Disciple of D'Sparil

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A disciple of D'Sparil in Heretic E2M9: The Glacier

The disciple of D'Sparil is an enemy in Heretic. It looks like a dark wizard wearing tattered, hooded black robe with red and gold accents. Of its body only the black hands with four fingers are visible. Once human adherents of the Order of the Trident, disciples lost their humanity by following the dark ways of the Serpent Riders. As a sign of this, the disciples wear a golden amulet in the form of a trident. They attack using a powerful set of magic missiles and can phase in and out of the spirit world as part of this barrage. When killed, disciples explode from within into a quickly dispersing network of purple energy, leaving behind only a small pile of their ruined robes.

Description of the disciple of D'Sparil from the manual: The pupils of D'Sparil's dark magic, these wizards have mastered flight and blink out of the shadow world long enough to cast a crushing wave of magic missiles toward their enemy.

Tactical analysis[edit]

The disciple attacks by firing a spread of three magic missiles, making its attacks harder to dodge than most other foes. The magic missiles are fast and cause heavy damage, and are more difficult than usual to avoid via strafing due to their multiple angles. However, the disciple has to remain stationary for a while to prepare an attack, giving the player plenty of advance warning and a chance to counterattack or evade. The disciple flickers in and out of ghost state while preparing his attack; hence, certain attacks from the player may go straight through it during this time.

The ability to fly grants the disciple a high level of mobility.

When killed, they have a ~33% chance to drop a Claw Orb and a ~1.6% chance to drop a Tome of Power.


Fireballs needed to kill1 Mean Standard
Min Max
Player (100%
health, no armor)
? ? ? ?
Player (100%
health, Silver Shield)
? ? ? ?
Player (200%
health, Enchanted Shield)
? ? ? ?
Player Chicken ? ? ? ?
Bad Guy Chicken ? ? ? ?
Gargoyle ? ? ? ?
Fire Gargoyle ? ? ? ?
Golem (normal and ghost) ? ? ? ?
Nitrogolem (normal and ghost) ? ? ? ?
Undead Warrior (normal and ghost) ? ? ? ?
Disciple of D'Sparil2
Sabreclaw ? ? ? ?
Weredragon ? ? ? ?
Ophidian ? ? ?
Iron Lich ? ? ? ?
Maulotaur ? ? ? ?
Green Chaos Serpent ? ? ? ?
D'Sparil ? ? ? ?

  1. These tables assume that all calls to P_Random for damage, pain chance, impact animations, backfire checks, and smoke trails are consecutive. In real play, this is never the case: counterattacks and AI pathfinding must be handled, and of course the map may contain additional moving monsters and other randomized phenomena (such as flickering lights). Any resulting errors are probably toward the single-shot average, as they introduce noise into the correlation between the indices of "consecutive" calls.
  2. Hardcoded exception to infighting negates damage (excepting indirect damage caused by exploding puff pods).

Appearance statistics[edit]

In the IWADs the disciple is first encountered on these maps per skill level:

The IWADs contain the following numbers of disciples per skill level:

Other games[edit]

The dark bishop from Hexen is very similar in its role and appearance to the disciple of D'Sparil.


  • A screenshot on the back of the Heretic mail order box shows a disciple with blue robes instead of black, seeming to reveal a change at some point in the game's development.
  • The whispered incantations that the disciples of D'Sparil say are actual phrases played backwards:
    • WIZSIT - "Destroy the Heretic"
    • WIZACT - "Succumb to us, Heretic"
Monsters from Heretic