Ashenzari the Shackled is a cursed god of divinations. While it seems inconceivable that the divine could be shackled, Ashenzari is just that: being purposely nailed to the sky for eternity, the unbudging god is all-knowing, all-seeing. Devoted worshippers are allowed to grasp shreds of this knowledge and foresight, but be warned: to Ashenzari, blessing and curse are all the same thing.
No backgrounds start with this religion.
Demigods cannot worship Ashenzari (or any other god).
Ashenzari likes it when you explore the world (preferably while using cursed gear).
You have four equipment categories: armour, weapon, shield and jewellery. A category is considered "partially bound" if more than half of its slots in use are cursed, and "fully bound" if all slots in use are cursed. The more bound you are, the faster you'll acquire piety, and the more powerful several of Ashenzari's gifts will be.
- Abandoning him.
- Inactivity (loses about 1 Piety every 500 turns).
Piety level (0): "Cursed"
- The four curse-related scrolls are immediately identified upon converting to Ashenzari.
- Sacrifice scrolls of remove curse: Praying over any stash that contains scrolls of remove curse will randomly change each scroll of remove curse into a scroll of curse armour, scroll of curse weapon, or scroll of curse jewellery.
- Improved behavior of curse-related scrolls: Ashenzari worshipers reading a scroll of remove curse may select which pieces of equipment they wish it to apply to (instead of automatically uncursing everything as usual). When reading curse armour/curse jewellery, they may choose which item to curse (instead of it being random as usual). Also, any weapons, armour, or jewelry you receive through a scroll of acquirement will be pre-cursed. (Passive)
- Prevent Curses: Prevents external item cursing from death curses and miscast effects. Ashenzari also prevents the curse removal effect of scrolls of enchant weapon or enchant armour (The item will still get better though). (Passive)
The Detect Foo abilities start with a radius of 0, but their radius and power increases with piety.
- Detect Curses: All items in sight will display as Cursed or Uncursed. (Passive)
- Detect Items: Shows the location, but not the type, of items beyond your field of vision. (Passive)
- Detect Traps: Grants a bonus to Traps which increases with piety. (Passive)
- Detect Monsters: Shows the location and relative strength, but not the type, of monsters beyond your field of vision. (Passive)
- Detect Terrain: Maps random tiles beyond your field of vision, similar to the deep dwarf mutation. It works in Labyrinths and the Abyss. (Passive)
- Portal Detection: Instant detection of portals, including in the Abyss ("You have a vision of a gate."). (Passive)
- Partial Identify: Picking up ego items identifies them as well as if you had wielded or worn them. Self-identifying rings are identified once picked up. (Passive)
- Identify Monsters' Equipment: You can sometimes identify the brands of weapons and armour on monsters in your field of vision (chance increases with your number of bound parts, up to a max of 100%). It can also detect the presence and type of wands.
Piety level (*): "Initiated"
- Partial Identify: Wearing a piece of cursed armour lets you see the enchantment level of other armour of that type. (Passive)
Piety level (**): "Seer"
- Partial Identify: Wearing a cursed amulet lets you identify amulets. Wearing two cursed rings lets you identify rings. (passive)
- Skill boost: For each equipment category you bind, Ashenzari will boost your skills. Different kinds of equipment offer different bonuses. There are 3 levels of bonus available, earned by having higher piety and more bound slots, but the higher your actual skill levels become, the smaller the bonuses are. Regardless, skills at level 0 will not receive any bonus.
The exact formula is: min(piety_rank, bondage_level + 2) * factor - skill_level / 4
Factor = 1 for a low level of bonus, 1.25 for a medium, and 1.5 for high)
|Bound part||Equipment||Bound level||Boosted skills||Bonus|
|Hands||Two-handed weapon||N/A||Weapon skill||High|
|Weapon hand||Weapon||N/A||Weapon skill||Medium|
|Weapon hand||Enhancer staff^||N/A||Staves and Evocations||Low|
|Weapon hand||Other staff||N/A||Spellcasting||Medium|
|Armour||Light armour||Partial||Stealth and Dodging||Low|
|Armour||Light armour||Full||Stealth and Dodging||Medium|
|Armour||Medium armour^^||Partial||Armour and Dodging||Low|
|Armour||Medium armour^^||Full||Armour and Dodging||Medium|
|Jewellery||N/A||Partial||Magic schools and Evocations||Low|
|Jewellery||N/A||Full||Magic schools and Evocations||Medium|
^ - The staff of channeling is treated like an enhancer staff (since it can be evoked).
^^ - Medium armours are ones with an EVP of 2 or 3.
Piety level (***): "Soothsayer"
Piety level (****): "Oracle"
- Scrying: When active, all walls are transparent for you, but not for monsters. You cannot smite-target through them. Costs 4 MP, 50-100 Food, 2-3 Piety.
Piety level (*****): "Illuminatus"
- Transfer Knowledge: Pick a source and destination skill and experience will move from one to the other as you gain more experience, at the cost of some piety and 10% of the exp being transferred. Costs 20-30 piety.
Piety level (******): "Omniscient"
- No new abilities.
You will receive -4 to all skills until you've gained an amount of xp equivalent to two experience levels.
Monster AI gets a boost:
- They track you better.
- They never forget about you.
- They are likely to know your position while you are invisible.
Ashenzari provides a significant power boost relatively early in the game, soon after the player has managed to become partially bound. Cursing one's weapon and 2 pieces of jewelry are enough to make piety take off. As a result of the ensuing skill boosts, combat types will be able to go toe-to-toe with much harder enemies, and casters will see high level spells become castable much more quickly. Since Ash offers no abilities that fill the escape or combat-support roles often provided by gods, players must take advantage of the skill enhancements and retraining flexibility to fill these roles themselves with the spellbooks and equipment they find. Changes in overall strategy can be made amazingly quickly, so if a powerful spellbook/evocable/artifact weapon shows up that doesn't fit your current strategy, consider adopting a new one.
Save some Scrolls of remove curse for equipment changes. Ash changes their behavior so that instead of removing all curses from worn equipment, they only remove the curses you select. Save up equipment changes to execute several at once. Buy curse scrolls from shops!
Scrying is cheap to cast, and is very useful for playstyles that like knowing where out-of-sight enemies are (Stabbers using invisibility or Passwall to sneak up on things, Earth Elementalists blowing things up through walls with Lee's Rapid Deconstruction and Shatter, Fire or Ice Elementalists casting storm spells to damage unseen opponents).
Remember that Ashenzari does not punish decursing equipment, nor adventuring with uncursed equipment. The tradeoff is merely certain less-boosted or un-boosted skills, and slower piety gain. So if a strategy or dungeon branch requires a swappable slot (eg amulets of resist mutation and corrosion in Slime Pits), go ahead and leave it unbound as needed.
You will inevitably accumulate Scrolls of identify since you won't have many things to cast it on. This makes magical decks more accessible, since you can afford to re-identify them after every draw to know the top card. A deck must be wielded to be evoked, which requires an unbound weapon slot, however this can be used to safely spam decks for certain cards, or set up a single escape card that takes a couple turns to pull off.
Ashenzari is a great god for Pandemonium scumming and Ziggurat raiding. By that point you will likely have the best gear, so permanently cursing yourself is fine. Piety gain is extremely quick in the Abyss, so you can transfer XP constantly while there (as you will be frequently, between Pan trips). Instant Zig portal detection upon entering Pan levels saves much frustration. Free IDing for everything you find in there certainly helps too.
Felids can start gaining piety with Ashenzari particularly quickly, as one cursed jewelry item is slightly bound, two is partially bound, and three is fully bound.
In 0.14, scrolls of curse item will no longer generate randomly. The only way for Ashenzari players to obtain them will be to convert remove curse scrolls. Fortunately, this ability will be buffed: it will generate 3 scrolls. Furthermore, these scrolls will be weighted based on your species: Felids will only ever receive curse jewellery scrolls, and octopodes will be far more likely to receive them, while armour-restricted races will receive proportionally fewer curse armour scrolls.
Prior to 0.9, worshipers of Ashenzari would receive a bonus to experience gain instead of a boost to skills, and shields were not considered a separate equipment category in regards to being bound.
Ashenzari was added in 0.8.