The Shining One

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The shining one altar.png "Lead the forces of light to victory!"
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 unchivalrous manner.

Racial Restrictions

Demigods cannot worship the Shining One (or any other god).

The Shining One does not accept worship from Demonspawn or undead species (Ghouls, Mummies, or Vampires).


  • 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.
  • Encountering 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.
  • You use Necromancy. Casting Necromutation causes instant 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 unchivalrous 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.

Given Abilities

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 strength and duration depends on your Invocations skill. This shield is controlled by The Shining One, and thus will not interfere with your wielding of a two-handed weapon. 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:
  • 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, add +2 to its enchantment level, 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.


The Shining One forgives followers who leave the Shining One's service; however, those who take up the worship of evil gods will be punished. (Kikubaaqudgha, Yredelemnul, Makhleb, Lugonu, and Beogh are evil gods.)

The Shining One's wrath is straightforward and unmistakable. Its victims find themselves smote with holy fire, beset with holy warriors, and alternately shouted at and silenced.

The Shining One will never actively punish you while you are under penance unless you convert to an evil god (Beogh, Kikubaaqudgha, Lugonu, Makhleb, or Yredelemnul). Switching to other gods will not result in any wrath, and converting to Elyvilon or Zin will transfer half of your piety to them.

The possible forms of divine retribution include:


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 Divine Halo extremely desirable. Divine Shield is also useful for surviving fights with heavy hitting melee opponents. By the time you reach the Lair, you should have enough piety and Invocations to safely summon Divine Warriors, which are effective even against non-evil opponents. Unfortunately, The Shining One 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, the healing from 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 that you can continue to use after switching. Wrath isn't too difficult to deal with (learn Blink and be prepared for Okawaru's divine retribution).
  • Makhleb: Trains Invocations by letting you fire magical bolts and summon demons, and heals you on kills. Makhleb's summons are manageable, especially considering you'll now be following a god who specializes in dispatching demons, but be mindful of the occasional Greater Destruction, which will include an unavoidable Lehudib's Crystal Spear.
  • 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 Yredelemnul 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. You can also keep Trog's weapon gifts. Trog's wrath is among the most deadly wrath effects, but can be survived with good physical strength or methods of quickly escaping berserked summons.

You should train Invocations to 8-10 in the last levels before you visit the 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/arbalests.
  • 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 TSO sends your way; any ally will be protected from Abjuration and blessed when it gets kills. TSO 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 many opponents (see Throwing net for limitations).
  • One of the more annoying aspects of being a worshiper of the Shining One is fighting in a chivalrous 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 unchivalrous 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 unchivalrous. 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.
    • Note that poison by shield of reflection is not held against you. Additionally, if you have gotten the Stinger mutation, your character will not use that auxiliary attack, preventing you from using poison this way.
    • You automatically receive warnings when you attempt to use ranged weapons or spells on unsuspecting monsters. However, if there is an unsuspecting monster behind your target, no warning will be issued and you will be placed in penance if your attack misses your target and hits the other monster. You can prevent this by aiming at the floor with the . command, preventing your projectile or spell from traveling beyond the selected tile.
    • Fortunately, allies of TSO followers will never "distract" opponents (i.e. display a ? on their tile while attacking another opponent), thus eliminating the threat of getting an unchivalrous bonus strike in this manner.


Prior to 0.16, the Shining One could create enhanced-stat versions of Long Blades with max piety (called blessed blades. Players will still gain a holy wrath brand and enchantment bonus when using an altar to upgrade a weapon, however, and will convert any demonic weapons to their holy counterparts. Also, TSO's Divine Shield used to benefit from training in the Shield skill.

Prior to 0.15, followers of the Shining One were occasionally seen as allies by holy monsters. The chance of this recognition rose with piety. Also, blessing a weapon would affect it as though you'd just read a scroll of enchant weapon III rather than giving it a flat +2 enchantment level.

Prior to 0.10, followers of the Shining One gained piety passively, up to a limit, and piety did not decay.

Prior to 0.8, the paladin background started the game worshiping the Shining One.

Prior to 0.4, TSO would occasionally gift permanent allies.

Good ElyvilonThe Shining OneZin
Neutral AshenzariCheibriadosFedhas MadashHepliaklqanaGozag Ym SagozNemelex XobehOkawaruQazlalRuSif MunaTrogUskayawVehumetWu Jian
Chaotic JiyvaXom
Evil BeoghDithmenosKikubaaqudghaYredelemnul
Chaotic and Evil LugonuMakhleb