The Let's Play Archive

Dungeon Crawl

by Chakan

Part 26: Solid Snake, NaSt - Two

Please excuse me for schizophrenically switching person throughout this playthrough. SORRY.

What's a bunch of crystals doing here?! Is this the 'experimental soliton radar?' It has an earpiece -
Partake of my vision. Partake of my curse.

This Is A Sneaking Mission
Part 2: Codec of the Gods

"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 worshipers 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."

Do you wish to join this religion? [Y]

Ashenzari the Shackled is my favorite god in Crawl, even if he's not really the best choice for anyone besides stabbers. He's flavorful as hell and actually forces you to make trade-offs in exchange for some of the power he grants you.

Converting to Ash grants us several immediate benefits. All curse-related scrolls are automatically identified. Ash will reveal the curse status of every item we come across, making detect curse scrolls obsolete. If we pray while standing over scrolls of remove curse, Ash will corrupt them into cursing scrolls. He also allows us to selectively curse and uncurse equipment when using such scrolls. Scrolls scrolls scrolls.

As is my usual practice, once reaching the Temple I guzzle unidentified potions and read off some scrolls. Turns out two of the potions from the sewer were gain intelligence and gain strength. We'll be scroll-IDing potions until we find cure mutation now; wouldn't want to inadvertantly erase those stat gains! We dump some of our many grenades on the steps to reduce carry weight and move on.

Ashenzari grants you a vision of a gate! Ash will helpfully reveal portals and such when they appear, allowing you to always reach them in time if they are time-sensitive. What a helpful fellow.

This portal is a ziggurat entrance. Ziggurats are 27-level-deep randomly-generated endurance trials which cost a pretty penny to enter. Each level is larger and filled with more monsters than the last, and each level has more and more loot. There are exit portals on every level, so you can escape any time you like - if you can fight past the enemy gauntlet to get there. Ziggurats are widely considered to be the toughest challenge in the entire game; even a 15-rune character may not be able to best one. Needless to say, we're leaving this one be for now.

I decide to bind us up a little. Corrupting two remove curse scrolls gives us a curse weapon and a curse jewelry, which I use on our amulet. Ash recognizes binding in four categories - weapon, shield, 'magic' (jewelry), and armor. Cursing half or more of the items in a category will partially bind it, and cursing all of them will fully bind it. The more bound we are, the faster we gain piety while exploring. Ash will also sometimes identify items of the same type that we have cursed.


Ashenzari protects us from being cursed against our will.

Prince Ribbit shows up, along with some necrophages, a beefy zombie and a few other monsters.

no biggie.

The staircase to the Orcish Mines appears with no vault or fanfare. Suits me fine.

This hall is probably filled with napping undead. They are 'dormant' rather than asleep and as such have a slightly higher chance to detect us than truly sleeping living creatures do. Let's put (more) holes in them.

Aaaa, jelly. I hate jellies, to the point where I decided to burn disintegration charges on killing it rather than risk our weapons by actually hitting the fucker.

Here's a neat little vault. It's either a fish farm or that merfolk's little hidey-hole. Or both. I turn them into fish potions.

All these potions are getting pretty heavy. We leave a pile on the stairs and press onwards.

There's a item on that altar of Xom - a wand of random effects, naturally. Sometimes Xom altar vaults will spawn with items on them, surrounded by teleport traps. I'm pretty sure this is explicitly to annoy you by causing you to repeatedly auto-explore into them. Xom




Gastronok is too beefy to be fazed by our noxious clouds, and we pay the price. We kill him by blinking over to the stairs, guzzling some heal wounds potions and giving him the zaps with a wand of draining. If I wasn't a huge idiot I wouldn't have tried to melee him in the first place, but I was hoping to one-shot him. Ah well.

That's a Book of the Sky, a useful spellbook containing two essential spells - Flight and Deflect Missiles. We memorize Flight asap and start training up air magic and charms. Getting Flight castable will be pretty useful - it actually gives you a stealth bonus while active, since its a lot easier to avoid making noise when you're not actually touching the ground. Also improved mobility of any kind is indispensable to a naga.

They look so cute when they're asleep. Let's do a little passwall stabbing!


Edmund. 001 confuse, 002 stab, goto 001.

An amulet of resist mutation! An essential item for the later game, not so useful right now.

There's the Laircase. An interesting property of electric weapons is that if they proc while you're attacking something in water, the electricity will arc through adjacent squares to damage everything in its area of effect. This includes you, so be careful. Or be flying.

Ashenzari will sometimes warn us when a monster is carrying a branded weapon or quivering dangerous ammo; I'm pretty sure the chance increases with piety. What a helpful fellow! Also: creepy.

We reach two stars of piety, and gain some new abilities! Most obviously is magic mapping, which will increase in detail and radius as we gain piety. Ashenzari's magic mapping is superpowered, with a chance to reveal treasure and monsters near you in an ever-increasing radius. This means that no secret door or treasure vault will go unnoticed!

Furthermore Ash will now boost some of our skills. These correspond to the category and degree of our bound items. We're only lightly bound in magic at the moment, so we get some extra skill points in our magic schools.

A buckler, pre-cursed for our convenience. We start training shields immediately. With D:10 cleared, it's time to descend into the Lair of Beasts!

We're carrying a zillion potions again, so we lighten the load a little.

Ash lets us know that the staircase is a mimic before we walk right into it. Cool. Weirdly, with the mimic stairs dead, there are still 4 legitimate up stairs on this level. Must be a bug with the mimic code or something.

We descend to L:2 and set up our stash. My usual arrangement is two rows of four:
Consumables: potions - scrolls - wands - food
Items: weapons - armor - jewelry - books

We have another potion and scroll identifying session. The stack includes a potion of cure mutation, and a scroll of acquirement, which yields the cursed +0 naga barding of the Forsaken Hells {DEX+1 INT+4}!

With our base of operations set up, we're ready to take on the Lair of Beasts. Join me next time, won't you?