| A hybrid with the torso of a human atop the body of a large horse, centaurs are famous for their skills in archery.
“When Peleus, some distance away, saw him torn apart by the frightful wound he shouted: ‘Accept this tribute to the dead, at least, Crantor, dearest of youths’, and with his powerful arm, he hurled his ash spear, at full strength, at Demoleon. It ruptured the ribcage, and stuck quivering in the bone. The centaur pulled out the shaft minus its head (he tried with difficulty to reach that also) but the head was caught in his lung. The pain itself strengthened his will: wounded, he reared up at his enemy and beat the hero down with his hooves. Peleus received the resounding blows on helmet and shield, and defending his upper arms, and controlling the weapon he held out, with one blow through the arm he pierced the bi-formed breast.”
Centaurs are the bane of low-level spellcasters and lightly-armored fighters. They are quick marksmen that travel alone early on or in packs with leaders as you travel deeper, carrying bows and firing fast enough to launch multiple arrows and advance in a single turn. Centaurs can be found in the early to middle Dungeon, the Lair, the Shoals, and the Vaults. The earliest floor where you can meet an out-of-depth centaur is D:2.
Tips & Tricks
- Centaurs are fast enough to get multiple actions in the time it takes you to act once. Running is out of the question for all but the fastest characters, but you can force them to close into melee by hiding behind a corner. Once you're adjacent to them, they'll put away their bows and lose much of their deadliness.
- If you're on an open floor with no corridors, use a wand of paralysis or Mephitic Cloud to disable them while you charge into melee.
- A source of Repel Missiles effect, e.g. a scarf of repulsion, can help you against their ranged attacks.
- Be careful about retreating from centaurs; if you open some intervening distance, they'll pull out their bows and resume firing. It may be better to face two or more enemies at once.
- Centaurs will not attack you if other monsters are in the way.
- Centaurs can be reliably killed with a single Bolt of Fire/Bolt of Cold, but weaker spells may give them time to fight back.