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Version 0.16: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.
harpy HHarpy.png
HP 26-52
HD 7
XP 624
Speed 25
AC 2
EV 10
MR 20
Attack1 19 (claw: plain)
Attack2 14 (claw: plain)

Type of Meat Clean
Resistances rPois+, rDrown
Vulnerabilities None
Habitat Land
Intelligence Normal
Uses Uses nothing
Holiness Natural
Size Medium
Type harpy, harpy
Flags Batty
Harpies have roamed the coasts as long as seafarers can remember. They strike fear in the hearts of the wary, for their sharp claws and harrying strikes have torn many a luckless traveler to shreds.

“Bird-bodied, girl-faced things they are; abominable their droppings, their hands are talons, their faces haggard with hunger insatiable.”
-Virgil, Aeneid 3

“And Phineus had scarcely taken the first morsel up when, with as little warning as a whirlwind or a lightning flash, they dropped from the clouds proclaiming their desire for food with raucous cries. The young lords saw them coming and raised the alarm. Yet they had hardly done so before the Harpyiai had devoured the whole meal and were on the wing once more, far out at sea. All they left was an intolerable stench.”
-Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 2. 179 — 434

Useful Info

Harpies are dangerous pack monsters, flying around in the same chaotic way bats do, but dealing significantly more damage. They can be found in the Shoals, the Vaults, and the Depths.

Tips & Tricks

  • While heavily armoured characters should be able to soften the multiple attacks of harpies, lightly armoured characters can quickly take heavy damage from them, and escaping them on foot is impossible. Reading a scroll of fear is an excellent way to clear them away, giving you time to regroup or escape if necessary.
  • Their magic resistance is fairly low; any Hexes-specialist can hit them with whatever they want, and even untrained wand use has a decent chance of affecting them. Petrifying or paralyzing harpies over deep water is a particularly effective way to insta-kill them.
  • Attacks that affect multiple targets at once are a good idea against harpies, but they resist poison, so Mephitic Cloud and Poisonous Cloud are not options. Fireball works just fine, however, as do enchantment spells such as Confusion and Enslavement. Also, even a modestly powerful Airstrike should take them out in one or two hits.
  • Be very careful around undead harpies: they lose the batty flag, changing them from hard-to-hit pests into something more akin to a nerfed Executioner. Luckily undead harpies are fairly rare, but be wary of killing harpies around casters with Animate Dead. Also note that harpy simulacra can have horrifying damage output, though thankfully they are much rarer than skeletons or zombies.
  • You can summon your own band of harpies through use of the Monstrous Menagerie spell.


Prior to 0.14, harpies had an infuriating ability to destroy your food supplies; barring Jiyva worship, any attack of theirs would have a chance of destroying random food items in your inventory. Coupled with their habit of devouring any corpse they crossed paths with (and the fact that they could affect food and corpses at your feet), they were one of the more legitimate starvation threats in the game, as well as being fairly dangerous physical attackers.