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 that appears in NetHack. It is one of the three items required to perform the invocation ritual, which in turn is required to access Moloch's Sanctum and obtain the Amulet of Yendor. When unidentified, it appears as a candelabrum.


Vlad the Impaler holds the Candelabrum at the top level of his tower, located in the midst of Gehennom.


To use the Candelabrum, you must first attach seven candles to it applying those candles while carrying the Candelabrum. You can then light or snuff the attached candles by applying the Candelabrum itself.

When lit, the Candelabrum of Invocation burns as long as the shortest-lived candle you attach to it, but will lose half of its remaining "lifespan" each time you light it anywhere other than on the vibrating square.[1][2] The Candelabrum provides a light radius slightly larger than an ordinary lamp.

Izchak refuses to buy the Candelabrum: If the player tries to sell it to him (while not deaf) before performing the invocation ritual, he advises that the player keep it and attach more candles if necessary.[3]


Outside of the Invocation, players looking to utilize expert jumping on the Astral Plane may prefer the Candelabrum's larger light radius - in that event, try to minimize the time the Candelabrum is needlessly lit by snuffing it immediately after the Invocation has been successfully performed.


The Candelabrum of Invocation first appears in NetHack 3.1.0, alongside the other invocation items.

From 3.1.0 to NetHack 3.6.0, 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; the trade off is that you may 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 is considered better to bag them separately until the last minute. This was corrected in NetHack 3.6.1.


The motif of "Bell, Book and Candle" originated as a Catholic ritual of excommunication by anathema, although some works often portrayed in connection with exorcism (e.g., the Terry Pratchett/Neil Gaiman novel Good Omens).

In various parts of the source code, the Candelabrum is sometimes referred to as a menorah, the seven-branched candelabrum of Jewish ritual.[4]



In SLASH'EM, a magic candle attached to the Candelabrum will become an ordinary candle and be consumed, lasting slightly longer than an ordinary candle but otherwise providing no benefit.

The Temple of Moloch is guaranteed to have at least nine stacks of wax candles, ensuring that the player can fill out the Candelabrum.

Encyclopedia 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 ]