Necromancy. Kiku's quick spell gifts are useful to Necromancers and characters learning Necromancy from scratch alike. Torment Protection and the potential for Necromutation make Kiku good for the extended game, too.

When you find Kiku's altar doesn't matter as much - lucky D:1 faded altars aren't as good, waiting for a deep overflow altar is less punishing. This is for two reasons: 1. Kiku tends to grant spells well before they can be used reliably, and 2. Unearth Wretches only starts to become impressive with spells like Animate Dead. By corollary, these facts make Kiku less immediately helpful than other gods, especially if you didn't start out as a Necromancer.

Final Gift

At 6*, you get the choice between a pain-branded weapon and the capstone Necromancy spells. This typically happens around the mid-game, and it can be a tricky decision.

  • The pain brand deals absolutely devastating, flat damage; faster weapons like Short Blades and demon whips work great, even with little weapon skill. But pain only works on the living. This is not a concern immediately, but iffy in Zot and useless in the demon and undead-infested extended game. Also note that blessing increases enchantment by 2.
  • The spells, on the other hand, are the inverse. Those spells are great for the lategame, but they won't help you one bit when you can't cast them. It's also entirely possible to luck across the Necronomicon or other books as you explore. Of these spells, Haunt and Infestation are the most likely to be helpful before Zot.

In the end, the decision comes down to "Would I rather have something that will help me much later, or something that will help me survive right now?" Further questions like "will pain actually help me?" can arise, depending on your character.

Tips & Tricks

  • Unearth Wretches is incredibly powerful: it can create a swarm of allies after a few turns. There's no limit (beyond MP), so don't be afraid to use Wretches multiple times in a fight. And since it costs little piety, use it early and often. Note that UW requires quite a bit of MP and at least 2 turns of prep time, so it isn't great as an emergency button.
    • Death Channel's spectres can be used with any other spell; however Animate Dead and Infestation do not stack.
    • Wretches spawn within a 5x5 area of yourself, last for min. 2 turns, and activate any of your Necromancy effects on death.
      • If using Animate Dead, you can cast the spell before or after you summon Wretches.
      • If using Infestation, you can do the following: have Death Channel up, use Wretches twice, cast Infestation on your tile (covering the 5x5 area), then repeat if desired. You don't want to cast Wretches more than twice in a row, or the 1st set can die before you can infest them.
      • Their deaths will also count towards Fugue of the Fallen's slaying bonus.
    • Wretches are seen as hostile monsters, so other hostile monsters will usually avoid harming them. They can used as a (short-lived) blocker. Be wary of dangerous interactions, however, such as a necromancer using your own Wretches against you with their Bind Souls spell.
  • Undead and Tree Form characters benefit the most from invoked torment, though that doesn't mean that living characters shouldn't use it at all! Kiku's protection will often reduce and even prevent damage, but living monsters take the full 50%. Plus, your torment-immune undead can mop up what remains.
  • Kiku has no objection towards weapons of holy wrath.
  • Undead minions do not turn hostile when you attack or immolate them.

Branch Strategy

Worshippers are equipped with particularly effective tools for clearing a few branches in the game. The sole fact of worshipping Kikubaaqudgha is no reason to venture into these places without the proper resistances or XL, but it certainly helps.

  • Crypt: Kikubaaqudgha followers will find the torment and death curse protection to be immensely helpful. Haunt and Infestation still work against undead enemies, while Dispel Undead is effective against single undead targets in the Crypt.


  • In 0.32, Kiku's Torment ability will be replaced with Sign of Ruin, a smite-targeted ability, which debuffs a group of enemies. When the targets receive melee damage, they will suffer draining and will get the slow, weak, or blind status.
  • Prior to 0.31, Kiku's wrath had death curses instead of draining the player. Also, the gift list was different.
  • Prior to 0.30, Kiku's Undead Wretches was stronger (2 + (Necro * 6/27) wretches) and cost less piety, while Torment cost more piety. Also, spell gifts were different; most notably, the second spell gift had 5 spells.
  • In 0.29, Kiku was changed to accommodate the Necromancy overhaul and removal of useful corpses. Prior to this version:
    • Receive Corpses was the 1* ability instead of Unearth Wretches, which created 1-9 corpses rather than "live" monsters.
    • The Torment ability required a corpse to use.
    • Kiku gifted Animate Skeleton instead of Necrotise at 1*, and could gift Pain (1*) and Excruciating Wounds (3*). Gifting logic was changed overall. Most notably, Animate Dead was guaranteed at 3* to make use of Receive Corpses.
    • The pain (brand) gift did not work with ranged weapons.
    • If you received partial torment protection, the minimum reduction was 0 instead of 1.
  • Prior to 0.28, Kiku's 1* and 3* spell gifts guaranteed a corpse using spell instead of Animate Skeleton and Animate Dead; book logic was also different.
  • Prior to 0.27, Kiku would gift randart spellbooks and the Necronomicon, instead of gifting spells directly.
  • Prior to 0.25, Kiku's wrath included Necromancy miscast effects instead of death curses.
  • Prior to 0.20, Kiku's 1* spellbook gift had a guaranteed Corpse Rot rather than a guaranteed Pain spell.
  • Prior to 0.19, Kiku gave a piety-dependent bonus to final HP when casting Death's Door. Also, Kiku did not grant piety for killing undead creatures, and the torment protection did not reduce damage from agony. In addition, Kiku worshippers had to pray over a corpse to invoke the Torment ability.
  • Prior to 0.17, Kiku helped at Piety level **** to resist the Haunt inflicted sickness on the caster (resist rate rose with piety). Kiku worshippers also had to pray at an altar to receive the Necronomicon/Pain brand gifts.
  • Prior to 0.8, Kiku used Invocations instead of Necromancy; victory dancing was required to train the former.


Good ElyvilonZinThe Shining One
Neutral AshenzariCheibriadosFedhas MadashGozag Ym SagozHepliaklqanaIgnisNemelex XobehOkawaruQazlalRuSif MunaTrogUskayawVehumetWu Jian
Chaotic JiyvaXom
Evil BeoghDithmenosKikubaaqudghaLugonu *Makhleb *Yredelemnul
* Chaotic & Evil