The Adventures of Natil the Elf Ranger, Part 1 and counting

It’s been quite a while since I’ve played Nethack–and I’m kind of surprised that on a day that ISN’T a full moon, I’ve got a serious Ascension candidate!

Short form: Natil the Elf Ranger has completed the Quest and is now seeking a ring of levitation so that she can finish Fort Ludios. She’s currently at Exp. level 16, HP 114, and AC -38! Thanks to early wands of wishing as well as other lucky finds she is armored for bear, with gray dragon scale mail, speed boots, gauntlets of dex, and a shield of reflection. She’s armed with her original elven dagger as well as the Longbow of Diana.

Wish her luck, folks. Details for the Nethack geeks behind the fold!


So far I have gone through a LOT of pets in this game:

  • Original dog, Varden, died fairly early on
  • Second dog, Terrill, made it with me all the way down to level 23 (Medusa) while I was looking for Fort Ludios. On the way back up off of 23 he killed and ate a chameleon corpse, and turned into a cobra! That was kind of fun, as he was biting and killing things for a good while. I lost him in Fort Ludios, though.
  • Third dog, Hadden, acquired shortly after Terrill. Didn’t last long though.
  • First cat, Fred. He made it almost down to Medusa’s level with me and Terrill, but bit it on level 22.
  • Second cat, George, acquired after I finished the Quest! Lost him in Ludios, though.
  • Fourth dog, Madchen, acquired after second visit into the Fort. As of this post Madchen is still alive, although she ate a chameleon corpse and is currently an orc mummy. This game is giving me WEIRD pets
  • Third cat, Polly, acquired shortly after Madchen but lost shortly thereafter as well


Stores in this game, at least outside the Gnomish Mines, have been slim pickings. I got a potions store on level 2, and general stores on levels 3 and 6. None of them turned up anything particularly interesting.

Gnomish Mines:

The notable things about the Mines were:

  • Non-coaligned altar in Minetown and no magic lamps in the stores, not that I needed them with finding two, count ’em, TWO early wands of wishing
  • Got the version of the bottom level that had no wine cellar and various little closets with gems stuffed around the edges of the level, i.e., one of the easier versions. I can deal with that
  • Got shock resistance off of a brown pudding! Zzzt!


Sokoban’s level was early on, showing up with the Oracle at 5 and Sokoban’s stairs at 6. Discovered that it’s been long enough since I’ve regularly played Nethack that I’d forgotten most of the patterns of how to move the stones around, so I had to pull the trick with dropping all my stuff and squeezing between boulders so I could move them. Fortunately I didn’t abuse my luck too much doing this.

The prize level turned out to have an amulet of reflection, although as of this writing that’s proved kind of unnecessary now that I have the shield. Way, WAY more valuable a find in Sokoban was the first wand of wishing! Off of that, I got the obligatory blessed +3 gray dragon scale mail.

Various other special rooms:

There were altars discovered at levels 3, 7, 10, 15, and 19, with a non-coaligned temple at 10 as well. This has proven very useful so far in giving me a crapload of protection AC (from the priestess of Mercury; I continue to be kind of surprised that you can work the protection racket with a non-coaligned priest/ess, NOT THAT I MIND THIS OR ANYTHING ;) ). Also, there have been ample opportunities to make holy water and bless blanked-out scrolls.

Level 7 had a David’s Treasure Zoo, and level 9 had an opulent throne room. Neither were nearly as interesting as the surprising plethora of leprechaun halls, of which I found THREE, at 11, 16, and 17. As of this writing I’ve cleared out the ones on 11 and 16, and haven’t bothered with 17 yet just because I don’t want to go through another round of chasing those little green bastards all over a level.

Level 12 proved to be the Big Room, and had the Quest Portal as well.

Beehives occurred at 14 and 20, with the obligatory scores of royal jelly off the latter in particular.

Rogue level’s at level 18. Has been mostly notable so far as the site of my first air elemental kill in the game–thankfully, air elementals can be taken out with enough poundings of missiles from the Longbow of Diana.

Overall Notes Between Sokoban and Medusa:

I generally hit Sokoban first and then the Mines, and that was extra helpful this game so far as Sokoban gave me that early advantage with the first wand of wishing!

At level 10, I deliberately triggered a polymorph trap and turned into a soldier ant for a while. Fortunately I survived that intact. This was also where my first wraith corpse got me up to level 12.

My first amulet of life saving dropped on level 16–in the leprechaun hall as I recall.

Got cold resistance off a yeti corpse on level 20. Hit Medusa’s level at 23 and came back up to keep looking for Ludios. Carefully avoided an Olog-hai at 22 and a titanothere at 21, critters I wasn’t prepared to take on yet. Back on 20, finally got poison resistance off a golden naga, and on 17, found amulet of life saving #2 after Cobra!Terrill killed a black unicorn.

All the way back up on 6, I got bumped up to level 15 thanks to a potion of gain level AND a wraith.

In the Quest, I burned the first amulet of life saving when a centaur got a little too frisky with a wand of fire. But I quickly made up for this with a shield of reflection! AND a bag of holding, AND a SECOND wand of wishing!

So at that point it was time for some serious wishing business: 2 blessed scrolls of charging, got only one; blessed +3 fireproof speed boots; blessed magic marker; blessed +3 fireproof gauntlets of dex. Thanks to the marker, I was able to fix my burned elven cloak, and then generate some blessed genocide scrolls to take out L’s and R’s. Tried to make an uncursed one to take out mind flayers, since I’d taken out master mind flayers earlier, but the marker ran out.

Once I was out of the Quest, one of those mind flayers that had narrowly escaped genocide must have had a vendetta, since the bastard got me and took out most of what I’d learned about identified objects, like they do. I did however also discover that Ludios was in fact in the game, with a portal in the Vault on level 14!

Round 1 in Ludios lost me both Terrill and George, but I made it up to level 16 off of another wraith corpse, and recharged the first wand of wishing. That got me a blessed magic marker to try to make some identify scrolls. But I didn’t stay in there after killing the first initial huge wave of soldiers–I wanted to get rid of some of my extraneous inventory, and make sure I could actually get into the Fort.

So I blew the last wish on wand #1 for two scrolls of enchant weapon, to enchant up the Longbow of Diana, and to regain the identification of that particular scroll. Blew the second to last wish on wand #2 for two uncursed scrolls of genocide, and took out those damned mind flayers, along with krakens. The final wish on wand #2 went to a blessed wand of cancellation, so I could start churning out holy water and blank scrolls. Thusly prepared, I went back up through the upper levels for a while to re-learn their layouts, and got a bunch of enchant armor scrolls prepped and bumped my AC all the way down to -38.

A second visit back into Ludios proved that I do not in fact have an effective way of getting into the Fort. So as of this writing, I’m back out again and looking hard for a ring of levitation, boots of levitation, or water walking boots. I ducked into the Mines to scour them for rings, and that’s where Madchen turned into an orc mummy. That’s also where I killed air elemental #2!

I’ve kept generating holy water as I can, and that’s gotten me my first altar artifact, finally: Orcrist. Meh. I’ve also found a second bag of holding, and I’ve gotten both bags as well as my luckstone suitably blessed with all of the holy water.

I’m saving at this point, since I’m far enough along that I’m now having to seriously plan for making it not only through the Fort, but through the Medusa level as well and into the Castle. I REALLY need a means of levitation and am vaguely cranky that I didn’t think to use one of that plethora of wishes early on it! That was stupid of me. I hope I live to actually correct the mistake!