Ashenzari

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Version 0.28: This article is up to date for the latest stable release of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.
Ashenzari altar.png "Partake of my vision. Partake of my curse."
While it seems inconceivable that the divine could be shackled, Ashenzari is just that: bound 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, power and blessing and curse are all the same thing.

Ashenzari exhorts followers to curse their possessions, periodically offering these curses to worshipers as they explore. Cursed equipment cannot be enchanted and only be removed by shattering it forever. However, these curses enhance specific skills. They will also please Ashenzari, who will reveal the invisible and grant clarity of mind. The truly devout will gain a fragment of Ashenzari's astral sight, letting them see through walls.

Ashenzari likes it when you bind yourself with curses.

Ashenzari's powers are not affected by Invocations skill.

Racial restrictions

Demigods cannot worship Ashenzari (or any other god).

Appreciates

Ashenzari likes it when you curse your equipment. Curses are offered periodically during exploration (approximately one curse per ordinary dungeon floor fully explored, if you have no curses pending).

Piety is entirely dependent on how many equipment slots you have bound. For an unmutated human, each cursed item will provide 17 piety, ignoring the piety gain on worship. Slot-limiting effects, such as two-handed weapons, species-specific equipment restrictions, Ru's Sacrifice Hand, or Lear's hauberk are taken into consideration. Cursed items that are melded due to transformations still contribute to your piety, but do not provide their associated skill boosts.

Deprecates

  • Abandonment.
  • Uncursing items (loss of piety given by the cursed slot)
  • Piety with Ashenzari does not decrease over time.

Given Abilities

Piety level (0): "Cursed"

  • Curse Item: Curse an equipped item, granting you piety and two skill bonuses (see below), but turning the item into an artefact that cannot be altered or removed. Curses are offered periodically as you explore; if you get a new offer but haven't taken the previous one, the new offer will replace the old one.
  • Shatter the Chains: Destroys a cursed item, freeing up that slot but reducing your piety accordingly. Also removes the currently offered curse, if one exists.
  • Divine Knowledge: All of these abilities are passive. Many of them start with a radius of 0, but their radius and power increase with piety.
    • Detect Monsters: Shows the location and relative strength, but not the type, of monsters beyond your field of vision.
    • Detect Items: Shows the location, but not the type, of items beyond your field of vision.
    • Detect Terrain: Maps random tiles beyond your field of vision, similar to the Passive Mapping mutation. Functions even in the Abyss.
    • Detect Portals: Reveals the location of portals, including in the Abyss. ("You have a vision of a gate.")

Piety level (*): "Initiated"

  • Detect Traps: Prevents you from randomly triggering traps while exploring.
  • Identify Items: All items you are carrying are immediately identified upon converting to Ashenzari. Ashenzari will also identify any items you find as you explore, but items you have yet to see will remain unidentified should you abandon Ashenzari.

Piety level (**): "Soothsayer"

Piety level (***): "Seer"

Piety level (****): "Oracle"

  • Astral Sight: Passively grants full vision on all tiles within a set radius from you. Radius increases with piety to a maximum of 4 tiles.

Piety level (*****): "Illuminatus"

  • No new abilities.

Piety level (******): "Omniscient"

  • No new abilities. Unlike other gods, Ashenzari's piety caps at 170; you must curse every equipment slot possible to achieve this maximum.

Curses

Each curse you make will provide a boost to two distinct groups of skills. These groups are listed as follows:

Group Boosted skills
Alchemy Poison Magic, Transmutations
Beguiling Conjurations, Hexes, Translocations
Companions Summonings, Necromancy
Cunning Dodging, Stealth
Elements Fire Magic, Ice Magic, Air Magic, Earth Magic
Evocations Evocations
Fortitude Armour, Shields
Introspection Fighting, Spellcasting
Melee Combat All melee weapon skills, including Unarmed Combat
Ranged Combat Slings, Bows, Crossbows, Throwing

Each skill that is boosted is increased by (curses * 3 / 2 + 1 ) * (piety_rank + 1) * skill_level skill points[1].

Punishments

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

Ashenzari's wrath is constant and unrelenting for its duration. Victims find their skills impaired, and their enemies divinely guided — never losing track of them, never ending the hunt.

Ashenzari's wrath lasts for a relatively long duration

Upon abandoning Ashenzari, all cursed items immediately shatter. Your skills are temporarily halved until you've gained an amount of XP equivalent to two experience levels.

Additionally, monster AI gets a boost:

  • They track you better.
  • They never forget about you.
  • They are more likely to know your position while you are invisible.

Strategy

This section contains advice from other players, which may be subjective, outdated, inaccurate or ill-advised. Take advice as you see fit, and read at your own risk!

Ashenzari provides a significant power boost relatively early in the game, soon after the player has managed to receive a few curses. The ensuing skill boosts allow melee combatants to go toe-to-toe with much stronger enemies, and mages will see spells becoming 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 skill enhancements to fill these roles themselves with the spellbooks and equipment they find.

Ashenzari's early curses might not benefit your gameplan. Common or replaceable items, such as an unbranded robe or plate armour, are therefore quite useful; these sacrificial items let you take immediate advantage of Ashenzari's knowledge, even when the skill bonuses offered do not provide the greatest benefits. Alternatively, you can change your gameplan - for example, a Fighter might consider learning some spells if they get a curse that benefits some spell schools.

Conversely, items that you would want to use for an entire game, such as a well-enchanted artefact or even just a good amulet, are perfect candidates for a curse. You can wait until you get an especially advantageous curse to inflict on your most valuable items.

Remember that Ashenzari does not punish adventuring with uncursed equipment; the tradeoff is merely fewer skill boosts and weaker divine knowledge. If a strategy or dungeon branch requires a swappable slot (e.g. switching between rings for resistances, or switching between multiple weapons), go ahead and leave that slot unbound as needed. Maximum piety is helpful, but not entirely necessary.

Tips & Tricks

  • Be wary of mutations that restrict or disable item slots -- developing mutations that force you to unequip a cursed item (such as growing Horns while wearing a helmet) will automatically shatter the item.
  • Ashenzari's benefits work well in the Abyss. Its followers can see gates both leading deeper and leading out of the branch, spending relatively little time in potential danger. They can also see tiles and walls indicative of a rune vault, giving them an advantage in finding the vault and planning their attempt at the rune.
  • Skills with minimal investment will not be boosted much, but even putting just a few levels into a skill will provide major benefits.
  • The Passwall spell is particularly useful to those who can see through the walls they wish to traverse.
  • Shattering a cursed item does not count as unequipping it -- in a pinch, this can be a safe way to remove a weapon of distortion or an artefact that causes magical contamination.
  • An amulet of faith is entirely useless for followers of Ashenzari, apart from the benefits gained by cursing it.
  • Ashenzari worshippers may discover occasional disconnected vaults that are normally only found via magic mapping or the Passive Mapping mutation. A wand of digging, Passwall, or (in extreme cases) Shatter can get you into such areas.
  • Worshippers with significant equipment restrictions (like spriggans, ogres, troll]s) can gain piety very quickly with Ashenzari, but cannot gain as many skill boosts. Felids indeed even gain ** of piety per cursed piece of jewellery worn, but they'll receive exceedingly few skill bonuses and lose the ability to swap resistances on the fly.

History

  • Prior to 0.28, Ashenzari gave (curses * 2 + 1) * (piety_rank + 1) * skill_level skill points by cursing, provided trap avoidance and item identification on worship, and stripped followers of all items on abandonment.
  • In 0.27, Ashenzari and curses were reworked. In previous versions, cursed items boosted skills directly related to the item in question, scrying was an active ability, and Ashenzari offered the ability to transfer skill points between skills. To see more details on Ashenzari prior to 0.27, see this revision.
  • Prior 0.23, Ashenzari provided the only source of full monster equipment identification. It also provided a passive boost to finding traps rather than immunity to exploration traps.
  • Prior to 0.18, players would have to pray over scrolls of remove curse to convert them into the now-obsolete scrolls of curse armour, curse weapon, and curse jewellery.
  • Prior to 0.14, scrolls of curse item could be randomly generated, but Ashenzari gave fewer of them for sacrificing scrolls of remove curse.
  • Prior to 0.12, Ashenzari's altars often had an artefact spell book next to them with only one spell: Animate Skeleton. This was to assist in butchering corpses while wielding cursed blunt weapons.
  • Prior to 0.9, worshippers 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.

References

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