Codex Umbra/DST

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Ui button variant 1 on.png

Glommer's Flower.png See also: Shadow Puppet

Waxwell Portrait.png
The show must go on.


The Codex Umbra can be crafted from the Shadow Magic Filter and Survivor Items Filter, using two Papyrus, two Nightmare Fuel and costing 50 Health. It has a durability of 20 uses and does not break if it reaches 0%. Nightmare Fuel repairs 25% durability. It has a UI for choosing to summon between Shadow Servants, Duelists, Sneaks and Prisons. Creating puppets costs less max sanity and does not cost health, and he can hold up to 6 Puppets at a time. The Shadow Sneak can be used to transform Rabbits, Bunnymen, and Splumonkeys into their nightmare variants, regardless of how much sanity the Players have, while the Shadow Prison can trap enemies in a temporary cage, making them unable to move.

Minimap Maxwell's Door.png Origin

I have discovered something, a book of sorts. I have yet to decode it fully, but what little I have deciphered has opened my mind to terrifying new possibilities.

William Carter

The Codex Umbra was discovered by William Carter in August of 1904. At the time, William was aboard a train heading to San Francisco, California from New York City.[1] The train crashed into a broken down circus wagon, and a man of William's description was reported missing but assumed dead.[2] However, William survived the crash with only a few injuries. While wandering across the desert, he discovered an ancient codex and was intrigued by the "terrifying" possibilities it offered.[3]

Months later, William established himself in San Francisco and began going by the name of Maxwell. Maxwell updated his act to incorporate dark manifestations that he taught himself to summon from the Codex Umbra.[4] He found great success in this new act and eventually hired an assistant, Charlie.[5] During their last performance, Maxwell's act went normally until he attempted to pull "shadows incarnate" from the Codex and was instead pulled into the book by giant shadow hands. Soon, the entire act ends in disaster as both Maxwell and Charlie are violently dragged into a parallel dimension.[6]

The Codex Umbra reappeared, still in Maxwell's possession, after he was dethroned and became a survivor. After reuniting with Wilson, Maxwell found the scientist's blueprints for an invention and offered to help construct it with assistance from the Codex Umbra. This made it possible for Maxwell and Wilson to build a portal that allowed other survivors to join forces with them.[7]

Placeholder.png Trivia

Magician's Top Hat Crafting image.png
  • Codex Umbra is Latin for "shadow manuscript".
  • It's possible for the Codex Umbra to be set alight and burn into ashes. The book will re-appear in Maxwell's inventory upon re-loading the world.
  • If using the Codex Umbra reduces Maxwell's health to zero, the Morgue will list the cause of death as "Shenanigans".
  • Like Abigail's Flower, the Codex Umbra floats when placed on the ground, but only if the corresponding Maxwell is nearby. If he moves out of range, the book will close and fall to the ground.
  • In the beta test of Maxwell's rework, when using the Codex Umbra, in addition to 4 items that were included in the final version of the update, it was possible to select a spell that allows you to turn the Top Hat in your inventory into a Magician's Top Hat.
  • Even after Maxwell's rework, dropped Codex Umbra still opens when Maxwell is nearby like in the original Don't Starve. It doesn't provide any functions though.

Mosquito.png Bugs

  • Despite being a starting character specific item, the Codex Umbra can be stolen by mobs like Krampus or Eyeplants.
  • Using a Sinkhole to enter the Caves or Ruins without the Codex Umbra can sometimes cause it to duplicate in the player's inventory.
  • In the Shipwrecked DLC, using a Volcano to climb onto it without the Codex Umbra can sometimes cause it to duplicate in the player's inventory.
  • any character can use the Codex Umbra

Blueprint.png Gallery


  1. William Carter Puzzle #4: The Coach Ticket is dated August 15, 1904 and permits travel from New York's Grand Central Station to San Francisco.
  2. William Carter Puzzle #4, The Newspaper: "A passenger​ train struck a circus wagon that had broken down along the tracks at the Old Mill crossing. Dozens of passengers were injured, and at least one man is missing. The missing man has yet to be identified, but fellow passengers described him as a tall, nervous fellow with an English accent. A search party was convened but quickly abandoned when it became apparent that a cage full of potentially dangerous trained monkeys had been vacated in the collision. Given the remoteness of the crash site, the scorching desert sun, and the escaped animals, the missing man has been presumed dead."
  3. William Carter Puzzle #4, The Postcard: "Jack, The strangest thing has happened! Please discount all reports of my demise, should they reach you. I am very much alive, despite my recent misadventures. I have discovered something, a book of sorts. I have yet to decode it fully, but what little I have deciphered has opened my mind to terrifying new possibilities. I shan't say more through post - I fear it may attract unwanted attention. All will be explained when we meet. I shall continue west forthwith! -William"
  4. William Carter Puzzle #5: A new poster for "Maxwell the Great", a requisition for an ad in The San Francisco Call dated June 6, 1905, and a journal page recounting an encounter with a Shadow Creature after a ritual.
  5. William Carter Puzzle #6: New poster for "The Amazing Maxwell" featuring Charlie holding the Codex, and a letter from Charlie about their latest successful performance.
  6. William Carter Puzzle #8: The Final Act (Youtube)
  7. Cyclum Puzzles: Last page of the comic