Hall of Blades
This article refers to the retired Hall of Blades branch in earlier versions of Crawl. For the Hall of Blades area, see Elven Halls.
| Once upon a time, all the daggers and axes and polearms would gather at the time of night and dance the waltz, dreaming of battlefields void of man and beast. That time is no more, yet the weapons are still there.
The Hall of Blades is a single level and can be found between Vault:3 and Vault:4.
|These stairs lead to the Hall of Blades. The steps seem to have been beaten and chipped by assaults from the animated weapons therein.|
All versions of the Hall of Blades' floor plan are nearly identical, mostly differentiated by shifting its orientation 90 degrees or inverting the map. The hall is a single, large chamber with diamond-shaped pillars on each side and only one staircase (located in the center of the Hall) back to the Vaults.
For the most part, the only enemies and loot you're going to find here are the many dancing weapons you'll encounter. Go slowly, as the open nature of the level makes it impossible to create bottlenecks, and the fast-moving attackers are very hard to outrun. Fortunately the floor is sparsely populated enough that you can face them one or two at a time.
The dancing weapons themselves are not too dangerous when handled cautiously; melee fighters with high AC, several resistances, and a shield can handle them one or two at a time with little concern, though encountering a distortion branded weapon that lands a lucky hit and sends you to the Abyss is not too uncommon. Sneaky characters with access to invisibility can simply stab their way through, as none of the weapons can see invisible. Casters have the most trouble here, and should use non-elemental spells that have high to-hit or are completely undodgeable, such as Mystic Blast, Airstrike, or Iron Shot. Elemental spells do minimal damage, making Fireball a poor choice.
Be aware that unique monsters can spawn here. Along with the threat they pose, there are also two "boss" weapons found on either end of the Hall which function as the prize of the floor; while most weapons you encounter will be fairly common, these two will be one of the following rare weapons:
And they will have one of these brands:
How useful these weapons will be to you is largely luck of the draw. The Hall appears fairly late in the game, and if weapons generate that you don't have the skill for, you'll likely have no use for them no matter how tempting that vampiric executioner's axe may be. As such the Hall of Blades is completely optional, and players who have already found acceptable end game weapons often skip it entirely.
In 0.14, the Hall of Blades was given two boss weapons instead of just one in an attempt to make the area more interesting.