Orb of fire
| A globe of raw primordial fire, capable of impressive pyrotechnics, and of twisting the very flesh of creatures who come into its ken.
“There ’s not the smallest orb which thou behold’st
Orbs of fire are fast, powerful, extremely durable horrors with access to brutal Fire Magic and the ability to inflict bad mutations. These end-game game-ending monsters have traumatized many adventurers who died just before reaching the Orb of Zot. They can occasionally be found throughout the Realm of Zot or in certain Ziggurat floors, and are almost always found in the Orb chamber of Zot:5.
Tips & Tricks
- Silence has no effect on them.
- Having rF+++ provides 80% fire damage reduction, making it much easier to survive their brutal Fire Magic.
- Battling one while hasted will significantly reduce the amount of time it has to roast or mutate you. Characters without proper defenses will definitely want to kill them as quickly as possible.
- Orbs of fire are immune to fire, electricity, poison, and negative energy; the only exception is cold, to which they have partial resistance (rC+). Glaciate is an excellent method for taking out orbs of fire; it can strike multiple enemies at once, never misses, and the majority of the spell's damage will still get through. Fire Storm can also deal decent damage to them due to the unresistable damage portion of the spell, but it's less effective. Unresistable Conjurations such as Orb of Destruction, Iron Shot, or Lehudib's Crystal Spear are also good options: they are easier to find, and can be fired safely at point-blank range, but they may take longer to get the job done if you miss a shot or two.
- Casters capable of using these high-level Conjurations are strongly advised to use a Spellforged Servitor as well. They can deal serious damage to the orb, resist much of the orb's overwhelming fire damage, and soak any Malmutation attempts (so long as you hide in the back row). Hit the orb with Freezing Cloud to create a Fire Magic-soaking wall, even further reducing the orb's ability to injure you.
- Avoid fighting more than one at a time. This is a major reason to avoid spending any significant periods of time in the open areas adjacent to the Orb chamber on Zot:5. Unless you manage to catch them at the edge of your LOS, they tend to swarm you despite their lack of a melee attack.
- Melee fighters should use heavy antimagic-branded weapons to severely limit the orb's ability to do anything. A melee-capable Vine Stalker's auxiliary bite attack is also effective. This won't guarantee enemy spell failure, but it will still stop the majority of them. Freezing and Vorpal weapons can also be effective against them, but provide no defensive benefits. Distortion weapons can do a fair amount of extra damage, but the risk of blinking or teleporting them away from you can be quite dangerous, particularly if you are fighting one on Zot:5.
- Orbs of fire are chaotic, so ranged weapon fighters can use silver ammunition to deal tremendous damage to them. Don't bother with Zin's "Recite" ability, however; a 30HD monster can never be Recited to.
- The glowing colors the orb cycles through indicate merely that it has cast a spell; it bears no relation to the type of spell cast or about to be cast:
The orb of fire glows yellow.
The orb of fire glows bright magenta.
The orb of fire glows deep purple.
The orb of fire glows red.
The orb of fire emits a lurid red light.
In very ancient, pre-Stone Soup versions of Crawl, these monsters were instead called "Swords", as can be seen in this ancient changelog, in a reference to the Chronicles of an Age of Darkness by Hugh Cook. This explains the rather nonsensical (from a thematic standpoint) inclusion of Malmutate in their spell set, since they were originally very different monsters.