This was my second CK win with the bcrawlism that Chaos Knights can take another god but Xom just keeps on messing with them as before - not Xom wrath, regular Xom worship effects, but you’re never free.
It was also (for me) the very rare game where I trained very little Evocations (too many good spells to soak up the XP) and actually was willing to take the AC hit for the Hat of the Alchemist - it helped that I had nothing better than a +2 hat.
I got Chei from a faded altar on D:3. Chei was not ideal - I almost never take Chei, so I don’t really have much of a sense of what their abilities do, so I don’t use them much, etc - but also there’s a lot of positioning stuff I’m used to doing and so the familiar spells I had didn’t work as well as normal (eg, it’s harder to back up while chucking orbs of destruction). On the other hand of course the Chei stats gave me huge EV and spellpower and let me cast spells while using a dwarven roundshield (slightly more encumbering than a kite shield) on a small species with a -3 aptitude.
Xom gave me a potion of experience on D:1 which let me survive them summoning two imps on D:2… and me getting shafted from D:4 to D:7 and, er, not noticing until I got told “Done exploring. 3 up stairs (3 unexplored) …”. I also got interesting god clash with Xom berserking me causing Chei to place me under penance (and a nasty fight with Chei suppressing the speed and both spells and Chei stats turned off), but the penance was very short. However, the standout Xom moment was them teleporting me very soon after landing on Zot:5 directly into the orb chamber where I was surrounded by 12 Orb Guardians one of whom immediately stepped on a Zot trap.
The early game was pretty horrible between that shafting (my own fault, of course), Chei stopping me closing down stuff like centaurs, and no spells at all turning up until D:8 - Faerie Dragon has excellent spell aptitudes, but not much else other than +1 Dodging. Once I got Ozo’s Armour and Throw Frost up and running, things eased up, and soon I had Throw Icicle for nastier enemies. With that and a hydra weapon, I could work down Lair (Abyssed by Xom, but found an exit very soon).
After that a lot of the game was pretty plain sailing - Orc:2 was moderately nasty, but when isn’t it - doing Elf before the S branches because I had adequate MR but no rPois. I got Isk’s Battlesphere in Swamp and for the rest of the game my mainstay was Throw Frost and then Magic Dart to cycle the battlesphere (very cheaply with Faerie Dragon’s spellcasting discount).
Depths and Vaults gave no serious hassle, and I was off to Slime to get a bit more XP and stuff before trying for an extended rune. TRJ’s spawns were mostly controlled with Slouches; I did have to teleport away after killing it but then could get things under control. I acquired Leech there but hardly used it; but I also could rearrange gear to have rN+++ and it was time for Crypt. Crypt was suspiciously easy with no nasty mummies; a couple of curse skulls but they weren’t too feisty.
I cleared the Vestibule - Xom Necromutated me, but at a mostly-convenient time - but I did a Hell rune last game so I went to Pan. The first Pan level got extremely hairy - overconfidence, I guess, and while I killed the random panlord all its friends got stuck in quite nastily. However, the next level was Gloorx Vloq, I had the dark rune, and when the level after that was Mnoleg I decided to stop when I was ahead; I left Mnoleg alone and escaped via the Abyss with very little trouble.
To Zot! This was not very hard except, as mentioned above, Xom teleporting me into the orb chamber. One of the 12 Orb Guardians stepped on a Zot trap and I came back from the resulting 2-turn paralysis on 16/205 HP. Time to find out what Step From Time does best? I managed to buy some time with that, read a fog, and quaff potions like water. A lot of stuff including an alich and 3 orbs of fire trickled in to the orb chamber, but I survived; then I had to decide if I wanted to grab the orb and run through an unexplored lung, or risk a teleport. I picked the latter and landed halfway through a lung; I think the noise in the orb chamber had thinned things out a bit but I still had some Orb Guardians and another alich to fight.
After that the orbrun had a panlord (killed easily with a holy word), two separate seraph spawns (teleported away, one Step From Time), and a second panlord (evaded).
Next random combo is DsWn. I’ve got one to Lair, so now I think I have to play them until I beat that high score.