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Ascension becomes available to you once you finish the Naughty Sorceress Quest. To encourage a continuation of the game, you may choose to step through a mysterious astral gash and arrive in the even more mysterious world Beyond the Pale. It was implemented on June 9, 2005. Valhalla was heavily revamped on May 17, 2011.

If you have not completed the Naughty Sorceress Quest, but you have ascended at least once before and your last ascension was at least 11 days ago, you can end your ascension by selecting the Reset Button from the Account tab from the Options menu. You will receive only the rewards for a no path casual run, but you will be able to ascend normally otherwise.

The Basics

  • If you have anything for sale in The Flea Market, you cannot ascend until it sells, the listing expires, or you remove the item from sale manually.
  • All of your quest items will vanish.
  • Everything else in your inventory and closet will be moved into Hagnk's Ancestral Mini-Storage.
  • All of your familiars' XP will be reset to 0, and their weights reset to 1 (but they retain their kill counts).
  • While in Valhalla, you cannot access your inventory or receive items from other players. You cannot adventure anywhere.
  • When you want to leave, go to After-Afterlife Al in The Bureau of Reincarnation. They can send you back to the Kingdom, reincarnated as a new character.
  • You are entitled to several rewards for defeating the Naughty Sorceress, as well as access to new content depending on the decisions you make when talking to Al.
  • You can only go Beyond the Pale once per day (as of January 30, 2023).


After-After-Life Al provides you with many choices about your next life. You must choose:

  1. A lifestyle (casual, normal, or hardcore)
  2. A class
  3. A gender
  4. Which path you wish to follow in your next life (unless your lifestyle is Casual)
  5. A moon sign

Your lifestyle determines the base amount of karma you earn for an Ascension: 11 for Casual, 111 for Normal, or 211 for Hardcore. Your path may add bonus karma.


  • On ascension, all familiars' experiences are reset to 0, and weights are reset to 1. The number of kills stay.
    • A familiar with 0 kills is treated as weighing 0 pounds, for trophy purposes.
  • Any equipment on the familiars in your terrarium goes into Hagnk's Ancestral Mini-Storage, as if it were in your inventory when you ascended.
  • Your current familiar goes to Valhalla with you and appears in spirit form. The familiar with which you ascend has no impact on gameplay.


There are currently three different dietary paths:

There are also many special challenge paths that you may choose to take to make the game more challenging. Karma rewards are in addition to difficulty reward, and also increased if playing in Hardcore difficulty.

  • Standard -- Applies standard restrictions. (+50/100 karma)
  • Special challenge path -- A special path with unique restrictions. New paths are available seasonally. The current seasonal path is also subject to standard restrictions. (+50/100 karma)
    • Feast of Boris does not increase fullness for any special challenge path.
  • Unrestricted -- No additional restrictions, beyond those from your lifestyle. (Not to be confused with Casual, a difficulty level.) No extra karma reward; only difficulty level will give karma.

Note the following information:

  • The Standard path, dietary paths, and the current special challenge path all give karma rewards. Older challenge paths are available, but will only reward 50 bonus karma (100 in Hardcore) out-of-season for your first run on that path.
  • Paths are not available during a Casual run.
  • You may be entitled to an extra reward as well as some extra karma depending on the difficulty of the path.
  • The reward for completing Azazel, Ma Belle varies depending on which path you select.
  • You cannot inadvertently violate a path; the game will prevent you from taking any action that would do so.

At any stage throughout the game, you may choose to drop your path and resume a no-path(Needs confirmation!) (except Grey Goo) Ascension with an option in your account menu. Doing so forfeits the reward for completing the pathed Ascension, as well as the path-specific reward and skill from the Azazel, Ma Belle quest and the ability to access the item in the current ascension.

Once you have freed the King at the end of the Naughty Sorceress Quest, all path and lifestyle restrictions are lifted without penalty (i.e., you still receive the same prize at the end), with one exception: if you are pursuing a 100% Black Cat Bad Moon Ascension, you must keep the Black Cat as your active familiar until you are all the way through the gash.

Casual Difficulty

A casual incarnation means you'll be able to play the game again with full access to the Meat and items you acquired in your last life. There are also no restrictions on your interactions with other players. However, you won't be eligible for any Ascension leaderboards, and won't receive enough karma to make a skill permanent. Casual runs do count for all currently known trophies (except those listed as requiring a specific type of Ascension, such as the Golden Meat Stack).

Normal Difficulty

Normal (or "softcore" as it is unofficially referred to) difficulty runs are practically the same as Casual runs, with the exception of the Ronin phase. Ronin lasts for one thousand adventures or until you free King Ralph, whichever comes first. While in Ronin, you cannot:

Anything bought from the Mall while in Ronin will be stored in Hagnk's, and will be purchased using meat from Hagnk's. During Ronin, you may still receive Mr. Accessories through donations.

Modern items from the Mr. Store (ones released in 2015 or later, and some older ones in their respective challenge paths) will be pulled automatically at the start of the run.

After the Ronin phase is complete, all restrictions are lifted and normal (unrestricted) play is resumed.

For completing a normal Ascension, you receive 111 karma to spend in Valhalla. Not coincidentally, this is exactly the amount it costs to select a skill to keep as a regular permanent at Jermery's Permery and buy one astral pet and one astral pack of astral consumables.

See also

Hardcore Difficulty

Hardcore is similar to Ronin, except that the restrictions last until you have freed King Ralph, and you may not retrieve any items from long term storage other than items marked as "free pulls". This makes Hardcore much more challenging, but completion of a Hardcore Ascension results in much greater rewards.

While in Hardcore, you cannot:

As with Ronin, you may buy items from the Mall while in Hardcore, but the items will be stored in Hagnk's, and will be purchased with meat from Hagnk's.

As with Ronin, modern items from the Mr. Store will be pulled automatically at the start of the run and can be used.

Like paths, Hardcore may be dropped through your account menu. If you are on a path, you do not have to drop the path to drop Hardcore. If you drop Hardcore before you have played 1,000 turns, you will still be subject to Ronin restrictions until that phase expires.

Warning! To prove that you accomplished the trophy tasks while Hardcore restrictions were in effect, you must purchase the Gourdcore or Golden Meat Stack trophy before freeing King Ralph XI. If you do not, you will not be able to obtain the trophy without repeating the process in a new run.

After you complete the Naughty Sorceress Quest and free King Ralph, all Hardcore and path restrictions are lifted without penalty, with one exception: if you are pursuing a 100% Black Cat Bad Moon run, you must keep the Black Cat as your active familiar until you are all the way through the gash.

For completing a Hardcore Ascension, you will receive 211 karma to spend in Valhalla. Not coincidentally, this is the exact amount it costs to select a new skill to keep as a Hardcore permanent (HP) from Jermery's Permery, and to purchase an astral pet and an astral pack of astral consumables for your next run.

See also

Bad Moon

Bad Moon is a special Hardcore Ascension type, appearing on one's character sheet and Ascension history as a special moon sign. In order to access it, the previous run must have been Hardcore within NS13 and must not have used any ten-leaf clovers; or the player must have completed a 100% Black Cat Bad Moon run. Instead of receiving a disassembled clover in the letter from King Ralph XI, players instead receive a big rock. Previously acquired permanent skills are not accessible, and the player begins without a terrarium, requiring all desired familiars to be re-earned. In addition, various "unlucky" things will happen to the adventurer in certain places during the run.

The message you get immediately upon ascending (in a results box above Valhalla) from a 100% Black Cat Bad Moon run is:

By completing a 100% Black Cat Bad Moon run, you have permanently unlocked the Bad Moon sign for your character.

All Bad Moon ascension are unpathed. You cannot choose a path if you choose Bad Moon as your sign.




Hardcore Oxygenarian

Bad Moon

  • Instead of a stainless steel item, characters that complete a Bad Moon run get a Brimstone item specific to their current class.
Ascension Rewards
Gemstones: pork elf goodies sack (baconstone - hamethyst - porquoise)
Paths: Retenez L'Herbe Paté - bottle of single-barrel whiskey - Breathetastic™ Premium Canned Air
Challenge Paths: Thwaitgold statuette - picky tweezers (Picky) - note from Clancy (Avatar of Boris)
Other: disassembled clover - big rock (Bad Moon)

Standard Normal Mossmace.gif
Standard Hardcore Adobepants.gif
Hardcore Ssshil.gif
Oxycore Plexpike.gif
pith helmet
pinky ring
Bad Moon Brimbludgeon.gif


  • Your name, ID number, and the number of turns played will be retained, as will Tattoos and Trophies. There are also new counters that track the number of completed Ascensions and turns played this Ascension. You'll accumulate the normal class tattoos from every class you ascend into, so it is possible to collect all the class tattoos on one character (and, if you wish, all of the Hardcore class tattoos).
  • All quest statuses and your stats are reset on ascension. Any quest items you have will be deleted.
  • Any skills you haven't marked either softcore or hardcore permanent will be lost upon ascension.
  • You can only ascend after completing all Council of Loathing quests, as they are prerequisites to opening the Naughty Sorceress Quest.
  • Your PvP hippy stone is reset along with ranking, but your win/loss ratio will remain until you manually repair your hippy stone.
  • If you have access to Hobopolis, you will be sent back to the beginning of A Maze of Sewer Tunnels. However, this will not disqualify you from receiving loot.
  • Most counters for food and booze will remain, including those for trophies, e.g., herb brownies and white Canadian consumption.
  • Clan membership, leadership, and karma are unaffected by Ascension.
  • Your store persists through Ascension. You will be able to add items and adjust the prices of items in your store when in Hardcore/Ronin, but you may not remove items. Any Meat earned from the store enters Hagnk's Ancestral Mini-Storage, and is subject to the standard Hardcore or Ronin restrictions if you wish to remove it from storage.
  • You can still chat normally, and send clan messages, and send and receive kmail (as long as there aren't Meat/items attached in the case of receiving).
  • After ascending, you will start your next incarnation with exactly 40 adventures, no matter how many you had left before ascending. Note that you do not need to have at least one adventure remaining. You can rescue the King while falling-down drunk (after defeating the Sorceress, and before ascending). You can also ascend while drunk and with no adventures.
  • Note that beating the Sorceress is not the same as freeing King Ralph XI and that you must still be level 13 or higher (as of NS13) before you can muster the ability to smash the prism in which he is entrapped. After you have smashed the prism, you may lower your level without repercussions.


As you play the game, you will encounter a number of adventures, item drops, quests and the like that are described as "one-time" (see Once per ascension items). What this actually means is that the adventure, item drop, etc. will occur once during the course of a single Ascension. Once you complete an Ascension, the "one-time" adventures, etc., will all be available all over again. Some "one-time" examples are the Spirit of the Dolphin King adventure, the Boss Bat bandana item drop, and Doc Galaktik's Quest for Herbs. There are some exceptions -- some things really are one time only, as described below.

Really, Really One-Time

As described above, most "one-time" experiences, in fact, recur from ascension to ascension. There are, however, some adventures, items, and quests that really are one time only. Once you experience or acquire or complete them, you can never again experience them again, no matter how many times you ascend. These things generally pertain to "newbhood" and to gaining access to chat channels and include:

  • Trophies and Tattoos are permanent and do not have to be re-earned each Ascension.


Some aspects of the game are affected by the number of Ascensions you have:


  • Ronin means "wandering person" or a samurai who has lost their master.

See Also