The Shining One
| Followers of the Shining One are bound to the code of the honourable warrior, soldiers in their god's eternal crusade against evil. For forsaking dark magic and underhanded tactics, the Shining One rewards them and their allies with the power they need to slay demons and the undead. Especially devout warriors can even call upon angels in times of need. The Shining One's followers can convert to Elyvilon or Zin while keeping some piety.
Followers of the Shining One are surrounded by a halo that reveals their enemies to them. Followers will gain power by killing evil beings, and with growing piety their life force will be protected. The Shining One will keep summoned and charmed allies on their side longer, should the allies prove worthy of the crusade. Followers will gain use of a divine shield to protect them in battle. Later, they can channel blasts of cleansing flame that are particularly damaging to unholy beings, and can call upon powerful divine beings as temporary allies. Highly pious followers may request the Shining One's blessing upon a weapon. The Shining One may occasionally directly intervene to save a follower's life.
The Shining One likes it when you meet creatures to determine whether they need to be eradicated, you or your allies kill living unholy or evil beings, you or your allies kill the undead and you or your allies kill demons.
The Shining One strongly dislikes it when you perform cannibalism, you desecrate holy remains, you drink blood, you use necromancy, you use unholy magic or items, you attack non-hostile holy beings, you or your allies kill non-hostile holy beings, you attack neutral beings, you attack allies, you poison monsters or you attack intelligent monsters in an unchivalric manner.
- You or your allies killing the undead, demons, or evil creatures (such as followers of evil gods). Chance of +1 piety, higher chance for creatures with high HD.
- Spotting non-evil monsters you've never encountered before.
The Shining One strongly dislikes it (i.e. penance) when:
- You perform cannibalism.
- You desecrate holy remains.
- You drink blood from a potion of blood or a potion of coagulated blood.
- You use Necromancy. Casting Necromutation instead causes excommunication.
- You use unholy magic or items.
- You attack non-hostile holy beings.
- You or your allies kill non-hostile holy beings.
- You attack neutral beings.
- You attack allies.
- You poison monsters.
- You attack intelligent monsters in an unchivalric manner. This includes attacking a fleeing, confused, distracted, held, petrifying, petrified, paralysed, or sleeping monster, or any monster while you're invisible. This restriction is lifted against demons, undead, evil creatures (spellcasters mostly), and low intelligence monsters (animals and insects mostly).
Note that equipment that violates the Shining One's commandments will be labeled as such in its (in-game) description, so inexperienced players can check there if they're not sure an item is kosher. They will also have their names printed in red in your inventory or stash. Lastly, you'll receive a warning when you equip a weapon you shouldn't be using. Also, the Shining One will forgive accidental transgressions (i.e. performing a forbidden action via an unidentified item) but only once.
On average, your piety will decay naturally by 1 every 700 turns.
Piety level -: "Acolyte"
- Protection from harm - If you receive lethal damage, there's a piety-based chance that the Shining One may nullify the damage (at the cost of reducing your piety). This is possible even if you're under penance. (Passive)
- Protection from negative energy - The Shining One provides negative energy resistance. This improves as piety rises, up to rN+++ at full piety. (Passive)
Piety level *: "Righteous"
- Gain power from killing - You sometimes gain HP and MP whenever you kill demons, the undead, and evil creatures. The amount recovered depends on the slain creature's HD. This effect is similar to the healing and MP recovery provided by Makhleb and Vehumet, except that it only triggers on certain monsters, and while it restores both HP and MP at once, the gains to each are smaller on average. As piety rises, so does the chance of this effect triggering. (Passive)
- Divine Halo - You are surrounded by a halo (up to your line of sight or Piety/20 tiles). You receive an accuracy bonus when fighting creatures inside your halo, and neither they nor you can be invisible. The halo will also reveal the presence of monsters hiding in water. Monsters are twice as likely to notice you when they are inside the halo, which is actually good because the Shining One doesn't appreciate sneak attacks. (Passive)
Piety level **: "Unflinching"
- Divine Shield - Grants a divine shield whose duration depends on your Invocations skill, and whose blocking value depends on your Shields skill. This shield is controlled by The Shining One himself, and thus won't interfere with your wielding of a two-handed weapon, for example. The shield will stack with other physical and magical shields. (Costs 3 MP, 50-100 food, and 2-3 piety)
Piety level ***: "Holy Warrior"
- No new abilities.
Piety level ****: "Exorcist"
- Cleansing Flame - Creates a large burst of holy energy centered on yourself, dealing unavoidable holy damage to all monsters around you. This affects all monsters within two spaces of you, except for the corners. Your Invocations skill increases damage dealt and your chance of success. Because this ability emits holy energy, it does double damage to demons and undead, normal damage to other evil creatures, half damage to other monsters, and no damage to holy beings, neutral creatures, or allies. (Costs 5 MP, 100-200 food, and 2-3 piety)
Piety level *****: "Demon Slayer"
- Summon Divine Warrior - Summons a friendly Angel or Daeva. (Costs 8 MP, 150-300 food, and 6-9 piety)
In addition, the Shining One provides the following:
- Protection against abjuration - When abjuration is cast against your summoned servants, the power (duration reduction) is reduced, depending on your servant's HD. (Passive)
- Bless Allies - The Shining One may bless one of your allies when it kills an enemy or gains experience. The chance for this rises with your piety. The following blessings are possible:
- 10%: Give the ally's weapon increased accuracy, damage, and the holy wrath brand OR give the ally's armour increased AC and negative energy resistance.
- 90%: Increase the duration of your ally's stay, with a 50% chance to remove poison, sickness, confusion, rotting, slowing, or exhaustion. If none apply, heals 25% of its HP.
- Bless Weapon - If you pray on the Shining One's altar while your Piety is >= 160 and you are wielding a non-artifact weapon, the Shining One can bless it. This will un-curse it, apply a scroll of enchant weapon III, and add the holy wrath brand (replacing any existing brand). If it is a long blade, it will become a blessed blade. Demon whips will become sacred scourges, demon blades will become eudemon blades, and demon tridents will become trishulas. Holy Word is cast when you bless a weapon. Doing this has no cost, but it can only be invoked once per game.
Piety level ******: "Bringer of Light"
- No new abilities.
- Summons hostile angels or daevas.
- Triggers a Cleansing Flame against you.
- Makes a loud noise at your location.
- Silences you for 10-35 turns.
Note that the Shining One will never actively punish you while you're under penance, even if you left the religion, unless you converted to an evil religion (Kikubaaqudgha, Makhleb, Yredelemnul, Beogh, or Lugonu) or if you kill a friendly angel or a daeva (even through an ally). TSO doesn't care if you kill hostile angels or daevas.
The Shining One is a useful god in both the early and late game, although for different reasons. In the early game, player accuracy is generally much lower, making his aura extremely desirable. His shield enhancer is also useful for surviving fights with heavy hitting melee opponents. By the time you reach Lair, you should have enough piety and Invocations to safely summon his divine warriors, which are extremely powerful even against non-evil opponents. Unfortunately, he also prevents you from taking advantage of evil, poisonous, and stabbing attacks, all of which can be extremely helpful in the early game.
By the late and extended game, you'll be facing far more evil, undead, and demonic opponents than natural ones. At this point, his healing on kills, Cleansing Flame, rN+++, and holy wrath branded weapon gift will become much more useful, so much so that it isn't uncommon for players to switch to TSO specifically for clearing the Tomb, Pandemonium, and Hell. Some of the more popular gods to switch to TSO from include:
- Elyvilon or Zin: Both encourage training Invocations and you won't suffer divine retribution after switching to the Shining One. Their code of conduct is also similar, preparing you for life as a crusading zealot.
- Okawaru: Trains Invocations and gifts you weapons and armour you'll be able to continue using after switching. His wrath isn't too difficult to deal with (learn Blink and be prepared for assassination attempts).
- Makhleb: Trains Invocations by letting you fire magical bolts and summon demons, and heals you on kills. His wrath is pretty weak, considering you'll now be following a god who specializes in dispatching demons.
- Yredelemnul: Along with all the reasons you'd switch from Makhleb, Yredelemnul followers will almost need to switch to another god for the extended game, as he grants almost no piety in these areas.
- Trog: Doesn't train Invocations, but is the early-game god for melee characters, letting you go berserk and summon similarly irate monsters. He'll also gift you weapons. Wrath is manageable.
You should train Invocations to 8-10 in the last levels before you do Crypt (if your skill isn't already that high), then switch to the Shining One and go to maximum piety in the Crypt. Once you can summon divine warriors to your aid you should be set for the rest of the game; just keep an eye out for good weapons to bless (see below).
Tips & Tricks
When worshipping the Shining One, keep the following in mind:
- Make sure you bless a weapon before taking on the Hells or Pandemonium. The best choice is usually either a broad axe, executioner's axe, bardiche, demon trident, demon whip, eveningstar, or demon blade. A blessed demon whip (holy scourge) is the best one-handed weapon in the game against demons (though weapons of speed are close). If you are playing an ogre, bless a giant spiked club instead. Ranged weapon users can do quite well by blessing longbows/crossbows.
- Don't underestimate the Cleansing Flame ability; it can deal very respectable area-of-effect damage once you reach high Invocations. When surrounded by demons, one or two uses will quickly clear out the weaker pests, provide quick healing, pay for its own MP/piety cost, and deal significant unavoidable damage to any Fiends or worse that are in range. A hasted TSO worshiper spamming full power Cleansing Flames can take down all but the hardiest end-game bosses.
- TSO's Bless Allies effect doesn't just affect the angels and daevas he sends your way; any ally will be protected from Abjuration and blessed when it gets kills. He doesn't mind if your summoned forces die at the hands of an enemy.
- Stealthy characters who switch to TSO will suddenly find themselves much less capable of reaching an enemy in time for a one-hit stealth kill. If you have access to throwing nets, however, you can still put your stabbing expertise to good use. They're a little hard to come by, and they're by no means subtle, but they still allow you to land devastating blows against all but the largest powerful end-game bosses.
- One of the more annoying aspects of being a worshiper of the Shining One is fighting in a chivalric manner. Any number of unintended actions may incur penance. Keep the following in mind:
- Miscast effects can sometimes harm your allies or poison your enemies. Air Magic miscasts can generate poisonous gas clouds that will happily ruin your day in the middle of a big battle.
- Trying to act while confused may cause you to attack an ally (or an enemy in an unchivalric manner). Wait out the confusion, remove it with a potion of curing, or prevent it entirely with an amulet of clarity.
- Area of effect spells can damage unaware or sleeping enemies unintentionally.
- While fighting with angels and daevas at your side, they will sometimes "aggro" monsters, causing them to ignore you: in this state attacking them is considered unchivalric. While the Shining One won't mind if you attack a demon distracted by your heavenly brothers in arms, he'll be ticked off if it's a mere orc.
Prior to 0.10, followers of the Shining One gained piety passively, up to a limit, and piety did not decay.
Prior to 0.4, TSO would occasionally gift permanent allies.