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Tenebrous, the Demonic Shadow is a spirit that appears in dNetHack and notdNetHack.

Ritual, seal and taboo

Tenebrous's seal must be drawn in an unlit square, and is always generated on the square where Orcus is killed.

To remain bound to Tenebrous, the character must not permanently light squares, e.g. via wand of light or scroll of light.


A character that has Tenebrous bound possesses an unnaturally dark shadow that pools close to them - this can be seen from a distance, and can be hidden by staying out of illuminated squares.


While bound, Tenebrous confers drain resistance and grants skill in maces.

Tenebrous's active powers are as follows:

  • Damning Darkness: Damage all monsters that are not undead, demonic or drain resistant near the character, with the exact radius dependent on the character's level. Monsters in lit squares take 5 dice of damage, while monsters in unlit squares take 1d5 dice of damage, and squares within the radius are made dark as with a cursed scroll of light.
  • Echos of the Last Word: Targets an adjacent monster - any monster that is unique, drain resistant, demonic, or untargetable for genocide is level teleported, and the target will otherwise be removed from the game.
    • Dread seraphs and black flowers are uniquely immune in that the power will fail and unbind Tenebrous if used on them, and intoners will polymorph into black flowers instead of being removed if the power is used on them.
  • Touch of the Void: Drain levels from an adjacent monster on a successful to-hit roll.

Tenebrous's passive powers are as follows:

  • Vital Sense: The character senses all living monsters on the level.

As a monster

In notdNetHack, Tenebrous, v, also appears as a monster that can be summoned by an Illithanachronounbinder. It is a vortex that is capable of following the character to other levels if it is adjacent. Tenebrous possesses fire resistance, cold resistance, sleep resistance, poison resistance, and stoning resistance.

Tenebrous has two life draining touch attacks, and a reach attack that combines positive and negative energy. The damage rolled for the combination attack is dealt in two "stages": the first stage deals the outcome of the roll as shock damage, then again as fire damage, and stuns the target for 3 turns; the second stage deals the outcome of the roll as cold damage, then drains a level regardless of damage - the elemental damage in both "stages" also affects inventory. The first set of effects can be wholly blocked with shock resistance, while the second can be blocked completely with drain resistance.

Like many summoned spirits, Tenebrous cannot be tamed.


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

Tenebrous is generated with the uncursed +3 Touch of the Void, an artifact pair of gauntlets of dexterity that confer drain resistance while worn and can be safely enchanted to +7 - unarmed attacks performed while wearing The Touch of the Void have +1 to-hit and deal double damage against targets without drain resistance, and will additionally drain a level from the non-resistant target.

Tenebrous 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.

To be written.

If Tenebrous is killed after being summoned, it 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. Tenebrous is generated along with many other spirits of the near void on the second floor of the branch, and is generated with the "whispers" template, which makes it nonliving.

Encyclopedia entry

None shall rest until my vengeance is complete. All who stand in my way shall face the wrath of that which was wrought in the ancient halls of the realm now known only for dust.

[ Dead Gods: Out of the Dark, by ]