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)   Secespita   Knife.png
Base item knife
Damage vs. small 1d3 +1d8
Damage vs. large 1d2 +1d8
To-hit bonus +1d8
Bonus versus living
Weapon skill knife
Size one-handed
When carried


When wielded
When invoked


Base price 1000 zm
Weight 5
Material copper

Secespita is an artifact weapon that appears in EvilHack and Hack'EM. It is chaotic for wishing purposes, and its base item is a knife made of copper.


In addition to random generation, Secespita may appear as a sacrifice gift for chaotic characters, and is the guaranteed first sacrifice gift for the unaligned Infidel.


Secespita has a +1d8 to-hit bonus, and a +1d8 damage bonus against targets unless they are nonliving monsters; killing a living monster with the knife restores a random amount of energy between one and two times its monster level, plus an extra point. Sacrificing a corpse on an altar while wielding Secespita improves its sacrifice value by 12 rounded down (e.g., a unicorn corpse's value would go from 7 to 10).

You can forge Secespita together with Magicbane to create The Staff of the Archmagi, an artifact quarterstaff.


Secespita is primarily a "utility" artifact: though it can be adequate as a weapon due to its damage bonuses covering a majority of monsters you can encounter, and Infidels in particular can reach Expert skill in knives, some of the more deadly monsters such as the various zombies are non-living. With this in mind, Secespita is best used to finish off weakened enemies for the energy gain, including any potential sacrifices.

While increasing sacrifice value has no effect on altar conversion, Secespita can make it far easier for an Infidel to pacify Moloch at an already-converted altar should you anger him: you can offer him a monster with a minimum difficulty of 10 while wielding it, compared to a minimum difficulty of 15 otherwise.


As indicated by the Wikipedia article used for the encyclopedia entry, the secespita is a long sacrificial knife composed of brass and Cypriot copper (i.e., from Cyprus) that saw frequent use in the sacrificial rituals of the Roman priesthood. The root word is the Latin verb secō, which means "to cut" or "to amputate". A secespita's specific purpose was most likely for opening the body of an already-slain sacrificial animal to extract its entrails, a task carried out by the higher order of priests; Secespita's functions in EvilHack mirror this, including the improved sacrifice value.

While writers of the era such as the Roman historian Suetonius describe the secespita as a knife, some modern writers also interpret it as an axe, a cleaver or a dolabra (a type of axe that could double as a pick or mattock), based on an unconfirmed description originating from a summary of Roman grammarian Festus's work, written by historian and monk Paul the Deacon. Some Roman coins representing sacrificial emblems do appear to depict an axe as well.

Encyclopedia entry

The secespita is a long iron sacrificial knife, made of brass and copper from Cyprus, with a solid and rounded ivory handle, which is secured to the hilt by a ring of silver or gold. The flamens and their wives, the flaminicae, who were priests and priestesses of the Ancient Rome, the virgins and the pontiffs made use of it for sacrifices.

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