Obsidian axe

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Version 0.31: This article is up to date for the latest stable release of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.
An axe with a powerful curse placed on it by one of the lords of Pandemonium, so that unsuspecting adventurers would unleash demons into this world. Beware, for it has ways of taking its wielder under its command...

Obsidian axe.png the +16 obsidian axe

+16 broad axe

Draining brand
Drains the user on unequip
Allow flight
See Invisible
Mesmerizes user if any hostile monster present.[1] While mesmerized, you can not unequip the Obisdian axe.
Each attack has a 10% chance of summoning a friendly common demon (36% chance of a Tier-4 demon; 64%, a Tier-3 demon).[2] These have a small (~4%) chance to be generated hostile.


If you are wielding this broad axe and a monster is visible, you will be mesmerized and restricted from moving any farther away from the monster: "Visions of slaying the [monster] flood into your mind." If there are multiple monsters, you will fixate on the closest one. When mesmerized by the axe, you lose any current confusion (suggesting a possible emergency use, if you lack potions of curing).[3]

Note that if you meld your weapon via transformation (e.g. if hit with a wand of polymorph), all source of mesmerization will be dispelled, even if sirens or merfolk avatars are involved.

The obsidian axe has a chance of summoning demons on any successful hit; this includes hits on harmless creatures like plants or bushes. A maximum of 3 demons summoned by the axe may be present at once.


Using the obsidian axe[4] can be more than a little irritating, but its excellent stats may make up for it.

The mesmerization property of this weapon can potentially be very dangerous. For instance, it can forces you to run headlong into a group of strong melee monsters instead of retreating into a corridor to fight them. For this reason, if you are going to use this weapon, you should always keep some escape option open and ready to use: a surplus of scrolls of teleportation and the Blink spell (the scroll is restricted by mesmerization) are highly advisable. Be aware that in the more dangerous areas of the dungeon, this may cause you rapidly burn through scrolls. Many players will prefer a regular broad axe or two-handed axe instead, which come with none of this axe's downsides.

By the time you head into Zot and the extended game, drain becomes an unimpressive brand, as most enemies will be immune to it. By this point, you will likely want to switch to another weapon. A +9 broad axe with freezing will perform similarly to this axe.


  • In 0.32, the 4% chance to summon a hostile demon will be removed, so all summoned demons will be friendly.
  • Prior to 0.30, the obsidian axe was a +14 axe with the vorpal brand.
  • Prior to 0.27, the obsidian axe would curse itself on equip, but did not drain, and could be unwielded when mesmerized (ending the mesmerization, regardless of source).
  • Prior to 0.19, it had a +3 Strength bonus.
  • Prior to 0.15, this was a +12, +15 weapon.
  • The obsidian axe was added in 0.8.