Bell of Opening

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( Bell of Opening.png
Name Bell of Opening
Appearance silver bell
Base price 5000 zm
Weight 10
Material silver
Monster use Will not be used by monsters.

The Bell of Opening is one of the unique items that appears in NetHack. It is guarded by your role's quest nemesis along with the role quest artifact, and is needed for the invocation ritual in order to access Moloch's Sanctum. It is made of silver and appears as a silver bell when unidentified.

Like all Invocation items, the Bell of Opening cannot be put into a container and is impossible to destroy.


The Bell of Opening will always be placed in the inventory of the quest nemesis once you enter the goal level of your Quest.[1] The Bell always starts with three charges and can hold a maximum of five charges, and can also be recharged indefinitely.[2][3]


Applying a charged, non-cursed Bell of Opening will detect secret doors, magic portals and traps in your sight within a radius of 8 squares like a wand of secret door detection;[4] it will also cause you to be spit out if engulfed, like a wand of opening.[5] If blessed, the Bell will additionally open nearby objects and dungeon features such as doors, chests, and drawbridges within the same radius.[6][7][8] If cursed, the Bell will instead wake nearby monsters and raise the dead similar to the Book of the Dead, but without reviving corpses.[9] When applied with no charges, it acts as a normal bell.

Applying the non-cursed Bell with charges while not engulfed or else applying it during the Invocation while uncharged will auto-identify it.[10]


As part of the Invocation, the non-cursed and charged Bell of Opening must be applied second, after you light the non-cursed Candelabrum of Invocation with 7 candles placed in it.

Outside of the Invocation, the Bell of Opening can also double as a silver weapon for the shade-infested Orcus Town, and may be of particular use to a Monk preserving their weaponless conduct. The Bell can also be used to find the secret door along the temple wall in Moloch's Sanctum.


The Bell of Opening and the other invocation items first appear in NetHack 3.1.0.


The motif of "Bell, Book and Candle" originated as a Catholic ritual of excommunication by anathema, although in some works it is often portrayed in connection with exorcism (e.g., the Terry Pratchett/Neil Gaiman novel Good Omens). One notable occurrence of the motif is in the 1985 computer role playing game Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar: the player must find the Bell of Courage, the Book of Truth, and the Candle of Love in order to enter the Abyss, the final dungeon of the game.

The Bell of Opening is the only invocation ritual item that does not use an analogue from another folkloric source in addition.


In variants with object materials systems, the Bell of Opening may appear as an engraved silver bell instead.

Encyclopedia entry

"A bell, book and candle job."
The Bursar sighed. "We tried that, Archchancellor."
The Archchancellor leaned towards him.
"Eh?" he said.
"I _said_, we tried that Archchancellor," said the Bursar loudly,
directing his voice at the old man's ear. "After dinner, you
remember? We used Humptemper's _Names of the Ants_ and rang Old
"Did we, indeed. Worked, did it?"
"_No_, Archchancellor."
* Old Tom was the single cracked bronze bell in the University
bell tower.

[ Eric, by Terry Pratchett ]