Candelabrum of Invocation

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( Candelabrum of Invocation.png
Name Candelabrum of Invocation
Appearance candelabrum
Base price 5000 zm
Weight 10
Material gold
Monster use Will not be used by monsters.

The Candelabrum of Invocation is a unique item required to perform the invocation ritual, which in turn is required to ascend in NetHack. Before being formally identified, it simply appears as "a candelabrum," but this is not important because it is the only candelabrum that exists in NetHack.


Vlad the Impaler carries the Candelabrum at the top level of his tower, located in the middle of Gehennom.


To light the Candelabrum, you must first attach seven candles to it. Do this by applying the candles while carrying the Candelabrum. You can light or snuff the attached candles by applying the Candelabrum itself. It would burn as long as the shortest-lived candle you attach to it,[1] but will lose half of the (remaining) time span each time you light it anywhere other than on the vibrating square. [2] The Candelabrum provides a light radius slightly larger than an ordinary lamp, so it is recommended that you minimize the time the Candelabrum is needlessly lit.


You can use the extra light radius for expert jumping on the Astral Plane to great effect.


In versions prior to 3.6.1, attaching candles to the Candelabrum removes their weight from your inventory and makes them impossible to lose, so there is a small advantage to applying candles right away. On the other hand, you might light the candelabrum by accident. Given how rare the candles are, and that you lose half its remaining life span when you re-light it, it would be better to bag them separately until the last minute.


If you are using a magic candle, you may want to drop the Candelabrum immediately after the ritual. Otherwise, you risk attaching your only magic candle on the candelabrum, where it will be consumed like an ordinary candle.


Bell, Book and Candle is a Catholic excommunication ritual, although in the NetHack source code the candelabrum is sometimes referred to as a menorah, the seven branched candelabrum of Jewish ritual.

Encyclopaedia entry

Faustus: Come on Mephistopheles. What shall we do?
Mephistopheles: Nay, I know not. We shall be cursed with bell,
book, and candle.
Faustus: How? Bell, book, and candle, candle, book, and bell,
Forward and backward, to curse Faustus to hell.
Anon you shall hear a hog grunt, a calf bleat, and an ass bray,
Because it is Saint Peter's holy day.
(Enter all the Friars to sing the dirge)

[ Doctor Faustus and Other Plays, by Christopher Marlowe ]


This page may need to be updated for the current version of NetHack.

It may contain text specific to NetHack 3.6.0. Information on this page may be out of date.

Editors: After reviewing this page and making necessary edits, please change the {{nethack-360}} tag to the current version's tag or {{noversion}} as appropriate.