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Berith, the Red Horseman is a spirit that appears in dNetHack and notdNetHack.

Ritual, seal and taboo

Berith's seal must be drawn around one of the following: gloves with the randomized appearance of "riding gloves", boots with the randomized appearance of "riding boots", a saddle, a saber, a long sword, a bow, or a lance. Alternatively, a character can wear a blessed ring with the appearance of a "silver ring" on their left hand while chatting to the seal.

To remain bound to Berith, the character must not kill pets, including former pets that have turned feral.


A character that has Berith bound appears drenched in blood, as does any steed they are currently riding. The blood can be easily seen from a distance, but will take the form of enamel if wearing torso armor (body armor, shirt and/or a cloak), gloves, boots, and a helm - the blood on the steed cannot be disguised unless the character dismounts.


While Berith is bound, the following effects occur:

Berith's active powers are as follows:

  • Blood Mercenary: Fires an invisible beam in a chosen direction that deals 5 dice of non-elemental damage to target monsters. Using this power requires a character to have enough gold in open inventory: the amount required is determined when rolling for damage per target, but before that damage is applied, and is rerolled for each target monster - if there is not enough gold present, the attack fails and nothing else happens.
  • Sow Discord: Monsters on the level attack each other for an amount of turns equal to a roll of the character's spirit die + 5.

His passive powers are as follows:

  • Blood-price: Monsters may drop gold in places of their corpses.

As a monster

In notdNetHack, Berith, C, also appears as a monster that can be summoned by an Illithanachronounbinder. He is a strong centaur-like monster that can be seen via infravision and will seek out gold and other items to pick up.

Berith has a weapon attack, a kick attack, and a spiritual blade attack that deals more damage against monsters with blood - spiritual blade attacks bypass the AC and DR of the target's worn armor, are not considered contact attacks, and always hit insubstantial targets (e.g. shades).

Like many summoned spirits, Berith cannot be tamed.


Berith is first generated when summoned from his seal by an Illithanachronounbinder. He is always created hostile, and is not a valid form for normal polymorph.

Berith is generated with plate mail fitted to his body shape, a long sword, some gold, and the uncursed Crown of Berith, an artifact helmet made of gold that can be safely enchanted to +7.

Berith does not leave a corpse upon death.


Below this point, there are major spoilers for the Illithanachronounbinder role. They can be accessed by selecting the "Role spoiler" tab.

Berith's armor will put him at an effective AC of 0, and his artifact helm makes him immune to an Illithanachronounbinder's brain-eating attacks. He hits hard and fast in melee and will be able to deal severe damage to most Illithanachronounbinder races, with only ents being immune to blood-based bonus damage.

If Berith is killed after being summoned, he can be encountered again in the Void, a branch accessed by opening the high altar of Ilsensine the Fallen as an Illithanachronounbinder using the invoke effect of The Elder Cerebral Fluid. Berith is generated along with many other spirits of the near void on the first floor of the branch, and is generated with the "whispers" template, which makes him nonliving.

Encyclopedia entry

From Baal: God, and Berith: Covenant. The name of a deity worshiped in ancient Canaan, reviled as a demon by the early Israelites, and later the Christians.