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Withering is a status property that occurs in xNetHack, SpliceHack, and EvilHack.


In xNetHack, withering can occur as the result of an attack used by mummies and Demogorgon, a spell used by Orcus, or one of the possible effects of dark speech. Stronger monsters can induce longer durations of withering.

Withering causes you or an afflicted monster to lose d2 HP per turn for its duration, which is lowered to 0 or 1 if it has regeneration; passive regeneration is also blocked until the status expires. Monsters that die from withering do not leave a corpse.

Withering can only be cured by prayer, invoking the Staff of Aesculapius, or by rubbing a silver item on yourself. Using a silver item this way will shorten the withering by an amount of turns equal to the weight of the silver item, while inducing a level of erosion also dependent on the object's weight. Any silver item that is corroded enough this way can be disintegrated, up to and including artifacts - using the Bell of Opening will instead expend charges, and it cannot be corroded or destroyed this way.


In SpliceHack, withering has different effects depending on whether the player has regeneration:

  • If you have regeneration, withering will cancel it out until it is cured.
  • If you do not have regeneration, you cannot regain health naturally and will lose 1 HP per turn.

Withering will persist until it is cured via applying of a unicorn horn or prayer (for which it is considered a major trouble).


In EvilHack, withering occurs as the result of an attack used by gnoll witherlings, mummies, Orcus, or Vecna.

Withering is temporary and causes you to lose 1d2 hit points per turn, while preventing you from naturally regaining HP. Withering lasts for a number of turns equal to the attack's damage, with a minimum of at least two turns (e.g. 1d6 withering will cause the status for 2-6 turns); the status can stack from being hit by multiple withering attacks, making it more dangerous than it looks. If you gain more than 7 turns worth of withering in one attack, you also lose a point of maximum HP regardless of drain resistance.

Undead monsters (including polymorphed vampires) are immune to withering and its max HP loss. Withering effects monsters in an almost symmetrical manner, although blessed potions of healing, uncursed potions of extra healing, and cursed potions of full healing will also cure them.

Withering can be cured by the following methods:

Having regeneration can counteract withering and reduce HP loss by one, with the net effect of losing 0 or only 1 HP per turn.