| Whereas most elven folk would never move into a dark subterranean complex like this, the deep elves did. Their halls are filled with riches, but any passers-by should be aware of the legendary magical prowess of this species.
The Elven Halls are three levels deep.
|A wide stair down to the murky depths of the halls of the deep elves, skilled warriors with blades and bows, and fearsome sorcerers and magicians.|
The Elven Halls is a mid-to-late game branch whose entrance is located on the second floor of the Orcish Mines. It is home to the deep elves, a subterranean race that is frail but versed in all types of magic, as well as various dancing weapons, elementals, the occasional shapeshifter, and a few of the orcs from the mines above. Although it has no rune, the Halls occasionally house shops, and are littered with decent bows, blades, bucklers, and light armour. Elf:2 is made up partially of the Hall of Blades, a chamber filled with deadly dancing weapons with randomized brands. The deepest floor, Elf:3, contains well-stocked and fiercely guarded treasure vaults.
The Halls are one of the least variable branches, full of small rooms connected by narrow corridors, though wide open spaces may make up large portions of certain floors. The second floor will always have an area locked off by sealed doors which contains several dancing weapons and a smattering of elves (including a deep elf blademaster). The value of this room lies in the chance of finding an excellent branded weapon - every dancing weapon carries a brand, and you are guaranteed to find two rare and powerful weapons (quickblades, bardiches, triple swords, lajatangs, executioner's axes, or eveningstars, although which you'll encounter is impossible to know ahead of time). The third and final floor is guaranteed to have a very well guarded treasure vault taking up a significant amount of the map.
Although the entrance is located in an early branch, it is not advisable to enter the Elven Halls right away. Characters below level 15 should probably steer clear, although it is possible to explore the first few floors in relative safety if you bring the right preparations and flee when clearly outmatched. The Halls are filled with packs of dangerous ranged casters and archers, so be sure to avoid getting surrounded in an open area. Instead, lure them into the long hallways to prevent most of them from getting a clear shot at you, and use Bolt or Cloud spells to eradicate long lines of them all at once. Also be prepared for summoned demons, smite-happy priests, and the possibility of being banished to the Abyss.
Elf:2 - The Hall of Blades
This rectangular chamber can be quite dangerous for the poorly prepared. It is very easy to identify: the entrance is a sealed two-tile door, and there will be a handful of weak dancing weapons resting just outside of it. You'll find sleeping dancing weapons scattered throughout the place, with several clustered near the ends. If you're a character capable of stealthy stabbing, bring a source of invisibility and try to take them out that way; dancing weapons (as well as most deep elves) can't see invisible, so you'll be able to safely dispose of most of them. Noisy melee brutes should proceed cautiously, luring weapons back to previously explored areas one at a time and taking them out in relative safety. Casters should attempt the same if possible, though without haste it will be difficult for most casters to avoid getting assaulted in melee as they retreat. If possible, avoid dealing elemental damage, and don't even attempt Hexes; the weapons are largely resistant to elemental damage and have infinite magic resistance. They can most easily be taken out with Earth Magic or pure Conjurations spells. Weapons with the draining brand can inflict huge amounts of draining if allowed to live for long, while weapons of distortion can easily send a player hurtling into the Abyss, and the standard elemental branded weapons will make you regret forgetting your resistances; as such, it helps to come here with as wide a spectrum of resistances as you can muster.
The last floor of the Elven Halls is especially dangerous, but its treasure vaults make it worth looting. Most of the floor should be similar to the floors above it, but the treasure vault itself will be filled with many extremely dangerous advanced deep elves, capable of hitting you with such devastating spells as Lehudib's Crystal Spear, Summon Greater Demon, and Damnation. The treasure vault is large enough that random teleportation is in no way a safe escape plan - there is a good chance you'll find yourself surrounded by very powerful hostiles, though if teleporting is your only hope of survival, it's a gamble worth taking.
Always attempt to lure enemies out of the treasure vaults out one by one, and be ready to run (preferably while hasted) if too many elves notice you at once. Large scale Hexes can be useful for disabling large groups of elves, though most of the threatening varieties are likely to resist. Invisibility is also of limited use; the only dangerous ones which won't be able to see you are the archers and blademasters, though it also disables most lesser elves. The usually safe strategy of digging out a killhole and luring opponents in one at a time will not work well if any deep elf elementalists are nearby, as they will turn the walls around you into earth elementals.
- Round out your elemental resistances for at least fire and cold. Negative energy resistance will help out against the Bolts of Draining, though these are somewhat less common.
- A good amount of magic resistance; around +++.. will help you resist banishment quite frequently (>95%), and additional pips will make it nearly impossible.
- Good defenses, and lots of HP. Despite the shallow depth, the monsters in Elf:3 are just a notch under Vaults:5 in terms of damage; smiting, hellfire, LCS, bolts of everything, and major melee and ranged physical damage are all present. Repel/Deflect Missiles will be quite helpful here, though it won't help against greater demons or hellfire.
- A good way of killing elves fast. If you are a fighter type, with a good weapon and solid weapon skill, you'll probably kill them quickly enough so long as you don't take on too many high-tier elves at once. The level 6 Bolt of Fire/Cold spells work well, as do Poisonous Cloud and Freezing Cloud. Corridors are plenty, so simply shout for attention, let a couple enemies see you, walk down the corridor, and fill the halls with your deadly mist of choice.
- The danger level in Elven Halls is volatile, and you should bring as many emergency items as you can. On Elf:3, a massive section of the map is filled with very deadly opponents, so scrolls of teleportation have a good chance landing you in danger, but scrolls of blinking remain effective. If you are not fully prepared to face the dangers there, do not enter; you can always come back later once you're a higher level.
- e Deep elf knight
- e Deep elf archer
- e Deep elf mage
- o Orc knight
- o Orc high priest
- o Orc sorcerer
- Dancing weapon
- E Earth elemental
- E Fire elemental
- E Water elemental
- E Air elemental
These monsters are most commonly found in the vault of Elf:3, but can rarely generate elsewhere.
- e Deep elf blademaster
- e Deep elf master archer
- e Deep elf annihilator
- e Deep elf sorcerer
- e Deep elf death mage
- e Deep elf demonologist
- e Deep elf high priest
- e Deep elf elementalist
Prior to 0.19, you could also find deep elf fighters, conjurers, summoners, and priests in the elven halls.
Prior to 0.18, the Elven Halls didn't contain elementals or dancing weapons (other than the dancing weapons normally found in the Hall of Blades).
Prior to 0.15, the Hall of Blades was a separate branch entirely, located in the Vaults. It was reintroduced in 0.16 as a section of Elf:2 as a compromise; the branch was popular with the player base, but served little purpose from a game design standpoint.
Prior to 0.13, lower-tier orcs would generate here, and high tier elves were almost never seen outside of the Elf:3 vault.