The Adventures of Natil the Elf Ranger, Part 2

In which our heroine really hasn’t played Nethack in a long time, because she forgot an easy way around her whole Crap I Don’t Have a Means of Levitation problem–and in which she finally clears not only Fort Ludios, but also the Castle and Medusa as well.

This being last night’s Nethack adventures!


When last we left our story, I was stuck with all the charges on my first two wands of wishing used, and with no means of levitation to be had. This was standing in the way of me clearing Fort Ludios on level 14, as well as getting across the Medusa level to take her out.

My initial idea on how to deal with this was to go back up through the earlier levels and start quaffing from fountains to see if I could trigger another wish. This bumped up my stats a couple of times, but also did a round of cursing my stuff–including one of the bags of holding. Had to blow some holy water to fix that, and lost a few thousand gold thanks to the bag eating it when I #looted.

A wraith on level 16 got me up to experience level 17. Mm, tasty AND nutritious! And since I wanted a gold influx I went ahead and cleared out the remaining leprechaun hall on level 17. No love with the fountains by the time I made it down to level 22, though.

Lost my poor orc mummy Madchen on level 20, and then on the way back up picked up cat #4, Sparky, on level 6. Only to lose poor Sparky to a troll with a wand of striking on level 3. RIP, Sparky!

Lots more holy water thanks to an altar on level 3, and Stormbringer from the altar on level 7! Trollsbane showed up at the altar on level 15, but as of this writing I’ve stuffed it and Orcrist into one of my bags of holding. I don’t need much weapon-wise at this point besides Stormy, my original dagger, and the Longbow of Diana.

I came up with the idea to polypile what rings I’d found in the game, but was only able to do this once since I’d blown all the charges on the single wand of polymorph I’d found. So I zapped it until I wrested the final remaining charge, and that got me a couple more copper rings which I then sink-ID’d as “slow digestion”. Also left me with unidentified silver, ruby, and granite rings, on top of a previously found engagement ring.

Since that didn’t get me anywhere special I thought okay, let’s blow what means of monster creation I have and see if I can get somebody to drop something interesting. That got me another wraith corpse, and a bump up to level 18. This plan would possibly have gone farther had my good friend userinfokisanthe not pointed out to me that well DUH, I could trapdoor my way down into the Castle and bypass Medusa completely–which I’d entirely forgotten about. Yes, it HAS been a while since I’ve regularly played Nethack!

Eager to try this plan, I scampered back down to level 22 and took out the titan. It had a wand of cold but used most of its charges.

Level 24 proved to NOT be the Castle; the Castle was on 26, and I took down the drawbridge thanks to a wand of opening. Then it was time to say HEY CASTLE RESIDENTS SAY HI TO STORMBRINGER AND THIS HANDY COCKATRICE CORPSE! MAN, clearing the Castle is way easier if you have a cockatrice corpse. And this even gave me an opportunity to discover that even after all these years, Nethack can still teach me something: that if you hit a leather golem with a cockatrice corpse, it’ll turn into a stone golem!

The Wand of Wishing was in the top left hand room, and I got myself a scroll of charging and a blessed ring of levitation. Blew the charging scroll on a previous magic marker, but forgot to use the marker to make more charging scrolls. Doh. *^_^*;; So now I still have the wand and it’s chargeable and in reserve until I get a means to charge it back up again. Also pondering what else I should add to the Ascension kit. I’m fond of the ring of levitation + ring of free action combo, so I need me a ring of free action at this point. I’m pretty set for armor, although I am considering the virtues of a cloak of displacement versus the heavily blessed and enchanted elven cloak I’ve already got. And certainly another amulet of life saving wouldn’t suck. Or potions of full healing.

Fell through a trapdoor in the Castle and quickly scampered back up again, since I did NOT feel ready to take on the Valley of the Dead. Used the wand of opening and the ring of levitation to get back into the Castle and take out the dragons; the red one finally gave me fire resistance! (The others, for the record, were orange, gray, and white. Got orange scales as a trophy.)

There was no wish or anything else of note off the throne in the Castle, so I came back up to take out Medusa. Then on general principle, I went back to get into Ludios. Croesus tried to take me out with a wand of lightning AND a wand of death, so now I know what those are.

And as of my last save, I’m still in the Fort but haven’t cleared out the actual gold vault yet. Trying to decide if it’s worth it at this point since I am riding the line between being unburdened and burdened, and I’ve already gotten as much protection as I’m likely to get, I think!

Published by

Angela Korra'ti

As Angela Highland, Angela is the writer of the Rebels of Adalonia epic fantasy series with Carina Press. As Angela Korra'ti, she writes the Free Court of Seattle urban fantasy series. She's also an amateur musician and devoted fan of Newfoundland and Quebecois traditional music.