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Version 0.21: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.

This page is about the dungeon feature. For the obsolete card or spell, see Portal card or Portal (spell) respectively.

A portal is a (generally) temporary gateway to a special level. Each such level has multiple possibilities for its exact layout and inhabitants, but always follows a specific theme. You will almost certainly encounter some of these in every game, but it is extremely rare to ever find all of them in a single run-through. In the console version of Crawl, portals are represented by the glyph.

Portals are either silent or announced. Silent portals will exist until you enter them, even if you leave the level. Announced portals are timed, and will eventually close if you do not get to them fast enough.

When a portal times out somewhere out of sight, you may get a message such as: "The floor vibrates strangely!" Treasure troves and Ziggurats won't ever time out, but after they are used once, they may never be entered again.

The following comprises all portal levels, with their in-game description and a brief explanation:

Early Game

Ossuary portal.png A sand-covered staircase
Zombies and mummies and traps, oh my!
The Sewers
Sewer portal.png A glowing drain
Wade through rat- and snake-infested waters. Mind the kobolds.

Mid Game

Bailey portal.png A flagged portal
A shooting match and/or slugfest with orcs, gnolls, goblins, and sometimes elves.
Labyrinth portal.png A labyrinth entrance
Find the exit, beat the minotaur guarding it. Bring extra food.
Ice Cave
Ice cave portal.png A frozen archway
Assorted frigid monsters and ice statues abound. Bring cold resistance.
Volcano portal.png A dark tunnel
Everything is on fire. Including you, if you forget your fire resistance.

Late Game

Desolation of Salt
Desolation portal.png A ruined gateway
An open expanse of salt containing some heavily guarded treasure.
Wizard Laboratory
Wizlab portal.png A magic portal
The private laboratory of any one of several strange characters.


Bazaar portal.png A gateway to a bazaar
Shopping trip! Hope you have some gold saved up.
Treasure trove
Treasure trove portal.png A portal to a secret trove of treasure
A collection of treasure customized for your character... at a specific, peculiar price. (No portal timer.)
Ziggurat portal.png A gateway to a ziggurat
The ultimate challenge: a gauntlet of 27 floors of increasing madness. If you survive to the end, you can do it again, but harder. (No portal timer.)
Malign Gateway
Starry portal.png A portal to somewhere
Not a true portal, but the short-lived result of a spell: eldritch tentacle imminent. Walk into it to blink and take some damage, if you really want to.


  • Desolation of Salt was added in 0.19
  • Prior to 0.14, a shorter timer would be started upon first seeing the timed portal.
  • Prior to 0.13, many timed portals were not announced.
  • The Spider's Nest was upgraded from a portal level to a full-fledged dungeon branch in 0.11.