Tartarus

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A decaying netherworld. Over time, the undead, demons and devils of this place drain all life out of treasure-craving visitors.

Tartarus is seven levels deep and contains the bone rune. It can be accessed via the Vestibule of Hell.

A gateway to the decaying netherworld of Tartarus. This place seems to radiate negative energy.

Tartarus entry.png Tartarus is the undead branch of Hell, accessible from the Vestibule of Hell.

Useful Info

Tartarus is 7 levels deep and populated by various kinds of undead and shadowy demons. Tzitzimimeh and Tormentors are by far its most dangerous denizens: living characters will get pelted with Bolt of Draining and Symbol of Torment, undead and lichform characters will be torn apart with Dispel Undead. You'll also bump into bone dragons, shadow dragons, reapers, soul eaters, liches, silent spectres and the odd Executioner. Doom hounds can inflict the Howl status condition on you, quickly bringing in packs of monsters to your location.

The last level contains the bone rune of Zot, guarded by the fearsome arch-fiend Ereshkigal.

Recommendations

Difficulty-wise, Tartarus is a mixed bag. On the one hand, rN+++ (highly recommended) confers complete immunity to negative energy, unlike rF+++ and rC+++, which only give 80% resistance to their respective element; this means you can fully resist many attacks, including some of the mystical forces. On the other hand, the demons you meet here are varied and dangerous. All in all, do not attempt Tartarus until you've cleared almost everything else in the game, aside possibly from Zot:5, the Tomb, Pandemonium and Ziggurats.

It's wise to carry some potions of curing to prevent your body from rotting away, which may happen occasionally by the effects of Hell. While useful to some degree in all Hell branches, Dispel Undead and Aura of Abjuration both shine in Tartarus.

The last level of Tartarus is often deceptive. In some layouts you'll have to excavate rock walls or search for doors to reach treasure vaults, including the one in which the rune is hidden, near where you encounter Ereshkigal.

If you are a magic user, make sure you have a strategy for the inevitable Silence auras you will encounter, both from silent spectres and Erishkigal himself. Erishkigal's silence range is 5 tiles, much more manageable than the silent spectres' permanent 12-tile aura. Note that if you do not natively have rN+++ and are relying on Necromutation, this will be difficult to cast when you are silenced. And this can happen with no warning, should a silent spectre generate nearby, care of a Hell Effect.

Hell Effects

Trivia

In ancient Greek mythology, Tartarus is a deep, gloomy place, a pit, or an abyss used as a dungeon of torment and suffering that resides beneath the underworld. Where Hades was the afterlife for common humans (and failed heroes), Tartarus was the prison for the Titans, the overthrown parents to the Olympian gods.