YASD: Abyss 7 challenge. Task failed succesfully!

Abyss has always been my favorite branch in DCSS, and since I found out the seventh layer was added, I wanted to experience it. So I designed a little challenge for myself, originally named “See Abyss 7 and die”, of which the only condition was… in the name. But, given it more thought, I found it a bit too easy to just get to XL27 and then banish yourself with a random distortion wielding monster to Abyss 6 or 7 and boom, you’re basically done.

So there are a few additional rules I implemented for myself:

  1. No banishment. I would have to enter Abyss by a portal and go through all seven levels. Characters who got banished would fail the challenge.
  2. No return. I get to only enter Abyss once and if I leave, it’s over.
  3. No slowpokes. Cheibriados tampers with how Abyss functions, so I felt it wouldn’t be authentic experience.
  4. Picking Abyssal rune on Abyss 7 concludes the challenge. Picking it early fails it.

My first attempt, Jerry the Angry Ball of Spikes, wasn’t all that succesfull. I thought picking a demonspawn berserker would be a great way to ensure an early will boost for prevention of banishing casters, but got trolled by an occultist because I forgot to activate Trog’s Hand in time. Shame, this one had some sweet gear very early, thought he might be the one. Died by entering Snake Pits without rPois, rookie mistake.

The second attempt was so pathetic it’s not worth a mention. I’m still figuring out demigods, they should be simple but they aren’t.

Sir Bulb the Lightbringer on the other hand had a great journey.

Funny story, The Shining One is so powerful and popular that I actively avoided him back in the day. “It’s not fun if everyone does it”. But encountering him in this run I thought: “Why do I let trends restrict my game experience?” TSO is perfect for dealing with Abyssal horrors, so I went for it.

Lair branches were pretty easy. An encounter with Louise was scary, since I didn’t have enough will, even with a potion, to remove a risk of banishment. But thanks to TSO, every problem could be solved if you Cleansing Flame it enough times (foreshadowing).

Vaults, Elf, Crypt and Depths were barely a problem. With a toy like my +9 holy broad axe the only dangerous enemies were uniques. Then again, with two angels and a healthy dose of Cleansing flame anything is possible (Boris got dunked on four times). Finding the Shield of Resistance in Depths basically saved me from the lack of Will and got me very confident.

So confident even, that I decided such noble paladin as Sir Bulb simply won’t go without defeating a formidabble heretic first. Saint Roka never dared to show their face in the dungeon this time around, and Asterion well… didn’t prove himself formidable enough. So it was decided: I would go into the Slimy Pits and stomp on High Priest of Jiyva themselves. Besides, 5 runes is much prettier number than four…

The way down was a bit rough, but nothing to make me reconsider. The fight however… Their Royal Jelliness have put me in my place very quickly, and the royal retinue of acid blobs and rockslimes made sure to drive the point in even further. After escaping the first encounter half eaten by acid Sir Bulb had to resort to more unorthodox tactics. Combining a bit of evokables with a trusty Cleansing Flame I’ve banished the god of slimes from this dungeon and claimed the rune. Now, onto the actual challenge.


Descending the first four layers was a breeze, I literally didn’t notice most of the enemies as I cleaved through them. The only substantial threats were wretched stars and their nasty habit of leaving me horribly mutated for a relatively long time.

Abyss 5 got tough but tolerable. Abyss 6 is where it all went down, the layer was clearly never intended for anyone to willingly enter it. The amount of enemies literally didn’t allow me to move forward, or anywhere to be honest. All I was able to do was slay and wait for a portal downwards to appear. A mere moment of holdup, a second of not gaining life by killing abominations and my health plummeted. Eventualy I noticed the violet door in the corner and blinked to it.

The deepest layer went from bad to worse. Poor Sir Bulb, it seems, have attracted the entirety of Abyss population with his shiny aura. There was no spot that didn’t hold an abyssal spawn of sorts, as far as the eye could see. I didn’t get to shed one mutation before a dozen more appeared on me thanks to at least two wretched stars constantly having visual contact with me. I could only move by either swapping places with one of my angels or using a blink scroll. Cleansing flames used to be a tactical instrument for getting out of tough situations quickly. Now they became my only lifeline. Potions couldn’t heal fast enough, the only way to stay alive was to kill as much as possible as quickly as possible. Honestly, I don’t know what I would’ve done without The Shining One’s light in my life.

With all the previous issues, getting a rune vault in the shape of an accursed beehive full of SMITING meliai, felt like adding insilt to injury. The good thing was they were squishy, the bad thing was they were SMITING me from the corner as I struggled to move to them through the waves of other Abyssal trash appearing right in front of me. Having cleared enough space with cleansing flame, I quickly blinked towards my final goal: the Abyssal Rune of Zot.

And so there Sir Bulb stood: near dead, horribly mutated, shining with divine light, clutching the abyssal rune in his bloodied orc fingers. Almost all the summoned angels perished, all the artifacts exhausted, all potion bottles empty. And at that moment he thought “I’m not dying in here”, - and read the teleportation scroll.

The death of the Lightbringer was pretty ironic: got blasted by an acid blob because I didn’t care enough to activate the divine shield, thought to kill it in one turn. But in the end, even at the bottom of Abyss, the servants of Jiyva got their revenge.

I had a lot of fun doing this and exploring my favorite branch a bit more. I got everything I wanted from the challenge and enjoyed sharing my story. Hope you enjoyed reading it.

7 Thanks

I dislike the abyss because it has gotten lots of early characters splatted. But I think you might have won a convert. Great read!

2 Thanks

!lm * rune place=abyss:7 s=name
67 milestones for * (rune place=abyss:7): 2x bananaglory, 2x NakasuKasumi, 2x Naga, 2x miscthings, yacacia77, antimason, awe1100, wa1924, Wilberforcelj, woodyou1119, alpinistek, bodoor3, bure, ClandestineIntestine, claw, damned, DanceGodDanceKing, december121212, DEFE, dollin1, Enfaeutchie, eys16, firestorm, fool, haldagan, Heartofthecards, Iniera, Inus, jasper, justnoob, kyctgd, LexAckson, Lichking, LucyFreshmuffins, Moober, Nakagawanana, newman, NuclearFrisson, NyanDog, Ordine, p0werm0de, pedritolo, Penny, pingpang, Plasmagod, questionabletactics, raetorn, rivergoingmurderer, rodbeard, roguekim224, rohorogers, rotlqkf, s009255, Sar, schets2, Snogar, squeakweiz, Sunset, svendre, Turniprime, vince, violentviolet, vori03

You’re one of the few!

!lm * rune place=abyss:7 s=god%
67 milestones for * (rune place=abyss:7): 12x Vehumet (17.91%), 8x Cheibriados (11.94%), 7x The Shining One (10.45%), 6x Ashenzari (8.96%), 5x Gozag (7.46%), 4x Zin (5.97%), 4x Jiyva (5.97%), 4x Makhleb (5.97%), 4x Sif Muna (5.97%), 3x Okawaru (4.48%), 3x Qazlal (4.48%), 3x Wu Jian (4.48%), Trog (1.49%), Dithmenos (1.49%), Hepliaklqana (1.49%), Ignis (1.49%)

Interesting spread of god choices.

1 Thank

fascinating read, thank you! I never thought too hard about what those deeper levels would be like…I try to never go past A:3 or A:4

2 Thanks

Fun challenge and great writeup! In my mind the slime that killed you was instantly promoted to royal jelly.

2 Thanks