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You can be punished by your god for a variety of reasons, including praying while your deity is angry or by reading a scroll of punishment. A heavy iron ball is attached to you by a chain: 0_@. If you are polymorphed into an amorphous, whirly, or unsolid creature when reading this scroll, the ball and chain will appear but fall off immediately.

If punished while already being chained to an iron ball, the ball's weight is increased by 160 (320 if the method of punishment was a cursed scroll of punishment)[1].

Efficient travel is inhibited by the ball; any time the ball is dragged a square, travel stops. This includes running in a direction and the _ travelto command. If you do not wish to carry the ball, you are forced to move one square at a time using either the letter or number pad keys. This is annoying, but otherwise punishment has no effect on movement - you are no slower while punished and can still move multiple squares in one turn if sufficiently fast.

However, beware of travelling down stairs with the iron ball not right next to you. This will cause a collision, possibly resulting in death, depending on the amount of your hitpoints.

The heavy iron ballEdit

0 Heavy iron ball
Name heavy iron ball
Appearance heavy iron ball
Cost 10 zm
Weight 480+

The chain cannot be picked up, but the iron ball can. It is a unique object which appears in its own section in the inventory. The iron ball will follow you around everywhere, including going up and down stairs, where it may hit you or drag you down, causing some damage (at low levels this can be lethal). This damage is reduced but not eliminated if you wield the ball while going downstairs to prevent it hitting you.


The iron ball makes a surprisingly good weapon, doing d25 base damage, with an additional d(x*4) damage, where x is the number of times the ball has been made heavier. The downside is the extreme weight - only 20 units short of a loadstone and the same weight as 48 daggers. Thus, the ball can be used as a weapon, but you should ditch it as soon as you have something more effective.

The iron ball also gives you a limited ability to jump while it is chained to you. Throwing it will pull you along in that direction for up to 4 squares, but beware using this method to cross water - the ball will travel 5 squares, and if that lands in water, you will be pulled down into the water with it.

Also, throwing an iron ball may exercise your strength.

Removing the heavy iron ballEdit

Removing the iron ball is enough to end your punishment. There are a number of ways to do this:

  1. Zapping a wand of opening or casting a spell of knock down at the chain
  2. Reading a scroll of remove curse, of any BUC status, while not confused
  3. praying: punishment counts as a minor problem
  4. Have it stolen by a nymph
  5. Have it eaten by a metallivore, such as a rock mole or rust monster
  6. Polymorph into a nymph and remove it using the #monster command
  7. Polymorph into a metallivore and eat the ball away
  8. Polymorph into an amorphous, whirly, or non-solid monster and thus slip out of the chain
  9. Drop the ball in a pit and fill the pit with a boulder. (To be more specific: pick up the ball, move into the pit, drop the ball, then move out of the pit).
  10. Ring the blessed Bell of Opening
  11. Crush the ball or chain in a drawbridge

Source code referencesEdit

  1. read.c, line 1740

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