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Version 0.30: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.
Tartarus is a decaying netherworld. Over time, the undead, demons and devils of this place drain all life from all who care to enter.

The all-prevading rot saps vistiors' willpower.

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.


General Hell monsters

2 Hellion.png Hellion 2 Tormentor.png Tormentor L Ancient lich.png Ancient lich L Dread lich.png Dread lich

Branch specific

Z Spectral thing.png Spectral thing W Shadow wraith.png Shadow wraith W Eidolon.png Eidolon A Profane servitor.png Profane servitor D Bone dragon.png Bone dragon
h Doom hound.png Doom hound W Putrid mouth.png Putrid mouth W Silent spectre.png Silent spectre C Tainted leviathan.png Tainted leviathan 1 Tzitzimitl.png Tzitzimitl


& Ereshkigal.png Ereshkigal

Useful Info

Tartarus is 7 levels deep and populated by various kinds of undead and shadowy demons. Tzitzimimeh and Tormentors are quite 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. Tainted leviathan's take advantage of the reduced willpower by mesmerising you into a large miasma ring, while putrid mouths shoot said miasma at you. 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.

Like every other hell, the first six levels contain one exit, one staircase down, and are drastically shorter.

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

Hell Effects

In addition to the universal forces of hell, Tartarus' oppressive rot cuts your willpower in half.


Difficulty-wise, Tartarus is a mixed bag. On the one hand, rN+++ confers complete immunity to negative energy, unlike other resistances. On the other hand, the demons you meet here are varied and dangerous. Paralysis is an extreme threat; Tartarus cuts your will, so it's impossible to 100% resist paralysis from dread liches and Ereshkigal.

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 Ereshkigal herself. Ereshkigal's silence range is 5 tiles, much more manageable than the silent spectres' permanent 12-tile aura. If you are relying on Necromutation, watch out - it may wear off when you're in a silence field.


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.


  • Prior to 0.30, willpower was not capped at 200 (Will+++++), meaning that it was possible (and often advisable) to stack willpower high enough to essentially ignore the will-halving effects.
  • Prior to 0.28, Tartarus did not halve vistors' willpower, had regular sized floors, an overall weaker set of monsters, and a miscast-based set of unique hell effects.
Dungeon branches
Dungeon exit.png The DungeonTemple entry.png The TempleDepths entry.png The DepthsZot entry.png Realm of Zot
Lair entry.png The Lair ( Spider entry.png Spider's NestSnake entry.png Snake PitSwamp entry.png The SwampShoals entry.png The ShoalsSlime entry.png Slime Pits)
Orc entry.png Orcish Mines ( Elf entry.png Elven Halls) • Vaults entry.png The Vaults ( Crypt entry.png The CryptTomb entry.png The Tomb)
Abyss entry.png The AbyssPandemonium entry.png PandemoniumHell entry.png Hell ( Cocytus entry.png CocytusDis entry.pngDisGehenna entry.png GehennaTartarus entry.png Tartarus)
See also: Portal